Category Archives: caramel

Caramel Chocolate Shortbread

I’m pretty much obsessed with caramel. I wanted to create a new way to eat it. When I made this I over cooked the caramel and it turned out to be super thick. If this happens to you, add some more cream to the mixture before it is cooled to keep it from becoming a tooth breaking toffee.

Shortbread:
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, using a fork, mix all ingredients until the butter is fully incorporated. Press into the bottom of a 8-inch square pan. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until it turns light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Caramel:
1 cup sugar
1 cup cream
½ teaspoon salt

Heat the sugar, in a heavy bottom saucepan on medium heat. As the sugar starts to liquefy, swirl the pan to mix in the un-melted sugar. Once the sugar is a golden brown, add the cream. The mixture may boil and pop so be careful. Add the salt and stir with a wooden spoon until the caramel gets a tad bit thicker. Pour caramel over the shortbread and cool.

Chocolate:
½ lb dark chocolate

Chop the chocolate into small pieces and put into a metal bowl. Heat a saucepan filled half way with water on medium heat. Place the metal bowl over the pan and mix the chocolate with a rubber spatula until it is just melted. Pour over the cooled caramel layer and refrigerate the cookies until they are cooled. Cut into squares and serve.

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Butter Pecan Caramel Cupcakes

For my birthday I invited all of my friends to toast me at the Bourbon bar in Brooklyn. It took me a long time to think of the type of cupcake would go best with Bourbon but then it became crystal clear. Caramel will match the caramel tones in the Bourbon and butter pecan will pair great with the smoky notes.

Vanilla Cake:
2 3/4 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
½ cup butter flavored shortening
3 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all of the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add the shortening, eggs, milk and vanilla and turn the mixer on low. Once the flour is combined turn the mixer on high and beat for at least 5 minutes so that the batter gets fluffy.

Pour the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for at least 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool the cakes in the pan for 5 minutes transfer them to a wire rack and cool completely.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, cut a cone into the top of each cake. Cut off the point of the cone to form a cap for the whole in the cakes. Fill each cake with cooled caramel. Place the cap back on top of the caramel to seal. Cover with a mound of icing and sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Caramel:
1 cup sugar
½ cup cream
1 teaspoon sea salt

Heat the sugar in a heavy medium size saucepan on medium heat. Swirl the sugar occasionally until it liquefies and turns golden brown. Quickly add the cream and salt and return the mixture to the heat. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Let it boil to combine about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Butter Pecan Icing:
½ cup egg whites
1 cup sugar
3 sticks butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons butter flavoring
½ cup chopped pecans

Combine the egg whites and sugar in a metal bowl. Beat with a balloon whisk to combine. Place the bowl over a pot filled with water and heat on medium heat. Keep beating the eggs to dissolve the sugar and the mixture will start to thicken and turn white. When the grit is gone from the eggs, about 20 minutes later, transfer the egg whites to a stand mixer and beat on high to form soft peaks.

Fold the room temperature butter into the eggs and continue to beat on high. Add the salt, vanilla and butter flavoring and beat one last time to combine.

Fall Festival

My co-worker Karen went apple picking the other weekend. She was kind enough to bring back a ton of fresh apples and I turned them into this delicious and decedent pie.

Caramel Toffee Apple Pie

Caramel:
1 cup sugar
½ cup cream
1 teaspoon sea salt

Heat the sugar in a heavy medium size saucepan on medium heat. Swirl the sugar occasionally until it liquefies and turns golden brown. Quickly add the cream and salt and return the mixture to the heat. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Let it boil to combine about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Crust:
1 ½ cups flour
1 stick of butter, slightly cooler than room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons sugar
¼ cup water

In a large metal bowl, mix all ingredients, except the water with a fork or pastry cutter. The goal is to incorporate the butter until it is the texture of course meal. Slowly sprinkle in the water and quickly mix. Making sure not to put in too much water, briefly kneed the pastry so that it forms a cohesive ball. Separate into two balls and set aside.

Filling:
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 granny smith apples, pealed

Mix the sugars, flour, spices and lemon juice in a large bowl. Slice the apples very thinly on a mandolin. After each apple is sliced, add it to the sugar mixture and coat to toss.

Streusel Topping:
5 toffee bars, chopped
1 tablespoon flour
½ stick of butter
¼ cup milk chocolate chips

Mix all of the ingredients till combined and the butter is evenly distributed. Set aside.

Assembly:
Preheat the over to 450 degrees.

On a well-flowered counter top, roll out the first round and place it in the bottom of a 10 inch glass pie pan. Roll out the second half and leave on the counter until after the pie is filled.

Drizzle the bottom of the pan with some of the caramel mixture. Then fill the pie with all of the apples. Drizzle the tops of the apples with more caramel sauce. (You will most likely have caramel sauce left over, save it for a dip for apple slices.) Then pack the stop with the streusel topping.

Place the second crust over the top of the apples Fold the top crust over the bottom and then crimp the edges so that the juices do not escape. Place on a baking sheet and put into the middle over.

Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees then reduce the oven temperature to 350. Cook for another 30 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

Sweets for the Sweet

I normally am a big curmudgeon when it comes to Valentine’s Day. For some reason I’m optimistic about my love life, this year. Though there is no one in the works, I feel that this spring will bring someone wonderful and new. So for the first time since elementary school, I’m celebrating this silly holiday. I’ve been meaning to make these salt caramels for quite some time now; this is the perfect excuse. Funny enough, they where fast and easy to make!

Fleur De Sel Caramels

1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon fleur de sel, more for garnish
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1 lb high quality dark chocolate

Line bottom and sides of a glass loaf plan with parchment paper, then lightly spray it with oil.

Bring cream, butter, and fleur de sel to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.

Boil sugar, corn syrup, and water in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan, until mixture is a light golden caramel.

Carefully stir in cream mixture (mixture will bubble up) and simmer, stirring frequently, until caramel registers 248°F on thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes. Pour into pan and cool 2 hours.

Chop the block of chocolate into small pieces using a serrated knife and place them in a metal bowl. Fill a small saucepan with water and heat it on medium-high heat. Place the bowl on top of the saucepan and heating water.

Cut the caramel into pieces, you can use a cookie cutter to cut it into small hearts. Lay them out on a large sheet of parchment paper.

Once the chocolate starts to melt, constantly stir it with a sturdy rubber spatula. When you drizzle the chocolate back into the bowl from the spatula, it should sink into the pool of chocolate, this is how you know it is 100% melted. Take the bowl off of the saucepan and place into another bowl containing ice and water. Using the spatula, keep mixing the chocolate so that it doesn’t harden on the edges of the bowl. Keep mixing it till the chocolate, when drizzled back into the bowl, doesn’t sink but piles up on itself.
Dip the caramels into the chocolate, removing the excess dripping chocolate and place on the parchment paper. Sprinkle a tiny amount of salt onto the top, a few grains. Let the chocolate harden and dry for two hours before packaging.