friday five

Easter Friday Five

Weekly highlights from our kitchen and the web – our favorite ways to prepare Easter eggs and delicious recipes to make after the hunt.

1. How to hard boil eggs and recipe for Jalapeño Dill Deviled Eggs  ///  2. Natural Easter Egg Dye Recipes from Tried and Tasty  ///  3. Absolutely gorgeous Easter Brioche from The Seaside Baker  ///  4. Rustic Egg Salad from Diethood  ///  5. Asparagus Egg and Bacon Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette from Skinny Taste

chocolate carmallow squares

Chocolate Carmallow Squares

Sweet honey caramels are layered with fluffy homemade marshmallow and dipped in rich dark chocolate to make these sinfully delicious Chocolate Carmallow Squares.

A recurring discussion around here is how much of a mess I’m capable of making in the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong, I always clean up after myself, but we are constantly amazed by how one person can destroy every inch of the kitchen night after night with their baking adventures. I’m not going to sugar coat this – this recipe is going to make a mess. We’re talking having to clean at least three pots, an electric mixer, a baking pan and all of the utensils in between. Plus if you’re anything like me, you’ll be cleaning caramel splatters off of the stovetop, melted chocolate off of the countertops and marshmallow fluff off of the cat’s face for days. But these Chocolate Carmallow Squares are worth it. They are so worth it.

Chocolate Carmallow Squares

When I stumbled upon an Oregon Meadowfoam Honey at the Ferry Building that had deep candy and marshmallow tasting notes I knew that not only did I want to make caramels with it, but that I also wanted to pair it with actual marshmallow. As expected, the caramels were divine and even better when topped with a fluffy layer of homemade marshmallow. The finishing touch was a dip in smooth dark chocolate and a drizzle of pastel candy melts to dress them up for Easter. This may easily have been one of the biggest messes that I’ve made in a while, but you better believe I’ll be making them again soon!

Chocolate Carmallow Squares

CHOCOLATE CARMALLOW SQUARES
 
Yields: approximately 100 squares
INGREDIENTS
CARAMEL
  • ½ cup pure honey
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon fine fleur de sel
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
MARSHMALLOW
  • 1½ packets unflavored gelatin
  • ½ cup ice cold water, divided
  • ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
ASSEMBLY
  • 2 12-ounce packages dark chocolate melting wafers
  • Paramount Crystals (optional)
  • Pastel candy melts for decorating (optional)
PREPARATION
CARAMEL
  1. Line a 9×13 inch cake pan by criss-crossing two sheets of parchment paper, being sure to cover all sides. Spray lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Combine honey and sugar in a deep saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil until mixture is a fragrant golden brown, swirling occasionally.
  3. In a small saucepan, bring cream, butter and fleur de sel to a simmer while waiting for the sugar mixture to brown. Once simmering and butter melted, remove from heat and set aside.
  4. When sugar mixture is ready, turn off heat and slowly add cream mixture. Take caution as the sugar and cream combination will bubble violently at first and then settle as you stir. This is why a deep saucepan is key.
  5. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and return the caramel to medium low heat. Stirring occasionally, cook for about 10 minutes until a candy thermometer reads 248 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Once desired temperature is reached, remove from heat and carefully pour into prepared baking pan. Do not scrape sides of saucepan, this caramel will be slightly overdone and can be discarded.
  7. Set aside and allow to cool while making the marshmallow.
MARSHMALLOW
  1. Place gelatin and ¼ cup cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Let sit.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine remaining ¼ cup cold water, sugar, corn syrup and salt. Cook over medium high heat for approximately 10 minutes until a candy thermometer reads 240 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Immediately remove from heat and turn mixer on to low speed. Slowly pour sugar mixture into running mixer until all syrup has been added.
  4. Increase speed to high and beat for approximately 15 minutes. When the mixture is thick and the sides of the bowl are just slightly warm to the touch, add vanilla and beat for an additional minute.
  5. Pour marshmallow over the top of the prepared caramel and evenly spread out with a lightly oiled spatula. Mix confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch and dust over the top of the marshmallow. Allow to set, uncovered, at room temperature for at least four hours and up to overnight.
ASSEMBLY
  1. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Set aside.
  2. Cut carmallow into 1 inch squares with a large sharp knife. Refrigerate squares until ready to dip to prevent caramel from melting in chocolate.
  3. Melt chocolate melting wafers in a microwave safe bowl, one package at a time, according to package directions. Stir in up to three tablespoons of Paramount Crystals per 12 ounce package of melting wafers to thin out chocolate and give it a shiny appearance.
  4. One at a time, dip squares into chocolate. Pick up using a fork and tap on side of bowl to remove excess. Slide onto prepared baking sheets to set.
  5. In a microwave safe bowl, melt pastel candy melts according to package directions. Use a fork or pastry bag fitted with a small tip to drizzle color over the top of each square.
  6. Once set, squares should be stored in an airtight container or packaged for immediate gifting.

GADGETS
High Temperature Candy Thermometer

RESOURCES
Oregon Meadowfoam Honey
Paramount Crystals aid in thinning candy melts without adding unwanted flavor.

Chocolate Carmallow Squares

jalapeño dill deviled eggs

Jalapeno Dill Deviled Eggs

Just in time for Easter, spicy jalapeños perfectly balance the sweet glaze of honey baked ham and satisfy your inner Texan with this fun twist on deviled eggs.

I absolutely love deviled eggs yet somehow only think to make them once a year around Easter. I have found many classic recipes that I adore, but this spicy twist just may be my new favorite. Being raised in Texas, I have grown to like my food spicy. Pickled jalapeños are a great way to add a kick of spice without completely overpowering the flavors of the dish. The jalapeños give these deviled eggs just enough heat to balance a sweet honey baked ham while still being able to enjoy the subtle flavor of the dill. Looking for a fun twist on an old classic? Give these Jalapeño Dill Deviled Eggs a try this year!

Jalapeno Dill Deviled Eggs

JALAPEÑO DILL DEVILED EGGS
 
Yields: 12 deviled egg halves
INGREDIENTS
  • 6 hard boiled eggs, cooled and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapeño peppers
  • ¼ teaspoon dried dill weed
  • salt and pepper to taste
PREPARATION
  1. Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Scoop out yolks and place in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. With a fork, mash together egg yolks and remaining ingredients until smooth.
  3. Fill halves with yolk mixture using either a spoon or a pastry bag fitted with a large tip.
  4. Garnish with an additional sliver of jalapeño if desired.
TO HARD BOIL EGGS
  1. Place eggs in single layer in the bottom of a heavy saucepan.
  2. Cover with cold water so that the water line is one inch above the top of the eggs.
  3. Place eggs on stove and bring to a boil over medium heat. As soon as the water reaches a boil, cover and remove from heat. Allow to stand 12 minutes.
  4. After 12 minutes, fill saucepan with ice and allow to stand 5 minutes to stop eggs from cooking.
  5. Remove eggs from cold water, dry and refrigerate until ready to use. Eggs may be refrigerated for up to one week in their shell.

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

spring cleaning – new blog design

Part of my spring cleaning this year included some decluttering of the blog. My goal was to remove the noise and focus on my content and photography. The Foodie Genesis Child Theme by Shay Bocks was exactly what I was looking for to simplify my design and highlight my content. Hats off to Shay as the theme was incredibly easy to customize and very cleanly designed. For someone who does the design legwork herself, it’s always a pleasure to be able to work with concise and organized design files. As I finish up the final tweaks (including a new logo design!), I wanted to make sure to point out all of the new features designed with YOU in mind.

Site Design

Let’s get social!

Our right sidebar includes links to all of the social media sites that we post to. In addition to blog content, we use sites like Facebook, Google +, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to share our day to day happenings. You’ll get a look into our food and travel adventures and we promise that there will never be a shortage of cute cat photos thanks to our favorite feline, Gabby Elizabeth.

Weekly Newsletter

Did you know that we send out a weekly newsletter? It’s a once a week email highlighting our recipes of the week. I also throw in either a past recipe or current adventures as an extra bonus for our subscribers. We do not believe in spam (emails or the food) and will never sell your information. Use the quick form on the right sidebar to sign up today!

Site Design

Pin to Pinterest

If you hover over any one of our images, you’ll find a black push pin pops up in the upper left corner. This allows you to conveniently pin any of our content to Pinterest to come back to at a later date.

CliqueMe

Have you heard about CliqueMe? You may have seen it pop up on some of your favorite food sites like Tastespotting. We’ll be sharing some more detailed information in the very near future, but go ahead and give those buttons a try.

Site Design

Share the love!

Have you found something on our site that you think your friends and family would love? We’ve added some social media icons to the bottom of each post that allow you to easily share our content with your friends. Sharing with others is the kindest feedback that you could give us. Comments also totally make our day, but you already knew that!

Site Design

Browse + Search

We’ve added a new feature to our Recipe Index. You can now easily browse through posts by both tags and date. If you know what you’re looking for, you can also search by specific terms using the search bar.

New Image Index

Recipes have also been conveniently indexed by categories using an image thumbnail. This allows you to visually browse our recipe database to find your next great kitchen adventure.
 

Tell us what you think!

Your feedback is always appreciated. Is there anything we can do to make your time on our site more enjoyable? Let us know what you think!

easter treats for the big boys

eastertreatsboys

Because gifts should be as sweet as you are – a collection of quirky Easter basket treats for the big boys.

1. Star Wars Candy Filled Eggs   //  2. Angry Birds Easter Eggs  //  3. Minecraft Marshmallow Creeps  //  4. Dingle BEARies (sorry, I’m not sorry)  //  5. Superman Coffee Tumbler & Batman Cold Cup  //  6. Tobasco Jelly Bellies  //  7. Chocolate DIY Ammo Kit  //  8. Chocolate Zombie Bunny