Copy Cat Almond Joy’s- SRC

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Yay! Today is Memorial Day!

We are sticking home today to hang out, cross some things off the to do list, and grill. We made steak last night so I think some hot dogs for lunch and chicken for dinner. Autumn even had her own piece of steak (not seasoned, well done) that she sucked on and then dropped for the dog. I swear I try to grab what she is about to do but she is sneaky. And when she isn’t dropping him food she hangs a hand over the edge for him to lick. Those two are going to be trouble as she grows up. It’s going to be too cute! And a bit awful!!

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Anyway, we did some crafty stuff for our room yesterday and we’re going to do some stuff for her room today. I have most of the elements together for a gallery wall for her so I am going to put it up while mapping out some place holders for the 2 little canvases I am going to order. I just love to be able to create something new for our house. I only wish we did it more often.

Anyway, May has sped by and it’s now time for this month’s Secret Recipe Club post I was given the blog Sew You Think You Can Cook. Lauren shares recipes on her blog that she makes when she is not busy with quilting scrapbooking, and cross stitch. When she is not cooking and crafting she is an aerospace engineer… hello smarty! Sounds like a cool profession says the person who pulls out a calculator to figure out a tip. ha! 

While I was eyeing a few of her savory recipes, like the Vineyard Chicken, her homemade Almond Joy bars jumped out to me. I hadn’t made candy in the awhile and never a candy bar like this. I was up for the little challenge!

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I really suggest using a stand mixer to make these Almond Joy’s. The mixture is sticky and would require a bit of muscle so I think it’s best to use the stand mixer so you knew you evenly mixed everything together. If you need a workout then be sure to just a greased bowl and a wooden spoon. Assembling the bars is a breeze. The trickest part is the chocolate part. I never have much luck coating candy evenly, and neither did Lauren, so I decided just to coat the tops. If you are a pro at coating candy then feel free to do that instead, you’ll just need more chocolate.

So a big thanks to Lauren for such a wonderful recipe. As well, a very special thanks on this Memorial Day to her and her husband, who is in the Air Force!!!

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Copy Cat Almond Joy’s

Makes 24 candy bars

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 1/2 Cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 3 Cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 48 whole salted almonds
  • 8 ounces of milk chocolate

Process

  1. Line an 8″ x 8″ baking pan with aluminum foil. Then spray the lined pan with cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, pour the condensed milk and half of the sugar. Using the paddle attachment, beat until combined. Then add the remaining sugar and beat.
  3. Add in the vanilla extract and salt then beat for another minute until really whipped.
  4. In one large batch, add in shredded coconut and beat together until the coconut evenly coated with the condensed milk mixture
  5. Using greased hands, press the coconut mixture into an even layer in the lined baking pan. Score the candy bars by dividing the pan in 3 pieces in one direction. Then rotate the pan and score it into 8 equal pieces in that direction. Place 2 almonds onto each candy bar.
  6. Freeze for at least 30 minutes.
  7. While the bars are still in the pan, completely cut through where you had previously scored the candy bars.
  8. Melt the chocolate and then evenly pour it over the bars. Let cool complete prior to removing the liner from the pan. Gently flip the candy over onto a cutting board. Cut out each candy bar by cutting through the chocolate at each location where you had cut through the candy previously.

Adaped from Sew You Think You Can Cook

 

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Secret Recipe Club

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Thirsty Thursday: Brazilian Lemonade

Brazilian Lemonade

Guess what?!

Brazilian Lemonade doesn’t actually have lemons in it. It’s all limes baby!

Of course, I picked this week’s Thirsty Thursday theme – limes- and I was struggling to find something that wasn’t already like something I’ve made, like the Raspberry Lime Rickey’s. But once I found this I knew it was perfect!

It does seem a bit weird to blend the limes but you really do get a lot of flavor from the natural oils in the peels. So trust me. Besides this is much easier than having to squeeze the limes! All you do is give it all a few pulses and strain it. So simple. Once I was prepped it took about 5 minutes to make.

So simple to make and the end result is a refreshing lime drink that is sweetened in the most interesting way from the condensed milk. I’ve had sweetened condensed milk in Vietnamese coffee and in Coquito before. Which of course reminded me that rum would be fantastic in this. duh!!

Amanda made Grapefruit Margaritas! Don’t they just look so pretty! I hate to admit but I didn’t enjoy margs for a while because of all that lime-y tang but I’m glad I got over it and now enjoy them left and right. Glad Amanda made these since I know they will be so perfect for sipping on while grilling in the summer!

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Brazilian Lemonade

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of cold water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 limes
  • 6+ tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk

Process

  1. Mix the cold water and sugar together, and chill until ready to use. 
  2. Wash limes thoroughly with a vegetable wash or soap. (This is important because to get the wax and pesticides off of the limes because you’re using the WHOLE lime.) Then cut the ends off the limes and then cut each lime into 8 pieces. 
  3. Place half of the limes in your blender with half of the sugar water.  Pulse 5 times, or blend for 5 seconds or so if you don’t have a pulse function. Strain the the mixture, discarding the lime peels and pulp. Repeat this process with the other half of the limes and sugar water. 
  4. In the pitcher you are serving the drink in, add the sweetened condensed milk. Taste after you have added in 6 tablespoons, add more if needed. 
  5. Serve immediately over lots of ice.

To note:

  1. This does not keep well so don’t make too much in advance. However, you can prepare the drink in advance by mixing together the sugar and water, and cutting the limes.
  2. Use this thin skinned limes for best result.  

Source: Our Best Bites

Thin Mint Gooey Cake Bars

Thin Mint Gooey Cake Bars

When I was younger I was a Brownie. I used to do activities and earn badges for a few years. I remember little ceremonies at our local library. But when I remember the most were the cookies. Oh, those Girl Scout cookies were so awesome.

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I used to sell the cookies at my dad’s office and things would get pretty insane. My chart would fill up and then some. And then of course the cookies would be delivered to our house and things would be even crazier. Boxes and boxes filled with boxes of girl scout cookies would fill our living room. My parents would have to sort the cookies quickly that night since my mom ran a day care in our house and we could not have a bunch of toddlers attack boxes of cookies. Their sugar high would just be out of control! ha!

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Now my best friend’s daughter is a Brownie so when the opportunity to help our the Girl Scout’s organization fund-raise I could not pass that up. Nor could I pass up the chance for cookies that only come around 1 time a year. I love Thin Mints and Caramel deLites so I definitely had to order those. But I did order the new Mango Cremes to give them a try.

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The Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts sent me a box of Thin Mint Cookies and a recipe for Thin Mint Gooey Cake Bars so I could see how versatile the cookies are, besides just being so yummy. Oh, my gosh! I thought I was going to have to lock up the box of cookies so Price couldn’t eat them before I made the Thin Mint Gooey Cake Bars.

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These were so easy to make and before I knew it our house was filled with the sweet smells of chocolate and mint. Just be sure to well grease the pan to make it easy to remove the bars once they are cooled. And the worst part is that you really do have to wait until they are cooled before cutting into them or they will fall apart. Oh it was so hard to wait!! But it was worth the wait since these were so good. The cake layer is a great base and then it gets intense with all that chocolate and mint piled high. It’s a bar you are going to want to sink your teeth in as they are soft, chewy and yet crunchy at the same time.

Girl Scout Cookies are available for sale until March 12th. Find a Girl Scout you know to purchase directly from her or you can find a booth where they are being sold in your area. There even is an app you can download to find cookie sale locations!

Thin Mint Gooey Cake Bars

Makes 24 or 32 bars, depending on size you cut

Ingredients

  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup Andes mint chips or candies chopped into small pieces
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 20 Girl Scout thin Mint Cookies, broken into pieces.

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish by coating with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Mix together the cake mix, butter, and egg in a large bowl.
  3. Press the dough mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  4. Spread the chocolate chips and Andes mint chips evenly over the dough. Then pour the condensed milk over the chips and then sprinkle the pieces of the Thin Mint Cookies over it all.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until baked through. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

I received a box of Thin Mint Cookies from the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts to write this post. The options are my own.

Coquito

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Coquito… yum! (Pitcher is from Crate and Barrel)

When I went to Kellie’s daughter’s birthday party (8/2) I had Coquito for the first time. Since there I was harassing her for the recipe and she gladly handed it over. I made it yesterday afternoon and it made me want to take a nap. Price said that it sneaks up on you.

You gotta give this a try. Make a batch, sit back, relax, and sip. It is cold so it is refreshing, but it does not have a heavy feel to it (or the brain freeze) like a Pina Colada. Plus it tastes like egg nog, so this gives you something like it in the non holiday months. Be sure to give it a good stir before each pour so you kick up the cinnamon.

Coquito

2 Cans of Coconut Milk
1 Can of condensed Milk
1/2 can of  Evaporated Milk
1 cup of Rum (Bacardi White 151)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
pinch of salt

* To keep things on the lighter side I used light coconut milk, reduced fat condensed milk, and skim milk since I did not have evaporated milk at home and I was not going out yesterday!*