How did it become December 21st?
Everything has been such a whirlwind this week and it just seems like I’ve blinked and I am already facing the start of the last weekend before Christmas! Geesh.
Fortunately I do have all my shopping done ( and I’m pretty sure that if I don’t it’s not going to get done, because I am not facing those crowds!), however this week I have been helping some of my other family members get their shopping done. I don’t mind lending a helping hand, however, now that I am done my shopping, I keep seeing amazing things in the store for the people on my list or (worse) myself.
I think it’s a secret ploy by stores. Let’s put out all of the “ok” stuff or ” they’d appreciate that” stuff for all the early bird shoppers. Then in the last couple of weeks before the holidays, let’s put out all of the “OMG” or ” THIS IS TOTALLY PERFECT” stuff. That way when the shoppers are out with family members, or just doing their normal “I-just-ran-out-of-toilet-paper” shopping, they see all of this amazing stuff and are absolutely forced to buy it.
Like honestly, my shopping budget is not blown by my normal gift shopping. It’s blown by all these little amazing things that I find in the last days before Christmas. Oh well. The only one that suffers really is my bank account.
Anyways, my shopping is beyond done, but I’m still trying to get some of my holiday baking done. These I whipped up a bit earlier in the week when I had a spare bit of time. They come together quickly and are super delicious. I’ve adapted them from my Grandma’s recipe (her original recipe had dates in them. Barf), and they are one of both my brothers and my dad’s favourites. If you are a big peanut butter fan, then you may want to double the recipe, because they will go quickly!
Peanut Butter Balls
makes about 20 balls
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 2 cups icing sugar, divided
- 3-6 tbsp of milk (or water)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
- In a bowl, combine the peanut butter and 3/4 cup of the icing sugar. You should end up with a soft ‘dough’.
- With damp hands, roll the dough into 1 inch/ 2.5 cm ball, setting them on a tray lined with wax paper. If you are finding that the dough is too soft or is sticking to your fingers, set them in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Once it is all rolled out, chill them for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make a thin icing with the remaining icing sugar and 3 Tbsp of milk. If your icing is still thick, add the remaining milk, one tablespoon at a time.
- Lightly coat each of the chilled balls in the thin icing, then immediately roll in the shredded coconut. Set back on the wax paper lined tray and chill to set. Once they have set, you can move them too a container. Store in the fridge.
My last minute shopping trip bought our cat a festive new sweater!
I linked this recipe up to:
Happy Canada day!
Hope you are having an awesome day!
Just a quick “recipe” for you today, which really was a result of a failure. I had intended on sharing some cute ( in my head ) cake pops, but let’s just say they didn’t turn out ( a.k.a fell apart as I was dipping them). Not one to waste perfectly good melted chocolate, I threw in some cranberries and almonds, topped it off with sprinkles and made a bark.
Canada Day Cranberry Almond Bark.
- 1/2 cup white melting chocolate (I used Merckens from the Bulk Barn)
- 1 cup red melting chocolate
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup chopped natural almonds
- sprinkles ( optional)
- Line a 9×9 pan with wax paper. Over a pot with gently simmering water, melt the white chocolate in a heat proof glass or metal bowl, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.
- When the chocolate is melted, stir in the cranberries, then pour down the middle of the prepared pan.
- In another bowl, melt the red chocolate over the gently simmering water. When it has melted, stir in the chopped almonds.
- Pour half of the chocolate along one side of the pan beside the white chocolate. Pour the other half along the other. Swirl the white chocolate into the red with a knife if desired. Top with sprinkles if desired ( I used some cute Maple leaf quins)
- Gently drop the pan on the counter a couple times to smooth out the chocolate then pop in the fridge or freezer to set. Once it has set, whack it on the counter or tap it with a rolling pin to break it up.
Don’t forget to check out some fireworks!
I made you a heart. Can you feel the love?
Since I discovered the little almond joy pieces last year, I have been obsessed. I want to make everything almond-joy flavored. I made cookies in the summer, but seeing as Mr. Ginge doesn’t like anything with nuts in it, I have been hesitant to make anything else. But I’ve wanted to.
Valentines seemed like the perfect excuse. And much to my surprise, my no-nuts-allowed-in-my-treats man eats them. No arm twisting needed. I swear! The explanation I get : Well they are just like Almond Joys.
Like him liking almond laced treats was common knowledge.
Homemade Almond Joy Hearts
Make 12 hearts
- 1/4 c butter, melted
- 1 c unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 to 1 1/2 c icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 tbsp milk or cream
- 24 whole natural almonds
- 1 pkg milk chocolate chips
- In a bowl, mix together the first 5 ingredients. If the mixture is still a bit soft or runny, add more sugar. It should hold together and not be sticky.
- Line a sheet or plate with parchment. Shape a couple tablespoons of the coconut mixture into a heart shape. I freehanded it, but you could always use a small cookie cutter as a mold. Press two hold almonds, with the tips together so that they also make a heart shape, into the coconut. Top with some more of the coconut to cover the almonds. Stick them in the fridge for several hours to firm up, or in the freezer for at least half an hour.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips in a large bowl. When firm, dip each of the hearts in chocolate so that they are completely covered, and set on a parchment lined sheet. Set back in the fridge to allow the chocolate to firm up. One the chocolate is set, drizzle any remaining over top of the hearts, if desired. Store in the refrigerator.
Try not to eat them all in one sitting!
I used to work at a bulk foods store, and come Halloween, I would go crazy over the candy corn. And the mellocreme pumpkins. And the mellocreme harvest mix.
So much so that I literally made myself sick. Really sick. Like so sick, I couldn’t look at candy corn with out getting queasy.
Even now, several years later, I can only eat it in small doses.
So what do I decide to do?
Oh… only put it in some fudge.
Chocolate Candy Corn Fudge
(it made for me 1 5×7 pan however it made fairly thick fudge. If you want a thinner fudge you could use and 8×8 pan)
- 1 c chocolate chips ( I used dark chocolate)
- 1 c orange candy coating wafers (like Merckens)
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 c candy corn, roughly chopped
- extra candy corn or pumpkins to garnish ( optional)
- Line your pan with parchment paper, making sure that it hangs over the sides, then grease.
- In a microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and half the can of milk ( about half a cup). Microwave in 30 second intervals, until smooth.
- Spread the mixture into the bottom of the pan, and let chill for about 10 minutes
- Meanwhile, in another microwave safe bowl, melt the candy wafers and the other half of the milk in thirty second intervals until smooth.
- Stir in the chopped candy corn, then spread over the chocolate layer.
- Top with the extra candy corn or pumpkins, about 1 for every square of fudge you will cut.
- Let chill for a couple hours.
- Remove from the pan and slice into squares, cleaning the knife after every cut ( it can get sticky)
- Keep any left overs in the fridge.
adapted from Taste of Home
So I have just come to realize that I haven’t posted anything in a week. Oops…
To be honest though, I haven’t made anything in a week.
However, since Mr. Ginge has been on a zombie movie kick all day, I was in a halloween-ey mood. And a chocolate mood. How suiting.
What’s great about this recipe is that really you can customize it any way you want, with your favorite chocolate and your favorite candies. Plus it is super quick and easy!
Halloween-ey Candy Bark:
- 1 pkg dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup orange candy moulding wafers (like Merckens)
- Candy corn
- Chocolate covered caramels
- Orange and black sprinkles
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chips, 30 seconds at a time until smooth and completely melted. Alternatively you could melt them in a double boiler.
- Once melted spread evenly over the prepared sheet.
- In another microwave safe bowl ( or over another double boiler) melt the candy wafers, in 30 second intervals until smooth.
- Drizzle over the chocolate, swirling with a fork if necessary.
- Dot the top with candy corn and the chocolate covered caramels, the sprinkle with the sprinkles.
- Set in the fridge for about an hour or so, so that it can firm up.
- Once it has set, smash it into a bunch of pieces.
On another note, we took a road trip out to a winery abut 45 minutes outside of town with some friends yesterday. Along with some wine, I picked up an AWESOME apron ( I love aprons).
These are totally words I live by. (You should see my kitchen some days!)