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December 5, 2011

Rocky Road Candy Bark

I’m not sure what my problem is this December. I feel busier and more behind than last year. By all calculations, I should have oodles of free time since I’m not writing a daily holiday blog.  Speaking of which, I’ve had many, many requests for my recipe from last year’s temporary gig so here it is. (I promise the recipe won’t ever disappear over here! )

Rocky road candy bark looks beautiful yet is simple enough for little bakers old enough to hold a spoon to help out with. Since homemade candy keeps longer than most baked goods, you can make it well in advance. It also ships beautifully to out-of-town family and friends. And I think it tastes a whole lot better than any fruitcake, but that’s just my opinion. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

INGREDIENTS: 1 lb of milk chocolate coating wafers 1/2 lb white chocolate coating wafers 1 cup peanuts 1 cup mini marshmallows (note: I prefer to use chocolate coating wafers because they melt easily and are very difficult to mess up, but feel free to substitute your favorite type of chocolate alternative.)

1.  Melt the milk chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for two minutes stirring once. Remove the chocolate from the microwave and stir until smooth. Melt the white chocolate separately following the same directions.

2. Mix the nuts and the marshmallows together in a small bowl, then stir half of them into the milk chocolate. Using a spatula, spread the mixture onto a 9″ x 13″ baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

3. Drop the white chocolate by tablespoonfuls over the milk chocolate. With the tip of a butter knife, swirl the chocolate together to create a marbled effect as pictured above.

4. Sprinkle on the remaining peanuts and mini marshmallows.

5. Refrigerate the bark for about an hour or until firm, then break into pieces. Store the bark in the refrigerator or cool place for up to a month.

Now fill your holiday candy dish or give it away as gifts in a cellophane bag tied with a ribbon.

 Enjoy!

 

Filed Under: baking
September 2, 2011

Happy Back-to-School plus my return!

So summer got me. It lured me away from any sort of a routine. I am totally blaming summer for my blogging absence. And I refuse to feel guilty. I just love summer too much. Don’t think for a second there weren’t mind posts…the ones written, photographed and uploaded in my head, but never quite making it anywhere else. They happened. Again, summer’s fault.

I’m thinking most of you are already back-to-school, but it’s never too late for a back-to-school cake tradition like we do here. If you’ve followed along you know what I’m talking about. If you’re new, let me tell you every back-to-school year begins with a themed cake. I have at least one kid in particular who needs convincing about how back-to-school should be celebrated rather than mourned. Cake helps. In past years, I’ve done a pencil, apple, school bus and notebook. This year, visions of…

…backpacks filled my head. The rectanglarish shape was appealing since time was limited. A quick consultation with my L.L. Bean catalog (because the real backpacks were already at school) served as a reference.

Here are my basic notes for turning a 9″  x 12″ sheet cake into a backpack with the aid of one fruit roll-up for the handle. If you wanted arm straps to show, use an entire box of fruit roll-ups. My straps happen to be hidden since we were down to one lonely green roll-up.

Happy back-to-school and labor day weekend. I promise I’ll be around more with alarm clocks ringing at least five days a week.

Filed Under: baking, family, kids
April 4, 2011

Turning Six

As much as I can hardly believe it, the youngest has turned six. We’ve wrapped up birthday season with her celebrations. Celebrations that included an art-themed party here at the house and a cake to match.

Then there were the couple dozen or so cookies that went to kindergarten so she could properly celebrate in school as well. We came up with the *brilliant* idea for cupcake cookies since actual cupcakes were banned from the classroom this year. We thought our favorite third time/three Daley kid kindergarten teacher would be amused.  

As for things here, I’m juggling all sorts of new projects which have my normal routine slightly out of whack. Hopefully it will all make sense and feel like second nature soon which should result in more frequent updates. Is it really April already?!

Filed Under: baking, family
February 14, 2011

Have a Sweet Valentines

Commercial or not, Valentines day is one of my favorite holidays. Perhaps because of the amount of sugar + chocolate involved. Even if one just recently found their way back to the treadmill, you have to partake in some of that. I mean seriously. Enjoy your day.

Filed Under: baking
February 1, 2011

Building a cake

In case you’re wondering where I’ve been, this cake took a really long time. I’m exaggerating a bit (since said blocks were eaten a good week ago), but not by much. I thought the concept was pretty simple (I know I’m not the first to make a Lego cake), but getting buttercream to cover all of those nooks and crannies was a chore to say the least. And yes, fondant would have been easier. That’s if we liked the taste of that. Our fav cake shows like Ace of Cakes and Cake Boss sure have raised the bar (let’s see them make a Lego cake with buttercream!) Anyway, if you’re brave enough to attempt such a cake for your little Lego fan here’s the inside scoop…

It’s basically one cake made in a 9″ x 12″ pan and cut as so. Then you’ll need to bake up 16 mini cake muffins for the little connector dots on top. I recommend freezing the various cut parts for easier icing. Or better yet, stick a few little Lego guys in the 9″ x 12″ and call it a day.

Filed Under: baking, kids
December 6, 2010

Still posting more than ever

My dear friend Anke softly reminded me that I haven’t been around here too much lately. My excuse is I’ve been continuing to post daily over at Merrier Shopping. I’m having fun writing about all things holiday, but I’m not going to lie. Daily posting including weekends is quite a job. Especially when you strive to make every post interesting by throwing in tutorials and illustrations to boot. If you didn’t follow me over, here’s a roundup of some past craft and recipe posts that I don’t want you to miss:

1) Glittered toy ornaments; 2) Chalkboard placeholders and acorn napkin holders; 3) Baked apples with cranberries; 4) Dressed-up Peanut Butter Cookies

Today, I resorted to letting my cat write the post. I may have lost it.Until I can hire an assistant, the felines of the family need to be on high alert as they could be called into service at any second. I really need to teach them how to work my Etsy shop..tons of new prints to load. Or maybe I should give up on sleeping…hmmmm….

While I mull it over, I promise to come around here more often now that I know someone is paying attention. Thanks Anke!

November 14, 2010

Surf for Sewing and Candy Tutorials

My holiday blog job has been keeping me busy to say the least. I’ve been posting over there daily since November 1st. This weekend, I’ve added two tutorials that my like-minded, creative friends might enjoy. You can make my original JOY potholder by clicking here.

You can also check out my step-by-step recipe for Rocky Road Bark candy by clicking here.

This week, I’m looking forward to meeting my GGP friends (sponsors of the Merrier Shopping blog) in person. We’ve been chatting over the phone and by e-mail for over a month so it will be great to connect with actual faces. And I hear there will be press involved. Pray for a good hair day. Thanks for visiting this site and my holiday blog. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support through the comments and the warm e-mails sent my way. Thank you! : )

November 8, 2010

Saved by the carrots

Why save the best for afterwards? Since carrot cake includes veggies is it a dessert or a healthy side dish? I’m going to argue for side dish and/or breakfast alternative.

October 26, 2010

There is an apple under there

I think you know where this post is headed. Check out those delicious Granny Smiths. Organic, I might add, to up the health factor. We need the extra health points since the below accomplices happen to be  involved…

…that’s two bags of caramels to be exact. In our defense, those apples are very big.

Yep. All downhill from there. Peanuts, chocolate sprinkles, M & Ms and more melted chocolate to boot. Did I mention organic apples?? Yum. Just another reason to love this season.

Filed Under: baking
August 26, 2010

Six Sneakers and one sweet notebook.

All three at the same school. It seems surreal. My youngest in kindergarten?! When did that happen? Back when they were babies,  I remember staring blankly through a fog of total exhaustion hearing people say, ‘Enjoy it…they grow up so fast.’  At the time, all I wanted to know was how many more pounds/how many more weeks before this child sleeps six hours in a row?! Now look. I need a bullhorn to wake them up some most mornings. I blinked and here they are. So the start of every school year marks a bittersweet celebration. Of course you need cake and ice cream for that.

A back-to-school cake has become our tradition. This year, I decided to create a notebook cake. In the past, I’ve done a pencil, a chalkboard, a minivan carpool (super ambitious year) and an apple.  There is no better way in our opinion than to rehash first days over cake and ice cream.

This notebook is spiral bound. Quickly I might add. This is one very busy notebook factory. Speaking of which, I need to get back to my homework that includes filling out a couple hundred forms that I’m pretty sure multiplied last night while we were sleeping. Here’s to another school year.

Filed Under: baking, kids

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