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Butterbeer Fudge Bake Along

This is one of my most popular offerings. Even those who aren’t fans of butterscotch or don’t typically enjoy fudge have found themselves happily nibbling away at one of these frothy-looking squares. The recipe has been on this site since 2018, but that doesn’t mean you’ve given it a go yet. Making fudge can be quite unnerving if you’re not used to making candy. The base gets quite hot and can easily burn you, you need to hit the right temperature in the softball stage range to get the consistency you want, you have to mix your ingredients so they’re smooth before they set, and then there’s the clean up which looks intimidating (just soak everything in hot water with a drop of dish soap).

If you’ve been holding off on trying this recipe for want of a push, here’s a slight nudge. Watch me cook up a batch and then bake along with me on your second watch! Come back and tell me how it went. How did the batch turn out? Did you end with more confidence than when you started? Are you going to make another batch now that you got all the nerves out in the first batch? What did you end up doing with all of that fudge?! (Pssst, fudge freezes really well, lasts a long time, and takes no time to thaw on a countertop.)

One thing to note: If you are gluten free, find butterscotch chips that are not Nestle. Nestle uses barley protein as part of their flavoring/coloring. This is not labeled on all of the bags. If you’re not concerned with gluten, then grab a bag and go to town.

Ready? Let’s do this!

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Muggles Market and Geek Gala 2019

If you follow Casual Confections on social media, you’ve seen a lot of chatter leading up to the Muggles Market and Geek Gala which both took place last Saturday. Both events were a huge success!

Want to try your hand at making any of the goodies Casual Confections sold or donated to the events? Go for it! These are the recipes I started with and tweaked to end up with the current versions on my menu:

  • Cookie Cat Cookies
  • Butterbeer fudge (gluten free)
  • Dean’s I-Want-Pie Bars (gluten free, vegan)
  • Zuul Slime Cake
  • Strawberry Shortcake-ish Cake
    • Cake – yellow box cake mix
    • Topping – same fluff recipe as above, just add ground freeze dried strawberries, strawberry flavor oil, or strawberry Jell-O mix in place of the vanilla extract. Start with a small amount and add more to taste. Sprinkle with ground freeze dried strawberries.

 

Cookie Cat
Cookie Cat: brownie cookie with strawberry and plain marshmallow fluff

ButterbeerFudgeTray
Butterbeer fudge tray

PieBars
Dean’s I-Want-Pie Bars are very customizable, gluten free, and vegan

ZuulSlimeCake
Zuul Slime Cake: black cocoa cake with vanilla pudding slime

StrawberryShortcakeIshCake
Strawberry Shortcake-ish Cake

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Brownie Roll-out Cookies

I was on the hunt for a tasty chocolate sugar cookie that didn’t spread when baked, didn’t need to be chilled for 2 hours, and could be handled well as a cutout. After looking over several recipes, one from Smitten Kitchen was recommended. After reading the blog post description of the cookies, how to work with the dough, and comments from others who have experimented with it, I decided to give it a go. This recipe is amazing! Some people have used it for hamantaschen and ice cream sandwiches. The chocolate flavor is so rich that it would make for a great s’more cookie or any sandwich cookie (raspberry filling anyone?)! I’m using this recipe to make Cookie Cat sandwich cookies which will include strawberry and vanilla marshmallow creme in the middle. Yum! The Cookie Cat cookies will be available for purchase at the Muggles Market in Charlotte, North Carolina, on November 2nd! I’ll have a post up about how to make the cookies later that month.

MugglesMarket2019
Muggles Market 2019

The dough is soft, which is why there is a recommended time for chilling it, but it is totally workable whether at room temp or having been chilled.  So use it right away or make the dough and store it away to bake later.

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Brownie Roll-out Cookies via Smitten Kitchen

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup lightly salted butter, softened (use 1 stick salted, 1 stick unsalted to achieve lightly salted) *as usual, I used unsalted butter since I bake without salt by choice
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Whisk dry flour and baking powder in a bowl and set aside. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and cocoa in a mixer (can do it all at once, just start the mixer on low speed until the wet and dry ingredients are mixed a bit so they don’t fly out. Then raise the speed to medium). Gradually add flour mixture and mix until smooth. Cover the bowl in plastic and chill for at least an hour (some bakers do 15 mins while they clean everything else up, I’ve done as few as 10 mins and as much as an hour).

Brownie rollout cookies
Cutting shapes using brownie roll-out cookies

Roll out chilled dough on floured counter (use flour or cocoa powder). Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra flour off (can do with a dry or slightly wet finger). Bake on a parchment-lined sheet for 8-11 mins (former for 1/8″ cookies, latter for 1/4″ cookies) until edges are firm and centers are slightly soft and puffed. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

 

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Casual Confections Q&A

Lauren Widrick of Lauren Widrick Coaching and I did a Q&A about Casual Confections. We discussed where I started, how I made the baking blog into a business in the past 5-6 months, and what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. There’s also a nice plug for the Charlotte Geeks Muggles Market and Geek Gala!