Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Homemade Candy!

Valentines has just passed and I'm sure you've indulged in your fair share of chocolate. But what's better than the store bought candy that's been sitting on store shelves since summer? Homemade candy of course! When I first decided to make candy I'll admit I was a little nervous, and under prepared. Anyone that's interested in making candy, caramel in particular, know it can be a daunting process. Caramel is described to be so hard- and dangerous to make. With it's bubbling cream and burning temperatures it can scare off even the most daring of bakers. But that was until I discovered this easy recipe and gave it a shot. I don't even own a candy thermometer but this recipe came out fabulous. The recipe, found on was so easy to follow and delicious.

Here it is:
Shortbread Base:
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick softened unsalted butter

Combine the dry ingredients until fully blended. Mix in softened butter until the consistency of wet sand forms. Press the dough into a lined 9 inch pan. Bake for about 15-20 minutes (mine took 18) at 350. remove from oven and cool.

Now, make the caramel. You will need:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 TB unsalted butter
3/4 tsp salt

Heat sugar in a medium-large pot until it cooks down to a dark amber liquid, stirring occasionally. Make sure your pot is large enough to contain the cream once it is added and bubbles up to avoid spilling over. If you have a candy thermometer, clip it on now. Add the cream, SLOWLY, I wore oven mitts while adding it as to not get burned by the splatter. Heat to 248 degrees or until the mixture is smooth and a medium-dark amber color. It will also begin to smell like caramel. Stir in the butter and salt until smooth. Carefully pour the caramel over the cooled shortbread cookie base and let set for 1 hour. Cut into desired amount of bars, or into fun shapes. Dip into 12 ounces of your favorite type of chocolate. Enjoy!

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