This one is for my man, who loves caramel popcorn. I have been meaning to make this for a while now and after how fast and painless it was I wish I did it sooner! Stop overspending on bagged caramel corn, in 10 minutes you can save and amaze yourself with how easy it is to make this at home!
Just a quick side note -> there is a difference between the type of popcorn you choose. The regular movie style popcorn which, is the most common is called butterfly popcorn. It’s odd shape means you need less to fill a bag and is also harder to coat evenly with caramel sauce. The type of popcorn you get when you buy bags of caramel corn is called mushroom popcorn. It’s more compact and round like the top of a mushroom and coats nicely with caramel sauce. You don’t have to go on a mad hunt for mushroom popcorn by any means but if your like me…well I kind of had to try it and I did find it was easier
- 7 cups plain popped butterfly popcorn or 5 cups of plain popped mushroom popcorn – see above note
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 3 tbs corn syrup (optional, if you don’t have it, it will still work. Just adds shine to the caramel)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Kosher salt
- 2/3 cup nuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 250°
- Place popcorn in a large mixing bowl.
- In a medium sized pot over medium heat (about 5 on the dial) melt the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup together, whisking until well combined.
- Once bubbles start to form, start timer for 3 minutes.
- Continue whisking the entire time he stove is on the pot to prevent the caramel from burning.
- Omce 3 minutes is up, add the vanilla and whisk for another minute then add the baking soda and whisk until well combined.
- Remove the pot from the heat and immediately pour over the popcorn.
- Working quickly begin mixing the popcorn and caramel together with a wooden spoon. You have to be fast as the popcorn will caused caramel to cool off fast.
- Once you can no longer cover the popcorn with caramel by spoon and it’s cool enough to touch you can begin mixing by hand to ensure a more even coating.
- Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread out evenly. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely before serving. Approx 1 hour.
Almost everyone loves a good fresh donut. Surprisingly they are not that difficult to make either! (Don’t be intimated by how long the recipe is, it takes less time than it seems ) I had to wait to post this so The Dude could taste and judge. Considering there wasn’t much left on the platter before bed last night I am thinking I nailed it.
A little side note about yeast donuts. When they are deep-fried they develop air pockets which makes these donuts perfect for filling with puddings and jellies. If you’re looking for donuts that you used to get at the carnival those are Cake Donuts and are equally delicious!
- 2 – 2 & 1/2 (+ extra for kneading) cups all purpose flour the amount of flour needed varies depending on your altitude.
- 3 & 1/2 tbs salted butter
- 3 tbs sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup warm water, between 105°-110°
- 1/4 cup milk, boiled and cooled
- 2 tsp yeast
- 1 egg, room temp
- 1/2 cup Tangzhong Roux <- click for recipe
- 4 cups canola oil for frying
- Oil for greasing hands
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine sugar and warm water and sprinkle all the yeast on top. Let rest for 10 minutes. If yeast doesn’t not foam your water was either too hot, too cold or your yeast is dead and you will need to buy some more.
- While the yeast rises melt and cool the butter.
- Once your 10 minutes is up and the yeast has foamed up you can add 1 cup of flour, salt, milk, Tangzhong, egg and melted butter. With a wooden spoon or dough hooks and a stand mixer, mix the first addition of ingredients together.
- Continue adding flour 1/2 cups at a time until the dough pulls from the sides.
- Optional but recommended step: Heat oven to 200°, once the oven has reached that temperature turn it off. A nice warm oven will help your yeast rises. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and place in the warm oven. The pot of steaming water will steam up the oven. Humidity also does wonders for rising yeast.
- Flour a work space, oil your hands and remove the ball of dough. Knead for 8 minutes, adding flour as needed. Once the dough no longer sticks to your hands and the counter stop adding flour. Continue kneading until 8 mins is up.
- Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, cover saran wrap in oil on one side and cover the bowl ( oil side facing the dough ) place bowl in the warm oven. Let rise for 1 – 1 & 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. If you take the optional step (#5) it will probably take about 45 to an hour.
- Once time is up, flour your workspace again, punch down the dough. Remove it from the bowl and roll it out to 1/3 inch thick.
- If you don’t have a donut cutter you can use a wide mouthed glass. If you want to make donuts holes and ring donuts use a shot glass to cut out the centre.
- Begin heating oil either in your deep fryer or in a Dutch Oven and a candy thermometer.
- On a floured surface, place donuts and over with saran wrap to prevent them from drying out ( You can also freeze some at this point if the batch is too large ) let them sit for 20-30 minutes.
- When the oil is hot and the time is up, in small batches begin deep-frying the donuts, turning after 40 – 35 seconds. Until the oil strains off a bit the donuts will appear darker at first. As they dry off the color will lighten up. Using tongs flip donuts and cook for another 40 – 35 seconds. Your going for a golden brown color. The donut holes will take much less time because they are much smaller. Mine took about 15 seconds per side.
- Place cooked donuts on a wired rack and allow to cool.
- For flavoring the donuts you will have to work in batches as you don’t want them too hot where you’ll burn yourself but still hot enough that the icing, cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar will stick. See below for coating ingredients.
Donuts will be good for 1 day, I doubt they would last past a day anyways!
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 2 tbs milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
In a large bowl mix everything together and dip half of warm donut. Let sit on a wired rack until hardened or eaten.
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 tbs cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
In a large bowl toss both sides of warm donuts in cinnamon sugar. Place on plate or in container or eat.
Pour sugar in a medium sized bowl and toss warm donuts on both sides. Place on a plate, container or eat.
I find flax meal has a slight resemblance to bran and I just so happen to really like bran. I found this hermit cookie recipe and did some alterations to it and the results were quite yummy!
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup white surgar
- 1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cold strong coffee ( go crazy and try flavored coffee! )
- 1 egg
- 1/2 – 1 cup of dried cranberries or fruit of choice
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup flax meal
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 375
- Mix sugars, coffee and butter together.
- Combine remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Roll into 1 inch balls and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Yes that’s right, sponge toffee. In my opinion the best version of toffee ever created and the best chocolate bar ever is the Crunchie bar. It used to come in a shiny gold wrapper…I don’t know if it’s changed or not. I haven’t bought one of those chocolate bars in many years, not since my BFF got me my first candy thermometer. Naturally I had to make my favorite candy and I was quite pleased when I realised just how easy it is to make! It is probably the most popular thing I make. It’s in high demand all the time and when I do give it away or send it with The Dude to work it doesn’t last long. Always a good sign 🙂
- 2 & 1/2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup corn syrup
- 3 tsp vanilla
- 6 tbs water
- 2 tbs baking soda
- oil to grease pan
- dipping chocolate chips for dipping
- large stock pot – **see note below**
- In a large stock pot combine the sugar, corn syrup and water.
- Bring to a boil then insert the candy thermometer.
- DO NOT STIR – Simmer until thermometer reads 300 degrees aka the “Hard Crack Stage”
- Remove the pot from the heat immediatly, remove the thermometer, add the vanilla and quickly whisk until combined. **NOTE** This step is why you will need a large stock pot. Adding baking soda will cause the toffee to foam up like crazy! if you use a pot too small you can possibly burn yourself and with candy at 300 degrees it is better to be safe. Use a large stock pot.
- Quickly add the baking soda to the toffee stirring vigorously to combine all the baking soda into the candy. Immediatly dump onto the greased pan and allow to cool for a minimum of 3 hours or over night.
- Once cooled I have found the best way to break it up is with a butter knife. I just stab the slab of sponge toffee into pieces.
- Set out some parchment paper and a double broiler over the lowest heat level for melting your dipping chocolate.
- Once chocolate has melted using your candy tools or a fork works just as well, dip each piece into the chocolate and set on parchment paper to dry.
It is a few steps and it does take a bit of time to make but the results are 100% worth every bit of effort!