candy

Homemade Chocolates

Homemade Chocolates Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. Learn how to make homemade chocolate in little wax candy cup wrappers. Kentucky bourbon balls topped with chopped pecans, peanut butter cups, and almond joy candies. These candies make a great gift or dessert for the chocolate lover in your life or valentine. Make these ahead and freeze. Simple way to make chocolate candy at home that taste like Reese's and mars candy and bourbon Balls. Find the recipe for making these chocolates in mini muffin tin on thewoodandspoon.com

This is a public service announcement to the men of the world. Listen closely, boys, because I’m only going to remind you of this one time. Are you ready? Here it goes:

Next Tuesday, February 14th, is Valentine’s Day. DO. NOT. BLOW IT.

Homemade ChocolatesHomemade Chocolates

Back in high school, performance on Valentine’s Day was everything. Giant teddy bear? Check. Heart shaped balloons and bouquets of carnations? Check, check. Brian McKnight/ KC and JoJo mix tapes and folded loves notes  shoved through the vent of your locker? Might as well be the boyfriend starter kit.

Once you get to college, things escalate a bit. Dinner dates, rose bouquets, and jewelry are the new gifting norms, although, if you can land a guy who opts for concert tickets and cooking classes, YOU ARE WINNING AT EVERYTHING.

Unfortunately, after college and into adulthood, Valentine’s Day loses a bit of its luster. Babysitters are impossible to book, restaurants are too crowded, and somehow, husbands think items like dustbusters and  shower curtain liners qualify as legitimate gift options (they don’t, BTW). It’s no wonder that people get fed up with Valentine’s Day. What’s there to love about overpriced retail gimmicks and packing into movie theaters with a bunch of hormonal, sweaty-palmed middle schoolers whose moms think they’re watching the newest Pixar film with their “friends” (they’re not, BTW). 

Homemade ChocolatesHomemade Chocolates

Guys, I’m going to break it down for you as plainly as I can. Please, let me make it simple for you. Are you ready? 

EVERY GIRL LIKES VALENTINE’S DAY. 

Yep. You heard me right. That includes your girlfriend who boycotts Hallmark and laughs at the nervous kid wearing a tie and sport coat to his first date. It includes your wife who claims flowers are a waste of money, but gives you the silent treatment when you come home empty handed. And it evens includes the gal who begs you not to give her a gift and says you celebrate her love every other day of the year. No matter what they tell you, every woman wants a gesture of love on Valentine’s Day, and I know this will come as a shock to you husbands out there, but it almost always has nothing to do with… *cough* you know what. (Literally, the brains of guys everywhere are spontaneously combusting right now.) 

Homemade ChocolatesHomemade Chocolates

You know what we want? We want chocolate. And not just any average heart-shaped, store bought, golden box of chocolates. We want delicious, melt in your mouth homemade chocolates, made by the sweat of your brow and at the expense of your time spent with a remote in your hand. Specifically, we want these bourbon pecan, peanut butter cup, and coconut almond chocolates. There. Now you know. So let’s get to it.

These homemade chocolates are no bake and are made with just a few basic store bought ingredients. I decided to include a few variations of homemade chocolates so that there’s an option for almost everyone, but primarily so that the overachiever boyfriends can impress their ladies with an assortment of all three. But girls, don’t be afraid to get in there and make these for your man too! If he’s got a sweet tooth like mine does, just a few of these beauties will go a long way and he will be grateful you passed on the conversation hearts and sappy card.

Homemade Chocolates

First up is bourbon pecan. If you’ve ever had the Southern treat of “Bourbon Balls,” you can expect something quite similar here. With a dark chocolate shell, these little bourbon pecan homemade chocolates are filled with powdered sugar, toasted pecans, and premium booze. These are perfect for the bourbon lover in your life, or someone who loves their desserts extra dark and extra sweet. 

Homemade ChocolatesHomemade Chocolates

Peanut butter cups take homemade chocolates to the next level. Everyone loves the store-bought variety of peanut butter cups, but have you ever had one literally melt upon impact with your mouth? Prepare for that here. These peanut butter cups are RICH, filled with a fluffy peanut butter cream filling and coated with smooth milk chocolate. A crowd favorite, if you’re ever in doubt, just go in this direction.

Homemade ChocolatesHomemade Chocolates

Finally, my favorite of these homemade chocolates, the coconut almond chocolate. Filled with sweetened coconut and a little extra sugar, these little friends are coated in a milk chocolate blend and topped with a single toasted almond. Anyone who knows anything about candy will know what a treat they’re in for when they spy these little friends. For a nut-free option, leave off the almond and top with a few flakes of toasted coconut or a sprinkle of sea salt. Perfection!

These homemade chocolates require some special equipment like a mini muffin tin and little waxed paper cups for the candies, but the assembly is quite simple. In a pinch, you can used paper mini muffin liners, although, beware that some stickage can happen. And if you’re not a fan of dark or milk chocolate, feel free to swap up the top used in the recipes! I like each chocolate as the recipe is written, but certainly you can switch it up if desired.Homemade ChocolatesHomemade ChocolatesAny man friend that takes the time to muster these up for his lady is worth his weight in gold chocolate and has certainly outdone himself on Valentine’s Day. You should give these homemade chocolates a try for your significant other, friends, co-workers, or secret admirer- they’re sure to overflow with heart eyes and appreciation. Ladies, if you’re reading this thinking, “Yes! I want my man friend to make me homemade chocolates,” just do like I do and copy the link to this post in an email to him. Yes, I know, it’s not too subtle, but if you ask me, you can’t ever be too obvious.

On the off chance that your special someone doesn’t like chocolate, let me encourage you to just let them know they’re loved in a special way. You probably already know what types of things make their heart skip a beat, so I’d challenge you to go the extra mile to make someone feel like a million bucks next Tuesday. Happy weekend, Happy Valentine’s Day, Happy #monthofchocolate,  and as always, cheers to you!

 

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Bourbon Pecan Chocolates

Homemade Chocolates Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. Learn how to make homemade chocolate in little wax candy cup wrappers. Kentucky bourbon balls topped with chopped pecans, peanut butter cups, and almond joy candies. These candies make a great gift or dessert for the chocolate lover in your life or valentine. Make these ahead and freeze. Simple way to make chocolate candy at home that taste like Reese's and mars candy and bourbon Balls. Find the recipe for making these chocolates in mini muffin tin on thewoodandspoon.com

These homemade chocolates includes peanut butter cups, bourbon pecan candy balls, and coconut almond candies. No bake, easy to assemble, simple gift option!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30
  • Yield: 28 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 11/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 11/2 tablespoons bourbon
  • ½ cup pecans, finely chopped, divided

Instructions

  1. In a double boiler or heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water on medium-low heat, melt the chocolate chips and shortening together. Stir frequently to ensure that the chocolate does not get too hot. If you allow the chocolate to become too hot, it could seize up, so be sure to keep the water on medium-low heat. Once melted, set off to the side while you prepare your filling.
  2. In the meantime, cream together the butter, powdered sugar, and bourbon in a medium sized bowl. Once fluffy and smooth, stir in ¼ cup of pecans. Set in the fridge to chill briefly.
  3. Line a mini muffin pan with waxed paper candy cups. Fill a plastic sandwich bag (or a piping bag fitted with a small round tip) with approximately half of the melted chocolate and snip the tip of it off, being sure to not cut too large of a hole or allow all of the chocolate to drip out immediately. Squeeze 1 teaspoon of chocolate in to the bottom of each of the paper candy cups and then set the plastic bag aside. Use a small instrument (I use a small clean paint brush or the end of a chopstick) to paint the chocolate up the sides of the paper candy cup, coating up at least half of the height of the paper. This prevents the filling from showing out the sides of the chocolate once the candies are assembled. If you don’t care if the filling shows, you can skip this step. Once covered, place the pan in the fridge or freezer to chill for about 5 minutes.
  4. Once firmed up, scoop teaspoon sized rounds of the bourbon pecan filling into the bottom of each cup. You can lightly wet your finger and gently smooth out the top of the filling to make a flatter mound.
  5. Add more chocolate to your plastic bag and then top the filling with an additional teaspoon of chocolate. Use your paint brush to smooth out the chocolate and cover the filling completely, and then gently rap your pan on the counter to smooth and settle all three layers of the candy. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining pecans. Allow them to rest in the mini muffin tin in the fridge or freezer for at least 30 minutes. Store candies in the fridge for up to two weeks. The candies may form a white film on the chocolate if stored at room temperature for extended periods of time.

 

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Peanut Butter Cups

Homemade Chocolates Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. Learn how to make homemade chocolate in little wax candy cup wrappers. Kentucky bourbon balls topped with chopped pecans, peanut butter cups, and almond joy candies. These candies make a great gift or dessert for the chocolate lover in your life or valentine. Make these ahead and freeze. Simple way to make chocolate candy at home that taste like Reese's and mars candy and bourbon Balls. Find the recipe for making these chocolates in mini muffin tin on thewoodandspoon.com

These homemade chocolates includes peanut butter cups, bourbon pecan candy balls, and coconut almond candies. No bake, easy to assemble, simple gift option!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30
  • Yield: 24 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 11/2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 11/2 tablespoons shortening
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. In a double boiler or heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water on medium-low heat, melt the chocolate chips and shortening together. Stir frequently to ensure that the chocolate does not get too hot. If you allow the chocolate to become too hot, it could seize up, so be sure to keep the water on medium-low heat. Once melted, set off to the side while you prepare your filling.
  2. In the meantime, cream together the peanut butter and butter in a medium sized bowl. Add the salt and powdered sugar and continue to beat until smooth and fluffy. Set in the fridge to chill briefly.
  3. Line a mini muffin pan with waxed paper candy cups. Fill a plastic sandwich bag (or a piping bag fitted with a small round tip) with approximately half of the melted chocolate and snip the tip of it off, being sure to not cut too large of a hole or allow all of the chocolate to drip out immediately. Squeeze 1 teaspoon of chocolate in to the bottom of each of the 24 paper candy cups and then set the plastic bag aside. Use a small instrument (I use a small clean paint brush or the end of a chopstick) to paint the chocolate up the sides of the paper candy cup, coating up at least half of the height of the paper. This prevents the filling from showing out the sides of the chocolate once the candies are assembled. If you don’t care if the filling shows, you can skip this step. Once covered, place the pan in the fridge or freezer to chill for about 5 minutes.
  4. Once firmed up, scoop teaspoon sized rounds of the peanut butter filling into the bottom of each cup. You can lightly wet your finger and gently smooth out the top of the peanut butter to make a flatter mound of filling.
  5. Add more chocolate to your plastic bag and then top each peanut butter mound with an additional teaspoon of chocolate. Use your paint brush to smooth out the chocolate and cover the peanut butter completely, and then gently rap your pan on the counter to smooth and settle all three layers of the candy. Allow them to rest in the mini muffin tin in the fridge or freezer for at least 30 minutes. Store candies in the fridge for up to two weeks. The candies may form a white film on the chocolate if stored at room temperature for extended periods of time.

 

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Almond Coconut Chocolates

Homemade Chocolates Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. Learn how to make homemade chocolate in little wax candy cup wrappers. Kentucky bourbon balls topped with chopped pecans, peanut butter cups, and almond joy candies. These candies make a great gift or dessert for the chocolate lover in your life or valentine. Make these ahead and freeze. Simple way to make chocolate candy at home that taste like Reese's and mars candy and bourbon Balls. Find the recipe for making these chocolates in mini muffin tin on thewoodandspoon.com

These homemade chocolates includes peanut butter cups, bourbon pecan candy balls, and coconut almond candies. No bake, easy to assemble, simple gift option!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30
  • Yield: 30 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 11/2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 11/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 30 whole almonds, toasted

Instructions

  1. In a double boiler or heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water on medium-low heat, melt the chocolate chips and shortening together. Stir frequently to ensure that the chocolate does not get too hot. If you allow the chocolate to become too hot, it could seize up, so be sure to keep the water on medium-low heat. Once melted, set off to the side while you prepare your filling.
  2. In the meantime, beat together the butter, coconut, corn syrup, and powdered sugar in a medium sized bowl. If you wish for a smoother, less clumpy filling, feel free to whiz the mixture in a food chopped briefly. Set the filling in the fridge to chill briefly.
  3. Line a mini muffin pan with waxed paper candy cups. Fill a plastic sandwich bag (or a piping bag fitted with a small round tip) with approximately half of the melted chocolate and snip the tip of it off, being sure to not cut too large of a hole or allow all of the chocolate to drip out immediately. Squeeze 1 teaspoon of chocolate in to the bottom of each of the paper candy cups and then set the plastic bag aside. Use a small instrument (I use a small clean paint brush or the end of a chopstick) to paint the chocolate up the sides of the paper candy cup, coating up at least half of the height of the paper. This prevents the filling from showing out the sides of the chocolate once the candies are assembled. If you don’t care if the filling shows, you can skip this step. Once covered, place the pan in the fridge or freezer to chill for about 5 minutes.
  4. Once firmed up, scoop teaspoon sized rounds of the filling into the bottom of each cup. I like to roll teaspoon sized balls in the palm of my hand and then flatten slightly to make flat round disks that fit inside the paper liners.
  5. Add more chocolate to your plastic bag and then top the filling with an additional teaspoon of chocolate. Use your paint brush to smooth out the chocolate and cover the filling completely, and then gently rap your pan on the counter to smooth and settle all three layers of the candy. Place a single toasted almond on top of each candy. Allow them to rest in the mini muffin tin in the fridge or freezer for at least 30 minutes. Store candies in the fridge for up to two weeks. The candies may form a white film on the chocolate if stored at room temperature for extended periods of time.

Trail Mix Cookies

Trail Mix Cookies recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. Fun cookies to make with kids! These trail mix cookies have raisins, chocolate candies (m&M's), peanuts and oats! The cookies have crisp edges and chewy centers and are simple and easy to make. Requires short time and one bowl to make. Trail mix cookies are good summer camp recipe, school recipe, craft idea to bake with kids. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

There’s a few things I need to get off my chest today. So if you were in need of another inappropriate post about my breasts- here it is. (!!!)

Let me start with a shout out to all the baby mamas out there that manage to nurse their children for extended periods of time. Ladies, how do you do it? Is there some sort of magic cream or ancient metal nipple shields that I need to know about? When the kid starts teething, do you play through the pain? Because over here, it is just NOT HAPPENING. 

 

George is 8 months old today (Why?! How?! When?! Didn’t this just happen yesterday?), and although he is still nursing, I can promise you that his days of voyaging on the Maidens of the Milk (my boobs, obviously) are numbered. Teeth, dwindling supply, and a vivacious 2 year old sister that is highly distracting every time George saddles up to the bar (again, my boobs) has got me counting down the days till we’re done.

I know that a lot of moms really love nursing, and I know that it’s a special bonding experience for mama and her baby. Yes, breast milk has all of the vitamins, and it’s so much less expensive, and the convenience of having a vending machine strapped inside your bra is just a ridiculous benefit to pass up. But George and I have bonded. He’s growing and healthy, I’ve got some milk stored in the freezer, and to be honest, I’d probably empty out all of the money in my purse right now if it meant never having to hear the mechanical “whee-woo, whee-woo, whee-woo” of my Medela breast pump ever again. There’s so many wonderful benefits to breastfeeding, but what I’m trying to say is, I think we’re almost done.

Trail Mix CookiesTrail Mix CookiesThe most selfish gain I’ve had from getting to nurse my babies is the snacks- those extra calories I get to indulge in each day. At our house, there’s never any shortage of snacks, and recently, we added trail mix cookies to the list of favorites. These trail mix cookies are pretty much always my next snack waiting to happen. Peanuts, chocolate candies, raisins, and oats, all stuffed into a delicious cookie dough that bakes up golden and delicious. A combination of my loaded oatmeal cookie dough and candied walnut chocolate chip cookies, these trail mix cookies are packed with all the trail mix fixin’s and are adaptable to include any other toppings you may have a hankering for. Cashews? Yup. Toffee? Sure. Reese’s Pieces? Do ya thang. 

Trail Mix CookiesTrail Mix Cookies

We tried some trail mix cookies while visiting Blackberry Farm a few weeks ago, and I spent my first few days home making test batches of the cookies to get them just right. The dough starts by creaming butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy. After adding eggs, vanilla, and a sprinkling of dry ingredients, you dump in all the trail mix goodies you can find. Give the dough a quick chill (or a long one, if you want puffier, chewy cookies), and just try not to eat it all straight from the bowl. It’s that good. These trail mix cookies have crisp edges and chewy centers, but if you’re anything like me, you may opt to bake them until they’re golden brown, with little crunchy bits throughout.

Unless you’re an 8 month old on an all-milk diet, you need trail mix cookies in your repertoire. Sweet, salty, or whatever your craving is, these trail mix cookies are sure to satisfy the urge to snack. Give them a try and let me know what you think! There’s loads of other cookie recipes on the cookie recipe page of my site, so give that a check too. Oh, and enjoy this happy little video that I made for you all! Happy Wednesday and cheers to you!

Trail Mix Cookies

 

 

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Trail Mix Cookies

Trail Mix Cookies recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. Fun cookies to make with kids! These trail mix cookies have raisins, chocolate candies (m&M's), peanuts and oats! The cookies have crisp edges and chewy centers and are simple and easy to make. Requires short time and one bowl to make. Trail mix cookies are good summer camp recipe, school recipe, craft idea to bake with kids. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

With chopped peanuts, raisins, chocolate candy, and oats, these trail mix cookies are sweet, salty, and simple cookies that are sure to please a crowd.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 30 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 21/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 cup candy coated chocolate (like M&Ms)
  • 3/4 cups unsalted peanuts, chopped
  • 3/4 cups raisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Start on low until incorporated and then increase to medium, beating until smooth, creamy, and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on low just until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. In a small bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and corn starch. Add the bowl of dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat on low just until the mixture is combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed and add the chocolate, peanuts, and raisins, stirring on low just until combined.
  3. Scoop 3 tablespoon sized balls of dough (I use a large cookie scoop) about 3 inches apart on to a cookie sheet prepared with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. These cookies are large and in charge and they need room on the baking sheet. If the dough is not cool to the touch and slightly firm, place the baking sheet with dough balls in the fridge for about 5-10 minutes to allow the dough to set up- this keeps the cookies from spreading too much. Once ready, place the pan in the oven and bake until the edges and top of the cookie are beginning to turn golden and have set up, about 9 minutes. The centers will still appear underdone. Cool on a cooling rack, or just dive right in and enjoy.

Notes

  • For crunchy, textured cookies, refrigerate for less time and bake a minute or two longer, or until the cookies is golden all over the top. For a chewy, softer cookie, refrigerate the dough for an hour and then bake for recommended length of time.