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Monthly Archives: December 2012

mint m&ms

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The minty cousins are coming home for the holidays. And they’re welcome to stay as long as they can.

Puffy, and slightly larger than a plain m&m, these resemble the taste of those dutch mints, or dutch pastels that you would find by the hostess station at some “finer” restaurants (see image below).

Tangent- the whole open candy bowl, grab a handful of mints, is a pretty gross feature. These days you get individually packaged mints, which seems better.

Ok, back the the m&ms…The candy shell is crunchy, and the interior is smooth mint chocolate. I think I’m hooked on these. I bet these would be good frozen, too.

Here’s a recipe for using them in cookies. The recipe from “little bitty bakes” sounds good and looks great.

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I also could imagine these m&ms as decorating some sort of christmas cake. They would look pretty in a glass apothecary jar, but that harkens back to the afore mentioned candy bow, so I’ll steer clear of that.

I will go and get another bag today since my family ate the last bag. If you spot them, pick up a bag for yourself.

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Cappuccino frosted brownies

Happy Brownie Day!

I must admit that I’m not a huge fan of brownies. Sometimes they resemble fudge, which is just way too sweet for me. And often the center is too gooey as if it was under-baked. These brownies are the exception to all of that.
They were invented by a friend of mine. The cappuccino buttercream frosting is a perfect compliment to the brownies which aren’t too sweet.

Whenever I bring them to a party, I always bring the recipe, because I am always asked for it.  My only tip is to chill the frosted brownies before slicing, it just makes it easier. (Sometime soon I will have to try making them in muffin tins and piping the frosting on.)

You can find the recipe here, or on myrecipes.com. If you like coffee and chocolate, these are a win-win, and a must-make. If you do make them, or have made them before, let me know what you think.

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Viva Starbuck’s Peppermint Mocha Via!

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Mmmm…this is good. 8 oz. of hot milk plus a packet, and you have a peppermint mocha. I add extra coffee for a little more zip. A dollop of whipped cream and you’ll think that you’re at the North Pole. All this without needing to utter the insipid “I’ll have a grande….” Horray!

Cupcakes and Caramels, made locally with love.

Here are 2 talented ladies I met last week. They are creating sweets in their kitchens. Fortunately for me, they craft their skills in my neck of the woods.

cupcake lady

This is Tracie, her company is called Pattie Cakes, but I think she really is the cupcake fairy!

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She makes these amazing cupcakes and she sells them in a lovely, creative display. I found her at our local Christmas fair, and I couldn’t believe my eyes at the wonderfully decorated, themed cupcakes. I could have bought them all! I had a pumpkin pie cupcake, which was light, and sweet, and topped with sugar cookie. Her booth was the busiest one at the fair. And it was no wonder why.

Meet Marcy, she makes the smoothest caramels. They are large, so I slice them into bite size pieces, which I promptly gobble. The caramels are made from cream from her own cows, Buttercup and Blossom. (Thus the name on the bag) The ingredients are simple: cream, cane sugar, corn syrup, butter (and love). She sells her candy at Hurd Mercantile in Rockford, WA near Spokane (I always buy at least 3 bags). She makes plain, pecan, and an espresso variety. Each flavor is delightful.

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20121202-211353.jpgIf there’s a local baker or candy maker who you adore, spread the word and always eat local when you can.

More Candy Cane decor

Screen shot 2012-12-03 at 5.04.22 PMI have found this pretty arrangement on Pinterest. So creative, and it probably cost less than $20. I think it would look lovely with white and red carnations as well. Here’s the link to the how-to.

Dove Peppermint Bark, Christmas in a bite

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Oh how I love to discover a new seasonal sweet! These may have been around for a few years, but they’re new to me.
Here are little bites of peppermint bark. Just the perfect nibble-size without over indulging. The white chocolate top has candy cane bits inside, and the bottom is dark chocolate. Together they form a perfect treat, and are a new favorite. I’ll need to stock up next time I’m at the store, and you should, too.