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Thursday, October 22, 2009

He Drums!



This is my wonderful Drummer!
His uncle Greg has drums and he has loved them ever since he first saw them. Landon has been getting better at them, but his time he was doing so well! Jeff took the video of this. It's from his phone, so it's not great quality, but it is amazing!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Chocolates Recipes!

All of these recipes are from an online cookbook, but I have altered them to what I like more. If you want the original recipe you can email me and I will send you the cookbook, but otherwise enjoy my recipes!

First one I tried was

"Butterfingers"

1 Cup Peanut Butter
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
bag Light Chocolate Melting Chocolate (milk chocolate)

Cook syrup, sugar, and water to 310 F. (at least. sometimes the thermometer isn't quite right and you need to wait a little longer. If you make this more than once, you'll want to experiment with the times.) Remove from heat.
Stir in warmed peanut butter (warm 30 sec. at least in microwave) until well blended. Pour into a greased (buttered) 9 X 9 pan. Score mixture into desired size bars immediately. (or they will harden and you won't get bars, you'll get chunks that you have to break with a hammer.)
When COMPLETELY cool, dip in melted milk chocolate in microwave or double boiler, (I prefer microwave because you are less likely to burn the chocolate) and set on wax paper until chocolate has hardened. They are best if kept in fridge until 10 minutes prior to serving because the chocolate tends to get soft quite fast. You can add paraffin wax to help the chocolate not to melt, but I haven't experimented with that yet. Once completely hardened you can put store them in airtight container.

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Mint Drops! (or mint patties)

1 (14−ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk (I have used off brands and it turns out just as good as name brands)
1 tablespoon peppermint extract*
6 cups powdered sugar
Additional confectioners' sugar
1 to 2 bags Dark Chocolate Melting Chocolate

In large mixer bowl, combine milk, extract and. Add 6 cups sugar; beat on low speed until smooth and well blended. Turn mixture onto surface sprinkled with Powdered sugar. Knead lightly to form smooth ball. Shape into 1/2−inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on wax
paper−lined baking sheets. I keep time in ball shape, although they will flatten on the bottom so they will be more like dots (hence the name!). Let dry 1 hour, turn the over, and let them dry another hour. Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave. Stir halfway through the
heating time. (I heat half a bag at a time, which takes 1 min. to melt mixing after 30 sec.) Melt thoroughly, but do not overheat. Melting the chocolate chips can also be done using a double−boiler over low heat. With a toothpick or fork, dip each patty into warm chocolate
(remove excess coating). Invert onto wax paper−lined baking sheets; put in fridge Store covered in refrigerator. Once completely hardened you can put store them in airtight container.

*you can use 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract if you only want it slightly minty. (3 teaspoons = 1 Tablespoon)

Mint Drops are my most favorite ever!
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Chocolate Carmel Shortbread Cookies (or Twix I haven't come up with any names yet.)

1 bag Kraft caramels (dots or individually wrapped squares)
2 Tablespoons water
1 box Nabisco Lorna Doone 100 calorie packs (these make bite sized cookies, which are much more fun and better for you)**
1 to 2 bags Light Chocolate Melting Chocolate (milk chocolate)

Place the shortbread cookies side by side on an wax paper-lined
pan (whatever pan will fit most cookies side by side) . Combine the caramels with the water in a small pan and melt over low heat. Spread over cookies. Refrigerate cookies until the caramel is firm. Once caramel is firm (refrigerate for at least 30 min.), use the microwave for melting the chocolate. Heat half a bar at a time. Remove the cookies from the refrigerator. Remove wax paper from pan. Cut caramel-covered cookies into squares. Rest each one on a fork and
dip it into the chocolate. (I actually use the sticks that come with the caramel to help me dip) Tap the fork or stick on the side of the pan or bowl to knock off any excess chocolate. Then place each one on a sheet of waxed paper and let them cool in the fridge. The bars will set best this way. Once completely hardened you can put store them in airtight container.

**I have also used store brand short bread cookies. They work fine too, but you do need to cut the cookies to a smaller size. This is best done with a serrated knife, slowly and softly. This works pretty well, it's just time consuming, but also cheaper.

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Square Turtles with Nougat (Snickers. Any other name ideas??)


1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups powdered sugar
1 bag Kraft caramels + 2 Tablespoons of water
1 cup dry−roasted unsalted peanuts
1 to 2 bags Light Chocolate Melting Chocolate (milk chocolate)

Combine the corn syrup, butter, vanilla, peanut butter, and salt until creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar. When the mixture has the consistency of dough, remove it from the bowl
with your hands and press it into a lightly greased 11 x 13−inch pan. Put in the refrigerator.

Melt the caramels and water in a small pan over low heat. When the caramel is soft, mix in the peanuts. Pour the mixture over the refrigerated nougat in the pan. Let this cool in the refrigerator.

When the refrigerated mixture is firm, melt the chocolate in a microwave. Stir halfway through cooking time. When the mixture in the pan has hardened, cut it into desired size. Set each chunk onto a fork and dip into the melted chocolate. Tap the fork against the side of the bowl or pan to knock off any excess chocolate. Then place the chunks on waxed paper. Refrigerate. Once completely hardened you can put store them in airtight container.

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Peanut Butter Cups are to follow. I'm still perfecting the recipe.

Enjoy! The hardest part of all of these recipes is dipping! It's a great stress reliever, with a nice reward at the end. Not great for diets, then again, if you make bite sized candies, you can eat a smaller amount and not have to buy a candy bar at the store and spend money! Each of these recipes make 70 to 100 + small pieces of candy depending on the size you wish. They last a least a month too!