Thursday, February 24, 2011

kettle corn 101...

{a little sweet, a little salty}

anyone who knows me knows that i don't ever crave movie popcorn, but i am not kidding anyone if i say i don't love myself some kettle corn! it's a must from the farmers market every saturday! too bad the farmers market doesn't go year round here!
well, no worries- now i can make a batch, or 5:), everyday.(i really did make 5 batches yesterday!)
you don't have to have this little gem that i use, but it will make it much easier & it's not expensive. i got me first Whirley Pop almost 10 years ago as a wedding present from my high school humanities teacher, Mrs. Olsen. i love her! i have since had to invest in another on, but i couldn't live without it. i know you can order them online, but even Bed, Bath & Beyond carries them. so save that 20% off coupon that you throw away every week & go get one;) enough with the dialog- here's the info!

{kettle corn recipe}

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/2-1 tsp. salt- to taste
1/3 cup popcorn kernels

over high heat, dump all ingredients into the whirley pop. close lid & turn crank.
let sit until it starts to pop. turn crank until finished popping, only about 30 seconds.
pour into heatproof bowl. let cool completely. add more salt if needed.
enjoy, share & repeat:)

Friday, February 4, 2011

perfect valentine dessert!...

seriously?!?! candy on a cookie crust! a lady in my neighborhood brought me one of these & i was totally obsessed! i love the richness, but that it's not overly sweet. i love the salt on it & the contrast of smooth ganache, chewy caramel & crumbly crust. i think that it truly is the perfect valentine dessert! & it really is simple... i promise!

{ salted chocolate & caramel tart}


1 bag chocolate teddy grahams, blend to crumbs
(will be about 2 1/2 cups crumbs)
3/4 cup butter, melted

combine in a small bowl. mix until all cookie crumbs are moistened with butter. press into standard tart pan. bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes or until crust looks dry.
set aside to cool.

Caramel filling~

i just use my standard caramel recipe, but only cook to 230 degrees. if you don't have it...
here it is.

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup sugar

1 cup butter

1 1/2 cups light corn syrup

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a heavy sauce pan mix milk, sugar, butter, corn syrup & salt. Stir continually over medium heat until reaches bottom of firm ball stage- 230 degrees on candy thermometer. This will take a little while. Be patient!!!

remove from heat & add vanilla. pour onto cooled crust. about 2/3-3/4 full. set aside.

** this recipe makes enough for 2 tarts. or you can pour the rest on to waxed paper & cut into squares & eat:)

{semi-sweet chocolate ganache}

6 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp butter

in a small sauce pan, over medium heat, cook chocolate & cream until smooth & melted. remove from heat. add butter & stir. pour over caramel layer.

chill in fridge at least 45 minutes before cutting. top with kosher salt before serving.
**salt to taste. i like a little more than you might think- not too much though.
i promise though! the salt really makes it so much better!

happy V-day! hope your lovies like this one, i know all mine do!