Something to blog about….

I have an issue. Lately, all the recipes I’ve made are either:
a) from another blog or
b) old family recipes
Due to rather annoying, yet necessary morals, rules, and regulations concerning plagiarism and/ or copyright issues, option a is not an option to blog about. Due to the high importance placed by my Southern roots on keeping family recipes secret, option b can’t pull through either. For now.
What’s a girl to do?
After some difficult thinking, I decided to bring out a recipe ripped from a magazine or cut from a newspaper or printed from a blog so long ago I can’t possibly remember where it’s from. I can’t be held responsible for copyright then, can I?
Don’t answer that question, please.
Anyway, my sister and her friends first made these delicious bars one cold and rainy afternoon, much like the weather we’ve been having lately. Since then, my sisters and I have made them for countless bakesales, birthdays, teachers, offices, and parties. Everywhere, they’re a hit. You know what they say:
Never More S’mores Bars
s'mores bars
For these yummy little things, you’ll need
-2 packages of graham crackers
-2/3 cup of butter, softened
-1 cup of brown sugar
-1 cup of sugar
-2 eggs
– 1 tsp vanilla
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp. cinnamon
-1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
-1 1/4cup mini marshmallow
-2 regular, Hershey like chocolate bars cut into squares/ rectangles

To make:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a single layer of graham crackers, broken in half. Bake for four minutes and let cool.
2. Cream the butter and sugars with an electric mixer. Add eggs and vanilla.
3. Mix in flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon until just combined.
4. Fold in chocolate chips and 1 cup of marshmallows.
5. Use a large spoon to make mounds on top of each graham cracker square.
6. Bake for five minutes, then remove and sprinkle the remaining marshmallows and the chocolate bar pieces on top.
7 Bake for another 5-7 minutes. Let cool and enjoy (or cut warm and enjoy a more gooey version:).

Yum…

Happy New Year! -Margaret

Salted Caramel Candies

caramels
We’ve created a monster. A non-living, sweet, sticky, and totally delicious one, but a monster none the least. The name of the horrifying beast? Salted caramels.Honestly, I’ve been snacking on these caramels everyday for the past week and have probably had at least fifty since Christmas.
My sister had her friend over last Sunday to whip these up. It was a bit of a mess due to their short attention span when boiling up confections but they’re addicting. Let’s just say I don’t think Anastasia will be getting her candy soon. Or ever.
We ended up bringing about thirty over on Christmas for the family and they were the first things gone. Luckily, we’d made a double batch so we had plenty left at home to tide us over until we make another batch. Which needs to be soon. The secret is the coarse salt. It brings out the sweet flavor. You can leave out the salt if you want to, but I’d advise you not to.

You’ll need:
-vegetable oil for the pan as well as parchement paper
-2 cups of heavy cream
-2 1/4 cups sugar
-6 tbls butter
-1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
-1 tsp coarse salt
-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Cover a 9 X 13 with vegetable oil, line it with parchment paper, then cover the paper with vegetable oil.
2. Boil cream, corn syrup, sugar, and butter in a LARGE saucepan on high. Reduce the heat to medium-high and let simmer, stirring occasionally until the mixture is exactly 248*.
3. Remove from heat. Stir in salt and vanilla. Pour into prepared baking sheet and let stand overnight, uncovered.
4. Transfer caramel onto a cutting board and cut into 1-by1 pieces. Wrap caramels in waxed paper.

HINT: Instead of stirring in the salt, leave it out, and once the caramel is in the pan, sprinkle it over the top.
Enjoy!

Colorful Name Tags

decorated
It’s almost here!!! With Christmas just two days away, my days are filled with baking, friends, family, and a whole lot of last minute gift wrapping. Due to my OCD qualities when it comes to presentation of gifts, I’ll spend hours mentally planning how each present will be wrapped and actually wrapping it. But I really don’t think you understand. I HATE tape on presents and so for people I know enjoy pretty wrapping (i.e. not my younger cousin who will rip it up in seconds), I’ll skip the tape and use quick-dry adhesive so the seams will be smooth. I know. I’m weird.
Other problems arise with the name tag. Ugh. I also hate it when you have a perfectly wrapped present ruined by a tag that doesn’t match. Because, honestly, the name tage is the first thing people look for.
Where can you find little pieces of thick paper in absolutely every color you’ll ever need? The paint store. After coming home with hundreds of those little strips, I realized I could only actually paint my room one color. Whatever was I to do with all the others? This is where the gift wrap comes in.
Paint Samples
Due to the immense choice of color and hue available and the small nature of the samples, you can use the samples as name tags, picking out the perfect one for your already marvelously wrapped gift. Merely cut out the sample from the strip, cover the back with thick white paper to cover up any writing, punch a whole in the corner, and voila! You’re done!
You can also dress up the front with different images. I’ll cut out pictures from magazine, use rhinestones, cut out different shapes from other colored paper, or even paint a cute design on the front to dress up a simply wrapped present.
I hope this reduces some of you holiday stress. God bless, and Merry Christmas!!!
-Margaret

P.S. I also tried my hand at Christmas card making. How do you think they turned out?
Joy, Hope, Love
Snow Card