Category Archives: Kids Love It

How to Temper Chocolate Using a Microwave: Candy Shop Chocolate Bark Recipe

Written by Chris

Candy Shop Bark Recipe

Here’s an easy, no-bake Halloween treat that’s sure to please! Since the chocolate is tempered (which means it won’t melt or get soft at room temperature), it’s great for parties! Just snap the bark into pieces and serve. Or, if you want to make treat bags, just place a few pieces into a festive bag and secure with a ribbon. So simple!

Don’t let tempering chocolate scare you. I use a microwave to speed up and simplify the entire process. Tempering involves raising and lowering the temperature of the chocolate to encourage strong, organized crystallization of the cocoa butter so that the finished chocolate will have a glossy look, crisp texture and will be firm to the touch.

I like to top the bark with an assortment of fun-size NESTLÉ candy bars, like BUTTERFINGER,  NESTLÉ CRUNCH, BABY RUTH and 100 GRAND. You can even fold the chopped candy bars into the chocolate after it’s been tempered. And if you’re a planner and already thinking of the winter holidays, you can substitute the candy bars with crushed gingersnaps, crushed peppermint candies, or even smoked almonds with dried cherries. You can truly customize to your personal taste.

Candy Shop Chocolate Bark

Ingredients for 40 servings:

Directions:

LINE a 10 x 15-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside 1 1/3 cups morsels.

PLACE remaining 2 2/3 cups morsels in large, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH (100% power) for 90 seconds; stir. Continue to microwave at 15- to 30-second intervals, stirring until smooth. Transfer melted chocolate to a large, room temperature dry bowl.

Candy Shop Bark Recipe

ADD reserved 1 1/3 cups morsels to melted chocolate; stir until smooth. Let cool down, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 88° F.

Candy Shop Bark Recipe

FOLD in chopped Baby Ruth (this is optional – you could just use it as a topping).

Candy Shop Bark Recipe

POUR onto prepared baking sheet, spreading with an offset spatula until 1/8-inch thick.

Candy Shop Bark Recipe

SPRINKLE chopped Butterfinger and Crunch candy bars evenly over chocolate. Tap baking sheet on counter several times to help the candy settle.

Candy Shop Bark Recipe

PLACE white morsels in small, heavy-duty food storage bag. Microwave on MEDIUM-HIGH (70% power) for 45 seconds. Knead until smooth. If necessary, microwave an additional 5 seconds. Cut tiny corner from bag; squeeze to drizzle over bark.

Candy Shop Bark Recipe

COOL at room temperature until chocolate is completely set (this will take a couple hours). Break into pieces. Store bark in airtight container at room temperature.

Now that you’ve mastered tempering chocolate, try coating fresh strawberries, dried fruit, graham crackers or peppermint sticks! Do you have any shortcuts you’d like to share?

Related Recipes:

Candy Shop Pizza Recipe Toasted Almond Berry Bark Recipe
Candy Shop Pizza Toasted Almond Berry
Chocolate Bark

Cooking with Chia Seeds: Pumpkin Chia Seed Pancakes Recipe

Written by Chris – 

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pancakes Recipe

Chia seeds are a newly popular food which has a history of use by many Pacific Coast groups of Native Americans. One half ounce has about 70 calories, 2.5 grams of protein, 4.5 grams fat, 6 grams carbohydrates and 5 grams of fiber (source: USDA). The seeds look a little like poppy seeds and can be eaten right out of the bag or sprinkled over hot or cold cereal, yogurt and the like. They can even be added to salads, vegetables and cooked grains. You can bake with them, too! They’re mild in flavor, making them easy to incorporate into just about any recipe.

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pancakes Recipe

I recently added chia seeds to my family-favorite pumpkin pancake recipe. Let me start out by saying that this recipe already has LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin in it, which is a nutritious powerhouse in itself (excellent source of Vitamin A and fiber per serving!). I added 2 tablespoons of chia seeds to the batter. You can add more if you want, but 2 tablespoons is a good starting point. When cooked, you can’t taste them in the pancakes, but you can see little black flecks. I wanted a little crunch and extra nutrition so I added some to the top, too.

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pancakes Recipe

Pumpin Chia Seed Pancakes

Ingredients for 18 pancakes:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups lowfat buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons honey, granulated sugar or packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds, plus more for garnish
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Pure maple syrup

Directions:

COMBINE flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in large bowl.

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pancakes Recipe

WHISK together buttermilk, eggs, pumpkin, honey and butter in large bowl. Add to flour mixture; stir until combined. Do not over mix. Let batter sit for 10 minutes; stir in chia seeds.

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pancakes Recipe

SPRAY griddle or a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Pour ¼ cup batter for each pancake onto griddle and cook for about 2 minutes or until edges are set and look dry. Flip over and cook for an additional 2 minutes or until golden brown. Top with additional chia seeds. Serve with syrup.

Tip: I don’t have a griddle at home, so I use a large skillet… which means I can only make 3 pancakes at one time. To keep the pancakes warm and moist while preparing the entire batch, spray a large cooling rack with nonstick cooking spray, and then place it on a large baking sheet in a 200° F. oven. As the pancakes are done, place them on the cooling rack, uncovered and in a single layer. I picked up this tip from Cook’s Illustrated. Works every time!

To print this recipe and check out the nutrition profile, click here and you will be taken to our recipe site, meals.com. You can print the recipe from there, plus find all sorts of other great recipes and articles, too! And if you are a pumpkin fan like me and like to add pumpkin to your recipes to boost nutrition, click here for creative solutions that may surprise you!

Related Recipes:

Puffy Pumpkin Pancakes Recipe Pumpkin-Orange Pancakes Recipe
Puffy Pumpkin Pancakes Pumpkin-Orange Pancakes

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Maple Bacon Crème Sauce

Written by Char

Sweet Potato Pancakes Recipe

There is something about sneaking a vegetable into the food served to my family. There is something even better about sneaking a vegetable into food served to my family and then hearing requests for seconds, particularly at breakfast time. Sweet potato pancakes are a tasty way to start the day and these fluffy vegetable-infused pancakes always receive requests for more. The added sweet potato lends a brightened color and additional moistness to the pancake recipe. If only spinach were this easy to hide…

The addition of the sweet potato in this recipe is actually quite easy. Why roast a whole sweet potato and measure it out for this recipe when sweet potatoes can be added conveniently by just opening a jar? A six ounce jar of GERBER® 1ST FOODS® Vegetables baby food is pre-measured, already cooked, puréed and ready for adding to this recipe.

I like my pancakes fluffy and light. This recipe results in pancakes that puff up as soon as the pancake batter hits the hot griddle and continues to rise slightly as the flapjacks cook to a beautiful golden brown. I like my pancakes to soak up any syrup or butter or topping I choose. Sweet potato pancakes taste terrific when coated in pure maple syrup; however, for an extra special breakfast I like to serve a maple bacon crème sauce. Note, however, that no sneaky vegetables were added to the crème sauce.

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Maple Bacon Crème Sauce

Ingredients for 12 Sweet Potato Pancakes:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 6 ounce jar GERBER® 1ST FOODS® Vegetables – Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 large eggs, separated

Directions:

PREHEAT a large skillet or griddle to 350° F.

SIFT the flour into a large bowl and then add baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar and cinnamon.

STIR in the buttermilk, melted butter, jar of sweet potato baby food and the egg yolks until only small lumps appear in the batter.

WHISK the egg whites until foamy and white.

FOLD in the egg whites gently, careful not to stir too much, as you want the whites to keep their bubbles for fluffier pancakes.

PREPARE skillet or hot griddle with enough melted butter to prevent the pancakes from sticking to the heat surface.

POUR the pancake batter onto the hot griddle. The pancakes will eventually start to form small bubbles across the top and will lightly brown around the edges.

FLIP the pancake once it appears that the first side is a golden brown. (You can peek at it before flipping, that’s okay!)

COOK the flipped pancake for a few more minutes, until both sides are a golden brown.

REMOVE pancake from griddle or pan and serve immediately.

Ingredients for Maple Bacon Crème:

Directions:

ADD evaporated milk, coffee creamer and maple syrup to a large mixing bowl. Slowly add powdered sugar and whisk until smooth and sugar is dissolved. Add bacon crumbles to the sweet crème mixture and spoon or pour over pancakes as desired.

Related Recipes:

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes Recipe French Toast with Creamy Maple Syrup Recipe
Whole-Wheat Pumpkin
Blueberry Pancakes
French Toast with
Creamy Maple Syrup

Liquid “Cookies” and a New Caramel & Coconut Milk Shake Recipe

Written by Chris

Coffee Mate Girl Scouts Flavors

Have you had a chance to try Coffee-mate’s newest creamers, flavored like Girl Scouts® cookies? Thin Mints are the top selling Girl Scouts® cookies followed closely by Samoas/Caramel deLites, so it makes sense that Coffee-mate selected these cookies as their two new flavors.

When I first tasted the Girl Scouts® flavors, I was immediately taken back to my childhood. I was actually a Brownie when I was in grade school, which is a division of Girl Scouts of the USA. So, not only did I sell the cookies, I ate my fair share!

I loved to freeze Girl Scouts® cookies as a child, and it wasn’t necessarily to preserve them. I just liked to eat them when they were really cold. I admittedly did this with Ding Dongs® (remember those?) and candy bars, too. So, thinking of these cookies in a chilled, liquid form caught my attention. And if you are wondering, yes, I still do freeze my Girl Scouts® cookies.

I decided to share my frozen fetish with our test kitchen, but in the form of a milk shake. Not just any milk shake. A milk shake made with refrigerated coconut milk (the lower fat/calories kind), light vanilla ice cream and Caramel & Coconut flavored creamer. I even got all fancy and drizzled dulce de leche caramel down the inside of the glasses (this is just a serving suggestion, but I couldn’t help myself). Wow, was this ever good! Now that the creamer is widely available, I can share the recipe with you!

Caramel & Coconut Milk Shakes Recipe

Coconut & Caramel Milk Shakes

Ingredients for 2 servings:

Directions:

PLACE ice cream, milk and Coffee-mate in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

SWIRL caramel syrup around inside of 2 glasses. Divide milk shake between glasses. Garnish milk shakes with coconut and chocolate, if desired. Got a crowd? Recipe can easily be doubled.

Thin Mint Chocolate-Drizzled Pretzels Recipe

A milk shake made with Thin Mints-flavored creamer, light chocolate ice cream and lowfat milk would be absolutely divine! Or, how about trying these Thin Mint Chocolate-Drizzled Pretzels? I couldn’t just share one recipe with you!

Also, if you are attending the BlogHer conference in Chicago this week, be sure to drop by our Coffee-mate Coffee Bar. We will be sampling our Nestlé Coffee-Mate Girl Scouts® Liquid Coffee Creamers!

Cheers!

Chris

Related Recipes

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie Recipe Chocolate Pretzel Coconut Layer Bars Recipe
Caramel Coconut
Cookie Ice Cream Pie
Chocolate Pretzel
Coconut Layer Bars

A Toast to Moms Everywhere – French Toast that is

Written by Nick

Mother’s Day is the day of the year that you go out of your way to show your appreciation to your mom. In my household that meant a day of pampering, a day of chores, and a day where Mom could finally relax and Dad and the kids would take care of everything.

Obviously, you should let your mom know how important she is every day, but Mother’s day is the day of year that you need to go above and beyond. It’s not enough to say you care, but you need a CARD to say you care, you need FLOWERS and you need to make BREAKFAST. (Highlighting for all the kids and dads out there… don’t forget the CARD, FLOWERS, and BREAKFAST).

So growing up, Mother’s Day always started with us kids and my dad cooking brunch. Often times, we’d serve French Toast, my dad’s specialty and one of my mom’s favorite. French toast is a decadent breakfast and the perfect way to show your mom your sweet side. I’m grown up now and my mom is on the other side of the country, but I wish I could make her some French toast this Sunday. Hopefully my dad can handle the duties and pamper her. And hopefully, this year, the flowers show up on time.

You can find an entire French Toast recipe collection on meals.com.

Here are some of my favorites and some I can’t wait to try.

Stuffed French Toast With Fresh Berry Topping Recipe

Stuffed French Toast with Fresh Berry Topping

This Stuffed French Toast With Fresh Berry Topping recipe takes your favorite strawberry preserves mixed with creamy ricotta cheese to make a delectable filling. For this recipe, I would need to substitute another berry preserve, my mom is allergic to Strawberries (I know it’s horribly sad) but I’m sure it would work with whatever berry preserve your mother prefers.

Cinnamon Breakfast Toast with Orange-Rum Syrup Recipe

Cinnamon Breakfast Toast with Orange-Rum Syrup

This Cinnamon Breakfast Toast will become a family favorite! It is a great choice for brunch too! Oranges and rum are produced in Venezuela, so it makes sense that this version of French toast is served with scrumptious syrup flavored with these local gems. Cinnamon also infuses both the egg mixture and syrup. Serve with fresh orange slices for a special touch. To save some time, the syrup can be made ahead and warmed.

Honey Vanilla Crème Stuffed French Toast Recipe

Sweet Crème Stuffed French Toast

Sweet Crème Stuffed French Toast is an elegant twist on the classic recipe. This is a great recipe to make use of day old French bread you may have on hand. The orange marmalade and Sweet Crème Coffee-mate compliment each other perfectly.

Ovaltine French Toast Recipe

Ovaltine French Toast

Ovaltine adds a rich chocolate flavor to this classic recipe. Top it with maple syrup and fresh berries for a truly decadent morning treat.

Golden Sunrise French Toast Recipe

Golden Sunrise French Toast

Golden Sunrise French Toast will be a treat your family will love! The golden crisp goodness of this hearty morning favorite is made with thick-sliced French bread infused with a hint of vanilla and topped with fresh seasonal fruit – then drizzled with maple syrup for the perfect start to a special morning.

What’s your Mother’s day treat? Are you the pamperer or the pampered?

Tip: If your the pampered, feel free to forward this to the pamperers as a friendly reminder. You can use such strategic subject lines as:

  • The coy – “Don’t these recipes look delicious”
  • The sneaky – “Which of these is your favorite, I’m thinking of making something this weekend”
  • The obvious – “Don’t forget about MOTHER’S DAY – love mom” 

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie & a Slew of Summer Pie Recipes

Written by Liz –

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie recipe

When summer rolls around, there is one dessert I really crave — ice cream. I love to make ice cream in all it forms: ice milk, frozen yogurt, sorbet, granita, etc. And when I need a dessert to please a group, ice cream pie is one of the easiest ways to turn this iconic summer treat into a dessert for all.

This ice cream pie recipe features a homemade crust and homemade whipped topping, sandwiching one of Dreyer’s & Edy’s new summer Slow Churned  flavors: Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream. And homemade pie crust is actually pretty easy. To make the crust, just blend together graham crackers, coconut flakes, coconut oil and butter (see full recipe below).

And just think of the twists you can make on this pie crust recipe! Here are some ideas:

  • Instead of chocolate graham crackers, use honey or cinnamon graham crackers or any of your favorite crunchy cookies (ginger snaps, thin mints, milanos, etc.)
  • Instead of coconut flakes, use powdered caramel creamer or coffee mix, finely chopped ginger or any citrus zest.

And in the topping, I can think of many fun ingredients:

  • Add softened cream cheese to give it a frosting taste
  • Add a dash of any kind of flavored schnapps, maple syrup or almond flavoring
  • Use chocolate sauce or fresh fruit instead of caramel.

The possibilities are limitless when you think of all the ice cream flavors available! And don’t forget you can make just about any ice cream flavor you want. I’m looking forward to these additional summer flavors from Dreyer’s/Edy’s:

  • 3 Stripes You’re Out (Grand only) – vanilla ice cream with mixed berry and strawberry swirls
  • Sunny Salted Caramel Pretzel (Grand and Slow Churned) – vanilla ice cream with a salted caramel swirl and pretzel pieces
  • German Chocolate Cake Spectacular (Grand and Slow Churned) – chocolate ice cream with a caramel coconut swirl and brownie pieces
  • Take the Cake (Slow Churned only) – yellow cake-flavored light ice cream with a frosting swirl and multi-colored sprinkles

I don’t know about you, but I can think of a different ice cream pie I can make each week of summer! It’s definitely going to be a good one at my house.

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie

Ingredients for 8 servings:

CRUST

  • 9 large chocolate graham cracker rectangles, broken into rough pieces
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

FILLING

  • 1 container (1.5 quarts) DREYER’S or EDY’S SLOW CHURNED Limited Edition Caramel Coconut Cookie Light Ice Cream, softened

TOPPING

  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup toasted coconut
  • 1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 325° F.

FOR CRUST:

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie recipe

PLACE graham crackers, coconut and sugar in food processor or blender; cover. Honey grahams are shown above.

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie recipe

Process for 30 seconds or until mixture resembles fine crumbs.

Place crumbs in medium bowl; stir in melted coconut oil and butter. Stir until crumbs are moistened. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom and up side of 9-inch glass pie plate.

BAKE for 20 to 22 minutes or until crust is set. Cool crust completely on a wire rack.

FOR FILLING:

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie recipe

SPREAD softened ice cream into pie crust. Cover; freeze for 6 hours or until ice cream is completely firm, as shown above.

FOR TOPPING:

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie recipe

PLACE cream and sugar in chilled medium mixing bowl. Beat just until stiff peaks form. Evenly spread whipped cream over ice cream. Sprinkle with toasted coconut; drizzle with caramel topping (above shows chocolate sauce). Cut into slices; serve immediately.

Links:

Related recipes:

Frozen Vanilla Peanut Butter Pie recipe Caramel Macchiato Ice Cream Pie recipe
Frozen Vanilla Peanut Butter Pie Caramel Macchiato Ice Cream Pie
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 17,812 other followers

%d bloggers like this: