candy

S’mores Bark

S'mores bark recipe

For some reason, Katie and I have BOTH been obsessively craving s’mores lately… But being the busy gal that I am, I don’t always have time for a bonfire. I needed a way to get my s’mores fix on the go. Something that I could snack on at work or in the car, but still gave me that classic s’mores goodness.

I decided to try to make s’more in the form of a “bark”, kinda like the peppermint bark everyone makes around Christmas time, but a Summer version. Well, let me tell you, it is GOOD! The classic summer treat, but crazy easy and made in one big batch that will last all week.
grahm cracker marshmallow chocolate bark

Beautiful.

s'mores bark ingredients

You only need three ingredients, the same as a regular s’mores, but in mini sized: mini marshmallows, milk chocolate chips, and crushed up graham crackers.

S'mores bark tutorial

Line a baking sheet with wax paper, and cover it evenly with crushed grahams and mini mallows. I like the texture to be a little more on the crunchy side, so I tore the marshmallows in half for even smaller pieces.

S'mores chocolate bars

Set up a double boiler and melt the chocolate over low-medium heat. You can add a tablespoon of vegetable shortening if it doesn’t seem smooth enough to pour. Then carefully pour over your prepared tray, and spread gently with a rubber spatula until you have an even layer of all three ingredients.

Make your own S'mores bark

Add some extra bits of graham and marshmallow on top to make it look pretty (and perhaps a little sea salt), then pop in the freezer for about an hour. Once fully hardened, crack the sheet into pieces for easy snacking!

DIY S'mores Candy

I like this s’mores bark best when still frozen, so I store the whole batch in the freezer. Couldn’t be easier. Craving satisfied. Time to make s’more. (haha sorry, couldn’t resist)

Red Hot Candy Infused Rum

cinnamon candy infused rum

No matter what kind of Valentine’s Day you’re having, it can probably be improved with a festive cocktail! Hot date? Fun “gal-entines” day plans with girlfriends? A quiet night at home with your cat? ALL deserve a special drink to toast the occasion!

I’m not sure if you knew this, but infusing alcohol with fun candy flavors is easy peasy. I mean really easy. Perfect for last-minute valentines. So I whipped up a version to share with you all that feels very appropriate for Valentines Day: red hot cinnamon-candy infused rum. Mmm!
infusing alcohol with candy
All you need is some light rum, some cinnamon candies, and an empty glass bottle or jar. Or no empty bottle if you want to make ALL the rum cinnamon flavored, in which case you can keep it in the big bottle!

If you can’t find Red Hots specifically, (they aren’t that common anymore) most grocery stores will carry something called “cinnamon imperial hearts” either in the baking or bulk candy aisle. Those will do just as well.
red hots cinnamon candy infused rum
The ratio that I used was 2 Tbsp of candies per 1 cup of rum, but you can adjust based on how strong you want the cinnamon flavor to be. It will also add sugar to the rum, sweetening it up quite a bit.
making candy infused rum
Combine your rum and candy, close off the container, and give it a good shake! It should immediately turn red. It will take an hour or two for the alcohol to completely dissolve the candy. Just let it sit on your counter for a while, giving it another shake every once in a while,
valentines day cinnamon rum drink
Once all the Red Hots are dissolved, you can move right on to taste testing! I like it over ice and topped with ginger ale, with some fun holiday garnishes. Here I used a pink sugar coated rim and a lollipop stirrer. I think I’ll call this little concoction “Cupid’s Flaming Arrow”… what do you think?
cinnamon rum and ginerale
If you’re making candy infused booze as a fun Valentine’s gift, you might add a nice label and some ribbon. Done. Move over chocolates and flowers, RUM is this year’s romantic gift of choice! <3
Red Hot candy infused rum
Cheers and Happy Valentines Day! We love you all!!! <3

Candied Lemon Peels

Candied_lemon_peels

What to do with Lemons, you ask!? How about eating the peels? Sounds strange, right?

When my Albanian coworker first introduced me to candied lemon peels, I was skeptical… She had the candy store near our office special order them for her (sans chocolate) and urged us all to try them. It turns out that they are chewy and sweet and pack some serious lemon flavor, without any of the sourness. Frankly, they’re kind of addicting!

I was curious to find out how these unique sweets are made, so I did some research and discovered that they are actually quite easy to make at home, and only require two ingredients: lemons and sugar! I combed through a dozen or so different recipes online, and adapted my own version which I’ll share today.

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You’ll need a bunch of lemons and some regular granulated sugar. I used eight lemons for this recipe. First things first, give the lemons a good wash, since you’ll be eating the peels.
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candied_lemon_peel_3
Cut each lemon into wedges and carefully pull the flesh away from the peels. The easiest way to do this is with your hands, peeling back the skin the same way you would peel an orange. Don’t let that lemon flesh go to waste! You can store it away in the fridge for another purpose.
candied_lemon_peels_4
Using a spoon with a sharp edge, scrape away some of the white pith from each peel. This is the part of the lemon that will have a bitter taste. You want to remove enough to cut the bitterness, but not so much that your peels become too thin later on. When you start to see the pattern of pores on the outside of the peel, you’ve gone far enough. Don’t worry about being perfect. Variation is good here!
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Slice the peels into thin strips, about a quarter inch wide.

Place the peels into a medium sized pot, and add enough water to cover. Heat over the stove on high until you’ve reached a rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute, then drain. Repeat this boil and drain process a second time and set the drained peels aside. Boiling and draining the peels this way will cook out the bitterness from the fibrous portions of the fruit.
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In the same pot, measure out three cups of sugar and three and a half cups of water. Heat until sugar is dissolved, then add the peels. Heat this mixture on high until boiling vigorously, then reduce to low-medium heat and simmer for at least an hour, or until peels are easy to bite through. (The exact timing will depend on how thick your peels are, mine needed about 75 minutes.) At this point the sugar solution will have boiled down and thickened quite a bit.

Take the peels off the heat and let them cool in the pot for ten minutes. Then pour off the liquid and set aside, because guess what! You also just made lemon flavored simple syrup.  You can use this later for cocktails! Lemon drop martini, anyone?
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On a parchment lined baking sheet, spread the peels out to dry. They will need to dry overnight, so put them somewhere out of the way. Once they are cool, you can sprinkle them with some extra sugar, but this step is optional.
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You can keep these candies in your refrigerator for a couple weeks, or wrap them up and give as a gift. I reserved a batch as a surprise for a certain lemon-loving coworker.
Lemon_simple_syrup
Don’t forget about that simple syrup! It should go in the fridge also, and will keep for a couple weeks.