Mummy Caramel Apples

We’re just over a week away from Halloween (not that you’d know it from all the Christmas paraphernalia in the stores already) and that means it’s time for my week long theme!

Halloween isn’t my favorite holiday (Thanksgiving wins that honor), but when it comes to blogging I look forward to my themed week the most.

It will be hard to beat the Harry Potter theme last year, but what I’ve got in store for you this week is simply too cute to resist!

I’ve been contemplating this mummy theme for a few years now, honestly, and I’m excited to finally be bringing it to you!

We’re going to start with caramel apples, which get the adorable mummy treatment.

Caramel apples have never been my go-to treat, but after a recent trip to Disneyland, I’m now hooked!

Mummy Caramel Apples (baby) | Sew You Think You Can Cook

While walking around main street to find a place to watch the parade, I caught a glimpse of a caramel apple in a shop window. I immediately decided I needed one – I was craving something sweet yet fresh and I thought a bright Granny Smith apple coated in caramel would do the trick. It did take a while before I finally found that apple – in the Winnie-the-Pooh part of the park making it that much better!

Mummy Caramel Apples (toddler) | Sew You Think You Can CookI made 6 caramel apples for this blog post and I have no shame in saying that I personally ate 5 of them! My afternoon apple and Nutella snack simply got replaced with a mummy caramel apple. And it was glorious, and might just have ruined regular apples forever. Firecracker took all the slices with eye candies.

Mummy Caramel Apples

Ingredients:

  • 6 Granny Smith apples
  • 6 popsicle sticks, skewers, or cocktail stirrers
  • 14 oz caramel squares, unwrapped
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • white candy melts
  • 12 candy eyes

Steps:

  1. Thoroughly wash and dry the apples and remove the stem. Carefully push the popsicle sticks into the stem of the apples.
  2. In a microwaveable bowl, combine the caramels and the cream. Microwave 1-2 minutes, until caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds.
  3. Dip the apples into the melted caramel, working quickly and carefully. Place coated apples on a parchment lined tray and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.
  4. Melt the candy melts according to package instructions. Use a spoon to drizzle the candy over the caramel apples, to create a mummy. Dip two candy eyes into the candy melt and stick to the apple. Repeat for all 6 apples and return to the refrigerator to set.

Mummy Caramel Apples | Sew You Think You Can Cook

 

#FantasticalFoodFight: Peaches & Cream

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I’ve declared that I will be taking a break from blogging for a bit. So what am I doing just a couple weeks later with a brand new blog post?!

Well, I also stated that Sew You Think You Can Cook wouldn’t disappear either. I have a couple of fun blog link-up events in the near future, yet. It’s looking like one, maybe two, per month throughout the summer months.

Hopefully I’ll be back a little less sporadically come the start of the school year in September. Sew You Think You Can Cook just might have a slightly new vibe come then.

My fun post for June is the one you’re reading right now – today’s Fantastical Food Fight! The task? Peaches & Cream. The requirement? A dish that involves both peaches and cream.

Originally I was thinking an ice cream.

I’m sorry to burst that bubble, but as fate had it, my husband requested some sort of French toast with our Farmer’s Market peaches for breakfast over Memorial Day weekend.

Perfect!

This French toast is quite simply. Eggs + milk (or cream!) + bread. What makes this dish pop are the caramelized peaches you put on top of that French toast. A dollop of whipped cream doesn’t hurt anything, either.

Peaches & Cream French Toast

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 slices bread
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 C milk or cream
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1/2 C water
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 2-3 peaches, sliced or chopped
  • cinnamon sugar, for serving
  • whipped cream, for serving

Steps:

  1. Whisk together the eggs and milk/cream in a shallow bowl.
  2. Preheat griddle or a large pan over medium heat.
  3. Dip bread in the egg mixture, coating both sides. Cook on greased griddle until golden on both sides.
  4. In a small pan over medium-high heat, combine sugar and water. Once the sugar is dissolved do not mix. Allow mixture to caramelize 8-10 minutes. Melt in the butter. Add the chopped peaches and cook 3-4 minutes. Pour over French toast.
  5. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and serve with whipped cream.

*This recipe is adapted from Dina at http://simplyhomecooked.com/caramelized-peach-french-toast/*

Peaches & Cream French Toast for #FantasticalFoodFight from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To check out the other Fantastical Peaches & Cream recipes click here:

If you would like to join our Fantastical Food Fight, you can learn more on our informational page.

#FoodieExtravaganza: Caramel

foodieextravaganza-300April is here and with it another Foodie Extravaganza! This month Kathleen from Fearlessly Creative Mammas decided we should celebrate National Caramel Day, which is on April 5th – today!

I still had some caramels left over from those Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies I made in December, so why not use some more in a delicious caramel apple dip!?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

This dip was the perfect “redemption” snack to bring to my Bible study group yesterday morning. (“Redemption” because two fevers and three infected ears kept me from sharing the King’s Bundt Cake with the group in March.) Yesterday was our last meeting studying the book Hope for the Weary Mom: Let God Meet You in the Mess. We’ll take a three week break before digging into some more study material, so it was time for a potluck party!

I served this dip with two apple varieties and cinnamon graham crackers.

Caramel Apple Dip for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Caramel Apple Dip

Ingredients:

  • 16 soft caramels, unwrapped
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1 block (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Steps:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the caramels in the water until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese, brown sugar, and vanilla with a hand mixer until combined.
  3. Mix in the melted caramel.
  4. Serve with apples, graham crackers, or pretzels.

*This recipe is adapted from Nikki at http://www.chef-in-training.com/2013/08/caramel-apple-dip/*

Caramel Apple Dip for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other caramel recipes:

Affogato – Vanilla Ice Cream With Espresso, Caramel Sauce And Salted Almonds from Sneha’s Recipes

Banana Chia Pudding with Date Caramel from Caroline’s Cooking

Caramel Apple Granola from Hardly a Goddess

Easter Coconut Bird’s Egg Nests from Palatable Pastime

Fa’ausi (Samoan Coconut Caramel Bread) – Tara’s Multicultural Table

Gooey Caramel Cake from Fearlessly Creative Mammas

Ooey Gooey Salted Caramel Cake from A Day in the Life on the Farm

If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

#FantasticalFoodFight: Shortbread Cookies

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Good morning, everyone.

I think I have a problem.

I’ve joined another blogging group! Sarah of Fantastical Sharing of Recipes decided to start up this new food party when The Secret Recipe Club came to a close. Maybe she has a problem too!

But it’s not a bad problem.

Who ever decided problem had to have a negative connotation?

Anywho.

The solution to our problem? Cook/bake, eat, and write. It’s always nice when problem has a simple solution.

This month everyone is baking shortbread cookies!

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My mom loves to bake cookies and I knew it’d be the perfect activity to do with Firecracker when she came to visit. We did a Salted Caramel Shortbread cookie and he loved to help cut out the fun Christmas shapes and sprinkle the salt on the caramel frosted buttery cookie.

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Don’t let the tears fool you, Treat enjoyed his cookie, too! Firecracker decided that he didn’t like the caramel on the cookie so we decorated them in a variety of methods. Stars and reindeer received full caramel treatment, trees got a drizzle, and the wreaths were left plain.

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This recipe makes approximately 4 dozen cookies, depending on cookie cutter size.

Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 sticks butter, softened
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 C flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 bag (14 oz) caramels, unwrapped
  • 2 tbsp milk

Steps:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in the vanilla until incorporated then add the flour in stages until a smooth dough is achieved.
  2. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Roll out dough to 1/4″ thickness on a floured surface. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters, place on a baking sheet an inch apart. Keep any unused dough in the refrigerator while working.
  5. Bake cookies 14 minutes, until lightly golden. Place on cooling racks.
  6. Combine caramels and milk in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Spoon caramel onto cookies, spreading to the edges. If caramel gets too hard, simply reheat.
  7. Sprinkle cookies with Kosher salt while the caramel is still warm. Return cookies to a cooling rack.
  8. Store cookies in an airtight container, use wax paper to divide the layers.

*This recipe is adapted from http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/salted-caramel-shortbread-cookies/9716f0d7-ce05-4740-b402-f80a95daeff5*

Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies for #FantasticalFoodFight from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see all of the other Fantastical Shortbread Cookies click here:  

If you would like to join our Fantastical Food Fight, you can learn more on our informational page.

#BundtBakers: Healthy Sneak, Cheat, or Substitute

4ae7b-bundtbakerspostThis month’s bundt theme is quite fun! Andrea of  Adventures in All Things Food challenged us to “healthify” our cakes in a sneaky way. She inspired us to stealthily add in some veggies, find a healthy way to eliminate oils or sugars, or even experiment with an arguably more wholesome flour option.

#BundtBakers is a group of bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient.

I wasn’t sure I’d get a chance to participate this month. We’ve had a lot of travel recently, going to Northern California for a wedding followed almost immediately by a trip to Lake Geneva.

I’ve mentioned the lake house before, but in case you’re new to Sew You Think You Can Cook, I spent my childhood summers at my grandparents’ summer home at the lake. When my parents purchased the home before my grandma passed away, I looked forward to getting to continue the tradition with my children. We even had Firecracker’s first birthday there! I didn’t think we’d get a chance to go this year having to travel from California, but we made it happen. And I’m so glad we did. Firecracker is old enough to truly enjoy the lake and just as I did, jumped off the pier into his grandfather’s arms.

I hadn’t baked my bundt before these vacations and was going to have to simply sit this event out. Fortunately there was a bundt pan tucked away in a cupboard, here! A beautiful, old Nordic Ware original.

With plans to make my buffalo cauliflower for game day, we had the vegetable on the mind. Off to Pinterest I went to uncover a chocolate cake. We added some freshly picked (a story for a future post!) apples to the cake, too.

The resulting cake is a dense, almost fudgy, cake. Funnily enough, the presence of cauliflower was apparent only if eaten cold. It wasn’t abrassive enough to say, “Hey, there’s cauliflower in here.” but just enough to know there’s “something different” about this cake. 15 seconds in the microwave and no one would be any the wiser. Not even a 2 year old.

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You might wonder why we even ate the cake cold in the first place.

The answer is one that every food blogger can relate to. Needing to take a picture! The cake was completed and frosted after sunset. My dad told me I had to include this part of the story in my blog post. The fact that he couldn’t dig in to chocolate cake the day it was made! Yes, I received a lot of heat for having to wait until morning.

It’s okay though, the boys had me up way before anyone else so I snapped some photos in the early morning sunlight.

Choco-flower and Apple Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 C cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 C vanilla yogurt
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 C flour
  • 1/2 C cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 C buttermilk
  • 1-2 apples, peeled, cored, and diced

Steps:

  1. Boil cauliflower until fork tender. Puree in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a bundt pan.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, beat together the yogurt, sugar, and oil. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Add in the vanilla and pureed cauliflower.
  5. Mix 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Add 1/4 C of buttermilk, stir until combined. Repeat with remaining dry ingredints and buttermilk. Fold in the chopped apple.
  6. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out cleanly. Allow cake to cool before turning out of the pan.

Cinnamon Caramel Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 C powdered sugar

Steps:

  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Stir for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar until smooth. Pour over cooled cake.

*These recipes are adapted from Kate at http://veggiedesserts.co.uk/chocolate-cauliflower-cake-with-salted-cinnamon-caramel-icing-the-blogs-2nd-birthday/*

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You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about #BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.

And don’t forget to take a peek at what other talented bakers have baked this month:

Almond Bundtlettes by Bea and Mara at I Love Bundt Cakes

Avocado Mini Bundts by Kelly at Passion Kneaded

Black Forest Tomato Bundt Cake by Shilpi at Simplyveggies

Chocolate Beet Bundt Cake by Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm

Easy Orange Bundt Cake by Nichole at Cookaholic Wife

Fall Fruits Bundt Cake by Rebekah at Making Miracles

Flourless Chocolate Bundt Cake by Colleen at Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Secret Spice Yoghurt Cake by Jane at Jane’s Adventure in Dinner

Tunnel of Fudge Cake by Bee at The Queen of Scones

Vanilla Bean Malt Bundt Cake by Felice at All That’s Left Are The Crumbs

Whole Wheat Banana Bundt Cake byAnshie>at Spiceroots

Copy Cat: Snickers

It’s Halloween week and that means I’ve got a theme. My very first Halloween blogging I did a week of Candy Corn inspired recipes and posts, including a pillow cover and pizza. The following year ghosts hit the scene so pancakes and cookies were created in adorable ghostly shapes.

I toyed with the idea of mummies, Frankenstein’s monster, or pumpkins this year but the opportunity to make candy couldn’t be surpassed. It was time to face my chocolate and sugar fears and try making trick-or-treat favorites at home. For the these 4 days I’ll be sharing some sweet treats all made from scratch!

To kick off “candy week” I am sharing a Copy Cat recipe for Snickers! And it was much easier than I ever thought it would be. I was definitely doing a happy dance after taking my first bite of homemade candy bar. It actually tastes like the real thing! I was nervous that the amount of chocolate looked too thin, but the ratios of chocolate to nougat and caramel is perfect!

This recipe makes a 9×13″ pan of layered goodness. That’s a cake’s worth of candy bars people! I hope you have friends to share these with. Throughout my weeks of candy making I’ve realized that homemade chocolate candy bars melt/soften fairly quickly and are best kept in the fridge. Keep that in mind if you plan on gifting some homemade candy – don’t leave it on someone’s doorstep… unless there’s a lot of snow and cold to keep the candy from turning into a delicious mess.

Copy Cat: Snickers

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 C milk chocolate chips, divided use
  • 3/4 C creamy peanut butter, divided use
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/4 C evaporated milk
  • 1 container (13 oz) marshmallow creme
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 C roughly chopped salted peanuts
  • 14 oz caramel squares, unwrapped
  • 1/4 C heavy cream

Steps:

  1. Line a 9×13″ cake pan with foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, combine 1 1/4 C chocolate chips and 1/4 C peanut butter. Microwave 50-60 seconds, stirring every 20 seconds, or until completely melted and smooth. Evenly spread mixture into prepared cake pan. Place in fridge.
  3. In a large saucepan over medium heat melt butter. Add the sugar and evaporated milk. Stir and bring to a gentle boil. Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the mixture from burning. Add in the marshmallow creme, 1/4 C peanut butter, and the vanilla extract. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat and fold in the chopped peanuts. Evenly spread the nougat over the chocolate layer. Return to fridge.
  4. In a microwave safe bowl, combine caramels and heavy cream. Microwave 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, or until completely melted and smooth. Evenly spread caramel over the nougat layer. Return to fridge.
  5. In a microwave safe bowl, combine 1 1/4 C chocolate chips and 1/4 C peanut butter. Microwave 50-60 seconds, stirring every 20 seconds, or until completely melted and smooth. Evenly spread mixture over the caramel layer.
  6. Return to fridge and chill until completely set. Cut into bars.

*This recipe is adapted from Alyssa at http://therecipecritic.com/2013/11/homemade-snickers-bars/*

Copy Cat Snickers | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Pretzel Caramel Bread Pudding

Last month’s Foodie Extravaganza celebrated pretzels and caramel. I used the leftovers to try my very first bread pudding.

I’d never made bread pudding or eaten bread pudding before. Something about it made me shy away. I’m not a fan of scrambled eggs and don’t like it when there’s too much custard on my french toast. Stuart was requesting a bread pudding so with the pretzel rolls we couldn’t finish in time I finally gave in.

And it was good! Especially with some fresh green apple to combat the sweetness. Bread pudding seemed essentially to be a baked french toast and with the caramel it reminded me of a flan.

Pretzel Caramel Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 C milk
  • 2 1/4 C heavy cream
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 – 1 lb stale soft pretzels or bread, cubed
  • 6 tbsp caramel sauce

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl whisk eggs with brown sugar, milk, cream, vanilla, and salt.
  3. Toss pretzel cubes in custard. Pour into a 9×13″ caserole dish. Top with caramel.
  4. Bake covered for 20-30 minutes until custard is set.

*This recipe is modified from Riley at http://www.mydailymorsel.com/2013/04/09/salted-caramel-bread-pudding/ *

Bread Pudding