Tag Archives: candy

Microwave Chocolate Pecan Toffee

24 Dec

It’s Christmas Eve! For those of you who celebrate Christmas, I hope you’re ready to enjoy a wonderful day. I have kind of mixed results on my holiday preparedness this year. I had most of my gift shopping done early, but we didn’t decorate our place at all. Once it got close to the holidays and we still hadn’t done anything, the BF and I agreed that it was kind of silly to put a lot of effort into decorations when it’s just the two of us here and we’ll be spending much of our holiday time at our parents’ houses. So instead of going all out, I just put little tiny star ornaments on our bamboo plant. That works, right?

O Christmas Bamboo O Christmas Bamboo...

All I have left to do is bake! Today, I’ll definitely be making a couple apple pies — one for each family’s house — and the apple cinnamon baked oatmeal. After I talk to my brother and sisters, that plan might be slightly expanded. After all, it’s not Christmas without coconut balls.

If you still need something to add to your family’s dessert table or something to take to a holiday party, try this amazing toffee. It’s super easy, so you’ll be able to get it done in between wrapping those last-minute presents and blow-drying your hair.

The only thing better than a delicious candy recipe is an easy delicious candy recipe. I had never made toffee before, and for some reason, I had it in my head that it’s a difficult thing to make. But it wasn’t at all. It was actually super simple. And DELICIOUS. Toffee is kind of like a hard caramel. Yum!

YUM

Somehow this recipe came to me through a long chain: a friend of the stepmom of an ex-boyfriend of a friend. So who knows where it first came from, but I’m glad it arrived in my inbox.

I made a few batches of toffee as gifts for volunteers who helped out with a big work event. It was quick and easy:

Microwave all the toffee ingredients together.

Step 1

Pour it on a pan and spread the chocolate chips over top that.

I have no idea what's up with that weird shadow.

Let it cool/harden, and then break it up into bite-sized pieces.

DONE

I packaged them up in cute little boxes that I got from AC Moore and tied some ribbon around them. Adorbs.

Packages tied up with string...

The only downside to this recipe is that it can get a little expensive. It doesn’t really make a ton of toffee, especially if you’re trying to fill a box, so I had to make quite a few batches. With butter, chocolate, and nuts… not the cheapest.

But it’s so delicious and good-looking, it makes an excellent gift. After I packaged all the pieces up, I collected all the leftover little pieces that were too small to load into the boxes, chopped them up even smaller, and packaged them in a jar as Toffee Crunch Ice Cream Topping. Yum!

Toffee Crunch Ice Cream Topping... It's a little frosty from the fridge, but dang if I'm not craving a bowl of ice cream now.

Well, all that’s left is the recipe. Hope you enjoy it. Happy Holidays!!

Microwave Toffee with Chocolate and Pecans

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Coat the sides of a large mixing bowl with butter and place the remaining butter in the bowl. Add sugar, salt, and water; do not stir. Microwave on high for 11 minutes or until mixture begins to turn light brown. Pour onto a greased cookie sheet.

Sprinkle chocolate chips over the toffee and let stand 1 minute. Spread chocolate over the toffee to form a melted layer, and sprinkle with pecans. Chill until firm.

Break into bite-size pieces. Package or serve. Yields about 1 pound.

Delicious delicious toffee

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NCSU Cake Pops

19 Dec

My brother graduated from NC State this past weekend! We’re very proud of him, so my older sister and I made celebratory cake pops. (For a full recipe, see my original Halloween Cake Pops post.)

We used red velvet cake (from a cake mix) and cream cheese icing (homemade). I thought if I made the icing from scratch, I could reduce the amount of sugar and it wouldn’t be a diabetic shock on a stick. But then we got to talking, and I got distracted, and I just made the icing as usual. No big d — I like them super-sweet, and I’m the baker.

What was kind of a problem though — I was still talking, and did not think about the fact that a batch of homemade icing is much larger than what comes in the can, and I just dumped the entire thing in with the cake. It was a little much. We rolled the balls successfully and set them to chill for 15 or 20 minutes. But when we went to dip them in the candy coating, they kept falling off the stick — too much icing. We had to freeze them first in order to coat them without them completely falling apart. It worked well enough, and it saved the batch, but still not ideal. When I bit into one, the other half fell of the stick, so it was a little messy.

They looked and tasted amazing though! We took the red velvet/cream cheese cake pops and coated some in white chocolate, some in red candy coating, and some in dark chocolate. Once they were set, I painted black NCSU symbols on the red pops, and my sister painted red NCSU symbols on the white pops.


I had to hit the road before they were done, but she kindly finished up all the pops and arranged them in a great presentation! She chopped up a styrofoam block and arranged the chunks in a large, clear bowl. She poked the cake pops in there so it appeared like a large ball coming out of the bowl. To cover up the green styrofoam, she arranged red tissue paper in the bowl. It looked amazing!

NC State Cake Pops

How Sue Sees It:
– Everyone loved the cake pops, and the bowl arrangement looked like a fantastically tasty centerpiece on a red, white, and black Wolfpack table.
– Red velvet and cream cheese are always a great combo! Add the icing a little at a time until you achieve the proper consistency. You can always add more later if you need to.
– As much as I’m a Tar Heel born and bred, it was fun to try to figure out how to make a Wolfpack-themed cake pop. We actually tried to make a couple of wolves — Bakerella has a werewolf on her Trick or Treats post — but they looked awful. We gave up on those when my nephew asked me, “What’s that monster!?” If anyone manages to make a convincing wolf on a cake pop, please let me know how it’s done.