Candy Archive

Friday, January 24, 2014

homemade dulce de leche

homemade dulce de leche, oops

Guess what, guys?! This weekend, we’re going to make dulce de leche. Or maybe cajeta. Or maybe both.

Step away from the cupboard; I don’t mean like that, the way we’ve always made it. It’s time to break up with the can of sweetened condensed milk; it’s us, not it. Because I’ve tasted the other side, the one where you take that milk in your fridge that you needed to use up anyway, the sugar that’s already in your pantry, a bit of salt, the smallest snippet of vanilla bean and maybe a cinnamon stick, if you so desire, and boil them together until it smells like the heavens exhaled in your kitchen and the mixture becomes the most complexly flavored thick copper caramel with a deliciousness will bring tears to your eyes. And no, I am not being melodramatic; you’ll see.

vanilla bean, canela, goat's milk, sugar
to begin, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon

It’s the perfect weekend project because you’ll want to set a couple hours aside, but only about 20 minutes of it will require actual work. Plus, the Polar Vortex came back to mock those of us who didn’t take the first one seriously enough to invest in all of the silk, thermal and Gore-Tex left in the city, or so it seems this week, and really, it wants you to stay inside and cook. And it’s now late enough in January — a month that included two soups, one salad, a dairy-free dessert and a whole-wheat muffin, seriously, Resolutions, I did my time — that you’re probably ready to reintroduce decadence (or, at least refined sugar and carbs) in measured quantities. I think this is how you should do it.

approximately 15 minutes inapproximately 30 minutes inapproximately 45 minutes inat approximately the 60 minute mark

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

apple cider caramels + the book is here!

apple cider caramels

So, friends. Yesterday was the day, the day that that the 336-page, 2.8-pound bundle of joy that I began working on over three years ago tip-toed cautiously out of my tiny kitchen in hopes that you’ll make a home for it in yours.

You know, so, no big deal at all.

the smitten kitchen cookbook

What’s in the book? Seeing as I already showed you the cover, I thought I’d show you what the book looked like naked. (Gasp!) You see, I was pushing for a jacketless cover (those paper flaps, they irk me) and we compromised by having a different cover inside that would be a treat for people who get excited about things like that. Between the covers, there are 105 recipes (85 percent that have never been seen on this site), about two-thirds of them are savory (including a beloved recipe for featherlight Gnocchi in Tomato Broth, a Flat Roasted Chicken with Tiny Potatoes inspired by something we bought on a Paris street, and an absolutely hideous but boundlessly delicious Wild Rice Gratin with Kale and Caramelized Onions) and the rest are for sweets things (such as my son’s towering second birthday S’More Cake, and what I consider two of the ultimate Thanksgiving desserts, a Cheesecake-Marbled Pumpkin Gingersnap Tart and the Deepest Dish Apple Pie you’ve ever seen). There are over 300 photos in the book, lots of stories and also this one little other thing that I pressed for, a cookbook that stays open on your kitchen counter when you want it to. My goodness, this makes me happy, as happy as I hope those Artichoke Heart-Stuffed Shells will make you.

more from TSKC

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Monday, December 19, 2011

peppermint hot fudge sauce

peppermint hot fudge sauce

You have all of your holiday shopping done, don’t you? I bet everything is wrapped and in gift bags, and that you know how to tie ribbons into bows without cursing. I suspect everyone but me knows how to… fluff? Is that what they call it? I bet everyone knows how to arrange the tissue paper inside the gift bags so that it looks perfectly festive and even a tad enthusiastic. I have a hunch that your gifts are homemade and hand-lettered; that you made your own cards. Oh, you didn’t? Well, come sit down over here. You’re among friends.

peppermint hot fudge, in parts
ready to melt

I ran to Duane Reade this morning and bought a roll of brown shipping paper and decided at once that the gift wrap theme this year would be “rustic”. I also wiped out the gift bag supply; sorry about that. Then I went home and made my first homemade gift. Yes, I know it is both Hanukah and Christmas week but I don’t like to be rushed. Plus, if you only have time this week to warm hearts and minds with but a single homemade treat, I hardly think this would be an unwelcome choice.

a slow pour

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

buckeyes

half-dipped

Once upon a time, when I was probably no older than in grade school and sadly, not a whole lot shorter than I am today, a friend of a friend of my mother’s presented her with a bag of peanut butter and chocolate candies that my mother and I, chocolate and peanut butter fiends, went ballistic over. Here in this plastic bag (that we kept in the freezer, a history of hiding foods I have no self-control around in the freezer long predates this site) were all of the awesomeness of Reese’s peanut butter cups but, a) larger and b) homemade. We had to have the recipe.

the goods
butter, peanut butter, cream cheese

No, we really had to have the recipe. We asked. We might have begged a little. But we were shut down, because this friend of a friend was writing a cookbook, and needed to save the recipe for future publication. Now, I don’t think my mother is especially one to hold grudges, but I tell you, it’s probably been more than 20 years since then and I mentioned chocolate peanut butter balls to my mother this week and she said, flatly, “I am still waiting for that cookbook.” You could say it’s kind of a running joke.

i want (peanut butter) candy

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Monday, March 8, 2010

coconut milk fudge

coconut milk fudge

I’ve got a mad case of wanderlust. You’d think that after taking in vistas like this two weekends ago and this just yesterday, I’d be happy just to be here. But even New York City on the stunning brink between a snow-blanketed February and a shiny, breezy March aren’t enough to keep me from dreaming about South America. Northern Italy. India. China. Austria. Rome. Cuba. St. Louis, if it promises me more spun sugar cake. And now: Brazil.

rolling in chocolate vermicelli
rolling in pistachios

There was an article in the New York Times last week about how sweetened condensed milk is having a “moment” — apparently eschewed by food snobs, home cooks from Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean couldn’t care less as they know it’s the manna, the building block of many awesome things from Key Lime Pie to Vietnamese Coffee to Dulce De Leche. It’s okay, I’m drooling too.

rolling in toasted coconut

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