Thursday, February 10, 2011


Valentine's Day is a time for candy.   However, if you're not comfortable making candy, since candy making has a reputation for being touchy, and time-consuming, and often temperamental, these recipes will calm your fears. Shared in a demonstration I went to several years ago, given by Carol Earl, they are  super easy, with shortcuts she learned through 30 years of practice.  Many of her recipes are made in the microwave, and are promised to be "No-Fail."  I've used them over the years and I can attest to that--along with an additional bonus--they are delicious!  If you've been afraid to make candy, or haven't had a reliable and easy recipe, look no further--I highly recommend these 'short-cut, no-fail' recipes from Carol Earl!  But, whether you're already an expert candy maker, or a novice, Carol's recipes are definitely worth a try!

saltine crackers
2 sticks butter (no substitutes)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup chocolate chips
chopped nuts (optional)
Line a 10x15x1-inch cookie sheet with foil.  Spray with vegetable spray.  Spread a single layer of saltine crackers on top of foil, cutting crackers to fit in the gaps.  In  pan, bring to boil 2 stocks of butter and 1 cup brown sugar, over medium high .  Boil for 3 minutes, stirring as needed.  Pour mixture over crackers and spread to cover.  Bake in a preheated 375 degrees oven for 7 minutes.  Remove from oven and use spatula to press crackers down flat. Sprinkle 1 cup of chocolate chips on top and let stand for a couple of minutes to melt the chocolate.  Spread the melted chocolate until smooth .  Sprinkle with chopped nuts of your choice (pecans, almonds and walnuts are good).  Cool completely, then break into pieces.

Dark or light dipping chocolate
mint oil
Ritz crackers
Melt dipping chocolate in microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.  Add 6-7 drops mint oil.  (Don't add more to taste--the mint will become stronger with time).  With a fork or candy tool, dip crackers individually in chocolate.  Slide coated cracker onto wax paper to cool.  After the chocolate is set, store in a container with a layer of waxed paper between each layer.  These can be stored for several weeks.  Mint flavor will become stronger as the flavors have time to blend.

1 cup sugar
1 cup raw peanuts
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix sugar, peanuts and corn syrup in a large glass container.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.  Stir.  Microwave for another 2 minutes on high.  Add 2 Tablespoons butter and stir.  Microwave for another 2 minutes on high (OR 1 1/2 minutes will make a chewier candy).  Remove from microwave and quickly add baking soda, vanilla and salt.  Stir until foamy (a few seconds).  Pour into an 8x8-inch baking dish that has been lined with foil and buttered or sprayed with vegetable spray.  Spread evenly and allow to cool before breaking into pieces.

1/2 cup butter (no substitutes)
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Melt butter in microwave.  Add all other ingredients and stir well.  Microwave for 6-8 minutes (time varies depending on the microwave).  Remove bowl from microwave and pour contents into an 8X8-inch glass dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then cut into 36 squares.  Squares can be individually wrapped in waxed paper. 

1 lb (about 60) light caramels
1 can sweetened condensed milk
4 Tablespoons butter
1 pkg LARGE marshmallows
Crisp Rice cereal
Melt caramels, sweetened condensed milk and butter together until smooth.  Dip marshmallows in caramel and roll in cereal until evenly coated.  Let set.  VARIATIONS:  Roll in cocoa rice cereal, chopped nuts, or toasted coconut.  This caramel is also great for caramel apples--it doesn't stick to your teeth!
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to try these. Thanks for the yummy recipes!