Red Velvet Cake Balls

This is such a common recipe among fellow food bloggers these days. I had some leftover Red Velvet Cake that my friend Jen brought us a few days ago and made these Red Velvet Cake Balls to use it up and share.

The recipe for this is rather easy and can be easily found on a slew of other blogs in greater detail, but I thought it would be interesting to provide a link to a New York Times article that outlines the popularity, legends and the history of Red Velvet Cake.

Red Velvet Cake Balls
original recipe unkown

Prepared red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting
Chocolate bark, melted
small scoop
parchment lined baking sheet

– In a large bowl, mash the prepared and frosted cake to fully combine.
– Using a small scoop, form small balls of mashed cake.
– Roll each ball with your hands to form a more uniform ball.
– Melt chocolate according to package directions and place melted chocolate in a small bowl.
– Carefully place ball of cake into the melted chocolate and coat completely.
– Remove coated cake ball and place on parchment lined baking sheet to harden.

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Red Velvet Cake Balls

This is such a common recipe among fellow food bloggers these days. I had some leftover Red Velvet Cake that my friend Jen brought us a few days ago and made these Red Velvet Cake Balls to use it up and share.

The recipe for this is rather easy and can be easily found on a slew of other blogs in greater detail, but I thought it would be interesting to provide a link to a New York Times article that outlines the popularity, legends and the history of Red Velvet Cake.

Red Velvet Cake Balls
original recipe unkown

Prepared red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting
Chocolate bark, melted
small scoop
parchment lined baking sheet

– In a large bowl, mash the prepared and frosted cake to fully combine.
– Using a small scoop, form small balls of mashed cake.
– Roll each ball with your hands to form a more uniform ball.
– Melt chocolate according to package directions and place melted chocolate in a small bowl.
– Carefully place ball of cake into the melted chocolate and coat completely.
– Remove coated cake ball and place on parchment lined baking sheet to harden.

Christkindl Market’s Bavarian Style Pecans

Today was a fun day where I checked out the Chicago holiday happenings downtown. Every year the Christkindl Market sets up shop near the city center and brings in a taste of Germany to Chicago. There is so much to see, smell, taste, hear… it’s almost like walking around in a European city during the holidays.

Visitors from all over the world come to the Christkindlmarket Chicago annually and the numbers continue to grow every year. It is so popular and loved by all that any Chicagoan will tell you that they could not imagine the city without it. It is no longer just a German tradition – it has become a Chicago institution. ~ Christkindl website

One of the main smells of the market were of cinnamon glazed nuts. There were several kinds of nuts available and it seemed as though everyone around me had some to snack on as they walked through the market. Once I got home, I was inspired to make some. The recipe that inspired me was from here. I adapted it to give it some more flavor using Pumpkin Pie spice to make it as close to the Bavarian Style pecans and they came out just as good as the ones in the Market!

Bavarian Style Cinnamon Pecans
original Joelen recipe

2 egg whites
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or extract)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups pecans halves, divided
2 quart sized resealable bags

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine the egg whites, vanilla and water. Whisk until frothy and place in 1 resealable bag.

In the other resealable bag, combine the sugars, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Mix thoroughly to fully combine.

Place 1 cup of pecans in the egg white mixture. Seal bag and toss to coat. Remove only pecan halves and place in a medium bowl. Be sure to keep any remaining egg white in the bag.

Coat the remaining pecans with the egg white mixture in the sealable bag and set aside in the bowl.

Place 1 cup of the egg white coated pecans in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Seal bag and toss to coat. Remove pecan halves and place in a medium bowl. Be sure to keep any remaining sugar in the bag.

Coat the remaining pecans with the cinnamon sugar mixture in the resealable bag and set aside in the bowl.

Pour any remaining cinnamon sugar mixture from the resealable bag into the bowl of nuts.
Stir all the nuts once more in the bowl to thoroughly coat.

Place coated pecans on parchment lined baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour – stirring every 15 minutes. Store in an airtight container.


Here are some pictures from the Christkindl Market…
So many trinkets!

Here’s where you can get some authentic Beer Steins!

Gifts all made with honey…
Russian & Ukranian gifts & ornaments…
I don’t think I’ve seen so many ornaments in one booth!

Ahh… lots and lots of German sausages…

A very cold Russian vendor with his Babushka Dolls…
Any one need a Nutcracker?

Interesting candy treat… a Marzipan Pig complete with a candy man riding it?
Creepy Witch Castle (Hansel & Gretel scene)…

Mmm.. Chocolate Clogs!
Truffles are a weakness of mine…

Holiday Candies Adventure Round Up!

With the holiday spirit floating about, folks these days may think of making some holiday candies to enjoy or give as gifts. I spent a night preparing my own holiday food gifts which you can read about HERE. To join in the fun, these fellow bloggers shared some of the holiday candies they’ve made… and maybe these will inspire you to make some yourself for friends and family!

Rachel of Good Thymes & Good Food
from Georgia
Buckeyes
With no affiliation to the Ohio State Buckeyes whatsoever, these candy Buckeyes are far more tastier and sweeter! A confection of peanut butter and chocolate, it’s hard to not sneak a taste! Check out Rachel’s blog for the recipe!

Carrie of Carrie’s Sweet Life
from Minnesota
Baseball Bats
A popular confection trend is combining both salty and sweet flavors. Carrie did just that with her recipe submission of Baseball Bats (aka chocolate & caramel covered pretzel rods). These are not only easy to do but elegant for gift giving as well. Check out Carrie’s blog for details and the recipe!

Psychgrad of Equal Opportunity Kitchen
from Canada
Reese’s Squares
Peanut butter and chocolate, anyone? I don’t know about you, but I sure could take a slice of Psychgrad’s Reese’s Squares. And with only 5 ingredients to make this decadent treat, what’s not to love? Check out Psychgrad’s blog for the delicious recipe!

Erin of Dinner & Dessert
from North Carolina
Killer Crack Peanut Butter Fudge
If you’re a peanut butter fan, this is a treat for you! Erin shares with us this recipe for Killer Crack Peanut Butter Fudge which is quite addictive, hence the name. As Erin puts it, ‘This fudge was so creamy and delicious. It had the perfect peanut butter flavor. ‘ I’ve gotta give this one a try myself! Check out Erin’s blog of the recipe and droolworthy photos!

Saltine Toffee Candy

For a holiday party I’m attending this weekend, I made these easy mock toffee candy to share.

Saltine Toffee Candy
adapted from Allrecipes.com

1 stick butter
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
saltines – enough to line your baking sheet
1-2 cups semi chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

Preheat oven to 400.
Line your baking sheet with foil.
Neatly place your saltines on the foil lined baking sheet.
In a sauce pan, melt butter and add brown sugar.
Allow butter & sugar to caramelize and boil for 2-3 minutes.
Pour mixture over the saltines.
Bake saltines in the preheated oven for 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the saltines.
Allow it to rest for 2 minutes – enough for chocolate chips to melt.
Using a rubber spatula or spreader, spread the melted chocolate over the saltines to evenly coat.
Sprinkle the top with chopped nuts.
Refrigerate to harden the chocolate.
Break into random pieces and enjoy!

Bridgadieros (Brazilian Candy)

The following recipe was prepared during my International Chefs Dinner. You can read about it and check out the other recipes that were made for the event HERE.

Bridgadieros (Brazilian Candy)
shared at the event by Paulo
recipe courtesy of Paulo & Recipezaar

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons chocolate-flavor Nestle Nesquik powder
1 tablespoon sugar
chocolate sprinkles, to garnish

In a heavy saucepan,over medium-low heat, stir all ingredients constantly.
Cook till mixture thickens enough to show bottom of pan while stirring.
Pour into greased dish and cool to room temperature.
Take small amount with a teaspoon and roll into ball shape.
Roll in jimmies to garnish.
Grease hands to prevent stickiness.
If balls do not hold shape return to saucepan and cook additional 5 minutes.

Saltine Toffee Candy

I prepared the following recipe for my Book/Movie club. You can read about my event and view other links to recipes I made for it HERE.

The Saltine Toffee Candy has been popping up in a few other blogs I frequent. I thought this was a perfect dessert to use up the extra package of saltines my husband bought. There are numerous sites and blogs that provide the recipe, including AllRecipes & Recipezaar. Both are similar and here’s the recipe I used: 1 stick butter
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
saltines – enough to line your baking sheet
1-2 cups semi chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used peanuts)

Preheat oven to 400.
Line your baking sheet with foil.
Neatly place your saltines on the foil lined baking sheet.
In a sauce pan, melt butter and add brown sugar.
Allow butter & sugar to caramelize and boil for 2-3 minutes.
Pour mixture over the saltines.
Bake saltines in the preheated oven for 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the saltines.
Allow it to rest for 2 minutes – enough for chocolate chips to melt.
Using a rubber spatula or spreader, spread the melted chocolate over the saltines to evenly coat.
Sprinkle the top with chopped nuts.
Refrigerate to harden the chocolate.
Break into random pieces and enjoy!