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Candy, Snacks & Treats

  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares with Pepita Brittle

    It’s that time of year once again; the pumpkins are popping up in every grocer and on neighbors' porches. Giant ones, orange ones, white ones, warty ones, multi-colored ones and, of course, the very versatile pie pumpkin ones. The pie pumpkin can be cleaned, roasted and pureed, then made into delicious pumpkin desserts. Alas, I don’t have the time to roast my own beautiful pumpkin puree, so I use the next best thing -- canned.

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  • Gluten-Free Rice Crispy Treats

    rice crispy

    Food allergies are on the rise in the general public, and peanuts, dairy and gluten are the top offenders. In order to stay competitive and offer consumers a product they can consume without worry, many chefs are offering dishes that are free of peanuts, dairy and gluten.

    As a working pastry chef, I have tested and offered these products in many of the businesses I have worked in.  A few of my favorites include red velvet cupcakes, chocolate flourless cake (to die for) and my go-to 10 minute recipe of gluten-free rice crispy treats with callebaut chocolate.

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  • Candied Pecans with Dried Cranberries

    candied cranberry pecans

    Candied nuts are a wonderful sweet treat any time of the year! I enjoy eating them straight off the baking sheet but they are equally delicious on baked goods or even fresh mixed green salads. A simple salad of mixed greens, blue cheese and French vinaigrette begs for the sweet crunchy candied pecan. When baking, candied pecans can be added to fudge, used as a topping for scones, or even folded into homemade ice cream. The uses for the candied pecan is unlimited!

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  • Homemade Graham Crackers (S'mores Part 2)

    homemade s'mores

    Homemade Graham Crackers (S'mores Part 2)

    As promised, here is part two of the homemade marshmallows recipe that was posted on Tuesday. Homemade marshmallows are delicious and definitely a treat to have around the house. But, what would a s'more be without the graham cracker?

    When I was much, much younger, I had a best friend whose mom would give us graham crackers sandwiched with leftover homemade frosting. I still love it to this day!

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  • Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows (S'mores Part 1)

    marshmallows

    Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows (S'mores Part 1)

    Part one? This week I would like to do a recipe for homemade s'mores in two parts, so be sure to check back on Thursday for the graham cracker recipe.

    Living in beautiful West Michigan has its perks. Great lakes surround us, beautiful scenery abounds, wonderful communities of friendly neighbors and four seasons. Spring, summer, fall and winter -- that time of year when no one can go to the lake, the cabin, or the beach. Summer is a time for Michiganders to soak up the sun in preparation for winter hibernation. Labor Day weekend is usually the last weekend when we are able to go to the lake, the cabin or the beach house. In celebration of these last days of summer I am presenting you with a quintessential summer camping recipe, s'mores!

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