Wednesday, November 26, 2014

IKEA, Crockpots & Mountain Sunsets!

Absolutely EVERY LAST PIECE of IKEA furniture that we picked up 2 weeks ago has been aseembled ---there were no missing parts, or extra parts!

And nothing makes me quite so happy has a bed with a headboard and footboard!

With last year's Celtic Solstice mystery on top!

This is the upstairs guest room --

When we first bought the cabin there were 2 twin beds and a youth bed up here.  The rooms are large!

But when we’ve had folks visiting, it has been couples who don’t necessarily want to be put in two small twin beds ---and last summer we put those two twins together and they became a King for my neice and nephew.

The bed post you see in the lower right corner is another twin – Their daughter stays with them as the guest room with the Queen bed, downstairs is usually occupied by my brother in law and his wife.

3 bedrooms, and a house full of guests – how else can we handle this?

At any rate…I love the new bed frame and the two side tables that go on either side,

A memory foam matress topper completed the job of making this look and feel like a king bed in every way, instead of two twins pushed together with a crevice down the center.

That job accomplished – I turned to the kitchen!

My Mission – to give Janet’s Crock Pot Crack recipe a try!

My family LOVES peanut clusters, so I was eager to try this.

Janet left her recipe on the vol 10 Quiltmaker Magazine giveaway post.  The giveaway is over, but there are over 600 favorite holiday recipes in the comments section of the post.  CHECK IT OUT!


Will it all fit?!

Janet’s recipe for Crock Pot Crack:

Crock pot Crack
1 - 16 oz jar(s)unsalted peanuts
1 - 16 oz. jar(s)salted peanuts
1 - 12 oz bag(s)semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 - 12 oz bag(s) milk chocolate chips
2 - 10 oz bag(s)peanut butter chips
2 - 1 lb pkg white almond bark or vanilla candy coating

Layer all ingredients in a large crockpot (starting with peanuts). Turn the pot on low, cover with lid, and leave sitting for 2 hours. Then, remove lid and stir to combine. Replace lid and leave sitting for another 30 minutes. Stir again and then spoon mixture on to wax paper or non-stick aluminum foil. Allow to harden for at least 1 hour. Enjoy!

It melted down to this after 2 hours!


Dropping by spoonful's onto wax paper.


Holy cow! How much does this make?

((You should smell my kitchen! Everything smells like a Reese’s factory!))


Miles of peanut clusters!

And the clean up was not that bad…..since the contents of the crock pot were still warm, some simple soap and water dissolved everything and down the drain it went.

As for the taste?  Very good!  Very very very sweet though – so I think next time I do this I will eliminate the milk chocolate chips and just double the amount of semi-sweet chips.  I’d like these a bit darker, a bit less sweet, and I think that would do it.

I also didn't have a jar of unsalted peanuts, the store was out -- so I used a 35oz jar of salted peanuts instead.  It worked just fine and I didn't notice that it was any saltier than normal.

Does anyone know….can you spread this in pans and then just break it into chunks when it is done?  Or cut it with a knife?

The most tedious part was spooning the mixture out on to the wax paper.

Boys should be arriving tonight ---but late late since they are both coming after work.  It’s likely I won’t see them until breakfast ----


And the sun goes down over Buck Mountain.


Good Night, Sun!

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, everyone!

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  1. Glad you like the recipe, Bonnie. Oh, forgot to tell you it makes oodles! Only made it once (yes, it's better with semi-sweet chips). Maybe substitute butterscotch or Reese's chips or pretzels. Lots of ideas. Haven't made it in a pan and cut it but I bet it would work! Enjoy!!!
    Jane in WA

  2. You can spread it out in a pan, just line it with wax paper, just like you would if you were making almond bark

  3. About hada heart attack when I saw the photo before reading the recipe. Thought the white chunks were lard. Might have to give this a try and I would think you should be able to spread it out in a pan and break it up like a brittle.

  4. I saved that recipe to try over the holiday time. Thanks for the photos...no surprises that way. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving. You are so kind to all of us sharing your patterns and your life with us. 31

  5. We made this last Christmas and used the semi-sweet chocolate chips but without the peanut butter chips. We're all chocolate lovers! I bet it would be easier to do if you had a small cookie scoop!

  6. Your clusters look delicious. The following is very good, not to sweet and quite simple without making such a big batch.

    Microwave Peanut Clusters

    12 oz. butterscotch chips
    6 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
    Peanuts to taste

    Melt chips in microwave checking every 20 seconds until melted. Remember chips melted in the microwave will not lose their shape so stir each time you check them. Time will vary with microwave. Chips will melt quickly and burn or get to hard if not watched.

    Add peanuts to melted chips and drop by teaspoonful.
    A cookie scooper is a good tool for dropping candy.

  7. Anonymous7:21 PM EST

    I have made this before and I would have advised you to only make half a batch. That is a lot of chocolate to eat. Barb in SD

  8. Yes! This recipe was one that I was immediately drawn to and plan to make on the weekend!

  9. Here is another good recipe:
    2 16-oz jars dry roasted peanuts (one salted, one unsalted)
    11.5 oz. milk choc. chips
    4 oz. German choc. bar
    8 oz. semi-sweet chips/bar
    36 oz. chocolate bark
    Layer in order (in crock-pot). Cook on LOW for 2 hours. Turn off, stir, then use a cookie scoop to drop onto waxed paper. Let cool. DEVOUR!

  10. I'd try using a pan. Just cut in squares right away and then cut again until cuts keep separate pieces.

  11. Anonymous8:57 PM EST

    I make the recipe Pamela posted but I use the mini cup cake papers to drop mixture into. No mess and just the right size for a couple of bites.

    Brenda McWhirter

  12. I made a similar recipe last Christmas and ran out of energy dropping spoonfuls on wax paper, finally just spread it out on wax paper like I used to do almond bark and when it cooled, broke it apart. Not as pretty, but just as tasty!

  13. Funny, our guest room has the same IKEA bed, just in brown.

    I also prefer dark chocolate so here's my adaptation of that recipe that I made last year:

    Crockpot Christmas Candy

    1 - 16 oz. dry roasted peanuts, unsalted
    1 - 16 oz. dry roasted peanuts, salted
    1 - 12 oz. bag dark chocolate chips
    1 - 10 oz. bag peanut butter chips
    2 - 12 oz. Ghirardelli dark chocolate melting wafers
    1 - 4 oz. Baker's German's sweet baking chocolate bar (green box), broken into pieces

    Layer all the ingredients in crockpot in order listed. Cover and cook on low for about 1 hour or so. When chips look like they are at least half melted, stir well. Cover and continue cooking for another 30-60 minutes until all chocolate is melted and smooth.

    Spoon mixture into mini cupcake liners or drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Cool completely, at least 1 hour. (My batch filled 100 mini liners.)

    If desired, sprinkle top with coarse sea salt before candy hardens.

    NOTE: be very careful to not over cook this. The peanuts can burn and the chocolate will become a hard mass, not smooth and creamy.

    This recipe was adapted from this website and various other places on the web.

  14. Anonymous9:58 PM EST

    I've made this with mixed nuts. It was so good! Want to try it with cashews. The other recipes posted here sound wonderful too!

    Sherry from NY

  15. Here is another idea I found for candy making at holiday time, well really any time....
    Cowboy Bark: Trader Joe's Copycat Recipe

    The bark only takes about 5 minutes, making it the perfect fast, easy, and extremely satisfying treat. It's just melted chocolate, topped with a mixture of toffee bits, peanuts, almonds, pretzels, Oreos, and a sprinkling of sea salt. Sounds simple enough, but there’s something about the combination that’s just irresistible. Salty-and-sweet treats can do no wrong. The bark is a texture lover’s dream full of smooth richness along with crispy and crunchy in every bite. Use your favorite dark Chocolate bar, definitely not milk, and don't go too dark so that it's bitter. For the toppings, if you don't have all of them on hand, mix and match based on what you do have. The batch makes about 4 times what you’d get in one $3.69 9-ounce bag, enough to share with friends and they'll love you for it. Before beginning to melt the chocolate, have everything else chopped, prepped and ready to go.

    Yield: about 36 ounces
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 0 minutes
    Total Time: about 30 minutes, for setting up

    16 ounces dark chocolate (1 pound; I used equal parts TJ's 72% Pound Plus, Dark Chocolate, and Milk Chocolate Bars; if only using one, select a favorite dark chocolate)
    about 1 1/2 cups mini pretzels
    8 chocolate-stuffed Oreos, roughly chopped (or use TJ's Chocolate Jo-Jo's; regular Oreos may be substituted)
    1/3 cup toffee bits
    1/3 cup coarsely chopped peanuts (I used roasted lightly salted)
    1/3 cup coarsely chopped almonds (I used roasted lightly salted)
    sea salt for sprinkling, to taste


    Line a baking tray with parchment paper; set aside. Before beginning to melt the chocolate, have all the ingredients chopped, prepped, and ready to go so that they're ready to be added while the chocolate is hot and melty. I use my Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor to grind the nuts in seconds rather than hand-chopping, but I hand-chop the cookies.
    Coarsely chop the chocolate or break into chunks to encourage smooth melting.
    Place chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high power to melt, about 2 to 3 minutes, stopping every 15 seconds to check and stir until mixture can be stirred smooth. Be careful not to scorch it; or use a double boiler.
    Pour melted chocolate onto parchment and with a spatula or offset knife, smooth into a large rectangle, about 10x15-inches, and about 1/8-inch thick; just eyeball.
    Evenly sprinkle with pretzels, Oreos, toffee bits, peanuts, almonds, and sea salt to taste.
    Allow chocolate to set up for at least 1 hour at room temp, or in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
    After chocolate has set, break into pieces or chop with a knife. Bark will keep airtight at room temp for many weeks and in the fridge or freezer for many months.

  16. These recipes look like something I should make for Garden Club meetings. BUT, They do look awful sweet. I am sure you can put them in a large pan, but since they make about 100 servings, that seems too much for one pan. I would try two, as you do not need very much per serving.


  17. Yummy looking! What a neat idea for gift giving.

  18. Yes, you can definitely spread it, it's sold in flat chunky pieces on the markets over here.
    Love the look - and no doubt the feel!- of the bedroom for your guests =^}
    You could take the recipe and add some raisins, and dark chocolate in stead of white.
    I'm just sitting and waiting for the mystery!
    Love from a slightly drizzly Witmarsum,

  19. Anonymous8:24 AM EST

    Here's an alternative to the Crockpot Crack. Here in SC we make it with the peanuts, 1 bar of Baker's Sweet Chocolate, 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 1/2 lbs of chocolate almond bark. Layer in crock pot and cook on low for 3 hrs. No peeking! Spoon into clusters on parchment paper. Let set.
    Always a hit and deliciously addictive.
    Can't wait for the first clue!

  20. One of my favorite tips is to use crock pot liners--available at the grocery store. Talk about easy cleanup!! I use them every time I use the crock pot.

  21. That must be a favorite bedframe for the guest room, I have the exact same one in my guest room!
    It is a good thing you gave the recipe with the photo, I really thought that it was butter on top! Yuk! But the result looks very yummy.


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