Festy Besty Boozy S’mores Fudge

July 28, 2014

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Woo wee! Would ya’ll just take a look at this fabulous S’mores Fudge I just whipped up!  Yup, what you’re seeing there is a rich decadent creamy chocolate fudge, surrounding fluffy mini marshmallows, all sandwiched between a buttery graham cracker crust. And you did read that title right…there’s booze in it! Marshmallow Vodka booze to be exact, which goes along just perfectly with the whole s’mores vibe. (Though I suspect Bourbon would be a good choice as well.) Why is it that I’m always reaching for that bottle of booze to give recipes that little something extra? Wait…don’t answer that. :)

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Anyhoo… This fudge was super easy to make and only required me to have the stove top on for 5 minutes and there was nary a bit of oven time need at all. As I’ve mentioned in past blogs, heating up the kitchen one fraction of a degree during these hot swampy Virginia summers is really frowned upon. So no-bake desserts are very popular around here right now. The only thing you might be left wondering at this point is what is the meaning of that “Festy Besty” bit in my recipe title. Well let me explain and also take a moment to plea for a favour.

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The Festy is this phenomenal 3 day camping music festival which takes place the 2nd weekend in October on the beautiful grounds of the Devils Backbone Brewery in Nelson Country Virginia (about 45 minutes away from Charlottesville). This event is the brain child of  The Infamous Stringdusters. The Stringdusters are a pop bluegrass, progressive bluegrass or newgrass band – take your pick of descriptors there. Basically  these incredibly talented musicians are schooled in traditional bluegrass which they are able to combine seamlessly with the improvisational skills and blistering solos of a consummate jam band. To hear a recording of them is delightful but let me tell you, seeing their enthusiastic and passionate performance live is a unforgetable experience to say the least! Every year, The Stringdusters hand-pick the line up of bands which will perform at the Festy in an attempt to display a wide range of musical genres, not just bluegrass. Yeah…you heard me. A music festival… held on the grounds of a brewery! And you don’t have to worry about driving anywhere after a full day of listening to a lineup of smoking hot bands, eating tasty grub and washing it all down with cold refreshing Devils Backbone brews. Nope cause you’ve got a tent pitched only a small bit away from the stages. Brilliant!  (And even more brilliant if you leave all that tent pitching work to the Show Sherpa. Sooooo worth it!) The husband and I went last year for the first time and that is all it took. We were hooked and have vowed not to miss any of the future Festys come what may! (I think there is supposed to be a vow which specifies something about hell and high water here…)

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I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it our not, but the husband and I are both musicians. I play mandolin and he plays pretty much anything with strings, but most recently has been seen with a banjo over his shoulder.

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We love to play bluegrass tunes as well as some Old Time and Americana songs. So we are really looking forward to the Festy this year because in addition to hearing all those great acts over the weekend, there are many impromptu jam sessions taking place back at the camp sites and everyone gets to join in. That is where this Festy Fudge comes in.

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When we are ready to take a break from picking, I will be ready to offer everyone some of that delicious Festy Besty S’mores Fudge. It will be just perfect, enough sugar to keep you going, a little booze to keep you loose and the wonderful campy S’mores vibe to boot. I mean what is camping without s’mores? And these little gems are coated with a graham cracker crust which will keep the melted chocolate off of your fingertips, and hopefully off of your strings, when the snacking is done and the playing resumes.

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The husband and I will definitely be in attendance at Festy 5 come this October. In fact, I even entered a photo contest which the Festy Experience is hosting. And I’m a finalist!!! Here is what I hope will be the winning pic:

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The winner gets free weekend camping and back stage passes. Oh my goodness! We would so love to win this. And this is where that favour I mentioned come into play. I’m going to have to ask you for some help. You see the winning photo will be chosen from the photo that gets the most votes. So….Please…pretty, pretty please with S’mores Fudge on top, please take a couple of minutes and cast a vote for our picture at this link: http://thefesty.com/festybesty-finalists-cast-vote-winner/ The deadline for voting is Sunday August 3rd, and thus far, I don’t really have a lot of votes compared to some. Help a girl out ya’ll! But regardless, even if you don’t do the “vote for people” thing, you should check out the Festy. Tickets are on sale and the lineup looks incredible. You don’t want to miss the raging good times to be had by all! If you are a bit too far away to take part in the Festy, make some of this stunning S’mores Fudge to console yourself. You won’t regret it and keep your fingers crossed for us to win!

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  • Servings: 16 pieces
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted (I added the booze bit – go figure!) from: On Sugar Mountain

Ingredients: 

For the Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons melted butter

For the fudge:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 (7 ounce) jar of marshmallow fluff
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag of semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 -4 Tablespoons Marshmallow Vodka  (some folks would say this is optional. I don’t think so, but do as you will…)
  • 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

Directions:

Prepare the graham cracker crust. Line one 9 X 9″ square pan with aluminum foil. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a medium bowl and stir until well combined. Press half of the graham cracker mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. Set the remaining graham cracker mixture aside for the moment.

Make the Fudge. Add the sugars, butter, heavy cream and salt into a medium-sized , deep pot and bring to a boil Boil for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and using and electric mixer, beat in the marshmallow fluff. Next add the chocolate chips to the mixture and beat until the all of the chocolate has melted and the fudge is smooth. Add the Marshmallow Vodka to the mixture and continue to beat until combined.

Pour half of the fudge over the prepared graham cracker crust in the 9 X 9″ pan. Top with the mini marshmallows. Cover the mini marshmallow layer with the remaining chocolate fudge and smooth the top. Cover the top of the fudge with the remaining graham cracker mixture and press down gently. Cover the pan and place it into the refrigerator to set for at least four hours. Cut into squares and serve.

Enjoy!

Boozy S’mores Fudge Brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )

 


Guinness Pretzel Truffles

March 12, 2014

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Time for more candy in this St. Patrick’s Day countdown I say! And who doesn’t like truffles? Better yet, who doesn’t like boozy truffles?!! These Guinness Pretzel Truffles will knock your socks off!

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You know how some truffles are just so tooth-achingly sweet you can’t manage to take more than one nibble? Not these little devils. You see they have a reduced Guinness syrup added to the chocolate. That Guinness reduction adds an earthy, slightly bitter stout flavour to the chocolate and also serves to temper the sweetness. I’m sure that sounds great to those of you with a bit more subdued sweet tooth. But wait…there’s more. These tasty treats are then rolled in crunchy, salty crushed pretzels.

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So there you have it – malty Guinness, rich dark chocolate and salty pretzels combined to make an irresistible St. Patrick’s Day confection. You can have a batch done in no time flat. So what are you waiting for?! You’ll absolutely drive folks wild with these!

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Guinness Pretzel Truffles

recipe from: SprinkleBakes

yield: 18 – 21 truffles

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. bottle Guinness Extra Stout (divided)
  • 8 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup finely pulverized pretzel rods (you want these really pulverized – best to use a food processor)
  • 3/4 cup crushed pretzels for rolling truffles
Directions:
Place 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. Guinness Stout in a 2 cup saucepan.  Set aside.
Pour the remaining Guinness Stout in a separate small saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Cook until reduced to 1 tablespoon, about 15- 20 minutes.  Be sure to keep an eye on this because it can be tricky. You’ll notice it will foam up quite a bit at first. Don’t let it boil over as it will be quite the sticky mess to clean up! (Not that I have first hand knowledge of that or anything. :) Also, once reduced considerably, the syrup can burn easily. So – don’t get distracted!
Chop the chocolate into pieces and place in the saucepan with the Guinness Stout. Place the saucepan over medium- low heat and let stand until the chocolate starts to melt.  Stir with a wire whisk to blend together the chocolate pieces, but don’t whisk vigorously – we’re not trying to incorporate air.
When the chocolate is melted and smooth, begin to add butter 1 tbsp.  at a time. Whisk gently until butter is melted, and then add the 1 tbsp. Guinness Stout reduction.  Stir in the pulverized pretzels.
Pour the chocolate mixture into a bowl and chill in the refrigerator until firm (or overnight).
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Scoop the Guinness ganache out by the heaping tablespoon and quickly roll between your palms.
Once all the chocolate is used up, chill the truffles in an air-tight container in the fridge until ready to roll in crushed pretzels. These chocolates will keep for 7 days when stored properly in the refrigerator.  Roll truffles in crushed pretzels just before serving (so they’ll be crunchy!). If crushed pretzels resist sticking to the chilled truffles, roll the truffles between your palms to warm them up, and then roll in the pretzels. The pieces should stick.
Enjoy!
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Baileys Irish Potato Candy

March 10, 2014

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Only seven more days to go until St. Patrick’s Day! Phew….I can’t believe I’ve made it this far with the daily blogs. Hope folks have been enjoying it. I’ve got a fun, sort of silly recipe for you today. Baileys Irish Potato Candy! Truth be told, no potatoes are actually involved in making these delicious little devils, but they’ve got the look of tiny spuds down huh? What they actually are is a candy made of confectioners sugar, butter, pecans and cream cheese. They get their color from a dusting of cinnamon and cocoa powder and their eyes from slivered almonds.

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Irish Potato Candy originated in Philadelphia and has been a tradition there for over 100 years. The version you will find there in the “City of Brotherly Love” includes coconut flakes and forgoes the cocoa powder coating, using only cinnamon. I couldn’t resist throwing a bit of chocolate into the mix and while I was at it, I decided a bit of Baileys would go a long way here as well. This sweet and creamy candy is very easy to make, no baking involved, just a bit of chill time. I don’t know about you, but believe me, a bit of chill time sounds great right about now! Adorable, tasty spuds… who could ask for more? Whip up a sack of these potatoes for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations today.

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Baileys Irish Potato Candy

recipe slightly adapted from: Bake at 350

yield:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pecans (or you could substitute in your favourite nut)
  • 4 Tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 teaspoons Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 lb. powdered (confectioners) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon sweetened cocoa
  • slivered almonds

Directions:

Heat oven to 350° F.  Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 4-6 minutes, until fragrant and toasted.  Remove from the baking sheet and let cool.  Once cool, finely chop

Beat the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, Baileys and salt until light and fluffy.

Mix in the sugar and pecans until combined and a dough forms.

Place in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

Place the cinnamon and cocoa in a shallow bowl.  Use a 2 tablespoon scoop, and form the dough into small potato shapes.  Roll in the cinnamon/cocoa mixture, using a pastry brush to brush off the excess.

Break the slivered almonds into small pieces, and press into the cookies to make the eyes.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Enjoy!


Bailey’s Irish Cream & Pistachio Fudge

March 1, 2012

Today is March 1st. That means St. Patrick’s Day will be here soon! Just like last year, I aim to post one Irish-y, St. Patrick’s Day recipe each day up to March 17th. Wish me the luck of the Irish for this endeavor! To get things rolling, I’d thought I’d start off with a St. Patrick’s Day recipe that is both incredibly easy and incredibly delicious. I’m telling you, you don’t even need a stove for this one, you could just use a microwave. There are no candy thermometers, no baking, just a bit of mixing and a little chill time. Which is great, because it will give you time for a little chill time as well. This fudge tastes so dreamy folks will surely believe you must have slaved over it all day, when you’ve really been kicked back with some sort of refreshing adult beverage! (We are talking St. Patrick’s Day after all :p ). Give this one a whirl, you’ll be glad you did!

Bailey’s Irish Cream & Pistachio Fudge

recipe from Butteryum who adapted it from Eat Good 4 Life

yield: One 9×9 pan. Number of pieces depends on how you slice it :)

Ingredients:

  • 36 ounces white chocolate chips
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 6 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, blanched and chopped
Directions:
Line a 9×9 pan with foil and lightly grease with butter (or use nonstick foil); set aside.In a heavy-bottom sauce pan over low heat, combine the first 3 ingredients and stir constantly until the mixture is completely combined.  Remove from heat and stir in pistachios.  Pour into prepared pan and chill until set. Cut and serve.
Enjoy!

Oreo Truffles

May 7, 2011

Who doesn’t love Oreo Cookies? I don’t know a single soul. Indeed  if I did know someone who claimed they didn’t, I’d certainly be a little suspicious of them. Oreo cookies are great comfort food which likely evoke happy childhood memories (or maybe memories more recent – say, last night perhaps) of dunking them in an ice-cold glass of milk.

So I was sure I couldn’t go wrong with this recipe for Oreo Truffles. Not that I thought I should “guild the lily” by any means, but adding some cream cheese and a enfolding the whole thing in a blanket of delectable chocolate – I couldn’t resist!

Nor should you. Really. These Truffles are very easy to make. Toss the cookies into the food processor. Give it a whirr.

Oreo crumbles

Add the cream cheese. Pulse until blended. Roll the mixture into balls.

Truffle filling - waiting to chill

Chill and then dip into chocolate. The only bit of the whole process that requires some patience is the dipping the truffles into the chocolate bit. I used prepackaged melting chocolate by Baker’s. You just pop the package in the microwave until melted and then start dipping away. I guess the waiting for them to chill in the fridge before devouring them all was a bit difficult as well.

Everyone will think you slaved in the kitchen for hours to create these treats. Believe me,  folks will go absolutely wild for them. Soooooo delicious!

Oreo Truffles

Recipe from Someone Left the Cake Out in the Rain

Makes 36 Oreo Truffles

Ingredients:
1 package (16.6 oz) Oreo cookies – I used the Double Stuff variety :)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
2 -(7 oz.) containers Baker’s Dipping Chocolate

Directions:

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the Oreo cookies until they are coarsely chopped.  Add cream cheese and continue to pulse until they are well-combined.

Roll into 1-inch balls and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Refrigerate until firm, 4 hours, or optimally, overnight.

Melt chocolate according to package.  Dip balls into chocolate and place on waxed paper lined trays to harden.

Sprinkle with any sort of decoration you prefer before the chocolate begins to set up.

Chill and serve cold.



Bird’s Nests

April 23, 2011

This is a fantastic Easter treat! I saw several versions of these whimsical Bird’s Nests around on various food blogs. I really liked the one featured on the Curvy Carrot blog and followed that recipe. The treats were very easy to make and chock full of ingredients that I love – chocolate, butterscotch and peanut butter…YUM! Even better, these little nests were filled with mini Cadbury Eggs.

Now, I really, really love them. (to the point that I often refer to them as “Crack-bury Eggs”…soooo delicious and addictive!) I can hardly restrain myself when they make their appearance in the stores around Easter. Yup, I”m doing the “Cadbury Happy Dance” through the grocery store aisles! This year I managed to score not only the traditional milk chocolate Cadbury Mini Eggs, but I also found the dark chocolate version. Be still my heart!

Another favourite Easter candy of mine is Robin’s Eggs. For those of you who don’t know what they are, they’re malted milk balls essentially dressed up for Easter! I decided that some of my nests would hold the mini version of them as well.

What can I say? These goodies taste phenomenally good and look just as great! They were a big hit at a party I went to just last night. Make some today and fill them with your Easter candy favourites!

Birds’ Nests

Recipe from the Curvy Carrot

Servings: 12

Ingredients

1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, for greasing the muffin pan

6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips

6 ounces of butterscotch chips

1 cup creamy peanut butter

6 ounces of chow mein noodles

mini Cadbury Eggs

mini Robin’s Eggs

marshmallow fluff

Instructions

1. Generously grease the wells of a muffin pan with the butter (this will help later when you are taking out the chilled nests).

2. In a large microwave-proof bowl, heat the chocolate and butterscotch chips in 30 second intervals until thoroughly melted, stirring after each increment.

3. Once melted, add the peanut butter to the chocolate/butterscotch mixture, mixing well until smooth and completely combined.

4. Carefully add the chow mein noodles, stirring with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, until completely coated.

5. Using a large spoon, mold the mixture into the wells of your muffin tin, indenting the tops slightly with the back of the spoon.

6.  Chill the nests until hardened, about 1 hour or so.

7.  Once chilled, remove the nests from the muffin tin. Gently prying them loose with a butter knife worked well.

8.  Place mini eggs, or treats of your choice in each nest, securing them to the nest with a bit of marshmallow fluff.


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