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— Brownies

Ok, get ready to throw out every other brownie recipe you have.  Make room in the trash for all of those cheap, yucky boxes of brownies in your pantry. Here is the golden mother of all brownie recipes.  It is THE ONLY brownie I am willing to indulge calories on!

This month’s FANTASTIC BAKE ALONG star baker, was Tami over at Tanglewood Knots, She asked us to make our favorite chocolate recipes. SWEET! I knew right away which recipe I would share.

Many years ago, our good friends and neighbors, the Tylers (thus the name), brought us a plate of these delicious brownies for a party we were having. Oh…my…goodness!!      –They were so good that I got the recipe and have not wasted my time on any other kind since.  I literally take a bite of the others and just throw them away because nothing else compares with these magnificent bites of flaky topped, moist centered, chocolate bits of heaven.

Ok, you get it. They are wonderful:)  Some may say that nuts are optional, but in our family that would be a  crime worth jail time!

Here is the recipe:

Tyler Brownies–

Ingredients:

  • • 1c butter –not margarine
  • • 5 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • • 2c sugar
  • • 3 eggs
  • • 2 tsp vanilla
  • • 1 1/2c flour
  • • *optional 1c chopped nuts

Combine butter, sugar, cocoa, and eggs.  Mix until smooth. Add flour, vanilla, and nuts.  The batter will be thick and light brown.   Spoon into a greased 8×8 pan . They will be thick. Cook on the middle rack of  a 350* oven for 40-45 min.  Start checking at 35 min.  They are done when a knife comes out clean but just barely clean.  Do not over cook.

Yummy!! I always enjoy Fantastic Bake Along time each month. I am excited to head over and see the delicious chocolate recipes that are cooking up in the other bakers kitchens. I’m headed over to check them out. Why don’t you join me for some delicious no-calorie indulgence?!❤️❤️

Tami @Tanglewood Knots

Tracy @It’s a T-Sweets Day!

Lucia @Crochet, Knit, and More

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

Thank you for dropping by today! I hope the rest of your day is FANTASTIC!

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!❤️❤️

The Best of 2017

Hello! How was your Christmas? It has been such a fun and busy Christmas at my house. I have had a houseful of family and friends. Nothing says Christmas more than lots of good food and family:)

But now that there is a moment to breathe and think, I am happy to reflect back on a year full of creating. It has been a wonderful year!

It was hard to choose my favorite posts from this past year, but after thinking about it for a while, I have decided that the best projects must be the ones that have enabled me to connect with and make new friends.

The Top Five:

1. Long Time Gone QALI enjoyed quilting along with Angie @Gnome Angel and many other online friends. We all stretched our sewing and color combining skills as we made this Long Time Gone Quilt by Jen Kingwell together. My FAVORITE part was quilting along with my friend, Cindy. It was fun to compare our finished quilts:)

2. The Splendid SamplerAfter a full year and a half of two blocks a week, I finally finished my Splendid Sampler! I was introduced to so many talented designers and made 20,000 plus Splendette friends:). I loved watching and being inspired by their beautiful blocks and quilts. There was a hole in my sewing table when these blocks were sewn together as well as a small hole in my heart as I left the group behind.

3. Fantastic Bake AlongThis year, I started a monthly Fantastic Bake Along Group. We all Bake a recipe selected by someone in the group and then share our results later in the week. Talk about yummy fun!! We have made pizza, homemade bread, quiche, and more. I have truly LOVED baking along with such SWEET people❤️❤️ The group is open to anyone and everyone. We would love to have you join along:)

4. Stardust Melodies I enjoyed crocheting and singing along with Polly Plum on her Stardust Melodies Afghan. Each block worked up fairly easily in an evening. It was like finishing new blanket twice a week:). It was fun to read about how excited everyone was as we waited for the next block to come out.

5. I Wish You a Merry QAL And last, but not least, is my beautiful I Wish You a Merry QAL quilt. I think I have made the most new friends with this fun Christmas quilt. I have connected with the designers who are all fairly new to blogging. I must admit I wish I could have been part of their group. They did such a good job!

There you have it, my top five of 2017. Some of you who follow me may be asking, “Tracy, why haven’t you included Delilah, or Down the Rabbit Hole?” Well, while I have connected with many new friends with these beauties, they aren’t finished yet. They will have to wait for next year.

Speaking of next year, I am so excited to begin the MYSTERY QALnext week on January 1st! Cindy @In a Stitch Quilting and I are trying this new approach to a QAL and would LOVE to have you join us!

Thank you for dropping by today. I am excited to be linking up with Meadow Mist‘s Linky Party. I’m headed over to check out what all the other bloggers have done this year:)

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day!

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:)!!

Virtual Cookie Exchange- Chocolate Waffle Cookies

The sounds, sights, and smells of Christmas are all around my house! I have been sewing and baking while listening to Christmas music. It doesn’t get any better than this. 🙂

My sewing consists of Christmas quilts and Christmas Pajamas. My baking consists of COOKIES! I am so happy to joining along in the Virtual Cookie Exchange hosted by Carol over at Just Let Me Quilt. Yum!!

Cookies are a favorite around our house all year long. But we all know Santa loves his cookies so Christmas cookies are the BEST!!

My daughter spent an entire summer baking a new batch of cookies from our church cookbook everyday. Yes, you heard me right, EVERY day! My family calls that the best summer of their lives. 🙂

We soon learned if a recipe was a thumbs up recipe or a trash bin recipe. The way to tell was this — if there were any left the next day, they went into the trash bin along with the recipe. The really good cookies were all eaten before the end of the day.

There were quite a few thumbs up recipes, but the “Chocolate Waffle Cookies” were among the very top of the list.

So when I heard about this Cookie Exchange, I knew that these were the cookies I wanted to share with you. They are soft, moist, and oh so chocolatey. I know you are going to LOVE them!

Chocolate Waffle Cookies

Recipe submitted by- Tracy @It’s a T-Sweets Day!

Ingredients:

  • 1c butter
  • 1 1/2c granulated sugar
  • 1/2c cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 2c flour
  • 1Tbs vanilla

Frosting:

  • 1c butter
  • 3Tbs cocoa powder
  • 6Tbs milk
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • Slivered almonds or chopped nuts

Directions:

Make the frosting first so it will be ready to spread when the cookies come off of the waffle iron.

Frosting:

In a saucepan over medium high heat, mix together butter, powdered sugar, cocoa, and milk. Stir and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

Cookies:

Combine butter, cocoa, sugar, eggs, flour and vanilla. Mix well. The batter will be thick.

Drop by scooper or tablespoonful onto a hot waffle iron that has been sprayed with oil. Cook for 1 min. 15 sec.

Remove from iron with a fork. Generously cover warm cookie with frosting and sprinkle nuts on top. Yield – 2 dozen cookies

Yum! Yum! Yum! These are so delicious! There may be one or two missing, but I won’t say where they went…..hee, hee😊

Here is a fun card you can print up or save to your phone.

Thank you for stopping by and reading about my entry for the Virtual Cookie Exchange. If you have a moment or two and want to enjoy some calorie free eye SWEETNESS, head on over and check out what is cooking today or has been cooked up over the last few days in these talented blogger’s kitchens:

December 7

December 6

December 5

Until next time! –

Here is a graphic you can Pin to Pinterest 🙂