Monday, January 10, 2011

Candy is Dandy

Do you have a serious sweet tooth? Do you love books by Wendy Mass? Do you go nuts for books about kids running wild in a dream world of chocolate and sugar? If you answered "yes" to any of the previous questions then look no further for a great read. This book has it all!

The plot revolves around four twelve-year-old kids vying to create the best new candy at the Life Is Sweet candy factory. Nice-guy Logan wants to follow in the footsteps of his father, the Candymaker himself. Self-conscious Miles is trying to overcome his crazy phobias (he's allergic to rowboats and the color pink). Cheerful Daisy comes across as a genuine candy lover, but is she really who she says she is? Sarcastic Phillip is full of snide remarks and only has interest in his mysterious journal. When Life is Sweet's secret ingredient is stolen these four completely different children must put their dark pasts and secrets aside to solve the mystery. 

After hearing the raving reviews of four girls in my class I decided that I had to dive in to this delicious read. One word of warning: do not read on an empty stomach. The descriptions of the candy factory will make your mouth water! I found myself reaching into the candy jar after each scrumptious chapter...

 Recipes to Read By: Homemade Candy Bars
Click HERE to make insanely delicious versions of your favorite candy bars at home.

Here is one of my all-time favorite desserts using my all-time favorite candy:  
                                                                Milky Way Cake!
 Get ready to chop some Milky Way bars, people!

Ingredients:
For the Cake:
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting pans
Eight  Milky Way bars (1 3/4-ounces)
3 sticks butter (mmm...butter...)
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, well beaten
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 
For the Incredible Icing:
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup marshmallow cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
6-ounces chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans


Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. 
Grease three 9-inch cake pans and dust them with confectioners' sugar. 
To make the cake, melt the Milky Way bars with 1 stick of butter. Stick your finger in. 
Remove from the heat and let cool. 
Cream the remaining 2 sticks of butter with the granulated sugar. 
Add the beaten eggs and the cooked chocolate mixture. 
Stir the flour and the baking soda together.
Add the flour and buttermilk to the batter, blending well. Add the nuts and vanilla. 
Divide the batter equally among the prepared pans (and your mouth) and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the cake is firm to the touch. Cool for 5 minutes, remove from the pans, and place on cooling racks. While the cake cools, make the Incredible Icing. 

Combine the sugar and milk in a heavy saucepan. Cook to the soft-ball stage (234 degrees on a candy thermometer). Remove the pan from the heat and add the marshmallow cream, butter, and chocolate chips, stirring until melted. Add the pecans. When the cake has cooled completely, frost each layer, sides, and top of the Milky Way Cake.



                                                Don't you just want to lick the screen?