AH, yes, the season of Lent is upon us and tomorrow marks the beginning with FAT TUESDAY! One of my favorite days of the year, complete over inulgence. This year we are making unicorn shakes inspired by Everything Erica and her fabulous IG Stories. The supplies are all avaialble at Vanilla Bean Madison, or your local nut-free retailer. And we’ll have some IG Live stories for you to watch us assemble. Have a great week everyone, and don’t forget to set your clock ahead this coming Sunday!
Chocoholics REJOICE! If you have peanut / treenut allergies, I have such good news to share. Today we called Mars Candy Company, the manufacturer of Dove Chocolates. We asked spcifically about the Pink Champagne and Milk Chocolate Swirl hearts. The customer service rep assured us that they are made in a dedicated peanut and treenut free facility.
Whats even more exciting is that on EVERY DOVE CHOCOLATE PACKAGE, it will say “Allergies” and a “may contain” statement. The may contain statement may not always be present. If it’s NOT present, then your specific allergen is not present in the manufacturing facility. If the allergen is in the manufacturing facility, it WILL BE STATED on the package in the “may contain” statement under “allergies.”
Wait, there is more! When you’re looking for allergy info, look for this code. ELZ. ELZ is a code that means the chocolate is made in a dedicated nutfree facility. No peanuts or tree nuts. This code is located on the back of the bag in the “best by” date white box. It’s directy below the date.
Lastly, I just have to say KUDOS to Mars/Dove for having such EXCELLENT and KNOWLEDGABLE customer service representatives answering these allergy phone calls. Our rep today called me back very quickly and she was able to answer my questions and then offer more information for future purchases. I was impressed!
For Valentine’s Day, we wanted to flip the traditional chocolate chip cookie around and make it a cocoa cookie with white chocolate chips. The flavor is amazing! Artisan Kettle White Chocolate does NOT disappoint. White chocolate is not always our favorite, but Artisan Kettle’s recipe for their white chocolate chips is incredible. It makes these cookies 100%. We made a batch to test, then another to deliver in some sweet Valentine treat bags for teachers at our school. We LOVE our teachers 🙂
Preheat your oven to 350° F and prepare your cookie sheets.
Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop by well-rounded teaspoon onto ungreased baking sheets using a 1″ ice cream scooper.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until centers are set. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Happy Valentine’s Week! Many people think you should show love all the time, not just on a Hallmark Holiday, so they decide NOT to celebrate 2/14. I have to agree 100% about showing love all the time; but expressing love & gratitiude on Valentine’s Day is equally as important. This goes for friends, co-workers, family, teachers; really anyone that makes your life lovelier! And this does NOT have to be a grand gesture. It could be as simple as an extra hug to say “happy valentine’s day,” a note on a car door/lunch box, free lunch, a free latte, anything to let that person know you have love/gratitude for them.
Love is so important, and showing it can sometimes be hard if you have food allergies. I’ve had a lot of questions this week about Valentine’s Day and safe snacking. Here are some quick ideas incase you are still out and about – although by gaguing social media, many of us celebrated Valentine’s this past weekend already 🙂 Hope these tips help you have some fun this week.
Tonight we’re working on Valentine classroom cards and mailboxes 🙂 HOW FUN!
Mini Fruit Roll-Up (these were in the entry way at all targets i have been to)
Welch’s Fruit Snacks
Annies Fruit Snacks
Fruit By the Foot
Goldfish Valentine’s Packs
YumEarth Fruitsnacks and Suckers
Mini Bubbles (non-candy)
Hershey Kiss – Classic Bag
Heart-shaped York Peppermint Patties
For the Chocolate lovers in your life, we ALWAYS recommend Vermont Nutfree. Watch our IG Live Stories this week, we’ll be unwrapping our first truffle box from them 🙂 If you’re baking in a nut-free kitchen, keep in mind the Enjoy Life chocolate!
Cooks Country is a new magazine we decided to pick up at the grocery store last week. We liked it because it’s an oversized magazine. The images for the recipes are huge and lets be honest, the photos are the best part! We found an amazing fudge recipe and made it not once, but twice! WE plan to make it one more time since it’s so easy and extremely tasty.
3 cups packed brown sugar
12 tbsp unsalte butter, cut into 12 pieces
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 tsp salt
12oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (we used Artisan Kettle bars, and you dont even need to chop, they have perforations so you can just break them)
5oz large marshmallows, this is 21 marshmallows to be exact
Line an 8″ baking pan with foil, or use a disposable foil pan. Spray lightly with non-stick spray.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, butter, evaporated milk, and salt in large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir frequently. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and simmer. Bring mixture to 234 degrees, takes about 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and remove your pot from the burner. Add chocolate and marshmallows. Whisk until fully smooth and melted, about 2 min.
Transfer the mixture to your pan. Let cool on the counter for 2 hours. Transfer to fridge for 2 hours.
When the fuge is firm, you may brin it out, and cut into 1″ squares.
If you’d like to add toppings, candy canes, pretzel, caramel are some of our favorites. We love fudge! Hope this adds a little easy sweetness to your holiday!