Monday, November 6, 2023

Perfect Christmas Caramels

 I know it's been a hot minute since I posted here, but seeing as I have added some years of wisdom to my baking and cooking since I last posted, I thought I ought to share some of my best successes with y'all.

Recipe first, details later (because I know we all hate the infinite scroll recipes)


this recipe makes about 2.5 pounds of caramels, but you are welcome to half it if you want

*4 sticks of butter cut in half

*1 bag of 2 lb brown sugar (or 4 1/4 cups of packed brown sugar and I've used white sugar when I'm out of brown sugar and the caramels are just slightly less deep in flavor) 

*1 teaspoon of salt (if you like the 'salted caramel' flavor, otherwise, reduce to 1/2 tsp)

*1 1/2 cups of corn syrup (can do two parts dark to one part light or all light corn syrup for a lighter flavor)

*2 cups evaporated milk

*2 tb vanilla (Mexican vanilla if you can get it)

I'm gonna break down the methodology, because this is where you will sink or swim.

PRE-STEP- grease two large cookie sheet with sides with oil

ONE- add the butter, sugar, salt, and corn syrup to a heavy bottomed pan (like a stock pot) AND THEN turn the heat to medium high, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon

TWO- have several small bowls of cold water in your fridge for testing

THREE- stirring constantly, wait for everything to melt together and start to bubble

FOUR- use a pastry brush to wash down the sides of the pan (that means getting a pastry brush wet and then basically painting the sides of the pan where little sugar crystals may be so that they don't end up messing your caramels up later-when you are done with this process, there should be nothing on the sides of the pan). Repeat this step every five mintues or so

FIVE- check your caramels every few minutes by taking a spoon of the caramel syrup out and pouring it into  a dish of cold water

SIX- when the caramel in the cold water is at a soft, chewy stage where it easily rolls into a soft ball, ADD THE EVAPORATED MILK SLOWLY

SEVEN- stir constantly, wash down sides of pan, and test the caramels every few minutes in the cold water until they feel soft but not sticky. Feel free to throw a sample or two in your mouth to see if you like the texture

EIGHT- once the caramels in the cold water are the texture you want, remove from heat and add the vanilla

NINE- pour the caramels into the prepared cookie sheets. DON'T SCRAPE THE BOTTOM OF THE PAN- just pour them into the cookie sheet and whatever sticks to the pan sticks to the pan- don't try to use it because it can mess with your final product

TEN- let the caramels cool for 10 minutes, score lightly, wait another 4 hours or so, then you can cut them up and wrap them in wax paper or parchment paper pieces

Here's some bubbling caramels, complete with wooden spoon for stirring, water for testing, and pastry brush for washing down the sides

I've got to say, writing it all out, it seems more complicated than when I'm actually making it- but all those little notes are what will help you to get amazing results. I wish you could just come over and I could show you step by step in person, but in lieu of that, I hope you got enough details from here. Nice part about this method is that it doesn't require a candy thermometer. I wish you luck!

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Corona Cop

Shared from the YouTube channel Spanish with a Farmer, please enjoy Corona Cop!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Go JORD or Go Home- It's Fall!

 I received a Jord watch in order to share my opinion about their products. All opinions contained herein are my own.

My new watch, just asking to be worn
North Texas. My home. Typically, this evokes images of heat, eternal summer, and humidity. But today, all that changed!

With a single storm sweeping in, temperatures plummeted from a balmy 90 to 40 in virtually minutes. What does that mean for me? It means that today, in spite of the Halloween decor I've had up for weeks, it is our FIRST official fall day in the Talley household- simply because it feels like fall. FINALLY.

Just shouts 'autumn!'
Now that it's fall, my wardrobe changes almost instantly. I pull out my sweaters, lovingly touching their soft knits that I have been so missing, find my favorite fleece leggings, and start evaluating what accessories call out 'autumn is here!'

And today? That meant my new Jord watch (pronounced YODE- it's Norse!). I received my watch a week or so ago, took it out and marveled at its inherent beauty. I chose a Cora Polaris watch, which has a Swarovski crystal and a constellation design, so that every time I look at the watch, I can see the Big Dipper on my watch, pointing me North.

My hand-stitched quilt
This particular design spoke to me because of an experience I had several years ago. Pregnant with my second child, I wanted to hand stitch a quilt of my own design, something that would mean something to my future offspring. Now, because I chose to hand stitch it, this quilt wasn't finished until my third child came- but I digress. I created a modified compass rose, with the hopes that it would remind my child to always know who they are (my beloved child) and where they are headed. For, if you can always find North, you're never lost, right? Naturally, when I saw this beautiful watch with its constellation design, I knew it was for me.

I'll be honest... I made myself two cups of cocoa!
So, with a chilly breeze, light rain, and a deep desire to make hot cocoa, I put my watch on for the first time. I'm not a watch designer. I have many talents- but watch design isn't one of them. If I COULD make a watch, though- I feel like this is what I would have created. I feel like Jord took everything that I loved and put it into a single product. Sustainable woods. Classic (and classy!) rose gold. Something meaningful. A timeless design that I can wear with almost anything. I don't like to purchase a lot of cheap, brassy jewelry. I'd rather spend a little more on something
long lasting that I can wear for years. And Jord has delivered on that for me.

If you have any interest in your own Jord product- check them out here! If, however, you'd like to spin your wheel of chance, feel free to enter our FREE product giveaway! Enter HERE! to win a FREE Jord watch band that fits an Apple watch!

Wooden Wrist Watch