With less than 1 week until Christmas I am sure you guys need something to distract you from your overwhelming holiday to-do lists (oh wait..maybe that’s just me?). So here’s a few funny videos to give you that extra push till Friday
First up is this dog people vs. cat people video. This has been floating around for a couple weeks now and it totally cracks me up!
So last year around this time of year there were these hilarious “Shit Girls Say” videos – in case you missed them or want a refresher here’s episodes 1, 2 & 3 (1 & 2 are amazing). Well I was sifting through my YouTube feed and saw that they just recenlty made a 4th one! It might be my new favorite Enjoy!
And last but not least I thought I’d give you a nice festive video. It’s a doozy! I seriously have to watch this every year and it’s so ridiculous I can’t help but crack up. Oh Sandra Lee…what were you thinking??!
Those giant candles…and acorns? Oh my word.
Every year my friend Lorraine and I get together for a big day of baking. Except in recent years that’s turned mostly into candy making – this year we didn’t even bake one batch of cookies (weird, I know!). In preparation Lorraine and I both try to brainstorm a few new ideas or new takes on our old favorites.
So a couple weeks ago when Ari and I were running our 17 miler we started discussing food/recipes (Whatever gets us through the miles a little faster, right?) – and I started to bounce some ideas of off her for my baking day. I knew I wanted to do another variation on my caramels and she suggested gingerbread… pure genius Ari! Lorraine loved the idea too so we ran with it (no pun intended).
We didn’t want to get too crazy with the ingredients since candy can be finicky so we stuck to my usual trusty recipe and adapted it to fit with gingerbread flavors.
We swapped the light corn syrup and light brown sugar for dark to get that molasses flavor, then loaded it with ground ginger and other spices. The texture came out perfect and I was surprised how much these tasted like gingerbread in the end with only those few swaps.
The caramels have a little spice to them because of the ginger, so if you’re not a fan of spicy gingerbread then I would decrease the ginger a little. Also, this might just be me…but while the caramel was cooking it didn’t have that usual buttery smell – it smelled more like molasses (Lorraine and I joked that it smelled kinda like bbq sauce…), but don’t worry, they come out tasting wonderful!
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1 ½ tbsp ground ginger
- ½ tbsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 2 cups dark brown sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 1/3 cup dark corn syrup
- pinch of salt
- 11 tablespoons butter, cut into 1 tablespoon chunks
- 1 teaspoons vanilla
Line a 13x9 inch baking pan with foil and spray liberally with cooking spray (or use Reynolds Non-stick foil).
Mix milk and cream together. Gently whisk in ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
Add sugars, syrup, and salt to a heavy bottomed pot, stirring until mixture comes to a boil over medium-high heat. When boiling hard, add butter chunks slowly. Then, add milk and cream mixture to sugar mixture very slowly so that the pan mixture never stops boiling. Add in the vanilla.
Cook, stirring almost continuously (as can burn easily), to firm ball stage (245F) on candy thermometer. It takes about 20-30 minutes of stirring. Make sure the bottom of the thermometer is in the mixture but not touching the bottom of the pan.
Once at firm ball stage, pour into greased pan and cool for 5 minutes. If desired, you can put the pan in the fridge to harden further.
Once hardened, lift the whole piece of candy out onto a cutting board peel off the foil backing and cut into bite sized rectangles. As the caramel comes to room temperature it softens and sticks to the knife, so it helps to spray the knife lightly with cooking spray between every few cuts.
Wrap the caramels in cut wax paper rectangles and twist ends to close.