Super Easy Coconut & Walnut Fudge

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Hey! I have this totally festive and celebratory fudge for you all! It’s so damn simple, I mean, literally 2 ingredients, plus mix-ins for flava.

Why is this fudge festive AND celebratory? Well, 2 reasons…

1. It’s the holidays, y’all! I’m sure you already knew that…that’s where the festive comes in. 2. Sean loves holiday fudge and we have a major reason to celebrate him, as he just landed a new job is a far-off and distant city–Portland, Oregon!

So, we are totes moving in a few weeks. We found out the officially-official news just last week and are in a whirlwind of packing and purging and holiday planning. We are super excited since this position (with his current company) is a total step up and will bring us SO MUCH CLOSER to our beloved family and friends…like, a day-trip in the car away, instead of a 3-day driving marathon. Also, I hear Portland is a pretty cool place, so it will be totally exciting to explore a new city.

And even though things may be a little more than hectic around here, I’ve still gotta get my holiday-treat on, so easy is the name of the game and this fudge is exactly that. No stirring of boiling sugar and chocolate and hoping/praying for a smooth, grain-less result. We’re just melting with a side of stirring, then we’re done. Not a grainy bite of candy in site, just creamy-dreamy chocolate and coconut + walnut goodness. BOOM, easiest holiday treat ever!

PS, I’ve never been to Portland and won’t make it  there before our move in January, so any recommendations or affirmations would be greatly appreciated. I AM SO EXCITED!!

Super Easy Coconut & Walnut Fudge

Adapted from Heather Baird for Betty Crocker

This recipe can be made in the microwave or on the stove top. For microwave instructions, click the link above. 

1 can (14oz.) sweetened condensed milk

1 bag (12oz.) chocolate chips, I like semisweet

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1 cup toasted coconut

Prepare an 8x8inch baking pan by spraying with cooking spray and lining with parchment, leaving a few inches of overhang on two sides for easy removal. Secure the parchment with binder clips.

Fashion a double boiler out of a heat proof bowl fitted over a saucepan with a few inches of simmering water, taking care that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Add the condensed milk and chocolate chips and stir until the chips are melted, the mixture is well combined, and smooth. Remove the bowl from the top of the sauce pan and stir in the vanilla, followed by the walnuts and coconut, until well combined. Scrape the fudge mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Allow the fudge to cool to room temperature before covering with plastic and placing in the refrigerator to set for several hours. Once set, cut the fudge into cubes and serve (or gift)!

 

 

Cinnalmond Bites and a Giveaway!!

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Hey, guys!

I’m super excited to share this recipe today because it comes with a giveaway for the cookbook No Bake Makery, for you! Though it doesn’t happen as often as I’d like, I love an opportunity to give you stuff. I’m a gifter and I love it. BUT! let’s talk these little cookie, truffle bites.

These little bites are dead-easy to make. Everything gets whirled in the food processor all at once–chocolate cookies, cinnamon toast cereal, almonds, salt, a teensy bit of milk, and some honey.  The dough is then scooped, rolled, and chilled before getting dressed with some candy coating (or tempered chocolate). These bites are sweet-sweet-and-salty. I could see kids going crazy-nuts for these (and they could totally help!), but they make the perfect two-bite indulgence–which is sometimes all I want, just a few bites of sweetness.

No Bake Makery is a cookbook of sweet little treats by Cristina Suarez Krumsick (Tweet or Like), in the book you can find the recipe for these Cinnalmond Bites, along with dozens of other little, two-bite, no-bake treats…Now, for the giveaway details!

To enter, simply leave a comment sharing what your favorite no-bake treats are, as well as a good contact email address. I will choose one winner at random Wednesday, May 15th. Unfortunately this giveaway is only open to US residents with non-PO Box addresses.  (Don’t fret, I have another giveaway schemed up that will be open to all :)

*A copy of No Bake Makery was provided to me by the publisher, as well as the giveaway copy. As per usual, all opinions are my own. 

Cinnalmond Bites

From No Bake Makery

The recipe calls for almond milk, but I’m sure you could use whatever milk you’d like. These are also great from the freezer. 

12 chocolate sandwich cookies (Like JoesJoes or Oreos)

1 cup cinnamon toast cereal

5 tablespoons sliced almonds

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup almond milk

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/2 cups candy melts or candy bark (or temper some chocolate, if you dare)

Line a cookie sheet with wax (or parchment) paper and set aside.

In a food processor, process the cookies and cereal until fine crumbs form, about 1 minute. Add 3 tablespoons of the almonds and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon and process for another 30 seconds. Add the honey and almonds milk and process another 30 seconds. Transfer to a clean bowl.

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls (I chilled the dough for 30 minutes before beginning this step). Place on the prepared cookie sheet and chill another 45 minutes.

Roughly chop the remaining almonds and mix with the remaining cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

Melt the candy coating according to package instructions. Dip balls into the chocolate and place back on the sheet, sprinkle with almond mixture, and chill until coating is set, about 1 hour.

Walnut Caramels w/ Hawaiian Black Salt

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Hey! I have yet another salty-sweet combo for you today. This time in the form of nutty, chewy, caramels.

I pretty much make a batch of these caramels every year–with or without nuts–for certain friends and family members around the holidays. These caramels ship well AND can be made several days in advance AND you won’t even have to rush the shipping…plus, they won’t get damaged by rough handling. I love a treat that doesn’t cause me stress when it comes to shipping and sharing.

These walnut caramels start out by cooking sugar with a bit of water and some syrup (golden, corn, and honey all work nicely). The syrup helps the sugar from re-crystalizing and keeps the caramel smooth and free of gritty granules. Once the sugar becomes deeply golden–as dark as you dare, I shoot for a rich bourbon/whisky color–warm cream, butter, vanilla, and sea salt are added. There’s a lot of hissing and steaming and fuss at this point, but everything mellows out and comes together. The caramel is then cooked a little longer until it comes to temperature–key for a set caramel–it’s then mixed with plenty of toasty walnuts, scraped into a pan, and liberally sprinkled with black salt. The caramels are chewy, nutty, crunchy, and salty-sweet. I think they are really pretty wrapped in gold candy foils–like little gold nuggets–but parchment or wax paper is nice, too.

Walnut Caramels with Hawaiian Black Salt

adapted from this recipe

I love the black salt on these because it’s super -dark color makes for a dramatic piece of candy, but don’t feel like you have to go out and hunt for fancy salts. I have a variety of salts on hand, mainly because whenever I travel (or friends/fam travel) my favorite souvenirs are edibles–specifically specialty/locally harvested salts and honeys. Every time I use one of my fancy salts, I remember the trip or the people or the place–it’s a nice, edible reminder. This black salt–also called Hawaiian Black Lava Salt–was a gift from one of my brothers-in-law. It’s dramatically black, a bit mineral-y, and super crunchy–which is a great contrast with the sweet and chewy caramel. 

1 1/4 cups granualated sugar

1/4 cup golden or corn syrup, or honey (honey will impart a distinct flavor)

1/4 cup water

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon sea salt (a touch less if using table or kosher) plus more for sprinkling

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 generous cup toasted walnut pieces (I like halves and large pieces)

Prepare a standard loaf pan by lining with parchment, leaving an overhang on the two long sides, securing parchment with binder clips, and spraying the parchment and pan lightly with canola oil.

In a small sauce pan, gently heat the heavy cream, butter, salt, and vanilla. Bring to a bare simmer and remove from heat, set aside.

In a heavy bottomed, medium saucepan gently mix sugar, syrup, and water until everything is well moistened. Heat the sugar mixture over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and a clear syrup forms. At this point, it is important to not stir the sugar syrup–or it will re-crystalize and you will have to start over…if you must, you can swirl the pan, but mostly leave it alone. Continue to cook the sugar syrup, without stirring, until it becomes deep golden brown–it will start off a light honey color, but try to take it to a whiskey colored golden-brown. Remove the sugar syrup from the heat and add the cream/butter mixture and stir to combine well. The caramel will hiss and steam violently–I recommend using a long wooden spoon and covering your stirring hand with an oven mitt.

Clip on your candy thermometer and continue to cook the caramel over medium heat, without stirring, until the thermometer reads 260*F (I found that at higher elevations, above 4,000 ft, the caramel becomes too hard–when I lived in Nevada, I always cooked to about 250-255*F). Remove the caramel from the heat, quickly stir in the nuts, and scrape into the prepared pan. Allow to cool about 5 minutes before sprinkling with salt–this keeps the salt from sinking into the caramel, but still allows it to stick nicely to the top. Allow caramels to cool before cutting into squares and wrapping. Can be stored in an airtight container for 2 weeks.