Friday, December 19, 2014

Vanilla Chex Millionaire Bars-12 Days of Easy Sweets

The original version of this recipe has been around for awhile and has had various names such as Millionaire Bars, Heavenly Bars, and Homemade Kit Kat Bars.  Some people consider it a no-bake cookie, some consider it a candy.  No matter which, most people love this treat.

I decided to experiment with crushed Vanilla Chex cereal, using it instead of crushed graham crackers when I made this last.  I also upped the amount of vanilla for better vanilla flavor.

These will fit right in on either a cookie or candy plate.  They are very rich so I cut them small.

Vanilla Chex Millionaire Bars
72 rectangular crackers such as Club Crackers (this is about half of a box)
1 c. (2 sticks) butter
1/2 c. milk
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 c. white sugar
2 c. crushed Vanilla Chex cereal (about 3 1/2 c. uncrushed) or graham cracker crumbs
2 t. vanilla
1 (12 oz.) pkg. semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 c. creamy peanut butter

Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, letting it extend over the edges.  Grease or spray foil with non-stick spray.  (I use non stick foil.)  Place 24 crackers in the pan, laying them so long edges go across 9-inch width of pan.  Set aside.  Melt butter in a large, heavy saucepan.  Stir in milk, brown sugar, white sugar, and crushed cereal.  Bring mixture to a boil, watching closely and stirring frequently.  Reduce heat and boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Mix well.  Pour half of mixture over crackers in prepared pan.  Add a second layer of crackers.  Pour remaining mixture over crackers.  Cover with a final layer of crackers.  Combine chocolate chips and peanut butter in a small saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth.  Spread chocolate mixture over the top layer of crackers.  Cover with foil and chill until firm, about 4 hours.  Lift from pan and cut into 1x1 1/2-inch bars.  Makes about 72

Thursday, December 18, 2014

White Christmas Frosting Fudge-Improv Challenge

Our leader. Lesa, who blogs over at Edesia’s Notebook picked red and green for this month’s Improv Challenge.  I thought of lots of ideas to combine red and green foods for the challenge, even considering doing something with broccoli and red pepper, which would have been nice and healthy.

In the end, something sweet won out.  There is the matter of my constant sweet tooth, and it is Christmas time, after all.  Since it is Christmas time, I knew the sweet had to be quick and easy, so I decided to make a red and green version of a frosting fudge recipe that first came from Pillsbury, adding chopped candied red cherries and pistachios to the white fudge.  With only 5 ingredients and around 20 minutes of actual work time, this is the perfect candy to make during the busy holiday season.

I colored the pistachios with a little green food coloring to make the candy a bit more festive.

White Christmas Frosting Fudge
1 (11-oz.) pkg. white baking chips
1 (15-oz.) can white frosting
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. candied cherries which have been cut into eighths
1/2 c. chopped pistachio nuts
few drops of green food coloring, if desired

If using food coloring on nuts, add, mix and spread nuts out on a piece of waxed paper to dry while you prepare the rest of the candy.  Line a 8 or 9-inch square pan with a piece of foil big enough so that the extended ends will fold back over the top of the pan to cover.  Place white baking chips in a microwave-safe bowl and heat at 50% power for one minute.  Stir.  Continue to microwave at 50% power for 20-30 seconds, stirring each time.  Stir chips until they are completely smooth.  Add white frosting and vanilla and mix until well blended.  Stir in cherries and nuts.  Scoop into prepared pan.  Refrigerate about 1 hour to set.  I like to store this candy in the fridge, tightly wrapped and uncut, cutting it as I need it and let the candy set 30 minutes or so to firm up.  Makes 64 1-inch pieces.

If you would like to join the Improv Challenge for 2015, you can find all the info on Lesa's Improv Page

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Butter Rum Fudge-12 Days of Easy Sweets

12 Days of Easy Sweets
This recipe is another flavor variation using the candy chips/canned frosting ingredients.  It is one of my favorites, caters a little more to adult tastes and is a nice flavor addition to those Christmas candy plates.

The hardest part of making this candy is the amount of “elbow grease” it take to stir the chips while they are melting.

I have slightly adapted this recipe from Pillsbury.

Butter Rum Fudge
1(11-oz.) pkg. butterscotch flavor chips
1 (16 oz.) can vanilla frosting
1 t. butter flavoring (optional)
3/4 t. rum extract
1/4 t. nutmeg
3/4 c. chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts

Line a 8 or 9-inch square pan with a piece of foil big enough so that the extended ends will fold back beyond the middle of the pan.  Spray with non-stick spray.  Place butterscotch chips in a microwave-save bowl and microwave at 50% power for 1 minute.  Stir.  Continue microwaving at 50% power in 15 to 20 second intervals, stirring each time until the chips are melted and smooth.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Spread candy in prepared pan and fold foil ends back over the candy.   Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.  I like to store this candy, well wrapped in the foil, in the fridge without cutting, and cut into squares as I need it, allowing 30 minutes or so for the fudge squares to firm up.  Makes 64 1-inch squares.

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