Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chocolate Covered Maraschino Cherry Flavored Caramel Hearts

Looking for the perfect Valentine's Day gift..
if your sweetie loves chocolate, cherry and caramel, you found it!
If you'd rather have cherry marshmallows, I made these for Valentine's Day last year.

My sweet aunt gave me a cookbook last year. But it wasn't just any cookbook.
 This is one that my great great-Aunt Mossie used! My mom dearly loved this sweet lady
 that helped my Memaw raise her daughters when my grandfather passed away. 
I was honored (and pretty excited) when my aunt gave it to me and immediately turned to the candy section. I was more than ok to see the occasional splotch and even a few well used pages. What yummy recipes! Plus with homemade caramels (click here for the ones I made last year) being one of my favorite candies, this one was going to happen! The syrup I added to this candy imparts a subtle cherry flavor. I used my trusty taste tester..sweet hunky hubby..and he gave his stamp of approval. So now, let's make some Valentine's candy!
The lady in the center is my Mom's Great-Aunt Mossie. 
I would love to have had the chance to meet her, but she passed the year before I was born. 
Don't you just love their dresses?! 
This photo would have been taken in the early 1900s.   :o)
 I found my cherry syrup @ Publix in the ice cream toppings section. My original plan was to use maraschino cherry juice, so I bought three jars of cherries. I just happened to see this syrup and decided to pick it up because, you know it looked so pretty. I'm so glad I did, because.. I made the first batch of caramels with less than desirable results. And by that I mean the candy never came together right and scorched something terrible! I had a wait a couple of days before I was able to restock my pantry and try again. You may have heard about a little bad weather we had here in Atlanta and even where we live a little south of the city. 
My pa-in-law was three hours getting home through Atlanta and my poor niece was stuck for 10 hours! 
So happy everyone made it home safe. Goodbye SnowJam 2014.
Okay..back to the candy. I was little nervous wondering if my new recipe would even work. It did! ..Go syrup!
Ingredients needed for cherry flavored caramels.
 ~granulated sugar~
~brown sugar~
 ~sweetened condensed milk~
 ~corn syrup~
 ~maraschino cherry syrup~
 Going for 245.5  I was too scared to go for 246 degrees, what with my earlier disaster and all.
Once you've reached desired temp and stirred in remaining ingredients, pour candy into prepared dish. 
I used an 8 inch square dish.
 Let candy cool and let set. I let mine sit overnight loosely covered. Cut candy with a long sharp knife using a gentle sawing motion. If you're not dipping it in chocolate, cut in cubes and wrap in waxed paper squares.
 These are really good dipped in chocolate..
but I have to tell you, the cherry flavor is more pronounced if you don't. 
 I used a couple of Wilton heart candy molds. 
Michael's and Hobby Lobby usually have these in stock this time of year. 
Pop these in the freezer for about 5 minutes to set.

Maraschino Cherry Flavored Caramels Recipe
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup maraschino cherry syrup
1/3 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt (i used sea salt)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Combine sugars, syrups and condensed milk in saucepan. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Attach candy thermometer and cook, stirring occasionally until thermometer reaches 246 degrees. Remove from heat, add butter, salt and flavorings mixing well. Pour into prepared dish. Avoid the temptation to scrape the pan. Let candy sit until completely cool and set. I let mine sit covered overnight.

*edit* I think when I make these again, I will try adding an additional 1/2 cup of the syrup. 
Just to amp up the cherry flavor! 

Praying You All Have a Safe and Blessed Day!
 Sugartown Sweets
welcomes your comments.
I would love it if you sign up and join us as a member!   :o)

Friday, January 24, 2014

3D Snowman Cookies

 3D Snowman Cookies
I made them for our 2014 Polar Vortex Party. We are having a party..right? Tomorrow's low will be 8 degrees in my brother's neck of the woods. 9 degrees for my sister. Break out the flip flops 'cause it will be a nice balmy 24 degrees for us here in the morning. Perfect timing for my sweet little snowman!
If you like snowman here to see the ones I made a while back!
Begin with your favorite cut out cookie dough recipe, or you can find mine by clicking here. 
Just scroll to the end of the post.
 I used these cutters for my snowmen and shoes.
Roll out dough, cut and place cookies on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Chill pan of cookies in frig for 15 minutes. Gently insert pretzel sticks.
 Chill base cookies for 15 minutes as well. If using my recipe, bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes. 
Let cookies cool.
 Ingredients and tools needed to decorate snowmen:
white fondant
pink fondant
orange Airheads candy
black sugar pearls
pretzel sticks
snowflake sprinkles
sprinkles for buttons
corn syrup and paintbrush
canned frosting
10 x sugar
sharp knife 
fondant roller
cookie cutters
parchment paper
Draw on some easy eyes with food writer pen. Press in the sugar pearls mouth. 
If they won't stick just dab on a little corn syrup.
My new favorite way to make a snowman nose. Easy Airheads candy nose. I'm so thrifty!
I may have eaten a few of these..sorry Frosty..
These sweet little shoe bottoms were so easy to make using my Wilton mini egg cookie cutter. 
You can find the Easter set here.
Pretty in Pink winter scarf. Attach all fondant pieces to cookies using corn syrup.
You can never have too much sparkle.. I right?
I used canned frosting and added 10 x sugar to stiffen it up. This helped the cookies to stand upright on the base. I also sprinkled coconut on the frosting for easy and pretty snow.
These adorable little snowflakes and flower sprinkles just upped the cute factor on little Frosty~ette.. Love!
Thank You So Much for Stopping by.
Praying You All Have a Blessed and Safe Day From
Sugartown Sweets!
Comments are Welcome

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Snowman Lollipops, Impact Jackets & Prayer!

God is good and prayers work!
It feels good to be back. I was quite sick over the holidays, but that seems pretty minimal to me now. 
On the same day my husband and I are preparing to travel north to see my big brother, my daughter gave us a scare with a visit to the emergency room. 
As our family prayed we got her call assuring us she and the baby are just fine. Praise the Lord! 

A little after midnight on Friday, we get the call that my brother Mark is in surgery. As he was riding his motorcycle home Friday evening, a pick-up truck struck him causing him to hit another vehicle and crash his bike. The truck never even paused. Other motorists came to his aid and for that we are so thankful. 

My brother suffered extensive injuries which will require numerous surgeries. The doctors assured us the news could have been much worse.

If you or someone you love is a motorcyclist or even a bicyclist, you will want to share this with them. 
Impact Jackets. I wish every rider would consider wearing one.
Mark's doctors say the Impact Jacket absolutely helped to save his life.
 My niece purchased the jacket for her Dad several years ago. 
We all agree it's the best gift she ever gave him! 

To all my praying readers out there, I would love it if you would join me in praying for my sweet big brother and his wife and children. Thank you all so much!
Crafting these sweet little snowman lollipops right here in the middle of winter will warm your heart..I know they did mine.

 Items needed for snowman lollipops. You will also need lollipop sticks.
 I think the Jelly Belly brand candy corn works best, but of course you can use any brand.
 Super simple and easy fondant scarf.
  My favorite Airheads snowman ever comes from Meaghan over at the Decorated Cookie.
Hmm..the pink cheeks look a bit uneven. Ahh..oh well!
 A little practice never hurts..
Place Jolly Ranchers on parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake @ 275 for 7 minutes.
Immediately upon removing from oven, insert lollipop stick and place the snowman in the center of the melted candies. Working quickly, place snow flake sprinkles. I also added some sugar sprinkles.
As the tree sprinkles were an afterthought, I attached those with a dab of corn syrup. The natural tack of the Airheads allowed the scarf to adhere to the candy on it's own.

 Praying you all have a Blessed and Safe New Year from
Sugartown Sweets!
Comments are Welcome.
Thanks for Visiting.  :o)