Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Liquor May be Quicker by Candy is Dandy!

I've found my calling -- at least in the last couple of years  I have -- and that is teaching Cooking Classes.     My first -- on Abelskivers was a success and there were so many that wanted to take the class that I did a second one and from there, I was off!

Most classes I teach are at Life + Style in my little town on the prairie, but I've also  taught at Red Cedar Gardens and The Le Creuset Store in Overland Park and at The Louisburg Cider Mill in Louisburg.  

This Thursday was my first class of this "semester" at Life + Style.    The class . . . . Candy!!!!

I spent the day making candy (for candy has to set up) and Linderhof smelled like chocolate.    Chocolate is a good smell!!!  

Off I went this evening with completed candy and ingredients to the class room.      Where I made and we sampled . . .

Chocolate Bark loaded with boozy dried apricots, cashews and dried cranberries.

French Chocolate Bark

Think White chocolate and pumpkin "peanut butter cups"!   Without the candy corn topping, they would be good for Christmas as well!

Halloween Pumpkin Cups

Bark filled with pretzels and candy corn.    Very pretty in a cello bag tied with an orange and a yellow ribbon.   

The Halloween White Chocolate Bark and . . .

My favorite fudge -- love the chocolate and salty flavor!

A Linderhof favorite -- Fleur de Sel Fudge.

It was a fun class and everyone left with a "sugar high"!      For it was way too easy to take another piece as the plates were passed around for a second and a third time!    It was candy treats for both Holiday and Halloween Giving.    There's nothing like a little gift of a treat!

It was a good group, this Candy Class group, and I had a grand time!     I'm looking forward to next month's class -- on Baked Gifts From Your Kitchen.    Just in time for Holiday Gift Giving!

It's Friday and I'm joining Michael at Designs by Gollum  for Foodie Friday and I'm joining Cindy at My Romantic Home  for Show and Tell Friday for I love to tell about my Cooking Classes!

And the recipes:

(Inspired by Ina Garten)

8 ounces semi sweet chocolate
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup cashews
1 cup chopped dried apricots*
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Melt chocolates in top of double boiler.     Spread on parchment paper.     Sprinkle with cashews, dried apricots and cranberries.    Refrigerate to harden.     Break into shards to serve.    (Looks really good in cello bags and tied with ribbon)

*The apricots I use are the ones I fish out of the jar of Apricot Liqueur that I make every year.    The apricots have a nice boozy taste to them!


16 ounces white chocolate
1 cup pretzels
1 cup candy corn

Melt chocolate in top of double boiler.     When melted, add pretzels and 3/4 cup candy corn and mix well. Pour out onto parchment paper covered pan.    Sprinkle with remaining candy corn.     Refrigerate to harden.    Break into shards to serve.


12 ounces white chocolate chips
2 ounces cream cheese
1/4 c. pumpkin puree
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
1 t. vanilla
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup finely ground cinnamon graham cracker crumbs

Place chocolate in the top of a double boiler over high heat.    Bring the water to a  boil, then reduce stove heat to low.    Continuously stir the chocolate until completely melted.    Remove bowl from the heat .

Using a small spoon, "paint" the melted chocolate all over the insides of 10 mini silicone muffin liners (or you can use tin foil liners -- paper liners won't work)    The layer of chocolate should be thick enough so that you cannot see through it, but thin enough that the cups remain upright and intact.     You will not use all of the melted chocolate in this step.

Allow chocolate cups to cool and harden completely by placing on a tray in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.    (You can do this the night before)

In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese through vanilla extract and beat with an electric mixer until smooth.   Add in the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.    Stir in graham cracker crumbs.  

Remove the cups from the silicone forms.     (If you use the foil cups, leave them in the cups)

  Put a spoonful of pumpkin mixture into each of the chocolate cups.    Smooth the top to create an even surface.    Evenly divide the remaining melted chocolate amongst the filled cups, smoothing the tops and making sure the chocolate reaches all the way to the edges i order to seal the cups.

Chill and refrigerate until set about 1 to 2 hours.


1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. fleur de sel, divided

1. Grease an 8×8 square or 9-inch round cake pan with butter. Set aside.
2.Place milk, cream, sugar, and cocoa powder in a heavy-bottomed pot, and bring to a boil on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. When the mixture is boiling, turn it down to medium to prevent it from boiling over. Monitor with a candy thermometer, stirring occasionally if necessary.
3. When mixture reaches soft ball stage, or 234-240 F, remove from heat and beat vigorously until the mixture has lost its glossy appearance. Stir in butter and vanilla, then gently stir in 1/2 tsp. fleur de sel.
4. Pour fudge into prepared cake pan, and sprinkle remaining fleur de sel on top. Leave to cool before cutting into small squares.

(Note:    I found the above recipe two years ago and made it for Christmas gift giving -- but Husband Jim and I ate the whole batch so . . . I made a second batch (and again we ate the whole batch)!    The third batch had enough left so that I could make a couple of gift packages of fudge!     I never tried a fourth -- I figure that we didn't need the calories!


Sandra said...

Hello! Thanks for coming by to visit my blog today and for your sweet comment. Come back and visit again when you have time. Have a wonderful weekend! Sandra

Pondside said...

The Fleur de Sel fudge sounds like just the thing for a cold fall afternoon!

On Crooked Creek said...

Yummy! ...and by the are an excellent teacher. I enjoyed your class last Spring. Came home knowing I had aquired a new skill. Now for making candy...may wait til closer to the holidays!!!

Southerncook said...

I bet your class was a real hit and you have given me inspiration for my Christmas gifts this year for friends, Fleur de Sel Fudge. All the candy's look absolutely fabulous. Great post. Oh how I wish I could be a participant in one of your classes.

BTW, take a look at One Perfect Bite today if you haven't already. She posted the most yummy looking cake, Gateau au Citron.


Martha said...

The Fleur de Sel fudge was the class favorite -- everyone was raving about it!

Sue/the view from great island said...

This sounds like so much fun, I wish I were local. I love making barks around the holidays, and I sometimes give them as homemade gifts, so I'm glad to add these to my recipe collection, thanks!

Bernideen said...

Oh how lovely - candy lane! I love your selections and the smell at your house surely WAS WONDERFUL!

Mary Bergfeld said...

These all sound wonderful. I'm sure the class was lively and that everyone learned a lot. Your fudge sounds especially good. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Sonya said...

Que delicia! Gosto muito de visitar o seu cantinho muito bom.
Querida tenha uma linda e abençoada noite,