Written on October 10, 2013 at 8:30 am , by BHG Guest Blogger
Emily Caruso is the food photographer, writer and cook behind the blog Jelly Toast. She has a passion for beautiful photography and creating simple, but delicious food for her family, often inspired by recipes that have been in her family for generations. When she’s not tinkering in the kitchen or hunkered down behind her camera, Emily can be found photo prop shopping, reading a great new book or spending time with her husband and two children – usually with a cup of coffee nearby.
Hi Everyone! I’m so excited to be guest posting on BHG’s Delish Dish! I have been an avid reader of Better Homes and Gardens for years and love their endless selection of scrumptious, seasonal recipes.
Fall is my favorite time of year! Every October, my family throws a huge Halloween bash, complete with spooky treats for everyone to enjoy. I came across two mouth watering apple recipes here on BHG, Dark Chocolate Dipped Apples and a classic Basic Caramel Apples and I decided to combine the two recipes into one. After adding a spooky, cobweb twist they are ready for any Halloween party.
The first thing I wanted to do was turn these full sized Basic Caramel Apples into bite sized treats. While I adore caramel apples, sometimes they can be difficult for little children to bite into, so creating a mini version was a great way to make these easy for kids to enjoy. Plus, I love any excuse to turn something mini! The process was easier than I had imagined, but there were a few tricks that I learned along the way.
I used my melon baller to scoop round bite sized pieces out of one large apple and I was able to get about 12 bites from each apple. I soaked the apple bites in a bit of lemon juice and water to prevent them from browning. An important step was to dry the bites as much as possible with a paper towel before dipping them in the melted caramel.
I simply followed the Basic Caramel Apple recipe to melt the caramel candies. To dip the apple bites in caramel, I simply rolled each bite in the bowl of melted caramel, skin side down, then placed the coated bites on some lightly buttered parchment paper. Placing them in the refrigerator helped firm the caramel up quickly. I found that the caramel stuck best to the skin of the apple and in some cases the caramel wanted to slip off the flesh of the apple. The beauty of this recipe is that the chocolate coating covered any imperfections in the caramel layer. I love that in a recipe! After the caramel was set, I inserted a stick into each bite and coated each apple bite completely in melted dark chocolate, following the steps from the Dark Chocolate Dipped Apples Recipe. I then placed them back into the refrigerator to harden the chocolate.
For the white chocolate ‘cobweb’ drizzles, I melted some white chocolate chips with a touch of coconut oil (you could use shortening instead as described here in these chocolate drizzle instructions) and placed it into a small squeeze bottle. Using the squeeze bottle to drizzle the chocolate made this step much easier! A few more minutes in the fridge and these Mini Chocolate Dipped Caramel Apples were ready to serve!
These treats can be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator until ready to serve. To jazz up these little caramel apple bites, I also made some very easy washi tape flags using washi tape and bamboo skewers.
Washi tape flags are very simple to make. I took bamboo skewers (you could also use skinny wooden popsicle sticks) that you can find in the regular grocery store and removed the sharp points with a pair of wire cutters. You could also use a sturdy pair of scissors if you don’t have a pair of wire cutters.
I chose some Halloween inspired washi tape and wrapped a 2 – 3 inch piece of washi tape around the end of each bamboo skewer to create a tab. After a quick snip to remove a small triangular piece of tape from the end of the tab, these flags were done! They add a fun and festive touch to any treat.
Everyone in my family loved these Mini Chocolate Dipped Caramel Apples! While there were a few steps to creating these spooky treats, each step was simple and the end results were delicious!
Written on August 6, 2013 at 8:30 am , by BHG Guest Blogger
Hi everyone! I’m Carrian and I’ve been writing the blog, Sweet Basil for over 5 years to inspire readers everywhere to reinvent family dinner. There’s something wonderful about walking into a home and having a burst of delicious aromas fill your nostrils. It just feels good, and it tastes even better. Recipes with a story behind them, or ones that have been passed down through generations are even better and should be discovered, cherished and passed on. We want you to join us around our dinner table where recipes come with stories of the past and present and everyone leaves full and happy.
We talk about cooking with your children all the time on our blog, but we are fully aware that it does in fact make things take a little longer. The other day our oldest wanted to bake and after I found this over-the-top delicious recipe for Dulce de Leche Fluff brownies which might just be even better eaten with dulce de leche ice cream. I mentioned that she should throw on a movie while we cooked. For one it would be like a little dessert and movie party and for two I knew it would help entertain her while I got things moving on the recipe. She was searching and found an old VHS which she read out loud, “Please be kind and remember to rewind”, which she then asked me, “What’s rewind mean?” Oh gosh, it’s official, I am old.
I couldn’t help but immediately think that the thought of rewinding movies again sounded awful. I kind of laughed to myself as I remembered a string bean 11 year old version of myself writing a report on “compact Discs” using the encyclopedia. Anyway, I got back to the matter at hand, brownies. I had her read me the recipe once over so we knew what all we needed and when I realized that we would be heating the chocolate in a pan I thought, ugh I’ll just let it cool a little more and use a bigger pot so we can mix everything in the pot and they can be a one pot wonder brownies because no one wants to clean multiple dishes!
So, we started the Dulce de Leche Brownies by melting the chocolate and butter in a large sauce pan over low heat. Low and slow, folks, low and slow to create a smooth and shiny chocolate. Then we pulled the pot off of the heat and let it cool for a few minutes before moving on to our next step. We love that this recipe uses real chocolate and melts it all down first. It provides a better flavor and texture to your brownies. So worth it.
Isn’t the chocolate just silky and beautiful? Gosh, if it was sweetened I would have been so tempted to stick a strawberry in it. Anyway, we then added the sugar and then the eggs one by one. Please, don’t rush ahead and dump them all in. It truly will be harder to incorporate the eggs into the chocolate. Then the vanilla and finally we added the flour, but placed the baking soda on top and lightly stirred just the flour mixture together to help the baking soda filter through before we folded the flour into the chocolate. You do need to be a little careful, but it’s quite easy.
Next you dump in the chocolate chips, we used milk chocolate versus semi sweet because we knew it was already going to be a semi sweet, rich brownie, so why not? Now just line your pan with foil, spray with nonstick spray and pour in the batter. Bake these darlings at 350 for 20-25 minutes and remove the pan (not just the brownies and foil) to a wire rack.
Dollop the jar of marshmallow fluff and dulce de leche (yes, I may have “accidentally” gotten my finger in the can of dulce de leche and I just had to eat it because, well because I “do got time for that!”) and allow it to melt all over the hot brownies. Using a knife, swirl the marshmallow fluff and dulce de leche (remember how popular swirled desserts used to be? Swirled caramel chocolate cake, swirled cream cheese brownies, etc…)and then top with nuts like the recipe calls for.
Or let your kids decide. They will feel so special that you trust them and they get to be creative (sometimes I offer 4-5 ideas so things don’t turn weird). Ours chose Oreos instead so that’s what we did.
We absolutely loved these brownies. They are crazy delicious, super rich, and so fun for the kids to help out with since it includes ingredients they find fun and exciting. You may want to keep a glass of milk on hand to help wash it all down, because these really do have so much going on, but trust me you’ll have a hard time saying no to a second piece.
Thanks everyone! Come say hi anytime! Sweet Basil
Written on July 2, 2013 at 9:30 am , by BHG Guest Blogger
Teri Lyn Fisher is a photographer whose work has appeared in Rue, Anthology, and HGTV Magazine. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, Jenny Park is a food sytlist, recipe writer, and professional eater. Her clients include Kellogg’s, HGTV and Del Taco . Together, Teri and Jenny love to fill their blog Spoon Fork Bacon with recipes, drinks, and pretty pictures. They live in sunny Los Angeles.
When summer rolls around there is nothing we love more than making sweet cold treats. We love this recipe because it marries sweet with salty. Why candied bacon?…why not?…right?!
Salted Caramel and Candied Bacon Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 lb bacon, cooked and roughly crumbled/chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
ice cream base:
2 1/3 cups heavy cream
1¼ cups whole milk
5 egg yolks
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
¾ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 recipe ice cream base
1. Place the butter in a medium sauté pan, over medium heat and melt. Add the bacon and stir. Sprinkle both sugars over the bacon and continuously stir until the sugar melts, about 5 to 7 minutes.
2. In a single layer, pour the bacon onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and set aside to cool.
3. For the ice cream base: Pour cream and milk into a saucepan and bring up to a scale (medium heat).
4. Place the egg yolks and sugar into a stand mixer and whip until light yellow and fluffy. Pour ½ cup of the scaling cream mixture into the yolk mixture and whisk to prevent scrambling.
5. Pour the yolk mixture into the saucepan with the remaining cream and milk, whisking to prevent scrambling. Turn the heat down to medium-low and stir continuously until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, 8 to 10 minutes.
6. Stir in the vanilla extract and strain through a fine sieve.
7. Pour the mixture into a bowl and place over an ice bath and set side until fully chilled. Once the ice cream base has completely chilled, make the salted caramel.
8. For the salted caramel: Place the sugar, water and Karo syrup into a saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Do not stir.
9. Once the sugar melts and becomes an amber color, 10-15 minutes, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cream (be careful, the mixture will bubble up). Stir the sea salt and vanilla into the caramel and stir until smooth.
10. Pour the mixture into a bowl and place over a water bath until completely chilled.
11. Stir the chilled ice cream base and salted caramel together, into a large bowl until completely combined.
12. Set up the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions and freeze the ice cream. Ten minutes before the ice cream is ready, pour the candied bacon into the churning ice cream. Once the ice cream has reached the desired consistency serve or place into an airtight container until ready to use.