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Friday, December 16, 2011

Soft Caramels

Soft Caramels

2 cups sugar
2 cups whipping cream
2/3 cup white caro syrup
1 cube butter
1 cups, coarsely chopped (optional)

Mix sugar, syrup and butter and one cup of cream, boil to soft ball temp/stage.  Then add the other cup of cream and cook to hard ball temp/stage.  If you like a little softer caramel, cook to only a firm ball temp/stage. Add nuts, optional.  Pour into a buttered dish until they are cool (ok to put in fridge).  Then cut into squares and wrap into wax paper.

Recipe Source: Lillian Ulmer

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Spanish Peanut Brittle

Seriously the best peanut brittle out there.  You have to follow the recipe to a "T" though, or it won't be nearly as good.  Try this, you won't ever want another kind of peanut brittle.

Spanish Peanut Brittle

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup white caro syrup
1/2 cup water - scant
pinch salt
1 1/2 cups raw Spanish peanuts
1 3/4 tsp baking soda
3 TB butter - soft

In a heavy saucepan and with a wooden spoon, mix together the sugar, salt, caro syrup and water.  Turn to high heat and stir until sugar dissolves.  Cook, no need to stir, until the syrup spins a thread.  Butter a cookie sheet.  

Mix your softened butter and baking and soda well (make sure this is ready to go prior to syrup spinning a thread).  Set aside.

Once syrup spins a thread, add the peanuts and continue cooking and stirring until the peanuts start "popping" open.  Cook just until tan, don't let it get too dark.
Remove from the and add soda/butter mixture.  Fold it in quickly and only stir until butter is melted.  Quickly pour onto a cookie sheet.  DO NOT SPREAD, DO NOT TOUCH PAN, DO NOT BUMP.  Just let the candy sit untouched until cool and then break into pieces.  PURE HEAVEN.

Recipe Source: Lillian Ulmer

Grandma's Whole Wheat Bread

This wheat bread recipe is one that my Grandma Ulmer has used through the ages.  It's her favorite and comes from a super old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  I'm going to make it for the first time today and will probably test the ratio of white to wheat flour over subsequent bread makings. 

Grandma's Whole Wheat Bread

Makes 2 - 9 1/2 x 5" loaves or 3 8x4" loaves

1 package active dry yeast
2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
2 TB granulated sugar
2 tsp salt
4 cups sifted enriched white flour
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 TB shortening
4 cups whole wheat flour

Soften (proof) yeast in the 2 cups of warm water, about 10 minutes.  Add 2 TB granulated sugar, salt and 4 cups of white flour to the yeast/water.  Beat until mixture is smooth.  Let the dough sit in a warm place (82 degrees) until it is light and bubbly, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, combine the 1/2 cup hot water with the brown sugar and shortening.  Stir and cool to lukewarm.  Add to the yeast-flour mixture after it's light and bubbly.  Now add 4 cups of wheat flour and mix until smooth.  Knead until smooth by hand or in your stand mixture.

Place the dough in a greased bowl and turn over to grease surface.  Cover and let rise in warm place till double. Knead down the dough.  Cut dough into equal sizes, depending on the loaf pans you're using (2-9x5 or 3 8x4).  Shape each portion into a ball and cover and let rest about 10 minutes.  Roll to rectangle.  Break bubbles in the surface.  Roll dough towards you. Seal after each roll with the heel of hand.  Seal the end of the rolls by folding under the dough.  Place dough in lightly greased pan.  Cover and let double in size.

Bake bread in a 375 degree oven for 50 minutes.

Recipe Source: Lillian Ulmer/Better Homes and Gardens