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Monday, October 24, 2016

30+ Absolutely Blissful Recipes to make with Halloween Candy

You have made it through Halloween and now you notice that Halloween candy is on sale.   And if you are like me, you don't like to see a good sale wasted but you are in a dilemma about why you need to buy reduced-priced candy.  We don't like to spend money needlessly here either, but what if you could turn this windfall into enough ingredients for all your fall baking?    Buy leftover Halloween candy at a reduced price and serve some of the best desserts for the next few months?   Would you do it?   Well, we did and we do!  

Of course you could be some of the lucky ones that still have leftover candy from Halloween.   But there again you still have a dilemma about what to do with all of it. 

My fellow bloggers and I have come together help you in either dilemma with some of our absolutely blissful recipes for leftover Halloween candy.   We are sure you will find several terrific recipes here for whatever leftover Halloween candy you buy or still have from Halloween.  

So happy shopping and baking! 
 (if baking is not your thing, there are several, No-bake recipes here)     

Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treat

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Other Blissful Ideas:

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Overloaded Candy Bar Brownies

I know it's the day after Halloween and the candy is piled up, your kids have hit every friend, neighbor and family member and they have a mother lode of sugary treats.  And on top of all that, you bought plenty of candy for the neighborhood kids and you still have candy left over.   You have visions of nothing but candy wrappers until Thanksgiving.  
What are we going to do to stop the candy overload?  

When I was a kid growing up in the early 60's, we would bring home grocery bags of candy at Halloween.  We went to every house as fast as we could and even dropped off a full bag and picked up another empty bag midway into the night and continued until it was too late to stay out.   And this was even after mother wouldn't let us start until it was good and dark.  Yeah, that was totally against the rules, it was totally taboo to start trick or treating when the sun was still shining, it had to be good and dark before we left the house.  But I don't think we ever waited, I think mother just got worn down from us asking if we could go out so many times, she would relent.  
What a different time, a simpler time where kids would leave the house after dark, most of us unescorted by adults and go to any and all stranger's houses in a 5 mile radius to ring the doorbell and beg for candy.   I can't always remember what I dressed up as or what superhero or character I was but I still remember all that loot.  
Of course we didn't need all that candy and I'm sure Mother would dispose of loads of it.  Not sure if anyone worried about sugar overloads in that era but I'm sure mother worried about finding lost pieces of candy "stuck" around the house for the next 6 months.  
  And to her horror we always had loads and loads of bubble gum.   Did anyone besides us fall asleep chewing bubble gum and wake up with it stuck in your hair?  I always got into trouble for that one, and all the little gaps cut into my hair, I'm sure were very attractive. 
 I remember we would sit down and go through our riches and trade for our favorites. And one thing that was exactly the same back then as now was the bars of chocolate were always valued, they were the treasures of the night.  The house that gave out chocolate bars was always revered and we gave it the upmost respect for all the coming year. 

The chocolate candy bars are still the treasures of the night, they are not only delicious but can be made into some of the best baked goods.  Yep, turn those candy bars into a snack even grandma would approve and appreciate.  That's right it's time to take it to a whole new level and turn those candy bars into Overloaded Brownies.   
We start by grabbing several different kinds of chocolate candy and chopping it into bite size pieces.   We used 3 fun size bars or packages each of 4 different kinds of chocolate (Hershey's bars, Snickers, Butterfingers and M&M's) and added about 5-6 little baby Reese's cups.   But use whatever candy is your favorite or your kid's favorite or your hubby's favorite. I have a granddaughter that doesn't like nuts or peanut butter or anything that tastes similar so I make two batches, one with everything nutty and one without.     

Throw all that chocolate into a basic brownie mix and you have not only Loaded brownies but Overloaded Candy Bar Brownies.    A brownie that your children will beg you to make, I bet they will totally donate their prized chocolate bars to the endeavor.    

These Overloaded Candy Bar Brownies are filled with leftover Halloween candy bars.   A bite into these brownies delivers that special blend where the crust is done on the the outside but they are still nice and chewy on the inside and the chocolate taste explodes in your mouth and will make you taste buds swoon. 

Loaded Candy Bar Brownies
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup M & M's, chopped in half or left whole
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter cups, chopped  (Reese's)
  • 1/2 cup Butterfinger candy, chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate candy bars, chopped (Hershey's)
  • 1/2 cup Snickers bar, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray
3. Beat brown sugar, butter, egg and, vanilla extract together in a large bowl until creamy
4. Add flour, baking powder and salt, blend
5. Carefully fold in chopped candy pieces
6. Press batter into baking pan.
7. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes on a wire rack.
8. Slice into 9 equal bars, let cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan
9. Cool on wire racks
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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Banana Nut Bread enhanced with Spiced Rum

Have you ever baked banana nut bread and it tasted fine but it just lacked something?  The flavors were all there but they just didn't pop or maybe the flavors were just not true enough?   Your expectations were just not met?

 I mean we truly love a great Banana Nut bread in this house and we usually have a loaf or two in the freezer awaiting one of those snowy mornings to heat it up and smear it with butter.   Pair that with an awesome cup of latte, and we are two very contented souls.    Yeppers, you can come on over, we will save you some! 

Over the years, we have experimented with different liquors in baked goods and this is what we have learned.   When an dash of alcohol, such as rum is added to a batter, it doesn't just add flavor, it enhances it.   This bears repeating, it enhances the flavors already in your dish by bringing out and releasing the flavors. Trust us, it's a science thing.   Not enough alcohol is added for the bread to taste like alcohol, but just enough alcohol is added for that science thing to happen.   And since this loaf of banana nut bread is cooked for almost an hour, most of the alcohol content will be cooked away anyway, leaving just the enhanced concentrated flavor.   Most bourbons will add a smoky vanilla flavor while rum adds a smoky intense flavor unless it's spice rum then you have a smoky spice flavor.  Any one of these liquors would work well in this Boozy Banana Nut Bread and you could experiment with several different of them to come up with a loaf that pleases you.   We started with spiced rum and it really bought out the flavor of banana and added just a underlying smoky spice flavor that we fell in love with.   The spiced rum was just the right touch for us and now we can't wait for it to snow! (as if we are waiting, yeah right).     
We baked this This Boozy Banana Nut Bread in a regular size bread loaf pan but it can also be baked in mini loaf pans.   The mini loaf pans would be perfect for gift giving or they would make the sweetest little slices for a lovely finger food dessert tray.   Just reduce your cooking time to about 30-35 minutes for mini loaf pans.   Also clear wrap and a bow can be added for adorable and thoughtful gifts.  

If you are like us, you seem to always have a few over-ripe bananas around and with just a few pantry ingredients, a loaf can be on your counter in about hour, just in time for that butter to come to room temperature.    We usually make double and wrap one of them and freeze for later.  Of course the other has to sampled immediately in our house.    

Boozy Banana Nut Bread

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/3 cup of unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons of spiced rum (optional)
  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour (Not self rising)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease bottom of a bread loaf pan
2. Mix sugar and butter until well blended in a large mixing bowl, stir in eggs and blend well
3. Add bananas, rum and water and mix until well blended
4. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder until just moistened, fold in pecans
5. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
6. Let cool for 5 minutes, remove from pans and cool on wire racks prior to slicing.
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