Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hot Chocolate Caramels

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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!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Airheads Back To School Cupcakes

I'm so excited to post these cute little cupcakes!

This is my first sponsored post (woo hoo and yippee goes right here)!
Any and all opinions (plus the huge candy stash) are my own.
Yay to finally getting to say these super fun words!

Okay..are you ready to craft with Airheads?

These colorful and tasty bars of candy have been around since 1986. 
But it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I actually tasted them for myself. Yum!
Cherry is my favorite with the white mystery a close second. 

Lucky for me I am using both of these flavors today!

So these little Airheads are going "Back To School"..how brilliant of them.

Airheads Rule!
For some fun, you can follow Airheads and Airheads Xtremes on Facebook. 
I created a couple of crafts using the Airheads Xtremes a while back. 
You can see those by clicking here and here
Wall-to-Wall Airheads!
Bake your favorite cupcakes and ice smooth. I wanted a fun flavor as my cupcake base, so I added one unsweetened Kool-aid packet to my boxed cake mix. Cherry of course!
Items needed to make the "notebook paper" toppers.
~fondant roller
~foodwriters
~circle cutter-I used a 2 inch size
~sharp scissors (I have a pair that I use solely for food items)
~parchment paper
~non-stick spray
~straight edged object-such as a ruler
It takes nearly one full size bar of candy to make one "notebook paper" round. Soften in microwave for five seconds. You might want to do a test run with your own microwave first. 
You do not want to melt the candy, just slightly soften it.

Roll the candy into a ball. I rolled my candy out on a sheet of parchment paper. No sticking! 

Lightly spray your cutter with non-stick spray. Wipe off excess and you can now easily cut your candy. I gathered the leftover candy scraps to see if they could be reused. Yes! Just soften again in the microwave. 

Use a ruler or straight edge to draw lines as pictured above with blue and red food color pens.
Items needed to make candy apples.
~cherry and watermelon airheads
*~fondant tools: dog bone and pick
~chocolate jimmy sprinkles
~scissors

Let's make an apple with cherry Airheads!
While we're at it, let's make some cute little green apples too!

Cut a small piece of candy. Again, soften in microwave for about five seconds. Roll into a small little ball. I used my fondant tools to make an indention and small hole in top of the apple. Press in candy sprinkles for the stem. 

I used my scissors to freehand cut a tiny little green leaf. Just press it into the apple beside the stem.

*If you do not have these fondant tools, try improvising with items found in your utensil drawer.
I used my Wilton Cut-Outs set for the letters. Until I put this post together, I didn't know this set was obsolete. In the updated version, there is just a slight 7/8 in. difference in size.  
Click here for the link to the new set. 

To make the letters, cut a small piece of candy and soften. No need to roll these into a ball. Just flatten with fondant roller. Lightly spray cutter and press firmly into candy. 

I used the rounded handle of a paintbrush to gently press letter out.
You may not need to do this with the newer set.
Place the "notebook paper" toppers on cupcakes.
Place all other candy pieces on topper.
The natural tack of the Airheads will keep the decorations in place.
Got Airheads?
Make sure you keep your decorated cupcakes in a cool place.
The heat will melt these little babies.
Wishing You a Blessed Day From
Sugartown Sweets!

Thanks for stopping by.  :o)

Comments are welcome as are new members to my blog!

~Post Sponsored By Airheads~