Posts Tagged ‘caramel’
Ten days from now I will pack up the apartment at which I have lived for the past 4.5 years. Currently I have a whopping 8 boxes packed, which means there’s a lot of work to be done between now and then. And what better way to start the festivities than baking a cake! That’s productive and a good use of time, right?
The only caramel cake I have ever had was from Kroger and was quite delicious. Since then I have been meaning to make a homemade version and was finally inspired when Beth told me that she had been dreaming about caramel cake – although that was right before we left for the winter break so I didn’t make it until now. While baking it I texted her saying I was going to make her day tomorrow, since I was going to be bringing it by the lab the next day. She said it tasted just like her Great Aunt Sally’s from when she was a kid! Winner.
One of my favorite bands, Paramore, is playing in Nashville tonight. Originally when I had planned on going out of town for Thanksgiving, I was going to stop and see that show on my way out. Unfortunately that is no longer my plan as I decided to stay put and save money. I did see them with No Doubt a couple years back and with Jimmy Eat World before that so it’s not too heart breaking – except that they are the headliners this time. You better believe I will be cooking dinner tonight while dancing around to their music, pretending I’m there. Not that that’s different from a normal day in my kitchen…
In other news, today is National Cake Day! With Thanksgiving nearly upon us I am throwing as much pumpkin at you as I possibly can, including these mini cakes. These individual cakes are made by cutting rounds from a thin sheet cake. The rounds are layered and frosted with a caramel cream cheese frosting and then topping with caramel sauce and candied pecans, resulting in eyegasms. Who wouldn’t want their own personal mini cake?
You can use the leftover cake scraps to make cake balls or if you’d prefer to avoid scraps, make these into cupcakes instead.
One year ago: Arugula Pesto Pasta
Still waiting to hear back from one last committee member to finalize the date for my dissertation defense. And still stressed out of my mind. So let’s talk about sinful desserts. If you want a crazy gooey and delicious dessert that might require the use of a fork or spoon to eat, then these bars are for you. Calling them bars is a loose term because they are so gooey that after cutting, the insides will start to ooze out if you let them sit too long and will create more of a pudding. But regardless of how you eat them they are worth the mess. This is just another way that adding caramel turns something delicious into something awesome.
I made these gluten-free but of course you can easily make them with regular flour and graham crackers. I think part of the reason they were so soft was due to the fact that they were gluten-free though. As proof of their gooey-ness, pictured is three bars stacked in alternating directions – notice how they are already starting to become one. Guess that means they have to be considered one bar and thus one serving ;-).
These days it seems as though stuffing caramel into desserts is the new thing. Pies, cookies, brownies, ice cream, cakes – you name it and it’s in it. So I hopped on board and not only put caramel into these bars, but salted Nutella caramel! The addition of the salted Nutella caramel will please your taste buds, and also ensure that the bars stay super moist and chewy. And then it’s contrasted with some crunch due to the presence of chopped hazelnuts and chocolate chips. I sent these to my Bakin’ Friend last month and she said they blew her away!
Every holiday comes with it’s own blend of specialty candies. However, it always seems like fall has the best variations. Even though I don’t favor Milky Way candy bars normally, when I saw this season’s caramel apple version I had to pick them up. But it took until now to figure out what to make with these fun treats. Why not stuff them into cinnamon rolls?
I wasn’t fully convinced on the apple flavor of the candies when I tried one by itself, so I went ahead and added in some real apple into the rolls as well. And then topped them off with a caramel glaze. It may still be reaching into 80 degree weather here, but it certainly tastes like fall with these cinnamon roll cupcakes.
While making these, I was almost certain I had killed the yeast with milk that was too hot, because it didn’t look like it was rising much. In the end they came out just fine! I really enjoyed these as individually portioned cupcakes too, but you could easily throw them all into a pan together like traditional cinnamon rolls. Also, I halved these from the original recipe, so feel free to double it back for a larger crowd!
This homemade mix was given as part of the gifts to my family this year. After Kate notified me of the depleted stock I had made last year, I took that as a hint/demand for more. Even though the previous recipe was delicious, I always spring on the opportunity to try out a new blend. Salted caramel seemed like a more than safe bet for being delicious.
Making this recipe definitely has a couple more steps – you have to make the caramel first and then pulverize it into powder – but is not as time consuming as it may first appear. Although noisy it most definitely was. I thought my food processor was dying at first hearing how loud the caramel pieces were whirling around in there, but thankfully all was well. Good thing too because I need to make more of this for myself after trying a sample.
One year ago: Bacon and Cheese Egg McMuffin Cups
SALTED CARAMEL HOT CHOCOLATE MIX
Makes 4 cups of mix – enough for 16 servings approximately
1-1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp fine sea salt
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably good-quality Dutch process)
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 cup cornstarch (optional – makes for a creamier, thicker finished product and also helps your mix not clump in storage)
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
6 oz. good-quality bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (preferably from a block, but chocolate chips will work too)
- Line a baking sheet with lightly oiled parchment paper, set aside.
- In a medium pan, preferably non-stick, place the sugar over medium heat and allow it to melt gently without stirring. The edges and underneath will start to melt first and caramelize, you can then very gently jiggle the pan to help more of the sugar melt in to the mixture. This will only take 4 to 5 minutes at the most so don’t walk away, just watch your sugar melt into caramel and let it get to a medium golden color then remove from the heat and add the vanilla and sea salt. It will bubble a bit, so be careful and swirl the pan to mix it just a bit. It’s not really important if it mixes in because it’s all going to be pulverized in the food processor when hard.
- While the caramel is still liquid, pour it out onto your lined baking sheet and allow it to harden and cool completely, about 30 minutes. Use the bottom of your pan, a mallet, or rolling pin, to tap the caramel a few times and break it up into smallish pieces that you can easily fit into your food processor.
- Place the caramel shards into the food processor and with the lid completely closed allow the caramel to be pulverized into a fine powder – it will be loud at first and then more quiet as the caramel is turned into caramel powder. Don’t open the lid of the food processor until the powder has settled. This will all only take about 4 minutes.
- Add cocoa, dry milk powder, cornstarch and brown sugar to the caramel powder in the food processor. Pulse the mixture a few times to chop and combine thoroughly, then process for 15 seconds until combined and powdery.
- Too the cocoa/caramel mixture, add the chocolate. Pulse the mixture a few times to chop and combine, then allow to process for 15 to 30 seconds more or until the mixture is all combined and powdery. Don’t process it so long though that you start to melt the chocolate in your food processor.
- Store the mixture in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
- To make a cup: Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of mix to 1-1/4 cup hot milk and whisk or stir well. Top with whipped cream.
Source: Budget Gourmet Mom
My favorite thing about my food processor is not how amazing it is at doing its job. It is the convenient storage for wrapping up the cord located at the bottom. I do not have enough counter space to keep all of my lovely tools on display. Many of them live in cabinets or on shelves, and cords are my enemy. I attempt to save the twisties from the original packaging, but eventually I lose them (I blame my cat) or they break. I tackle the onslaught of cords by strategic wrapping but inevitably while pulling out the necessary appliance, something else comes with it roped in by the cord. But not when I grab the food processor. For this, Black & Decker, I thank you!
For this pie I use two other contraptions: a silicone pie crust shield which protects the crust from being over-cooked, and an apple peeler that not only peels, but cores and slices all at once.
Apple pie is one of my favorites, especially the kind my dad makes. I have the recipe and use it most of the time but I decided to try something new – CARAMEL apple pie. However, I stuck to my dad’s crust recipe.
2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 cup cold shortening
1/2 cup cold milk
1 tsp white vinegar
- Mix flour, salt and sugar. Add shortening by pulsing in a food processor or cutting in with a knife.
- Add vinegar to milk, and then add to flour mixture.
- Squeeze with hands until ready. It will be slightly sticky.
- Form two smooth flattened discs of dough, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes (or freeze for use later).
Makes two 10-inch crusts.
5 large granny smith apples peeled, cored and thinly sliced
30 unwrapped caramels
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
- Preheat broiler. Place apples on a large sheet pan and broil for 5 minutes, stirring once, until apples start turning golden brown.
- Melt caramels and milk together in the microwave and stir well. Stir in vanilla, cinnamon and ginger until combined.
- Mix caramel mixture into apples in a large mixing bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Roll one dough out on a floured surface and fit to a 10-inch pie plate. (To avoid a soggy crust, beat an egg with 1 tsp milk and brush on crust before adding filling.) Fill with caramel apples.
- Roll out the second dough and top the pie; trim and flute the edges. Slice some cuts in the center of the pie.
- Brush a little of the milk-egg mixture over the pie dough. (Sprinkle with 1 tsp cinnamon-sugar if desired.)
- Bake on bottom rack at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.
- Cover edges with a silicone pie crust shield or foil. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake an additional 35-50 minutes or until golden brown.
Source: Sugar Plum and my dad