​Marshmallow of Delicious Death

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Marshmallow of Delicious Death


I make so many different holiday treat gifts that require time for the chocolate to set up, that results in some downtime. Downtime leaves me alone with my thoughts. Never a good thing. So during those downtimes I play around with goodies I have on hand. During one such playtime I made (deep voice echo) THE MARSHMALLOW OF DELICIOUS DEATH !
You will need: jumbo marshmallows, candy coat, chocolate chips, caramel pieces or bits, and pecan pieces.
I use Kraft caramel bits. If you prefer some other type of caramel, go for it. If you use caramel bits. Don’t forget to add a little water before melting. Unless you want to break a tooth. Milk will probably work in place of water. I forgot the water on my first batch. Even as I was stirring my melted caramel it didn’t even occur to me to be concerned about how thick it was. The marshmallows were beautiful. I took a bite, well I tried. I’ve never bitten a rock but I imagine it must be like my marshmallow. Lesson learned.
Okay let me quit rambling and get down to THE  MARSHMALLOW OF DELICIOUS DEATH! Melt your caramel. On wax paper have the marshmallows sitting there, just hanging out waiting on their shower of caramel. Once the caramel is melted spoon it over the marshmallows. Let the caramel set.

Then melt your chocolate. I use a 3:1 ratio of chocolate candy coat to semi-sweet chocolate chips. If mixture is too thick just thin it out with a tad of coconut oil. Spoon chocolate over the marshmallows. Let set a few moments then sprinkle on the pecan pieces.

Now impatiently wait for the whole thing to set up. Take photos and send to the people on your naughty list so they can see what they will be missing out on. Or skip the photos and just throw down on THE MARSHMALLOWS OF DELICIOUS DEATH!

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Hot Chocolate Spoons 

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​Hot Chocolate Spoons 
These guys are great to stir your hot chocolate or coffee. I make these every year for Christmas gifts and every year they are the most requested treat I make.
For the single and child free in the family they get 4 spoons per person. Families with children I give them A LOT. Kiddos love these spoons. I used to give a packet of hot cocoa  per spoon but now that I make 200 plus of these every year only people new to the  spoon of happiness get packets.

What you need:
8 oz light cocoa candy melts
Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips. Sprinkles or Ghirardelli white melting wafers. Plastic or wooden spoons. Cheap plastic will melt, get the heavy duty plastic spoons.
Wax paper.

How to:
Take the whole bag of candy melts. Small handful of the chocolate chips. Melt using double boiler method or microwave. If microwave follow directions on candy melts bag. Remember half power or defrost setting.
Once melted just dip spoons in chocolate, set on wax paper. If chocolate is too thick add just a dab of coconut oil. Add more if needed but stir well and test on a spoon before adding more. You can go from too thick to too runny easily.
If adding sprinkles, sprinkle on now before chocolate sets up. If drizzling white chocolate let spoons set up for atleast 30 minutes. I melt small batches of white chocolate for the drizzle. A little goes a long way. If you coat any of the spoons in white chocolate it’s best to double coat. Dip once. Set up. Dip again.

Learn from my mistake people. One year I had two crockpots going making candy, the oven on all day making candied nuts, and my dryer running most of day. All this in kitchen where I was making the spoons. The room was so toasty my chocolate could not set up. Now I do all my chocolate coating on a day by itself.

 Gift giving: I use 4×6 plastic treat bags. Two spoons per bag. I cross them corner to corner. Then twist tie at the cross section. I then tie on some curling ribbon. Now put them in a gift bag or a Christmas theme coffee mug. Throw on a ribbon and name tag. Done.

If it’s a big family getting a good bit I tin them. Use wax paper between layers instead of bagging. Saves time and makes it convenient for the receiver.
At my family gatherings there’s always unexpected guest. Usually a family or person new to area that have no one to celebrate the holidays with. So I make several extra candy gift sets.

  

Smores Cupcakes

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Happiness

Happiness

Some time ago I saw on the aisle at the grocery store a box of Smores cupcake mix kit type thing. I looked the box over. A light bulb went off. I could do that, I had all the ingredients I needed at home.

First I must confess, this was some time ago. Like beginning of summer. Yes I am a slacker to wait this long to share. But the worst is yet to come, I was so excited to try this I did not even think to take pictures until things were almost ready to go into oven. So pictures are scarce and we must rely on my memory from that day. In short we are doomed!

Here is how I recall that day.

My dad who at the time was on this kick of buying me cake mixes when he saw them on sale. There was this one mix that was, double chocolate or something like that. I just remember it was more chocolate then your average chocolate cake mix. So it was to be sacrificed in this experiment.

I mix the cake according to package directions. Now time for the graham cracker crust to be our foundation. I made a guess on how much I would need to line the bottom of the cupcake liner. So graham cracker crust is something I do make on a regular basis , I did not measure I eyeballed, cause you know my extensive experience would never lead me astray . I put some graham crackers in my little generic cheap version of the bullet thingy (technical term). Once I had crumbs I began adding melted butter till it was moistened. Well I made way too damn much. So I am going to make a guess and say you need 1 to 2 cups. Not a bowlful as I ended up with.

I pushed this mixture done firmly into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Now goes a thin layer of the cake mix. Here is the part that had me wishing I just bought the darn box kit to make this as I‘m sure the company has found the best way to handle this part. I needed to transfer my marshmallow cream into a baggie to squeeze the stuff into each cup. I first tried just using a spoon and putting a spoonful of cream into each cup but I was getting the stuff everywhere but the center, you know how sticky that stuff is. I went to the squeeze bag method.

Marshmallow cream is messy. Maybe it’s just me but that stuff fights me. So after fighting it into the baggie I snipped my corner and squeezed. Worked much better than the spoon. I then covered the cream with another layer of the cake mix. Into the oven to cook following the cake mix temp and time.

As I stood up from putting the pan in the oven I noticed the disaster of my kitchen and myself. My kitchen and my arms, hands, front of shirt and have mercy, even my hair had cake mix and marshmallow cream on them. Again I felt I would have been better off buying the box kit.

FYI: coconut oil will help get marshmallow cream out of hair.

As I finished cleaning up my timer let me know my cupcakes were done. I took them out of the oven. I wanted so badly to bite into one right then but I had this vision of me biting into one and marshmallow lava erupting all over me. I let them cool down while I took a few quick pictures. They were cooled down enough to taste test.
I finally took my first bite.

Holy Mother of Cupcakes. I don’t know how the box kit of this stuff taste but this, this was cupcake heaven. No icing was needed. At all. Now I had enough of everything to make a second pan but I was not fighting the marshmallow again. EVER.

You know you want to bite me

You know you want to bite me

SMORES CUPCAKES

Ingredients:
Chocolate cake mix from a box or your favorite recipe
Items needed to make the batter (eggs, oil, etc)
1 to 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
Enough melted butter to moisten the crumbs
1 jar of marshmallow cream or fluff as some people call it.
Strong baggie or icing bag to pipe out cream/fluff
Coconut oil to get that stuff cream/fluff out of your hair

Mix batter according to instructions on box or your recipe.
Moisten crumbs with butter, put a spoonful of crumb mixture into bottom of each cupcake liner. Press down until bottom is completely covered.
Next put down a thin layer of cake batter.
Pipe in a small amount of cream/fluff into center of the batter. Try to avoid it spreading to the edges.
Cover with another layer of batter.

Bake according to box/recipe instructions or until toothpick comes out clean. Avoid doing this to the center you will just hit the cream. Let cool, eat as is or cover with chocolate icing.

Now remember I made my own using ingredients I had at home. If you have to buy all the items it just might be cheaper to buy the box kit instead. It’s on the grocery store baking aisle with the cake mixes.

Don’t want to use the box kit? My recipe to vague? Hit Pinterest and search. I know there’s a recipe out there. Trust me when I say, if it’s not on Pinterest it doesn’t exist.

Warning: marshmallow cream is sticky and messy

Warning: marshmallow cream is sticky and messy

Gotha’s Chocolate Coconut Bombs

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Too damn tasty

Too damn tasty

I have added coconut oil to my diet in hopes of helping my dry cracking itchy skin. I am trying to heal my skin from the inside out because in my 40 something years nothing has helped my skin from the outside. If I had back the money wasted on lotions, I wouldn’t be rich but I’m sure I could pay a few big bills off.
I first became familiar with coconut oil from Pinterest when I was looking for natural hair treatments. That sparked my interest about that amazing oil, so I researched the many uses and benefits of the awesome coconut and the oil it produces.
What you must first understand is the oil is solid like lard. Fortunately it has a low melting point of 76 degrees. Which makes it easy to use on the hair and skin. Now getting it inside the body is easier for some but not everyone. I fall into the not everyone category.

I have tried melting the coconut oil and just slamming it down the hatch like a shot of liquor. Nasty doesn’t even begin to describe that process. Some Pinterest pins suggest just eating it by the spoonful, solid. That ended up with gagging like a cat trying to upchuck a fur ball. I have added it to food and drink with some success.

When done properly coconut oil in coffee is a great tasty way to get it into your diet. But when you have stomach issues like me, coffee every morning is a no-no.

Much by accident I came across several pins about coconut bombs.
What are coconut bombs you ask? Just a tasty way to ingest good ole healthy coconut oil.

There happens to be a few ways to make these bombs. Some recipes just have you mix the solid form of the oil with some tasty ingredients. Some call for you to melt the oil before mixing.

Ingredients added to the oil varied also. Some people used ground cinnamon, some cinnamon with chocolate and others used just chocolate or cocoa powder. None that I found had shredded coconut in the recipe. What?
Now my version is one of many. You may not like it. No problem. Go to Pinterest and search ‘coconut bombs’ you will have so many recipes you are sure to find one you love.

Here is my version:

What you need

What you need

Gotha’s Chocolate Coconut Bombs for Smoother Skin

1 cup of melted coconut oil. (about 60 seconds in microwave handles that)

A small handful of chocolate chips, about 25. Semi-sweet, milk chocolate, basically whichever floats your boat.

One tablespoon cocoa powder.

1 cup of shredded coconut.

Here is the easy peasy way to build your bombs:

Add your chocolate chips and cocoa powder to your melted coconut oil and stir. Stir a lot. It took some convincing for the chocolate chips and oil to decide to become one. After that mix in the shredded coconut. Your mixture will be runny. Just toss it in the freezer for two minutes. While your bombs are cooling lay out some wax paper on your counter.

Remove mixture from freezer, stir well. If it’s still too runny pop back in freezer for another minute. Once cooled and slightly hardened use two spoons or a melon baller to shape bite size bombs. Place on wax paper to set up. I ended up with 25 bombs. You may get more or less depending on how you size them. I have most at a two-bite size.

This is from a smaller test batch. The recipe makes much more.

This is from a smaller test batch. The recipe makes much more.

Adding the coconut. Yum

Adding the coconut. Yum

I store the bombs in the fridge. Remember coconut oil has a low melt point. My house is HOT!
The husband thinks we live in the artic and keeps our heat on what I call the tropical setting. I have had to go outside in 20 degree weather wearing shorts and a t-shirt to cool down. True story. Neighbors must think I’m having menopausal hot flashes. So I feared my coconut bombs would react like Frosty the Snowman on a tropical island and turn into coconut puddles.

Tasty. This is a skin treatment that can spoil a girl.

Tasty. This is a skin treatment that can spoil a girl.

Right now I have two bombs a day. One at my first break at work the other during my second work break. If in a few weeks I feel I need more coconut oil I will add a third bomb. And yes I do yell, “Bombs away” before eating one. (UPDATE: with two per day for two weeks my skin still looks dry, but man it feels soft. So it is helping. I will now add a third bomb to see where that takes me on my dry skin journey).

How do they taste? Like an Almond Joy minus the almond. But without almonds it’s a Mounds you say. Nope. Mounds uses a dark chocolate which changes the taste dramatically. Don’t argue I’m a ‘robust’ girl, I know my candies.

Now some people use coconut bombs for weight loss. Does that work? I don’t know but you might want to omit the chocolate chips from the recipe if you are trying to watch your weight. I have not lost any weight but I have noticed that after eating a bomb I do feel full plus do less mindless snacking. It’s the late evenings that kill me with the over eating. I will soon tackle my food issue. First I am focusing on being more active. Which with my Vivofit is working well. Small changes, not all at once is my plan.

A note on buying coconut oil. My first suggestion is do your research so you can make an informed decision. After trying several, some refined some unrefined. Some virgin some not so virgin. Some without taste others with a coconutty taste. As of right now my favorite is a unrefined virgin coconut oil from Target. It does have a coconut taste. I still try other types/brands as I find them so one day my favorite might change. So, research, try a variety, maybe look at some brands on Amazon and read the reviews.

Are you a coconut oil user? If so please share with me, I am always looking for new ways to try this amazing oil.

UPDATE: I have tried this a few times adding extra ingredients. After research I have discovered Cacao Nibs are a nutritional powerhouse. Brazil nuts may help my Thyroid issue. So I added 1 tbsp of the nibs and three chopped Brazil nuts to the recipe for my bombs. The bombs are still great with the add ins.

 

It Was the Best of Chocolate It Was the Worst of Chocolate

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A close up of paradise.

A close up of paradise.

 

Chocolate. It’s only one word. Yet that one word has power over me. It can make me happy when I‘m eating it, sad when I don’t have it, the smell of it can and often does lift my mood. Certain times of the month chocolate is a life saver. In excessive amounts it can be a life ender, or make me so nauseous I vow to never touch the stuff again. Then a few days later I’m having a Hershey bar.

The silky texture as it melts slowly in my mouth, oh chocolate you sexy piece of work. I have never done this but I know if there was a shortage of chocolate I would be willing to kill. Both strangers and those I hold dear. Okay maybe not those I hold dear, unless it’s really good chocolate. Like Dove.

I love chocolate so much it is one of the main items in my ‘Bug Out Bag’. You know, the bag hanging out by the back door of your house ready to help ensure your survival during an emergency or zombie apocalypse. When I planned my bug out bag I was realistic. I’m a big girl, not in the best of health. Any apocalypse will be the end of me. So if I’m out trolling the mean streets of rural North Carolina and I am soon the meet my end. I will make damn sure my last meal will be chocolate and not some cardboard tasting meal bar. The thought of running out of that glorious melt in your mouth lighten your mood goodness during an end of people event horrifies me. I also have this fear of a zombie outbreak happening during the night, I get bit, turn, and get caught dead wearing a pink nightgown. Oh the horror of people seeing me in pink clothing and not my normal black. Yes I wear a lot of black, but damn it matches my soul.

Look I’ve been rambling, lost focus. Lack of chocolate people! I am currently without chocolate. My brain does not function properly when I’m out. Not that I eat it constantly just knowing I have some in the house (hidden of course) eases my troubled mind.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the latest pin I tried involves CHOCOLATE! At one point this pin began to sink like the Titanic but the candy gods smiled down upon me at the last moment and the pin was saved.

First I must confess I did not use real chocolate for this pin. I used chocolate flavored candy melt. I’m not even sure real chocolate candy would work. Maybe one day when I have an over abundance of chocolate I will try using it. HAHA who am I kidding? There will never be an over abundance of chocolate in my house.

So on to the pin. Chocolate bowls. Oh my goodness. A bowl. Made of chocolate. Chocolate. Made into a bowl. Oh sweet pin, you had me at chocolate. The pin I saw on Pinterest just had photos no link to instructions.

You will need:
Candy melt, almond bark, whatever you use for chocolate dipping/coating.
Several small balloons. (I gave the outside of the balloons a quick wash)
Glass or metal bowl along with a cooking pot for the double boiler method.
Wax paper.
Something awesome like ice cream to fill the chocolate bowl.

Please note, from here on out when I use the word chocolate I am referring to the candy coat. Mainly because I have just began to realize my excessive use of the word chocolate. Now it’s just a challenge to see how many times I can actually use it.

Here is how this bowl of happiness is made. WARNING: There will be scenes of violent acts against chocolate below. Not everything went perfectly. If your heart is fragile like a Hershey bar left out in the sun, look away. Please just look away.

It began easily enough. Blow up several balloons. Not huge balloons. You want to make a dessert bowl not a punch bowl. Melt your chocolate. Dip, swirl, coat the bottom of balloon with chocolate. Sit this on wax paper, hold for a few seconds for the candy coat to set up slightly so your balloon will stand up and not fall over. Dip a few more balloons. DO NOT KEEP DIPPING UNTIL THE CHOCOLATE IS GONE. Make sure you have a good amount of melted chocolate left. Or you will learn the hard way like I did.

Bowls of chocolate setting up on wax paper.

Bowls of chocolate setting up on wax paper.

Here I must tell you what I did and the disaster that followed. I let the bowls set up. With scissors I snipped a tiny hole right below where the balloon was tied off. You want to air to release slowly. So I snipped a hole in just one balloon, stood back and waited for the magic to happen. There was no magic. No jaw dropping angels singing in the background Disney moment. My pin hit an iceberg and was sinking fast. The pictures will tell the story. I cannot find the words to describe the horror I witnessed.

oh the horror

oh the horror

Learn from my chocolate bowl apocalypse. Dip your balloon, let it set up, then dip it again. Dip it, dip it good, dip it real good. I dipped a second time. I also used a spoon to drizzle chocolate over any thin spots I saw. If there is a spot that is thin your bowl will collapse at that spot.

Everything was redipped, the weak spots taken care of. I snipped one of the balloons and this time: MAGIC HAPPENED. Oh happy day. I danced around my kitchen, song burst forth from my vocal chords, birds fluttered around me eventually landing on my shoulder to vocalize with me. Okay here’s what really happened when the pin went right. MAGIC HAPPENED. Oh happy day. I danced around my kitchen singing, badly out of tune. Birds and other animals escaped to far away or died on the spot as my voice reached their ears. Yes my singing is bad. People say every time I sing a musical dies.

SUCCESS !

SUCCESS !

Success. I now have chocolate bowls. Now all that is left to do. Fill a bowl with other sweet goodness, snap some photos then dig in.

Chocolate bowl filled with vanilla ice cream, berries, and caramel.

Chocolate bowl filled with vanilla ice cream, berries, and caramel.

This is not something I will make often. It was easy, it tasted good. But in reality you have to make the bowl so thick with candy coat you can only handle a bite or two. This is really something to make to impress others. Like cooking for your lover or having your boss over for dinner. Or having your lover boss over for dinner. Who am I to judge?

Even if you don’t have any special occasions to make this. Make it once anyway. That way during the zombie apocalypse when you and a small group of survivors are huddled around a fire with everyone telling what survival skills they have to benefit the group, right after the guy who says he can build shelter with a spool of thread and a dull pocket knife you can proudly declare to the group. “I can make a bowl…from chocolate.”