Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Pretzels:Dipped, Smothered & Covered!

It is my candy coated opinion, that, while in WDW, you can never spend too much time gazing longingly at the amazing Disney treats being made right before your very eyes!

Actually, "being made" is not the right term. Pampered, coddled, gently coaxed into being..yes, that's much more accurate. I just have to watch in wonder, and yes, even dream of working in a Disney candy kitchen!

Last week, I got to celebrate my birthday in the Magic Kingdom (52 and still lovin' it)! I was standing in the sweet Main Street Confectionery and staring all "sugar eyed" as I watched the candy makers creating and decorating Mickey Mouse rice krispie treats, caramel apples, pretzels and more. 

They had these huge bowls and tubs filled with melted chocolate and sprinkles and M&Ms and jimmies and colored sugars! Then, after they dipped the treats in chocolate, they would place each one into a candy filled tub and cover the entire thing, gently patting and pressing, making sure it was completly smothered. The treats were left to rest as they would move on to the next one. This resting time allowed for the maximum amount of candies to "stick" to the chocolate coating. Wow! 

I'm am hooked! I must make my own. Here I go.
Go with me won't you?!
 Disney also dips lots of their sweets in caramel. I do too. Today, I am dipping my pretzels in peanut butter caramelClick here for my recipe. I also have a yummy vanilla caramel recipe. Of course you can always just skip the caramel, but why would you want to?!
Pretzel rods are the salty base for our treats.
Perfect for all the yummy sweetness we'll be adding to them.
 Five simple ingredients are needed for the peanut butter caramel. Brown sugar, corn syrup, sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter and vanilla.
I poured my caramel into a quart size mason jar to make for easier dipping. 
 Let cool just a bit and then dip, dip, dip away.
Gently scrape excess caramel against the mouth of the jar. 
This will help prevent "caramel spread".
 Lay dipped pretzels on parchment paper sprayed lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

I only dipped 21 pretzels and used about half the caramel. So I poured the remaining caramel into a parchment lined loaf pan lightly sprayed with non-stick spray. Voila, peanut butter caramels for snacking!  :)
As the caramel sets, melt the chocolate.
I used about 34 ounces to cover 21 pretzels including drizzling for several of them.
Again, I poured the chocolate into a mason jar for dipping.
Here's the part I've been waiting for!

Lay the chocolate covered pretzel in your candy filled tub/pan/dish.
Now cover the entire thing with candies.
Following the candy makers steps, I gently patted the candies making sure my pretzels were cacooned and smothered in M&Ms!

Now we let them rest a few minutes till completely set.
Ahhhhh..perfect!

Cause, sometimes you feel like an M&M..
..sometimes you don't!
 My family is REALLY gonna LOVE me now!
 Candy is just so dang purty!!
Just in case you weren't convinced thet you wanted one..
Thanks for dropping by Sugartown Sweets..
See Ya Real Soon!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Snow-Capped Peppermint Christmas Tree Lollipops


Joy of joys! It's time for my annual "Christmas in July" craft!

Actually, I haven't had time for many crafts this summer, 'cause I've been biz, biz, busy.
You know, family time, celebrating birthdays, enjoying vacations, VBS...all the wonderfulness that makes up Life!

But, I knew this sweet treat had to happen, even though I have made the peppermint trees before.
A few years ago I made them a little bigger and added tree decorations.

I'm liking these smaller pops with the snow and berries and you'll like how quick and easy these are to put together.

Merry Christmas (in July)!
 You will need:peppermint candies, white chocolate, Christmas sprinkles (I used berries), lollipop sticks.

Tools needed:Parchment paper lined baking sheet.
 Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Place candies on lined pan and bake for 8-10 minutes or just until candies begin to melt and stick together. Insert lollipop stick. Cool completely.

Melt white chocolate (or candy melts) and dip the top of lollipop. Hold lollipop straight up and allow chocolate to drip down a little. Gently scrape excess chocolate from the back of the pop on the edge of cup and place on clean parchment paper. Apply sprinkles.
 Let candy set to harden.

Peppermint and chocolate, one of the great flavor combos made cute!
 Thanks for stopping by!

Have a sweet day, Karen   :o)
 Sugartown Sweets

Friday, June 24, 2016

Firecracker Marshmallows for the Fourth of July

The 4th of July is upon us!

This summer is passing by much too fast. It could have something to do with my being out of town for a couple of weeks. Hubby and I had a wonderful two week, two nation vacation celebrating our silver anniversary!

I must say we were glad to get back to see all our sweet kiddos. Aaand..I'm happy to be here sharing my simple marshmallow craft to help you all celebrate our favorite summer holiday.
To see another of my firecracker treats, click here!

Happy 4th y'all!
I used marshmallows, pull and peel Twizzlers, candy star sprinkles and lollipop sticks.

These are also cute without the stars if you'd rather skip this step.
I attached my stars to the Twizzlers with a dab of corn syrup and let them set overnight to make sure they held well. I think this would have been easier if I had used royal icing but I didn't have any and didn't want to make any.  :o)
When you push the stick into bottom of marshmallow to make it a pop, make sure you leave enough room on the top side to insert your candy wick.

Here comes the fun part.
Drawing on marshmallows! It's fun and easy.

Just let the marshmallows set out a little bit to make the surface easier to draw on. Now grab your edible ink markers and go!

You can check out the cutest art on marshmallows I've ever seen over @ Meaghan's, The Decorated Cookie
Use a lollipop stick dipped in water to make a hole in top of your marshmallows. 
You can now gently press in the candy wick.
Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday!

So sweet of you to stop by, Karen!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Homemade Peanut Butter Big Cups Stuffed with Reese's Pieces

Have you heard Reese's delicious news?
 Just in case you missed it, Reese's, my faaavorite candy bar, is debuting their candy cups filled with mini Reese's Pieces. 

In July!

I. Can't. Wait. That. Long.

So after a little trial and error, here is my own version.

And, since I prefer crave the Big Cups, that's what we're making today!

You're welcome!  
You will need chocolate chips, peanut butter, powdered sugar and of course, mini Reese's Pieces.
Melt 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips.
 Spoon into muffin tins lined with cupcake liners. Chill in fridge till set.
 Combine 1 cup peanut butter (with excess oil poured off from the jar) and 1/3 cup powdered sugar.

I much prefer the Smucker's Natural peanut butter texture to regular pb for these candies. My first experiment using a different brand ended up way too soft and creamy. The Smucker's is perfect.

Stir Reese's Pieces into pb mixture. Using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop-or roll into equal size balls-scoop candy into 16 balls. Yes you will have 2 extra, but they are so yummy even without the chocolate cup! Oh yeah!
 Place pb balls on top of hardened chocolate in muffin tins. Press lightly to flatten a bit.
 Melt remaining 2 3/4 cups chocolate chips.
 Spoon chocolate over candy cups and tap on counter to level tops. Place in fridge till set.
 And there you go!

I think these will keep us happy..at least until July!
Oh my but these are sooo good!

Peanut Butter Big-Cup Recipe

1 cup Smucker's Natural creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 cup mini Reese's Pieces
23 oz. bag milk chocolate chips

Line muffin tins with 14 cupcake liners.

Melt 1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat. Spoon melted chocolate into cupcake liners. Tap pan on counter to even out the chocolate. Place tins in fridge till chocolate hardens.

Open peanut butter and pour off the excess oil. Combine 1 cup peanut butter with 1/3 cup powdered sugar, stirring to mix well. Add one cup mini candies and stir gently to combine. 

Scoop peanut butter mixture with a two-tablespoon cookie scoop or roll into equal size balls. This recipe will make 16. I had 2 balls left over which makes for a yummy snack even without the chocolate coating! 

Place the peanut butter balls into the chocolate filled liners. 

Melt remaining 2 3/4 cups chocolate chips. Spoon melted chocolate over each candy filled cup. Tap tins onto counter to smooth the tops.

Place in fridge to set.

I also kept mine in an airtight container in the fridge.
These will keep up to two weeks, maybe longer, but I like my candy fresh!

Yippee! We made Reese's Pieces Stuffed Big Cups!

Thanks for stopping by!

Have a Sweet Day, Karen

Thursday, April 21, 2016

National Jelly Bean Day and Earth Day Lollies


April 22, 2016, National Jelly Bean Day and Earth Day collide! How cool is that?

Did you know there is only one variety of blue Jelly Belly jelly beans? Well, I did not. That is until after getting home with my ten dollar bag of former President Reagan's favorite candy.

So my ever sweet hubby surprised me by leaving work and bringing me nine bags containing the two flavors I would need for my lollipops! I love that man!
You will need hard Jolly Ranchers, Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, lollipop sticks and parchment paper.
I used: blue raspberry Jolly Ranchers,
berry blue Jelly Belly beans,
green apple Jolly Ranchers,
and sour apple Jelly Belly beans

Place Jolly Ranchers on parchment lined baking pan and bake @ 275 for 7 minutes.
Immediately after removing from oven, insert lollipop stick and place jelly beans. Let sit until cool.

These are so easy to make and I made several for my grandkiddos. They are so tasty too!
Well! That was fun!

Have a sweet day, Karen  :o)