halloween candy cheesecake brownies

kit kat brownieIt’s about that time of year where our houses are filled with candy and we need to figure out what exactly to do with all of it. Well, fear not, I am here to help you out! A couple weeks ago I showed you how to turn our leftover candy into ice cream, last year we made a Halloween candy bark, and now, we take it one step further by shoving that delicious candy into brownies.  Continue reading

halloween candy bark

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Halloween is tomorrow and since I’ve been 1,896 miles from home for the past week, sadly I haven’t had time to create a Halloween costume.

I have, however, managed to carve a pumpkin – Hubby and I started this tradition just last year, neither of us having carved pumpkins for many years.

pumpkins

In my time away over the last five days I’ve enjoyed a bit of actual autumn weather, got to see some fall colors, and walked 25.25 miles through the trails surrounding the beautiful Chateau Elan in Braselton, GA, while away at work conference. And yes, my legs are very, very sore.

I also learned the bad news from my beloved that, despite following the advice of a trusted website, our pumpkins have already turned to rotting mush in record time and will not be making it to Halloween… It turns out that peppermint soap thing actually does the opposite of preserving your pumpkin.

chateau elan

So today, as I am sitting on a plane hurdling towards home (and 90 degree weather) at 500mph (or around there), anxiously awaiting my return home, I am also mourning the loss of our beloved pumpkins, and have every intention to drown the sorrows of our loss in this bark.

Just like the last bark, I used the sturdier candy molding formula for the base layer of bark because I love the snap it gives the chocolate. I also went with an extra dark chocolate for the base to provide a good contrast to the sweeter milk chocolate flavor for the second layer.

After spreading the second layer of chocolate, I adorned it with some of my favorite candies and a sprinkle of crushed potato chips and set it in the fridge for a few minutes to set up. Start to finish (including chopping time) I was done in under 30 minutes which isn’t bad at all if you ask me.

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Even though one day is plenty of time to make this bark in time to hand out for Halloween, it would be an excellent way to use up all of your leftover Halloween candy as well.

I included my favorite candies in the recipe below, but feel free to use whatever candy you find in the bottom of your (or your kid’s) trick-or-treat basket.

halloween candy bark

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: one 18 by 12-inch half sheet pan of bark

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dark chocolate (I used this candy molding formula from Chocoley)
  • 2 cups milk chocolate (I used this dipping and coating formula , which is a bit thinner than the candy formula)
  • 2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter (go with a regular standard peanut butter that won't separate, I always use Jif)
  • 1/2 cup mini peanut butter cups; chopped (I used a mix of Trader Joe's dark chocolate and milk chocolate peanut butter cups)
  • 1/2 cup mini Oreos (I used mini Reese's Oreos), coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mini Reese's Pieces
  • 1/2 cup potato chips, roughly crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Melt dark chocolate in double boiler or microwave. Pour melted chocolate onto parchment-lined baking sheet and set in the fridge to solidify, about 5 minutes.
  2. Melt milk chocolate in a double boiler or microwave and stir in peanut butter until fully incorporated. Pour over hardened chocolate and spread to cover.
  3. Working quickly, before the top layer of chocolate hardens, sprinkle with assorted toppings (I listed them in the order I sprinkled, but that's not necessary) and place into fridge to harden for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Remove bark from refrigerator and cut into pieces.
http://wee-eats.com/2014/10/30/halloween-candy-bark/

 

candy corn halloween bark

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Halloween is right around the corner, making this the perfect time to make your own candy! Even if you’ve never made candy before, literally anyone can make a killer bark.

Though I’ve included a recipe for the bark that I made, no real recipe is needed. Just like with any other recipe, though, you will want to think about balance. If you follow a single flavor profile, your bark will end up tasting a bit flat. You might not know what it is missing, but you will definitely know that something is missing. A good place to start is with something sweet, something crunchy, something salty, and go on from there.

For this bark I wanted to stick with Halloweeny flavors, so I started off with candy corn for sweetness, pretzels for crunch, pumpkin Joe-Joe’s (From Trader Joe’s), and then sprinkles just to make it pretty. Since I was using white chocolate for the top layer, I stirred a tiny bit of orange gel food coloring into the white chocolate once it was melted, because everyone knows that Halloween things are better when they’re orange.

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To make sure I got a good “snap” from my bark, I used Chocoley’s candy molding formula for the bottom layer of chocolate. I love using their candy molding formula for projects like this because it gives you a great sturdy base with the snap of a tempered chocolate without having to actually temper any chocolate. Then, for the top layer, I used their dipping and coating chocolate formula. That formula is a bit thinner than their candy formula and so it sets up a little bit softer, but either one would work perfectly.

If you plan to use another type of chocolate, TheKitchn has a nice thermometer-free tutorial, or David Lebowitz has a more in-depth “how to” for tempering chocolate on his site.

Since I used a couple of items (candy corn and pretzels) that aren’t prone to snapping along chocolate’s natural fault lines, I chose to cut this bark with a knife. That allowed me to get nice, clean cuts with my pretzel and candy corn pieces on each piece of bark.

candy corn halloween bark

Yield: one 18 by 12-inch half sheet pan of bark

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dark chocolate melting chips (I used this candy molding formula from Chocoley)
  • 2 cups white chocolate melting chips, (I used this dipping and coating formula , which is a bit thinner than the candy formula)
  • 1 cup candy corn
  • 1/2 cup pretzels, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sandwich cookies, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Melt dark chocolate in double boiler or microwave. Pour melted chocolate onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Set in fridge to solidify, about 5 minutes.
  2. Melt white chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Pour over hardened chocolate.
  3. Working quickly, sprinkle with assorted toppings and place into fridge to harden, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Cut or break into pieces (I cut mine since I had larger toppings that weren't likely to divide evenly if I just broke the chocolate into pieces)
http://wee-eats.com/2014/10/27/candy-corn-halloween-bark/

thursday things – halloween 2014

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Today’s Thursday Things is dedicated to Halloween. Everyone’s favorite holiday.

Here’s what the internet has for us…

18 pictures that demonstrate how terrifying Halloween was back in the day…

These bat cupcake toppers from Oh Happy Day

5 easy ways to package Halloween candy.

Chipotle has upped the price from “free” to $3 for its costumed-up Halloween patrons

In case you don’t have a costume yet, try out one of these Frozen costumes.

This one is not necessarily Halloween-related but still kinda gross and creepy…

If you are entering Movita’s carve-off, here are 5 ways to extend the life of your jack-o-lantern.

Or, if carving isn’t your thing, try out these DIY pumpkin decorations.

Meanwhile in Halloween Recipe Land…

Candy Corn Upside-Down Cake from yours truly

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Spider Krispy Treats from Cookies & Cups

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Bloody Caramel Apples from FoodieCrush

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Warm Vanilla Cider from Some Kitchen Stories

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 Seven Layer Bar Crunch from A Periodic Table

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Graveyard Dip from The Law Student’s Wife

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Nutella Cream Filled Skeleton Snack Cakes from Gringalicious

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Monster S’mores from Say Yes

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thursday things

pumpkins dark

It’s Thursday!  And Halloween was here!!!

Yes, I realize it was like a week ago, but how can I tell you about my Halloween if it hasn’t happened yet? HOW!?!?  Sheesh, I’m not psychic people, what do you want from me?!

We carved our first pumpkins ever!   Which one do you think I did?  :)

pumpkins

Well, “ever” since i moved to arizona.  I was actually pretty convinced people out here didn’t even carve pumpkins… or celebrate Halloween.  Our first year here i don’t think we got a single trick or treater…

Sam was guarding the door for us, to protect us from any trick-ers…

sam door

She’s such a good guard cat… except that instead of actually protecting us she would just bolt into the other room whenever someone approached the door.

Don’t quit your day job, Sam.

Five whole groups of trick-or-treaters made it through Sam’s invisible force field, FIVE!!!  Including the most adorable tiny Thor I’ve ever seen.  I wanted to take a picture of him, but then I realized that it might not be appropriate for a complete stranger to take a picture of someone’s child… even if they are dressed up like Thor.

I was so excited to have any trick-or-treaters at all that I was dumping candy into their bags like “Just take it! Please! Take it all!”

Since I was a dinosaur, I told people that I was going to chase any kids I saw down the street roaring and throwing candy at them…

photo

A lot of people mistook me for a dragon though. I guess they do kinda look alike.  Dinos… dragons… whatever.  I’ll have to try harder on the costume I make next year, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to be wearing my dino hoodie all winter long.

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Maybe I’ll skip the tail, though… seems a bit much for everyday wear….

Or does it?

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So anyway, we’ve got like five pounds of candy leftover still.  A whole bag isn’t even opened yet.  So obviously I need to find a recipe to fill with mini candy bars.  Luckily I did some research on this same topic last year…

Maybe I could donate it to these poor kids.

Actually, most of the kids in that video don’t deserve candy.  I feel like if my kid acted like that I might just have to eat all of their candy on principle just to punish them.  Maybe even make them watch while I do it…

Sorry, was that a bit harsh?

I guest I could always feed them lots of this instead.

But seriously, doesn’t that just look delightful?  Damn you, Food52 for making me want all the things! :(

But there are some things I can have…

Like the Some Kitchen Stories November desktop calendar

Are you drooling?

Movita posted this article a couple days back on her facebook and it basically changed my (blog) life.  You know how you post on a blog occasionally, and then someone replies but then you NEVER SEE IT because WHO GOES BACK TO LOOK FOR REPLIES?? WHO?!?! (hint: not this girl)  How are you supposed to actually remember 1. THAT you commented, 2. WHERE you commented, 3. WHEN you commented.

Well, you don’t have to!

Because this makes it so that you get an alert when someone replies, and not that annoying “SOMEONE COMMENTED ON THE SAME THING THAT YOU COMMENTED ON SO NOW I’M GOING TO SPAM YOU” way… but in a totally convenient and low-key, “Hey this person actually replied directly to you” way… so … if I reply and you don’t get an alert, please let me know (if you happen to be one of those people who actually checks back).  There was a minor issue in the beginning where I forgot to actually set it up had some technical difficulties.  Seriously, remember to actually set it up if you download it.

Shannon had an awesome feature on juniper berries in the latest issue of Feast Magazine.  Be sure to pop over and check it out, not only is it super interesting, but she’s got a lovely chili recipe to go with it!

In Trader Joe’s News…

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Kringle – it’s filled with delicious almond and only $6.99.  It retails ON THEIR OWN WEBSITE for almost $20 (plus shipping!) and it’s seasonal so it won’t be around for long.  I’m considering stockpiling enough of it in my freezer to last to next year.

Pumpkin bread pudding – I was skeptical at first, but…. just trust me.  It’s like biting into creamy, delicious pumpkin pie, in bread pudding form.

Skip on – Pumpkin granola(?) bars.  Not want.  They taste like they are filled with a reduced pumpkin pie paste and way too heavy on the “pumpkin spice” flavor.

Other stuff

This awesome book makes your brain feel dyslexic… it’d be a great coffee table read… or… not read… whatever.  You can check out its kickstarter page here.

This a cappella group who shows that autotoune (and instruments) is completely unnecessary to make an awesome-sounding song.

This video of skydivers narrowly escaping death.  I know it sounds gory but you should watch it.  Here, I made it easier to watch by putting it right here:

Christmas is rapidly approaching (I even bought my first Christmas gift of the season this week!).  I really feel like this might finally be the year for Natalie to conquer (or at least to attempt) royal icing!  Or at least cut out cookies

Finally, this cat…