Sometimes the best gifts come in small packages. Here are some recipes as well as decorating and packaging ideas for what are bound to be the most sought after treats to come out of your kitchen this holiday season.
Dipped Peanut Butter Treats
80 Round Buttery Crackers
Dry Fondant Mix, prepared as directed
1 cup Peanut Butter
1 pound Cocoa Lite Candy Coating, melted
Chocolate Transfer Sheet, if desired
Edible decorations, if desired
Combine peanut butter and prepared fondant candy center until completely combined. Scoop peanut butter mixture onto round cracker spreading it evenly to sides of cracker. Top with another cracker. Dip cracker into chocolate, evenly coating entire treat. Lift cracker out of chocolate with a fork or dipping tool and tap on side of container to allow excess to drip off. Place on parchment paper or silicone mat. If using chocolate transfer sheet, or edible decoration, apply while coating is still wet. Drizzle extra melted chocolate over top for decorative touch. Allow chocolate to set before removing transfer sheet.
Hot Cocoa Spoons
1 pound Cocoa Lite Candy Coating
4 oz bag Mini Marshmallows
Round Petit Four Chocolate Candy Mold or Small liqueur Cup Chocolate Candy Mold used for display and samples)
Small Tasting Spoon or Sucker Stick
Melt candy coating. Pour into a squeeze bottle. Squeeze the candy into a clean, dry, candy mold, filling almost to the top. Insert spoon or sucker stick. Top surface of candy with mini marshmallows. Allow candy to set up before unmolding.
In a heavy saucepan, bring cream and corn syrup to boil. Add butter. Cool to at least 98°. Melt chocolate. Blend with a whisk until a smooth consistency is reached. Follow one of the three directions below for finishing the ganache.
CUT GANACHE: Spread the mixture into a 9” x 9” pan lined with parchment paper, keeping the top as smooth as possible. Chill for several hours in the refrigerator. Remove from pan and cut into squares using a bench cutter, pizza cutter or cut shapes using a cookie cutter. Dip into melted candy coating or melted and tempered chocolate. The squares may be kept in the refrigerator for ease of dipping.
SCOOPED AND DIPPED GANACHE: Spoon the mixture into a small bowl. Chill for several hours in the refrigerator. Scoop ganache mixture using a cookie scoop. Roll into ball. Dip into melted candy coating or melted and tempered chocolate or roll in cocoa powder, chopped nuts or other desired coating.
MOLDED GANACHE: Allow ganache to cool. Put the ganache in a pastry bag fitted with a coupler. Line candy mold with melted candy coating or melted and tempered chocolate and let set. Pipe mixture into lined molds. Seal the mold with melted candy coating or melted and tempered chocolate.
Basic ganache recipe
1/2 – 1 teaspoon Peppermint Oil (flavor to desired strength)
Cocoa Dark Candy Coating
Candy Cane Peppermint Crunch or Peppermint Chips
Truffle Candy Mold (#90-5620 and #90-5625 used in class)
Prepare ganache following molded ganache recipe. Prepare Candy molds by placing small amount of crushed peppermint in mold and secure with small amount of candy coating. Allow coating to set at room temperature to hold peppermint in place. Continue as directed to line and fill candy mold.
Prepare ganache following cut ganache recipe. Dip cut pieces in candy coating. While coating is still wet, top with orange peel.
Prepare ganache following scooped and dipped/rolled ganache recipe. Combine cocoa powder and additional espresso powder, in a shallow dish. Roll finished truffles in cocoa and espresso powder mixture.
Buttery Sugar Cookies
1 cup Butter, softened
1 teaspoon Vanilla
3/4 cup Sugar
3 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
3 cups All-Purpose Flour
In a large mixer bowl, combine all ingredients except flour. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour. Beat, scraping bowl often until well mixed. Divide dough into 2 equal portions; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours). Preheat oven at 375°F. Roll and cut dough using cookie cutters. Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned.
Baking Cookies On A Stick: After the dough has chilled according to the recipe, place cookie dough between the thickest (red) perfection strips on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Roll over the perfection strips, leveling the dough. Cut out the shapes, keeping all the shapes in the same direction. When cutting, keep in mind where the sticks will be placed so that other cutout cookies will not be in the way of the sticks. Remove excess dough from around the cookies. For each cookie, start at the bottom and gently twist a sucker stick until it reaches to 3/4 of the top, using your pointer finger from the other hand to prevent the sucker stick from breaking through the dough. Transfer the silicone baking mat or parchment paper to a cookie sheet and bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheets; cool. Reinforce exposed sticks on back of cookie using melted candy coating.
Caramel Apple Cookies
Prepared sugar cookies
Red and Green Candy Coating
LorAnn Green Apple Flavoring
Butterscotch Candy Coating
LorAnn Caramel Flavoring
Brown Candy Writer
White Candy Writer
Soften, but don’t melt Peters Caramel in microwave in 5 second intervals. On parchment paper, roll out a thin layer and use cookie cutter used for cookie to cut piece of caramel. Place caramel on cookie, forming to its shape.
Melt red/green candy coating and flavor as desired (15-20 drops green apple flavoring per pound). Add paramount crystals (1 teaspoon at a time) as needed, to thin coating to ease in coating and dipping. Dip cookies into desired color coating, allowing excess to drip back into container. Place cookie on parchment paper and allow coating to set.
Melt butterscotch candy and flavor as desired (5-10 drops per 1/2 pound). Dip base of cookies to achieve the desired look. Place on parchment and allow to set.
Melt candy writers and add accents as desired. (Example: brown stem, white “shine” mark.)