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Whopper Cookies: Baking with Halloween Candy When Halloween has come and gone, but the Halloween candy has not, what do you do with the leftovers? Do you force yourself to eat them up one by one or do you spare yourself the calories and take them to your spouse’s office? Do you refrigerate them for future use or do you send them off in college care packages? In the past, I’ve done all of the above, but for the last several years, I’ve used the leftover candy for something better. Selecting Halloween candies suitable for baking, I use them to create delicious sweet treats, such as cookies, bars, cakes, and pies. Whoppers, chocolate-covered malted milk balls, turn average cookies into sweet, crunchy, and malted surprises. Trick or treat?

Whopper Cookies
Adapted from recipe by Cast Sugar 

INGREDIENTS
2¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cup roughly chopped Whoppers

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 350 °F and cover baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Stir in milk and vanilla, then gradually blend in the flour mixture. Do not over mix; stir only until no streaks of flour remain.
5. Carefully stir in the chopped Whoppers.
6. Drop 1-inch balls onto prepared baking sheets and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned.
7. Let cool on baking sheet for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I used unsalted butter and the cookies were perfect.
2. Wanting to have “nice chunks” of Whoppers, I cut each one individually, rather than doing a messy rough-chop on them. This took a little longer, but I liked the end result.
3. I barely had enough Whoppers, so I added some rough-chopped Butterfingers to the mix. These were fantastic!
4. I got 45 cookies out of this recipe.

ENJOY!

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Chocolate-Pomegranate-Ginger Bark Candy

The intensity of bittersweet chocolate mixed with the spicy zip of candied ginger tantalizes my taste buds beyond delight, but the bursts of fresh, tart, pomegranate juice in my mouth sends them into pure ecstasy. This confection combines few ingredients to create a depth of flavors you’d not expect from such a simple recipe. Individually, each ingredient is potent enough to stand alone, but when combined, they deliver an incredible treat. Flavonoid-rich dark chocolate, zingibain-rich ginger, and antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice give impressive reasons to eat this candy. Too bad I had to force myself to sample so many pieces to write this review!

Chocolate-Pomegranate-Ginger Bark
Recipe from Oct/Nov issue of Fine Cooking Magazine

Ingredients:
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao), broken into 1-inch pieces
1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds (from 1 large pomegranate)
1½ Tbs. minced candied ginger
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

Directions:
1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or waxed paper.

2. Put the chocolate in a wide, shallow, microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high until it just starts to melt, about 1 minute. Stir with a spatula until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth, heating in additional 15-second increments if necessary.

3. Gently stir half of the pomegranate seeds, the ginger (break up any clumps with your fingers), and the salt into the chocolate.

4. Scrape the chocolate mixture onto the baking sheet and spread it into an 8×10-inch rectangle.

5. Sprinkle the remaining pomegranate seeds evenly over the top, pressing them into the chocolate.

6. Refrigerate until fully set, about 30 minutes.

7. Break the bark into chunks with your hands (be careful not to crush the seeds), and serve. The bark will keep, refrigerated, for up to 5 days.

Serves 6

Linnell’s Notes:
1. Obviously, the better quality chocolate you use, the better tasting bark you’ll have.
2. To open up a pomegranate see the instructions in my “Linnell’s Notes” section of my post Brussels Sprouts Roasted on the Stalk. The pomegranates I had were huge, so I used more pomegranate seeds than called for. The next time I make this recipe (and I will be making this again), I will cut back on the amount of pomegranate seeds.
3. I minced a little bit of extra candied ginger to sprinkle on top of the bark.
4. You might be considering omitting the salt from this recipe, but don’t! I think the salt adds a good counterbalance to the other flavors.

Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

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