Candy Central

Chocolate

Happy New Year!

Yeah!  We made it through and are on the cusp of another new year.  New Year is a time of endings turning into new beginnings.  It is a time of making resolutions you really are going to try to keep this year and a time of rejuvenation.  If you haven’t had such a great year it is the renewal of hope.  If you had a great year it is a celebration of good things.  New Year’s celebrations are FUN! Noise makers, silly hats, and food & drink abound as family and friends cheer to the New Year!  What better way to celebrate than with sweets! Below is a really fun and easy craft to put a fun and more personalized twist on the party popper.  My family and I made these over the weekend to proudly offer our guests at our New Year’s Eve celebration.  We used metallic paint pens in silver and gold to add little celebratory messages to these poppers. There is still time for you to make these for your own celebration!

NYE Poppers

New Year’s Eve Poppers

Materials

•Paper towel tubes

•Wrapping paper / tissue paper

•Curling ribbon

•X-acto knife / Scissors

•Tape

•Pin or needle

•Embellishments (ribbon, stickers, spray glitter, etc.)

Hershey® Kisses®, Rolos®, Chocolate Coins (you can color coordinate these to match your poppers!), Reese’s® Peanut Butter Cup® miniatures/party favors

Instructions

1.      Using an x-acto knife or scissors, cut the paper towel tube in half. Each half will become its own popper. Then cut each of these tubes in half again, because each popper tube needs to be pre-cut before you wrap them. So just to clarify, these four pieces of tubes will make two poppers.

2.      Cut a piece of wrapping paper or tissue paper that’s wide enough to wrap around the tube and long enough to have at least 2″ of extra paper on each end of the tube. Place both halves of the tube closely together in the center of the wrapping paper. Then wrap and tape down the paper.  Note: Don’t place any tape along the middle portion of the poppers, so that they will be easier to pop open.

3.       Tie one end closed with curling ribbon. Then use the other open end to fill the poppers with and assortment of Hershey® Kisses®, Rolos®, Chocolate Coins and other surprises. Once the poppers are filled, tie off the other end. Then cut the ends into strips.

4.      Cut pieces of wrapping paper about 2″ wide and long enough to wrap around the tube. Then cut strips down the side of the paper that are about ¼” wide and about halfway in. You will need two of these for each popper. Wrap them around the two ends of the popper so that the cut frills are hanging off the ends, and tape them down.  You may want to curl or bend the frills backwards a little so they flare up more.

5.       Decorate the poppers with ribbon, stickers, spray glitter or even write the year along the center. We embellished our poppers with ric rac trim.

6.       To make your poppers easier to pop open, perforate the paper by poking holes all around the center (where the tube was cut) with a straight pin or needle.

 Your party poppers are now complete! Have a Happy New Year!

Reindeer Antlers

Reindeer Antlers

Who doesn’t love the combination of sweet and salty? Chocolate covered pretzels fill the need. The smooth creamy decadence of chocolate followed by the saltiness and crunch of the pretzel-delightful!  Of course it is the holiday season so why not have fun with it!  If you loved the M&M Chocolate Bark featured on this blog earlier this year, then you will love this holiday variation!

Reindeer Antlers

Decoration Time: 10 min.
Difficulty: Easy
Yield: Makes 14 antlers.

1 3/4 cups DOVE® Chocolate
3/4 cup M&M’S® Brand MINIS®
1 bag pretzel sticks, broken into various sized pieces
Parchment Paper

1. Remove 3/4 cup red and green M&M’S® Brand MINIS® and set aside for decoration.
2. Line a baking sheet with Parchment Paper.
3. Melt the DOVE® Chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water. Stir the mixture as it melts. When mixture is shiny and smooth, turn off the heat.
4. Once all the chocolate is melted, dip the pretzel pieces one at a time and arrange them on the prepared baking sheet into an antler shape. Place the M&M’S® Brand MINIS® on each antler as it is finished.
5. Repeat this same process until all the antlers are finished.
6. Let the chocolate cool completely and get firm. You can refrigerate to firm the chocolate more quickly.
7. Once firm, remove them from the Parchment Paper.
8. If desired, wrap each one in a sheet of cellophane, tied with a ribbon or simply put them on a cookie plate.

Tip: Add red M&M’S® Brand MINIS® to form the red nose.

Click here to order your M&M’s® Brand MINIS® and DOVE® Chocolate now!

Getting Into The Holiday Spirit

Tasty Tree Lights CookiesThis year the Christmas season seems to have barrelled down upon us.  The stores barely had their Halloween décor stored away or their Turkeys & Pilgrims displayed before Rudolf & Santa made their first appearances. For me it doesn’t feel like Chrismas without my yearly ritural.  I need to wait until we have at least  exhausted the Thanksgiving leftovers so I can start baking a few batches of holiday cookies-have to make sure we have some for Santa!  MMMM Sugar Cookie Holiday Lights with M&M® or Peanut Butter Blossoms and a nice cup of cocoa-now we’re talking!  Then to really bring on the holiday spirit I need to sit in front of the twinkling Christmas tree with my family and watch National Lampoon’s A Christmas Vacation (the squirrel in the Christmas tree!) and A Christmas Story (You’ll shoot your eye out!)…now I’m feeling it!  What goodies and movies get you in the holiday spirit?

M&M’s Sugar Cookie Holiday Lights Recipe (pictured above)

Prep Time: 10 min.

Bake Time: 45 min.

Difficulty: Moderate

Yield: Makes 24 cookies.

Ingredients

2/3 cup flour 

1 18 oz. roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough

1½ cups prepared vanilla frosting 

3 cups M&M’S® Milk Chocolate Candies Holiday Blend 

4 strands red licorice laces 

Resealable plastic bags 

Drinking straw 

Christmas light shaped cookie cutter (small)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 

2. Knead the flour into the cookie dough until smooth. 

3. Roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. By hand, or using a Christmas light cookie cutter, cut out shapes. 

4. With a spatula, gently transfer the cookies to a baking sheet.  Using a drinking straw, press a hole at the top of each cookie. 

5. Bake for 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. 

6. Separate different colors of M&M’S® Brand Minis Chocolate Candies, and set aside. 

7. Spread vanilla frosting on top of each cookie. Arrange a solid color of M&M’S® Brand Minis Chocolate Candies on top of each cookie. 

8. Let the cookies dry for 30 minutes. Run licorice laces through each hole, connecting the cookies into one continuous strand. 

9. Tip for a quicker and lighter version: Tint frosting to match the M&M’S® Brand Minis Chocolate Candies. Frost the cookies and then decorate with color coordinated M&M’S® Brand Minis Chocolate Candies. 

Don’t Miss Out On Our S’mores Kit!

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Reese’s

reese brownies

Preheat oven to 350; smoosh 1.5 squares of break-apart refrigerated cookie dough into the bottom of each well. place reese cup upside down on top of cookie dough (or an oreo!). top with prepared box brownie mix, filling 3/4 full. bake for 18 minutes! heaven.

Chocolate Dreams

chocolate

M&M Chocolate Bark

Delicious M&M Chocolate Candy with Caramel and Pretzels

Ingredients
enough pretzel sticks to just cover the bottom of an 8 X 8 pan
30 or so caramels (I use Kraft caramels)
1 Tbsp cream (or whole milk)
1 1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 – 2 cups mini M & M’s

Directions
Line an 8 X 8 inch pan with parchment paper. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
Spread out a layer of pretzel sticks, enough to cover the bottom of the prepared pan.
In a small, microwave safe bowl, stir caramels with the cream and heat, in 15 – 20 second intervals in the microwave, stirring until smooth.
Carefully spread the caramel on top of the pretzels.
In a small, microwave safe bowl, heat chocolate chips in microwave, stirring after every 10 – 15 seconds or so until smooth. (Be careful not to overheat or chocolate will seize.)
Spread over caramel layer.
Sprinkle with mini M & M’s and lightly press into chocolate. (I put 1 to 2 cups of mini M & M’s because you can use as many or as little as you want.)
Chill in fridge until solid, about an hour or two.
You can either cut it with a knife dipped in hot water OR simply break up with your hands.

A couple of good things about this recipe:
1. No oven involved (yay!)
2. Sooooooo easy
3. So so so tasty
4. You can use what you have on hand and sub out the ingredients. ie: don’t have pretzel sticks? Break up the bendy pretzels or use chopped nuts. Don’t have chocolate chips? use a chopped up chocolate bar. Don’t have mini M&M’s? Use any candy or nuts you have. The only thing you really need to have is the caramels BUT, if you are so inclined, you can make your own.
Seeeeeeee…you can still have yummy treats without completely melting in the heat.

 

Kit Kat Cake

kit kat cake

M&M Pretzels

M&M Pretzel King Size (24 Ct)
M&M Pretzel King Size (24 Ct)
M&M’s didn’t get popular and incredibly widespread renown for nothing. The compliments that are so frequently showered upon the brand are wholly justified, as any rationale person could tell you (no offense to M&M haters, although the term ‘rationale’ may not apply to you guys). Today, they’ve earned a LOT more respect and admiration from me, when I found the opportunity to taste their Pretzel M&Ms. Opportunity, however, is a word that seems so…lacking in my attempt to completely describe how great a delight it was to feast upon these small delightful candies.

On the surface, they appear to be just like regular M&M’s, sharing a distinct similarity in appearance to Peanut M&M’s. Indeed, the first thing you’ll taste is that trademark chocolate that, in my opinion, has no peer when you’re looking for something munch on. An instant later you’ll encounter the core of the treats, a ball-shaped peanut. I didn’t taste much salt, as the wrapper claims to be included, but I didn’t mind at all in favor of the amazing blend of M&M’s chocolate and a good peanut. The two compliment each other perfectly, as if soul mates joining in joyous rapture.

These are definitely a candy you won’t want to miss. Truth be told I ate through the meager single bag I had and found myself sobbing in in wistful sorrow (this may or may not be slightly exaggerated) after the bag’s contents mysteriously disappeared. Next time I get  the stuff again…I’ll probably do the same thing. I suggest you do the same!

This product is Kosher OU.

Ingredients:

Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Chocolate, Skim Milk, Cocoa Butter, Lactose, Milkfat, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Artifical Flavors), Pretzel [Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, RiboFlavin, Folic Acid), Salt, Food Starch-Modified, Vegetable Oil (Soybean Oil, Canola Oil and/or Corn Oil), Malt, Leavening (Yeast, Sodium Bicarbonate, Ammonium Bicarbonate)], Sugar. Less than 2%: Cornstarch, Corn Syrup, Dextrin, Coloring, Gum Acacia.
May Contain Peanuts

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: 17 pieces. Calories 180, Total Fat 6g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 190mg, Total Carbohydrates 28g, Sugars 20g, Protein 2g, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron

Where to buy M&M Pretzel King Size:
Retail http://www.candycentral.com/shop/-M-and-M-Pretzel-King-Size-24-Ct.html
Wholesale http://www.csdsupplier.com/shop/M-and-M-Pretzel-King-Size-24-Ct.html

Milky Way Midnight Minis

Milky Way Midnight Minis were originally the Halloween go-to snack. How perfectly fitting is a dark snack on a very, very dark night? Not only are they bite-size and enriched with dark chocolate, but are packed into a bulk bag – so you can treat-or-treat ALL the kids who knock on your door. Even if your daily mantra is milky chocolate, you’ll be forced to reconcile the thought after you sneak one of these chocolates. The very taste of vanilla nougat mixed with creamy caramel, topped with semi-sweet chocolate can be described as none other than heaven.

They are sold primarily in 10.50-oz bags, 297.7 grams, and are said to provide 7 servings; but let’s be honest. After the first bar, you’ll be hooked. You’re going to need a lot more than that to satisfy yourself, the kids, and even grandma and grandpa. Because they are exclusively sold, you’d probably be better off ordering a whole bunch at a time. The more you get, the more I eat – oh did I say me? I meant you of course. I guess I’m craving one just from talking about it. Milky Way Midnights can do that to you sometimes.

Ingredients: semisweet chocolate (sugar, chocolate processed with alkali, cocoa butter, chocolate, milk-fat, soy lecithin, vanilla extract, artificial and natural flavors), corn syrup, sugar, skim milk, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, less than 2% – butter, milk-fat, lactose, salt, egg whites, soy protein, vanilla extract, artificial flavor.

Nutrition Facts: Calories 180. Calories from fat 60. Total Fat 7g. Saturated Fat 4g. Trans Fat 0mg. Cholesterol 5 mg. Sodium 70g. Total Carbohydrate 29g. Dietry Fiber 1g. Sugars 24g. Protein 1g. Calcium 2%. Iron 2%.

Where to buy Milky Way Midnight Minis at wholesale prices

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