Tag Archives: candy

Pumpkin Cookie Dough Bark

I don’t often make treats with pumpkin as an ingredient because I prefer my pumpkin in soup or as a vegetable rather than as a dessert.  With that being said, I love this Pumpkin Cookie Dough Bark recipe and I’m sure you will too.

1/2 cup Vegan Buttery Sticks, room temperature
3/4 cup packed organic light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 cup 100% pumpkin puree
2 cups pasteurized whole wheat pastry flour *
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
3 cups semi sweet (regular sized) chocolate chips

*To pasteurize flour, heat flour in a microwave until it reaches 160 degrees F.  The time will vary from microwave to microwave but it will take approximately 1 minute.  Don’t overheat as the flour will burn so be sure to check every 10 seconds.


Homemade Marzipan Candy

Homemade Marzipan Candy

Marzipan is a sweet tasting doughy molding paste made from ground almonds.  It can be used in place of gum paste or fondant for sculpting and molding flowers and decorations.  It’s also used as a confection.  It’s easy and far less expensive to make it yourself.  Just keep it wrapped well in airtight plastic wrap for up to two weeks.

2 cups granulated sugar (I used a combination of stevia blend and organic sugar)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
4 cups almond meal or almond flour
2 egg whites
Powdered sugar for dusting

Optional: melted chocolate for dipping


Chocolate Coconut Almond Candy

I’ve said often times that I’m not a big lover of coconut.  With that said, there are some recipes that have coconut in it, that I either don’t mind or I really like.  This is one of the recipes that I really like.  It tastes just like a Mounds candy bar but this version is healthier, vegan, and gluten free.

1  1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Stick, softened (Smart Balance brand is also good)
2 1/2 cups organic powdered sugar (Learn to make your own here )
1 tablespoon cashew milk (almond, soy, coconut, or any other unsweetened high fat milk can be used)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds

Melted chocolate for decoration

To toast coconut and almonds, spread out in a pan and bake at 350 oven for 5 to 10 minutes.  Keep an eye on them because they will go from lightly toasted to burnt very quickly.

Gingerbread Chocolate Bark

I thought up this idea of gingerbread bark when I saw the “party bark” sold at Costco last month.  Since gingerbread is fitting with the holiday season, why not put it in bark?  To make this bark you will need gingerbread cookies and I, of course, recommend my Gingerbread Cookie recipe:

You will also need chocolate.  In the video, I used a combination of semi-sweet chocolate and bittersweet chocolate.  You can use milk chocolate or even white chocolate if you wish.

For an 8 inch by 8 inch pan, I used 10 ounces of chocolate.  If you use a larger pan, use enough chocolate to coat the bottom of the pan about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick.  If the chocolate layer is too thin, it will crumble.  If it’s too thick, you’ll never be able to break it apart.  And that’s no fun.

You can use “melting chocolate” also known as candy melts if you really, really want to but first watch my video on why I don’t use them.



3 Nut Clusters

I love clusters and even though I don’t have as much of a sweet tooth as I used to, thanks to cutting down on sugar, I still love caramel.  In this recipe, I combined 3 kinds of my favorite nuts.  You can use whatever you want or even just keep it solo by only using one kind.  Or if you prefer, buy a bag of mixed nuts and use them.  You can also add raisins and chocolate chips if you want.

As I said above, I love caramel but too much of it is too sweet for my taste so I tend to use just enough to hold the nuts together.  Of course if you prefer more, use more.

30 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped {about 8 ounces}
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped nuts ( I used 1/2 cup pecans, 1/2 cup cashews, 1/2 cup lightly salted peanuts)
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vegetable shortening

Follow directions in video above.




Can You Use Chocolate Chips Instead of A Baking Bar?

This is a question that is asked all of the time.   Today while I was snowed in for what I hope to be our last snowstorm of the season, I filmed this video with an answer.

Something New!


You may have noticed I added a few videos to some of the older posts.  I now have a Youtube Channel in which I will be adding many more videos combining the best baking on the net, a little bit of my active lifestyle and will engage and interact with my viewers.  Please subscribe to my channel at  Cinnamon Sweet Shoppe to be a part of my baking community


Chocolate Heart Candy

Heart Candy

These chocolate hearts are were made using a Wilton candy pop mold and left out the stick.  They are part of these cookies I am making.


Pecan Toffee Chocolate Candy (Vegan and clean eating alternative included)


The holidays are over and that means re-starting that weight loss/healthy lifestyle resolution that you never followed through with last year.  Or the year before that.  My approach to any healthy lifestyle is “moderation” which includes healthy treats and  unhealthy treats.  So here is a recipe for pecan toffee.  Even the healthier clean eating version is still high in calories but toffee can be broken into smaller size portions for those days that you allow yourself a treat, in moderation of course.  And the rest can be sealed and saved for up to a month or more.

I changed a few things around to make it just a smidgeon healthier.  For one, corn syrup is forbidden in my home.  As an alternative, I use tapioca syrup.


Here’s is what you need:

2 sticks unsalted butter (For a vegan and healthier version, use 2 sticks Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks)
200 grams raw organic sugar (I haven’t tried this with coconut palm sugar and don’t know how the results will be.  If you try it, let me know)
1/4 cup water
1 tsp Tapioca Syrup (You know how I feel about corn syrup but if you want, you can use that or glucose instead)
a pinch of salt (I usually leave salt out but sea salt would be a cleaner option)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (cane sweetened for a cleaner choice)
3/4 cup chopped pecan nuts.
Prepare a sheet pan with either a silicone mat or spray the pan liberally with cooking spray.

Melt the butter and sugar.  Add in the water, tapioca syrup, and salt and bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Once at a boil attach a candy thermometer. Stir occasionally to ensure an even color.  Cook sugar mixture until thermometer reaches 300 degrees.  It could take anywhere 10-15 minutes or longer depending on the depth of your pot.  Be patient!  It must reach this temperature for toffee to set up and harden.  Once the mixture reaches 300 degrees, remove from heat and while stirring, add in vanilla extract.

Pour onto prepared pan and wait about two minutes to slightly cool.  Sprinkle chocolate chips.  The heat of the toffee will melt the chips.  With a spatula, spread the melted chocolate across the toffee completely covering it.  Then sprinkle pecans on top.

Wait about 2-3 hours to harden at room temperature.  Break apart into desired sizes.

Toffee can be stored in an airtight container for at least a month.  Never refrigerate or freeze it as the condensation with make it soft and gummy in texture.

Louisiana Pecan Pralines


For this blog entry I’m backing away a little from the past few clean eating entries.  Why?  Because these pecan pralines are so good they’re worth an occasion cheat to eat them.  I have included some lower calorie substitutions in parenthesis

Why Louisiana Pecan Pralines?  Because Mardi Gras is just around the corner.

For this recipe a candy thermometer is required, preferably a digital one.

2 cups pecan halves and pieces
3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar (or 1 1/2 cups Splenda Brown Sugar Blend)
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup (I used maple syrup but you can also use honey, agave, brown rice syrup, or tapioca syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

OPTIONAL: Melted chocolate to drizzle on top

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool completely (about 15 minutes).

PecanPralines4Meanwhile, bring brown sugar and next 3 ingredients to a boil in a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 236° (soft ball stage). Remove sugar mixture from heat.


Let sugar mixture stand until candy thermometer reaches 150° (20 to 25 minutes). Stir in vanilla and pecans using a wooden spoon; stir constantly 1 to 2 minutes or just until mixture begins to lose its gloss. Quickly drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto wax paper; let stand until firm (10 to 15 minutes). Drizzle melted chocolate on top

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