White Chocolate Fruit Cups

This is the best time of year for fruit. The berries are leaving that amazing scent in the grocery store and I’m powerless against it! Good thing they’re dirt cheap. I loaded up on a ton of melons and berries, you name it, it’s in my fridge.

I wanted to put together a quick little treat that anyone could easily recreate and enjoy! No need to turn that hot oven on and it’s even a perfect dessert for a 4th of July get together.
Great for 4th of July

All you need is a few ingredients:

• Cup/bowl molds (I found these at Jo-Ann’s Craft Store)
• Chocolate chips, I chose white chocolate
• Your favorite fruits!

Prepare the molds by cleaning them out and drying completely.
Molds
Melt the chocolate chips, using either a double boiler or microwaving in 30 second intervals.
Plop o' chocolate
Plop a good glob of chocolate in the center of the molds and gently press the smaller mold on top. This will spread the chocolate throughout the entire cup/bowl mold. Unless you’re a master of measuring (I certainly am not), you will very likely have excess chocolate spread outside the mold. This isn’t a big deal as it will very easily break off once you remove the chocolate cups/bowls.
Ready for the fridge
Place the mold upside down and put it into the fridge until you notice the plastic becoming frosty. I left mine for about 2 hours, just to give them plenty of time.
As soon as I got the fruit out to cut, I took the molds out of the fridge and into the freezer.
Cut the fruit however you desire.
Easy to pop out
Take the molds out of the freezer and gently remove the top mold layer. The chocolate cup/bowls will pop out easily and you can take this time to break/cut off any excess chocolate on top.
Pack in the fruit!
Put the fruit inside and there you have a pretty, delicious little dessert!
Chocolate fruit cups

Chocolatey Pretzel Peanut Butter Bars

The weather has been heating up and Summer is about to smack us all in the face. I’ve been living in the Bay Area now for about 6 months and we were so excited to find our house, that we forgot to ask if there was air conditioning. As you can probably guess… I don’t have air conditioning. We didn’t think it would be a big deal, as Northern California is usually cooler than Southern California, right? Wrong. It’s been in the 80’s the past few days and we’re pretty much melting in our own house. I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t think Summer is the time for heavy cakes and warm pies anyway… it’s the time for quick snacks! Anything that keeps my oven turned off is definitely a treat I enjoy in the Summer.

I decided to make a good ol’ peanut butter bar, but toss in some salty pretzels and semi-sweet chocolate to make it more awesome. It’s super easy to make, you don’t have to turn on the oven and it requires very few ingredients.
Chocolate, peanut butter and pretzel time

Ingredients:
• 16 oz. jar of creamy peanut butter
• 1 1/4 stick of butter (softened)
• 2 cups powdered sugar
• Pretzels
• 12 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Ingredients

Start by beating the butter and peanut butter until smooth n’ creamy.
Peanut butter and butter mixture
Slowly add in the powdered sugar, I beat everything on high for about a minute, just to make sure it was well combined.
Powdered sugar mixed in
I didn’t measure the amount of pretzels, but it looked to be about a cup. I placed the pretzels in a ziplock and punched them until they were all in small pieces.
I poured the beat up pretzels and half the bag of chocolate chips into the mixture.
Toss in the goodies
Stir it all up!
Line a 9X9 inch pan with foil and then lightly grease the foil.
Foil and grease
Pour the peanut butter mixture into the pan and then press it evenly.
Pressed
Melt the remaining chocolate chips and smooth over the top of the peanut butter mixture.
Smash up some more pretzels and sprinkle them on top.
Heading to the fridge
Place the completed creation in the fridge.
Allow the ingredients to harden for about 2-3 hours. Pull up the foil from the pan and then cut them into as big or small of pieces as you like. I had my batch in the fridge for 2 hours and my poor bars were already softening as I cut them up… but I guess that’s what happens when it’s 88F in your house with no AC. haha.
No bake goodness
Luckily, they held up long enough for me to cut them and to get some photos! They’re really tasty and store very nicely back in the fridge.
Enjoy! Get ready for Summer!

Strawberry “Carrots” for Easter

I was visiting my family in Southern California and was thinking of ideas for Easter on the Oven Mitt. You wouldn’t believe who had the best idea, my 13 year old nephew. He said I should dip strawberries into orange chocolate, so they look like carrots… Brilliant!! So, I take no credit in this adorable, yet super easy idea for Easter!
I was in luck, as my local grocery store had just restocked their organic strawberries. They all looked and smelled perfect! It’s definitely that time of year again for some beautiful, red ripe strawberries. For the sake of them looking like carrots, I would recommend grabbing some larger strawberries. 🙂
A package deal

Ingredients:
• Fresh Strawberries
• Orange Candy Melts(I got mine from Michael’s)

Strawberries and chocolate melts
Make sure your strawberries are clean and dry. I just rinsed mine off with cool water and patted dry with a paper towel.

Pour the candy melts into a microwave safe container. Set your heat to low, while doing 30 second intervals with the candy melts. Every time you go to reheat, stir the candy melts.

Once the chocolate is melted completely, gather the strawberry stems and gently dip into the chocolate.
Place the dipped strawberries onto a cookie sheet or plate that is lined with parchment paper.

As soon as you’re finished dipping all of the strawberries you want, place them in the fridge to harden.
Dip 'em
I left my strawberries in for about an hour and they were perfect, but I continued to store the remaining strawberries in the fridge.
Enjoy!
Ready for Easter!

Mom’s Fudge

This is a special post, where my mom is doing the bakin’. It’s the holidays, which means mom is whipping up her famous fudge! She’s always baking other goodies as well, baklava, pistachio bark and cookies. It changes every year, but the fudge is definitely the staple! I took down her recipe and got some action shots of her creating the chocolatey epicness that the family devours every year.
Oh goodness

The Ingredients for 2 lbs of fudge:
3/4 cup butter
1 (5oz.) can of evaporated milk
3 cups sugar
1 (7oz.) jar of marshmallow creme
1 tsp. vanilla (she prefers to eyeball the amount, but guesses it’s about a tsp.) 🙂
1 (12oz.) bag of milk chocolate chips
2 cups of walnuts
Helping Mom prep

Mom recommends getting every ingredient and tool that you’ll need before getting started, as time is important with making fudge.

In a 4 quart pan, melt the butter on medium-high heat.
Once melted, add the evaporated milk and sugar, stirring constantly.
Here comes the sugar
Use a candy thermometer and continue stirring until it reaches 234F, then remove from heat. This usually takes about 5 minutes.
Scoop in the marshmallow creme.
Jet Puffed
Stir until smooth.
Working quickly, add the vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.
Nutty
Once all ingredients are combined and smooth, pour the fudge into a greased 9″x13″ dish.
Inviting
Spread evenly and stick the dish in the fridge for at least one hour.
Smoooooooth
Once it’s nice and firm, you can cut the fudge out and eat it up!
Omp!

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

The holiday must-have for my family is definitely the peanut butter blossoms. I enjoy making these so much because they’re simple to make and everybody enjoys them. Another great thing about the recipe is that you can easily axe the Hershey Kisses and make regular peanut butter cookies. I’m happy to add that I finally have a tripod! Even better… it was free! I was taking family photos at my parent’s house on Thanksgiving and my dad whipped out a tripod that I’ve never seen before. He mentioned that they hadn’t used it in over 5 years, so I gently suggested that it would be a great early Christmas gift to me… he agreed! The less fortunate news, I didn’t exactly take photos with well manicured nails, so please don’t mind my partially painted, bitten up finger nails. 😉
So crackly

Ingredients for 4 dozen cookies:
1 cup butter
1 15oz. jar peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Hershey Kisses
Prep time

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Cream together the butter, peanut butter and both sugars.
Cream together
Beat in one egg at a time and add the vanilla.
Add the eggs
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Slowly beat the flour mixture into the butter/sugar.
Little bit at a time
You’ll know you’re getting somewhere when your mixer can no longer take it anymore.
I think I can. I think I can.
This is where you may want to use your hands to combine all of the ingredients well.
Hand mixing
Roll the dough into balls and roll them in sugar, this will keep them from spreading and create those beautiful cracks.
Place the sugared dough balls onto a greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 9-12 minutes or golden brown.
Sugared up
While you’re waiting for the cookies to bake, unwrap the number of Kisses you will need.
Ready for kisses
As soon as you take the cookies out of the oven, press a Kiss into the center of each cookie.
Smoosh
Allow the cookies to cool and enjoy!
Ready for Santa

Peppermint Bark

It’s beginning to look… a lot… like… Chriiiistmassss!

One of the easiest, yet tastiest things you can create for the holiday season is peppermint bark. It’s always been a favorite of mine and I don’t even like candy canes that much! As long as something is paired with chocolate, it’s got my vote. The beauty of peppermint bark is that you can tweak it to whatever works for you. A lot of people just use white chocolate and mix in the candy pieces, others don’t use candy canes at all, but use peppermint extract instead. I decided to have one layer of dark chocolate, one of white chocolate and then sprinkle some candy cane bits on top.
All you need!

Ingredients:
1 12oz bag of white chocolate chips
1 12oz bag of dark chocolate chips
4 candy canes crushed

Melt the dark chocolate chips and spread evenly into a 9in. pan, lined with parchment paper. (If you’d like thinner bark, use a larger pan)
Smooth dark chocolate
Place the dark chocolate in the fridge while you crush the candy canes and melt the white chocolate.
Crushed Peppermint
Take the dark chocolate out of the fridge and spread the white chocolate on top.
Sprinkle the peppermint pieces over the white chocolate.
Sprinkle on top!
Place the bark in the fridge for about 45 minutes to an hour. Break the bark into pieces and enjoy!
I prefer to store my peppermint bark in the fridge, but it can also withstand room temperature storage.
Store them babies

Dark Chocolate Buckeyes

Ever since my little sister and I were born, my Grandma has lived in Florida. We’d fly out every Christmas to spend the holiday with her and the rest of the family. Once we were a bit older, we decided to alternate flying her out here and us out there, but during the summer time. South Florida in the summer is a mistake, but we love her very much, so it’s worth it. 🙂
Since she couldn’t see us for Christmas, she would send us tins and tins filled with her homemade cookies and candies. It was something we all looked forward to, even more than any Christmas present. All the fudge, chocolate walnut cookies, jubilee jumbos, lemon tarts and buckeyes we could eat. Buckeyes were my favorite, I’d always keep a secret stash in my room, so my dad wouldn’t eat them all. I decided to give the recipe a go and wasn’t disappointed.
DSC_0202
Ingredients for 30 buckeyes:
• 1 16oz. jar of peanut butter (about 2 cups)
• 1 cup butter (softened)
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 4 cups of dark chocolate chips
• Toothpicks
DSC_0177

Start off by mixing the peanut butter, butter, vanilla extract and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. I just used my hands because it is quite a dry mixture.
DSC_0178
Place the peanut butter mixture in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes, just so it can really firm up.
Roll the mixture into balls and place them onto a cookie sheet with wax paper.
Once all of the balls are rolled, place a tooth pick into the center of each ball and place them into the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
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Melt the chocolate and immediately take the balls out of the freezer.
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Using the toothpick as your dipping tool, dip each ball into the chocolate. Leave a bit of peanut butter showing at the top!
Place the dipped buckeyes back onto the wax paper.
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Once they’re all complete, remove the toothpicks and place the buckeyes in the fridge until you’re ready to serve! Luckily, the chocolate hardens quickly, so you can enjoy them immediately.
I stored mine in an airtight container and kept them in the fridge.
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