Monday, December 31, 2012

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

2012 was a wonderful year for Casco bay Soap Co. and I know that 2013 will be even better!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hot Chocolate

A re-post.  But I LOVE to make this!  I am making up a few more batches of my homemade Hot Chocolate in between soap making to give as gifts.
Plain and simple, I love hot chocolate. For those of you that know me personally, I love to cook & bake. Food to me is creative, a visual treat and a comfort. During the holidays, I made a big batch of hot chocolate mix, kept some for my own personal use and gave some away little glass jars to friends. I wanted to share with you the recipe that I use, it is from It may have few extra steps, but it is well worth it.

4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split crosswise (see tips, below)
1 1/2 pounds high-quality semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process


Place sugar in large bowl. Split half vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape seeds into sugar, and add pod. Work seeds in with your fingers. Cover snugly with plastic wrap and let stand overnight at room temperature.
In food processor fitted with metal blade, process semisweet chocolate and milk chocolate until finely ground, using 4-second pulses. (Process in two batches if necessary.)
Remove pod from sugar. Add ground chocolate and cocoa powder to sugar and whisk to blend.
Store mix airtight at room temperature for up to six months.

To serve:For each serving, heat 8 ounces milk in small saucepan over medium heat until scalded (or microwave 2 1/2 minutes at full power). Whisk in 1/4 to 1/3 cup mix. Serve with unsweetened softly whipped cream or marshmallows.

Tips: •Save the other half of the vanilla bean for another use, such as a second batch of vanilla sugar, which keeps indefinitely and can be used in baking, coffee, or simply to sprinkle on fruit or waffles.

Even better top with your own homemade marshmallows. I will post that recipe down the road. I have made them a few times and boy, are they good. Melt in your mouth, pillow soft, and boy do they toast up nice over a campfire....

Rich and steaming, a mug of hot chocolate will help soothe away the winter cold. We are expecting a winter storm in the form of 8-12" of beautiful snow in the next day or so, a mug of hot chocolate is just what I will be mixing up. Keep warm!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

FREE Shampoo Soap Bars!

Be sure to stop by and check out the blog Barefoot By The Sea and their Holiday Gift Guide.  Casco Bay Soap Co. Shampoo Bars are a featured give away!  AND enter to win 2 FREE bars of my Shampoo Bars sent to you, anywhere in the USA!  Winner will be selected on Dec. 12th.

From the blog ~ "I'm so excited to kick off the start of the holiday guide!  I've got some fabulous shops, artists and products I'm excited to introduce you to!  We've also got some great giveaways planned so stick around over the next couple of weeks!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Jumbo Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Seems that I post (re-post?) this recipe every year.  These Jumbo Peanut Butter Cup Cookies are AMAZING!  My hubby and I will be baking these up on Sunday.  He and I are starting a tradition of baking cookies together at the Holidays now that we have a large enough kitchen to hold the both of us.  These will be on the list of cookies to be baked (along with a few other, I will post them too).

I LOVE cookies. Love them. Crispy, chewy, sweet, salty, sandy, buttery, chunky, warm, them!

I worked for a cookie company for about 2 years after we first moved to Maine. Yes, I'm still carrying around a few extra lbs. from that job. We made plain Sugar Cookies sprinkled with coarse sanding sugar that just melted in your mouth. Ginger Krinkles with a yummy amount of ginger, Chocolate Chip cookies with coconut that made them soo tropical-ish and chewy.

I don't make cookies often, because I will devour them. I have no control. And I don't eat them often, because when I do, they have got to be the best. I mean it. No packaged cookies, no store bought cookies even from the bakery section, they have got to be really good. This time of year, it's all cookies all over the place, and I will be making a few batches of my favorites. First up, Jumbo Peanut Butter Cup Cookies. And being a thrifty Yankee, I bought Peanut Butter cups on sale after Halloween and saved them in my freezer until now. Bake up a batch on a cold wintry day and enjoy.

Credit for the recipe belongs here, at Tasty Kitchen:

Jumbo Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
½ cups Butter, Softened

¾ cups Smooth Peanut Butter

¾ cups Granulated Sugar

¾ cups Packed Brown Sugar

1-½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract

2 whole Eggs

⅛ teaspoons Salt

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

2 cups All-purpose Flour

½ cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

10 whole Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Unwrapped And Chopped

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 or 375 degrees (see note below).

In a large bowl, cream together butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Stir in vanilla extract and eggs. Incorporate salt, baking soda and flour together into the dough until all ingredients are moist. Stir in chocolate chips and chopped peanut butter cups.

Roll cookies out between the palms of your hands to be the size of golf balls. Place 6 cookie dough balls on a lightly greased baking sheet and using a fork, press down to make a cross hatch pattern.

Note: For chewier and softer cookies, bake at 350 degrees for 11-12 minutes. For crunchier cookies with slightly soft centers, bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes.