Thursday, February 17, 2011

I Want S'more Caramel Corn

1:24 PM

I have been dying to make some sort of smore inspired caramel corn for several months now.  I finally had the time to develop this great recipe:

1 batch of air popped pop corn (or 2 bags of microwave popcorn)

place the popcorn in a greased 9x13 or larger pan and put it into the oven at 220 while you make the caramel

For the caramel:

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tbsp molasses
1 tsp cinnamon

 Mix all of the ingredients together and bring to a boil over medium heat in a very heavy pan. 

 Once the mixture comes to a rolling boil (i.e. a boil that you cannot stir down) then you remove it from the heat and mix in 1 tbsp of baking soda.  It is going to foam up.  This is the right thing.  Baking soda is going to make the caramel crisper.

 Stir the caramel sauce around until you have all of your warmed popcorn coated. 
You need to keep the caramel corn in the oven at 220 for the next hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
 While your caramel corn is cooking, you should cut up 1 bag of mini candy bars into thirds.  You could use chocolate chips, but I love the look and taste of the candy bars.  Once the caramel corn is totally cool, you can mix in 2 cups of mini marshmallows and the candy bars.  You could also add some mini graham crackers like teddy grahams, but the caramel has a flavor similar to a graham cracker. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Make Your Own Easy Bake Oven Mixes Tutorial

4:07 AM
My niece loves her easy bake oven, but she uses up the mixes like lightening.  The refills are pricey.  Usually you get 1 yellow cake and 1 chocolate cake plus 2 frosting mixes for about $6.00. 

There is a really easy way to make the cakes without costing a fortune.  It's very simple.  The mixes are basically 2 tablespoons of cake mix, any cake mix.  For birthdays and stocking stuffers, I packaged up a bunch of the mixes in plastic ramekins (available a Gordon's Food Service). Then, I slipped them into a tulle bag.  To make the tulle bags, you just use the tulle by the spool (it's like a $1 for 100 yards or something like that).  You fold it in 1/2 and make an overcast zigzag (see tutorial on this blog) to fasten the sides.  You could also straight stitch the sides and then turn the bag RIGHT sides out. 



Then I add a little custom label with the directions on it.  You can see those above.  Oil makes a cookie and milk makes a cake. 

The great thing about this is that you can either make your own cake mix (minus the wet ingredients) or you can just use your favorite premade mix (which is what I did here).  If you don't want to get ramekins, you can use sandwich bags and make a fold over label that you staple on.  I did that the first time.  All of the mixes were names after my niece - Belle's Famous Sprinkle Cookie, etc.  If they are just for your own kid to use at home, just buy a jar and keep the mix and a tablespoon in the jar and let them scoop and mix their own mix.    

Check out this great treasury featuring one of our paper bag albums

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Tarts

12:01 PM
I was actually inspired by a post you probably saw on our blog, Lisa's jack-o-lantern pop tarts to create this Valentine's Day version.

I started with some strawberry jam and premade pie dough. 

Then, I used a big heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out an even amount of hearts.  You may need to roll the scraps out to get another heart out of one pie crust. 
 Next, I piled a big scoop of jam into the middle of 1/2 of the hearts.
Then, I layered another heart on top and crimped the sides with a fork. 

 Finally, I put them onto a sheet of parchment on a baking sheet and baked them for 10-12 minutes at 425.

 They are sooo good.  I'm eating one with some coffee right now =).

Crafting For Charity Party

5:40 AM
Thank you to everyone who attended or donated.  We had a blast.  Thanks to your participation we were able to make about 30 safe birthing kits for Konbit Sante and the women of Haiti.  We also put together about 100 name plaques for the NICU at University of Michigan Hospital.  They are going in the mail today. 





Thank you once again and we hope to see everyone in April when we will be making bedside craft kits for the children's hospital. 

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