The first recipe is one that I discovered while dining in Seattle, Washington: Sea Salt Caramels. The combination of sweet caramel, crunchy salt crystals, and bittersweet chocolate may sound strange, but it is what makes these candies impossible to put down.
Sea Salt Caramels
(recipe from about.com)
1 1/3 cup heavy cream
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup honey
6 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp sea salt
1 lb bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1. Prepare an 8-inch baking pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Place the cream in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil. Stir in the sugar, corn syrup and honey and stir until it begins to boil. Periodically wipe down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent sugar crystals from forming.
3. Cook the candy, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 257 degrees on a candy thermometer.
4. Remove the pan from the heat immediately and stir in the butter, vanilla, and 2 teaspoons of salt.
5. Pour into prepared pan and place it in the refrigerator until firm enough to cut.
6. Cut the caramel into small squares or strips with a chef’s knife.
7. Temper the chocolate and dip the caramels in the chocolate one at a time. Place them on a baking sheet covered with waxed paper or foil to set.
While chocolate is still wet, sprinkle on the remaining salt and allow to set completely. Store them in the freezer and take them out about 15 minutes before serving.
These caramels are so amazing. I have made them three times already and each time it has been hard to resist eating the whole batch!
This time of year is also perfect for apple pie, apple cobbler, etc. but here is a fun twist on traditional apple recipes:
Fresh Apple Cake w/ Brown Sugar Glaze
(recipe from lickthebowlgood.blogspot.com)
For the Cake:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups finely chopped apples
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)
For the Brown Sugar Glaze:
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon heavy cream
For the cake: Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch pan (round or square) and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.Stir with a whisk to mix everything together. In a large bowl, mix the eggs with a hand mixer til light in color and foamy. Add the oil and vanilla and beat well. Stir in the flour mixture with a spoon and continue stirring the batter til the flour disappears. Add the apples and nuts (if using) and stir to mix them into the batter. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the hot cake on a wire cake. While it’s still hot, prepare the glaze.
For the glaze: Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Spoon the hot glaze over the still hot-from-the-oven cake. Let the glazed cake cool completely before serving straight from the pan.
You will love this recipe, it’s easy, delicious, and sure to impress your family and friends! It is moist and delicious and it’s even better if you make it the day before and let it set overnight.
And last, but not least, what is Christmas without fudge? What about mixing two of the most delicious things cookie dough+fudge= little pieces of Heaven. :)
Cookie Dough Fudge
(Recipe from cookiesandcups.com)
Make egg free cookie dough:
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 t. salt
1c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Combine first 5 ingredients in a mixing bowl and cream together. Add flour and stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. You will need 1 1/2 cups approx of dough. You might have some leftover. You can freeze any leftovers for later. Form your cookie dough into marble sized balls. Place on a waxed paper lined baking sheet. Freeze for at least 15 minutes. The longer the better, so it doesn’t melt when you add it to the fudge.
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 (15 oz) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
Butter the bottom and sides of an 8×8 pan. In a medium saucepan over low heat melt the sweetened condensed milk and chips together. Stirring continuously. When chocolate is melted remove from heat. Remove your cookie dough from the freezer and carefully fold into your fudge. Spread immediately in the pan. Chill for at least an hour. Cut into squares and serve.