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Friday, March 18, 2011

Oh how Sweet!

Happy Birthday to Me...

So I thought I'd post something sweet - a sweet recipe...

Caramel Candy

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 stick (1/4 c) butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla

--- use a wood spoon or the french plastic ones---

Line pan with parchment - and oil
Boil sugar, cream, butter and salt to 248 degrees (firm softball stage)
Remove from heat, add vanilla
Pour into pan, cool
Invert on cutting board (not plastic)
Cut into squares

Ta Da...I press an almond or piece of pecan onto the tops of mine - but do whatever makes you happy - for most people that means a drizzle of chocolate!

Here is one more for you

Caramel Popcorn

2 tbsp oil
1/3 c popcorn kernels
1 stick butter
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 cup karo syrup (or substitution* see below)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 c salted nuts

*karo syrup is basically a simple syrup with a bit of lemon to prevent crystallization - just heat up 1 cup of water with 3 cups of sugar and 2 tbsp of lemon and slow cook it so it stays clear but gets thick. Once it is thick you can use this in any recipe that calls for it

Pop popcorn - set aside in oven on warm
Line pan with foil and lightly oil
Use a tall pan - at least 12 quarts
Melt butter, add sugar and Karo syrup, boil to 300 (dark amber)
Remove from heat
Stir in Salt and Baking Soda (careful it's going to bubble high)
Quickly stir in popcorn and nuts
Flip into pan and break into pieces or shape into balls

--- You can make these anytime and make them from your preps provided that you stock real popcorn kernels in your stores! I always have popcorn in the house and I still pop mine on the stove top - it just doesn't taste the same in the microwave. Plus I heard that stuff is kind of bad for you! Supposedly something about that butter having something of an inhalant in it.


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