Microwave Caramel Sauce

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Wet-Nap but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #showusyourmess  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Microwave Caramel Sauce - Gluten Free, only 15 minutes to prepare

I’ve been keeping a secret from you.  Kind of a big secret.  But now, it’s time I share it with all of you.  Brace yourselves.  Ready?  I’m messy.  There, I said it.  I’m Laura and I’m messy.  Sometimes really messy, especially when food is involved.

When I’m baking, cooking, or eating, yeah, I’m kind of embarrassing to be around.  The thing is, it’s so hard not to make a mess.

Microwave Caramel Sauce - Gluten Free, only 15 minutes to prepare

I mean, have you ever baked with sprinkles or confectioners’ sugar?  They go everywhere.  It’s uncontrollable, totally not my fault.  And when cake batter or Italian meringue somehow ends up halfway across the room, it’s the mixer’s fault, not mine.

It’s even worse when I eat.  I tend to get food everywhere.  The counter, my hands, my clothes.  By the end of the day, my fingers are probably berry stained, there’s a drip of smoothie on my jacket, and my fingers are sticky from the caramel I ate for dessert.

Wet-Nap Canisters

Luckily, I keep Wet-Nap canisters in my kitchen at all times.  They are perfect for clean-ups on the counter, the floor, and even me.  Because they are moistened, they grab all those tiny sprinkles instead of just pushing them around.  They also happen to be antibacterial, so I don’t have to worry about that messy cake batter breeding any germs.  They are great for on the go as well.  I love to keep a canister in the car to clean up messes when I’m out and about.

I pick up my Wet-Nap products at Walmart because they have everyday low prices.  Right now Wet-Nap is also offering a coupon for $.55 off any product.  Be sure to check out their site for the offer while supplies last.

Wet-Nap to Clean

Wet-Nap to Clean

Wet-Nap to Clean

My Wet-Nap canister was called into action when I made this Microwave Caramel Sauce.  This recipe is super easy to make, but it’s sticky and messy from start to finish.  Okay, maybe that’s just because I was making it.  There was caramel on the counter, caramel on my hands, and caramel on the floor.  At least the mess was easy to clean up with my Wet-Nap canister!  I’ll be keeping plenty more canisters on hand too, because I intend on making this caramel sauce all the time.  It’s dangerously easy to make and so tasty with the perfect balance of sweetness.

Microwave Caramel Sauce - Gluten Free, only 15 minutes to prepare

 

Microwave Caramel Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

2 tablespoons water

½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice

½ cup heavy cream

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cubed

Instructions

In a medium microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, stir together sugar, corn syrup, water, and lemon juice. Microwave on high for 5-6 minutes until the caramel turns a light golden color. Keep an eye on it, as all microwaves are different, and it could take more or less time to cook.

Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave, as it will be very hot. Allow to sit for 4-5 minutes. The caramel will turn an amber color.

While the caramel sits, heat the cream in a microwave-safe bowl for about 30 seconds, just to warm it. After the caramel has rested, add the cream slowly while whisking constantly. It may bubble. Whisk in the vanilla and butter. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Reheat in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Eat. Drink. Love

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Jeni’s Ice Cream Review

First of all, I am thrilled to report I am a finalist in The Kitchn’s The Homies Awards for the best baking and sweets blog!  I can’t believe it.  It really is a dream come true.  Thank you so much for your support!  It would mean the world to me if you’d head over to The Kitchn’s site and vote for Pies and Plots again.  Please spread the word.  With your help, anything is possible :)   Now on to today’s post

Jeni's Ice Cream Review

Though I don’t eat ice cream very frequently, it’s one of my favorite treats.  It brings back memories of stopping after school for a sundae or sharing a pint with Mom and Granny.  Whether from the grocery store or ice cream parlor, whether ice cream, custard, sorbet, sherbet, or gelato, I love the chilly treat, even when the temperature outside is colder than my freezer!

I have to say of all the ice cream I’ve tried (including ice cream I’ve made), Jeni’s is my favorite.  I’ve ordered from Jeni’s several times.  They are the nicest, most helpful people, always willing to accommodate my chocolate allergy.  Plus, these people know how to ship ice cream!  It always arrives icy cold and ready to head to the freezer . . . or my mouth ;)

Jeni's Ice Cream Review

Prior to my latest order, I’d only tried the ice cream sandwiches, but this order, the Sweet Potato Torched Marshmallow Pint was calling my name.  It did not disappoint.  The ice cream is so silky smooth, not a single ice crystal in sight.  The spicy-sweet ice cream is so perfectly complemented by the marshmallows which have been roasted.  They add a slight sweetness, but also complexity from that campfire s’more like flavor of the burnt marshmallows.  I can’t wait to have more.

Jeni's Ice Cream Review

I also tried the Salty Caramel Sauce.  I love the Salty Caramel ice cream (more on that in a moment), so I couldn’t wait to try the plain sauce.  Full of vanilla bean specks, the sweet-salty balance is spot on.  The sauce is also the star of my Caramel Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars.

The ice cream sandwiches still have my heart.  They make me stop in my tracks, they are so delicious.  The Pfeffernusse were a new find.  The Oatmeal Cream are solid, but the Orchid Vanilla and Salty Caramel are in another league.  I could never choose a favorite.

Jeni's Ice Cream Review

The Orchid Vanilla begins with two huge almond macarons.  In between them is a giant scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and black currant jam.  I never knew how much I loved black currant jam until this.  It’s addicting!  And then there’s the Salty Caramel sandwich with two more macarons with Salty Caramel ice cream in the middle.  Oh, that Salty Caramel ice cream; just the thought of it makes me swoon.  It is then rolled in smoked almonds.  Neither Mom nor I were sure about the almonds, but the crunch and flavor they add is genius.  Of course everything from Jeni’s is pretty genius!

This isn’t a sponsored post, but I wish it was.  Jeni’s, if you would like to send some samples of new products my way or hold a giveaway for my readers, I promise no one would complain :)

Ina’s Salted Caramels

 Ina's Salted Caramels

First, please vote for my blog for The Kitchn’s The Homies Awards.  I need to place in the top five to make it to the next round.  This would really help my dreams come true and could change my blog and possibly my life.  It would be a dream come true, but I need your help.  Please, even if you don’t leave comments and just like to lurk, please take a moment to click the link, sign up for an account and click the +1 next to Pies and Plots.  You should see the number of nominations go up.  I cannot begin to tell you how much this would mean to me!

Second, don’t forget to enter to win the Hungarian shortbread from Frog Hollow Farm.  I know you will love that little treat!  Now onto your regularly scheduled blog post.

Ina's Salted Caramels

I’m not one to be all fanatical about spoilers.  I realize in the strange world in which we live where most of us don’t watch shows when they actually air and yet feel the need to share all about them on social media, I need to be smart if I don’t want to know who won Top Chef or what happened on Grey’s Anatomy.

When I actually care about avoiding spoilers, I try to watch the show in a timely manner and avoid social media.  I’ve also learned to enjoy shows even when I know what happens.

But the Olympics are killing me.  I can’t get interested in watching twenty bobsled runs or ten ice skating short programs, which I swear are all the same, when I know what happens.  So I’ve been spending my days avoiding spoliers like it’s my job.  Coincidentally it pays about the same as blogging ;)

My local news is great.  They announce when they are going to talk spoliers.  They appear on the screen while they Olympic music plays.  When the music’s over, so are the spoliers.  Awesome.

Ina's Salted Caramels

However, my frenemies over at NBC have a bit of a different tactic, in that they talk spoliers all the time, without warning.  The moment I turn on Today in the morning, they are talking about results.  Ted Ligity this, Bode Miller that.  I love NBC Nightly News and their Olympic stories, but I can’t watch them because I have to turn it on mute and look away before I know who fell while ice skating.  Doesn’t NBC want me to enjoy their Olympic coverage?

Well, at least I definitely enjoyed Ina’s Salted Caramels.  I have a thing for homemade caramels.  I simplified the process here by removing the step of warming the cream and butter before adding to the cooked sugar and these are the best caramels I’ve ever made.  They set perfectly, are super creamy, and have that rich, complex flavor we all want from caramels with that perfect crunch of sea salt.  I say these are gold medalists, no spoiler alert necessary!

Ina's Salted Caramels

Ina’s Salted Caramels

Yield: 64 caramels

Ingredients

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

¼ cup light corn syrup

¼ cup water

1 cup heavy cream

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Maldon Sea Salt, for sprinkling

Instructions

Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment, leaving overhang for easy removal later.

In a large saucepan, cook sugar, corn syrup, and water over medium-high heat. Without stirring, bring to a boil, and cook until the mixture is a deep amber color. If you need to swirl the pan, you may do so gently.

Remove the pan from the heat once it is the proper color, and add the cream, butter, and vanilla. Place the pan back on the heat and stir until any clumps have dissolved. Stop stirring. Place a candy thermometer in the pan and cook until the mixture reaches 248 degrees F.

Carefully pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with sea salt. Allow to cool at room temperature for about 1 hour. Then cool completely in the refrigerator, about 2 additional hours. Cut into pieces and wrap with parchment or wax paper. Caramels may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

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Microwave Caramel Popcorn #SundaySupper

Microwave Caramel Popcorn - Gluten Free, Only takes 10 minutes to make!

I’ve always wanted to go to the Super Bowl.  It’s on my bucket list, in fact.  I’m not anywhere near the biggest football fan in the world, but I enjoy watching the games on occasion, particularly the big game.  Sitting in that stadium full of cheering fans, watching the two best teams in the league duke it out seems like something we should all do once in our lives.

I’d have to TiVo the game too because the commercials are probably my favorite part.  That and halftime.  That’s the other thing about going to the Super Bowl: you get to see a concert and a football game!

Microwave Caramel Popcorn - Gluten Free, Only takes 10 minutes to make!

Microwave Caramel Popcorn - Gluten Free, Only takes 10 minutes to make!

But I have to be honest – I wouldn’t want to go to this Super Bowl, or any other outdoor sporting event that is going to expose me to winter weather.  Even Dad, who loves football and played it in college, said he wouldn’t want to go.  I mean, come on, it’s probably going to be the coldest Super Bowl ever!

Microwave Caramel Popcorn - Gluten Free, Only takes 10 minutes to make!

So instead, I’ll be watching from my warm house with some of this Microwave Caramel Popcorn.  I knew immediately I wanted to make caramel popcorn for this game day Sunday Supper, and then when I saw this recipe, I had to try it.

I wasn’t sure how it would turn out.  Was it even possible to make caramel popcorn in the microwave?  Oh, yeah, it is!  This caramel popcorn is some of the best I have ever eaten.  If I didn’t know it came out of the microwave, I wouldn’t believe it.  It’s sweet, but not too sweet, rich, buttery, and super crispy.  Plus, this gluten free snack is ready in 10-15 minutes.  Touchdown!  You definitely need to make this now for your Super Bowl viewing later.  And go Broncos!

Microwave Caramel Popcorn - Gluten Free, Only takes 10 minutes to make!

Microwave Caramel Popcorn - Gluten Free, Only takes 10 minutes to make!

 

Microwave Caramel Popcorn #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

½ cup unpopped popcorn kernels

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 stick unsalted butter

¼ cup light corn syrup

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

Pop the popcorn using your favorite method. I popped mine in a large paper lunch bag in the microwave.

Place the popped popcorn in a large paper lunch bag.

In a medium, microwave safe bowl, place brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir. If the mixture is not completely melted and bubbling, microwave it for an additional minute. Mine took 3 minutes to be fully incorporated and bubbling. Immediately stir in vanilla and baking soda. Once the caramel is fully combined, pour the caramel over the popped popcorn in the paper bag. Try to pour down the center instead of on the side as it will just stick to the bag.

Fold the top of the paper bag down a few times, then shake to coat the popcorn with the caramel. Microwave on high for 1 ½ minutes. Remove the bag from the microwave and shake it again. Microwave for an additional 1 ½ minutes.

Pour caramel popcorn onto a large, parchment lined baking sheet and allow to cool completely. When the popcorn is cool it should be very crunchy. Store popcorn in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

Recipe adapted from A Farmgirl's Dabbles

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Don’t forget to check out all the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Game Day Appetizers:

Game Day Entrees:

Game Day Desserts:

 

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter every Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

 

Homemade Carob Snickers + Birthday Thoughts

Homemade Carob Snickers

I wrote awhile ago about the things from my youth I’d like back.  But lately, seeing as it’s January, the time of new beginnings, and today in particular, since it’s my 24th birthday, I also realize I am fully prepared and excited to move forward.  Last year on my birthday, I had hopes for a great year full of awesome things.  I’m sad to report I feel in mostly the same place as last year.  No successful writing career, no best friend, no first date.  Just me and my dreams.

But the truth is, maybe I wasn’t ready, really ready, for all those things last year.  Not mentally, emotionally, or even physically prepared to have all my hopes and dreams suddenly turn into reality being thrust at me.

Homemade Carob Snickers

This year, though, I know I am ready.  I am open to great things heading my way.  I know for certain I actually do want to move away from the place that’s been my home for my entire life to a new, warmer place where the possibilities are endless.  I want to meet new people, visit new places, create a new home.  I just have to figure out how to do it . . . but I will.

I know the writing projects I’m working on are the best of my life.  I needed to write and read and make mistakes to learn and become a better writer.  It is only a matter of time now until someone in a position of far more power than me takes notice.  It is going to happen.  Dreams are about to come true!

Homemade Carob Snickers

If I needed proof other than my own feelings, my horoscope provided it.  I pretty much never read my horoscope, always afraid it will say something bad.  But in the latest issue of Elle, it was calling my name.  So I read it, and I am thrilled I did.  It said all kinds of love, career, and social opportunities are headed my way.  Neiman Marcus shared a similar one on their blog that said I’d have a “magical year.”  Oh, yeah!  Bring it on, because I am ready!!!

You know what else I’m ready for more of?  These Homemade Carob Snickers.  I crave candy bars all the time, but since I’m allergic to chocolate, I can’t eat them.  So for my birthday, I treated myself to homemade candy.  I’m not gonna lie to you, these are kind of complicated and time consuming to make.  But Ashley from Not Without Salt’s recipe is amazing.  It’s easy to follow and the results are better than I ever imagined.  This caramel is by far the best I’ve ever made.  Plus, if you want to spend a few hours in the kitchen, having fun, these are a great thing to make and worth every single second they take. 

Homemade Carob Snickers

If you aren’t allergic to chocolate, you can, of course, use milk or dark chocolate to coat them.  I covered half in carob and half in white chocolate.  I can’t pick which I like better.  With the soft peanut butter nougat, gooey caramel, crunchy peanuts, and crispy coating, these are pure heaven!  So here’s to hoping my 24th year is as great as these Snickers!

Homemade Carob Snickers

 

Homemade Carob Snickers + Birthday Thoughts

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: About 40 candy bars

Ingredients

Peanut Butter Nougat

¾ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup light corn syrup

2 tablespoons honey

¼ cup water

1 large egg white

½ cup creamy peanut butter (I used Skippy Natural)

Caramel

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup light corn syrup

¼ cup water

¾ cup heavy cream

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups roasted peanuts (salted or unsalted depending on your preference – I used unsalted)

½ teaspoon Maldon sea salt, for sprinkling

For assembly

2-3 cups carob chips (I used Chatfield’s)

2-3 cups white chocolate chips

3-4 tablespoons vegetable shortening divided

Instructions

Make the nougat. Butter a 9 by 13 inch pan and line it with parchment, leaving overhang for easy removal later. Lightly butter the parchment.

In a small to medium saucepan, gently stir together sugar, corn syrup, honey, and water, being careful not to get sugar on the sides of the pan. Cover the pan with a lid and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, insert a candy thermometer, and continue cooking until the temperature reaches 275 degrees F.

While the syrup cooks, whip the egg white to stiff peaks. Because it is only 1 egg white it is difficult to do in the stand mixer, but it can be done. I did it in a large bowl with the hand mixer, which worked well. Take caution when adding the syrup and then beating the finished mixture. It becomes very stiff, so it is difficult to control the mixer. My egg white never quite got to stiff peaks and the recipe still worked.

When the egg white is whipped and the syrup has reached temperature, immediately remove the syrup from the heat and slowly pour the syrup into the egg white with the mixer running on low. Try to avoid hitting the beater. Increase the speed and beat until the nougat cools slightly and has turned stiff and glossy, about 1 minute.

Stir in the peanut butter until fully combined. Spread the nougat into an even layer in the prepared pan. Allow to cool while you make the caramel.

Make the caramel. In a large saucepan, gently stir together the sugar, corn syrup, and water, being careful not to get sugar on the sides of the pan. Cover the pan with a lid and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and insert a candy thermometer. Continue cooking caramel until it reaches 300 degrees F. You may gently swirl the pan if some of the caramel turns color before the rest.

Once the caramel reaches 300 degrees F, add the cream and butter, then continue cooking until the caramel reaches 248 degrees F. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanuts and vanilla. Pour the caramel over the nougat. Smooth into an even layer and sprinkle with Maldon salt. Cool at room temperature for 40 minutes. Then cool completely in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to overnight.

Assemble the candy bars. Remove the pan of nougat and caramel from the refrigerator. Cut into bite sized pieces. Melt ½ the carob chips in a microwave safe bowl with about 1 tablespoon of shortening in 30 second increments, stirring in between to promote melting and prevent burning. When the carob is fully melted, using a fork, dip 1 piece of the nougat/caramel into it and cover completely. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet to set. Repeat with remaining carob. The process is the same for the white chocolate chips as well.

Once all the candy bars have been coated, place in the refrigerator to set completely. Bars may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer, individually wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about 30 minutes.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Not Without Salt

Additional cooling time may be required.

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Caramel Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars #SundaySupper

Caramel Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars - Gluten Free

Today is a big day!  I’m celebrating two birthdays: Dad’s and Sunday Supper’s.  I’m so excited!  Some celebrations are just what this dreary January needs.  Clearly, Dad’s birthday is a big deal; it’s even a milestone birthday . . . I won’t say which one.  His present is waiting to be opened and he’s already devoured his birthday treat (ah, the life of a blogger), but I’ll make sure he has plenty of tasty food today.

He is such an important part of my life.  I don’t know what I’d do without him.  I cherish our conversations and one on one time together.  I love when he, Mom, and I do something fun together.  He never stops fighting for me and my dreams, even when we all grow a little frustrated and discouraged.  He is my faithful taste tester, errand runner, and flower planter, and is an invaluable part of my everyday life.  The three of us go together like peanut butter, jelly, and caramel :)   Happy Birthday, Dad!  Here’s to an amazing year, and many more to follow.

Caramel Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars - Gluten Free

Caramel Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars - Gluten Free

It’s also Sunday Supper’s birthday!  Sunday Supper is one of the most important parts of my blog life.  It’s no secret I often struggle with my blog and its failure to live up to my lofty expectations.  Sunday Supper has helped my blog grow leaps and bounds, which I really appreciate, but more than that, it’s introduced me to so many other bloggers.  I am part of a community with Sunday Supper.

I look forward to seeing the themes each week.  And then I bound to my computer on Sunday to interact with my blog friends and see what they created.  It has opened up a new world for me and made me feel like I’m a part of something for the first time EVER!  So thank you Isabel and the Sunday Supper team for creating this movement and allowing me to be a part of it.

Caramel Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars - Gluten Free

To celebrate these birthdays, I needed a seriously awesome treat, and these Caramel Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars did not disappoint.  I knew Dad would love these and I was right.  He still can’t stop talking about them.  I love them too with the peanut butter-oat crust and topping that is a little soft, a little chewy, and sturdy enough to support the fabulous filling of cherry preserves (though you can use whatever flavor you like) and caramel sauce.  I happened to have a jar of Jeni’s Salty Caramel Sauce that was calling my name and it was perfect in these bars.  Plus, they are gluten free and you would NEVER know it!  Though I have a giant sweet tooth, I did find these to be a little too sweet.  I cut down the amount of sugar in the recipe below to combat that.  In addition, a thin layer of peanut butter under the jelly and/or a few peanuts in the topping would be a great twist to add a little more complexity.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love these bars and know you will too.  I think Dad will be requesting them every year for his birthday!

Caramel Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars - Gluten Free

 

Caramel Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars #SundaySupper

Prep Time:

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 9 bars

Ingredients

½ stick unsalted butter

¾ cup creamy peanut butter (I used Skippy Natural)

1 cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free)

½ cup jam/jelly/preserves, whatever flavor you like (I used American Spoon Cherry Spoon Fruit)

¼ cup salted caramel sauce (I used Jeni’s)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 inch square pan and line it with parchment. Lightly butter the parchment.

In a large microwave safe bowl, microwave butter until melted, 60-75 seconds. Add the peanut butter and microwave for an additional 45 seconds. Stir the butter and peanut butter together before adding sugars, cinnamon, and vanilla. Stir until fully combined. Add the oats and stir until a thick dough is formed.

Press about ¾ of the peanut butter-oat mixture into the prepared pan very firmly. Spread the preserves in an even layer over the crust. Spread the caramel in an even layer over the preserves. Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the caramel.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with no crumbs (it will have preserves and caramel on it), the top is golden brown, and the caramel is bubbling. Cool completely in pan.

Bars may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature about an hour or in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks

To add more peanut flavor to the bars, spread ¼ cup peanut butter on the crust before the preserves and caramel and/or add ¼ cup peanuts to the dough reserved for the topping.

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Don’t forget to check out all the other celebration Sunday Supper dishes!

Brilliant Breads and Breakfast Fare:

 

Amazing Appetizers and Cocktails:

 

Spectacular Soups and Salads:

 

Enticing Entrees:

 

Decadent Desserts:

 

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

 

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

SundaySupper

 

Pumpkin Gingerbread Souffle + Giveaway

Pumpkin Gingerbread Souffle + Giveaway

This giveaway is CLOSED!

When I go out to dinner, I love to order soufflé for dessert. There’s something about the towering ramekin of egg whites, typically orange flavored (since I have to forego the chocolate ones), served piping hot out of the oven with some kind of sauce accompaniment. It’s heaven on a plate. Sure, some are better than others, but it’s a soufflé, how bad can it be? But I’ve never made one at home. I’ve thought about it, but never actually whipped one up.

Luckily KitchenAid® challenged me to POOF A HOLIDAY SOUFFLÉ using my KitchenAid® 27-Inch Convection Double Wall Oven, Architect® Series II. These double wall ovens are probably the most used piece of equipment in my kitchen, other than my KitchenAid® 25 Cu. Ft. Standard-Depth French Door Refrigerator, Architect® Series II. Every single day one, if not both, of the ovens are on. From baked oatmeal or reheating a piece of frozen coffee cake in the morning to midday baking to roasting garlic, fish, and vegetables for dinner, the ovens get a serious workout. I have no idea what I’d do without both of them.

I have to admit, I was a little nervous. Making a soufflé for the first time is a daunting task, but I’ve made more challenging things than soufflé. I use a candy thermometer like a pro and I make caramel like a champ, so this would be a piece of cake. Beyond that, I was so excited to finally be making soufflé, so I put my worries aside and got to work. Plus with those KitchenAid® ovens, I knew I was in good hands.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Souffle + Giveaway

KitchenAid® suggested I make a gingerbread soufflé, but I had to take it to the next level, so I made a Pumpkin Gingerbread Soufflé with Bourbon Molasses Sauce. The sauce and pumpkin mixture can both be prepared a day ahead of time, which is great, because while the soufflé is not hard to make, there are several steps that can be a bit time consuming.

I whipped out my KitchenAid® 9-Speed Hand Mixer to whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. I could have used my KitchenAid® stand mixer, but for this small and quick task, the hand mixer was the perfect choice. Plus, then I got in a good workout :) Once the egg whites were whipped, I folded in the pumpkin mixture, divided the soufflé batter among ramekins and bowls and into the oven they went with my fingers crossed.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Souffle + Giveaway

Pumpkin Gingerbread Souffle + Giveaway

I turned on the handy oven light about a million times during the baking process to see how the soufflés were doing. They puffed before my eyes like magic. When they were done, they looked better than any soufflé I’ve ever ordered in a restaurant. It was killing me to take pictures without taking a bite. As soon as I set the camera down, I grabbed a spoon and dug in. You guys, these soufflés are one of the best things I’ve ever made. EVER! So light and fluffy, they definitely pack a gingerbread punch with lots of spices. And the bourbon infused caramel in the sauce enhances all of the flavors and adds a bit of sweetness.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Souffle + Giveaway

My KitchenAid® ovens better get ready for the influx of soufflés coming their way. You should make them too, because they are way easier to make than you ever thought and so impressive. Imagine bringing these to the Thanksgiving table instead of pumpkin pie. KitchenAid® and BlogHer have also been kind enough to giveaway a $200 Visa gift card! How awesome is that? Especially this time of year. To enter, leave a comment telling me what flavor your holiday soufflé would be or tell me about another cooking challenge you recently accomplished. Plus, read below for more ways to enter! Good luck!

Pumpkin Gingerbread Souffle + Giveaway

Pumpkin Gingerbread Souffle + Giveaway

4.9 from 20 reviews

Pumpkin Gingerbread Souffle + Giveaway
Serves: 4-8
 
Ingredients
Soufflés
  • ½ cup milk (I used almond, but any kind will work)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¾ cup, plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
  • 10 large egg whites
  • ¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
Sauce
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • ¼ teaspoon flaky sea salt
Instructions
  1. Make the soufflés. In a small saucepan, whisk together milk, cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 minutes while whisking, until thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk in the pumpkin. Pour into a bowl and cool to room temperature. Alternatively, cover and refrigerate for 1 day.
  2. When ready to make the soufflés, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter and sugar ramekins and place on a baking sheet.
  3. In a large bowl, whip egg whites using a hand mixer on medium-high until frothy. Add cream of tartar. Continue beating egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining ¾ cup sugar while beating the egg whites. Beat until stiff, glossy peaks form. A stand mixer may alternatively be used for this process. Fold ⅓ of the egg whites into the pumpkin mixture until pretty evenly distributed. Fold in the remaining egg whites, taking care not to deflate the mixture. Divide the batter among the ramekins, mounding it toward the middle. Fill ramekins no more than ¾ full.
  4. Bake soufflés until puffed greatly and golden brown, 18-25 minutes, depending on the size of your ramekins. You will have to watch them closely. They should be puffed high above the ramekin and deep golden brown on top. Serve immediately.
  5. Make the sauce while the soufflés are baking or 1 day ahead of time. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 2 tablespoons water over medium heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Once sugar dissolves, stop stirring, and cook until the sugar is a dark amber color. You may gently swirl the pan. Remove pan from the heat and stir in remaining ¼ cup water, bourbon, butter, molasses, and salt. The mixture may seize. Don’t panic. Just return it to the heat and stir until the mixture simmers and thins out into a sauce. Serve immediately with soufflé or store in the refrigerator for 1 day. Reheat in the microwave.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Gourmet

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Caramel Apple Bundt Cake #SundaySupper

Caramel Apple Bundt Cake #SundaySupper

I’m pretty obsessed with some things both in and out of the culinary world.  I’ve already told you about my nail polish obsession.  It’s kind of my favorite thing on Earth.  My collection continues to grow too.  I’m equally obsessed with makeup.  Eye shadow, lipstick, glitter powder.  Lots and lots of glitter powder.  There’s actually glitter on pretty much everything in my house because I wear so much of it!  Glitter makes the world a better place!  And then there are shoes, handbags, and clothes.  It’s actually pretty safe to say I’m fashion obsessed.

I’m also obsessed with lots of TV shows, like Grey’s Anatomy.  I got tired of it for awhile, but now I spend my days looking forward to Thursday night.  I’m also known to watch repeats during the day when talk shows aren’t new.  Speaking of which, I happen to be majorly talk show obsessed too.  I have my whole day planned out with Rachael Ray, The View, The Chew, The Talk, Ellen, and Queen Latifah.  I swear I work while I watch!

Caramel Apple Bundt Cake

Caramel Apple Bundt Cake

And you’ve probably noticed by now that I’m absolutely ub-sessed with caramel and apples.  It’s one of my favorite flavor combinations, along with peanut butter and marshmallows.  I’ve made Caramel Apples, Caramel Apple Sheet Cake, Salted Caramel Apple Pie, and now I present Caramel Apple Bundt Cake.

To celebrate this week’s Got You Covered Sunday Supper theme, I couldn’t think of a better dish than a super moist bundt cake full of tons of chopped apples and then covered with a decadent caramel sauce.  The caramelized, brown crust on the cake gives great flavor and a little texture.  Oh, and that caramel sauce.  It’s silky smooth and enhanced with toasted pecans.  This is great warm or room temperature and is even better after a little while in the freezer.  It’s safe to say my obsession with caramel and apple isn’t going to end any time soon!

Caramel Apple Bundt Cake

Caramel Apple Bundt Cake

Caramel Apple Bundt Cake #SundaySupper

Prep Time:

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 10 pieces

Ingredients

Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground cloves

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

5 heaping cups apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped (I used Honeycrisp and Gala, but use what you love)

3 large eggs

½ cup vegetable oil

½ cup sour cream

1 lemon, juiced and zested

¼ cup bourbon

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Caramel

½ cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

2 tablespoons water

½ cup heavy cream

¾ cup toasted pecans

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Make the cake. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour the bundt pan.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and oil. Add sour cream, lemon juice and zest, bourbon, and vanilla and whisk to combine. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until a batter is formed. Stir in the apples.

Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs. Rotate the cake halfway through baking. Allow the cake to cool 30 minutes in the pan before inverting it onto a cake plate to cool completely. It may also be served warm!

Make the caramel. In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar, corn syrup, and water over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stop stirring. Cook, swirling occasionally, until the mixture is dark amber colored. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the cream. Be careful as the mixture will bubble up. Stir in the pecans and vanilla. Cool caramel about 5 minutes before pouring over cake.

Cake without caramel may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Cake with caramel should be served immediately. Cake may be frozen in pieces with or without caramel for up to 3 months. It should be wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag. It may be thawed in a 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Food Network Kitchens

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Don’t miss the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Covered Appetizers and Entreés

Covered Desserts

Not Sure What To Do? We Got You Covered

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie #SundaySupper

Salted Caramel Apple Pie #SundaySupper

If you read my blog regularly, you probably know I’m most thankful for my parents this Thanksgiving.  The world often feels like a lonely, complicated, not very fun place to me, and Mom and Dad are the constants in my world that make it livable and tolerable.  Sure, I have plenty of things to be thankful for.  My aunt and her upcoming trip to visit us (July can’t come soon enough!), the health of my loved ones and myself, the more than comfortable life I lead, amazing blog readers like all of you, but none of that would matter without Mom and Dad.

They are there to make me feel better when things are bad, they pick me up when I’m down.  We are a machine that cannot function without each of the parts.  I can’t imagine a day without them.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

The support they give me constantly goes above and beyond what is expected of parents.  They allow me to chase my dreams and support me in doing so.  Mom is not only the best friend I could ask for, she’s also a killer sous chef, editor, idea maker, and shopping companion.  Dad has mad taste testing skills, along with tireless errand running and problem solving abilities.

I am one hundred percent sincere when I say they mean the world to me and I have no idea where I’d be without them.  This thanksgiving and everyday of the year, I’m thankful for them.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

I’m also pretty thankful for this Salted Caramel Apple Pie.  If you didn’t decide on Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars as your Thanksgiving dessert, you have to make this.  It takes apple pie to another, much tastier, level.  Tons of thinly sliced apples are layered with salted caramel sauce.  I stuck with my favorite flaky, crispy pie crust recipe, but it’s even better because caramel is spread over the top of the pie before baking.  The first time I made this I was afraid it would burn, but it didn’t.  Instead, it forms a crackly coating that I love and know you will too.  You’ll add this pie to the list of things you’re thankful for after one bite!

Don’t miss my baking prize pack giveaway!

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Salted Caramel Apple Pie #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 8 pieces

Ingredients

Crust

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cold, cubed

½ cup pure vegetable shortening

4-7 tablespoons cold water

Caramel

1 cup granulated sugar

¼ cup water

1 stick unsalted butter

½ cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon Maldon Sea Salt

Filling

7-8 medium apples (I used Honeycrisp and Gala, but use what you love)

3 lemons, juiced

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

2 tablespoons bourbon

Granulated sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

Make the crust. In the bowl of a food processor, place flour, sugar, and salt, and pulse until well combined. Add butter and shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add water, starting with 4 tablespoons, and pulse. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough comes together when pressed. Pour dough onto plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Chill for at least 2 hours. Dough may be made 2 days ahead of time.

Make the caramel. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water and cook over medium heat until dissolved, swirling if necessary. Add the butter and bring to a boil, cooking without stirring until the mixture is a deep amber color. Remove the caramel from the heat and add the cream. Be careful as the mixture will bubble. Stir until the caramel is smooth, add the sea salt, and pour into a bowl to cool. Caramel may be made 2 days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.

Make the pie. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Roll 1 piece on a lightly floured surface until it is large enough to fit into your pie pan. Place it in the pie pan. Roll the other piece until it is large enough to cover the finished pie. Chill the crusts while you make the filling.

When ready to make the filling and assemble the pie, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, place the lemon juice. Peel, core, and slice the apples as thinly as possible and place immediately into the lemon juice, stirring to coat frequently. Add sugar, flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and bourbon in the bowl. Stir until the apples are evenly coated.

Retrieve the pie crust from the refrigerator. Place 1/3 of the apples in the crust in the pie pan. Pour about ¼ of the caramel over the apples. Repeat with more apples, more caramel, the remainder of the apples, and some caramel. Place the top crust over the filling and seal the edges well, creating a decorative boarder if you like. Pour the remaining ¼ of the caramel on top of the crust, spreading into an even layer. Sprinkle with sugar. Cut slits in the top of the pie.

Place pie on a baking sheet in case it bubbles over and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes, until the apples are soft (you can check with a knife) and the filling is bubbling. Cool pie completely at room temperature. Pie may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Pie may also be frozen in quarters, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in a 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes until warmed through.

Notes

Pie recipe adapted from Four and Twenty Blackbirds Crust recipe adapted from Bobby Flay

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Please check out all the other Sunday Supper dishes!

FIRST COURSE / APPETIZERS

SAVORY BREADS + STUFFING

MAIN DISHES

SIDE DISHES

DESSERTS + SWEET BREADS

All American Wine Pairing Guide for Being Thankful #SundaySupper from Martin at ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

sundaysupperlogo Baked Caramel Apple Cider Donuts #SundaySupper Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our#SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement.



 

Brown Sugar Caramels

Brown Sugar Caramels

I’m not a baseball fan.  I can watch a football game and be moderately entertained, but put baseball on the TV and I will either fall asleep or die of boredom.  It’s not my thing.  I’ve been to one game and it certainly didn’t help.  It was a stifling hot July Fourth . . . until the skies opened up and it poured rain.  Needless to say there won’t be any more baseball games in my future.

But October does something to me.  While baseball won’t fully occupy my TV unless the Tigers are about to win the World Series, I don’t mind casually having it on in the background while I write or cook.  I like hearing Joe Buck call the games (he’s actually one of my favorite parts of watching both baseball and football games!).  Since the Tigers are playing in the post season, it’s even more interesting.  Detroit could use some good news in the form of a national championship.

Brown Sugar Caramels

Brown Sugar Caramels

I remember in particular the magic of the 2001 World Series after 9/11.  I was twelve, in sixth grade, and stayed up way too late with Mom, watching the games, cheering for the Yankees as though I had been a lifelong fan.  It was really something.  Even if I am not watching the games closely, I’m hoping the Tigers can work some magic of their own!

While I cheer, I need something to eat.  These Brown Sugar Caramels did just the trick.  Their smooth and creamy texture makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, combating the yucky fall chill in the air.  The complex flavor of these will keep your taste buds interested, especially with a hint of sea salt.  They are very gooey, but I think that makes them taste even better!  Plus these are pretty easy to make as caramels go and are gluten free!

Brown Sugar Caramels

Brown Sugar Caramels

Brown Sugar Caramels

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 64 caramels

Ingredients

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter

1 cup light corn syrup

2 ¼ cups packed dark brown sugar

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ cup water

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Maldon Sea Salt for sprinkling

Instructions

Line an 8 in square pan with parchment, leaving overhang for easy removal later.

In a 5-6 quart saucepan, combine butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, cream, lemon juice, and water over medium heat. Stir frequently until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a simmer and insert a candy thermometer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is golden brown and reaches 240-245 degrees on the candy thermometer.

Remove from the heat and carefully pour the caramel into the prepared pan, as it will be extremely hot. Sprinkle with sea salt. Cool the caramels at room temperature for about half an hour before placing in the refrigerator to cool and solidify completely, at least 2 hours.

Once cool, cut the caramels into 1 inch pieces and wrap in parchment or wax paper. Store in a zipper bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

Recipe adapted from My Recipes

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