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Maple Snowflake Candy!

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These adorable maple candy snowflakes are made with only one ingredient- maple syrup! Such a delicious and easy-to-make winter treat!

Every winter for most of my life, my mom would tell us about making maple snow candy. It involved pouring hot maple syrup into snow, and it would harden into delicious candy bits. She said they made it at school when she was little, and she loved it.

I’ve never made it- and the thought of pouring anything edible into snow from my backyard? I don’t think so. ūüôā I was thinking about the candy and saw cute snowflake silicone molds online and decided I would try my hand at maple candy. It is a well-known technique, probably made for many years in some families, but a new technique for me- and I learned some things about how to make them well! ūüôā


Here is how we made them: (printable recipe here)


  • 1 cup of pure maple syrup (grade A)- I used Wal-Mart brand because it was the least expensive ūüôā Worked great!
  • A few drops of vegetable oil- if desired to prevent boiling over
  • Silicone molds (the ones I got are discontinued- which is so sad!!! ¬†I just got them about 2 weeks ago!) Here is a link to¬†very similar sized ones (2 inch diameter).
  • A candy thermometer


  • Prepare molds by setting them on a small cookie sheet (to keep them flat). One cup of syrup will make about 8, 2 inch diameter and 1/3 inch deep candies.
  • Pour syrup into a medium saucepan. Clip a thermometer on the side with tip in syrup.
  • Add a few drops of oil on the top to keep it from foaming up when it heats.¬†
  • Heat to soft-ball stage(about 240F degrees on the candy thermometer), stirring slightly to prevent scalding .
  • Remove from heat, remove thermometer, and¬†do not stir for 5 minutes.¬†


  • After 5 minutes, start to stir the mixture. It will (fairly quickly) start to form little bubbles and change color. It will feel like you are scraping sugar off the bottom of the pan. At this point,¬†quickly spoon into molds and then tap the entire cookie sheet on the counter to flatten out the candy in the molds.


Now. I experimented with this a little. I placed my 1st batch in the freezer to harden for about 15 minutes and they had a sugary film on them when I took them out. I left my second batch in the freezer while I went out for dinner (several hours) and they came out beautifully. I repeated this with 3 more batches and it worked perfectly every time. If you are going to make a lot of these, get a couple of molds to save time! 

Here’s a photo of the second batch (several hours in freezer) vs the 1st batch (15 minutes in freezer)¬†


  • Just pop these out of the molds and keep them in a sealed container for up to several weeks.¬†
  • Enjoy!!


My thoughts: These are particularly good with a cup of coffee… the sweet and the sugar… yum! I put these on my Christmas cookie trays for friends and they LOVED them. My gluten-free friends were particularly excited about them ūüôā

Since the syrup is so expensive, I just did one-cup batches for the 1st two sets- so I could experiment without ruining a whole 2 cups of syrup. My remaining batches, I boiled 2 cups at once and used 2 sheets of molds. You have to pour very quickly when you use 2 cups- so that it doesn’t thicken up before you get it into the mold. Other than that, it worked great and was actually a VERY easy and fun treat! Hope you get a chance to try them! ~r

Other snowy day desserts here on Easybaked: (click a photo to see the recipe)

Snowman Oreo PopsCoconut Cupcakes!!!Caramel Ritz CookiesBerry Bomb Cupcakes4


Mom’s Amazing Coffee Cake!

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Coffee Cake

This delicious coffee cake has hidden layers of cinnamon and pecans- and a yummy cream cheese frosting!

My mom used to make this delicious coffee cake whenever my grandparents (her mom and dad) would come to visit. I have great memories of sitting around the table having this with all of them and listening to all the “grown-up” talk. They were from Wisconsin, so a visit always meant a couple of days with us in Michigan. I’d get up early and take a long walk with grandpa and our overweight basset hound Max before breakfast, and return to a kitchen table full of family, laughter, and this coffee cake.

My grandparents lived very active and adventurous lives until they left us for heaven several years ago.

Mom, as those of you who keep up with this blog know, left us for heaven about a year and a half ago.

A friend sent me an article last week about 8 ways to celebrate Mother’s Day if your mom is in heaven. They were great ideas, and the very 1st one was, “Make her favorite recipe”. I think her favorite recipe was my grandma’s recipe for German Sauerbraten, but since desserts are my specialty, I decided on this coffeecake as my “remembering mom” recipe.

As my kitchen filled up with the smell of this baking, it made me smile. And remember.

Coffee Cake recipe

Here’s how to make it: (printable recipe)



  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla


  • 1 cup of finely chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 4 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon


  • 4 oz. (half a package) of cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons of butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • ¬†Dash of salt
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips, melted



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease/flour a bundt cake pan.
  • Cream butter and sugar together.
  • Add eggs and beat well.
  • Add flour, soda and salt. Mix well.
  • Add sour cream and vanilla and mix well. Set aside.


  • Combine all ingredients until completely coated in melted butter.
  • Assemble cake: pour about 1/2 of batter into prepared bundt cake pan, sprinkle more than 1/2 of filling¬†on batter, pour remaining batter over filling¬†and then sprinkle remaining filling¬†over the top.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Cool and tip out of pan onto serving plate.


  • Combine all ingredients except chocolate in a large mixing bowl and beat on high until smooth and fluffy.
  • Add melted chocolate and beat until smooth.
  • Spread over the top of the cooled coffee cake.
  • Enjoy!

Coffee Cake!

My thoughts: Warm this up for a few seconds in the microwave before serving and YUM!!!  You can keep this cake in an airtight container in the fridge and serve it for several days. I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as ours did over the years!!  ~r

Coffee Cake

Whether you are celebrating your mom in person, or thanking God for wonderful memories of her today, Happy Mother’s Day to you and to your family!

This one’s for you mom!


Other recipes from my mom: (click on photo to see recipe)

Chocolate Chip CakeChocolate drop cookies!Pumpkin RollMint Creme Brownies

No, seriously…you have to try that 1st one…best. cake. ever. ūüôā

Chocolate Chip Cake

Chocolate Chip CakeThis delicious chocolate chip cake recipe is a tried-and-true family favorite and a go-to for a winning bake-off recipe!

This recipe is my grandma’s, but my mom made it a lot when I was growing up. She didn’t tell me her secret ingredients until I loved it too much to care that there were¬†dates in it. Man, do I hate dates. I’m not sure what happens to them in this recipe though- they are magically transformed into chocolatey goodness that doesn’t resemble dates in the slightest!

Chocolate Chip CakeIt’s an ugly cake. I mean, it’s just a plain old chocolate cake, and it’s sweet enough without frosting. I was hoping my photos could adequately convey how delicious it is. My mom used to lay paper lace doilies on top, just before serving, and sprinkle it with powdered sugar. When she removed the paper lace it really was pretty. Plus it routinely¬†won our church bake-offs each year…¬†I love beautiful desserts, but for this one it truly is the inside that counts! Plus it is ridiculously easy to make. ¬†Here’s how: (printable recipe)


  • 1 cup of pitted and chopped dates
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 cup of margarine
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used mini- chips because it was all I had- and they worked great!)


  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees and spray a cake pan with non-stick spray.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the dates, water and baking soda, and allow the dates to soak while you put the rest of the ingredients together.
  • Cream together margarine and sugar. Add eggs and blend together.
  • Add dry ingredients (except for chocolate chips) and blend well.
  • At the end, add date and water mixture. Blend well and add chocolate chips.
  • Pour into cake pan and bake 40-50 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip CakeOur family recipe made me smile. Oleo (??) is margarine… and bake “til done” is nice too. Gotta love the way grandmas bake! This is my mom’s recipe card and she graciously added ¬†“40 minutes” at some point in the history of making this cake for us.

Chocolate Chip Cake My thoughts: Well, I love this cake. It is so moist and sweet (probably from those dreaded dates!) and it genuinely doesn’t need frosting. (As a frosting addict, that is saying something!) This is SO easy to put together and it is great served warm with a little ice cream! Yum… I hope you get a chance to try it and make it one of your family favorites! ¬†Enjoy! ~r

Chocolate Chip CakeOther family tried-and-true recipes~ just click on a picture to see the recipe:

Creamy cheesecake with sour cream toppingHeath Bar Ice Cream Dessert3Peanut Brittle!!Grandma's Chocolate Cream Cake

Need a fun and unique gift idea? Easybaked has adorable boxed sets of notecards. They have an Easybaked dessert photo on the front and a recipe on the back! The come in a cute box and the best part? They are ON SALE for Christmas, include free shipping and the site that is hosting them offers $10 off a $50 purchase! Enjoy!!! (Click on photo for more information)

Easybaked Card sale

Peanut Brittle

Peanut Brittle!!
This thick and crunchy peanut brittle just melts in your mouth, and it’s one of¬†our family’s favorite Christmas treats!

This is the best peanut brittle I’ve ever had. ¬†My wonderful Aunt Beth has brought it to our family Christmas celebrations since I was just a tiny girl. ¬†I remember being SO full after dinner and no matter how full I got, ¬†I¬†always had to have a piece of Aunt Beth’s peanut brittle. ¬†I have vivid memories of opening presents one-handed because I had peanut brittle in the other hand. ¬†It is THAT GOOD.

Aunt Beth

Aunt Beth and Uncle Keith

I think what makes it perfect is that it isn’t really hard to bite into or a “teeth-stuck-together” kind of candy. ¬†It just kind of melts in your mouth…and oh my….

I’d never made it, because there has always been this aura of “impossibly difficult recipe” surrounding it. ¬†First of all, you need a candy thermometer and I think that discourages many a would-be peanut brittle maker. ¬†Second, it takes some stirring time over a hot stove. ¬†This isn’t a quick recipe- but it is¬†so sooooooo worth it!

Aunt Beth issued two warnings to me when I embarked on the mission to try her recipe:

1.  Once you add the peanuts you have to stir constantly or the brittle will burn.

2. Be incredibly careful handling the pans and especially the candy, as it is SO hot and sticky and you could easily burn yourself.  Use caution stirring and pouring.

I put on safety glasses and got out a big pan…..

RuthanneIt wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be. ¬†It was actually really fun, and it turned out GREAT!

Ready for the recipe?  Here you go:  (printable recipe)


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup Light Karo Corn Syrup
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 lb. raw peanuts (be sure to use raw- I found mine in the produce section of my grocery)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons butter (plus enough to coat a large jelly roll pan)
  • 2 heaping teaspoons baking soda


  • Liberally butter a large jellyroll pan (this is just a cookie sheet with sides- the bigger, the better!) and set it on a towel or potholders (it will get very hot when you pour the brittle in).
  • In a large saucepan (I used a dutch oven pan) place water, Karo syrup and sugar.
  • Place a candy thermometer in the pan (I clipped mine to the side)
  • Heat on high and boil until soft ball stage (238F degrees), stirring occasionally.
  • While this is boiling, measure out the remaining ingredients and have them ready to add.
  • At 238F degrees, add the peanuts, salt and butter and carefully¬†STIR continually until mixture reaches brittle stage (310F degrees). ¬†This took me about 15-20 minutes.

How-to-make peanut brittleHow-to-make peanut brittle

  • Add baking soda and stir until it disappears. ¬†The mixture will foam up and double in size (that’s why you need a big pan!). Give it ¬†few seconds to get nice and foamy.
  • CAREFULLY, using oven mitts, pour mixture onto your buttered jelly roll pan. ¬†Do not spread it out, just let it spread it out on its own. ¬†Allow brittle to cool for several hours (don’t rush this part– it is worth the wait!)

How-to-make peanut brittleHow-to-make peanut brittle

  • Once it is completely cool, break it up into chunks and enjoy!!!!!!

Peanut Brittle!!
My thoughts: This isn’t a difficult recipe- it is just hot and time consuming. ¬†Now that I’ve made it, I will make it again though- it is SO worth the effort! ¬†I know there are much simpler recipes (even ones in the microwave!) for peanut brittle, and I’m all about simple. ¬†But this is an exception to the rule of keeping things simple. ¬†I really think you will love it! ¬†Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful recipe Aunt Beth! ¬†Love you! ¬†~R

Peanut Brittle
Other Christmas recipe ideas:

Snowman Oreo PopsChocolate Pecan TartChocolate Bon-bonsPeanut butter cup cheesecake

Creamy Chocolate Pie

Creamy Chocolate Pie
This is a new take on a chocolate pudding pie.  So incredibly rich in chocolate flavor that you will never go back to just plain pudding!

This week’s family recipe comes to us from Florida…or Yellowstone…or Peru….or wherever my wonderful adventurous Aunt Paula might be. ¬†She and my Uncle Jim have literally travelled the world and done the most interesting things. ¬†They are great story tellers and a family meal with them is a treasure.


I had never tried this recipe before, but Paula and Jim submitted it to our family cookbook and titled it “The Best Chocolate Pie in the World”. ¬†How can you resist trying a pie with a name like that?!??

Paulas Pie 4
The chocolate flavor in this pie filling is extraordinarily good. ¬†Very rich and dark. ¬†I’m really not a pie person (check the rest of this blog….not too many pies…) but this one is worth trying, it’s very yummy!

Here’s is the recipe: (printable version)


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 5 tablespoons of cocoa
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter. melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla


  • Prepare a graham cracker or a plain baked pie crust. ¬†Since I rarely make pie, I just used a refrigerated pie crust and baked it according to the package. ¬†If you have a favorite crust recipe, now’s the time.
  • In a large, heavy saucepan, combine dry ingredients together.
  • Heat milk over stove or in the microwave and add it gradually to the dry ingredients, stirring as you add.

Not-so-homemade pie crustAdd hot milk slowly...

  • Add butter and egg yolks and mix well.
  • Cook on stove over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly.¬†(I did not allow mine to cook long enough the first time I made this and it didn’t firm up very well. ¬†Cook it until it is a very thick custard like consistency. ¬†Mine actually boiled before it thickened enough.)
  • Remove from heat
  • Mix in vanilla.
  • Pour into prepared pie crust and chill several hours or overnight.
  • Enjoy!

Creamy Chocolate Pie!

My thoughts: Such an easy way to get your chocolate fix! ¬†This pie is ¬†soooo good with a cup of coffee and a little whipped cream on top…YUM! ¬†Thank you for sharing your wonderful dessert with us Aunt Paula! ¬†Enjoy your latest Caribbean adventure!! ~r ¬†

The other lonely (yet yummy!) pie recipes of Easybaked:

Fruit Loop Pie!German Chocolate PiePecan and chocolate pieRaspberry Truffle Tart

Chocolate Ganache Brownies

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Ganache Brownies
These dense chocolate brownies are topped with a rich chocolate ganache. ¬†You won’t be able to eat just one!!

It’s November. ¬†Time for turkey and thankfulness. ¬†One of the things I am incredibly thankful for is my wonderful family. ¬†We are spread over many states and have many interests, but one thing we all love: ¬†dessert. ¬†This month I am going to feature some of our family’s best dessert recipes– just to get you all ready to bring some mouthwatering treats to¬†your¬†Thanksgiving feast!

This brownie recipe is from my Aunt Sara. ¬†She’s known in our family for her wonderful layered salad, but since this is a blog about sweets,¬†that recipe will have to wait for another day.

Aunt Sarah and her granddaughter Sierra

Aunt Sarah and her granddaughter Sierra

Several years ago I asked everyone in our family to submit recipes to compile into a family cookbook. ¬†SO many wonderful things (with the exception of “Feline Delight”, submitted by my Uncle Keith and my dad, involving a stew made from the family pet…. a joke, of course!) ¬†My Aunt Sara turned in this brownie recipe and I’ve always wanted to try it but just hadn’t taken the time until right now.

The verdict: ¬†AMAZING. ¬†These are the¬†most fudge- like brownies I’ve ever had. ¬†If you prefer cake-like brownies just stop reading right here….because these are rich, heavy, delicious bits of chocolate joy.

Ganache Brownies
So, lets get you the recipe so you can try these yummy treats! (printable version)



  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 2/3 cup chocolate (I used Nestle’ dark chocolate chips)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)


  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup chocolate (Aunt Sara uses Ghiradelli, I just used the rest of the Nestle’ dark chips)



  • Preheat oven to 325F degrees
  • Place butter and chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and melt in 30 second increments, stirring between, until melted and smooth.
  • Beat eggs and salt until they turn a light yellow color.
  • Add sugar to egg mixture gradually, and then beat until thick and creamy (about 15 minutes).
  • Fold in melted chocolate/butter mixture.
  • Add flour and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  • Fold in nuts.
  • Lightly spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and pour batter in.
  • Bake at 325F degrees for 25-30 minutes. ¬†Toothpick should not come out clean- if you over-bake them they will be dry.


  • Place chocolate (either chips, or chopped up) into a bowl.
  • Bring whipping cream to a boil over the stove.
  • Pour hot cream over chocolate and whisk until smooth.
  • Refrigerate about 20 minutes, until thick enough to spread, but not completely set.
  • Spread over brownies and enjoy!!!

Ganache Brownies
My thoughts: ¬†These are wonderfully gooey and rich- my perfect kind of brownie! ¬†The only downside of these is having to beat the eggs for 15 minutes. ¬†If you have a stand mixer you won’t mind it, but I have a hand mixer…seemed like an eternity! ¬†Once I tasted them, it was worth every second though! ¬†Thanks for the wonderful recipe Aunt Sara!! ¬†Love you! ¬†~r

Other brownie recipes to fill your November with yummy goodness:

Caramel Fudge Brownies!!Fudge Brownie!Mint Creme Brownie CupsBrownie Oreo Cookie Cup

Opera Creams

Opera Cream Candy These cream-filled chocolates are so smooth and rich you won’t be able to stop at just one!

I work in a genetics lab. ¬†Every year at Christmas my co-worker Gail brings in the most wonderful candy I’ve ever eaten. ¬†Every year I ask for the recipe and she smiles and says that she can give me the recipe but that I’d need to visit and¬†learn the recipe from her. ¬†Now that I’ve made it, I understand. ¬†This is not a typical Easybaked recipe, it’s very involved. ¬†It’s fun and challenging and oh- soooo worth the effort though!

Gail recently retired and about a week ago I visited her in her kitchen to learn how to make opera creams.

This is a recipe passed down to her from her mom, who had all kinds of thoughts about the making of this candy. ¬†My favorite was that the recipe works best on sunny days and if it’s raining you might as well just wait to make it another day. ¬†We had a beautiful sunny December day to make our candy on, so I’m sure she would have approved.

Lets start with the recipe– that’s the easy part. ¬†I’m going to post it twice– once with pictures and videos and once just straight so you can read it easier.

Gail's moms recipe card


  • 4 c. sugar
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 1/8 t. cream of tartar
  • 2 T light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1 t butter
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • Chocolate (of your choice) for dipping- we used tempered dark chocolate bits


  • Put sugar, cream, cream of tartar and corn syrup into a large saucepan and mix well.
  • Use a pastry brush and a little water to brush all of mixture down the sides of the pan to remove any sugar stuck to the sides.

Use a pastry brush to brush water down sides of panGail and her moms candy thermometer

  • Cover pan and bring to a boil.
  • When boiling, uncover and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
  • Bring mixture to 240F degrees
  • (While you are waiting for this to come to temp, butter the bottom and sides of a shallow glass or ceramic dish.)

Bring to 240F degreesDon't stir!!!

  • Remove from stove and add salt, butter and vanilla– do not stir!
  • Pour mixture into buttered dish (don’t use plastic!) and allow this to cool completely (we put it on the back porch where it was cool and this took 2 hours)
  • Spoon cooled mixture onto clean countertop (it will be like a very sticky caramel)

Pour into a non-plastic dishCooled mixtureKnead into a soft cream

  • Work with hands until firm and creamy- it takes 20-30 minutes and this is pure craziness….here are the stages to expect:
  1. sticky caramel- fairly firm
  2. slimy/ buttery texture– almost like its falling apart
  3. sticky but workable
  4. so sticky that you literally cannot move your fingers and you are sure you will have to get the mixture surgically removed.
  5. no longer sticky- but like playdough with little crumbs falling off at the edges…keep kneading!
  6. Finally creamy and smooth- kneads together in one beautiful dough- like ball.

I filmed Gail as she went through this process.  Click HERE to see the near-miraculous transformation from sticky to creamy smooth!

  • Place this ball of filling in a dish, cover with a damp towel and refrigerate for 2 days….yes. TWO DAYS.
  • Bring cream filling back to room temp and roll into balls.

Roll into ballsDip into chocolate...

  • Dip into melted chocolate and cool.
  • You can mix nuts or coconut into the cream if you like, or just leave them plain.

Opera Cream CandyMy thoughts: amazingly yummy. ¬†The cream is just like no other candy I’ve tried. ¬†It is worth every bit if the effort it took us to make these. ¬†I found myself cringing as people popped them whole into their mouths though…I kept thinking, “SAVOR those!!! ¬†You’ve no idea how hard I worked on them!!!” ¬†So hard, in fact that I took a two hour nap when I got home!

Opera cream CandyNow for the recipe in an easy-to-read format:


  • 4 c. sugar
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 1/8 t. cream of tartar
  • 2 T light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1 t butter
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • Chocolate (of your choice) for dipping- we used dark tempered chocolate bits


  • Put sugar, cream, cream of tartar and corn syrup to a large saucepan and mix well.
  • Use a pastry brush and a little water to brush all of mixture down the sides of the pan to remove any sugar stuck to the sides.
  • Cover pan and bring to a boil.
  • When boiling, uncover and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
  • Bring mixture to 240F degrees
  • (While you are waiting for this to come to temp, butter the bottom and sides of a shallow glass or ceramic dish.)
  • Remove from stove and add butter and vanilla– do not stir!
  • Pour mixture into buttered dish (don’t use plastic!) and allow this to cool completely (we put it on the back porch where it was cool and this took 2 hours)
  • Spoon cooled mixture onto clean countertop (it will be like a very sticky caramel)
  • Work with hands until firm and creamy.
  • Place this ball of filling in a dish, cover with a damp towel and refrigerate for 2 days.
  • Bring cream filling to room temp and roll into balls.
  • Dip into melted chocolate and cool.
  • You can mix nuts or coconut into the cream if you like, or just leave them plain.

Opera Cream Candy

A huge “thank-you” to Gail for spending so much time teaching me her family recipe! ¬†We had such a fun day together cooking AND trying lime phosphates while we waited for candy to cool!

Having fun while the candy cools!

Enjoy!!!!!  ~r

Other (easier!) Christmas recipe ideas from Easybaked~ Click on the image to be taken to the recipe:

Chocolate molten lava cupcakesCake balls filled with cream cheese frostingChocolate bonbonsHot Chocolate Pops!

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