Monday, December 6, 2010
Chocolate Clouds and Muddy Buddys
I'm still contemplating what goodies to make for the holidays. We have our two or three "Have-To-Makes" but I like to try a few newer ones that the girls want to try or that just sound good. I have to spread them out on a week-by-week basis as money does not flow like sands through the hourglass...
Years ago (like 15 or more) Pepperidge Farms used to make a simple treat called Chocolate Clouds. Simply chocolate wrapped in puff pastry. They were so good! Sadly, as it is with just about anything we like around here, they stopped producing them. So we sometimes just made them ourselves with a sheet of puff pastry (yay - they still make that!), a divided Hershey bar and some sprinkled sugar.
You can simply fold the pastry squares into triangles or even get creative with the encasement of the chocolate if you have the patience for dealing with pastry. I, however, am lazy with the pastry end and just want to get to the chocolate eating part. There is just something about the combination of chocolate and puff pastry that enthralls me...
So I decided to try something a little different. Instead of just a Hershey bar, we used Nutella and mini marshmallows inside the puff pastry. I liked it, but I might try either more marshmallows or maybe marshmallow fluff next time around because I couldn't really taste the marshmallow at all. The Nutella instead of a Hershey bar was different and good!
A quickie egg wash and 25 minutes in a 350 oven and you get this:
We've also tried this with Hershey Kisses, Andes Candies, Hershey bars with a caramel drizzle... The possibilities are truly endless! These days, every holiday comes with a new Hershey Kiss flavor or candy bar. You could even take the "fun-sized" candy bars like a Milky Way and wrap them in puff pastry! Hmm..I may just have to try that one!
Chocolate Marshmallow Clouds
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed and cut into nine squares
Egg wash (1 egg white plus 1 tablespoon water whisked together)
Granulated sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350. Place a teaspoon or so of Nutella in the center of each pastry square. Leave about a 1/4 inch border around the edges. Top with 3 or 4 mini marshmallows and fold over into a triangle. Crimp the edges with the business end of a fork. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes and let cool for 5 minutes before devouring. You can also dust cooled pastry with powdered sugar for an even bigger sugar buzz.
For extra brownie spousal points, I made one of Papa Bear's favorite chocolate snacks: Muddy Buddys. A friend of Crazy Artist made these for her for Christmas one year and she shared them with Papa Bear and he has been a Muddy Buddy fan ever since!
These are super duper easy (like rice krispie treats easy) and are a favorite with the kids.
9 cups of Chex cereal - any kind or a mixture of any available flavors/varieties
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate chips and peanut butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into a large (2-gallon) sized ziplock bag. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread onto waxed paper to cool.
The recipe on Chex boxes has an additional ingredient - 1/4 cup of butter - which I do not add. The first time I made this, I accidentally forgot to add the butter to the chocolate and peanut butter during the microwaving. To me, it tasted just fine and no different that the batch made with the butter. Feel free to add or omit the butter when you make your many, many batches...