Safety Tips for Candy Making

 

Boiling sugar

Safety first should always be your motto when making candy. Since the base of most candy is made with boiling sugar, safety precautions are an absolute necessity when making candy. Melted sugar is extremely hot – 300° F, or more. Painful, severe burns can result if the mixture is mishandled.

 

The following 10 safety tips can be very useful:

  • No small children or pets allowed in the cooking area
  • Stay alert – avoid distractions, they cause accidents. Avoid trying to multi-task when o making candy.
  • Place a clean, moist cloth nearby so you can wipe away spills quickly so that you do not accidentally touch hot spilled drops.
  • Keep a cup of ice water nearby to reduce the potential damage in case boiling sugar does burn you.
  • Always use the back burners for cooking candy. This increase the distance between you and the hot boiling candy.
  • Never taste candy until it has cooled for a sufficient amount of time. No matter how much you blow on it, the core will still be hot.
  • Use the right mixing tools. Thick wooden spoons with long handles are recommended because they do not conduct hear. (Never use metal spoons)
  • Use a long-handled wooden mixing spoon and a heavy oven mitt when adding ingredients to boiling sugar. The surface will release a burst of steam – enough to burn your hands. Also, stand back as far as possible to protect your face from the steam.
  • Use a pair of thick oven mitts for transferring the candy from one place to another.
  • Always keep the cooking pot as far away from your face and chest as possible. The steam is as hot as the candy and can do even more damage when it comes in contact with your skin. This is very important when you are transferring the pot from one place to another; and when you are pouring the mixture into another container – and as noted before, when adding ingredients to the mixture.

Candy making can be a delightful and memory-making experience for you and your children, but it should always be done with great care! These safety tips taken from my book, Candy Making Made Easy, will not only guard your children from potential dangers, but you as well.

There are some great candy recipes that can be made with younger children that do not involve boiling sugar such as Milk Chocolate Clusters and Homemade Chocolate Truffles, two recipes that can be found in my cookbook, Candy Making Made Easy.

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake Recipe


Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake - Photo

This Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake recipe is one of those rare desserts that will please almost everyone, especially the children. I promise, if you like chocolate, you will love this cake.

Ingredients

CAKE

  • 8 ounces chocolate chips (small package)
  • ½ teaspoon liquor, such as bourbon, or Scotch*
  • 1 ½ cups flour (plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1¼ cups dark brown sugar (packed)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoon cinnamon

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 5 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened (do not use margarine)
  • 5½ ounces cream cheese, softened slightly (chilled works better)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

THE CAKE

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Butter the sides and bottom of a 9″x13″ baking pan.
  • Toss chocolate chips with liquor* in a small bowl.
  • Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour over the chips and toss until coated. Set aside.
  • Heat 1¼ cups water to boiling.
  • Place the oats and butter in a large bowl.
  • Pour boiling water over oat mixture. Wait 30 seconds and stir to moisten oats and melt the butter.
  • Set aside for 25-30 minutes.
  • Whisk eggs, sugars, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.
  • Fold in oatmeal, stirring until well combined. Fold in remaining flour, and then stir in chocolate chips.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes.

THE FROSTING

  • Beat butter until smooth. Add cream cheese and beat until combined.
  • Beat in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract until smooth (about 1 minute).
  • Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Spread a thin layer of frosting over cake.
  • Chill for 15 minutes before serving.
  • Store covered cake in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Servings: 18                                                                                                                         
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Recipe Tips

You can experiment with liquor choices. Frangelico is very good.

For more delicious desserts, get my cookbook: DESSERT – 50 Scrumptious Recipes  [button bg_color=”#c72e36″]Get Your Copy NOW![/button]

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World’s Best Cheesecake Recipe

 

Cheesecake recipe - photo

This incredibly easy and delicious cheesecake recipe is one of my family’s favorite desserts – always part of our holiday meals and most birthdays. It is lovely for a nice family dinner and perfect for entertaining. Serve it plain with a little fruit garnish, top with a fruit sauce, or drizzle with chocolate.  Be creative, and enjoy every bite. It is absolutely the World’s Best Cheesecake Recipe.  

Ingredients

GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST

24 graham crackers squares, crushed

6 tablespoons real butter

¼ cup sugar

CHEESECAKE FILLING

4 (3-oz) packages cream cheese, softened

½ cup sugar

2 large eggs

½ lemon (juice only), hand squeezed

TOPPING

1 cup sour cream (½ pint)

1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 350° F.

MAKE THE CRUST

Place crackers in a heavy plastic bag and roll with a rolling pin until finely crushed. (This should be done in small batches).

Place 1½ cups of the graham crackers crumbs in a medium-sized bowl.

Add sugar and mix thoroughly.

Melt butter in the microwave.

Stir in the melted butter and blend with your hands.

Press the mixture into a 9” pie plate.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes – let cool while mixing the filling.

Alternate Crust: Bake packaged prepared graham cracker crust in hot over 400º F. for 5 minutes – set aside to cool.

MAKE THE FILLING

With a hand electric mixer, blend the following: cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and lemon juice. Mix until smooth.

Pour into graham cracker crust.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes – center should be a little soft (DO NOT OVERCOOK).

Cool for 15-20 minutes on wire rack

MAKE THE TOPPING

Increase the oven temperature to 400º F.

Blend the sour cream, 1 tablespoon sugar and vanilla.

Carefully cover the cream cheese pie with the topping. Be sure the topping touches the edges of the crust.

Bake 5 to 7 minutes (do not overcook).

Cool and refrigerate overnight before serving

Servings: 8

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Taken from my cookbook, Desserts – 50 Scrumptious Recipes.

The Great American Cookbook Project

[typography font=”Myriad Pro” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]Help Us Compile the Best Cookbook Ever![/typography] Cookbook with wooden spoon (pink)

The goal is to collect the best recipes from every state and region of the United States and publish a fabulous cookbook – The Great American Cookbook – that will become an heirloom for mothers to pass to their children. I am inviting YOU and all your friends to participate in this project.  I am looking for family favorites, recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation, regional and cultural specialties, new recipes that you have just discovered, and any other types of recipes that you love.

I also encourage you to include a story about the recipe – how did you find the recipe, why do you love it, when do you use it, etc.

[typography font=”Myriad Pro” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#d11e50″]Start posting your favorite recipes TODAY![/typography] 

[button bg_color=”#d11e50“]Share Your Recipes[/button]

As I receive them, I will prepare (and test) many of them myself and invite readers to prepare them, as well and give us their impressions.  Together we will find the best of the best.

I have no idea how large the book will be, it is all up to you.  The goal is to have at least one recipe from every state and major region of the United States in each of the four basic categories:

  • Breakfast 
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Dessert

We’ll see where the recipes take us! I am excited and I hope you will be too.

Send your recipes today.  You can submit as many entries as you like.

Prizes will be given for the winners of all contests that are run in connection with the development of the book.

Complete details will be posted at a later date. Just know that if your recipe is included, you will receive credit.

It would be great to have this ready by Mother’s Day 2014!  Let’s make that a reality.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Nancy N. Wilson

[typography font=”Myriad Pro” size=”16″ size_format=”px” color=”#b03510“] [print_link][/typography]

PAVLOVA – A Most Delectable Dessert Recipe

Pavlova Dessert

This simple meringue cake, with a crispy outside and a soft marshmallow-like inside, is served with fresh whipped cream and fruit on top – a heavenly dessert with a delicate balance of flavors and textures. It is the perfect dessert for a summer barbecue.

New Zealand and Australia both claim they invented the Pavlova, and both countries name it as one of their national dishes. We do know that the dessert was named in honor of the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who toured New Zealand and Australia in 1926.  it is said that she especially enjoyed the delightful confection during her trip.

The recipe was contributed to Grandparents.com by from Jane M. of Sydney, Australia. A mother of four and a grandmother to five, Jane makes this dessert on special occasions, always to rave reviews from her family. She serves it with passion fruit, although kiwis, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries work just fine as well.

I tried it and found it to be so delectable that I had to pass it on to all of you.

[typography font=”Myriad Pro” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#cc0a3b”]Ingredients:[/typography]

THE MERINGUE
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup superfine sugar
Parchment paper

THE WHIPPED CREAM
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1½ tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, sifted
Fresh fruit

 

[typography font=”Myriad Pro” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#cc0a3b”]Directions:[/typography]

THE MERINGUE

Preheat oven to 275º F.

Combine vinegar and vanilla in a small bowl – set aside.

In a large bowl, begin beating egg whites on low speed; gradually increase speed until egg whites form soft peaks.

Add sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks begin to form.

Add vinegar mixture and beat until meringue is glossy and stiff.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle a few drops of water on top.

Spoon meringue onto cookie sheet in a circular heap, and with back of a spoon, make a shallow “well” in the middle.

Reduce oven temperature to 250º and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, until the outside is crisp but still white in color.

Gently lift meringue from sheet and cool on wire rack.

THE WHIPPED CREAM

Combine heavy cream, vanilla, and confectioner’s sugar in large bowl and mix on low speed.

Gradually increase speed as cream thickens.

Spoon cream into well of the Pavlova and top with fresh fruit such as kiwis, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries.

Serves 6

[typography font=”Myriad Pro” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#cc0a3b”]Recipe Tips:[/typography]

  • To make the cream stiffen faster – be sure the cream, bowl, and beaters are well chilled before beating.
  • When beating egg whites, bowl and beaters should be clean and free of oil.

 

For more amazing desserts, get my cookbook: DESSERT – 50 Scrumptious Recipes  [button bg_color=”#c72e36″]Get Your Copy NOW![/button]

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Eat Well – Be Well – Live Well

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