Categories
Desserts Eat

Halloween Treats :: Candy Witch Fingers

Need a last minute Halloween treat idea? These green apple candy witch fingers are sure to intrigue any guest.

Halloween Treats Candy Witch Fingers

I’m a big fan of the green witch from The Wizard of Oz! When I think of Halloween my mind always goes to her fabulous green face and long boney fingers that seem to wrap endlessly around everything they touch. I had those fingers in mind when I dreamed up these green apple Jolly Rancher® Halloween treats!

The pucker of green apple paired with the glorious green make these the perfect Halloween treat! I just love how translucent they are, almost glowing, as they wait patiently on the plate.

Halloween Treats Candy Witch Fingers

They are so simple to make!! I used this Wilton Fingers Non-Stick Pan to make my witch fingers. Any local craft store should have some kind of finger shaped pan in the seasonal section if you don’t already have one. Just spray the pan with a non-stick spray, unwrap the candy, and place 3 candies in each finger (don’t overfill, they will bubble over).  Pop them in the oven for about 6-8 minutes and that’s it! I gave my witch fingers a candy melt manicure which was also super easy! Just melt some red (or any color you desire) candy melts and paint it on with a clean paint brush.

Halloween Treats Candy Witch Fingers

Serve some gorgeous green witch fingers this Halloween! You’re guests will love them!

Wishing you a sugary sweet Halloween!

Wenderly

 

Categories
Desserts Eat Holidays

Peppermint Patty Recipe

This peppermint patty recipe is perfect for any sweet tooth.

March.

To me the month of March means biting cold blustery days filled with blue skies, fast moving clouds and bursts of bright sunshine poking through.

It’s a month of transition.

Winter is loosing its icy hold as spring ever so slowly begins to unfurl tender green leaves pushing through the semi-frozen earth.   

If I had to pick a flavor combination to express March it would be a cool refreshing minty bite surrounded by smooth, rich chocolate. 

In other words, a peppermint pattie.

3-peppermint-o'patties-no-center-showing

Or actually, a “Peppermint O’Pattie”. They’re fun & easy and even better with a shamrock green center. Let me show you how easy this Peppermint Patty recipe is! 

choc-chips-in-antique-double-boilerpeppermint-o'patties-fillingantique-double-boiler-forks-circle-cutterpeppermint-o'patties-dipping-in-chocolate

 Cool and refreshing, melt in your mouth, chocolatey goodness that just scream Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 

*insert bagpipes playing over a gloomy marsh* 

stack-of-peppermint-o'patties-with-bite

Enjoy a bite with a cup of steamy coffee (with a splash of Bailey’s cream maybe?) And cheers to the cold blustery winds of March bringing plenty of warm golden sun-filled days.

xoxo,

O’Wenderly

Here’s the recipe!

 

 

Categories
Decorate Eat Inspire

4th Of July Marshmallow Pops

Red, white & blue marshmallow pops make for a fun and festive 4th of July treat! These darling three ingredient, no-bake, sweet treats are a crowd pleaser for sure!

The 4th of July is less than a week away, can you believe it? This is my very favorite time of year. We have all adjusted to the more laid back summer state of mind as July approaches. The days are long and hot and full of plenty of friends, imagination and wondrous adventures which just seem to unfold in the summertime months. My eldest daughter came home from one of these adventures with a bag full of goodies that included the biggest marshmallows I had ever seen. Lickity-split, my mind began whirling with ideas of what I could create with these puffs of fluff the size of my palm. I’ve had cake pops on the brain after making cake pop cards not to mention I’ve been lamenting about how to use the pretty red & white paper straws I picked up recently.

insert sound of fireworks exploding*

And hence, the 4th of July Marshmallow Pops where born.

My girls and their friends OOOoooooh’ed and AAAAaaah’ed as I whipped up a batch the other day, so I knew they’d be my go-to fun treat for all of our 4th of July festivities. Thought I’d share what I did so you could too!

You’ll just need some red & blue candy melts.

Some red & white paper straws. (You could try the plastic ones but I thought that the paper ones seemed more sturdy).

And but of course GINORMOUS marshmallows!

These marshmallows make the straw-to-marshmallow ratio more proportionate than the regular marshmallows. And you know how important straw-to-marshmallow ratio is.

First melt the candy melts according to package instructions.

I experimented with a few different techniques of dipping sequences and I found that pushing the straw (about 3/4 deep) into the marshmallow before dipping it into candy coating was the way to go.

So, first push the straw into the marshmallow and then take the straw out. Next, dip the marshmallow into blue melted coating(and 1/3 of the way) and then tap, tap, tap your hand that is holding the marshmallow to get all of the extra candy coating off. (Learned that trick from Bakerella! Thanks Bakerella!)

Then place the marshmallow on wax paper, dipped side up…

BUT before the coating is dry, insert the straws back into their original hole and let them sit until candy coating is totally dry.

This way there will be no candy-coating-cracking going on, not to mention this helps the straw stay secure.

Once the blue coating has dried all the way,

…it’s time to dip them into the red melted candy coating. I found that holding the marshmallow from the marshmallow rather than the straw worked the best. Then stand the marshmallow pops in a sturdy glass until dry.

I never knew that patriotic could look so cute.

Make sure to taste one just to make sure that they are edible for all of your friends and family.

I know, I know. The sacrifices that we have to make.

This is the perfect fun & festive sweet treat. Three ingredients. No mess. No hot oven to contend with in the blazing summer heat.

I’m in.

Happy Red, White & Blue!

~Wenderly

Categories
Eat Snacks

Aunt Marcey’s Old Fashioned Hard Tack Candy

Old fashioned hard tack candy is a holiday family favorite. The vibrant flavors and marvelous colors delight any age and makes a perfect hostess gift!

I always know that Christmas is drawing near when my sister Marcey gets into old fashioned hard tack candy mode.

She is an old fashioned hard tack candy making guru.

For as long as I can remember in the weeks leading up to Christmas, she has been like a mad scientist in her kitchen whirling around clanking cookie sheets, gathering dozens of tiny glass viles filed with a plethora of scented oils and flavorings. There are pounds of sugar, bottles of corn syrup and did I mention hammers and screw drivers?

Yes, I said hammers and screw drivers.

This year we decided to make it a family affair. My mom, my girls and I got together for a hard tack candy making extravaganza. I am now armed with pounds of colorful, brilliantly flavored candy that I have divided into sweet little Ball glass jelly jars to give as Christmas treats and hostess gifts. Thought you might like to do the same.

Here’s the skinny on how we like to make it.

You’ll need food coloring and scented vials (or drams) of oils and flavorings.

You can find them in your baking isle (some stores still keep them in the pharmacy like they did in the old fashioned days).

I just love these little vials. Aren’t they sweet?

My sister hoards them like they’re going out of style.

O.k. she shares them but she collects them all year round to insure that she’ll have enough of her favorite flavors.

There are two different types of candy & baking flavorings. There are *oils* and there are *flavorings*. We have found that you’ll need 2 of the flavoring vials and 1 of the oil vials in each batch. (With the exception of lemon…you’ll want to use 2 lemon oil vials to ensure the proper lemon-y tongue tantalizing zing).

Once you’ve got all of your flavorings and colorings in a row you’re ready to make your first batch! Remember  how I mentioned my sister being a mad scientist? While I jest…it isn’t too far from the truth. Making this candy IS a science. Which to be honest makes me break out into a cold sweat. So I’ve kidnapped my sister and all of her years-of-candy-making-trial-and-error-wisdom to help me write this post.

Grab a saucepan, a wooden spoon (not a plastic spoon) and set the stove to medium heat.

You’ll begin by pouring sugar,

light corn syrup,

and water into a pan. Next attach your candy thermometer to the side of the pan and make sure that it isn’t touching the bottom.

Stir constantly until all of the sugar has dissolved. Takes about 15 minutes so make sure you’re fully caffeinated before you begin.

Once sugar is completely dissolved set your spoon down and let the heat take over.

Allow mixture to come to a boil. It should look like this…

A happy rolling boil.

Watch the candy thermometer as the mixture continues to boil,

until it reaches 260°.

Then the excitement begins! Time to add some color and pizzaz.

 

Add one teaspoon of food coloring to the boiling pot.

Again, don’t mix with a spoon.

Let the boiling do the mixing.

Now you’ll want to pay very close attention to the temperature.

The minute you see it reach 300° it’s time to take it off the heat, (some people test the candy mixture consistency in cold water to see if it’s ready but we just go by the candy thermometer).

Now grab the flavoring or oil that you want the candy to taste like. My girls wanted to confuse the taste buds of our recipients so they mixed up the color/flavor combinations. (Yes, our lemon flavor was red).

Allow the mixture to stop boiling before adding the flavoring. Note: My sister has learned that it is imperative at this point in time to carry the pot outside before adding the flavoring to the candy mixture because it will smoke profusely (and smell divine) but be careful not to inhale the vapors. Back in college my sister’s dear friend and candy making cohort went into a full blown asthma attack AND they set off the smoke alarm. Not exactly the way they wanted to spend the day. *Hi Amy!*

Once outside add the flavoring and stir.

Isn’t that purdy?

It’s a good idea to divide and conquer while making this sweet treat. Time is everything and remember it’s a science.

While someone is mixing in the flavoring, if possible, have someone else spray the pans with cooking spray or spray them yourself beforehand so that they are ready to go. You don’t want the candy to harden in the pot.

My sister uses non-stick pots and pans for her candy making and she has found that 9 x12 cake pans work the best.

Note: You may want to use old pots and pans or buy some inexpensive ones because they do take a beating.

So quickly pour the mixture into the cake pans.

Dividing the batch into 2 cake pans insures the right thickness for your candy-eating-enjoyment.

Let the candy sit until it is completely cool on the counter top (not the fridge), to ensure that you will get a hard crack not a sticky crack.

This is where the hammer and screwdriver come in. One of my sister’s expert tips – THIS is the very best candy breaking technique and it’s FUN TOO!

Grab a clean screw driver and hammer. Take the pans of candy back outside, (trust me on this) and place the screw driver in the center of a pan…

Give it a whack!

This is very therapeutic and gratifying. Feel free to wear safety goggles for the full mad-scientist effect. Just a thought.

Continue whacking until you’ve got as many pieces as you see fit.

You will have a few flying pieces but it’s worth it.

You may need to take a little break from time to time and do a little bonding.

Nana and her granddaughters. *sniff*

Check out this gorgeous sheet of molten sugar.

Is that nifty or what?

Don’t these look like little emeralds? Seriously. I may just have to make some jewelry out of them…

but I’ll have to remember not to wear them when it’s raining.

Ignore me.

So the next step is the cerimonial coating of the candy with powdered sugar  Once again my sister has a very specific technique for this.

Grab a gallon plastic bag that zips. Vedy important. Zips and stays zipped. Write the flavor of the candy on the bag. Especially if you’ve mixed up the flavor to color combination.

Sprinkle in a heaping tablespoon, no more than a heaping tablespoon, of powdered sugar.

Then pour the broken pieces of candy into the bag.

Make sure to leave the teenie tiny pieces behind. They get sticky and messy and almost sandlike. Totally takes away from the beauty of the candy and its magical glass-like effect.

I’m sure that Chihuly would agree.

Gently roll the bag around with the bag zipped,

until you’ve got an even coating of powdered sugar on all of the pieces.

Don’t you just want to reach in and grab a handful?

Can you guess what flavor this is?

Cinnamon! HA! And it’s SO YUMMY!

I must admit that this candy making business is really enjoyable once you know what you’re doing. The flavors burst, the colors are gorgeous and it really is some great old fashioned fun.

Hope you give it a try.

Wishing you and yours a Christmas full of sweet memories!

~Wenderly

Categories
Desserts Eat Snacks

Old Fashioned Potato Candy

Have you ever heard of candy made from a potato?

For years my mom has talked of this mysterious potato candy that she loved as a little girl. She would spend magical summers at her grandparents house gleefully running through grapevine arbors, relishing in the homemade jams and jellies made from the grapes. Hours would melt away watching and helping her grandmother work her magic in the kitchen. Whenever homemade mashed potatoes were served with dinner my mom knew that delicious potato candy wouldn’t be far behind.

My mom and I have been planning to make this sweet treat for, well, more times than I care to count. Somehow life always seems to get in the way and we never seem to get it done. While at the cabin last weekend, the earth, sun and stars of potato-making-candy aligned and a rich, decadent fudge-like candy was the result.

Oh. My. Heavens. Was it good.

It all began while antiquing.

My beloved antiquing.

Something marvelous always comes from antiquing. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we stumbled upon this little darling…

 

What is that you ask?

It’s an antique potato masher.

Everybody needs one, right? 

After spying this precious find, we looked at each other knowingly and said, “guess we’re making homemade mashed potatoes for dinner tonight!”

I must say that I enjoyed the daylights out of that sweet little potato masher. It made homemade mashed potato making all the merrier.

The next day we set to work to recreate the simple yet delicious candy.

Leftover homemade mashed potatoes, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and peanut butter is all you need.

Homemade mashed potatoes are key. They are thicker, heartier and act as a better binder than the boxed mashed potatoes.

Put homemade mashed potatoes, vanilla, and salt into a bowl and add one cup of powdered sugar at a time, while kneading with your hands, until mixture becomes a firm fudge-like consistency.

We played around with the ratios and found that 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes mixed with 5 cups powdered sugar made the perfect batch. Evidently depending on the way in which the mashed potatoes are made, can effect how much powdered sugar you may need. So feel free to use a little less or more than my recipe suggests. Just make sure that the mixture is firm enough to hold its shape and not so dry that it crumbles. Does that make sense?

I recommend dividing the mixture in half. I found that it was much easier to work with a smaller amount when rolling and cutting the candy.

Sprinkle powdered sugar on your work surface and rolling pin then roll into a 1/4 inch thickness.

Spread a thin, but not too thin, layer of peanut butter on top, about 1/4 inch. If you use too much it will squish out the sides when rolling it up.

Then carefully roll into a loaf and cover with plastic wrap or wax paper and chill for at least 1-2 hours before cutting into 1/2 inch slices.

That’s it! Let me just tell you that I had no idea how divine this potato candy would actually be. It tasted like peanut butter fudge.

 

I can’t wait to experiment with some other favorite combinations, like chocolate, or Nutella! Mmmmmmmmmmmm. Seriously, the possibilities are endless!

Now go ahead, impress your friends & family with some good old fashioned love today! Wait till you see the look on their face when you tell them that it’s made with mashed potatoes!

xo-

Wenderly

Old Fashioned Potato Candy

(makes 24 slices)

What You’ll Need:

1/2 cup leftover (preferably homemade) mashed potatoes
5 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons Peanut Butter (approximately)

What to Do:

Put mashed potatoes, vanilla, and salt into a bowl and add one cup of powdered sugar at a time, while kneading with your hands until mixture becomes a firm fudge-like consistency. You may need a tad more or less of the powdered sugar depending on how the mashed potatoes where made. Make adjustments depending on the texture of the mix, you’ll want it to be firm & dry enough to keep its shape but not too dry that would cause it to crumble.

Divide the mixture in half, sprinkle work surface & rolling pin with powdered sugar and roll the potato candy into a 1/4 inch thickness. Spread a thin, but not too thin, layer of peanut butter on top, about 1/4 inch. If you use too much it will squish out the sides when rolling it up.

Gently roll into a loaf and cover with plastic wrap or wax paper and chill for at least 1-2 hours hours before cutting into 1/2 inch thick slices (approximately 12 per loaf).

Enjoy!