Easter is about candy, am I right?
Okay, obviously it means a lot more than that. But who didn’t love finding Easter eggs as a child and who as an adult doesn’t still find joy in jelly beans and chocolate shaped like a bunny? I sure do.
This year I decided that instead of raiding the colorful and over-processed candy aisle, I’d make my own. And that’s where these homemade chocolate marshmallow cups come in.
Like most parents, mine would gather up all of the trick-or-treating bags from the kids and ration our candy out to us over the course of a week or two. Then one year I was old enough to be in charge of my own rationing and I got to keep my trick-or-treat stash in my room. I ate it so fast I made myself sick. A few decades later and candy and I still don’t get along. I just can’t resist it. The solution? I rarely allow candy in the house. It can’t tempt me if it’s not there.
Halloween and a few other sugar-heavy holidays are different, and candy always finds it way into my home. Thankfully, I’ve found a fun way to use up all of it quickly. I can indulge a little, and share with friends.
What could possibly be better than a homemade marshmallow melting into a hot mug of cocoa? On a cold day like today, especially when I’m feeling more than just a little under the weather, absolutely nothing.
And it turns out marshmallows aren’t that hard to make in your own home. Sticky, sure, but not that hard. I admit I was a little intimidated at first, which is why marshmallows have sat untouched on my to-make list for several years now. But Steve and I have been enjoying so much hot cocoa this winter and store bought marshmallows just don’t even come close.
Those of you from the Seattle area know exactly what these are. For the rest of you, Frango mints are the famous Christmas fudge from The Bon Marché, a local department store that has since been bought out by Macy’s. The store name may have changed, but thankfully you can still purchase the chocolates at Macy’s in the Seattle area. They come in a variety of flavors, but mint is their signature and my personal favorite.
For as long as I can remember my Mom has made a homemade version of the mint fudge every Christmas. It was one of the few treats that we could count on because it’s easy and we all love it, and so she’d make it often during the holiday season. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a batch sitting in the fridge right now. If not now, there surely will be before Christmas.
I don’t know why I don’t venture into candy making territory more often. Sure, sometimes it can be tricky, but a lot of it is actually super easy. Like this English toffee! It requires just a few simple ingredients and can be made in about fifteen minutes.
Toffee is essentially butter and sugar that is cooked until it turns a nice amber color and hardens upon cooling. You will need a candy thermometer, but don’t let that scare you. I’m telling you, you can do it. After you’ve made the toffee, spread it with a thin layer of melted chocolate and a sprinkling of pecans or almonds to finish off this addictive treat.