snickers surprise popcorn balls

You know surprise cupcakes; the ones where you bite down and find there’s more than just cake in there? I actually never make them myself (my sister does them so nicely with the chocolate cake, cream cheese, and chocolate chips), but I have been tasting out different popcorn ball recipes, and I thought, “these balls could stand a surprise inside.” Chocolate was my initial instict, but chocolate alone seemed much too boring. Something with extra gooeyness and more flavor dynamics… a Snickers, YES. If you eat one of these surprise balls within an hour of assembly, the chocolate is still melty. It’s like you have this great ballgame or movie snack compacted into one efficient junk food treat: mallow, popcorn, peanuts, nougat and caramel, all in the palm of your hand.

I made the less-traditional version of popcorn balls with marshmallows and butter. They are much simpler to make, softer, and there is extra “molding” time in which you can properly stow and hide the Snickers surprise.

Chop or unwrap surprise middles.
Melt 3 T unsalted butter over medium heat.
Stir in 1 C mini marshmallows until melted.
Add 4 C popped corn.
Mix until evenly coated with stickiness.

Scoop out popcorn mix into greased muffin tins or small bowl forms. Press popcorn down into the form and place candy bar bit in center. Cover with remaining popcorn mix and mold into a ball (leave no Snickers trace!). It may be necessary to coat your hands in oil or butter to keep excessive sticking away. Wrap balls in wax paper and store in airtight container until munchie time. Makes 3 baseball-sized treats or 6 mini-balls.

chocolate peanut butter march basketball

After having record-high temps this week back home, we got the most wonderful rain all day today that made the redbuds pop against the wheat fields. Today was my day off, so I took a quick drive this afternoon to Peru (Indiana, Sillies). While I was there I stopped in at Day’s Sweets (I love that they have three OPEN signs)Β and could not resist bringing home some of their chocolate peanut butter bars for the sweet sixteen ballgames tonight. I partially blame the pervasive Reese’s commercials during March Madness, but chocolate, peanut butter, March, and basketball just seem to go together in my head.

sweet st. paddy’s

Upon closer inspection of the baked goods I brought back to my hotel room, I realized they were appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day. Cupcakes: Dreamsicle | Pistachio. Whoopie Pies: Choco-Mint Chip | Bananas Foster. All from Flying Monkey. Wishing you the luck of the Irish and a reason to shout, “whoopie!”

dirty leprechaun & thin mint s’mores

Homemade chocolate (with a hint of mint) cookie coated marshmallows! That’s what the Dirty Leprechaun is all about. I can’t think of anything more perfect right now then being on a camping trip at the close of a full day, sitting around a campfire and toasting one of these babies over hot embers. They really need nothing more than a little heat to be thoroughly enjoyed. But since I could, I put it between two Girl Scouts Cookies. Thin Mints to be exact. Now there’s a St. Patrick’s Day S’more if I ever saw one.

chocolates and succulents

My living stones are outgrowing their egg cups! Isn’t it just when you think something is not going to change, you blink and it has? If nothing else, time changes things. Even when it’s misty and foggy, things grow, reproduce, or die. So I am propagating my succulents in the spirit of growth. If all goes well, I will share them with those of you who like the little muted water retainers as much as I do. If only chocolates could be propagated…

s’more soul cookies

The honey graham dough I made over the weekend was a sort of “healthier” version of shortbread. I added fresh ginger to the recipe and sprinkled demerara sugar over the tops before baking them off. Honestly, I would have been happy stopping there, but remember the mallow bits? I melted some chocolate over the stove in my homemade double-broiler, drizzled it over the grahams, and stuck the mallow bits on top. They turned out to be easy-to-package, simpleΒ self-contained s’mores.

Honey-Ginger Grahams, adapted from Cooks.com

2 C whole wheat flour
1 C unbleached flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C butter
1/3 C honey
2 t freshly grated ginger
1 t vanilla
1/2 C milk

Sift together first 4 ingredients & set aside. Cream together brown sugar and butter until smooth. Add honey, ginger, and vanilla. Beat until fluffy. Add dry mix to creamed mixture, alternately with milk. Chill dough. Roll out onto well floured surface, cut into shapes, and score cookies with a fork. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for about 12 minutes. Let cool on wire rack.

The ancient Greeks maintained that the seat of the soul was in the stomach. If I had a cookie cutter in the shape of a stomach, I would use it.

munchy mallow bits

One of my instant hot cocoa dreams has come true!Β  Jet Puffed now sells those little crunchy marshmallows (that there are never enough of) inside cocoa packets.Β  They come in a container that looks something like coffee creamer packaging, and so far I have seen them in vanilla, chocolate, and peppermint varieties.Β  The mallows aren’t puffy at all and seem more like space food to me.Β  They were super in my mug of chocolate pudding.Β  If you also prefer crunchiness to squeakiness in your Rocky Road, wait to add the mallow bits until just before consuming.Β  Otherwise, they rehydrate in the pudding.

Have you seen these yet?Β  I don’t have any grand plans for them, so far I just like to munch them (like tiny meringues).Β  Let me know if you have any ideas!