Day 8: Divine Caramel Sauce

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Would you mind if I just waxed poetic on caramel for a moment? What’s that? You love caramel too? Well I’ll be darned.

Caramel is the baking god’s gift to us simple folk. It is rich and creamy and luscious and just straight up divine! You can make it into candy, or swirl it into brownies. You can drizzle it on ice cream or add a dollop to your morning coffee. It is perfect.

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But dang is it a pain to make!! Either it gets burned or bitter or you cook it past the hard ball stage, whatever the heck THAT is. But not this one. There are no thermometers needed, no finicky stages and no burnt to high hell sugar.  Problem solved, you’re welcome.

Welcome to Day 8 of my extravaganza. Come on in, take a load off. Grab a spoonful of this caramel sauce and ‘mmmm’ with me. It’s not weird, I promise!

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Divine Caramel Sauce
Yields about 2-1/2 cups of sauce

1 cup light corn syrup
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup whipping (heavy) cream

In 2-quart saucepan, over med-med high heat corn syrup, brown sugar and butter to boiling over low heat, stirring constantly. Boil 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. It will begin to get a bit darker in color. (At this point you can choose to let it go farther for a few more mins to get a nice depth, I would say no more than 8 mins).

Stir in whipping cream; heat to boiling. Remove from heat and let it sit in the pot or heat proof bowl. Allow to cool about 30 minutes. Serve warm. Caramel will be on the thin side when still warm. For thicker sauce: refrigerate overnight, give it a good stir and use as you wish.

Store covered in refrigerator up to 2 months.

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Shipping Safe: YES. Put it in a mason jar and close lid tightly, tie it with a pretty ribbon. Wrap really well in bubble wrap or the like and it’s ready to ship to your lovely Aunt.
Make Ahead and Freeze: ? I am not sure if this would freeze well. I wouldn’t see why not, but I haven’t tried for myself. If you do freeze it, please let me know how it works out for you.


SMS – Butterscotch Pralines

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OMG!! I’m posting ON TIME, with pictures and everything. Today must be a good day 🙂

I happened to have everything I needed on hand, the recipe came together SO quickly and easily that I’m convinced that it’s fool proof!!

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These were great!! My only gripe is that they were too sweet for me.

I know, I know. Don’t drop dead. Me…. find something too sweet? Is that possible? Well…. sadly, yes. 3 cups of sugar tends to do that.  But I will try crumbling half of one over vanilla ice cream just because that sounds so tempting in itself.

Next time I’ll coarsely chop the pecans, I’d like the pralines to be a bit chunkier in texture.

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For the recipe, head on over to Tess’s blog Cookin’ Chemist.

Up next week:  Coconut Custard Pie.

*I must apologize for the pics. They were rushed and the sun kept peeking out and then going away. So just pretend they are awesome shots 🙂

SMS – Peanut Butter Truffles & Orange Blueberry Muffins Two-Fer!!

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Yes, I have been slacking. No, it’s not because I don’t love you. Or the goodies. Or posting.

It’s just been hectic. I keep telling myself tomorrow, tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes. Isn’t that a song?

Anyways… I’ll be a woman of as few words as possible so I can type up another blog and put it on the back-burner.

Peanut Butter Truffles
For the recipe, head on over to Mara’s blog Love Your Mother.

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These were gooooooood. Sinful, even. They are easy to throw together and yield such wonderful, creamy deliciousness. My only complaint is that the peanut butter wasn’t as pronounced. I halved the recipe so that may be the culprit. I melted some bittersweet chocolate and dipped half. I also didn’t have peanuts so I chopped up some salted cashews and rolled the other half in that. Still good!! 🙂

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Orange Blueberry Muffins with Pecan Crumble
For the recipe, head on over to Chaya’s blog Sweet & Savory.

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The muffin base for this recipe has given me trouble time and time again. I’ve tried nipping and tucking it until it was barely recognizable and quite honestly, it isn’t worth the effort anymore. They are borderline dry, really heavy and quite dense. The blueberry flavor didn’t stand out (my fault because I used frozen) but the orange flavor was bright and sunny. I would try this combo again with a different muffin base.

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Up next week: Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel-Rum Raisin Sauce. That’s aaaaall going to my mom. The lover of all things bread pudding 🙂

TWD – Chocolate Oatmeal Almost Candy-Bars

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*CAUTION: If you are on a diet of any kind and you value the size of your waist… look away! For the love of all things holy LOOK AWAY!!!

Now that I have added my disclaimer, please proceed 🙂

These devilish little buggers are squares of delight! Oatmeal, chocolate, raisins, nuts… yum-o.

Changes I made: I halved the recipe and yielded 36 – 1 inch squares baked in a 9 x 9 pan. Although I halved it, I had a temporary lapse in brain function so when it came time to add the salt and baking powder, I accidentally added the full amount. Oops. I left out the nuts because I didn’t have ANY on hand (I guess that extra kick of salt came in handy after all) and I upped the cinnamon to a heaping tsp full.
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And they came out lovely! Perfectly delicious, decadent, addictive little bites of pure awesome! Everyone here at the office liked them and the fiancee has just informed me that they are a big hit at his office too! He even used an exclamation mark, which he rarely does 😉

A big thank you to Lillian of Confectiona’s Realm for hosting and allowing her two loved ones to choose this great recipe! Head on over for the recipe. Don’t forget to check out the other TWD bakers as well!

Oh, and next time, there will be nuts!!! Oh, stop being so juvenile. *giggles*

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*Jeannette or any pictures/descriptions of The Whimsical Cupcake are not responsible for spikes in weight gain and/or obsession with these bars. That is all.

SMS – Chocolate Cream Caramels

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Howdy ya’ll, I’m Jeannette and I’m super excited to be your hostess tonight. And no, I’m not Texan 😉

Thinking back, I don’t think I was ever put into a position where my “job” as hostess inspired such anxiety within my soul. I am constantly fidgeting and moving in my seat as I type this. So if this post seems out of sorts or scattered (well, more so than it usually is) shush it. I’m nervous and I tend to ramble. 😀

Most hostesses try to please everyone with their recipe choice: ease of instructions, ingredients on hand, time to make it, dishes dirtied, etc etc etc. Me, not so much. It basically boiled down to one thing, WWTFE: What Would The Fiance Eat? He’s picky and for once I wanted to make something he’d try without me having to bribe him with a new video game. Men. 😉 But to my surprise, the steps are fairly simple and straight forward, the ingredients list is minimal, its all done in ONE saucepan, and WHOOO doesn’t like caramel?! So I think I did pretty well. Don’t you? Please say you agree. I’ll buy you a video game…….?

Moving on, caramel has never been my friend, when it comes to making it anyhow. The first few times I can blame it on the fact that I used a meat thermometer in place of a candy thermometer. (If there’s no difference between the two, I’m still blaming the thermometer). That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. But I love caramels and I had a vision of salted caramels dancing in my head and I was determined. Thinking nothing could go wrong, I decided to make BOTH flavors of caramel. I grabbed my handy thermometer, with bloated self-esteem in tow and got to work.

Only to botch the first attempt (the Honey Cream Caramels).

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It isn’t scorched, it isn’t inedible. It’s just hard. But the taste… oh my… it defines description. Deeeeelish. I assessed the situation and the problem and went on to try batch two (Chocolate Cream Caramels) and whatever I did, I did right!! I can finally add ‘candy making’ to the short list of things I have successfully accomplished in the kitchen! Hoorah!

Soft enough to chew, firm enough to get nice clean edges, tasty enough to eat an entire batch by myself. I hope you enjoyed these as much as I did. And if you didn’t master these, please try them again. They are worth it. Pinky swear!

I changed some things (due to forgetfulness and lack of ingredients, which I will note in red. Just in case anyone cares ;D)

Chocolate Cream Caramels

From the Sweet Melissa Baking Book

Recipe yields 2-1/2 pounds caramel (sixteen 2-inch squares or sixty-four 1-inch squares)


1 cup light corn syrup

1/3 cup clover honey

2-1/3 cups sugar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups heavy cream (I used 1-2/3 because I was short a tad)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter (I omitted simply because I forgot, oops)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 ounces of best quality unsweetened chocolate (I used Ghittard)


BEFORE YOU START: Lightly butter (I used Pam) an 8 x 8 x 2 -inch square pan.

1. In a large nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, combine the corn syrup, honey, sugar, salt, havey cream, and butter. Cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture reaches 248°F (I pulled it off the stove once it reached roughly 242°F) on a candy thermometer (firm-ball stage). Remove from the heat.

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2. Stir in the vanilla and 4 ounces of best quality unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped to the hot caramel mixture. Stir until smooth.

3. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Set aside, uncovered, in a cool place to firm up. (This is where I sprinkled on a bit of sea salt, if you like it.)

4. When firm, loosen the edges of the pan with a buttered knife. Turn out onto a clean work surface and, using a lightly buttered chef’s knife, cut into squares.

Wrap each square in wax paper. The caramels keep in an airtight container in a cool dry place for 2 weeks.

Well that’s my time folks. Head on over to the SMS board to learn any tips and/or tricks that were useful to the other bakers and make sure to check out the very talented assortment of SMS bakers on the SMS blogroll.

Good night everybody!
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SMS – Truffles (4 different ways)


When I bake from a recipe I usually don’t take much creative license. I’m just too afraid that if I substitute anything or remove something that the concoction will just blow up in my face like a chemistry experiment gone awry.

But this has been bothering me a bit and I decided that I should just take the bull by the horns. I wanted to get creative! I wanted to take a written recipe and make it my own!


Forget baby steps. Psh, try leaps and bounds!! Ok, maybe its just leaps and bounds to ME but this took some creativity on my part and I think I fared quite well!! I took the base truffle recipe (made 1-1/2 times the recipe and separated into 4 batches) and nipped, tucked, sploshed, and rolled until I ended up with 4 different, tasty variations of these delightful truffles.


First up is the Almond truffle. I substituted chopped toasted almonds for the hazelnuts (mainly because I couldn’t find them) and almond extract for the hazelnut liquor and I rolled them in cocoa powder.


For the second variation I  added the zest of 1 orange and rolled it in chopped chocolate bits.


For the third variation I added Bailey’s Irish Cream liquor and rolled them chopped almonds.


For the last variation I added peppermint extract and rolled them in chopped white chocolate. I think I’ll be making these around Christmas. How cute would they be boxed and tied with a big red bow?

It says that these are best served room temperature but I find that they are on the mushy side so I prefer them chilled.

For the original recipe you can visit Annie from Living Life Foodcariously.

For more pics of these lovely truffles, click here.