Homemade Butter Mints

Butter mints are one of those weird things that I forget that I love until I see them sitting in a candy dish at a baby shower. Those little pillows of chalky, pastel goodness are weirdly addictive. [Read more…]

Apple Cider Caramels

Steve and I enjoyed a pretty lazy weekend – enjoying the fall weather and taking a break from the typically hectic pace we tend to keep.

On Sunday, we decided to take a trip up to the Columbia River Gorge to do some hiking and watch the salmon spawn – an event that can draw quite a crowd here in Oregon. This place has been bringing out our inner ‘outdoor enthusiast’ side. Usually the closest I would ever get to nature was when I landed on the National Geographic channel. But here it’s easy to forget one’s phobia of creepy crawlies when your traipsing through such picturesque surroundings.


After our jaunt through the woods we were in quite the fall mood! I thought it would be the perfect time to make these caramels that I’ve been drooling over for the last few weeks.

I used to find candy making to be a pretty daunting task – there’s all the waiting and stirring and possible burn-age. But now I think it’s actually pretty cathartic.

And this recipe is just the epitome of fall! I got this recipe from Blondie’s Bites – a new blog that I’ve added to my collection of favorites! I definitely recommend giving them a try.

Apple Cider Caramels

2 cups apple cider

1 cup of heavy cream, divided

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

pinch of ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. allspice

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/3 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup butter, cubed

1. In  a medium saucepan, boil the apple cider for about 20 minutes until it is reduced to 1/3 cup. Be careful not to let it burn!

2 .Find a 9×9 square pan and line it with lightly oiled parchment paper. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine 2/3 cup whipping cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and the apple cider. Set aside.

4. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, 1/3 cup of whipping cream, 3 Tbsp. water, and corn syrup. Dissolve the sugar on low heat, then insert a candy thermometer and cook until the mixture reaches 234 degrees and begins to caramelize.

5. Remove from heat and gently stir in the cream mixture and the cubed butter. Place back on low heat and simmer (stirring frequently) until the candy thermometer reaches 248 degrees.

6. Pour into parchment lined pan and let cool for several hours. (I put mine in the refrigerator overnight).

7. Remove from the pan and slice into logs. You can either wrap an entire log to slice as needed or cube and wrap individually in wax paper.

Enjoy!

Homemade Caramels

Hello everyone!! It’s been an unforgivable amount of time since I’ve last posted on here! Needless to say, it’s been a crazy few weeks! But I’m making up for it with lots of butter and heavy cream (as usual!).

Let me tell you…..when it comes to making candy, I’ve had some serious cooking disasters. Last year alone I turned burnt sugar into a charred, smoke alarm ringing, smoke-filled kitchen mess on not one…..not two…..but three separate occasions. But as they say, “time heals all wounds” and this year, armed with my brand new candy thermometer and much trepidation, I was ready to try again! And, as you can see from the picture on the side…..success!!!

The secret is this….. when it comes to making candy, you need two things: a candy thermometer (don’t even try to eyeball it. Trust me. Unless you were raised in Switzerland making candy at age 5 for Lindt, you will probably screw it up), and your undivided attention. Thats right….no multitasking. You must stand there and stare at your sugar until your eyes almost fall out. Don’t turn your back for a second. No playing with your dog, no checking facebook, no running to the bathroom, nothing. If you can do that, you’ll be golden. Let’s make caramels!! [Read more…]