DIY fun-size candy, a surprise guest, and a cocktail

A recent link on a friend’s facebook page combined two favorites: kitchen DIY and candy. Healthier versions of peanut butter cups, milk duds, peanut m&ms, crunch bars, butterfingers (personal fave), tootsie rolls, twix, etc could all be mine if I followed these recipes.

On closer inspection, I saw that some of these recipes didn’t truly resemble what they were supposed to mimic (though they’re probably still delish) and many called for ingredients that might take a bit of hunting down (puffed quinoa? Wasa 7-grain crackers?). My criteria of almost duplicating the original (chocolate-coated chickpeas passing for malted milk balls sounds intriguing, but not for Halloween) and having everything on hand (sadly, the crunch bars were out) narrowed it down to 3 Musketeers bars–my winner.

Though it wasn’t a win, really. My digital thermometer was on the fritz and the two meat thermometers I dug from the bottom of my drawer didn’t read high enough. The outcome was overcooked fluff and undercooked nougat (this makes more sense when you look at the recipe) and bars that just didn’t hold together. It being Halloween and all, I’ll show you the blobs that formed when I tried to coat the base in chocolate.

now THIS is scary

now THIS is scary

at least it won't ooze out of the pan

at least it won’t ooze out of the pan

I know, right? But if you’ve been here before, you know I still went forward. Spreading the fluff/nougat base in a well-greased pan, I then covered it with the melted chocolate.

Freezing it gave best results, though too much time at room temperature makes it overly soft. Flavorwise? Not bad! They come close to the real 3 Musketeers bar. So much so that too large of a piece (or too many small pieces) makes your teeth hurt.

Knowing that, I’ll cut myself a sliver and wait for my little goblins to get home from school and start the Halloween madness. *sits down in a comfy chair, puts her feet up, slowly brings DIY candy up for a bite*

DIY 3 Musketeers bars, sort of

DIY 3 Musketeers bars, sort of

*there’s a REALLY loud knock at the door* Liz !! Liz !!! Knock knock !!!

Liz: Who could that be? It’s a bit early for trick-or-treaters. And the girls won’t be home from school for another hour. But I recognize that voice. It sounds like amb*laughing* Ok, I’ll bite. Who’s there?

amb: Orange!!

Liz: Orange who?

amb: Orange you glad it’s Halloween ?!?!

*amb comes in* Trick or treat Liz !!! Oh my, this is exciting; I haven’t been to your house in ages. Everything looks great. And is that … do I smell … chocolate ?!? Oh my goodness, you spoil me. And all my readers. It’s cool that they’re here too, right? We took our shoes off at the door and everything.

Liz: Give me some time here, amb. I’m still recovering from your knock-knock joke. And you seem especially excited today. Chocolate on your chin–have you been eating candy bars already? *shakes head* But yes, of course, bring your lovely self and your lovely readers in. The more the merrier and I just happen to have this batch of super-sweet, super-indulgent homemade candy. Have some!

amb: We have food and movies! I brought entertainment. I figured it was the least I could do, since you’re providing the goodies. The perfect film to go with our completely over the top, so-bad-for-us-they’re-amazing snacks: the 1993 cult classic “Hocus Pocus”. Before he got Zac Efron to sing in “High School Musical”, Kenny Ortega convinced Bette Midler to wear some really, really bad make up in “Hocus Pocus”. Seriously. It’s so bad. I can’t look directly at Bette’s teeth; they’re terrifying.



I purposely picked this movie because I thought I could handle the scare-quotient, and now I’m feeling really nervous here on your couch. Hey, do you think Dave would come over if we called him? To protect me? And be all tall and strong and supportive and … wait, what movie are we watching, again?

Liz: Hocus. Pocus. Remember? That movie where Sarah Jessica Parker plays a witch who enchants boys by batting her eyelashes and … *amb is still all dreamy on the couch* er, never mind. Bad example. Ok. “Hocus Pocus” is that movie where a trio of witches are resurrected from the grave on All Hallow’s Eve and have one night to create the potion that will allow them to suck out children’s souls and stay young and beautiful forever … you ok amb? You’re looking a little pale.

amb: *shivering* Do you ever notice, Liz, how stories that are supposedly for children so often turn out to be completely gruesome? I mean, nobody took “Hocus Pocus” seriously when it came out–they were too distracted by the costumes and the cheesy dialogue and those teeth. But when you think about it, the slaughtering of innocent children just to maintain an outward appearance of youth and vitality is pretty serious stuff. I think it really speaks to the lack of respect that we seem to have, as a society, for our elders, and to the universal fear of becoming irrelevant.

Liz: Your geek glasses have come out, I see. But you’re right amb, when you look past the surface there are some heavy themes in this movie for sure. Maybe too heavy for a Halloween party, don’t you think? Can we focus on one of the lighter elements of the film? Potions? I’ve been toying with the idea of an adult version of a liquid candy bar, so combined a few of my favorite sweet spirits to arrive at this dandy of a cocktail.

sugar overload

sugar overload

amb: Yes, please. Let’s end with the cocktail. More sugar, that’s what I need! And Dave. More sugar, and Dave, and maybe a nice, romantic movie that doesn’t have dark overtones of grimness and death. Can we feature a musical next time, Liz?

Liz: Sounds like a great idea to me, amb. Maybe we should get together on a more regular basis for movie-and-snack discussions. You bring the movie, I’ll provide the snacks? We clearly have a winning combination watching Hocus Pocus while chewing our way through these gooey candy bars and sipping our Candy Bar Cocktails. You bring your Words Become Superfluous friends and I’ll invite food for fun folk and we’ll celebrate the silver screen and sensational snacks.

amb: Another yes from me! Let’s get on that–after this spooky-fun Halloween party, of course. When you get back to your kitchen, start looking for recipes while showtunes play in the background to get inspired. Hey, they’re dimming the lights for the movie. Happy Halloween everybody! And thanks for letting us crash, Liz.

Liz: Always happy to have you and your amazing readers over. Come back anytime! To close, will offer the recipe for the wicked candy cocktail we’re serving. A very sugary cheers to all!

Happy Halloween from amb and Liz :-D

Happy Halloween from amb and Liz πŸ˜€

Candy Bar Cocktail

  • 1 ounce Irish cream liqueur
  • 1 ounce dark crΓ¨me de cacao
  • 1 ounce half-and-half
  • 1/2 ounce white crΓ¨me de cacao
  • 1/2 ounce Tuaca or vanilla vodka
  • 1/2 ounce brandy
  • Chocolate sprinkles

In shaker filled with ice, combine all ingredients except for sprinkles. Shake well. Use small amount of cocktail to wet rim of glass; press glass into sprinkles on plate. Strain cocktail into glass.

60 thoughts on “DIY fun-size candy, a surprise guest, and a cocktail

  1. Pingback: A Very Special Halloween Post! | words become superfluous

    • Thanks, Jayne πŸ™‚ Happy Halloween to you, too πŸ™‚ Glad if you enjoyed. Trying to mix things up a bit. Parties are always a good idea, don’t you think? πŸ˜€

    • Thank you Diddy! For the compliment, and for making me sound so much more refined and civilized than I really am (“AmbLizean” has such a distinguished ring to it πŸ™‚ )

    • I think my daughter has a pet amblizean, oh wait no, it’s a gecko. But your phrase does sound bit reptilian. Will take it as a compliment coming from you πŸ˜‰

      I’d ship the 3-Musketeer bars your way, but they’d be a massive blob upon arrival, possibly having leaked out of the packaging and maybe even gumming up postal equipment in a serious way. Sounds like a solid Halloween prank, actually.

      Good to have you here, Diddy. Am especially honored after your recent botanical coup over at Blog of Funny Names!

  2. I would love to be a part of a conversation between you and Amb – I certainly enjoyed ‘eavesdropping’ on this one (though technically, it’s not eavesdropping if one reads about it, right?) Chocolate and Bette Midler, Liz and Amb – sounds like a perfect time to me!

  3. Oh my–those candy bars ARE scary. I guess you got a trick rather than a treat. (<– Is that cheesy enough for you?)
    Can you believe that I've never seen Hocus Pocus? When it first came out and I had barely turned 4, my much-older cousins brought it to my grandparents' house, and we "all" watched it. I put "all" in quotations, because the witches scared me, and so I conveniently left the room.

    • heehee, thanks Jenny. Hadn’t thought of it as a “trick,” but that’s a good a spin as any.

      Sure, lots of people haven’t seen HP. I watched it once a long time ago and don’t remember much. (All my smart-sounding movie quotes? Those were provided by amb. She’s good like that.)

      Of course you’d leave the room at age 4. Terrifying premise!

      Do you have fun Halloween plans?

      • No–I had to work at a store that was 2 hours from home…so I spent the evening driving home in the rain…and trick-or-treating was canceled due to possible severe weather, so we didn’t get any little visitors. And I’m still trying to get over a bad cold from last weekend. (Hence the lack of DoH posts lately…oops.)

  4. Well, they look yummy–and so does that candy bar cocktail recipe. I’m thinking about fixing myself one as a post-trick-or-treating Halloween treat, once “Batman” is sound asleep. πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks! Hope you have a lovely Halloween eve. Will you be carting your Batman around town for sweet treats? Let me know if you whip up this potion or any other version of πŸ˜‰ I found that it doesn’t matter terribly much how much of what you mix together. It’s all going to be lovely and creamy and sweet and boozy.

      Did you set me up for the email follow? I didn’t think I’d done anything, but got a notification about your churros today. Thanks if you did. Of course I can switch it up on my reader page. Hadn’t even occurred to me. Too much sugar on the brain!

      • I will be carting batman and another little friend of his door to door (in the rain) in just a couple of hours. Batman is very excited. It sounds like you will be doing same?
        I wish I could take credit for setting you up with the notifications, but I’m not that technical. How strange – esp since that churros post was from yesterday.. did you get a notification for today’s?
        Happy halloween! I’ll let you know if I make the drink. πŸ˜‰

        • We went to a neighborhood party (not our neighborhood–remember, we’re not close like that πŸ˜‰ ) and the whole gaggle of kids hit the houses together. Adults strolled the streets with hot coffee that may have had a bit of something lovely added to it. The kids filled their buckets big time. How did Batman do?

          I didn’t get notice for your latest post, though I did change the settings. Strange happenings.

          • Sounds like a great Halloween night!
            I didn’t end up making the drink, was too zonked after dealing with Batman’s sugar high. πŸ˜‰ I’m planning to make it soon though – I’ll let you know when I do!

    • Thanks, Shanna. I see you’re caring for kiddos as well. Gotta say, that’s what’s driven me to enjoy cocktails so. At the end of the day, mamma needs a break!

      Hope your little ones enjoy their Halloween. So glad to have you over πŸ™‚

  5. Halloween is becoming a big thing in Australia too, we saw a million kids dressed up in their witches hats and capes, but thankfully none appeared to be eating anyone’s brains. Just on massive sugar highs. Maybe they got to your DIY candy by magic?? πŸ˜€

    • Awww…thanks Beth πŸ™‚ Always love having you here and now it’s extra special as amb is here, too. Funny how we’re running with some of the same crowd πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks for coming over, Kaela. I enjoy your comments @ WBS and am happy to have one here, too.

      Hope you enjoyed your Halloween candy faves tonight πŸ™‚ I’ve already raided my kids’ butterfinger stash (shhh, don’t tell). Yes to the sugar high!

      Thanks for your vote for more. We definitely have plans πŸ˜€

  6. All of the DIY candies look delicious and fun to make, but it’s too bad how some of them require uncommon ingredients! I love how you topped your candy bars with candy corn–yum! πŸ˜€ The cocktail sounds delicious! I love creamy, sweet drinks πŸ™‚

  7. Liz-what a fun post you and Amb pulled off! I love all the DIY and the “scary” movie. You two crack me up!

    I hope you had a great time yesterday. We had a crazy day yesterday. We had 146 trick or treaters.

    • πŸ˜€ Thanks, Tracy. Gotta admit that I actually got into Halloween a bit this year! Part of it was the prep for this post, then also made pumpkin cookies (on deLiz facebook, found the recipe here on WordPress), sang the This is Halloween song all day, and got dressed up for the Halloween party. There were houses in the party neighborhood so tricked out for Halloween–thinking one of them might have even put your set-up to shame. (Did you have ghosts “flying” overhead on wires? Big guys dressed up in gorillas roaming the “cemetery” in the yard? Dozens of lifelike creepy mannequins and statues–some mechanical? Random folk walking up and down the streets dressed like ghouls and dragging chains from their legs? These folks did and then some. You should totally meet them! Would have lots to talk about.)

      Is 146 a good number? Did you have to keep track of them on paper or did you find a clicker? Did you hand out the full-size candy bars? And most importantly: What was your costume?

      • I so want to see that neighborhood! We had flying ghosts on lines in the trees but not mannequins, gorillas or neighborhood ghouls. That is so cool!

        On the number of “guest”, that is a great number for a week night. It started at 4 o’clock and the last group showed up at 9:20.

        We kept track on paper. I’m such a nerd that we also keep track of the number of adults that accompany the kids.

        No full size candy bars or costume. We let them take handfuls of candy and give everyone glow necklaces.

        Regarding the costume. One of our neighbor’s so terrorizes the trick or treaters that they are completely overwhelmed by the time they get to our house. So if they can make it to the front door, we’re happy and “normally dressed”. πŸ˜‰

  8. Fun post Liz! That 3 musketeers re-creation looks yummy. and funny enough i also ended up watching hocus pocus. That and addams family!..movies that will not scare the living daylights out of me and have me up at every creak and clang in the house hehe.

  9. Hmmmm…chocolate covered chickpeas masquerading as malt balls is a little too close to my tragic attempt at white bean blondies…But that cocktail sounds right up my alley! And I’ve always loved Hocus Pocus. =)

    • teehee–though I’m tempted to try eventually. First, though, must track down puffed quinoa and make those crunch bars.

      Love that you love Hocus Pocus. I don’t think I appreciated at the time how much fun those ’80s movies were. Seems we’ve lost a bit of the kitschy humor what with all the new technology, special effect, face-paced dialogue, etc.

      Am off to buy some apple cider…can’t wait for your caramels to appear!

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