Candy Bar Fudge

For the past 4 years I have joined forces with Electra to bake a wide variety of holiday cookies and treats for friends and family.  This year we baked a record 2,600 cookies!  Last year we made 2,100.  This year we also made the most variety of treats; we made 12 different kinds (13 if you include the two different types of rum balls).  We also filmed a time lapse this year!  We took pictures every 4 seconds for all 4 days of baking madness.  We will post the video as soon as it is finished, with more detail of the baking extravaganza as well as a few more recipes.

One of our very favorite treats to make is Candy Bar Fudge.  We made the fudge for the first time three years ago and it was an instant hit.  My Grandpa Steve made sure to let me know these were his favorite.  Since they were such a big hit we’ve made them every year.  This year we tripled the recipe to yield 140 pieces of fudge.  Also, we experimented with using a double boiler instead of the microwave.  The double boiler is more reliable but when you are making big/multiple batches, the microwave is a little easier.

Sadly we don't have a better photo!

Candy Bar Fudge

We tripled the recipe!

Candy Bar Fudge

  • ½ cup butter
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 40 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons water
  • 2 cups salted peanuts
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup milk chocolate chocolate chips
Grease an 8×8 baking pan. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, cocoa powder, brown sugar, and milk. Microwave until mixture boils. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Pour into prepared pan.

Bottom Layer: Fudge

In another microwave-safe bowl, microwave caramels and water until caramels melt. Stir in peanuts and spread over chocolate fudge layer.

Caramel Peanut Layer

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips. Spread over the caramel layer. Cover with aluminum foil and chill for at least 2 hours or until firm.

Chocolate layer

Makes 4 dozen.
Cross section!

Lemon Lavender Cookies

It has been quite a busy past month! December is always a crazy month because of the holiday season but on top of figuring out gifts for loved ones, it’s that time of the year… Holiday Cookies! I love holiday baking because it is a chance to bake a zillion cookies and give them all away (my ideal baking scenario!). This year was the fourth year that Steph and I teamed up to bake holiday cookies. Every year we keep getting bigger and I think this year we may have hit our limit. At least, this was the first year we made too many cookies, if that’s even possible.

One of my favorite cookies that have become a tradition are these wonderful Lemon Lavender bites. This was our third year making them and they simply hit the spot – tangy, delicious, and totally unique. The blend of lemon and lavender is perfect in this buttery shortbread and the light frosting on top makes these cookies totally addicting.

Lemon Lavender Cookies

Lemon Lavender Cookies

  • 1 teaspoon dried lavender buds plus extra for sprinkling on top
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Using a mortar and pestle (or the back of a wooden spoon), crush the lavender buds. Combine the lavender, flour, lemon zest, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Dry Ingredients

In a large bowl, beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth and creamy. Using the mixer, beat in the flour mixture until just combined. Do not overbeat.

On waxed paper, shape dough into a 10 inch roll. Wrap up the roll with the waxed paper, using tape to secure the edges. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until dough is firm enough to slice.

Forming the roll

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Using a serrated knife, cut the roll into ¼ inch slices. Place cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool.

Cutting the dough roll

Spread the Creamy Vanilla Frosting over the cookies and garnish with lavender buds.

Makes 4 dozen cookies

Creamy Vanilla Frosting

  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons milk

Cream butter then gradually add in sugar. Add vanilla and 1 Tablespoon milk. If necessary, add more milk until frosting is spreading consistency.

Lemon Lavender Cookies