​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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I Need a Little Cheese Ball part 2 of a Family Food Saga

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Today I am trying out my Aunt Anita Little’s cheese ball recipe. She has been making this for as long as I can remember. Every family gathering has to have this. No exceptions. She was happy to share her recipe with me.

This recipe makes one decent sized cheese ball:

Anita Little Cheese Ball Ingredients:

1 small box of Velveeta cheese block
1 8 oz block of cream cheese
1 tbsp garlic powder
Crushed pecans or crushed Ritz crackers (enough to roll ball in)

Cube your Velveeta cheese and place in bowl to soften. Lay out cream cheese to soften also. This will take a few hours.
Once softened. Put cream cheese in bowl with cheese. Take a fork and begin mashing the two ingredients together along with the garlic powder. Anita Little (because you can say Anita without the Little) informed me that I could try using a hand mixer but it won’t work to well, the beaters will just get seized up in cheese. She said work those arm muscles, work them long and work them hard. (okay she didn’t say that part, just something like it)
After working up a sweat and your ingredients are now one with each other. Shape your mixture into a ball. Anita Little suggests wearing a pair of non-powdered gloves for this step. Once the ball has taken shape roll it in the pecans or crackers until ball is coated well. Set in fridge to chill.

Serve with crackers.

Great for any gatherings or functions. Or after tasting this cheese ball you may want to just hoard it for yourself. Hoarding it is totally acceptable, I won’t judge.
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Yes there are many different cheese ball recipes on Pinterest, I could try them but why? This to me is the perfect cheese ball.

Okay now that I have shared the recipe with you I will share my experience of making one.
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I cubed my Velveeta which turned out to be pretty easy and painless.
cheeseball 2
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Then the wait for the items to soften began. Tick tock, one hour, tick tock, two hours. FYI: this is not something you can throw together last minute.
With my trusty fork I began mashing everything together. It was a workout you might just want to throw in the towel but don’t after you work it several tough minutes mixing gets easier.
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Once I had my cheese mixture done I put on a pair of plastic gloves and jumped right in. I saw immediately why Anita Little suggested gloves. Oh what a mess it could have been without them. There was a lot of cheese mixture, instead of 1 huge cheese ball I made 3 smaller ones. The first two I rolled in crushed pecans the third in crushed Ritz crackers. Into the fridge it went to chill out.
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It was great. Too great. Now I’m sitting here typing this with some serious heartburn. It was worth it though. Oh so worth it.

Coconut Sugar Candied Pecans

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yummy

So it’s 5:15 a.m., I just saw my husband off to work a little before 5. I don’t have to be at work till 8. Usually I go back to sleep after kissing him goodbye. I was lying in bed trying to go back to sleep but all I could think about was a zombie apocalypse and candied pecans. So at 5:05 I get back up and hit the kitchen. I am obsessing about a zombie apocalypse because I’m outlining a new story about…you guessed it, a zombie apocalypse. So a little after 5 in the morning I’m jotting down zombie ideas and making candied pecans. I’m also making pancakes for my breakfast. And cleaning the kitchen. And doing laundry. I am a multi-tasking fool today.

Yes I have shared the candied pecan recipe before but I just got a bag of coconut palm sugar. This recipe has been begging me to try it with the coconut sugar instead of plain sugar.

So let me tell you about my coconut palm sugar. I opened the bag and this wonderful aroma hit me. I think that is what Heaven must smell like.

So what is coconut palm sugar you ask? Well if you been paying attention you know it is Heaven in a bag.

What it is and I’m quoting the bag here, “it is a brown sugar which is produced by tapping the sweet nectar from the coconut palm tree flower and drying the juice in a large open kettle drum. The juice condenses into the brown sugar.” I still think heaven in a bag is a much better description.

My original recipe using regular sugar calls for cinnamon. I haven’t tasted the coconut sugar yet. So I don’t know how strong or if any coconut flavor there is. To me coconut and cinnamon don’t jive well together. So I decide to omit the cinnamon.

I really liked how these pecans turned out. Even though the coconut palm sugar has a coconutty (yes I made that word up, don’t judge) smell to me it didn’t have a strong coconut flavor. So if you want to add a touch of cinnamon to the recipe your pecans should be fine.

I will give measurements for a full batch but I only made half a batch. The husband had dental surgery so he can only eat soft foods for awhile. I didn’t want to make a full batch and run the risk me eating a whole pound of candied pecans. This way I only do half as much damage to my already doomed waistline.

Coconut Sugar Candied Pecans

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut palm sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound pecan halves

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone baking mat..

In a bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and salt. Mix well, you may have to fight a few lumps to break them up. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, water and vanilla extract. Add your cinnamon/sugar mixture, stir. Add the pecans to the bowl and stir with a rubber spatula, making sure they are all coated.

Pour the coated pecans onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 1 hour, stirring them every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. The pecans can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. (but they will be long gone by then, well they are at my house).

Dry mix

Dry mix

Wet mix

Wet mix

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

Oh what a mess. Luckily clean up I easy thanks to this silicone baking mat my sister gave me.

Oh what a mess. Luckily clean up was easy thanks to this silicone baking mat my sister gave me.

Now go make some coconut sugar candied pecans for yourself. I’m going to go eat the rest of mine.

Oh so yummy

Oh so yummy

Candied Pecans

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Two years ago I found a pin for candied pecans, I made several batches to give as Christmas gifts to family and friends. To go off point a moment, why say family and friends? Don’t friends before all is said and done become family? Okay back to the pecans.

Thankfully I wrote the recipe down because for some reason I no longer have that pin, pinned. I have found a few pins/recipes similar it over the years but most are more involved, but have the same outcome. Why use more steps if you don’t have too? So here is the recipe. I have also made candied almonds and peanuts with this recipe.

Candied Pecans

Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound pecan halves

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and salt, mix; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, water and vanilla extract. Add your cinnamon/sugar mixture, stir. Add the pecans to the bowl and stir with a rubber spatula, making sure they are all moistened.
4. Pour the coated pecans onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 1 hour, stirring them every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. The pecans can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. (but they will be long gone by then).

These things should be called candied crack. They are that good.

I box these up with some chocolate covered pretzels, some fudge, cookies and a few other goodies to give as gifts for the holidays.
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