Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tricks To Make The Best Treats!

From the looks of the Christmas decorations in the stores one would think that Halloween and Thanksgiving are already over. Though this has always been one of my pet peeves about retail, I have found that I can also play this game. By starting my fall decorating on September 1st, I'm able to enjoy my favorite holidays far longer than most retailers might want me too. When it comes to getting a start on those holiday sweets, however, don't feel like you need to get that same early start. Consider one of the quick recipes below as a time-saving or last minute treat. Make one or two of these and then while your friends and family are satisfying their sweet tooths, you can take your sweet time planning the more elaborate holiday meals.

Lately, I have been addicted to It's this amazing site that allows you to take all of your favorite images from the internet and categorize them into groups you will remember. It also allows you to share your favorite things with others. So when I was looking for some short-cut treats for Halloween, I was amazed at all the ideas already "pinned" on other people's walls. I'm glad I was able to save these because today, while I spent a whole day getting caught up on my wash, I decided to try out some of these quick treats for some upcoming get togethers. So instead of getting caught between the spooky ghosts of Halloween and the ghosts of Christmas past, try a few of these quick treats - they may just make you feel like your one step ahead of the retailers... I'm jus sayin'!

Homemade Butterfinger Bars
Recipe copied from In Katrina's Kitchen

3 cups candy corn
1 cup peanut butter
Chocolate for dipping (I used Milk Chocolate Almond Bark for quick ease. You could use dark or even white almond bark if you like.)


  1. Melt candy corn in the microwave for about 60 seconds. Check and stir, returning to microwave in 15 second intervals until completely melted.

  2. Add peanut butter and combine. Return to microwave if necessary to incorporate until creamy.

  3. Pour into a greased 8x8 pan (or whatever pan you like to get the thickness you desire) and let cool about an hour.

  4. Cut candy into desired shape and cover in melted chocolate.

To make traditional Butterfingers cut into rectangles and cover in milk chocolate.

Caramel Pretzel Bites
Recipe copied from The Busty Baker

One 14-ounce bag soft caramels
One 10-ounce bag pretzel nuggets
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups natural almonds, toasted and finely chopped (optional)
*I did not use almonds in the above picture and I sprinkled sea salt on the top after I dipped them in chocolate.

  1. Unwrap the caramels, then using a rolling pin, roll out each one into a 1/8-inch thick oval. Wrap a rolled-out caramel around each pretzel nugget, pinching the ends to seal.

  2. In a double boiler over simmering water, melt half of the chocolate, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Add the remaining chocolate, remove the top of the double boiler from the saucepan and stir until smooth.

  3. Place the almonds, if using, in a shallow bowl. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Using a fork, dip a caramel covered pretzel nugget in the chocolate to coat, tapping off any excess chocolate. Transfer the pretzel to the almonds and toss to coat; place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pretzel nuggets, reheating chocolate as needed. Let stand until set, about 3 hours.

Pumpkin Spice Krispy Treats

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package Kraft Pumpkin Pie Spiced Marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies®

  1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

  2. Add KELLOGG'S RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.

  3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.

* Just to jazz them up a bit and make them look like the star of the bake sale I drizzled melted white almond bark on top of mine.

Thin Mint Brownies

Bake your favorite brownies (seriously, this could be your favorite box or your Grandma's passed-down recipe). Here is the quick-trick. As soon as the brownies (13x9 in pan) come out of the oven. Sprinkle one bag of Andes Mint Chips on top. Wait 10 seconds and then spread the melted chips to evenly coat the pan of brownies. Cool to set. You will have them all guessing at your next "Bunco" party how amazing you are that you took so much time to bake such a decadent brownie!