Sunday, January 29, 2017

Buttery Golden Caramel Sauce

Buttery Golden Caramel Sauce

We both LOVE caramel!
Caramels, Salted caramels, Turtles,
Caramel cupcakes with caramel frosting,
Caramel apples....
You name it. We love anything with caramel!
We have made a few different homemade caramel sauces over the years and they were okay.
BUT when we came across this recipe in Good Housekeeping,
our world changed!
Not exactly changed, but got a whole lot better.
It is golden.
It is buttery.
It is just a touch salty.
It is delicious.
Homemade caramel sauce isn't hard to make, but it can be a little tricky.
Simple ingredients.
Having a candy thermometer is a really good idea too.
Stir the water, corn syrup, and sugar together in a pan .
Brush off any sugar crystals on the side with water and a pastry brush.
Make sure your candy thermometer is on and ready. 
Now comes the "hard" part...letting it boil WITHOUT stirring it. 
Just watch it and wait for it to change colors. 
The recipe said about 9 minutes, but we found it 
took almost double that amount of time.
It will start to slowly turn golden and then...
before you know it!
A dark amber color.
Work fast! Remove from the heat and add the cream and the butter.
 It will bubble up!
 Stir and stir and stir!
 Keep stirring until smooth.
Awwww, look at that. Now add the vanilla and salt.
Stir and cool completely. 
IF you can wait that long!
That's when we grab a spoon and taste it. 
We just can't wait!
 It is that good.
Now comes the fun part. What are we going to put it on?
A brownie.
 How about a brownie with caramel AND whipped cream?
A hot salted caramel apple cider.
Ice cream! Oh yeah!!
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
4 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla 
1/2 tsp salt

In a 4 quart pan stir together the sugar, water, and corn syrup.
Brush any sugar crystals off the side of the pan with water and a pastry brush.
Make sure you attach your candy thermometer. 
Heat on medium high heat until boiling and it reaches 320 - 345 degrees (a dark amber color)
Once it reaches that color remove from the heat and work fast! 
Add the cream and butter.
Stirring until it is smooth.
Add the vanilla and salt.
Cool completely.
Store at room temp for a month or in the refrigerator for 2 months. 
Let's be serious! 
It won't last that long because you won't be able to resist!
It is that good.
Reheat in microwave if needed.
Buttery Golden Caramel Sauce.

 Recipe found in the Dececember 2016 issue of Good Housekeeping.

Or bring some to work!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Dorie's Rich and Easy Coconut Cream Pie

Dorie's Rich & Easy Coconut Cream Pie  
 Brrrr...It's cold outside. A chilly 20 degrees. 
So what do you do when it's that cold out? 
You dream of a tropical vacation island in the Caribbean, the South Pacific, 
the Bahamas, or even the Florida Keys.
 Somewhere that has sunny beaches, fruity drinks, 
and... coconuts!
 Since we are not on one of those islands
 we have to improvise.
 Let's make a Coconut Cream Pie!

Dorie, a very, very, good friend, 
shared her recipe with us in 2011 
and it has been our go-to 
coconut cream pie recipe ever since
She IS the pie queen.
 This past Thanksgiving she made TEN different kinds of pies. Yes, 10!
 Count them: 1. Rich & Easy Coconut Cream pie, 2. Chocolate Chip pie, 3. Grasshopper pie, 4. our Pecan pie, 5. Pumpkin pie, 6. Banana Cream pie, 7. Lemon Meringue pie, 8. Apple pie, 9. Peanut Butter pie, and 10. S'Mores pie. 
Yep that's 10.
 Like we said PIE QUEEN.

What makes this recipe so quick and easy 
is that this topping isn't your usual meringue top. 
It is a whipped topping. 
You could make your own whipped cream, 
but we like to use Cool much easier. 
 These simple ingredients make a rich and easy pie.

This time, instead of making our own pie crust, we used Pillsbury frozen pie crust 
and found that you can actually get 
two pies out of this recipe. 
Normally we use a bigger pie plate
 with our homemade crust and mound it up up up.
It worked out great to have two this time. 
 One for us (going to share with my dad 
since he LOVES this pie)
 and one for Dakota to take
 to work tomorrow for "food day."

Make sure you watch the coconut closely when toasting it.

While your pie crust is cooling, mix up the filling. 
Once it is cool, pour the filling into the pie crust,
top with the Cool Whip,
 and sprinkle with the remaining coconut

Chill for at least 2 hours before serving to let it set.

Dorie's Rich & Easy Coconut Cream Pie
2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
3 (3.4oz each) pkgs instant coconut pudding
2 envelopes (1.3 oz each) whipped topping mix
4 cups 1/2 & 1/2 cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 single pie crust, baked and cooled.
1- 8 oz container Cool Whip

Lightly toast 1 cup coconut; cool.
Combine pudding mix, whipped topping mix, and half & half cream; mix at medium speed until thick and fluffy.  Stir in vanilla, 1 cup remaining coconut, and 1/2 cup toasted coconut. Spoon into baked pie crust. Top with Cool Whip and sprinkle with remaining toasted coconut. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.


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