Saturday, May 9, 2009

Is it caramel? Is it toffee? It is... delicious.

First off, Happy Mother's Day this Sunday! Cheers to my mommy and grandmamas. My mom was bugging me for a blog update so this can be part one of her present. The rest will arrive later.

Sorry for the lack of updates recently. My finals were last week so I was either studying, feeling bad about not studying or trying to not have a panic attack prior to the finals. Which doesn't allow much time for baking. Not many more updates the rest of this month either: after today I'll be traveling, moving and will be on vacay until June! I already did the Daring Bakers challenge which I'll post on the 27th so check back for that.

Joe and I are taking a mini trip to Washington, D.C this week. I've never been and Joe has a family friend there and hence: mini trip. We decided to bring hostess gifts to Joe's friends so Joe made bread and I was assigned to make something sweet. My options were kind of limited, we've packed most of my baking supplies except for cookie sheets. Cookies seemed kind of boring though so I pulled out The Sweet Life for unique ideas.

The Sweet Life has tons of unique (and delicious) dessert recipes, including a few candy recipes that I had yet to try. After narrowing down the list of things that can be made in a baking sheet, Joe convinced me to try the almond honey caramel chews. Despite the fact that we had neither honey or almonds. But dreams cannot be deterred! As long as you have $15 to spend on the extra supplies.

These were fairly easy to make, especially if you've made caramels before. These were a little different than anything I've made though because you make the caramel in pot over the oven (traditional), pour it into a pan (yawn) and then BAKE it. Odd. It worked though. Well, I'm not sure what worked because I'm not sure what putting them in the oven accomplishes. But um, they turned out.

These were good but need tweaking, I think. If I were to make them again, I would cook the caramel a little longer but I like a chewier caramel. I would also add more salt (maybe even on top, a la sea salt caramels), add vanilla and not add the two full sticks of butter. My candies came out greasy so I would definitley scale back on the butter, maybe even only one. Yes, ONLY ONE STICK and several cups of heavy cream. Practically diet food.

This would make a great holiday gift though because it's fairly simple, yummy and makes a TON. You could switch up the nuts too, I would do with pecans because I luuuuurve pecans. Pecans are really the only nut I like, actually. Other nuts I find kind of 'meh' with peanuts (though this technically not a nut, eh? Why not call it the 'pealegume' if its actually a legume, scientists?) and brazil nuts at the bottom of the list. Brazil nuts are just wrong, they are what I imagine bits of hardwood floor taste like. The most disturbing part is that despite that they taste like stale wood chips, I occasionally still crave them. Welcome to my brain. It is a strange place.

For the first time, I actually found the recipe online so I don't feel bad about posting it and you can all enjoy the deliciousness that is The Sweet Life. Check out the recipe here.

I will leave you with this Brian quote before I leave to tide you over.
BJ: Food-- the number one import into Brian's mouth.
Me: .... what's the number two import?
BJ: You don't want to know. *long awkward silence* Dirt. The number two import to Brian's mouth is dirt.

I crave wood chips, Brian apparently eats dirt... we're a household of people suffering from pica.


Katy ~ said...

I make candy from time to time and this looks very good. I copied and saved for Christmas. Great find, thank you for sharing.

Good luck with your studies. It will all be worth it in the end. Take one day at a time. Look how FAR you've come!

I hope you have a great trip. Washington DC is a fascinating place, much to do and see.

Candi said...

great blog! i just found you through surfing the net. you know how it goes.. you look at one thing, then 1 hour goes by and found something new that you were not looking for!

your candy looks great!