Sunday, November 28, 2010

Caramel Popcorn Balls

Recipe stolen from a parents forum

Caramel Popcorn balls

2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup popping corn

3/4 cups castor sugar
80g unsalted butter (I use salted)
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons cream

Pop the corn using the oil, as per instructions on packet. Let cool in a large bowl.

Put the sugar, butter, honey and cream in a small saucepan.
Stir over medium heat, without boiling, until the sugar has completely dissolved.
If I find the mixture is getting too hot, I take it off the heat and continue stirring.
Once dissolved, DO NOT STIR, bring to boil and boil for 5 minutes, (possibly longer).

Notes from author: I always double the recipe, (using a medium saucepan) and the caramel needs to cook for longer...about 8-10 minutes? Cook until it is thick and creamy brown.

Let caramel sit for 1 minute, then pour over popcorn and mix with a wooden spoon.
Rub a little oil on your hands and take spoonfuls of the mixture and mould into a ball.

If you choose to use sticks you will need to squeeze some popcorn mixture quite firmly on to the stick and then add more, molding it into a ball as you go IYKWIM?
Recipe is meant to make 50 small balls, or 10 large ones.

Get the caramel to the right consistency and I promise you these will be a hit!
As long as its thick and creamy brown, they will be perfect. Like Lolly Gobble Bliss Bombs!

Best made the day before.

NB: Make size of a tennis ball and put on a stick and wrap in cellophane for great presentation.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Recipe Pinching ....

Came across these on a Facebook group - so posting here for storage until I get around to making them.
I did have a kick ass home made Baileys recipe ... but I lost it around 15 years ago ~waaah~

Home Made Baileys
400g tin of sweetened condensed milk
250ml single cream (use a 'long life' cream not 'fresh' cream'll find them on the shelves in supermarkets as they don't require refrigeration)
250ml of whiskey (pref.Irish but not a must)
1 tsp of instant coffee granules
2 tbsp dark chocolate syrup/sauce
2 level tsps of caramel flavoured 'coffee syrup' (used to flavour coffee)
1 little packet of real Bourbon Vanilla Sugar

1. Sprinkle the vanilla sugar into the whiskey and allow it to dissolve before continuing.
2. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend using the pulse setting on your machine. Don't blend too much otherwise you'll end up with whipped cream. Don't worry if you think it looks too will thicken up slightly once its been in the fridge.
3. Pour the finished cream into a sterilized bottle, seal and store in the fridge. Shake before use. It will keep for up to four weeks (unopened) but the flavour will change over time and i prefer to use it within the first 1-2 weeks of making it.

Home Made Irish Cream
200gm Milk chocolate
750ml (2 tins) evapourated milk
1 tbs instant coffee
750ml scotch wisky
400gm Sweetened condensed milk
300ml thin cream
3 tsp boiling water

Melt chocolate. Gradually add condensed milk, whisking briskly as mixture thickens. Continue whisking until completely blended. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, gradually add evapourated milk. Whisk until smooth. Add cream, coffe (dissolved in water) and scotch whiskey. Mix well, then pour into steralised bottles. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 months.
**I have never had any luck adding cream to melted chocolate. I find it easier to pour heated cream over shaved chocolate and whisking until smooth.

Corn and Chilli Relish
500g corn kernals, cut from 4-5 cobs (ensure use cobs as alot fresher
2 red chilies, deseeded if like and chopped
115g deseeded chopped red pepper
115g celery chopped
115g red onion chopped
175g granulated white sugar
1 large lemon freshly squeezed
300ml white wine vinegar
1tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp celery seed
2tbs salt

Put all ingredients except salt in a large preserving pan, and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring occassionally, until the sugar has dissolved
Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20mins until the relish has thickened slightly. Test that it has achieved the right consistency: the relish is ready when there is still a little loosed liquid in the pan. As it is a chunky relish, it will be a little wetter than chutney.
Add the salt and stir the chutney until the salt has dissolved.
Pot the relish into hot sterilised jars, cover with vinegar proof seals and label.

Keeps for 6-9 months
Great with hotdogs, burgers, grilled chicken and fish

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Christmas Jars

Okay, I am being super organised and have started making gifts in jars.

I have done half of the Christmas eve ones (the brownies in jars - see recipe a few posts back)), and I have done up some gift jars for my eldests kindy besties.

I still have to print out the instructions for the jars. Am planning on doing them onto a gold (gold gold, not yellow) star so it will probably be on a white circle, lol.

Brownies - Not *too* different from the inspiration

Xmas Eve place setting gifts - Luckily I found some gold satin
and some burgundy and red ribbons with gold stars on
them laying around the house.

Kindy Kids gift jars - red, green and white Jelly beans or red, green and white M&Ms. The Green and white M&Ms are choc mint. The red M&Ms are actually Jaffas.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Peanuttiest Blondies

Okay, right now I am attempting to make this (it is in oven atm)

1 cup plain Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Peanut Butter ; Crunch or creamy - not natural
5 tbsp Unsalted Butter 
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
3/4 cup Brown Sugar, Packed
2 Large Eggs
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 cup Chopped Salted Peanuts
170g Semi-sweet or Premium Milk Chocolate, coarsely chopped, or 1 cup chocolate chips

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 180 C (160C fan forced).
Line a 9-inch square pan with baking paper.

* Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
* Working with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the peanut butter and butter together on medium speed until smooth.
* Add both sugars and beat for 1-2 minutes until well incorporated into the butter.
* Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each goes in. Beat in vanilla extract.
* Reduce the mixer to low and add in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the dough; the dough will be thick.
* Add the peanuts and chocolate and give the mixer a few turns to stir them into he dough. If the chunky ingredients are mixed in after a few seconds, just finish the job with a sturdy spatula-don't over mix the dough. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan.
* Bake blondies for 40-50 minutes, or until they turn a deep honey brown and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature.
* When its completely cool, carefully lift the blondies our of the pan using the foil edges as handles, and turn them out onto the rack. Peal away the paper and invert onto a cutting board. Use a long knife to cut into 16 bars, each roughly 2 1/4 inches on a side.

The Verdict

OMG, the flavour profile is just delicious! Unfortunately, I did stuff up a couple of the process steps (being distracted by a 5yr old that desperately wanted to put everything into the bowl at once). I also left it in the oven a bit too long. I had it in for 40 minutes (as per recipe), but I think it can go down to 30 minutes.
But, it still tasted delicious! And it looked okay, though nowehere near as good as in the photo above from where I got the recipe. Mine looked like this

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Xmas Eve place settings - Gifts in Jars

Okay, I was going to do the cocoa in a jar and the christmas cookie in a jar for alternate place settings, but I went hunting for a recipe for someone and have decided that this would look nicer :)

Soooooooooo, (from HERE)
Brownies in a Jar


1 litre sized jar
2⁄3 tsp salt
1 1⁄8 cup flour, divided
1⁄3 cup cocoa powder
2⁄3 cup brown sugar
2⁄3 cup white sugar
1⁄2 cup chocolate chips
1⁄2 cup white chocolate chips
1⁄2 cup walnuts or pecans

To assemble the Brownie Jars:

Wash, rinse and dry canning jars then layer ingredients as follows:
2/3 tsp salt

5/8 cup flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup walnuts

Make sure you also print out a set of cooking instructions for your recipient.

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a baking pan. Pour the contents of the jar into a large bowl and mix well.
Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2/3 cup vegetable oil and 3 eggs. Beat until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Christmas Cookies in a Jar  (from HERE)


1 1/3 cup all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup & leveled
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cooking oats
3/4 cup M&Ms
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans

To assemble the Cookie Jars:

Start with a 1 quart smooth, glass, canning jar. Layer the ingredients in this order:
1. Flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt (stir these all up before pouring in the jar so they are well distributed)
2. Oats
3. M&Ms
4. Chocolate chips
5. Brown sugar
6. White sugar
7. Chopped pecans
Pack each level down *really* tightly or else it won't all fit. You can get the most packing power after the oats layer and the brown sugar layer. I used that top piece from the lid of my food processor (the thing you use to push veggies in through the hole in the lid) to really jam it all down.

Add the chopped pecans last, because depending on how well you pack the layers, you can add more or less pecans to adjust. As Bakerella notes, better to sacrifice nuts than chocolate. But also, for practical reasons, it helps keep the white sugar from spilling out all over the place when the recipient opens the jar.

The ingredients will be flush to the top of the lid when you seal it up. To decorate the top of the jars, wrap 16 inches of decorative wire tinsel around the top. Print the Preparation instructions on little cards made from wrapping paper, and punch a hole in the corner so you can attach it to the tinsel.

Print off instructions as the gift tag
1. Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan forced).
2. Stir all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add 1 slightly beaten egg, 1/2 cup melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
4. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients thoroughly.
5. Roll the cookie dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, place on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
6. Enjoy while warm and gooey!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Gifts in a Jar

Okay, I am starting to get a bit obsessed by this concept!
Scarily, I am also getting a bit obsessed by the soon arrival of Xmas!

So, have been trawling the net and am going to link up here (mainly so I don't lose it) some of the creative ideas I have found and completely want to rip off ;)

Super-Chunky Christmas Cookies In A Jar

Christmas Cookie Packaging

Classic Cocoa Mix in a Jar

8 Different Gifts in Jars

OMG, there are just so many talented people on the internet!
Littel teacups

Hamburger Cake

Enchanted Kitchen - Christmas


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cupcakes in a jar

OMG these looks so good!

^ Photo stolen from the link below. Go visit it for the recipe and the divine!

OMG, just found some other base cake ones...
Poppyseed Cake in a jar

Pumpkin Spice Cake in a jar

Chocolate Cake in a jar

Pie in a jar

Mudslide pie in a jar

Not Martha Pie in a jar