Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fluer De Sel Vanilla Caramels Recipe


This is what you need to make these homemade caramels. Brown Sugar, butter (cubed), sweeten condensed milk, light corn syrup, vanilla and fleur de sel (not pictured) for the topping. Super easy ingredients right?

Whenever you are using a candy thermometer, make sure you test it before. An inaccurate thermometer will ruin everything! To test, clip a candy thermometer onto a pan full of cold water and bring it to a boil. Don't let the thermometer touch the bottom of the pan. 

Boiling water should read 212°F. If your water is boiling and the reading is different, make note of the difference and apply this when making your carmel. 

To help, if the thermometer says the boiling water is 210˚F and not 212˚F that means you are at a 2˚ difference. So when the thermometer reaches 242˚F you will take your caramel off the heat then instead at the normal 244˚F. If this is all too confusing, just buy a new thermometer, thats what I would do!

High-altitude note: If you live over 7,000 feet take the candy off at 227˚F. Use the NMSU E215 Guide for reference and use the lowest temperature for a chewy candy.



Hello beauties. You will soon be covered in sweetness!!

Line pan with parchment paper, even up the sides and set aside for later. If you are dipping: Prepare any apples, pretzels, or other things you’ll be dipping. Chop any nuts or prepare any candy you’ll be sprinkling on top. Have a heat safe bowl ready as well to pour hot caramel into.


Cube your butter! It melts easier that way and you won't have to worry about burning it.

Pour in 1 cup butter, unsalted and cubed to your saucepan.

Melt butter over low heat in saucepan.

Always a good idea to have when making candy with sugar. A dish of cold water and a pastry brush. This you will use to brush down any sugar crystals that want to come in and ruin the party.

You will need 2 1/4 cup brown sugar. Light or dark doesn't matter, its all about preference. I've used both and they both come out fine. I had light brown in my cupboard so thats what I used today!

Just a side note, the color will be different if using a dark brown sugar, obviously because you will be using a darker color hehe. The caramels will be darker than if using light brown sugar.

Carefully add sugar by pouring it into the center of the pan. You don't want the sugar climbing up the sides and crystalizing. This is when you use your damp pastry brush if need to brush down the sugar to prevent tears later.

Stir slowly the brown sugar until well combined with melted butter.

Next 1 cup light corn syrup. Ugh I hate sticky things like corn syrup, but its unavoidable in this recipe. Molasses is my least favorite. Such a nightmare! 

Pour in your corn syrup to the hot sugar butter mixture.

My favorite invention ever! The Adjust - A- Cup  measuring cup. So smart for sticky things!! This is how I survive. 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk, which is a small can.

Pour that in on top of the corn syrup and get ready to mix forever!

Start stirring with your pot on medium for one minute, combining all the ingredients you just added.


Then to med.-high until boiling. 
Make sure to change temperatures slowly! We don't want to shock the candy and have it end up a greasy mess. Keep stirring and stirring and stirring. This is very important! You don't want the butter to separate from the sugar mixture. Keep an eye on that as you stir, incorporating the butter as best as you can.

Once boiling, clip on your candy thermometer if it isn't there already (again, don’t let it touch the bottom of the pan). By the time your caramel is boiling, if you have been stirring well, you should have the butter fully blended into the caramel mixture, not separated.

Reduce heat to about medium, adjusting so that you keep a moderate, steady boil. Stir frequently. If you let your caramel go too long without stirring the sugar will separate from the butter and become greasy. Keep stirring!



Temperature does not raise at a steady rate, so watch your thermometer closely. Soft Ball state, this is dipping time. If you are going to be dipping you are looking for a temperature 234–240°F. My thermometer says the stages on it which is hand.


Pour the caramel you want to use to dip into a heat safe bowl.

Place your items to dip in the caramel in the bowl and coat completely.

Be sure to let the excess caramel drip off so you don't have a sticky mess from the bowl to your countertops! Again. Stickyness. Not for me. 

Parchment paper. This will be your BEST FRIEND when making caramel! Place your dipped items on some parchment paper and let cool. They will be ready to eat when the caramel is cool to the touch. 

Don't get over anxious and eat too soon! You WILL burn your mouth. I may or may not know from experience. 

Now if you aren't dipping and are making caramel candies, we are looking for the Firm Ball stage. When thermometer reaches 244°, remove caramel from heat. 

Remove caramel from heat and stir in 1 tsp. vanilla. Be very careful from here on out, this stuff WILL burn you. 

Pour the hot caramel onto your prepared cookie sheet with parchment paper. 

If you have a fancy good pan like we do the caramel will just slip right out with no sticky mess to clean up!

Now you need to be patient. Let the caramel cool. My rimmed cookie sheet comes with a lid so I put a lid on it to prevent any tempting hands from cutting a piece off before its cool. 

The caramel needs to be cool to the touch before you can start wrapping it. I usually let it sit overnight because wrapping caramels takes forever!

Allow to cool for several hours to overnight. Sprinkle Fluer De Sel over caramel and use a knife or kitchen shears to cut pieces. I use a pizza cutter but be careful with it so you keep your lines straight. Wrap in parchment paper wax paper. You need patience for this, it takes a while! So turn on your favorite TV show and get to wrapping.

**NOTE**

Whenever you are using a candy thermometer, make sure you test it before. An inaccurate thermometer will ruin everything! To test, clip a candy thermometer onto a pan full of cold water and bring it to a boil. Don’t let the thermometer touch the bottom of the pan.
Boiling water should read 212°F. If your water is boiling and the reading is different, make note of the difference and apply this when making your carmel.
To help, if the thermometer says the boiling water is 210˚F and not 212˚F that means you are at a 2˚ difference. So when the thermometer reaches 242˚F you will take your caramel off the heat then instead at the normal 244˚F. If this is all too confusing, just buy a new thermometer, thats what I would do!
High-altitude note: If you live over 7,000 feet take the candy off at 227˚F. Use the NMSU E215 Guide for reference and use the lowest temperature for a chewy candy.

Print Recipe

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Halloween Banner




This Halloween Banner is for sale on Etsy! http://etsy.me/1gIsSVT
This 3 dimensional Halloween Banner is handmade of different papers and embellishments. The banner available is in orange, purple and green Halloween themed papers. Each pennant measures approximately 9.5"x 6.25" and banner measures about 60+ inches depending on flag spacing. Excess black organza ribbon is included to create the length you need. Light enough to hang with push pins.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Bowles Farms - Pumpkin Patch + Corn Maze

At Bowles Farms, this was the start to the corn maze.
My parents were in town for the week and we headed over to explore the corn maze at Bowles Farms. This year they shaped the maze to recognize the 70 years the Navy base has been around. Mind you I am no fan of getting lost in a maze and when they handed us this tiny little paper map to help us get through it I freaked out a bit. But my family is courageous and off we went, making wrong turns all along the way in the hot hot sun but we had a lot of fun as we always do and made it through! 

After the maze we went over and hand picked our own pumpkins, we came home with 6 pretty and colorful ones!


My love!


My dad, so handsome!
Of course we had to get in this display. So cheesy we loved it!
After finishing the corn maze with my mom.
Dad cutting pumpkins of the vines for us with his pocket knife.
My man Kyle had the wheelbarrow job!
So happy they came out to visit!
Pumpkins!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Boo Sign



This sign is super easy to make! All you need are 3D cardboard letters and a strand or two of mini lights!

  1. I started with some cardboard 3D letters found at any craft store.
  2. Using an x-acto knife I sliced the face of each letter off to reveal the hallow inside.
  3. Make sure you poke the holes for the lights before you paint!! I measured out where I wanted the holes to go with a pencil first so I could see what it would look like before I started poking holes. I used a strand of 50 orange mini lights, so I only had 50 holes to work with. 
  4. After you poke your holes, push the lights through to make sure they fit and turn them on. Its easier to adjust hole spacing with the lights on so you can see where there may be empty spaces.
  5. Take the lights out of the letters and get ready to paint!
  6. You can use any paint method you like, but I found spray paint to be the easiest.
  7. Once the paint was dry I put the lights back in and turned them on!



Since I was using these outside for my Halloween display, I decided to put the letters on a strip of cardboard so I could make them sit how I liked.


This is the start to our Halloween display. More to come!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fall Wreath


Since we just moved into our new home, we don't have many decorations. Which is fine for me because that just means I get to make as many as I want!! I started with this wreath for our door, very fall like and its something that I can keep on the door from September-November! Love it!