Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Goody Making Time!

Pin It I always like to whip up some holiday treats the week before Christmas.  That way there’s enough time to pass them out to neighbors and friends AND I can still keep a portion of them for my Christmas gathering at home.
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As I shared with you last year, I LOVE making edible gifts during Christmastime.  One of my favorites is Toffee Butter Crunch.  This stuff is really easy and always a favorite…especially at my husband’s work.
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Another favorite holiday item that I like to make is homemade caramels.  These little melt-in-your-mouth bites are not quite so easy, but WELL worth the effort. 

Caramels (from Better Homes & Gardens Cook Book, 12th Edition)
(printable version)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar (or 1 16 oz bag)
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Line an 8x8x2 inch baking pan with foil, extending foild over edges of pan.  Butter the foil and set pan aside. IMG_9561
  2. Melt butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over low heat.
  3. Carefully add sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk (or cream). Keep stirring until completely mixed.
  4. Increase temperature to med.-high until boiling. Once boiling, clip on your candy thermometer, don’t let it touch the bottom of the pan. IMG_9585
  5. Reduce heat to about medium, adjusting so that you keep a moderate, steady boil. Stir frequently. VERY important to keep stirring!IMG_9586
  6. Watch thermometer closely. When thermometer reaches 244°, remove caramel from heat (this is low firm ball stage; reaching this stage from boiling takes me about 30 minutes, sometimes less.  
  7. Quickly stir in vanilla and pour the caramel into the prepared pan.IMG_9587
  8. Allow to cool for several hours and use a butter knife or kitchen shears to cut pieces IMG_9599IMG_9592
  9. Wrap in wax paper and try not to eat too many while wrapping!
CAUTION!!!  Holiday caramel making, chocolate spatula licking mixed with shots of Pepsi can cause you to go from Happy Helper:
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To Sugar Coma Useless in a heartbeat.IMG_9590
You’ve been warned!
We wrap our caramels with approximately 3x3 inch pieces of wax paper.  I suggest cutting these out ahead of time to make the caramel making day less hectic. 
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I’m hoping to make some more of these this week too…
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Do I have time????????  Probably not.
What are you making this holiday season???  
    

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4 comments:

  1. This post feels like HOME. My Mom always made caramels, I can just smell that boiling pot of goodness. We always set the pan out in the snow to cool. And wrapped them up in wax paper just like yours! Mmmmmm...

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  2. I am making tons of cookies. I love baking at this time of year!

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  3. Funny you post this ~ I have a pan of caramels sitting on my counter cooling as I type this :) Just about time to start cutting waxed paper. I am definitely going to have to try making your toffee butter crunch ~ looks delish!!!

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  4. Your caramels look so yummy! Cute Santa too...Thank you for sharing and have a Happy New Year!

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