Friday, October 24, 2014

Googly Eyed Treats


 I always feel like..somebody's watching me...

I am so excited to share this super easy, super quick, super cute googly eyed treat!

No baking, no mixing, no cutting, no kidding!

I used Little Debbie cupcakes, a tub of ready made frosting, candy eyes and licorice wheels.

I had these little guys up and running in less than 10 minutes. As busy as my life has been lately, I am down with that!



 Happy Baking
Sugartown Sweets
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&
Welcomes New Members!
Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Candy "Apple" Spoons


If you need a super simple fall craft with minimal effort and/or supplies, plus is cute to boot, this one fits the bill!
 Ingredients and supplies needed: candy melts, pretzel sticks, plastic spoons, green fondant and a fondant cutter.
 You will also need parchment or wax paper.
 I try to always keep white fondant on hand.
This way, I can color my own should I be out of the color fondant I need.
However, green fondant can be purchased at any craft store.
Just roll out and cut. I used the smallest fondant cutter from this set.
If you don't have leaf cutters, you could easily cut them freehand with a knife.
 Follow directions on candy melts package on how to melt the candy. Hmm..did y'all get that?
I like to melt mine in a small saucepan over low heat.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
 Dip spoon in candy, insert broken piece of pretzel and place leaf.
Let spoons rest on edge of pan till set.
I used a spoon on it's flip side to hold leaf in place until candy hardened.
 Ooohh that's it!
These would have made perfect "Back to School" teacher gifts.
Of course you could gift these anytime. 
Just use the appropriate themed ribbon and tie them up in cello bags!

Happy and Sweet Creating From
Sugartown Sweets!

Thank you for stopping by.
All new members and comments are welcomed.   :o)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Apple Cider Caramels


Apple Cider Caramels..do we need one more recipe?

Yes. We. Do.

While I know these candies have been around for several years, I've only recently found them myself. 
It was love at first google image.

I studied through several versions of this caramel recipe, before making just a couple of changes. One being to go with equal amounts of both brown and granulated sugars. I've never used anything other than brown sugar in my caramels thus far, so...this just makes me feel happy! I'm also adding a little corn syrup to these in hopes of getting a firmer candy without refrigerating them. 

There were two recipes with which I based mine on. This one and this one.
Thank you Annie's Eats and Smitten Kitchen.
Plus, I learned how to make boiled cider syrup. There are so many possibilities here. Win!

My A#1 Awesome Hunky Hubby and I are blessed to live close enough to apple country which makes an easy trip of acquiring cider...and fried pies..and donuts..and cookies..oh my!
If you can't get your hands on any local cider, or would like to try some Mercier's like I used, click on my link.
The difference in making these caramels as opposed to my original caramels is the apple cider reduction.

Turning 4 cups of cider into 1/3 cup, takes 40 minutes over medium high heat. I did stir mine almost continuously. 
The smell is pure apple-y cider-y heaven!
When I thought I had reached my 1/3 cup goal, I measured it only to find I wasn't quite there yet. So I just poured it back into my saucepan and got it right on the second measure. Remove pan from heat.   
Add butter, sugars, cream and corn syrup.
Attach thermometer to pan.
Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until the thermometer reads 252 degrees. Mine went to 252.4 and turned out perfectly. Remove from heat.
Stir in apple pie spice.
Pour into prepared pan. Let sit till candy "hardens". I cut mine the next morning. Perfect!
Apple Cider Caramels Recipe

4 cups Apple Cider (reduced to 1/3)
1 stick butter (i use salted)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar (firmly packed)
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice

 Begin by preparing pan with parchment paper. I used tin foil since I used a round pan. I found that I much prefer parchment. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.

To make boiled cider, cook 4 cups over medium high heat, stirring occasionally (or more..like me) until reduced to 1/3 cup. This took me 40 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir in butter, granulated and brown sugars, corn syrup and cream. Attach candy thermometer. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thermometer reads 252 degrees. This took me an additional 14 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in apple pie spice. Pour into prepared pan.

Let set at least a couple of hours. I let mine sit overnight.
Remove candy from pan. Lightly spray long, sharp knife with cooking spray. Cut caramels using a sawing motion. Wrap in wax paper squares. 

Now you can make a lot of friends happy here. I took my sweet little candies to church this morning and gave them all away. 
I enjoyed hearing all the candy compliments!

I did have a little "leftover" candy. 
As some others have said, melting this back down with a little more cream would make an incredibly delicious topping for cinnamon ice cream.
Or apple pie..or apple bread..or cinnamon toast..oh dear!
Happy Fall & Candy Making From
Sugartown Sweets!

Thank you for stopping by.
All comments and new members are welcome!


Monday, September 29, 2014

Pumpkin Patch Brownie Bites


Pumpkin Patch Brownie Bites

So my awesome hunky hubby and I took a spontaneous overnight trip to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge this weekend.

Already in Fall mode, I created these tiny little pumpkins before hitting the road. After seeing all the adorable fall decorations, I am in high gear!

Have y'all ever been to The Great Smoky Mountains?

Living only a 4 to 5 hour drive away, we've made countless visits through the years. The Smokies were my Mom's weekend playground and picnic spot while growing up in east Tennessee. I love hearing how the family would pack up the car to drive over and spend the day.

There is a brand new area in Pigeon Forge-The Island.
The show fountain with water dancing to the music is the focal point along with the 200 feet tall ferris wheel. Love-love-love!
We know the grandkids will love it too, so we are taking them back around Christmas!

The Fall decorations in Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge-Sevierville never disappoint and these little guys wanted in on some of the fun!

If you need more pumpkin patch treats, click on the link to check out these lollipops I made last year!
For the pumpkins you will need the following items.
 Follow these easy instructions to decorate these sweet little cuties.
For the super simple brownie bites I used Entenmanns and canned frosting.
 These little party cups were a perfect fit.
Pipe, spoon or spread frosting onto brownie and add some chocolate sprinkles.
 Now "plant" your pumpkins!

Happy Fall From
Sugartown Sweets!

Thanks for stopping by today.

New members and comments are always welcome!
These are just a couple of shots I took as were driving back over the mountain to Cherokee, N.C.
Beautiful scenery!
Till next time...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hot Chocolate Caramels

.
It's hot chocolate and sweater weather somewhere,
and here at Sugartown Sweets, we are ready for it!

I made Hot Chocolate Caramels just for you!
Well..maybe I did make them for me *wink*!

The chocolate flavor came out a bit subtle in these. I used two packets of cocoa in my recipe. I will use three in my next batch, so that is what I am recommending to you.
Either way, YUM!

To remedy the fact that I didn't take step-by-step photos, I am posting links to my other caramel endeavors.
 It will be caramel photos overload!

Click on the links to see all the yummy fun.



Now we're ready to make some candy!

Hot Chocolate Caramels Recipe
1 cup salted butter
2 1/4 cups light brown sugar (firmly packed)
3 packets hot cocoa ( i used Swiss Miss dark chocolate sensation)
1 cup light corn syrup
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare dish (i used an 8 x 8 square pan) by lining with parchment paper. Spray lightly with non-stick spray. Set aside.

Using a straight sided, heavy saucepan (my fave is the 4 quart All-Clad), melt butter over low heat.
Stir in brown sugar and cocoa packets.
Add corn syrup and condensed milk, stirring well.
Clip on thermometer, cut heat to medium and stir constantly till candy thermometer reaches 246 degrees.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Pour into prepared dish.
Let candy sit till set. I usually don't cut mine until the next day.

The best method I've found to cut these delish candies, is to lightly spray a long, heavy and sharp knife with cooking spray.
With a long, sawing motion, cut caramels into strips, then cut the strips into smaller pieces. 
Wrap candies in wax paper.

Now just try and stop yourself from eating more than you know you should!

Sweet Wishes From
Sugartown Sweets!

Welcoming all comments and new members.
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Gulf Shores Family Beach Vacation

~Our Beach House for the Week~
What a wonderfully fun, busy and blessed summer it has been!


Between summer activities, out-of-town visiting family, doctor visits, plus baby shower and vacation planning, I was more than okay with a very low-key 50th birthday. My family felt differently and threw me a surprise party! Thank you family. I love you more than you know!

But..the highlight and true blessing around here..was the joyous welcoming and much anticipated birth of our fifth grandbaby!
We are in love with our precious little Lydia, aka Lydie-bug!

Miss Lydia (finally) made her debut at the end of July. 
She was just a bit late, and with our vacation being towards the end of August,
 this meant we would be traveling with
 a 3 1/2 week old baby! It couldn't have gone any better. 

I apologize in advance for posting so many photos from our trip.
But..considering I took nearly four thousand pictures, I think I did pretty good sharing only forty!


My daughter and her family vacationed in Gulf Shores last year
 and wanted us all to go back down this year.
What a wonderful idea! We had a blast!


Hope you've all had a great summer!

Now let the photo overload begin!
With our back yard being this big, beautiful ocean, I found it calling my name every morning around 6ish.

That on it's own is pretty incredible seeing as how I normally cringe
 if I have to get up before 7ish and maybe even 8ish. 

Ahhh! The dream is to be in a little cottage by the sea.
Have y'all ever been to Lambert's?
"Home of the Throwed Roll"!

The kids absolutely loved it. They have these guys pushing carts loaded down with fresh baked rolls and they really do throw them..to whomever has their hands upraised and ready!

Also, in addition to your entree and sides, they walk around offering "pass arounds". Beans, potatoes, okra etc.

You will not leave hungry and you will leave happy, having had too much food and a laugh or two.

Our little guys may have caught more than their fair share of rolls, but nobody seemed to mind one bit.

This was a fun restaurant and is a repeat for sure.

We went twice!

Miss Elizabeth just made a great catch!
   Today, we are on our way to the National Naval Aviation Museum!

So, we are driving to Pensacola (less than an hour away), and hubby spots the Blue Angels.

Ok. I. Love. The. Blue. Angels.

Like really Love!

Between my squeals of delight and trying to get in a few photos, we make it to the museum, park and jump out to get a better view.

It turns out the pilots have called a voluntary practice!

How lucky are we?

We've seen the Blue Angels perform twice at the "Vidalia Onion Festival".
They never fail to amaze.
Awesomeness! 
Up close! 

This museum is vast, beautiful and interesting.

A great day out for all. Families or couples.
 There is no parking or entrance fee, although they do accept donations.
As a history lover, there is just so much to see..as you can tell by Isaac's face!
 Apparently Aaron is not as impressed. lol.
I'll not bore you with more museum pics..it's much cooler in person anyway!

Btw, they also have some pretty awesome flight simulators. They do charge a fee and the kiddos, both big and small say it was worth it.

My adorable grand babies. 
Joseph, Isaac, Elizabeth, Lydia and Aaron.
Another day..
Another sunrise..
Another walk on the beach..
A k&l tradition.    :o)
Did y'all know that Jimmy Buffett's sister has restaurants in Gulf Shores Alabama?

Here's your sign. *wink*
I think I like the atmosphere at LuLu's more than the food!
Little Miss Lydie-bug is just enjoying the salty breeze.
What you see here is a platter full of  "fried green tomato, BLTs".
While it was just good to me, our daughter raved over it.

I deemed the "jalapeno hush puppies" incredible! 
They also loved the onion rings.
We all agreed the Key Lime pie was yum-o.
My daughter Stephanie captured my famous sunglasses sunburn.
My eyes are just so sensitive to the sun. I tried to leave them off long enough to even up my color. I failed.
The historic Pensacola Lighthouse.
This baby girl finally getting some beach time as the sun sets.

Thankful for the canopy my son brought along.
We had some great waves this week.

We also had a few "red flag" days.
That just meant more sand castle building and extra pool time.
Our daily visitor. 
My grand daughter named "her" Melanie!
Sand dunes. Nature at it's finest.
Lovely sea oats.
Today, we visit Fort Morgan
"The historic masonry star fort at the mouth of Mobile Bay, Alabama."
Just a great place to spend a few hours and explore some of our nation's history.
A little reconstruction work still left to be done.
They also have a small museum and gift shop just outside these walls.
One of my sweet little souvenirs from a sweet little candy shop .
Priester's Pecans

This little gem is located in Fort Deposit, Alabama. We visited this store twice. Do you see a pattern here?!
I adore these cupcake measuring spoons!
I think the back side is cuter than the front.
I found a set online. Click here if you'd like to order one for yourself.
Just two brothers chatting on the back porch.
That's how we roll down south.  :o)
Aww..here's another little cutie!
My sweet daughter holding her own sweet daughter.
A porch with a view.
So, being the dedicated and with it family that we are..we wait until our last day here to take our fun family beach photos.

Well, we are ready. And it's raining. Big time.

Haha! So here we go.
Cheese!
Another k&l tradition.
Remember the other one from last year?
This is a beautiful area. Situated on the beautiful gulf coast, the park offers trails for walking and biking, geocaching, nature programs, etc.
There is a $2 fee for access to the pier. It's a nice long walk with lots of space for fishing. We got to the end of the pier just in time to watch a guy land a very nice King Mackerel!
After sunset on our last evening, Miss Lydia gets to dip her toes in the ocean, for the first time ever!

She loved it.
Goodnight Gulf Shores!

We made some great memories here.

Walks on the beach~night fishing~wave surfing~building sand castles~catching sand crabs~grilling out~making homemade ice cream~watching movies~enjoying the sunrise and sunsets~shell hunting~swimming in the pool~fort exploring~back porch sitting~just enjoying each others company and living like the Waltons all holed up together in one big house..for just a little while.

Till next time..
This page is from a sweet little book I purchased at the fort.
The book, "Life's better at the beach" is written and illustrated by Sandy Gingras.
 One of my favorite take homes from our trip.
Family and Travel. Two of my great loves.

I would love to hear from you as to where you have traveled!

Sweet Wishes From
Sugartown Sweets!
Thanks for stopping by.
Comments and New Members are Happily Welcomed!