Chocolate Nut Clusters

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

If you interested in giving candy making a try, I’d like to introduce you to this Chocolate Nut Cluster recipe. It’s a very forgiving recipe that is as delicious as it is beautiful. Bonus, it’s my father’s favorite holiday candy! The recipe makes two dozen and let me tell you 6 of these make a perfect gift, so give away 3 gifts and keep one for yourself! Happy candy making! 

Candy Making, Chocolate Nut Candy, Easy Candy Making, Holiday Candy Making, Libbie Summers Recipes, A food-inspired life, Chocolate Candy Recipes, Holiday Gifts from the kitchen, Edible Gifts

Chocolate Nut Clusters
(makes 24)

What you need: 
1 pound white candy coating, chopped
6 ounces milk chocolate chips (can sub bittersweet chocolate or semisweet chocolate)
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (can sub bittersweet chocolate)
2 1/2 cups dry roasted and salted nuts (I used 1 1/2 cups cashews and 1/2 cup peanuts)
Maldon Salt (optional)
Chipotle chili powder (optional)
Sprinkles (optional)

What to do:
1. Prepare Trays: Line four 1/4 baking sheet trays or two 1/2 baking sheet trays (whatever will fit into your refrigerator) with waxed paper and set aside. *note: if you don’t have enough baking sheet trays, use any flat surface that you have that will fit into your refrigerator. Plates, platters or whatever.
2. Melt Coating and Chocolate: In a pyrex bowl set over a sauce pan of simmering water (a double boiler), add the candy coating and chocolate. Heat until melted and smooth.
3. Cool Chocolate Mixture: Remove the bowl from the double boiler and allow the chocolate to cool for 5-10 minutes. This step can not be skipped. Allowing the chocolate cool for a few minutes help keep your clusters together when you scoop them out.
4. Add Nuts: Stir nuts into the slightly cooled chocolate. 5. Scoop and Set: Using a small portion scoop (about a heaping 1 tablespoon size), scoop the chocolate nut mixture onto the prepared baking sheet trays. Sprinkle the tops of each cluster with a wee bit of salt, chipotle chili powder or sprinkles if you like. Refrigerate until firm (about an hour).

Try out these other Easy Candy and Sweet Snack Recipes!
They make great gifts from the kitchen! 

Homemade Tootsie Rolls
Beautiful Bark
Homemade Caramel Corn

Kiss Me Frosting

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey
Chamber Apron in Light Pink and Chambray Striped Linen from Libbie Summers Yum Yum Smile Shop

 

STOP! If you save no other recipe…save this one. Kiss Me Frosting is my go to, never fail, everyone loves it, “what the hell is in that frosting” frosting! This time of year when love is in the air Kiss me Frosting tastes even sweeter on the tongue. I love this cinnamon candy colored frosting on everything from my Hot and Heavy Baby Cakes , chocolate cookies, graham crackers, cupcakes, biscuits and my husband’s lips (I had to). BOOM!
Valentine's Day Frosting, Pink Frosting, Cinnamon Frosting, Baking, Buttercream Frosting, Libbie Summers Recipes, Frosting Recipes 

Kiss Me Frosting
(cinnamon candy buttercream)
yields about 3 1⁄2 cups

What you need:
1 cup (2 sticks ) butter, at room temperature 4 1⁄2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla paste (can sub vanilla extract)
2 tablespoons evaporated milk
1/2 heaping cup cinnamon candy/Red Hots (basically a 6 ounce box), pulsed in a food processor to a fine sugar

What to do:
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the confectioners’ sugar. Increase the speed to medium and add the salt, vanilla paste, and evaporated milk. Beat for 2 minutes. If the frosting is too thin at this point you can add more of the confectioners’ sugar and mix for 30 seconds, or just until combined. If the frosting is too thick, add a bit more evaporated milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix for 30 seconds, or just until combined. Add the crushed cinnamon candies and stir until combined (BONUS!! They will also color the frosting pink). Frosting can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

 

Valentine's Day Frosting, Cinnamon Frosting, Buttercream Frosting, Pink Frosting, Libbie Summers Recipes, Baking, Frosting Recipes, Buttercream Frosting Recipes

 

Two Last Minute Gifts From The Kitchen

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

Two fun gifts that require very little time, but pack a big punch! Don’t forget to package them in reuseable containers!

Everything Bagel Mix Recipe, Everything Bagels, Libbie Summers Recipes, Quick Holiday Gifts, Quick Gifts from the kitchen, Entertaining, Bagel Toppings
Everything Bagel Topping Mix
makes 2 cups

What you need:
1/3 cup black sesame seeds
1/3 cup onion flake
1/3 cup garlic flake
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup poppy seeds
1/3 cup flake salt

What to do:
In a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, add all the ingredients and stir together. Cook, stirring constantly until spices start to become fragrant. Remove from heat to a bowl and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

Uses:
•Sprinkle over a poke bowl •Top a fried egg •Mix into coleslaw •Sprinkle on a salad •Season roasted vegetables
•Make a compound butter •Sprinkle on a bloody mary •Sprinkle on avocado toast •Season popcorn •Sprinkle on mac and cheese.
•Sprinkle on fried rice •Sprinkle over white rice •Sprinkle over a hot dog •Season grilled vegetables
Spiced Cherries, Cocktail Recipes, Libbie Summers Recipes, Entertaining Ideas, Last minute Gift Ideas, Libbie Summers Entertains, Cherries, Rum, Peppers
Tipsy-Spiced Cherries

What you need:
1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cinnamon sticks
1 stem fresh rosemary (optional)
1 ¼ cups Gosling’s Black Seal® Rum
12 ounces frozen Sweet Black Cherries, thawed

What to do:
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar and 1 ¼ cups water. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the cayenne pepper, cinnamon sticks, rosemary (optional) and rum. Cool slightly. Add cherries and let stand 30 minutes. Remove rosemary stem. Store in airtight jars and refrigerate for 3 days before using. Will keep, refrigerated, for up to 2 months.

Uses:
•Spoon over ice cream •Make a Rum Old Fashioned •Use cherries for a Tipsy Black Forest Cake •Spoon onto chocolate mousse.

 

Ken and Barbie: Valentine’s Day

By Libbie Summers 
With David Dempsey

Once a year, on Valentine’s Day, Ken takes one for the team. 
Ken and Barbie, Barbie Dolls, Ken Dolls, Fun with Ken, Instyle Magazine, Valentine's Day

Beautiful Candy Bark (VIDEO AND RECIPE)

By Libbie Summers
Assisted By David Dempsey

I LOVE a gift from the kitchen. This past holiday I made 4 pounds of Everything Bagel Topping and before then it was Homemade Mega Marshmallows. This year for Valentine’s Day, I was under the gun and needed to Macgyver something fast…but still with some Libbie Fun and Beauty.

Candy, Candy Bark, Valentine's Day Gifts, Gifts from the Kitchen, edible flowers, sprinkles
Beautiful Candy Bark
(makes 24 servings)

What you need:
2 (11 ounce) packages Ghirardelli white chocolate chips, melted (I used a double boiler)
Food coloring gel, I used purple
Sprinkles or colored sanding sugars (I used light and dark purple sanding sugars and gold dragees. NOTE: It will only take a tablespoon of each)
Edible Flowers (I used violas)
Beautiful Candy Bark Prep, Sanding Sugars, Purple Sanding Sugars, Gold Dragees, Bark Making Supplies, Edible Flowers, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life

What to do:
1. Prep: Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside. Have all your toppings ready.
2. Divide: Divide melted chocolate into two bowls. One will have 2/3 of the melted chocolate and the other will have 1/3.
3. Color: Add just enough food coloring into the smaller amount of melted chocolate until tinted the color you would like.
4. Spread: WORKING QUICKLY, spread the white chocolate out on the prepared baking sheet. Next, drop dollops of the tinted chocolate on top of the white. Using an offset spatula, swirl the two together.
5. Decorate: AGAIN, WORKING SUPER QUICKLY. Decorate with your sprinkles, sanding sugars and edible flowers before the chocolate starts to harden.
6. Break: Allow the bark to set until completely hardened (about 20 minutes) then lift off the parchment and break apart into pieces.
NOTE: If using edible flowers, Beautiful Candy Bark is best eaten within 24 hours. If not, bark will be good for up to one week. Honestly, you don’t even have to store in an airtight container. We just leave ours on the kitchen counter for nibbling.

Need more help? Watch the video!

Get the latest from Libbie!
Stay up-to-date with the latest recipes, photoshoots, videos and much more!