Tag Archives: candy

Homemade Butterfinger Bars

Candy corn: you either love it or you hate it. In a recent poll of friends and family, half of the group said they were fond of the Halloween snack while the others either reported they couldn’t stand it or made a face like they were disgusted.

While I fall on the “love it” end of the candy corn spectrum and could mindlessly pop back kernel after kernel, I set out on an internet quest to find another use for it. I came across recipes for cookies, cupcakes and fudge, but none that would mask the appearance of the orange, yellow and white candies in an effort to throw off the candy corn haters.

Thanks to a few clicks of the computer mouse and a trusty search engine, I came across a recipe using candy corn as a main ingredient to make a copycat version of another candy. These homemade Butterfinger bars will blow your mind, convert the candy corn opposition and give you something to bring to the Halloween parties you were invited to.

Clever, right?

Clever, right?

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Honey Vanilla Fleur de Sel Caramels

I’ve had a running wish list of interesting ingredients to be added to my cooking cabinet, and I am proud to say I can finally cross one off as it is now nestled away among spices, vinegars and oils. Several weeks ago, I purchased fleur de sel, a hand-harvested, artisanal sea salt that is used in finishing a dish and looks very elegant; the salt appears in a crystallized flake form, reminiscent of a beautiful snow flake. 

Considering fleur de sel (French for flower of salt) is somewhat obscure, I had always planned to make a special trip for the flaky salt when I found time, perhaps to the Reading Terminal or a specialty cooking store. Who would have thought I would have stumbled upon a little tub of it when I was furniture shopping?

Discount stores like Marshalls and Home Good sell specialty food items mixed in with their cooking tools and kitchen appliances. Fine olive oils, flavored coffees, even fancy snacks grace the shelves for a fraction of the prices they are usually sold for; my belief is, as long as the expiration date isn’t a thing of the past, it’s a done deal. When my eyes spotted a container of fleur de sel for $2.99, I was a happy camper.

Since the salt is typically added as a finisher, I wanted to make something that looked and tasted equally elegant. This recipe for salty-sweet caramels can be summed up in one word: addictive. Read More…

Whopper Cookies

One of my best friends, Mary E., has gatherings that Martha Stewart would want an invite to: all of the food looks and tastes perfect, a signature cocktail is served in a big, beautiful punch bowl, and items are served on coordinating platters and plates. Mare always has something for everyone, but the item that always catches my eye on the dining room table is the classic glass cake plate, covered with the dome lid protecting stacks of cookies like they were gold doubloons. It’s no secret that, before I can even sample the punch or make myself a dinner plate, I sneak one of her famous Whopper cookies to start things off.

“What makes a cookie perfect?” Posing this question to a group of people could result in a dangerous debate, much like religion or politics could at your company’s holiday party. Those from the “crunchy” school of thought just cannot imagine where the “chewy” group is coming from. The folks who love thick, cake-like medallions don’t see eye to eye with the wafer-thin lovers. I, for one, have always been a slave to the soft and chewy; there once was a time where, fortunately, I stopped myself just short of scarfing an entire package of Keebler Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies. Had they been homemade, I would not have been so disciplined. If they were Mare’s Whopper cookies, well, I’d be a goner. Read More…

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