I didn’t get a chance to post this week due to some pretty large orders causing me to work 10+ hours almost every day and a three-day migraine making me want to go to bed the moment I got home each day. Here are a few picture of what I accomplished this week including a grand total of 27 dozen decorated sugar cookies and 100 more undecorated ones. Enjoy!
Caramel Corn September 10, 2011
So, I’ve been out of contact for a while and, for that, I am sorry. I’ve had a busy couple of months with surprisingly little baking, until now. We’ve moved again; we’re still in the wonderful city of Austin, but in a much better location, and I’m really loving our new house. The kitchen is a little dated, but there is lots of counter space and, my favorite thing, a double oven, which I have been putting to good use the last couple of days. Our friends have twins and tomorrow is the little ones’ first birthday party. I am super excited about this as their mother and I have been diligently meeting, planning, and crafting for the past three weeks or so. (I must say that my Cricut machine has been put to very good use.) It is going to be amazingly adorable, and I get to make almost all of the baked goods! Everyone refers to the twins as “The Peanuts” so the majority of the food at this birthday extravaganza is going to involve peanuts, including this amazing Caramel Corn.
Here’s what you need:
7 cups plain popcorn, popped
2 cups peanuts
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
Here’s what you do:
Place the popped popcorn into two greased baking pans. I used disposable roasting pans. Add the peanuts to the popcorn. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Bring to boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes while stirring constantly.
Remove the caramel mixture from the heat, and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will become lighter and foamy. Immediately pour over the popcorn in the pans, and stir to coat. Don’t worry about getting all of the corn coated; the caramel will spread out as you bake and stir it.
Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Line your counter top with waxed paper. Pour the caramel corn out onto the waxed paper and separate the pieces. Allow to cool completely, then store in airtight containers.
Strawberry-Lemon Tart and a Birthday Celebration July 17, 2011
Today is a very special and exciting day: my boyfriend’s little sister is turning 24, and she loves to celebrate! Now, I know that everyone loves their birthday, but JW really loves her birthday, and that makes the anticipation of the day so much more exciting. Thanks to her boyfriend’s careful planning, the celebrations started last night with a Master Pancake show and will come to an end on Sunday in the form of seeing the last Harry Potter. Between the bookends of two great viewing experiences there are a multitude of activities and surprises. One of which is this Strawberry-Lemon Tart and I have no doubt that she will love it, after all, her favorite flavor of dessert is lemon.
This tart was created by combining a few of my favorite recipes: the crust is from one of my favorite blogs Dessert First and the lemon curd is an Ina Garden recipe. I covered the top in a fruit glaze to keep the strawberries fresh and give everything a nice sheen. I have to say that I am really happy with how it turned out.
Happy 24th birthday, JW!
Thanks for being the little sister I never had, but always wanted. You are truly an amazing person and I am grateful to have you in my life.