Healthy Oatmeal Bites!

As promised, it’s time to celebrate National Heart Month and I have some healthy recipes to share! Today I present to you a quick and easy, healthy snack you can make for yourself and/or loved ones! My oldest son loves these quick little bites, I love them even more because I can get him to eat some healthy things by sneaking them into this recipe!

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So here we go! And we’ve got three products that we enjoy in this recipe! We have McCann’s Irish Oatmeal, Breitsamer Honey and Hachez chocolate! Are you ready? It’s super easy to make and you’ll be enjoying a healthy snack in no time!

 

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Oatmeal Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup coconut flakes (toasted optional)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (or so, I did less) chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (I used dark chocolate for this recipe)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until mixed throughly.
  2. Optional: Chill first in the refrigerator for half an hour, then roll into balls.
  3. OR roll into balls immediately after mixing. (Just a matter of preference, I have no issues rolling these before they are chilled.)
  4. Store in airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to one week.

These are quick and simple, and provide some healthy oatmeal power! When forming the balls, you can size them any which way, the ones I had rolled were about 1 inch or so in diameter. By the way, the mini Breitsamer Honey jars are just about perfect for the amount needed for this recipe and work PERFECT! Enjoy!!

The best part, as I say with any recipe, you can tweak this recipe to your own tastes and likes! I like adding the spices in to give these oatmeal bites some more pizzaz! Try them out and adjust them to your preference!

 

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Getting Saucy.

What better way to celebrate National Spaghetti Day than to introduce to you all a recipe for some homemade pasta sauce? I am getting tired of the same old watered down, store-bought, flavorless pasta sauces. Making your own homemade sauce is the most simple thing to do and it’s not very time-consuming at all. I have to admit, when I did pull this recipe, I didn’t realize that the sauce DOES need to simmer for about 2 hours, but it turned out fine – my husband and I weren’t quite hungry at the time I was making the sauce, and the kids wanted something else besides spaghetti, so we fed them and patiently waited for our sauce to simmer. And it was WELL. WORTH. THE. WAIT!

The following recipe was taken from AllRecipes.com and I have adapted it just a bit. I used Italian sausage instead of using ground beef. I figure, go big or go home. Spice up your life a little bit! And I’d like to introduce to you Oro Di Parma Tomato Paste. I used this tomato paste with the recipe below.

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This tomato paste comes four different ways: triple concentrated, seasoned with vegetables, seaonsed with basil and spicy hot. I also used Oro Di Parma Chopped Tomatoes for my chopped tomatoes required for the recipe. So without further delay, I will provide the following recipe with my changes!

Easy Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 2 1/2 cups Oro Di Parma Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 1/3 cans (6 ounces) Oro Di Parma Tomato Paste (these tubes are 7.02 ounces, it’s triple concentrated, so I used about 4 ounces, just over half a tube)
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can sliced mushrooms (I actually used a full 8 ounce can!)

Directions:

  1. Brown Italian sausage over medium heat. Drain off fat.
  2. In a large pot, combine Italian sausage, salt, sugar, oregano, pepper, garlic powder, onion flakes, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and mushrooms. Simmer at a low heat setting for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cook pasta accordingly to package directions. Drain. Serve sauce over spaghetti.
  4. Enjoy and Happy National spaghetti Day!

 

As with all sauces, at least when it comes to pasta dishes, the longer it sits, the better it tastes. I made this the other night and I had leftovers and the sauce was even better the next day! Use this sauce for making lasagna as well! And as with all sauces, it will take time to tweak it and make it your own. While this tomato sauce came out excellent, there are a few things I’d maybe change-up for next time. I might add some fresh chopped garlic, more fresh items and what not, but delicious!

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Hello 2018!

Happy New Year! Happy 2018! Let’s start off the New Year with a new name! As you can see, All Things Gourmet, sounds like a nice little fit! What you’ll find here won’t change at all! There still will be recipes shared, gourmet food items to be showcased and shared, along with the sharing of information and traditions and so forth! But don’t worry, there will be little Gourmet Nibbles to be had and I will make sure you can follow my crumb trail!

The month of January is busy and filled with lots of new things, recipes and adventures ahead! There are some sauces and soups to be made, special national days to celebrate – all of course – featured around FOOD! Then we have to face it and admit it – Valentine’s is right around the corner! Yes! I know! We just finished up the Christmas and New Year’s holidays and YES! We must move on to Valentine’s and do I dare bring up the Easter Bunny?! Well, I sort of have to, because we can’t avoid them! And here they are…!

Just a few to get you started!

Over the course of the next year I also plan to keep up on the latest health and food trends, and so far there are a few similar themes I keep seeing popping up! Tumeric  and other spices seems to be one trend. “Gut-friendly” fermented foods such as sauerkraut has hit the list and then don’t forget about your foods filled with probiotic! And as for gut-friendly foods, we have that and we’ve got you covered!

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There are a few things about coffee I may look into – I keep reading that coffee is good for your liver and there may also be other coffee trends that I am going to try to keep my eye on. Is coffee the key to prevent premature death?I don’t know, but there are reports to claim there may be an association to drinking coffee and longevity by reducing the risk of cancer, stroke, heart and liver disease!

And coffee… that’s in stock as well!

So there’s a lot to look forward to in 2018! And it’s time to get started!

 

 

Homemade Triple Chocolate Ice Cream.

You read that title correctly. Homemade *triple* chocolate ice cream! And I made it! I tried this recipe several years ago when I first received my Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Maker. I made this recipe the other evening with Ghirardelli Baking Chocolate. DSC_0122Do you think making your own homemade ice cream is difficult? It depends on how you make it and what tools you have on hand. For me, my stand mixer is handy with its ice cream bowl attachment. There is some preparation ahead of time, such as preparing the ice cream base at least 24 hours in advance so that the ice cream base is nice and cold. You also have to make sure your ice cream bowl for the stand mixer is frozen cold, once again, at least 24 hours or more. Once those two things are square, and you’ve prepped the stand mixer to GO, you just turn it on, pour in the mixture and watch ice cream happen!

According to Foodimentary, tomorrow is National Sundae Day, so this recipe comes in some good time to prep some ice cream for Saturday!

Please note that this recipe does require a stand mixer with ice cream bowl attachment. Also take note that below is the actual recipe from Kitchen Aid, the only change from my recipe is that the store was out of unsweetened baking chocolate, but I used bittersweet baking chocolate instead.

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A word of note from someone who has made the base of the ice cream before: If you can plan ahead and try to use large glass measuring cups when heating up the items over the stove, the easier it will be to transfer from bowl to stove, and so on. For example, I used a small sauce pan for heating water and my glass measuring cup – in essence, a double boiler. At the very end of all the preparation, I saved the remaining 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream, vanilla and salt in a large mason jar. When I was done mixing all the components in the middle part of the recipe, I just placed all the remaining liquid in the mason jar and mixed from there. It’s also easy storage in the refrigerator and it will be easier to pour the cold mixture into the frozen ice cream bowl mixer. There is a lot of action going on: heating, reheating, and mixing of heated portions. If you can make your life more simple by preparing in advance to avoid spillage and for ease of transferring portions from bowl(s) to pan(s), it would be worth your while, but not necessary to do. I thought I would share this handy hint as I have found myself spilling liquid portions because of carelessness along the way!

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And I have a little added bonus today for you as well! I took some video of the ice cream bowl attachment in action for you all to see! I will admit, it’s just under two minutes, and it does get a tad boring, but you can see the gradual thickening of the ice cream as it churns away in the ice cream bowl attachment.

As this wonderful gourmet journey continues, I hope to continue on with more videos and fun stuff!

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But back to the ice cream… we had the ice cream bowl attachment going for about 15-20 minutes and then scooped the ice cream in a glass container and put it in the freezer overnight. My boys were able to have a small scoop from the ice cream maker itself, but it seems to need an extra blast of freeze in the actual freezer. The flavor and smooth texture of the ice cream is so yummy!

Triple Chocolate Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whipping cream, divided
  • 2 squares (1 oz. [30 g] each) semi-sweet baking chocolate, cut into chunks
  • 2 squares (1 oz. [30 g] each) unsweetened baking chocolate, cut into chunks
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 bars  milk chocolate chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

Directions:

  1. In small saucepan, place 1/2 cup whipping cream, semi-sweet chocolate, and unsweetened chocolate. Heat over medium-low heat until chocolate melts, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; set aside. In medium saucepan over medium heat, heat half-and-half until very hot but not boiling, stirring often. Remove from heat; set aside.
  2. In small bowl, combine sugar and cocoa powder. Set aside. Place egg yolks in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and wire whip to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and gradually add sugar mixture; mix about 30 seconds, or until well blended and slightly thickened. Continuing on Speed 2, very gradually add chocolate mixture and half-and-half; mix until well blended.
  3. Return half-and-half mixture to medium saucepan; stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until small bubbles form around edge and mixture is steamy. Do not boil. Transfer half-and-half mixture into large bowl; stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups whipping cream, vanilla, and salt. Cover and chill thoroughly, at least 8 hours.
  4. Assemble and engage freeze bowl, dasher, and drive assembly as directed in attachment instructions. Turn to STIR (Speed 1). Using a container with a spout, pour mixture into freeze bowl. Continue on STIR (Speed 1) for 10 to 15 minutes or until desired consistency, adding milk chocolate during last 1 to 2 minutes of freeze time. Immediately transfer ice cream into serving dishes, or freeze in an airtight container.

This recipe makes approximately 16 servings.

Check out some of the photos of the process of preparation!

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Something to Nibble On.

It’s been an adventure so far, hasn’t it? Over the past month we’ve been to Germany and back, taste tested new products and tried out new recipes while sharing and tweaking old ones. We’ve had an employee chili cookoff and made some local community connections. And we’ve made some friends along the way! We have some fellow bloggers following us along, as well as, friends who have stumbled upon us from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and/or Instagram (click on any of those and you’ll find us on those social networking channels!)! And we also hope that our very own retailers are following us, too! Which brings up a good reminder for our retailers, the spring pre-order deadline is fast approaching! The deadline for spring pre-orders is November 10! Don’t forget! Get those spring pre-orders in!

So with all that, we also want to say THANK YOU for being here and THANK YOU for taking the time to enjoy Gourmet Nibbles! We are only just getting started here and we will continue to bring you news, updates, tidbits and what-nots from our world to yours!

 

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So what do we have planned up our sleeve? We will be doing some more of what we’ve already been doing and hope to add a few little twists and surprises along the way! We love to have fun and we love to share what we do and we love to share our passion of gourmet food, beverages and sweets with you! Sometimes we may be a little “squirrelly” but don’t let that stop you from visiting us here or at our other social media channels!

We’d also love to hear from you! Please feel free to drop us some comments, thoughts, suggestions, questions… we’d love to interact with our friends! Just for fun, I thought today I’d share a photo that I had taken for an earlier post about Wicklein. This was one of the photos I didn’t use, but I thought it was cute… and it also gets us all slowly gearing towards the holiday season – October is quickly coming to a close! So stay close, don’t go too far away because we are going to continue to bring you something to nibble on in the months, days and weeks ahead! So bring along your coffee mugs, tea cups, pilsner glasses, plates, forks, knives and maybe some napkins to catch some of the crumbs, we are gearing up on more gourmet adventures ahead!

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Side Dish Delish!

Do you find yourself trying to find something to add to your main dish – it doesn’t matter if it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner? Well, today we’ve got just the perfect side dish delish that you need to add with your next meal! Why not try adding Kartoffelland Fried Potatoes with Onion to your next meal? It is SO easy to prepare – just fry them up in a pan and heat them to your desire and BOOM! You’ve got yourself one of the easiest side dishes to go with your main course.

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Think about it… you could add this with your morning eggs and toast. A nice different twist to your regular hash browns. Or… maybe you have some left over ham or other meat that you need to cook up and eat – whip these potatoes up with the meat and you’ve got yourself a lunch meal! Let’s not forget about dinner – why not cook up some bratwurst, sauerkraut and Kartoffelland potatoes?! TA DA! Meal is done! So simple and easy to make!

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If these fried potatoes are not your thing, what about dumplings? Kartoffelland also has German Potato Dumplings that have easy prep: mix with water, form dumplings and boil! Speaking of these dumplings, I have had these before. They are a great side dish to any meal as well, perhaps our next go ’round with Kartoffelland, we’ll whip up some of the dumplings for us to share and view with you!

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I prepared the Kartoffelland Fried Potatoes with Onion for brunch yesterday. It was such a hectic morning – I was up early to get out and about with errands to run after making sure the oldest got on the bus. By the time I got home from hockey manager duties and dropping off a birthday snack to school, it was time to put some food in the tummy. I still had English muffins and I thought potatoes and eggs sound good, so why not? So I opened up a package of Kartoffelland potatoes and added them to the frying pan! I really didn’t add much more besides a little pad of butter to the frying pan. The potatoes are already in vegetable oil from the packaging, so I just decided a little bit of butter would be sufficient and let them fry up in the pan for about 15-20 minutes over a medium/low heat. After the potatoes were fried up, I had my toaster work on my English muffins and then I got a pan ready to make some scrambled eggs. I will admit, while getting the pan ready for the scrambled eggs, I let my butter get a little too hot as I was putting some of that Maintal Rosehip Fruit Spread on my English muffins. I took a little too long spreading the fruit and probably had a little too much butter in the pan for the eggs. The eggs didn’t look that pretty, so I spared you all from their odd appearance (but they tasted just fine). These potatoes are a great side dish for any meal!

And the Winner *IS*…

Well… the day has finally arrived! It is the official Gourmet International Chili Cookoff Day! Who’s chili will win the top prizes? You’re just going to have to stay here, continue reading, maybe grab yourself a bowl of chili and read on!

The ONLY rule for today’s Chili Cookoff was this: All chefs and chefettes HAD to use Oro Di Parma Chopped Tomatoes. Contestants were given three cans and could use as many of the three cans that their recipe required! Today’s prizes range from gift cards to a t-shirt! Some recipes have your basic ground beef while another recipe has venison! Some chili was spicy and others sweet, some with potatoes and some made with chicken!

We have to say… when we first started this idea of the chili cookoff, we only had maybe 5 or 6 people signing up. We realized the word didn’t get out to everyone and before you know it we had a total of 17 people with chili entries! When I arrived today I got word we were up to 18 total entries! That’s a lot of chili! As you can see from the photos from today, there was enough food to go around and then some! Not only did we have tons of chili to taste test, but we also had some sweet treats to munch on after all the hard taste testing work!

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Speaking of desserts, our own Linda had made two apple pies. As you can see from the photos below, they were totally gone by the end of the lunch bunch rush!

It was really great to see all the employees together hanging out and tasting the chili! It was really fun to listen to everyone talk about which chili was their favorite and give others pointers on which crock pots they should try next! I think we all kept mumbling, “Oh my gosh, there are 18 different pots of chili!” I know I did! I kept saying, “There’s SOOOO much chili!!” Chili for days!

So after much taste testing and hemming and hawing… ballots were cast and we have some winners!

 

We are proud to announce our winners! Our *First Place winner is Marcos* and our *Second Place winner is Maureen*! Congratulations to you both! They each received gift cards – Marcos a gift card to Ucello’s Restaurant, Maureen a gift card to Craig’s Cruisers! Congratulations to you both! Enjoy! There was a third place winner… that would be Yours Truly, Your Gourmet Nibbler! I got the t-shirt!

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We want to say THANK YOU to all our Chefs and Chefettes in the actual making of the chili and also a big THANK YOU to everyone who helped pull this event together! What a fun way to spend a rainy October day at Gourmet International! Some of us may be expanding at the waist line after today’s event, but what a great afternoon to spend with each other! Nibble, Nibble!

Homemade Granola Made with Raw Honey.

Making your own granola is super easy! Not only that, but I would say it’s pretty healthy compared to other store-bought items that are in your cupboard. Granola is handy to have and tastes great on top of yogurt, cereal, oatmeal and more! This recipe that I am going to share with you has been tweaked and modified from the original homemade granola recipe found here. The original recipe was double in size, I cut it down to half and adjusted from there. The beauty of granola and making homemade snacks and treats is that you can modify and adjust to your own liking. And that is what I did for today’s recipe using Breitsamer Rapsflower Blossom Raw Honey from Germany.

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When I opened the jar of honey, the texture and the color of the honey were really unique and silky? Sounds weird, but silky is how I would describe the honey! You can see from the jar near the top and towards the bottom of the label how it looks like it spins within itself in the jar. It’s silly, but it’s really pretty! And it has an amazing flavor!

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I made this recipe several years ago and I really enjoy it. I LOVE putting the granola on top of ice cream – especially a French Vanilla or Vanilla Bean flavored ice cream. It’s so delicious! You could even add some hot fudge and/or caramel sauce as well!

Homemade Granola Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups uncooked oats
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup extra fine almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup Breitsamer Rapsflower Blossom Raw Honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Combine oats, shredded coconut, almond flour, spices and salt in a large bowl. Mix well.
  3. In a saucepan, heat raw honey, coconut oil and vanilla until melted and warm.
  4. Pour the liquid mixture over the oat mixture and mix well.
  5. Spread evenly onto a cookie sheet or oven safe casserole dish (like I did). Press the granola down onto cookie sheet or into casserole dish with the back of a spoon. The more you press down on the granola, the more clump like it will become and stick together.
  6. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, mixing and stirring the granola half way through cooking time. (I like my granola a bit toasty with the coconut – so I added a few extra minutes, adjust cooking time to your preference.)
  7. Remove from oven and cool in the pan or casserole dish.
  8. Granola will harden and become more granola like the longer it sits.
  9. Store in an airtight glass container.

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Take a Break From Everything Pumpkin.

Yes, I did post those cute and super delicious White Chocolate Pumpkin Pots, but sometimes a break from all things pumpkin mid-October can be a good thing! I made this delicious and refreshing Apricot-Berry Smoothie using from a recipe that I got from Hero. Hero is a Swiss company that makes and distributes fruit jams, preserves, spreads, a variety of nectar, glazes, and more. Hero has a plethora of recipes on their website to try out, so don’t be surprised if you see me making and sharing more of what they have out in the cyberworld! They have all sorts of desserts, beverages and more! As the title of the recipe suggests, I used the Hero Apricot Nectar.

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Apricot-Berry Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 6 halved fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blackberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 6 berries for garnish
  • 1 cup Hero Apricot Nectar
  • 1 ice cube

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and purèe until completely smooth.
  2. Pour into a tall glass, garnish with the remaining blueberries and enjoy cold.

This recipe says it makes two portions, but it was portion enough just for me! I will add, this recipe also calls for just *one* ice cube. I believe after the initial blend I added maybe 3 or 4 more smaller ice cubes.  I also must say the picture posted on the Hero website looks much better than my version, but it tastes so good! All of the berries that I used were organic and fresh and not frozen!

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So what does it really taste like? The nectar is free from any high fructose corn syrup and is made from all natural ingredients, so nothing about this smoothie makes it overly sweet. I would say it’s a pretty good blend of flavors. I ended up using my Magic Bullet, which worked okay – but it could have blended my fruit a bit better. I ended up drinking this concoction with my dinner this evening. I have enough fruit and other nectar flavors in my fridge, so I think tomorrow morning I’ll be making another smoothie at breakfast time! And it would normally be a Nibble, Nibble from me… but in this case, I’ll have to grab my straw and SLURP, SLURP!

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Tasty Pumpkin Treats.

Welcome to October! Around this time of year, most everything is flavored PUMPKIN! Today’s post is a really tasty recipe that uses Kane Candy® White Chocolate Cordial & Toasting Cups. The recipe for today is White Chocolate Pumpkin Pots! They are easy to make and will not last long once they are ready and prepared for your guests! The recipe is posted below, but if you want to find an easy PDF file that you can quickly access and print, it can be found here on our website.

White Chocolate Pumpkin Pots

Ingredients:

  • Kane Candy White Chocolate Cordial & Toasting Cups
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 package vanilla instant pudding (we used French Vanilla)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup cold milk
  • 1 1/2 cups whipped cream, divided
  • 1//4 cup pecans

Steps:

  1. Beat pumpkin, dry pudding mix, pumpkin spice and milk in a large bowl with a wish for 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in 1 cup of whipped cream.
  3. Fill KaneCandy® cups with pumpkin mixture. (We used a pastry bag to fill the cups.)
  4. Refrigerate for one hour.
  5. Top with remaining whipped cream and nuts just before serving.

*Just a side note, on the pictures provided, due to time constraints, we did use whipped cream from a can for the topping and we forgot to add the pecans, but we did have someone visiting with a nut allergy. Better safe than sorry!

If you make these, I promise you, they will not last long! This recipe makes quite a bit of filling, so be sure to have more than one package of Kane Candy® chocolate cups! There is plenty of filling to fill more!