Let's see. My first super-easy and super-yummy treat:
Bag of Hershey's Hugs
Bag of Pretzel Snaps (the square/grid ones, salted)
1. Turn oven to 200 degrees.
2. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
3. Spread a layer of pretzels on the wax paper.
4. Place a Hug in the middle of each pretzel.
5. Place in oven for 3 to 4 minutes, until Hugs are just melting.
6. Remove from oven and gently place another pretzel on top, making a tidy little sandwich.
7. Allow to cool or even pop in the freezer for a few minutes to harden.
8. Remove from wax paper and store in airtight container for as long as they last, which isn't long around here!
You can also make these with Rolos or any other Hershey's Kiss Variation. A friend of mine is making some with a Rolo, then skip the second pretzel and push a Mint M&M down into the Rolo after it's melted to make a gooey, chocolatey, caramelly pretzel thingy. I plan to snag one of these from her in the next few days and will report back with my findings!
My second super-easy and far-too-yummy treat:
Back in October, sweet Maggie had the flu and was home with me for a few days. I can honestly say it was fun; I kinda miss the old days when it was just the two of us! We spent a lot of time watching Maggie's favorite channel, Food Network, and there were a LOT of Halloween treats being made. One of them really got Maggie's attention: Homemade Orange Marshmallows by Giada DiLaurentiis. Though I think the orange-flavored ones would be divine, I decided to make these for the holidays in some crowd-pleasing flavors: Vanilla and Peppermint.
First of all, here's the recipe for
Homemade Orange Marshmallows:
Butter, for greasing the pan
Powdered sugar, for dusting
1/2 cup water, plus 1/4 cup
3 tablespoons (3 packets) unflavored gelatin
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 large orange, zested
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pour 1/2 cup water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and allow to soften, about 10 minutes.
In a 3-quart saucepan, combine the sugar, evaporated milk and 1/4 cup water. Stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees F, about 10 to 12 minutes. Pour the syrup over the gelatin mixture. Beat the mixture at low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and beat until thick, fluffy and tripled in volume, about 10 to 12 minutes. Beat in the orange zest and vanilla extract until just combined. Using a spatula, scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Sprinkle with orange decorating sugar. Allow the mixture to set, uncovered, in a cool place (not refrigerated) for at least 8 hours or overnight. Remove the marshmallows from the pan and place on a powdered sugar-dusted surface. Using scissors, dusted with powdered sugar, cut the marshmallows into about 1-inch squares. Dip the cut sides into powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
For PEPPERMINT MARSHMALLOWS: Omit the orange zest and add 1 tsp peppermint extract.
For VANILLA MARSHMALLOWS: Omit the orange zest and add an extra 1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract. (For a total of 1-1/2 tsp of vanilla for the recipe)
Now, the best part: I cut the peppermint marshmallows into 1" squares, put three of them on a lollipop stick, drizzled them with semi-sweet chocolate and sprinkled them with crushed old-fashioned peppermint stick. I put them in a little baggie and tied 'em up with a bit of white and red curling ribbon.
I LOVE the texture of these marshmallows. They are light, but firm and they flavor is incredible. They are soo easy to make that when I made the second batch, I pretty much just went by time instead of temperature and they turned out great. And here's a little confession: My candy thermometer is about 10 degrees off, so I actually burned the sugar candy base of the marshmallows, but since I'd already invested so much time, I just poured the sugar base into the gelatin and didn't scrape the pan (left the burned parts behind) and the marshmallows were still incredible! How's that for Katy-proof!?!?!?!
Pictures coming soon, because these were just awesome!