Thursday, September 22, 2011

Quick and Easy After School Snacks!

I was just watching the Nate Berkus show and he had a guest making Homemade Hot Pockets and Mallomars and they looked delicious! If you want to have the hot pockets recipe, go to the site (first recipe below)!

Kids young and old need snacks in between meals to keep their bodies healthy and running strong. Making sure those snacks are healthy and provide kids with the nutrients they need to study and learn isn’t always easy, especially for parents who don’t have loads of time to prepare snacks and have kids who are picky about what they eat. Luckily, there are loads of snacks out there that are not only easy to prepare but also provide health benefits your kids need– all while tasting delicious.

Check them out!

16 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing
2 cups flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 oz. plus 1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp. powdered gelatin
2 egg whites
3/4 cup corn syrup
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
12 oz. semisweet chocolate
3 tbsp. coconut oil

Heat oven to 350°. Grease a baking sheet and set aside. Whisk flours, salt, and baking soda in a bowl; set aside. Combine butter, 3 oz. honey, and sugar in a bowl; beat on medium-high speed with a hand mixer until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in dry ingredients and continue beating until smooth. Turn out onto a sheet of parchment paper and place another sheet of parchment on top; roll into and 11” x 13” rectangle, about 1/4” thick. Chill dough 20 minutes. Using a 1 1/2” round cutter, cut dough into 48 circles; transfer prepared baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes; cool.
Combine gelatin with 1/2 cup water and let sit 5 minutes until it blooms. Combine corn syrup, 1/3 cup honey, granulated sugar, and 1/3 cup water in a 4-qt. saucepan; cook until mixture reaches 245° on a candy thermometer. Take off heat let cool down to 225°, about 5 minutes; add gelatin and stir until it dissolves. Using an electric hand mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; slowly stream syrup down side of bowl into egg whites while beating, avoiding the whisk. Continue beating egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form and meringue is cool to the touch, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a plain pastry tip. Pipe dollops 1 tbsp. onto all of the cookies as quickly as you can. If marshmallow stiffens, beat it a bit more. Leftover marshmallow can be put in a greased and powdered (one part cornstarch to one part powdered sugar) pan for another use.
Combine chocolate and coconut oil in a heatproof glass bowl. Fill a 4-qt. saucepan with 2" of water; bring to a simmer over medium. Rest bowl over pan and cook until chocolate has melted. Place on a rack and spoon chocolate over the tops; let cool, either in the fridge or at room temperature.


Chocolate and Peanut Butter Squares

1 pound white chocolate
1 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips or 12 ounces of chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream

Line your *pan (see note) with parchment or waxed paper, leaving an overhang. (you can also use foil however you will need to spray it with cooking spray).
This will make it so easy to pull the candy out once it is firmed up.
Melt your white chocolate in your microwave for about a minute, stir until the chocolate is melted and creamy. Add in the peanut butter and stir until blended and smooth.
Spread mixture into your pan.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until a bit firm.
In a saucepan, combine your chocolate and your cream and heat over medium high heat until melted and smooth, stirring constantly. Pour/smooth over peanut butter mixture.  Chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. Later, lift out the candy and cut into small squares.

Note: *I happen to have a silicone “pan” with 24 squares in it – which I use when making this. In the past I have just used a 9×9 baking pan.


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Apple Sandwiches

{1 apple makes 2-3 sandwiches depending on how thick you slice your apples}
apple – sliced & cores removed
approximately 1 tablespoon per sandwich peanut butter
approximately 1 teaspoon per sandwich chocolate chips – optional
Spread peanut butter onto apple circle. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Place another apple circle on top. Press gently to seal.
Continue until you have desired amount of sandwiches.

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons super fine sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chocolate chips
kosher salt

In a large bowl, combine cocoa powder, sugar and cinnamon. Stir until well incorporated, set aside.
Place a 3 quart saucepan (or Whirley Pop) over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil and popcorn kernels to the pan. Close the lid and  move pot back and forth  (or whirl around!) on the stove and pop the popcorn until you start to hear the popping slow down. Remove from the stove.
Immediately add the hot popcorn to the cocoa mixture and stir to evenly coat the popcorn. Add in the mini marshmallow, chocolate chips, and sprinkle with kosher salt to taste. Stir evenly and serve.


Vanilla-Chocolate Pudding Pops

2 cups Vanilla Pudding
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

Divide the pudding into 2 small bowls while it's still warm. Add the chocolate to one bowl and stir until well combined. Refrigerate both bowls of pudding, covered with plastic wrap, until chilled, about 30 minutes.
Spoon 1/4 cup of the chocolate pudding into each of 4 ice-pop molds or four 4-ounce paper cups, and freeze for 10 minutes. Remove from freezer and top each with 1/4 cup of the vanilla pudding. Insert wooden sticks and freeze for 3 hours.

Serves 4

Kids need to be well-fueled through the afternoon to help them perform at their best and help you sidestep those hungry tummy meltdowns.

Happy chocolate day!

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