Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bake Till You Drop!!! And...Licorice Caramels

Yesterday I posted about being SUPER busy...well, here is why...Ben's Preschool had a little fair and I, being the crazy, over-achiever I am volunteered to do a Bake Sale Table. Such a great idea and I was grateful for the affordable marketing opportunity. However, in order to make sure everything was super fresh I had to make it all the day before. This resulted in pure insanity and no sleep! I was a crazy person the next day, but, looking back, it was so fun.

Sometimes when you are home all day with the kiddos, you forget that there is a big, wide world out! It was so great to meet other ladies with their little businesses...immediate bonding! And to each of you ladies out there...good luck...I wish you the best! For this little event I baked chocolate peppermint cupcakes and white chocolate vanilla cupcakes...YUM! And they turned out so festive! I will be posting these bad boys in the following weeks to come. I also attempted caramels for the first time. I made black and red licorice caramels that were a hit. Candy is so time consuming to make...seriously! I also sold chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies and my homemade rolls. I did not become a millionaire ... I barely covered my table and supplies... but I am hopeful that I made some good contacts. RIGHT?!!! Here are some picture of The Baking Box 's first "BIG" event. (I use the term "big" loosely as there were only four tables :) )

I have some friends begging for me to post my black licorice caramels. Dang it! I didn't take a picture. So... I will post the recipe now and add a photo in later! Happy caramel making!!!
Licorice Caramels
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cup corn syrup
1 cup butter
2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. anise oil/extract
1 tsp. black paste food color
Butter a 9 X 13 pan liberally, set aside. In a heavy saucepan, combine condensed milk, corn syrup, butter, sugar, and salt. Place over medium heat and stir with a wooden spoon until well mixed. If sugar crystals are present, wash down sides of pan with wet pastry brush.
Clip on candy thermometer. Cook, stirring constantly, to 244 F (120 C) or firm-ball stage (for harder candy cook to 245 to 250 degrees). I stirred mine on my gas stove set at number 6 for about an hour...pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable...if you stop for too long, it burns. Once it hits the temperature you want quickly add flavoring and color and blend well. Without scraping, pour into prepared pan. Allow to stand at room temperature overnight. Cut into 1 inch squares. Wrap in waxed paper of plastic wrap. Makes approx. 160 pieces.
Variation: Red Licorice Caramels- Use 2 tsp. cherry oil /extract and 1 tsp. red paste food color.

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