Monday, October 31, 2022

Easiest & Quickest Way to Wrap Homemade Caramels ~ No Cutting, No Twisting, No Kidding!

11 years ago today, I made my very first post here at Sugartown Sweets!

In my 4017.75 days of making sweet treats for this blog (and in real life), caramels are the candies for which I get the most requests. I've made a LOT and in the process I have learned a few shortcuts along the way. Today, I am going to share them with you.

Just go ahead and thank me now, because caramels are quite literally, a messy business. What with all the greasing of the pans, cutting the caramels and then rinsing (and rinsing again) the knife, cutting all those wax paper squares and having to twist them too, that's all in the past! 


If your family and friends love it when you treat them to homemade caramels like mine do, this little silicone treat mold ( I use two) will be your new favorite kitchen tool. Well, that, and this mini bag sealer and these cello bags. So sit back and relax because your candy making life is about to get a lot easier.😊

There is no prep work needed for the molds. Just make your caramels and pour right in. If you don't have a recipe, let me share a few of my favorites with you.

Peanut Butter Caramels

Plain Caramels

Chocolate Caramels

Apple Cider Caramels


Don't even worry if you get these little drips and drabs between each cup. When you pop the caramels out of the mold, just press the extra to the side of each candy square. I promise no one will complain about having a little extra!πŸ˜‹

I got to where I didn't even want to make my caramels because I dreaded all the cutting, sticky knives, the twisting of the wrappers...
And that was sad since I love making candy! You can imagine my delight at having found this simple solution to my sugar snag.

So, yay! Here comes the fun part!
Place the caramel into the bag and seal with the easy to use handheld sealer.

The sealer only takes a minute to heat up.
Once the candy is in the bag, press the sealer to the open end of the bag. It only takes a quick tap for the sealer to melt the the ends together. It takes about 5-6 taps to run the length of the wrapper.

I do try to place the sealer in the same position each time.

See how pretty and professional this looks?

My plan was to have some stickers made with my new logo, but I ran out of time. Plus all my cute little stickers are in storage until our house is finished.

I hope you all try this simple method for wrapping your candies and cookies too!
Let me know what you think if you do.

For all the holidays coming up, this would work great for making your own treat bags using unwrapped candies in bulk.
I can see M&Ms, Skittles, Reese's Pieces, Gummy Bears, etc. all fixed up for Christmas stockings!

Thank you to every single one of you for being here for this post and if you've read/commented on any of my past posts!
Thank you so very much! 😊

'til we sweet again, Karen πŸ’—

Friday, September 9, 2022

Peanut Butter Bar Pumpkins

I'm so happy to be posting my first treats in my new but temporary kitchen. It's been a very busy summer as we sold our home of over 13 years and are in the process of building a new one. I will have a to post a photo on my next post of the latest progress!

As I was making the peanut butter bars yesterday, I was also on the royal watch along with countless others. Sadly, Queen Elizabeth passed. Today I watched as King Charles III delivered his first speech even as he was mourning the passing of his beloved mother.

On two occasions I've stood outside of Buckingham Palace's gates and wondered what must it be like inside and to be able to freely walk those historic halls. On those trips to London, I was a little disappointed to find the palace was not open for tours.

Yesterday, my daughter called to ask me if she watched Princess Diana's wedding. I told her, yes! She had just turned a year old and we watched everything for months leading up to the royal wedding!

I'm quite happy to be living in America without a monarchy, but I will say, I have always been fascinated by the royal family.

God Save the King!

Now y'all, these peanut butter bars are really quick and easy to make and so yummy too!

Simple ingredients you probably have on hand make these convenient as well.

An 8x8 pan lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray
makes these bars easy to lift out and cut.

To decorate our bars, we need orange icing (for which I don't have a photo), green icing tube with leaf tip, and Tootsie Rolls.

Cut pieces of Tootsie Rolls to shape into pumpkins stems.

Pipe or spread orange frosting onto cut bars. I used a can of white frosting and tinted it orange.

You need only to press the already sticky chocolate candy pieces onto the peanut butter bars. They will stick on their own!

Pipe small green leaves on either side of the pumpkin "stem".

Y'all try these! Hubby loves them!

Credit for funny pumpkin quotes goes to,

Peanut Butter Bars Recipe

3 cups crispy rice cereal
1 cup salted peanuts
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Prepare 8x8 pan by lining and spraying with cooking spray.

Combine cereal and peanuts in a large heatproof bowl. Set aside. To a medium saucepan, add sugar and corn syrup. Cook, stirring constantly over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Pour cooked mixture over cereal and peanuts, stirring to combine. Gently press cereal mixture into prepared pan. Let cool and cut. Makes 16 bars.

Thank you for stopping by!

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

'til we sweet again, KarenπŸ’—

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Chex Mix Recipe

Happy 70th Birthday, Chex Party Mix!

So I grew up in the homemade Chex Mix era. If you wanted some, you had to make it yourself. Can you imagine?! 😜

And we go way back to when the original recipe was published in 1952, Corn Chex was not even a thing yet. I think it was a great addition to this yummy snack which has now evolved into these beloved and addictive crunchy munchies!

This is my first savory recipe post here at Sugartown Sweets and I am not sorry about it! πŸ˜‹

Look at all these yummy ingredients!

I used a very large mixing bowl, measuring cup and measuring spoons.

I also used 2 baking pans lined with parchment paper.

Combine all cereals and snacks together in a large bowl and set aside.  

Melt butter in microwave safe bowl and stir in seasonings to combine.

Pour butter mixture over cereal. 
I used food safe gloves to gently mix the cereals by hand and coat all pieces well.
Pour onto lined baking sheets.
Bake at 250 degrees for one hour stirring at 15 minute intervals.
Remove from oven and let cool.  

Chex Mix Recipe
3 cups Corn Chex 
3 cups Rice Chex
2 cups Wheat Chex
2 cups Cheez-its
1 cup bite size pretzels
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup peanuts
1 cup garlic rye chips
1/2 cup butter
2 Tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons season salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoons onion powder

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and 
preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine first 8 ingredients in large bowl. Set aside.
Melt butter in microwave safe bowl, add in season salt, garlic and onion powders, and stir to combine well. Pour butter mixture over cereal mix and fold in gently. I like to use food safe gloves so I can combine the mixture with my hands and avoid breaking up the cereals.

Pour mixture onto lined baking sheets and bake for 1 hour, stirring at 15 minute intervals. Let cool.
Whatever does not get scarfed down immediately may be stored in an airtight container for 4-6 weeks.

John 3:16

'til we sweet again, KarenπŸ’—
...and we will sweet again! 

Friday, May 27, 2022

Chocolaty Peanut Brittle

Several years ago I made my first Peanut Brittle and everyone loved it! I thought it would be yummy dipped in chocolate..and it was!
So today, I'm incorporating the chocolate into the brittle. I mean, c'mon, chocolate and peanuts are always a good thing!

Y'all! Let's make some!πŸ˜‹

You will need: granulated sugar, whipping cream, corn syrup, unsweetened cocoa, baking soda, peanuts, butter, and vanilla.

I forgot to get a shot of my cookie sheet. I lined it with parchment paper and placed in a 200 degree F oven to warm as I made the candy.

Also needed, a 4 quart heavy-bottomed pot and candy thermometer.

Combine sugar, whipping cream, and corn syrup in 4 quart pot. Over medium heat, stir continuously until mixture reaches 250 degrees F. Add butter and peanuts and continue cooking and stirring until candy reaches 305 degrees F. 
Remove from heat, add in baking soda and cocoa mixture and vanilla. Stir to combine well.

Mmmm...that chocolaty smell

Pour candy onto prepared pan.
I spread mine with an offset spatula.

Chocolaty Peanut Brittle

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 1/2 cups peanuts 
3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
(combine cocoa and baking soda in small bowl)
1 teaspoon vanilla 

Place a parchment lined cookie sheet into 200 degrees F oven to warm while making candy.

In a 4 quart heavy-bottomed pot, combine sugar, corn syrup, and whipping cream. Attach candy thermometer and cook, stirring continuously until candy reaches 250 degrees F. Add butter and peanuts. Temperature will drop a good bit. Continue cooking and stirring until candy reaches 305 degrees F. Remove from heat. Add cocoa and baking soda mixture and vanilla stirring well to combine.

Remove cookie sheet from oven, carefully pour hot candy and spread with long handled spatula.
Let cool and break into pieces.

Thanks for hanging out today while we made another batch of delicious candy!

JOHN 3:16

'til we sweet again, KarenπŸ’—

Friday, April 22, 2022

Fantasy Fudge

When you have been blessed with two amazing candy queens in your life, making your own fudge can seem a little intimidating. But fear not fellow aspiring candy makers! This recipe is for you and for me! It really is super simple and can be made -start to finish- in 20 minutes!

You know, it's kinda funny that as a young girl, I would pick out all the nuts from Mama's famous homemade candies. But now, moving ahead fifty years, for me that's what makes the candy!

So thank you, Memaw and Mama, for passing down to me your love of candy making. I love and miss you both. πŸ’“


Ingredients needed to make this delicious fudge:

Granulated sugar, butter, semi-sweet chocolate chips, evaporated milk, marshmallow creme, pecans, and vanilla extract.

Equipment needed:
Heavy bottomed saucepan (I used a 4 quart saucepan), a candy thermometer, and a buttered dish to pour the cooked candy.

*I can never get the clips to work correctly on my thermometers, so I love using large wooden clips to attach them to my pot.

I'm a little over-excited to be posting my first video to my blog. It's only a few seconds long (umm short), but woohoo, so happy!

After combining butter, sugar, and evaporated milk, cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until candy thermometer reaches 234 F. Remove from heat.

Stir in chocolate chips until melted.

Add marshmallow creme and stir until fully incorporated.

Stir in pecans and vanilla and pour into prepared dish.

I am using a buttered dish because that is what my Mama did. Of course you can also use buttered or sprayed foil inside your dish if you prefer.

Let candy set until cooled completely before cutting.

Ahhh! Look at this beautiful fudge! I think my Mom and my Memaw would be proud!😊

Fantasy Fudge Recipe

3 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)

5 ounces evaporated milk

12 ounce bag Ghirardelli semi-sweet chips

1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme

1 cup chopped pecans

2 teaspoons vanilla

-Prepare 8x8 pan (or your favorite size) with butter.

If you prefer, you can line your dish with sprayed foil. Set aside.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan (I used a 3 quart), combine sugar, butter, and evaporated milk. Cook, stirring constantly over medium heat until candy thermometer reaches 234 F. Remove from heat.

(It took 14 minutes from the start for mine to hit 234 F.)

Add chocolate chips and stir until melted.

Add marshmallow creme, stirring until combined.

Add pecans and vanilla. Stir until fully incorporated.

Pour candy into buttered dish. Do not scrape pan. Let cool completely before cutting.

I πŸ’“ you, Mom and Memaw!

John 3:16

'til we sweet again, KarenπŸ’—

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Brownie Cupcakes Topped w/Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Squares

Who loves a really quick, yummy, and chocolaty brownie cupcake? What if they're made with a simple doctored up box mix? Yes, me! You too?

I first made these for Elizabeth's -my granddaughter's- birthday. They were a hit and disappeared fast!

Let's make some!

I used one package of Ghirardelli triple chocolate brownie mix, buttermilk, oil, egg, and vanilla. After baking, I topped them with Ghirardelli candy squares. 

After combining wet ingredients, I stirred in the brownie mix until moistened and scooped the batter into a muffin tin prepared with cooking spray.

Baked in a 350 degree oven, these only take 20 minutes!

Remove from oven and gently press in a chocolate square. Let cool in pan for 10-15 minutes. I used a plastic knife to gently coax them from the tin.

Brownie Cupcakes

*note below*

One box Ghirardelli brownie mix
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg
1/2 tablespoon vanilla

Combine wet ingredients.
Stir in brownie mix until moistened.

Scoop batter into a 12 cup muffin tin that has been prepared with cooking spray.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Remove from oven. Gently press in a chocolate square.

Let cool in pan 10-15 minutes. 

I used a plastic knife to gently coax cupcake from pan.

Brownie box mix sizes vary.
Simply sub out equal amounts of water called for on box for buttermilk.

Use same amounts of eggs and oil and add 1/2 tablespoon on vanilla.


JOHN 3:16 

'til we sweet again, KarenπŸ’—