Friday, July 27, 2012

Butterscotch Candies

     My sister and I both love butterscotch candy and the only time we get them is when my mom goes to the chiropractor, the Dr. puts out a little dish of peppermints she has on the counter, and there is always a few butterscotch hidden amongst all the other candies.
     So the other day I wanted to make something new, and I ended up looking through my moms old candy-making book and I found this recipe for 'Butterscotch Pillows' I wanted to try.  The only problem was that I don't have and metal candy making bars so I couldn't shape them into the long logs that it says to do.  Instead I went ahead and made little lollipops out of the candy, take a look.

WARNING!!!!  Working with the hot candy syrup can be very dangerous so you must be VERY careful! 

First, melt down one stick of butter.  It is butterscotch after all!

After the butter is melted you need to add the other stuff.  Just as a warning, you don't want to stir this to often otherwise the candy will look kinda funky and dull when your all done.

I had a hard time getting a picture of adding the corn syrup and water, but trust me it's in there.  You can see a little bit of the corn syrup on the sugar and that's about it.

Once you mix up all of the ingredients you are going to keep stirring NON STOP until EVERYTHING is dissolved.  Then DON'T mess with it!!!

This is when it starts to get boring because it takes about an hour to cook down.  I put on the thermometer onto the side of the an and waited for it to reach 278°.... 

Right here I was starting to freak out cause I thought that it was going to spill over the pan, but when I gave it a little stir it was okay.  Don't start to stir until the bubbles start to come and even then don't stir very often.  Maybe only three or four times through out the whole time cooking it.

This was about half way through and I couldn't believe how much it reduced!  When I started out the pan was about half full, then at this point there was half of that left.  Also it started out as white, and then it just kept getting darker in color until it turned a caramel-ish color and it was really pretty.

Once it reached the right temperature....

I took it off the heat and added a little bit of lemon juice, that's to help stay the way it is and not crystallize.

Then I mixed once more to mix in the lemon.

And you have to keep mixing until all of the bubbles go away.

Then I poured it into a 8x8 in. greased pan, and I let it sit for 30 minutes so it could set a little.

It was a little warm, but I took little grape sized chunks and rolled them into balls.  You've go to work fast, otherwise that candy will get hard on you.


 See?  This is half way through.

Then I stuck tooth picks in them to make little lollipops

Some of them sagged a little bit, but that was only cause it was humid out and it messed up the drying time.

Here is a close up...

And here is what happens when you let Jillian 'help' you roll, you end up with one normal one, one corn dog looking one and one hairball looking one.  Guess what ones she is going to have to eat?

Butterscotch Candy:  Yields a lot.
1/2 c. butter
2 c. white sugar
1/2 light corn syrup
3/4 c. water
1 t. lemon juice

TURN the heat to med. and put the butter in a three quart sauce pan until it melts.  Add the sugar, water, corn syrup and continuously mix until all the sugar is dissolved.  Clip the candy thermometer to the side of the pan and let the mixture continue cooking until it reaches 278° stirring occasionally so it won't burn.  Take off heat and mix in lemon, keep mixing until all the bubbles are gone, pour into greased pan and let sit for 30 min.  When cool enough to touch, slightly oil your hands and roll into tight balls, insert tooth pick.  Repeat until all are complete.  Let cool completely.

TIP!  If your candy gets too hard while your working with it, just put in a 200° oven for a few minutes and it will soften again.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Cookie!!

     This right here is the cookie of all cookies, the grand-daddy of 'em all.  It's the kind of cookie that you take a bite of and you say "get those away from me!  I can't stop eating them!"
     The only problem with them is, I can't figure out a name for them!  I'm no good with catchy names,and slogans so for now they are just called "the cookie".  I created these wonderful things for my little brother, Douglas.  My sister was a Girl Scout and when cookie-selling rolled around Douglas would ask for his favorite cookie called Peanut Butter Patties, the only problem is he couldn't get enough of them!  I mean between him an Mitchell one box wouldn't last ten minuets!
     So that was when I formulated a plan, I took a little bite of the cookie and tried to figure out how it was done, to my surprise I found out that they were quite simple!
     If you are lover of this cookie like my brother you will be happy to find an easy alternative that tastes just as great and is a heck of a lot cheaper to make.

What I found out was one that cookie the peanut butter tasted a little different, almost....richer.  So I added some powdered sugar. But it still didn't taste quite right.....

So I added some melted butter.

When I mixed it up it smelled sooo good!  It tasted like peanut butter only better.

When you bite into a Peanut Butter Pattie you hit a cookie, and what I have found out is that all that cookie is a Nilla wafer.  Don't mind the stickers, we ran out of tape.

First you have to spread all of them out flat.  I roped my sister into helping me with this project, this is a much easier job with two people.  Plus it's nice to have somebody to talk to, and tell you when your singing badly to the music :)

I did two boxes of Nilla wafers because I was bringing them somewhere and I wanted there to be enough.


 I put the peanut butter mixture in a piping bad with a #12 piping tip, this makes things go a lot faster.  I used to do it with a butter knife and it would take FOREVER!

I had to stand really far back in order to get everything in.

See that spoon in Jillian's hand??!?!  That was just a prop!  She didn't actually do anything until it came to the chocolate part.

When I first started making these I used Wilton's Candy Melts, I liked them for the cake pops but for this they just didn't cut it.  So this time around I got a couple of big Hersey's chocolate bars and it was like a dream!  When I melted it it was so smooth and it stayed nice until the very end unlike the Candy Melts.

 And this is the never-ending-dipping stage.  This is where is gets slightly tedious, this takes quite a while I think it ended up about three or four hours but that was cause we ran into a little problem that you don't need to know about...

When you lift the cookie out of the chocolate, you want to let all of the extra chocolate drip off otherwise things will just be a mess.   

And then place the cookie on a wax paper lined baking sheet to set.

I've got my concentrating face on because this is very hard work you know.  Here we are still working away, but almost done at this point.

Done!  I forgot to take a shot of when they were done, so this is the only one I have.  Just so you know, this isn't the only sheet of them, I did about four or five big ones besides these.

The Cookie:  Yields about 5-6 doz.
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1/4 c. powdered sugar
3 T. butter, melted
1 box Nillia wafers 
20 oz. chocolate

Mix the first 3 ingredients in a small bowl and put into a piping bag with a round tip.  Lay out all of the cookies in a flat layer and pipe about a 1/2 t. of the peanut mixture in each one.  Dip each cookie into the melted chocolate and let them set up in the refrigerator.  Enjoy! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Carrot Cake

     I've noticed that people tend to go for quick and easy, so I tend to make cupcakes more often in my family.  One time at one of the kids birthday parties I made a double batch of cake but made in into cupcakes and they all went when normally if I make a single batch of cake I can barely get rid of half.
     This is the recipe that I always use for whatever I need something fast, it's a lot like the Zucchini bread only with carrots and a few other things.  The recipe I use is a very basic recipe, I don't put raisins or nuts or pineapple, but from time to time I throw some coconut in there it adds amazing flavor but the kids don't really like it that much.

We have here the carrots, eggs and sugar.  A good tips it, if you buys those carrots that are really fat (me mom calls them 'horse carrots') it makes things easier grating them and you only need three or four.  But because I forgot to tell my mom that, I had to grate about ten carrots, and I ended up grating my thumb a little too. 

And here we add the vanilla and cinnamon and oil.


 This here is the flour, salt, and baking soda.

And mix that in too.  I know I've said this before, but don't over mix otherwise instead of this will be tough and gross instead of moist and delicious.

I filled these  little over half full, 2/3 is a little too big for the little guys.  Plus they take shorter to bake that way,

See?  And now it's time to make the icing.

So here is the cream cheese, and some butter.

Now the sugar and the vanilla...

And mix away.  I love the color of this cream cheese icing.  After you make this, depending on how warm it is in the room you may want to stick it in the fridge so it won't be so droopy.  Otherwise you can use it right away!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes: Yields 24 cupcakes

1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. veg. oil
3 eggs
2 c. flour
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. nutmeg
3 c. shredded carrots
1 c. nuts, coconut, pineapple, raisins (optional),

      Mix the first three ingredients and vanilla in a large bowl.  Add the carrots and nuts (if using) and mix.  Add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Pre-heat the oven to 350° and line 24 cupcake tins and fill with batter a little over half way.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until springy to the touch.  Take the cupcakes out of the oven and let cool out of the tins on a cooling rack until completely cool.  Frost with cream cheese icing.

Cream Cheese Icing: 

2 blocks softened cream cheese
6 T. butter, soft
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 t. vanilla

    Cream together the cream cheese and butter until combined, them mix in the sugar and vanilla.