Homemade Butterfinger Candy Bars Recipe

Homemade Butterfinger Candy Bars Recipe

If you ask me what my favorite candy is, I will probably give you a dozen different answers. Rolos, Starburst, Dots, Twix and Butterfinger are all at the top of my list. I'm not just a salad connoisseur, I am also a candy connoisseur! I know my candy well. I have 36 years of candy-eating experience and a mouth full of fillings to back that up.

Read More

Chewy Caramel Mystery Cookies

Oh me oh my, it's a mystery! What oh WHAT could the secret ingredient be?

I saw this recipe in Food Everyday: Martha Stewart Magazine and was intrigued by the "mystery" in the title. Mysteries are always exciting, right? I read through the recipe, and I loved what the mystery ingredient was. I made the cookies almost immediately! I ended up bringing most of these to work with me, and it was fun to hear what people thought the mystery ingredient was after they took a couple bites. I got all kinds of guesses! 

And here it is! The mystery ingredient. An assortment of miniature candy bars. Genius!

Coarsely chop 16 miniature candy bars. I used exactly what you see in the above photo: Twix (4), Milky Way (4), 3 Musketeers (4) and Snickers (4). I'm sure any kind and any combination would be just as wonderful. And these were wonderful.

Cut 20 caramels in half. Set the candy bars and caramels aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon fine salt

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

Using an electric mixer, beat together in another large bowl:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat on high until fluffy and pale, about 3 minutes. 

Beat in 2 large eggs.

With mixer on low, beat in the flour mixture in three additions until combined. Fold in caramels and candy bars.

On parchment-lined baking sheets, press cookie dough into 2-inch circles, 2 inches apart (9 cookies per baking sheet). Bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven.

Remove from the oven and press M&M's candies onto cookies for decoration.

I'm not kidding you, I had this bowl of M&M's off of the counter for 1 second before a chubby hand scooped into it. This was not a staged photo. :)

Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 8 to 9 additional minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely.

Getting the cookies off of the parchment paper without breaking them was a bit tricky. The caramel that seeped onto the bottoms of the cookies (uhh, yum!) liked to stick to my spatula. And then to the cooling rack. One thing that helped was using a metal spatula and loosening the perimeter of each cookie before trying to completely free it. I generously sprayed my wire rack with cooking spray before transferring them, as well.

I have to tell you that these were totally delicious little treats. I loved the different flavors from the different kinds of candy bars. It's 3 Musketeers! No, wait! It's Snickers! No, caramel! Looking for a cookie more geared for the sophisticate pallet? Try out my Salted Caramel Refrigerator Cookies all the caramel flavor, but a little more "grown-up!"

Monster Cupcakes

My 4-year-old has a very hard time being patient, as I'm sure most 4-year-olds do. We have learned not to tell him we are going to the park, to Grandma's house, to the zoo, to the mall (all places he loves), until two minutes before we are ready to leave. If we break this rule, the whining for "paa-aa-aaaaa-aaaaark" or "Gwaaa-aaaaa-maaaa's hooo-ooouse" gets ridiculous. I gambled big time by showing him my new cupcake cookbook (What's New, Cupcake?) and telling him to pick out which cupcakes he would like me to make for his birthday....TWO WEEKS in advance. "I want my moooo-oooo-ooooonster cuuu-uuuup-caaa-aaaa-aakes!" Ugh! So, by the time I finally got around to making these, I felt a little bit of tension between myself and these little colorful monsters. Once they were done, though, they were so stinkin' cute! I fell in love. And most importantly, my birthday boy adored them.

First, bake 12 cupcakes, whatever flavor(s) you desire, according to package directions. Also, bake 12 mini cupcakes according to package directions. Since I was making these for a birthday party, I made three different flavors: yellow, chocolate and confetti. Kids like options.

While the cupcakes are baking and cooling, prepare the monster eyes. Push the stick of a dum-dum lollipop through an apple or peach ring and pull the ring around the lollipop. This is super slick. They wrap right around each other like they were meant to be together.

Do this 24 times. It doesn't take long, I promise.

I used canned vanilla frosting, but feel free to make your own. Place a few spoonfuls of vanilla frosting into a large Ziploc bag and cut a teeny hole in the corner. By "teeny," I mean around 1/8 of an inch.

Squeeze the bag so frosting comes out of the tip. Dab a small circle of frosting in the center of each dum-dum. Before the frosting hardens, place a brown mini-M&M directly in the center. Allow the monster eyes to sit for a few minutes in order to fully harden.

Prepare the frosting that you will be using to cover the cupcakes with. I used a total of 2 jars of store-bought vanilla frosting and divided it between three small bowls. Using neon food coloring, I made one of the bowls bright orange, one bright green and one bright purple.

Grab a cupcake and a like-flavored mini cupcake.

Remove the wrapper from the mini cupcake and turn it upside down. Place it on top of the regular-sized cupcake. If you'd like, squirt some frosting between the two to help keep them in place.

Spoon the colored frostings into three separate large Ziploc bags and cut an 1/8 to 1/4 inch off the corners. Squeeze the frosting over the surface of the cupcake, in "strings," completely covering it. This was my favorite part! Get crazy!

Push the sticks of the dum-dum eyes into the cupcakes. Give the monster a fun M&M nose, if you'd like.

Aren't they adorable? They were an absolute hit for my boy and his cousins.

I had leftover cupcakes, so I made a few different kinds of monsters.

And I made a special plate for the birthday boy.

Have you ever seen a happier face?