Archive for the ‘Candy’ Category

What’s Going On

September 30, 2010

Hey people! I just got back from a work trip to Maryland. It was a short, and mostly sweet visit. Sadly I didn’t get to try anything from Cakelove, one of their local bakeries. I stopped in after dinner my first night just to check it out, but was so stuffed of tuna and coconut rice, I couldn’t bring myself to purchase anything. I vowed I would be back to devour a S’mores cupcake, but it just didn’t happen.

Boo.  Ah, well. I am headed to San Francisco tomorrow, so I think I’ll make up for it there with assorted baked goods & ice cream.

And then, a week from tomorrow, I will be en route to Kansas City to be in Jennie & Perry’s wedding!

I actually may have to rethink this San Fran Carly vs. Food thing.  I have a bridesmaid dress to fit into after all.  Hmm.

Speaking of health food, I found those Caramel Apple Pops on a recent Walgreens visit.  Different apple varietals–Green Apple, Golden Delicious, & Macintosh.  I should work for a candy company.  Seriously, how fun?  They were all delicious.  The Golden and Macintosh were a tad sweeter than the original Green.  I love the seasonal candy/decoration aisles at stores. Target is an especially dangerous place for me.  I lose all sense of time and purpose.  Just ask Roomie L.

I will try to keep posting during my travels.  Excited and just a bit tired…

XOXO

Am I Ready for Fall?

September 9, 2010

Am I ready for fall?  Let’s see… my electric bill for August was over $200 (90° days + antiquated mammoth AC window unit = trouble), I’ve lost both my pairs of flip flops, and my office declared last Thursday and Friday “wear shorts to work” days.

Yep, I am ready.  I’m ready for sweaters and tights and boots.  And I’m so so ready for caramel apples and tea dates.  And holing up in my apartment during stormy weather.  I have all my moody Fall things ready…

Moody, gothick novels.

 

Moody movies.  Hitchcock. Grace Kelly, Kim Novak, Jimmy Stewart.  Yes.

Double Shot Pumpkin Spice Latte.  Very necessary.

 

And speaking of pumpkin…

!  I am ready for baking.  FALL baking.

Also secured: trench coat, umbrella, red lipstick (so as to emulate Grace Kelly, Ingrid Bergman, Jimmy Stewart, and Kim Novak).  All important things for stormy weather.

Now all I need is the perfect Halloween costume idea and the leaves can start turning.  Any thoughts?

Moguls, McTwists, & Rolo Cookies

February 20, 2010

The past week’s activities… a lazy combo of eating Girl Scout cookies and watching all the Olympic coverage one can without having cable.  No, I don’t have cable.  I live without the Food Network, Discovery Channel & Lifetime.  It’s a sad existence.

Less sad with the Olympics and Girl Scout cookies.  I figure if Olympians can eat McDonalds and drink Coca Cola (I’ve seen the commercials), I can have a few dozen thin mints.  It almost makes up for the fact that I cannot watch Golden Girls reruns.

Almost.  Now it’s time to put down the thin mints/samoas/dulce de leche cookies.  I want you to make these delicious Rolo Cookies instead.  They take a bit of time to roll, but it’s way worth it.  Your friends will love them.  And you for baking them.  Baking love.  That’s way better than cable…

the Rolo Cookies

Adapted from allrecipes.com.  Makes 2-3 dozen cookies.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup white sugar, plus more for rolling
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
36 Rolo candies, frozen

Cream butter and both white and brown sugars.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, and baking powder.  Gradually add to butter mixture.

Cover and chill in fridge for 30 minutes.  Watch some downhill skiing.  Preheat your oven to 375° F.

Remove from fridge, let sit for a couple minutes while you prepare your baking sheets with parchment paper.  Now here comes the fun part…

Take 1-2 tablespoons of dough and flatten in the palm of your hand.  Press one frozen Rolo into your palm, and roll the dough around the candy, covering it completely.  Add a bit more dough if needed.  This will be messy.  Your hands will look gross but taste delicious.  Venture on.  Roll cookies in white sugar (this gives them a great texture) and place on your baking sheet.  Keep the cookies a couple inches apart.

Bake for 8 minutes.  Let cool on the sheets for 5-10 minutes–if you can wait that long.  The cookies will break if you try to remove when the centers are still soft, but of course they taste AWESOME still melty out of the oven.  Just be careful, the caramel centers will be hot, hot, hot.

A few notes:  You can use other candies for the centers… Reisens, Reeses… whatever you prefer.  Freezing the Rolos seems to prevent the cookies from “leaking” through the cookie while baking.  Play around with the chilling time, I have had the best luck with the dough temperature being just a bit cooler than room temp.  You can also “powder” your hands with cocoa when rolling,  this helps with sticky dough.

Who Wants Candy?

August 14, 2009

I have a great friend from college, her name is Jennie.  Jennie loves candy.  Not just “chocolate-candy,” but “candy-candy.” Skittles, SweeTarts, Hot Tamales… our shared apartment was pretty well stocked back in the day.  Since college she’s moved around a bit, but for the past year she’s lived in Chicago with her boyfriend Perry–also pretty great.  And now they’re leaving me moving to Kansas City.

Sighs.  I’m going to miss them, but there’s already talk of visits and a KC BBQ tour, so it’s going to be okay.  Right?  Right.  Sighs.

Before the big move they wanted to visit some of their favorite places (Hot Dougs!), which gave me the idea of doing a mini Chicago candy tour.  For Jennie, of course.  We could visit a few candy stores and gorge ourselves on sweets.  How fun would that be?  So we did.  We visited and gorged, and now I’m blogging about it.  Here’s where we went…

Suckers
3256 N Damen, Roscoe Village

This place is adorable with a vintage feel and the candy to boot!  Loads of gummies and licorice by the pound, Charleston Chews, Mary Janes, Necco wafers, candy buttons… if you remember eating it as a kid, Suckers probably sells it.  They also carry ‘newer’  confections like the Nerd Rope, chocolate goodies from a local supplier, and ice cream.  Having a kids party?  They’ll even make goodie bags for you.  What we loved: Necco banana split taffy, cherry cola bottle gummies, licorice scottie dogs, Hot Dog! bubble gum, grape wax mustaches, and the super nice staff!

Candyality
3425 N Southport, Lakeview

The variety here will blow your mind–M&Ms sorted by color, anyone?  In addition to candy by the pound, Candyality carries candy-themed gifts (tshirts, coin purses, stuffed animals), chocolatey things, and ‘fun’ novelty items like the Jelly Belly Bean Boozled Jelly Beans.  ‘Fun’ for Jennie because she doesn’t know if that orange jelly belly with red spots she’s about to eat is Vomit or Peach-flavored.  Fun for me because I get to laugh and watch her spit the Vomit Bean in the trash.  What we loved: chocolate-covered gummy bears, marshmallow wafer ice cream cones, chocolate licorice ropes, a marshmallow-flavored sucker that looks like a mallow roasting on a stick(!), and the orange creme soda.

Dulcelandia
3411 W Irving Park Rd, Irving Park

Upon walking through the doors we were greeted with a tray of candy samples, earning this place instant bonus points!  Dulcelandia is a fun, colorful store loaded with Mexican candy, pinatas, and party supplies.  The candy signs have descriptions in English which, with my very limited Spanish skills, I found very useful.  The staff was also really great, answering all my silly questions and feeding me samples.  It was still an adventure, with some real misses (tequila-flavored jelly candy nightmares), but that’s all part of the fun.  And the prices are more than reasonable.  Go and try something new!  What we loved: the candied sweet potato,  fruit-flavored taffy, spicy mango everything, marzipan, and Cowbotas cappuccino lollipops.

First Post!

July 25, 2009

The problem with wanting to start this little food blog is having to write a first entry. I couldn’t decide what deliciousness it would be about. And I worried what people reading it would think. Then I realized that “people” = my mom, roomie & boyfriend…

Hi Guys! Kisses!

So with first time blogging anxiety cured I started dreaming about Salted Caramels. Which has been happening a LOT lately. Especially since I found out about these…

Salted Caramel Cupcake

… the Salted Caramel Cupcakes from Phoebe’s in Lakeview. Seriously yum. The caramel cake was super moist with the perfect amount of sweetness and the buttercream frosting, also caramel, was delicious. Balanced with an occasional crunch of sea salt and I was in bakery heaven. So go to Phoebe’s Cupcakes. And if you don’t live in Chicago, don’t worry! City Tart‘s Quest for the Perfect Salted Caramel Cupcake Recipe is definitely on. Sounds epic, doesn’t it? I’ll keep you posted on all my adventures and ultimate triumph(?) with cake and caramel and fleur de sel, but until then, let’s try candy making…

Fleur de Sel Caramels

adapted from Gourmet

A few things about this recipe. The actual making of the caramels is quite simple, but the cutting and wrapping can be a bit time consuming. If you’re making them in warm or humid weather, you may need to refrigerate them as cooling to firm them up a bit. But it’s all worth it! These caramels are buttery and very rich in taste.

1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons fleur de sel
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water

Line an 8” x 8” pan with wax paper and lightly grease or oil.

In a saucepan, combine the heavy cream, butter, and fleur de sel. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and then remove from heat.

In a 3-4 quart saucepan (no smaller!) bring the sugar, corn syrup, and water to boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. At this point, stop stirring, but swirl the pan every once in awhile to decrease crystallization on the sides of the pan.

When the sugar becomes a light caramel color, CAREFULLY pour in the cream mixture. Do it slowly, as the the mixture will bubble up. Stir frequently as the mixture simmers. Monitor the temperature with a candy thermometer, and when the mixture reaches 248° F remove from heat. This took close to 15 minutes for me.

Pour caramel into prepared pan. Cool for two hours or overnight. Sprinkle with a bit more fleur de sel. Remove from pan, and cut into desired sized pieces. Wrap individually in wax paper.

Enjoy!

Now I have to go de-caramelize my dining room table…