Sunday, February 14, 2010

Double Chocolate Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day!

I made Martha Stewart's Surprise Cookies to share with my colleagues on Friday. The recipe is from her book: Martha Stewart's Cookies (page 195). These cookies have a dense, fudgy cookie base. In the middle you'll find a gooey marshmallow and on top - more chocolate; milk chocolate frosting. I sprinkled them with nonpareils and candy hearts. They were a hit!

Y ~ squarebakery

Honey Caramels

During the first bite flavors of orange blossom honey and Mexican vanilla rush to your tastebuds, followed by a hint of fleur de sel. Buttery caramels are one of my favorite candies and after many attempts and four different recipes, this one worked!

Experiment with flavor. Try different extracts, spices and nuts with this recipe. I think I will try cinnamon and lavender, or chopped pecans next time. I will most likely dip the caramels in chocolate. Enjoy!

Y ~ sqaurebakery

What you'll need:
1 C/2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 C orange blossom honey
1 tblsp olive oil
1 C light corn syrup
1 C light brown sugar
2 C heavy cream
1 tblsp Mexican vanilla
1 tblsp fleur de sel

Line bottom and sides of a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper and spray or brush with olive oil; set aside.

Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Add honey, light corn syrup, heavy cream, olive oil and sugar and combine, stirring frequently until mixture comes to a boil.

Continue boiling, stirring frequently, until mixture reaches 250 degrees on a candy thermometer, 40 to 50 minutes. Watching the candy the entire time so it will not burn. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and a pinch of fleur de sel; pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and let mixture cool completely overnight.

When they are ready to cut, pull caramels out of the pan, using the sides of the parchment as handles, onto a cutting board. Cut into squares and enjoy with a cup of hot tea.