Saturday, October 23, 2010

Homemade Halloween Candy

Why can't gluten-free/casein-free candy be awesome?  Why does everyone have to point out that we can't have any good sweets anymore?  We actually can, there's plenty of sweets out there, I know I consume way too much.  Not only that, you can make some pretty fantastic treats for your little ones (or just for yourself ;) ) as well.  Since Halloween is coming up, I thought it would be a perfect time to adapt my chocolates to our new diet, and give them a fun twist, so my boys will not miss out on any of the 'fun' candy.

Eyeballs (Peanut Butter Balls)
2 cups smooth peanut butter
1 cup dairy-free margarine, softened
5 cups powdered sugar
In a bowl, combine peanut butter and butter and stir until evenly blended. Add the powdered sugar and stir until the mixture has the consistency of sticky play dough.

Roll the peanut butter mixture into 1-inch balls and set them on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Put the baking sheet in the fridge or freezer until the peanut butter balls are chilled and solid (1hr for fridge, 5-10 minutes in freezer). You can store these in the fridge or freezer until you are ready for them.

To make eyeballs, cover them in white homemade marshmallow fondant (recipe below) or dip them in dairy-free white chocolate.  Add an iris (I used blue fondant) and a pupil (I used black fondant, you could use dairy-free choc. chips as well). Make the eyes bloodshot by painting the vessels on with red food coloring and a toothpick. Store in refrigerator.

Yield: >80, depending on how big you make the candies.

Ghosts ('Oreo' or K-too Truffles)
2  8 oz packages Kinnikinnick K-too chocolate sandwich cookies 
8 oz Tofutti cream cheese substitute
(Sorry this is blurry, my camera wasn't cooperating and I gave up)
Crush 1 package K-too's in a food processor or with a rolling pin. Mix in the softened cream cheese until well blended. Place in fridge for 30 minutes to chill. When chilled roll into bolls and put back in fridge until firm.

To make ghosts, roll out a ~1" marshmallow fondant ball to 1/8" thickness, cover and pinch 4 corners to make the ghost.  Either use black fondant or black decorator's gel to make eyes and mouth. Store in refrigerator.

Yield: >60, depending on how big you make them.

Note:  With both of these fillings, you can dip them in dairy-free chocolate and have chocolates.  Each recipe needs about two 12 oz packages of chocolate chips. I actually add 2-3 tablespoons of shortening to the chocolate to make it a better dipping chocolate.

Marshmallow Fondant
I actually got this recipe here, but I'm also putting the recipe below, so if ever the link doesn't work anymore, I still have the recipe. :) This is enough fondant for one cake or for a bunch of candies. :) 

16 ounces white mini marshmallows
2 -5 tablespoons water
2 lbs powdered sugar
1/2 cup shortening (you will be digging into it so place in a very easily accessed bowl)
  1. Melt marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave or double boiler: Put the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, open microwave and stir, back in microwave for 30 seconds more, open microwave and stir again, and continue doing this until melted.
  2. It usually takes about 2 ½ minutes total. Place 3/4 of the powdered sugar on the top of the melted marshmallow mix.
  3. Now grease your hands GENEROUSLY - palms, backs and in between fingers, then heavily grease the counter you will be using and dump the bowl of marshmallow/sugar mixture in the middle.
  4. Start kneading like you would bread dough. You will immediately see why you have greased your hands.
  5. Keep kneading, this stuff is sticky at this stage! Add the rest of the powdered sugar and knead some more.
  6. Re-grease your hands and counter when the fondant is sticking. If the mix is tearing easily, it is to dry, so add water (about ½ tablespoon at a time then knead it in). It usually takes me about 8 minutes to get a firm smooth elastic ball so that it will stretch without tearing when you apply it to the cake.
  7. Its best if you can let it sit, double wrapped, overnight (but you can use it right away if there are no tiny bits of dry powdered sugar). If you do see them, you will need to knead and maybe add a few more drops of water.
  8. Prepare the fondant for storing by coating it with a good layer of Crisco shortening, wrap in a plastic- type wrap product and then put it in a re-sealable or Ziploc bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible.
  9. MM Fondant will hold very well in the refrigerator for weeks.

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