Feliz Navidad! Dulce de Leche Caramel Coconut Layer Bars


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Feliz Navidad! The flavors of Mexico are a Christmas tradition at our house, from Christmas Eve dinner to holiday parties. Here is my Mexican twist on a favorite classic cookie! ~Amy

Dulce de Leche Caramel Coconut Bars

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 14oz can Dulce de leche
Sea salt
1/2 cup Cinnamon Honey Almonds, chopped *Blue Diamond
1 cup, good quality white chocolate pieces
1 1/3 cups sweetened flaked coconut

Heat 350

Spray an 8×8 square pan, with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, toss together graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press firmly into prepared pan.
Heat Dulce de leche in microwave until warm and pourable. Stir until smooth. Pour over crust. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Top evenly with white chocolate, nuts, and end with the coconut.
Place in oven and bake 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.
Cool completely, and cut into even pieces.

Recipe by Amy Richardson

Sea Salt, White Chocolate, Almond Toffee


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Homemade toffee is a Christmas tradition at our house. I make it really thin, with an equal layer of chocolate and a dusting of nuts. Here is my twist on this holiday favorite! ~Amy

Sea Salt, White Chocolate, Almond Toffee

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp corn syrup
1/4 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 -2 cups good quality white chocolate pieces, Callebaut
1/4 cup finely chopped dry roasted almonds
Flake sea salt

Butter a large cookie sheet. Set aside.
Butter the sides of a medium sized saucepan.
Melt butter over medium heat. Stir in sugar, water and corn syrup. Cook stirring constantly until it reaches soft crack* 280 degrees. Tip*
Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Pour hot candy into prepared baking sheet. Spread quickly with metal spatula, pulling edges to make a nice thin layer. Immediately sprinkle chocolate over the top. Let it sit a couple of minutes, then spread chocolate evenly to coat. Sprinkle lightly nuts. Sprinkle lightly with crushed sea salt flakes And refrigerate to cool completely.

Recipe by Amy Richardson

*Grandma’s Tip
For perfect candy, cook the candy until it reaches the exact color of peanut butter.

Peppermint Bark Brownies


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Peppermint Bark is a holiday favorite our house. What could be better than topping a rich, homemade brownie with this holiday confectionery?!?~Amy

Peppermint Bark Brownies

4 oz unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup good quality white chocolate pieces
Crushed peppermint candy canes

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Line a 8×8 square pan or 9×13 with parchment

In a medium bowl, melt butter and chocolate in the microwave. Stir together until smooth. Add sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and stir until smooth. Stir in flour and spread evenly in prepared pan.

Bake for 30-35 for 9×13, 40-45 minutes for 8×8, or until cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and evenly sprinkle white chocolate pieces over the top, let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Spread chocolate across the top and let it slightly set. Sprinkle with crushed peppermint and cool for several hours, or overnight.
*Cut evenly with a warm dry knife.

Recipe by Amy Richardson

*to warm knife, run under hot water, wipe with cloth to dry.

The Nut~Cracker Sweets Candied Nuts!


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Traditional Christmas crackers filled with sweet and salty candied nuts. From Clara’s Caramel Cashews to Waltz of the Walnuts, these themed, Nut~Cracker Sweets will dance their way into the hearts of family, friends and neighbors this Christmas season!~Amy

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The Nut~Cracker Sweets
Candied Nuts!

Sugar Plum Pecans:
Sparkly Blackberry Vanilla

Snowflake Almonds
Coconut Flake White Chocolate

Waltz of the Walnuts
Milano Milk Glazed Chocolate

Clara’s Caramel Cashews
White Chocolate Salted Caramel

Recipe:

Sugar Plum Pecans:
Sparkly Blackberry French Vanilla

2 cups pecan halves
1/4 cup Torani Blackberry Syrup
1/4 cup Torani French Vanilla Syrup
White sanding sugar

Place nuts into roasting pan. Pour syrups over the top and stir to coat. While stirring slowly and constantly, cook over medium heat until syrup is almost absorbed and thickened. Quickly pour nuts onto parchment paper. Sprinkle generously with sanding sugar. Separate nuts with a wooden spoon. Cool completely.
Store in a covered container.

Makes 2 cups

Recipe by Amy Richardson

Snowflake Almonds
White Chocolate Coconut

2 cups dry roasted salted almonds
1/2 cup Torani White Chocolate Syrup
1/3 cup fine shredded coconut, plus additional for dusting
White sanding sugar

Place nuts into roasting pan. Pour syrup over the top and stir to coat. While stirring slowly and constantly, cook over medium heat until syrup is almost absorbed and thickened, add coconut and stir to coat. Quickly pour nuts onto parchment paper. Sprinkle generously with sanding sugar and additional coconut. Separate nuts with a wooden spoon. Cool completely.
Store in a covered container.

Makes 2 cups

Recipe by Amy Richardson

Waltz of the Walnuts
Milano Milk Glazed Chocolate

2 cups walnut halves
1/4 cup Torani Milano Chocolate syrup
1/4 cup Torani White Chocolate Syrup
White sanding sugar

Place nuts into roasting pan. Pour syrups over the top and stir to coat. While stirring slowly and constantly, cook over medium heat until syrup is almost absorbed and thickened. Quickly pour nuts onto parchment paper. Sprinkle generously with sanding sugar. And separate nuts with a wooden spoon. Cool completely.
Store in a covered container.

Makes 2 cups

Recipe by Amy Richardson

Clara’s Caramel Cashews
White Chocolate Salted Caramel

2 cups roasted and salted Cashews
1/4 cup Torani Salted Caramel Syrup
1/4 cup Torani White Chocolate Syrup
White sanding sugar

Place nuts into roasting pan. Pour syrups over the top and stir to coat. While stirring slowly and constantly, cook over medium heat until syrup is almost absorbed and thickened. Quickly pour nuts onto parchment paper. Sprinkle generously with sanding sugar. And separate nuts with a wooden spoon. Cool completely.
Store in a covered container.

Makes 2 cups

Recipe by Amy Richardson

Equipment:
Victorio Nut Roaster
Available online and at http://www.victorio.com, Orson Gygi
$25-$29, Smith’s, Macey’s or CAL Ranch stores

Torani Syrups: available online at Torani.com and Cash and Carry located at 300 West 1100 South

Fine Quality Wrapping Paper
Available at Tabula Rasa, Trolley Square, Salt Lake City

Nutcracker party picks available at:
Merci Merci
http://www.merimeri.com

Homemade Chocolate Dipped Candy Cane Marshmallows


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These are so good! Peppermint Bark, watch out! Easy to make, and a great gift, or holiday indulgence to that steaming cup of hot cocoa! ~Amy&Madeline

Homemade Chocolate Dipped Candy Cane Marshmallows

Marshmallow recipe:

3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided in half
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Finishing ingredients:
Semi sweet, dark, or milk chocolate, melted
Crushed peppermint candy canes

In a small bowl, mix tiger powdered sugar and cornstarch.
Spray a 9×13 pan with non cooking spray. Coat pan with cornstarch mixture.
Set aside.
Save remaining mixture.

Using a stand mixer, place gelatin in mixing bowl, add water and let sit.

In a large sauce pan, place remaining half cup of water, corn syrup, sugar and salt. Stir and cook over medium high heat until mixture comes to a soft boil stage, 240 degrees, testing with either a candy thermometer or using cold water method.

Turn mixer on low, and slowly pour syrup down the sides of the bowl. When all the syrup has been added, turn mixer onto high and beat 12-15 minutes and bowl is lukewarm to the touch.

Pour into prepared pan, smoothing top with a lightly sprayed metal spatula. Dust top with some of the powdered sugar mixture.
Leave uncovered overnight. When set, dust board with remaining powdered sugar mixture. Loosen edges of pan with knife. Tun over onto prepared board and cut into desired shapes with a warm knife. Coat sides of marshmallows with powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container.

To assemble:

Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
Lightly place marshmallow top into melted chocolate, turning to coat. Carefully turn over and place on prepared pan. Sprinkle lightly with crushed peppermint candy . Continue with remaining marshmallows. Refrigerate to set.

Makes 18-24 servings

Recipe by Amy Richardson & Madeline Richardson

Dad’s Classic Holiday Egg Nog


On Christmas Eve, families, friends and neighbors up on  Capitol Hill gather to hear the bell choir, sing favorite carols, drink egg nog ,and feel the true meaning of Christmas. Merry Christmas! ~Amy

On Christmas Eve, families, friends and neighbors up on Capitol Hill gather to hear the bell choir, sing favorite carols, drink egg nog ,and feel the true meaning of Christmas.
Merry Christmas!
~Amy

Dad’s Classic Holiday Egg Nog

2 quarts purchased egg nog, chilled
5 cups whole milk, chilled
3 cups evaporated milk
1 tbsp vanilla, his preference is Mexican Vanilla
2 tsp rum extract
Nutmeg

In a large bowl, whisk together egg nog, whole milk, and evaporated milk. Whisk until well mixed. Chill until ready to use.

Makes 1 gallon

Whipped Vanilla Cream:

2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 tsp vanilla

In a medium sized bowl, using an electric mixer, beat all ingredients on high until soft peaks form.

Makes 4 cups

Serve chilled egg nog in a large punch bowl with large dollops of whipped cream, and sprinkle lightly with nutmeg.

Recipe by Tom Parker (Dad)

White Chocolate Peppermint Egg Nog with Whipped Vanilla Cream


This is my favorite twist on my Dad's Classic Holiday Egg Nog! With the crushed candy canes, and whipped cream on top, I could drink this all day.  ~Amy

This is my favorite twist on my Dad’s Classic Holiday Egg Nog! With the crushed candy canes, and whipped cream on top, I could drink this all day.
~Amy

White Chocolate Peppermint Egg Nog with Whipped Vanilla Cream

Nog:

2 quarts purchased egg nog, chilled
5 cups whole milk, chilled
3 cups evaporated milk
4 oz Lindt or other European White a Chocolate, broken into pieces
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp Nielsen Massey Pure Peppermint Extract
Crushed peppermint candies

In a small sauce pan heat 1 cup of evaporated milk. When hot, whisk in white chocolate until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in peppermint and vanilla extract. Chill.

In a large bowl, whisk together egg nog, whole milk, remaining evaporated milk, and peppermint milk mixture. Whisk until well mixed. Chill until ready to use.

Makes 1 gallon

Whipped Vanilla Cream:

2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 tsp vanilla

In a medium sized bowl, using an electric mixer, beat all ingredients on high until soft peaks form.

Makes 4 cups

Serve chilled egg nog with whipped cream, and garnish with crushed peppermint candies

Recipes by Amy Richardson