Tag Archives: treats

Caramel corn!!

Standard

So it’s March break….yahoo!! John had to work today, so it’s me and the kids!
We have been making a list of things we want to do and make this week. Caramel corn is on our list!
I have had this recipe for years, but have never tried it… It reminds me of one of my best friends growing up… We used to make this when I slept over at her house…I really have to call her!
Here is the recipe:

20120309-110109.jpg
As the recipe says, we started by popping a big bowl of popcorn

20120309-110338.jpg
Then I had the kids measure out about five cups each onto cookie sheets.

20120309-110428.jpg
Then, we mixed together on medium heat 1/3 cup of butter, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of corn syrup and a pinch of salt. We cooked it, stirring constantly until it was boiling. Then I set the timer on the stove for two minutes, and let it boil for two more minutes.

20120309-111243.jpg

20120309-111251.jpg
The next step was to drizzle the mixture over the popcorn.

20120309-111455.jpg
And finally, put the popcorn in the oven for ten minutes (at 300 degrees), take out and stir, then bake for ten more minutes.

20120309-111623.jpg
Then the only thing left to do is eat… I think I will be a good wife, and set aside a bowl for John when he gets home…because I know if I don’t, there’s not going to be any leftovers!
This was super easy and really really good!

20120309-111824.jpg

Advertisements

Making cream puffs with ricotta! Mmmmmmm

Standard

20120221-213205.jpg

A friend of mine at work was kind enough to share her favourite recipe for cream puffs… So I decided to try it out! I am going to show you how to make a cream puff with a ricotta filling.
According to her, the most important ingredient is the ricotta cheese -don’t use the prepackaged stuff you get in the tubs at the grocery store, you get what you pay for! Buy a freshly made ricotta. It is more expensive, but why bother taking the time to bake with it if you are going to use a cheap product.
I started by beating together about a cup and a half of ricotta with a tablespoon of fine sugar, and a few vanilla beans, scraped from the pod.

20111230-203433.jpg
I put the ricotta filling aside and moved onto the “puff”. Here is a picture of the recipe:

20120221-205722.jpg
So the recipe says to melt the butter with the water and bring it to a rolling boil.

20120221-210018.jpg
Then, add the flour with a pinch of salt. This is where my friend told me to follow every word of the recipe. You have to add the whole cup of flour at once, then stir like crazy, while keeping the heat on low for an entire minute! You can see the texture of the dough change by the end of the minute, so this step is important.

20120221-210905.jpg
Then, you leave the dough to cool down for five minutes, then beat the eggs in one at a time. Note- after this step, the dough became very thick and sticky, it was hard to get it to drop off the spoon.

20120221-211008.jpg
I spooned out the dough onto the cookie sheets, leaving a few inches between each. There was enough dough to make a dozen.

20120221-211208.jpg
The recipe said to cook them at 400 for 30 to 35 minutes, but I found they were almost ready after about 15 minutes. After they were golden brown, I took them out of the oven, burned my arm, then sliced a hole in the side to let out of the steam. I put them back into cook for another 3-4 minutes, then took them out.

20120221-211727.jpg
After they had finished cooking, I took them out of the oven and carefully cut them in half. When they had cooled a little, I spooned in the ricotta filling in the center of each one. Then, to make the icing, I didn’t have any chocolate chips, but, thanks to my secret valentine, I had about 15 Hershey’s kisses, so I tossed them into a pot with a couple tablespoons of water, and about a tablespoon of sugar. I let it cook until the sugar had dissolved, then drizzled it over the tops.

20120221-212031.jpg

20120221-212534.jpg
I have to say that these were some of the best tasting cream puffs I have ever had! I had to bring a couple over to my neighbors, and bring a few into work to share, because I knew I could eat the entire dozen myself! Next time I will box them up and mail a few out!

20120221-213347.jpg

Today’s project -reindeer cake pops!

Standard

20111220-125347.jpg

Ok, so yesterday’s post was so easy, I will try another today…
Today we tried to make reindeers, but they were a lot tougher!
I started by melting butterscotch chocolate chips. I simply put the bag of the chips into cup of hot water until they melted -I used the bag from the bulk food store I bought them in. After they melted, I cut off the corner and squeezed out “y’s” to use for the antlers.

20111218-111239.jpg

Then, while they were cooling, I used the double boiler to melt some semi sweet chocolate chips. We dipped the sticks into the melted chocolate, let it set for a couple minutes, then dipped the cake pops in the chocolate.

20111218-111507.jpg
This is when it got tricky and messy. The chocolate has to be soft to put the antlers in, but sticking the antlers in was tricky! The cake kept breaking and falling off, so make sure you make extras! I did the antlers first, then used the same candy eyes as the snowman (bought from Bulk Barn). We used cinnamon hearts for the noses. I let them cool on the styrofoam tray, then packaged them in cellophane bags. We made about 10, then got a little frustrated and made some plain ones, dipped in various sprinkles, with a cinnamon heart on top.

20111218-112105.jpg

20111218-112120.jpg
This afternoon, we are going to make and decorate sugar cookies…

Snowman cake pops with the kids

Standard

20111220-125439.jpg

OK, so here goes…my first actual real post….
Today, the kids and I made cake pops. So, i’ll write my first post to show you how we made them!

To make the actual cake part of the pops, we used a cake pop maker I bought from from walmart for about $10.00. The cake pop maker works the same way as a waffle or sandwich maker. We mixed up a box of cake mix as directed, then spooned in a tablespoon of mix into each section of the cake pop maker, then closed the lid and waited.
When they had cooled off, we melted some white chocolate on the stove in a glass bowl set on top of a pot of simmering water.
This first step is important…Dip the stick into the melted chocolate before you put the stick into the cake… This works as a glue so the cake doesn’t just slide off the stick.
Then, we dipped the bottom half of the cake into the melted chocolate before putting it on the stick. This just makes it easier to cover the entire ball with the chocolate. We then rolled the ball in the melted chocolate to cover the rest of it.
We dipped the second ball into the chocolate, put it on the stick, then rolled both balls in the melted chocolate again.
This is where it got really messy! The kids were holding onto the sticks to let them drip, and there was chocolate dripping everywhere! We ended up sticking holes into a piece of styrofoam and letting them drip on that.

20111217-210858.jpg

20111217-210916.jpg

20111217-210947.jpg

20111217-211031.jpg
We then quickly added the eyes (I bought these candy eyes at Bulk Barn, but I think if I did this again, I might use something a little smaller). And the orange nose was added using a little bit of orange candy I found (Jolly ranchers work well, so would any orange soft candy, but you could also use fondant, if you have it). We tried using chocolate sprinkles for the mouth, but learned that it is really hard to get them to stay where you want…especially when your hands are covered in sticky melted chocolate! So, we let the chocolate set a little bit and then used a stick to “draw” a line with chocolate and then dropped the sprinkles on to make the snowman’s mouth.

20111217-213820.jpg
Finally, after everything had a few minutes to set up, we tied on a licorice scarf.

20111217-214146.jpgBR
To keep the snowman fresh, I put them in little bags tied up with ribbon. I am going to try putting one in the freezer to see if they will freeze.
Here is a photo of the finished snowmen. We also made some plain ones with sprinkles topped with an edible snowflake.

20111217-214515.jpg

20111217-214753.jpg
Ok, that’s it for my first post… That was actually not too difficult!
I’ll have to think about what project to show next!