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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.

 

Marshmallow Candies February 24, 2011

Filed under: candy,caramel,marshmallows,novelty — dulcisserenus @ 9:35 pm
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Whenever I need a quick present, I make these Marshmallow Candies.  They are super simple, made with three ingredients, take about five minutes to create, and taste deceptively like doughnuts.  I make them, let them air dry for anywhere from ten minutes to an hour, and pack them up in gift bags or boxes.  I last made them at Christmas as part of the candy trays that I give out to all of my friends, but they’re so simple you could make them for any occasion.  I stole this recipe from my mom who used to make them every Christmas, but I changed the recipe slightly.  The original calls for melting down caramel candies with sweetened-condensed milk; I just use caramel apple dip.  The original caramel recipe sets up a bit more so they are not as messy, but the apple dip is much easier and I’m all for easy.

Here’s what you need:

1 bag large marshmallows (the kind you use for toasting to make smore’s)

1 16 ounce container caramel apple dip (I use Marzetti, but any will do)

about 4 cups puffed rice cereal

toothpicks

waxed paper

Here’s what you do:

Cover your work surface with waxed paper and lay out the marshmallows for easy access.  Place the cereal into a large bowl and set aside.  Heat up the caramel apple dip according to the directions on the package, then skewer one marshmallow with a toothpick to form a handle.  Dip the marshmallow about 3/4 of the way into the caramel and immediately roll in the cereal.  Place the marshmallow back on the waxed paper and remove the toothpick.  Repeat with the remaining marshmallows.  As the toothpick gets sticky, trade it out with a new one to make dipping easier.

Let them air dry for at least ten minutes before packaging, or stand at the counter and eat them off of the the waxed paper as I am prone to do.  Somehow this makes them even more delightfully sinful.

 

 
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