Homemade Peppermint Patties

I’ve made these once before and they are actually better than the store bought kind.  No lie!  AND they’re super easy with simple ingredients (except maybe the peppermint extract but that’s easy enough to get!).

I use a couple of recipes combined because they all seem to be missing something.  This link is the basic recipe.  However, I find that I use closer to 6 cups of confectioner’s sugar (maybe even a little more because the dough needs to be pretty stiff). 

After mixing the dough, split the dough in half and roll each half into a log.  It should be about 1 1/4″ wide… It doesn’t matter how long it is.  You’re gonna cut slices out of the log about every 1/4″.  After you cut them, they’ll still be soft so form them back into circles and place them on wax paper or parchment paper.  After you have them all cut (I get about 50 of them) let them sit out for an hour (just out on the counter is fine).  Then flip them all over and let them sit for another hour.  I think letting them sit and dry out is how they get the same type of consistency you get with the store bought kind.

After they’ve sat for the two hours, go ahead and melt your chocolate with shortening and dip them all.  They are a lot easier to dip if they’re not much bigger than the fork you use to dip them & shake them off. 

I decorated a few of mine with marzipan decorations I made for Thanksgiving (and a couple of roses for my Mom!)
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Snickers-type Almond Candy bars

My 10-year old stepson’s birthday is coming up and I’ve been looking for food ideas for his party.  I thought it might be kinda cool to make a homemade candy bar.

I found this recipe for Snickers bars and I figured I better try it ahead of time to see if I can make them.  I only had almonds so I made copycat Snickers Almond instead of regular Snickers (I’ll make the regular peanut ones for his birthday though).

In order to stick with the almond version instead of the peanut version, anywhere it said to add peanut butter, I left it out. 

The other thing I changed was I made my own caramel.  For the caramel I used this recipe.  Here’s my caramel cooking…

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Here’s a picture of my almond nougat…

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Yum! 
I love regular Snickers bars but sometimes I prefer the almond ones (all depends on my mood I guess).

As soon as the caramel was cooked, I poured it on top of the nougat.  Then, while the caramel was still hot, I poured the second layer of chocolate chips on top.  When they softened, I spread them with a spatula.

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I just tasted a little sliver off the edge because I couldn’t wait any longer – I had to know if they turned out right… and they’re actually really good!!!  I wouldn’t say they’re exactly like Snickers Almond, but the caramel is a little salty and I love the salty/sweet combination so… It could be BETTER than the original…!?! 

Chocolate Chip Squares (ALMOND!)

Chocolate Chip Squares is the name of this recipe according to my mother’s old recipe card.  That doesn’t begin to capture what they are!  They have an incredible almond flavor and a crunchy brown sugar meringue topping that melts in your mouth.  I think they should be called “Almond Chocolate Chip Brown Sugar Meringue Heaven-in-a-Bite Bars”.  Seriously.

About a month ago this memory came to me about a cookie bar I remembered from my youth.  I believe we had these when I was very young – not when I was a teenager and beyond.  I called my mother but wasn’t sure my memory was at all accurate or that she would have any idea what I was talking about.  I described to her this flavor that I remembered – specifically almond and meringue but not normal meringue. Maybe something like brown sugar or molasses? 

She knew exactly what I was talking about!!!  When she pulled out the recipe card and said “Chocolate Chip Squares”, I thought that couldn’t be it because as much of a chocaholic as I am, the chocolate was not the flavor I remembered.  It was almond.  Surely the name of them would mention the star of the show!  But she started reading the ingredients to me and sure enough, this had to be what I was remembering.

This is an old recipe – given to my mother from her mother and to her from her mother (my great grandmother, who was an utterly amazing baker and one of those real “grandmotherly” type grandmas!).  Enjoy.

Chocolate Chip Squares

Ingredients:

3 eggs (two of which need to be separated into eggs & whites)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening (that’s what the recipe card said but I substituted butter)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
1 pkg chocolate chips (recipe card didn’t specify the size but I figured it’s probably a normal 11.5 oz. bag)
2 teaspoons milk
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325°
Grease a 9×13 pan

Stir together the flour, baking powder & salt.

In a separate bowl, cream together the (softened) butter (or shortening) and the 1 cup of sugar.  Add the vanilla, almond extract, milk, 1 whole egg & two egg yolks.  Mix all together.

Add the flour mixture.  Combine well.  Add the chocolate chips.  Stir so they’re evenly distributed.  Spread in your greased 9×13 pan.

In a separate bowl, beat the two egg whites until they’re stiff.  Slowly add the brown sugar.  Spread over the entire dough mixture.

Bake for 45 minutes at 325° (that’s what the recipe card said but considering my oven cooks hot, I only baked them for 35 minutes and they were done).

When cooled but not cold, cut into squares.  (Note:  with this crunchy meringue topping I do not think it’s possible to cut these ‘pretty’ – the top breaks and crumbles and looks a mess – but don’t worry, it doesn’t affect the taste AT ALL!)

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Yum.

Chocolate Cake for my Ferret!

Yesterday was my pet ferret’s birthday.  He (Rascal) was born 10/10/10.  Being that he is my little angel and I love him more than I could express in words, there’s just no way I could let his birthday go by without a special treat for him.  (I do enjoy spoiling my pets so if that makes me crazy, I will happily wear the title!)

I decided on chocolate cake because he is a chocolate fiend!  He loves all sweets but chocolate is his favorite.  I didn’t make chocolate frosting because, as much as he loves chocolate, I didn’t want him to overload and get sick from it.

I made whipped meringue topping for his cake and I made it a pinkish purple color.  (He steals a lot of pink and purple items so I think he must prefer those colors.)

Of course I also put sprinkles on it because it’s a birthday cake after all! 

Here’s his cake before he got a piece: 

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I also sliced the cakes in half for extra layers (and frosting!)

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And here’s my little guy eating his cake:

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His brother helped…

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His other brother (the dog) helped too but I didn’t catch his pic 🙂

They all 3 ate off that one piece but don’t worry, they were all monitored and each only had a very small amount.

Happy Birthday baby Rascal!