Frozen Hot Chocolate

This recipe has been all over the internet since “Serendipity” the restaurant in New York that invented finally released the recipe. We had it last night for New Year’s Eve. It’s kind of like a chocolate slushy. We used semi-sweet chocolate with good results but I bet dark chocolate would be even better.

FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE
4 oz chocolate (that’s about 2/3 cup of chocolate chips)
2 tsp hot cocoa powder
1 1/2 T sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
3 cups ice cubes
whipped cream
chocolate shavings (optional)

Melt chcolate in microwave. Once melted, add hot cocoa powder and sugar.  Stir until thoroughly blended. Add 1/2 cup of the milk, stir till smooth.  Cool to room temperature.
In blender, place remaining 1 c milk, room-temp chocolate mixture, and ice. Blend on high speed until smooth. Makes about 4 servings (8 oz)

Pour in glasses and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Almond Toffee

This is for my friend Carol, my kindred spirit. Sweet, amazing, WONDERFUL Carol. Such an amazing woman that I had to name my first born after her. Every Christmas season I make sure to take her an extra big bag of this almond toffee because I know she savors every bite of it!

The recipe is from a book my mom passed on to me, The Complete Wilton Book of Candy. (copyright date 1981) It’s my go-to book for any candy recipes. They ALWAYS turn out, and they always taste like heaven!

And remember, when making candy, always use pure, unsalted butter, and ONLY C&H Cane sugar, never use beet sugar when making candy (Or in my book, ever!)

ALMOND TOFFEE
Suprisingly easy to make- rich, crisp, and butterly delicious!

1 pound butter
2 T water
2 cups granulated cane sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups finely chopped almonds
10 oz milk chocolate, chopped (Or milk chocolate chips)

Butter a 12″ x 18″ cookie sheet. Set aside.
Put butter and water in a heavy 12″ pot or skillet over medium-high heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until melted, then add sugar and salt as you continue stirring.
When mixture loses its yellow color and becomes whitish, add one cup of the nuts.
Continue cooking, stirring contantly, to 300 degrees F. (You DO have a candy thermometer…right?)
Mixture will be a caramel color. Remove from heat. Should take about 20 minutes cook time.
Turn into prepared pan and cool just until set, but not completely hardened.
Score into 1 1/2″ squares with a sharp knife. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Melt chocolate over double boiler or in microwave. Spread over cooled toffee and sprinkle with remaining cup of nuts.
Chill until set, about 20 minutes.
Break into squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks. (Like it could last that long!)

Yield: about 90 pieces

Cinnamon Apple Pancakes

I love dried fruit. There are SO many great things you can do with it! This idea just happened one day out of staring at pancakes cooking for my girls and wanting to do something fun.

CINNAMON APPLE PANCAKES
your favorite buttermilk pancake recipe or mix
dried apple slices
cinnamon

Pour your pancakes on a hot griddle as you normally would, then sprinkle with dried apple slices and cinnamon.
There is no need to rehydrate the apples, as they will absorb the moisture in the pancake.
Flip when ready, and cook until done.
I’ve tried mixing the apples into the batter, but I like the texture they get going directly on the griddle. If you like you can mix the cinnamon into the batter beforehand though.

Hashbrowns

Hashbrowns

This is a take from a dish my mom made all the time. She would take leftover baked potatoes and chill them in the fridge, then the next morning (or dinner even), she would slice them and heat them in a cast iron skillet. I still love them that way, but my husband loves cubed hashbrowns. Serve with breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

HASHBROWNS
8 medium russet or yukon gold potatoes
1-2 large white onions, chopped (depending on preference)
canola oil
desired seasonings (I use about 1 tsp paprika, 2 tsp Johny’s Garlic Seasoning, s&p to taste)

Scrub potatoes, place in one layer on a plate.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Microwave on high about 12 minutes, or until mostly cooked. (You want them slightly firm still)
Alternatively, if you have leftover baked potatoes, just use those.
Heat about 1 T oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. (I’d use a cast-iron if available)
Add onions, and chop potatoes. After onions are softened, add potatoes and sprinkle seasonings on top. Mix together, then let one side cook until browned.
Flip over, and finish cooking other side. Add more oil when necessary.
My cast iron skillet isn’t that large, so I do all this in 2 batches. If the layer is too deep, then you don’t get enough potatoes with a nice crust.

If you want, you can put these in a dish in the oven to keep warm for a while too, and they’re still great.

Hashbrowns

Ingredients

  • 8 medium russet or yukon gold potatoes
  • 1-2 large white onions, chopped (depending on preference)
  • canola oil
  • desired seasonings (I use about 1 tsp paprika, 2 tsp Johny’s Garlic Seasoning, s&p to taste)

Instructions

  • Scrub potatoes, place in one layer on a plate. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on high about 12 minutes, or until mostly cooked. (You want them slightly firm still)
  • Alternatively, if you have leftover baked potatoes, just use those.
  • Heat about 1 T oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. (I’d use a cast-iron if available)
  • Add onions, and chop potatoes. After onions are softened, add potatoes and sprinkle seasonings on top. Mix together, then let one side cook until browned.
  • Flip over, and finish cooking other side. Add more oil when necessary.
  • My cast iron skillet isn’t that large, so I do all this in 2 batches. If the layer is too deep, then you don’t get enough potatoes with a nice crust.
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    Peanut Butter Truffles

     

    Peanut Butter Truffles

    I first made these in high school, and they’ve always been a favorite confection of mine. Easy, cute, and everyone loves them! They freeze particularly well, and I almost prefer them that way. Sorry if they look slightly scuffed in the photos, they were actually buried in the freezer. 🙂

    Peanut Butter Truffles

    9 oz chocolate (milk, semi-sweet, dark, or almond bark)
    1 Cup plus 2 T peanut butter
    5 T unsalted butter, softened
    2 Cups powdered sugar
    1 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal

    Melt chocolate (in the microwave is fine).
    Let cool slightly. Cream PB and butter together in a bowl. Gradually add in powdered sugar, mixing until smooth.
    Stir in rice cereal. Press into heaping tablespoonfulls in your palm.
    You can also use a small scooper, and make them any size you want.
    Roll or press balls till smooth. If you want you can do through this step ahead of time and store in fridge or freezer to firm up more.

    Next, dip in the melted chocolate. I like to use 2 fondue forks, piercing them with one, and using the other to push them off the other.
    Place on waxed paper set on a cookie sheet or tray. Refrigerate till set. (Or freeze if you want them faster.)
    You can also drizzle another kind of chocolate on top for contrast, or even white chocolate if you desire. Enjoy while they last!

    Peanut Butter Truffles

    Ingredients

    • 9 oz chocolate (milk, semi-sweet, dark, or almond bark)
    • 1 Cup plus 2 T peanut butter
    • 5 T unsalted butter, softened
    • 2 Cups powdered sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal

    Instructions

  • Melt chocolate (in the microwave is fine).
  • Let cool slightly. Cream PB and butter together in a bowl. Gradually add in powdered sugar, mixing until smooth.
  • Stir in rice cereal. Press into heaping tablespoonfulls in your palm.
  • You can also use a small scooper, and make them any size you want.
  • Roll or press balls till smooth. If you want you can do through this step ahead of time and store in fridge or freezer to firm up more.
  • Next, dip in the melted chocolate. I like to use 2 fondue forks, piercing them with one, and using the other to push them off the other.
  • Place on waxed paper set on a cookie sheet or tray. Refrigerate till set. (Or freeze if you want them faster.)
  • You can also drizzle another kind of chocolate on top for contrast, or even white chocolate if you desire.
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