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Pumpkin Spice Rum Balls

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Hey-o! It is time to live our best pumpkin life!  To celebrate my return to posting about food (after the last 2 posts focused on my travels), I broke out the rum.

I'm also celebrating because I recently upgraded the lighting situation chez moi, which now allows me to shoot at night.  This may not sound like a big deal, but imagine years of waking up early on weekends to cook or bake so you can catch the PERFECT angle and tone of sunlight.  Stressful.  So no more of that!

Additionally!  I am free to create more super healthy and nutritious snacks for my coworkers....hehe SURE!  I've been putting baking aside for a few months.  I've made a few items here or there but not nearly as many as I used to.  This is mostly because I've been super busy and if I have a choice between making lunch for myself or sugary sweets to share, I tend to choose the lunch option.  I hate having to buy lunch when I'm at work!  But now I can bake whenever I want!  So if we work together, I'm sorry/not sorry that I'm about to bombard you guys with a ton of baked sugar.  Prepare yourselves!

OK, this pumpkin ball sitch.  I don't think I've ever had a rum ball before.  Not that I can recall.  But anything with the name pumpkin in it will get me interested.  Add in some alcohol?  Now we're talking!  I actually added less than the recommended 2 tablespoons alcohol because I was taking these to work, but I would definitely say to use the entire 2 tablespoons if you're going elsewhere.  I also found that these balls were best after letting them set in the refrigerator overnight.  I wasn't terribly impressed with them the same night I made them and I almost didn't take them into the office.  BUT the next morning I decided to try another one and dang!  All the flavors were stronger and I fell in love!

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Champagne Gummy Bears

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I can't be the only one who watched Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears growing up.  Anyone?  Anyone?  Well, that's got me thinking that maybe gummy/gummi is spelled with an "i"...BUT when I purchased my gummy bears, the package shows that it's spelled with a "y".  The Disney cartoons of my childhood can't be wrong!  But this packaging though...

It's too much.  Good thing these things are being soaked in JUST a little bit of alcohol to help me get over this dilemma.  Any way that you want to spell it, these gummy bears are de-lish-ous.  I soaked them overnight in the fridge for about 10 hours, and they were a nice chewy texture the next morning, which I would definitely recommend.  IF, however, you continue to keep the gummy bears in the fridge (like I did), then be prepared that they will morph into a Jell-O-like texture within the next 24 hours.  Prepare thyself.  I hate Jell-O myself (it's a texture thing) so I got rid of these with a quickness!  But, if you happen to love Jell-O, then this could be for you.

Also, I feel the need to address why I own Patron champagne flutes.  These were sent to me in a completely random care package from Patron.  I have no idea why the package was sent to me in the first place, so perhaps the Patron team was just cleaning out the warehouse and wanted to get rid of a few things.  I don't drink champagne very often, as it gives me a headache, so I never bothered to purchase champagne glasses.  Of course, this WOULD be the time that I needed champagne glasses!  Figures.
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Chocolate Peppermint Bark

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Soooo, I took one thing and I made it another thing.  If you've read this blog for some time, you may recall a chocolate peanut butter bark recipe that I made this summer.  That was so tasty that I decided to "Christmas-fy" that same bark!  Or should it be "holiday-fy"?  That doesn't seem to roll off the tongue quite as easily.

Since our temperatures have been hovering around the 50 and 60 degree range and I haven't been chugging my Starbucks peppermint lattes, I felt like I needed an extra boost to really get into the holiday season.  Anything containing candy canes are immediately festive in my opinion.  Let's pair that with dark and white chocolate swirled together in a pretty pattern and I am sold.  This recipe is an excellent way to use up all those extra candy canes during (or even after!) the holidays.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Bark

 

Who do I think I am, keeping this wonderful treat from you guys?  I'm the worst. I know.

Truth be told, I was planning on making these a few weeks ago.  But um, I ate one of the ingredients before I could make it...Let me explain.  It all started out with me just "taste-testing" these mini peanut butter cups from Trader Joe's.  Any good cook knows that you're supposed to taste your ingredients!

Well.  This spiraled into me eating quite a few of these peanut butter cups over the course of a few days.  I found that I enjoy these more than regular peanut butter cups because the ratio of chocolate to peanut butter is right up my alley (i.e. there's more chocolate!).  So anyhow, I'm minding my business eating these peanut butter cups, telling myself that I really only need to save about a half cup for my recipe.  And then I realize that I had no more mini peanut butter cups.  Oops.  So I took another trip to TJ's and replaced my beloved treats.  I kept these ones under lock and key and refused to open the container until I started to make this recipe.

Soon, I was rewarded with this amazingly easy and delicious snack.  It was definitely worth the wait and was just as addictive as eating mini peanut butter cups by themselves!  I am already envisioning all the variations of these that I will be making.  Do not be surprised if you see a few chocolate bark recipes popping up on this blog in the coming months.  You've been warned!

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Microwave Sea Salted Caramels

My mind has been completely blown.

First, I found out about sea salted caramels.  I bought some and they ended up being pure amazing-ness in each bite.  Wow.  And now you're telling me that I can make these in a microwave?!?! Don't tease.

Here are the main reasons you don't see many candy- or caramel-related recipes on my blog:

1) I don't own a candy thermometer so I'm pretty much guessing how things are going when I'm standing over a pile of burning sugar.  I do not suggest this approach.

2) I'm terrified of completely burning my face off (or any body part, really).  See Reason #1.

But with this recipe, I thought I might actually have a chance at pulling it off.  I decided to take one for the team, so to speak, and check out if this microwave-caramel-making claim is truly possible.  And it is!  It was so simple and easy that I almost couldn't believe it, even though the caramel was staring me in the face.  Don't worry, I took several sample bites to make sure it was real.  You know you should always taste test before providing treats, right?

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Mini Pretzel Turtles

My dance friends and I have been threatening to get together for a while and watch old dance videos of ourselves from 10 years ago. Some of these videos may have been on VHS back then. Crazy!

Of course we would need to have snacks to munch on in between our video-watching and our spastic recreations of our smoking hot dance moves of yesteryear. I found a recipe that was so simple I just couldn't leave it alone. I didn't even have to change the recipe at all. It was already everything I could ever want in a one-bite dessert: salty, sweet, crunchy.

Although I was already making a batch of bad ass cookies (more on those in a future blog post), I still had to add these to the mix.

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