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Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holiday Treats

You may have noticed all the Pacific Northwest bloggers have been a bit obsessed lately:

It's snowing outside!

It's still snowing outside!

It's...oh my gosh, a bus slid over the side of the freeway!

Yeah, I guess you could say we're not used to snow. Definitely not like this. And Seattle snow has a way of melting into ice before being snowed over again. But it has its good points, too, like...making caramels. I mean, come on. Would you ever have time to make caramels if you weren't snowed in with the flu and a three year old who just wants to do something?

So here's another favorite holiday treat (my modifications on a recipe from Food & Wine Magazine, ca. 1997).

Orange Vanilla Caramels

1 Tb flavorless oil
1.5 c heavy whipping cream
1 c light corn syrup
.75 c sugar
3 Tb. butter
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. pure orange extract

Line an 8" square metal baking pan with foil, extending over the sides of the pan. Coat with oil. In a 3 qt saucepan, combine cream, syrup and sugar. Stir over moderate heat until sugar is dissolved. Using a pastry brush and warm water, brush down sides of pan twice to prevent crystallization. Raise heat to med-high and place a candy thermometer into the pan. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the temp reaches 250F. Remove from heat and quickly stir in butter and flavorings. Pour into baking pan and let cool until room temp, then cut with sharp, oiled knife. Store caramels in an airtight container at room temp for up to 2 weeks (or wrap in cute little squares of waxed paper to give as gifts).

Variations: sub vanilla or other flavoring for orange, add chopped nuts, chocolate, etc., etc., etc.

Yum!! My favorite! Well, my other other other favorite.

With the combined force of snow and sick days, my La La goals have gone completely a-drift - though I did hit 1/4 of my goal and might be able to squeeze in a day when family comes to visit. I guess Creed just isn't meant to happen in December, but it is definitely meant to happen in early 2009. So with that, I'll be posting tasties and other treats for the rest of the year (and maybe even a novel update).

Happy Holidays, everyone!


  1. woah! where's keenau reeves when ya need him?!

    Caramels, well now you have found my all time candy weakness.


    Hope the little one is 100% now, poor dear.

  2. Wow...you can even make delicious caramels!

    I think many of our La La Goals have been buried in the snow. You'd think we'd be getting more done (being stuck at home and all) but not so.

    Holiday hugs!

  3. OMG! The bus! I hope everyone got off that bus okay.

    Hope the little one is better and am glad you're making progress on your writing. BTW, I'm in if you do any more 5k days after the New Year.

    And this recipe! Sounds divine.

    Happy Holidays!

  4. Wowza! I lived in Seattle for 13 years and never saw snow like this. Thanks for sharing the photos, Holly! The snow is gorgeous, but that's one scary, teetering bus photo.

    Stay warm.