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Sunday, April 25, 2010


Candy, candy, candy..I can't let you go. Are you surprised? I'm a little surprised myself. I've never been much of a candy maker, but the past couple of Christmases I've tried to step outside my comfort zone and make more candies. Usually with pretty good results. Some of you may already know that BFMHTY, doesn't contain any candy recipes. I confess, I had to get away from the cookbook for a bit. I plan on finishing that part of this project, but I don't like limiting my sugary adventures to just one set of recipes. Sooooo, why not some heart-stoppingly sweet, turtle-like candies? Why not indeed.

These candies literally took about thirty minutes to throw together, that includes set up time on the chocolate. I used chocolate bark, so that I wouldn't have to go to all the trouble of tempering chocolate (tempering is a bitch of a task, and one of the reasons I don't enjoy candymaking much). After you melt the chocolate, you throw some nuts on top, and then cover with melted caramel (yum) and more melted chocolate.

The chocolate has a strong cocoa taste, which I like. The caramel has a little heavy cream added that really adds to the richness. Overall these were very good, but if I make them again, there definitely needs to be an addition to the recipe. See, these little patties are sickeningly sweet. The sugar hit was so strong that I couldn't even eat a whole piece, luckily, Mr. Icequeen was around to scoop up the scrap I left behind. I wish that the cashews had been saltier, to balance out the sweetness of the choclate and caramel. So, I recommend topping the clusters with a sprinkling of sea salt just as the chocolate is setting up. The salt on top would also help them to look more appealing.

I'm sure you could make these same candies using white instead of milk chocolate. But, why the hell would anyone want to do that? White chocolate is satan's breast milk! Blah. It's heresy! It's not even real chocolate. It's mockalate.

Personal Note: February marked five years since my last cancer treatment, and I visited my oncologist earlier this month and he gave me the all clear. I was told that once you're cancer free for five years (as I am) that in the medical community you're considered to be "cured". Yep, he said it just like that, with the air quotes and everything. I despise my oncologist. Now, I know what you're thinking..."That man saved your life. You shouldn't hate him". Many people treated me and took wonderful care of me, but he was not one of them. He was not the one who found my tumor, he did not conduct the chemo and radiation treatments. He primarily made the whole process less bearable with the way he runs his office. Plus, he has a huge God Complex. I'm not going to tell you who he is, but he has a life size portrait of himself in his waiting room. And I hope none of you are ever in the situation where you end up getting to see that portrait. The point that I'm actually trying to make is.... Yaaaaaaaay me! Thanks to the support of my family and friends I made it through the treatments and I feel great. Also, props to my gyno, who really did save my life (Dr. Heywood, you are the greatest!) Okay, enough of that crap, this ain't no Lifetime movie.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Spring has definitely sprung around here. That means home projects on the horizon, that's in addition to the tending of flower beds, prepping our garden for planting, mowing. But, I hope to get in plenty of baking in between other projects. So, don't worry my darlings, I will not abandon you just because the sun has decided to return.

The onset of warmer weather will also allow me to get to a several recipes that I had been putting off because the fruit needed to make them was out of season. Fall is my favorite season, and I don't even mind the gloom of winter. Because when you're as pale as a vampire*, but without all the sexiness, Summer, frankly, sucks. Things are different this year though, I don't know if it's the happy pills or the fact that this past winter was just so damn cold, but I'm actually happy ( dont' get used to it) that the warmer weather is here.

The blondies featured here are delicious. Moist and most importantly, sweet. This recipe finally had enough sugar in it to satisfy my sweet tooth. The subtlety of the sweetness in some of the previous recipes were making me want to hang this project up, or move onto a different cookbook. After making the blondies, I'm glad that I stuck it out. The batter is nothing spectacular, but the addition of the bittersweet chocolate, butterscotch chips, coconut (all hail!), and I snuck in some milk chocolate chips too, make for a combination that sings in your food hole.

Sometimes I judge how good a recipe is by how many people ask for the recipe after they've tasted the end result. This one is definitely a winner.

*Fictional vampires are supposed to scare the hell out of you and make you afraid to go to sleep at night. They are not supposed to make you swoon and wish you were a bloodsucker yourself, or wish you had a vampire boyfriend. I'm not completely anti-Twilight/True Blood/Vampire Diaries, etc., mind you,  I do think that any franchise, no matter how cheesy, is a good thing if it gets people to read who otherwise wouldn't dream of cracking open a book for pleasure. Rant complete. Icequeen out.