I love Christmas! I can't help it, once thanksgiving is done with I'm pretty sure I turn into a five year old! I love Christmas music, lights, decorations, tv specials, of course all the parties and gatherings with family and friends, AND Christmas food. Really what other time of the year produces such delightful scents from the kitchen? I decided this year for all our friends in the area I would make some little goodie boxes full of Christmas cheer (a.k.a candy!). Steve and I then went on a Christmas Caper across town delivering our boxes :), so I hope everyone enjoyed their treats.
I had four candies I included in the boxes:
- Chocolate Covered Cherries
- Chocolate Covered Coffee Toffees
- White Chocolate Lemon Truffles
- Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Unfortunately I'm only going to be able to share the peanut butter cups and toffee. My phone broke, which had my pictures for the other two candies on it :(. If i somehow ever manage to retrieve these pictures I'll let you know. However, I've linked the candies to the blogs I got the recipes from so check them out!
Chocolate Covered Coffee Toffee
- 2 sticks butter (a very heart healthy recipe)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup + 2tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 3tsp instant coffee
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1lb chocolate of your choice ( I used half bittersweet and half semisweet, and I used chips as opposed to blocks of chocolate)
This stuff is actually really easy to make. Before you start it's best to prep your baking sheet with some wax or parchment paper.
In a large pot with your candy thermometer attached, add all the ingredients except the chocolate and bring to a boil over medium low heat. Stir fairly regularly until it reaches a temperature of 275. At this point you need to stir constantly until the temp reaches 315 degrees.
When it hits 315, remove the pan from the heat and stir a couple times so it's nice and smooth. Now you have to work quickly. Pour the toffee onto your baking sheet and spread out with a spatula to an even thickness.
While it's still warm you also want to score it so it will break off into nice pieces for you. I used a knife, the original recipe said a pizza cutter would work well too. Let your toffee sit until completely cooled at room temperature.
Once your toffee is cooled break it into pieces.
In a double boiler (or your little 2 pot contraption such as the one I use) melt your chocolate.
Once your chocolate is melted remove from heat and dip your toffee in to coat completely.
If your chocolate starts to harden just reheat it for a minute or two. ( You may have to because it takes quite a while to dip a billion little pieces of toffee). Once they are coated stick them in the fridge to harden. Once hardened you can either go ahead and eat them, or you can drizzle some pretty designs on top.
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
- 12oz bittersweet chocolate (again I used chips)
- 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/4 cup graham crackers
- 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
There's actually not a lot to these guys. On top of the ingredients you're also going to need those little paper candy cups that are meant for truffles and such.
On a tray distribute your paper candy cups. It helps to have a couple together to make them thicker and stronger.
In a bowl mix your sugar, peanut butter, and graham crackers. I wish I had put the graham crackers through the food processor to get a nicer, more fine grind. Instead I just crushed them up with a pastry cutter, which actually proved to be a very effective way to mix these three ingredients together. Set this bowl aside, we'll need it in a few minutes.
In your makeshift double boiler, melt your chocolate (I spent a lot of my holiday baking time, melting chocolate).
With a pastry brush, your just going to paint the insides of those cups with chocolate. You want a pretty thick coat in there because this creates your outer shell.
Once they're all painted, smoosh about a teaspoon of the peanut butter mixture into each cup.
I put these in the freezer to harden/store, but I would definitely recommend taking them out and letting them come to room temperature before eating. They taste much better that way!
I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!!!!