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 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)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Marshmallow Stuffed Nutella Caramels

I have been charmed for quite some time with the Modjeskas candies.

So I go and google the definition of the word and find the name comes from a famed, Polish actress; Madame Helena Modjeska. You can read the story here!

 I had this jar of Nutella in my pantry as my middle grandson does not care for peanut butter..what!? So I wanted to make a Nutella candy for him. I chose caramels and then decided to "stuff" them with marshmallows to make my own version of the classic Modjeskas candies. Yum!
Ingredients needed:
 I am basing this recipe off my Peanut Butter Caramels, swapping the pb with Nutella and adding my favorite marshmallows to the mix!
My two go-tos for candy making. A four-quart heavy bottomed saucepan and digital candy thermometer.
 Spray an 8x8 pan lightly with cooking spray, line with parchment paper and then spray this lightly as well.
Oh..look at that beautiful butter. This is my first time using Kerrygold butter, gold for sure!

Melt butter over low heat, add brown sugar, corn syrup and condensed milk.
Stir in Nutella.
Crank up the heat to medium and attach candy thermometer.
Stir continuously until candy reaches 246 degrees fahrenheit or firm-ball stage. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

My plan was to have the marshmallows set in between the layers of caramel.

So as I was stirring the caramels, it struck me that the marshmallows just might float to the top of the candy. New plan. Instead of pouring half the candy into the pan, I poured just enough to cover the bottom of pan and then placed the marshmallows.
I then poured the remaining caramel into the pan and watched the marshmallows rise ever so defiantly to the top. So..I decided to just roll with it. *wink* 
I had to laugh. This looks like just like gravy covered rolls to me. Happy Thanksgiving.
Now how will they taste..?
I just had to wait and see.

I covered my candy simply by laying a sheet of wax paper over pan and let it sit overnight before cutting.
Gently cut through marshmallow stuffed caramels with a long, sharp and lightly oiled knife. I say gently due to the marshmallow on top. 

Now to yum!!

Mister Zack loved these!

Makes a grandma's heart happy.   :o)
Nutella Caramels

1 1/2 sticks butter (i use salted)
2 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup Nutella
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 SmoreMallow marshmallows

Melt butter over low heat. Stir in brown sugar, condensed milk, corn syrup and Nutella. Bump the heat up to medium and attach candy thermometer to pan. Cook candy stirring constantly until thermometer reaches firm ball stage or 246 degrees fahrenheit. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Pour just enough cooked candy to cover the bottom of pan. Add marshmallows and pour remaining candy.

Cover pan loosely-i lay a sheet of wax paper on top-and let caramels sit on countertop until firm. I let mine sit overnight.

Remove candy from pan. Lightly oil a long sharp knife and cut candy. Wrap in wax paper squares.

Makes 36 pieces if you cut 3 candies from each marshmallow as I did.
Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

Have a sweet day, Karen