09 December 2008

Homemade Candy for the Holidays- DIY

Its been awhile since I posted a drink recipe here, but thought in the spirit of the season, it was more appropriate to put sugary sweets recipes on here. I have been itching to bake my traditional cookies, but my oven heating element snapped in half while baking last week- tragic! So while the new part is on the way, I am all about searching for stovetop sweets I can make. Usually I only think of making fudge, but then I found this recipe for caramels from Ready Made Magazine (which is, by the way, one of the coolest mags ever, if anyone wants to renew my subscription, haha).

(makes about 100 1” squares)

Vegetable oil spray
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
2 tbsps unsalted butter
2 cups cream
1 ½ tsps Kosher salt
2 tsps vanilla extract

1. Prepare an 11” x 7” pan with at least 1” sides with a light coating of vegetable oil or spray, and set aside.
2. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine sugar and corn syrup; mix until there are no dry spots, and use a pastry brush to push down any sugar crystals from the sides of the pan.
3. Cook the mixture over high heat until it starts to turn golden. Immediately whisk in butter, one tablespoon at a time. Gradually pour in cream, a few tablespoons at a time, whisking thoroughly after each addition.
4. Clip the candy thermometer to the side of the pan and cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture reaches precisely 248 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Remove from heat and whisk in salt and vanilla.
6. Pour caramel into prepared pan and let sit for several hours or overnight.
7. Turn the sheet of caramel onto a cutting board and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
8. With a knife or rotary cutter, cut the caramel into 1” square pieces, and individually wrap them in parchment or wax paper.

Enjoy! I know I can't wait to try these! Being a firm believer that giving well thought out, handmade holiday gifts is far more heartfelt and meaningful than store bought gifts, I can't wait to give them either. Nothing makes me happier than to think for months about what the people on my list would like (but never think to get for themselves), and if I, or somebody else for that matter, can make it, all the better. When I discovered Etsy, I realized far more could be handmade than even I dreamed! Considering Walmart already gets probably the equivelent of a mortgage payment from us every month, out of necessity and no other choice, I shudder at the thought of them getting even more this time of year. And why, when instead our hard earned money can go to crafty stay at home moms like myself, other artists trying to make a success, and other people who truly appreciate each sale. That makes my gift giving make a difference twice, and isn't that truly amazing?

Happy shopping!

1 comment:

3 Magpies said...

Sounds quite wonderful! I'll have to give it a try!

Love your blog and Etsy site... not to mention your merchandise. All are appealing! You are a talented one!