Fantastic Bake Along – Crazy Caramels

Wait–Did I say Caramels? Yes, I did! This week I learned to make my first ever batch of gluten free/Vegan candy. I am happy to report that they turned out to be quite good!

I want to thank this month’s star baker, AJ @ A Petite Slice of Life for the fun adventure!

I really liked how few of ingredients were needed to make this recipe.

The recipe didn’t call for nuts, but at my house, we put nuts in almost everything. What can I say? We are all nuts around here:)!

I put the ingredients, minus the nuts and vanilla in my cooking pan and started to heat the sugar up.

It started clear, went to bubbly, and finally to cloudy. I added the vanilla at the end.

I put a cup or two of chopped nuts in the bottom of a greased baking pan.

I then poured the hot mixture over the nuts. It was weird, but the oil kind of separated, and I could not get it to combine into the caramel.

So… I just threw it out. That was a lot of oil!

Oh well, I placed the pan in the fridge and waited for an hour or so. When I pulled it out, the caramel was crisp and had a pretty white coconut oil coating.

It was very easy to get out of the pan by just turning the pan over and tapping it on the counter. It came out in one piece. Yea!

I enlisted the help of my favorite, cute husband with the cutting of the caramel because of my cast. He did a spectacular job!

He cut them into small, bite sized pieces. I think this was the key. If they are too big, you can’t put them all in your mouth at one time. They are quite sticky, so I liked not having to try to bite into them..

Once again, this was a FANTASTIC Bake Along. In fact, you might say that it was SWEET! If any of you are interested in trying your hand at Caramels, you can find the recipe here.

Thank you so much for dropping by today. I hope you have a moment or two to see how the other bakers fared in their kitchen’s this week:)

Until next time,

Fantastic Bake Along — Crazy for Caramel!

I am so very happy to say it is FANTASTIC BAKE ALONG time again! After taking last month off due to wrist surgery, this is a real treat!:). I missed getting together and having our virtual Bake Along where we all Bake the same recipe and actually smell and taste the same yummy things. It is such delicious fun!

This month’s star baker is AJ @A Petite Slice of Life . I have been looking forward to when AJ would be the star baker because she is a gluten free – dairy free baker, and I have always wondered about how she changes our recipes to fit her active, healthy life style. Now is our chance!

AJ has chosen Crazy for Caramels as this month’s Bake/Cook. Yum! Yum! Yum! I haven’t made caramels for years now. These are going to be delicious! Why don’t you join along in the fun? Here is how–

AJ’s recipe comes from a book called “Sweet Eats for All” by Allyson Kramer. It focuses on Gluten Free Cooking.

Crazy for Caramels-

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canned full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup or agave
  • 1/2 cup non dairy margarine or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Grease a baking dish or pan. The smaller the base, the thicker your caramel pieces will be. Place sugar, coconut milk and corn syrup into a heavy 2-3quart saucepan. It needs at least 6” of side as the mixture will bubble up. Over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, dissolve the sugar completely. Once dissolved, add the margarine and stir until just boiling. Once the mixture is boiling, stop stirring. Let the mixture continue boiling without stirring until it reaches 245-250F on a candy thermometer or the firm ball stage if using the cold water method (about 15-20 minutes). When the mixture is the right temperature, remove from the heat and immediately stir in the vanilla extract and pour into your prepared dish. Let cool to room temperature and then slip into your fridge for an hour. Just before cutting, pop it into the freezer for a few minutes to make it less sticky to cut. Once firm, cut the caramels into 20 pieces. Wrap the candies in waxed paper and store in the fridge or a cool, dry place for up to a month.

———

And that’s it! Now it is time to go to the store and gather up my non-dairy items to try my hand at non dairy caramels. I’m excited! I hope the other bakers are too.

Here is a list of bakers who have participated in the past.

Please let me know if you are in for this month’s Bake/Cook! I can’t wait until Saturday:)❤️❤️

Fantastic Bake Along- Ode to CHOCOLATE!

I am so excited about this month’s Bake Along! Tami over at Tanglewood Knots is our star baker this month and has chosen an “Ode to Chocolate” Bake. SWEET!!!

Tami would like us all to bake our favorite chocolate recipes and share a few pictures and the recipe with the rest of us. She has included a recipe on her blog for Peppermint Patties to get you excited:)

Tami’s yummy Peppermint Patties

She has lots of pictures and instructions here.

Don’t you think chocolate is the perfect bake for the month of February and Valentines Day? We would LOVE to have you join us! Here is how:

Here is the list of bakers who have joined in the past. We look forward to baking along together again❤️.

Tami @Tanglewood Knots

Tracy @It’s a T-Sweets Day!

Lucia @Crochet, Knit, and More

Connie @Connie’s Creations

AJ @A Petite Slice of Life

Marcia @Una Regiaen Bicicleta

Rebecca @Twinklehook

Abbey @Three Cats and a Girl

Susan @Granny Smith Quilting

Kathy@Sewing Etc.

Tina @Kristabella’s Hodgepodge

Brenna @ Crochet539

Emma @Emma Crafts Design

Kate @ Life, Tea,and Everything

Please let me know if you are in for an Ode To Chocolate this week everyone! I can’t wait until Saturday:)❤️❤️

Fantastic Bake Along Results— Mary Berry Gingersnaps

I am so excited to have made my first Mary Berry recipe! These Ginger Snaps were the perfect start to my British Baking!

This month’s Fantastic Star Baker was Rebecca @Twinklehook and she chose these fun little Gingersnaps as our monthly bake. It was funny how I kept thinking about how fun it would be to be on the Bake-off Show and if Mary and Paul would have approved of my Bake:). Lol!

I even broke down and tried my hand at actually weighing my ingredients! Can you believe it?

I didn’t have the golden syrup or cast sugar so I used Karo syrup and extra fine cane sugar instead.

I was very, very surprised with how small the dough was! I am used to a bowl that is almost filled to the brim with dough. No wonder Mary has stayed so trim:)!

Even though the dough was small, there was enough dough for 12 walnut sized balls. I made three exactly as the recipe instructed, and three that I rolled in sugar because that is how I always make cookies, and then I added a pecan to six of them because I live in a pecan grove and we add nuts to everything!

I baked mine for less than the 15 min suggested in the recipe. I baked mine for 14 min. Which is longer than I normally would have, but I wanted a crisp snap to my cookie with no soggy bottom:)

They were certainly crisp! I would call mine a definite dipping cookie because I could barely bite into it! Lol:)! Maybe I should have taken them out at about 11 minutes.

It didn’t really matter though. The taste was so scrummy! I especially like the kick of heat at the end because of the ginger. They would be so good with a cup of milk or hot chocolate.

Here is the recipe if you want to try your own Mary Berry Gingersnaps

I’m excited to see how the other baker’s cookies turned out!

Kathy @Sewing etc.

Tina @Kristabella’s Hodgepodge

Brenna @ Crochet539

Emma @Emma Crafts Design

Kate @ Life, Tea,and Everything

Tami @Tanglewood Knots

Tracy @It’s a T-Sweets Day!

AJ @A Petite Slice of Life

Rebecca @Twinklehook

It has been so fun baking with you today. Thank you once again, Rebecca, for the recipe!

Fantastic Bake Along – Mary Berry Gingersnaps

Hello everyone! It is Fantastic Bake Along time again. Yea!!

Each month it is fun to get together and have a virtual Bake Along where we can all Bake the same recipe and actually smell and taste the yummy things we see online. It is such delicious fun!

This month’s star baker is Rebecca @Twinklehook. Rebecca has chosen to make Ginger Snaps by Mary Berry, one of the judges on “The Great British Bake Off”. How did Rebecca know that I absolutely LOVE that show?! I’m so excited to actually try one of her recipes!

Why don’t you join along? Here is how —

Now for the recipe—-

Mary Berry’s Ginger Snaps

  • 60g butter plus extra for greasing
  • 90g golden syrup
  • 125g self raising flour
  • 2tsp ground ginger
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1tbsp caster sugar
  1. Grease baking trays
  2. Combine butter, golden syrup in a small sauce pan and heat until melted. Leave to cool slightly.
  3. Sift flour, spices and bicarb into bowl. Stir in sugar, add the cooled syrup mix and stir to make a soft but not sticky dough.
  4. Roll dough into balls of the size of walnuts and Place well apart on baking tray, flatten the balls slightly.
  5. Bake in preheated oven 190 degrees for about 15 minutes.

There you have it. I know that many of you will be baking in cups instead of grams so here is a link to a convertion chart on allrecipes.com.

Rebecca has lots of great pictures and directions on her blog so be sure to head over and check it out. They look so yummy!

It’s roll call time bakers! Will you be joining us again this month? I hope so:)❤️❤️❤️

I look forward to seeing how these SWEET Ginger Snaps bake up in your kitchens this week!

See you on Saturday!❤️❤️

Fantastic Bake Along -Cherry Tart Results

I had such a fun time with this month’s Cherry Tarts Bake Along:). I made 18 Tarts and they were all gone in an evening. I will tell you that story in a little bit.

First, I just have to show you my favorite way to serve Tarts at our house– on Santa’s back!

Don’t worry Santa, they don’t stay there long:). They get eaten almost as fast as I put them out!

This first batch of Tarts was oh so yummy. I like how the crust to frosting ratio really makes them so SWEET! I also think the color is very festive as well.

Ok, now for the story. — You may think we had 10 or 11 People over to help with the task of eating all of the Tarts …no, there were just a few of us. It went like this:

We have a good friend who comes over two or three times a week and happened to come by the night I made the Tarts. He was the lucky taster of the first tart.

Being the kind mother that I am, I sent this picture to my children announcing the eating of the first tart of Christmas:). Within minutes my son, daughter in law, and grandson were at my house to join in the tart celebration.

The Tarts didn’t stand a chance. They were gone in no time. You can bet I will be making more of these before our Family Christmas parties:)

Thank you for dropping by today and reading about our crazy family tart adventure:). I am excited to head over and see how the other bakers fared in their kitchens. I wonder if Tarts will become part of their family traditions too?

If you would like to make up a batch of Tarts for your family, the recipe can be found here.

Have a wonderful rest of your day!

Fantastic Bake Along -Cherry Tarts

It’s Christmas time and things are definitely going full steam around my house right now. I bet it is the same around your house too. So for this month’s Bake Along I decided to save the stress on someone else and I would be the host.

I realize that many of you will be too busy to join along. I get it, it’s busy. BUT if you do have an afternoon free for baking this week, I hope you will consider trying these absolutely wonderful, divine, fantastic Cherry Tarts.

This picture was taken a few years back. As you can see, my kids LOVE Cherry Tarts!

This picture was taken a few years ago. As you can see, my son absolutely LOVES Cherry Tarts!”

I warn you in advance though, once you make them, they will become a Christmas must each year like they are in my house!❤️😊

If you are interested in joining in the fun, here is how to do it:

Easy, right?! Just comment that you want to join along and you are in:)❤️. Now for the recipe:

Cherry TartsRecipe by Tracy @It’s a T-Sweets Day!Yields 18 Tarts Ingredients:

  • 1 can of cherry pie filling
  • 2.5″ Round cookie cutter

Crust:

  • 1 1/4c shortening
  • 3c flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2T vinegar
  • 1/3c cold water

Icing:

  • 2c powdered sugar
  • 1/4c milk
  • 1tsp vanilla

Directions: Make crust by cutting shortening, flour, and salt together using a pastry cutter or two knives. The shortening should be about pea sized. In a small bowl combine the egg, vinegar, and water. Add to the flour mixture. Mix until combined. If you need more pictures and directions on making pie crust, I have a more detailed recipe here.  Flour your counter top and roll the dough all out about 1/8″ -1/4″ thick.

With a round cookie cutter, cut as many circles as will fit in the dough. Place one or two cherries in the center of half of the circles. Less really is more with these Tarts.img_2388 Place the other half of the circles on top of the cherries and seal the edges with a fork.

img_2387 I have been making tarts for many years, so I have purchased a Pampered Chef Cut-n-Seal to help me seal the tarts.  It is easy to use and makes the tarts look very pretty, but it doesn’t make them taste any better 🙂

img_2386 Place the tarts on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350* for 30min. Some of the filling may ooze out a bit, that is fine. Make icing by combining milk, sugar and vanilla. Glaze warm tarts.

Finished! These Tarts are SWEET❤️❤️!

Thank you so much for dropping by today. I hope you will be joining us as we bake for Christmas:). Here is the list of those who have joined along in the past:

I am excited for Saturday! It’s going to be a delicious day:)!!

Fantastic Bake Along- Celebrating the Apple Results🍎

Good morning! This FANTASTIC BAKE ALONG has been so much fun:)! I appreciate Connie @Connie’s Creations for her inspiration Applesauce Cake:). Several of the bakers said they would be making this recipe for the Bake Along.  Yum!!  Apples are delicious and so very “Fall”.

This month is a “share your favorite apple recipe” month. We have a tradition around our house called “pre-Thanksgiving pie”. We like to make a few pies early and enjoy them because we are usually too full after the feast to really enjoy dessert. So why not start the week with a few pies to make our celebration last longer? It works for us:)!

This is my Award Winning Crusty Topped Apple Pie. I entered this recipe in our county fair a few years back, and won the Best of Show over all of the food entries! It is that good:)

Before I start, I want to share my feelings on Apple pie fillings. You may have different views on pie filling, but these are mine and really work for me — I do not believe that fresh cut, uncooked apples should be used in pies as filling. They shrink and add water to the filling making it runny and leaving the pie flat. Some pies even have a large gap between the crust and the filling due to shrinkage.

So… I only use canned apples for my pies. I am including my canning recipe here as well, but really any high quality canned apple filling will do for this pie. The crust and yummy topping really are what make it so delicious.

Here is the recipe:

Award Winning Crusty Topped Apple Pie Recipe by- Tracy @ It’s a T-Sweets Day!

Part 1- Crust

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4c shortening
  • 3c flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2T vinegar
  • 1/3c cold water

Directions:

Cut first 3 ingredients together using a pastry cutter or two knives. The shortening should be about pea sized. In a small bowl combine the egg, vinegar, and water. Add to the flour mixture.

Mix with a fork and then your hands just until moist and the pastry sticks together. Be careful not to over mix. If your pastry is too dry, add a bit more vinegar, like 1 tsp. Form the pastry into two balls, place in a bag, and store in the refrigerator for about 30 min.

Lay a tea towel out on your counter and dust it with flour. Flatten one dough ball with your hand a bit and then roll the dough into a circle larger than your pie pan. Dust the pin and dough with flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Put your rolling pin at the end of the dough closest to you and lift the tea towel causing the crust to roll over the rolling pin.

Lift the pin with the rolled dough over the pie pan and unroll the crust over the pan. Easy easy!:)

Lift the edge of the crust a bit and pinch the crust with your thumb and first two fingers. You will get a beautiful scalloped edge.

Part 2- Filling and Topping

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts Apple Pie Filling of your choice (my recipe is below)
  • 3/4c sugar
  • 3/4c flour
  • 3/4c melted butter
  • 2tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Spoon the pie filling evenly into the crust. It should reach to the bottom of the scalloped edges. In a medium bowl combine the melted butter with the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Stir until well combined.

Gently press the topping evenly over the apples all around the pie. Place the pie on a baking sheet. This is an important step because it really drips! Bake at 350* for 1 hour. Your house is going to smell so good!

Take it out and admire your beautiful pie for a few minutes as it cools.

Just look at that flaky crust:). Be sure to cut a slice to eat while it is still hot out of the oven. It tastes best that way:)❤️

Done! I made that whole pie, minus the baking time, in about 30min. Ah, the joy of canning my apples beforehand:).

For those of you who would like my Apple pie filling recipe, here it is:

Canned Apple Pie Fillingrecipe by Tracy @It’s a T-Sweets Day!
Ingredients  :

  • 9 c water
  • 4 1/2c sugar
  • 1/2c light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1c cornstarch
  • 3 Tbs lemon juice
  • 3/4c flour
  • 6 lb apples, peeled and cored

In a large sauce pan, combine the first seven ingredients. Stir until bubbly and thick. Turn off heat. Add lemon juice and flour. Stir to combine. Stir in apples. Pack apple filling into sterilized quart jars, leaving 1″ at top. Wipe rims and place lids on jars. Process in a hot water bath for 30min. Makes 7 quarts<<
ere you go! I hope you will give this award winning recipe a try sometime. You will not be sorry!

I am so excited to hear how the other baker’s fared with their apple recipes. Here is the list of bakers who said they would be joining in this month’s Bake Along:

Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you all enjoy the delicious apple recipes. For those of you in the States, Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m off to check out the other SWEET recipes😊

Fantastic Bake Along- Celebrating the Apple!

A few weeks back, Connie @Connie’s Creations shared her Apple Sauce Cake on her blog.

Connie’s picture of her Applesauce Cake

It looked so yummy that she totally inspired me to think about Fall treats and the delicious taste and smell of apples cooking in the kitchen. I thought that with Thanksgiving right around the corner here in the States, it might be fun to share our favorite APPLE recipe this month. Who knows? There may be one or two new recipes we might want to add to our Thanksgiving feast!

Choose your favorite recipe or give Connie’s delicious Apple Sauce Cake a try, and post about it this coming Saturday. Doesn’t that sound fun?!

We would love to have YOU join in the fun too. Here is how:

My family has an award winning Crusty Topped Apple Pie that will be baking in my kitchen this week. They will be so happy! We call that Pre-Thanksgiving Pie❤️❤️

Here is a list of the bakers who have joined in the past or said they would like to Bake Along with us this month:

I really do hope you will join us in this month’s Fantastic Bake Along. It is going to be SWEET!

Fantastic Bake Along! – Chili/Chocolate Bread Results

Oh my, oh my!   I LOVE this bread recipe!!  If you like spicy chocolate, which I do, you are going to love this recipe too:)!

This month’s star baker, Tina over @ Kristabella’s Hodgepodge, chose this scrumptious Chili/Chocolate Bread for our Bake Along.  She wrote the recipe herself.  Great job Tina!  Yum yum:)!!👏❤️

The recipe was designed for a bread maker, but I made mine with my kitchenaid and oven. I doubled the recipe and  added a 1/4 cup more of water because it was a bit dry.   

After letting the machine knead the dough for 3-4 min. and after a few hand kneads as well, my dough looked like this:


I placed it in a warm oven and let it rise for about an hour.  I took it out and rolled it out.

But because it had been in a warm oven, the chocolate chips melted a bit.  Oh well, a little chocolate on my hands and the counter was no problem. I rolled up the dough cinnamon roll style (I do all of my bread this way), cut it in half and placed them in the pans.  After a second rising,  I baked the bread at 350 for 30 minutes.

When the bread came out it looked so SWEET!


It looked all marbley, and chocolaty.  I really just wanted to look at it a minute or two and admire the swirls of Chocolate:)

I cut into the loaf and buttered a slice while it was nice and hot out of the oven.

The chocolate was just oozing like a chocolate chip cookie.  I couldn’t hardly wait to take a bite.

It was Delicious chocolaty Bread goodness.  At first I was a bit disappointed that all I could taste was the chocolate and butter.  But wait….there it is!  At the end, after the last bite, the ever so slight heat from the chili powder came through!  If you want a stronger bite of chili, I would recommend doubling the chili:)


There you have it.  This is a  totally SWEET recipe for Chili/Chocolate Bread,  if you want to cook up a loaf or two for your family, you can find the recipe on Tina’s blog here, or on my blog here.

I am so excited to see how the other bakers fared with their bread this week.  Here is the list of those who said they would be joining us:

Thank you so much for dropping by today.  I hope you will join us on our next baking adventure. Just comment that you would like to join in, and I will add your name to the list.  It is always so fun to Bake Along with friends❤️.  Don’t forget to post your results on Instagram #fantasticbakealong .

Until next time, I’m off to eat another slice of delicious bread!