Toffee Bar Cookie Brittle

If you like crunchy cookies, you’ll love these! You bake them in a jelly roll pan and then break them into any size pieces you want for a fun and yummy cookie experience.

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
¾ tsp salt
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
8oz/227g chocolate covered toffee pieces (ex. Heath bar, Skor bar, Daim bar)

– Preheat oven to 325ºF/160ºC.
– Line bottom of 17″ x 11″ jelly roll pan with baking parchment. Set aside.
– Cream butter and sugars together.
– Mix in vanilla and salt.
– Stir in flour.
– Stir in chocolate chips and toffee pieces (dough will be quite crumbly).
– Even pour crumbs into jelly roll pan, then press crumbs firmly together into the pan.
– Bake for 30min (brittle should be golden brown and firm to touch).
– Cool in pan on wire rack.
– Break into pieces.

Homemade Salted Caramels

These caramels are super yummy and easy to make! If it’s your first time making candy, then this is a great recipe to start with.

Buy equipment you ma need:
Loaf pan – http://amzn.to/1yjZ4oh
IYC Baking Parchment Roll – http://amzn.to/1vDu70Y
Candy Thermometer – http://amzn.to/1tC3e9h
Maldon Sea Salt – http://amzn.to/1A7VlA6

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Unsalted butter (1 stick), cubed
1/2 cup Heavy cream
3 tbsp Water
1/4 cup Light corn syrup
1 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp flaked sea salt

– Lightly oil a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, line with parchment paper, and oil the parchment. Set pan aside.
– Place butter and cream in microwave-safe bowl/jug. Microwave for 1-2 min until hot and butter has melted. Set aside.
– In a small saucepan combine the water and corn syrup.
– Then gently add the sugar, so it doesn’t spray up the sides of the pan.
– Stir the sugar into the water and corn syrup, just moistening the sugar.
– Bring to a boil over medium heat, then cover with a lid for 1 minute.
– Remove lid and attach a candy thermometer.
– Continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sugar reaches 320ºF/160ºC and has a slight amber color around the edge.
– Once the sugar reaches 320ºF/160ºC, carefully pour in about a sixth of the butter/cream mixture and stir using the candy thermometer. Be careful as it will bubble up quickly and is extremely hot.
– Continue to add small amounts of butter/cream mixture stirring, with candy thermometer, after each addition. It will continue to bubble up after each addition. (By adding the cream and butter, the temperature will drop).
– Once all of the butter/cream mixture has been added, continue to cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the caramel reaches between 240ºF-245ºF/115ºC-118ºC, depending on how soft you’d like your caramels (stop at 240ºF for softer caramels).
– Once the caramel reaches your desired temperature, pour into the prepared loaf pan.
– Cool 20 to 30 minutes and then sprinkle the sea salt over the caramel.
– Continue to cool completely – about 3 1/2 hours.
– Unmold the caramel. Cut into desired size and wrap in cellophane, parchment or waxed paper.
– If not eating right away, you can refrigerate or freeze them for later.

Recipe from here: http://www.inspiredtaste.net/8947/salted-caramels-recipe/

Homemade Marshmallows

Impress with your own homemade marshmallows! They’re a great treat to eat on their own or floating in hot chocolate…perfect for the winter weather 🙂

Buy your equipment here:
KitchenAid Mixer 6 qt. – http://amzn.to/1y9hEEp
Candy Thermometer – http://amzn.to/1tC3e9h
IYC Baking Parchment Roll – http://amzn.to/1vDu70Y
Wilton Non-Stick Cookie Pan Set – http://amzn.to/178A116
Ateco Snowflake Cookie Cutter Set – http://amzn.to/1tyPTPb

Ingredients:

2 envelopes Gelatin, unflavored
1½ cups Sugar
2/3 cup Light corn syrup
1/8 tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla extract
Vegetable oil/cooking spray

– Coat a 12″ x 17″ rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, line with parchment paper, and coat parchment with cooking spray. Set aside. – Pour 1/3 cup cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer. Sprinkle with gelatin.
– Place sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/3 cup water in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil.
– Remove lid, clip on candy thermometer, and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until syrup reaches 238 degrees (soft-ball stage).
– With mixer on low speed, whisk gelatin mixture, and slowly pour the syrup in a steady stream down the side of the bowl (to avoid splattering).
– Gradually raise speed to high and beat until mixture is thick, white, and has almost tripled in volume, about 12 minutes.
– Add vanilla and beat 30 seconds to combine.
– Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet and smooth with a lightly oiled offset spatula.
– Let stand at room temperature, uncovered, until set, at least 3 hours or overnight.
– Coat snowflake-shaped cookie cutter with cooking spray to prevent it from sticking and cut out as many individual marshmallows as possible.
– Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Original recipe from here: http://www.marthastewart.com/334710/marshmallow-snowflakes

How to Make Homemade Crabapple Jelly

Crabapple jelly is fun and easy to make! It takes a little longer than jam as you have to strain it first, but it’s definitely worth the extra effort.

I used 5.5 lbs of crabapples, which made 10 x 125ml (1/4 pint) jars.

Buy equipment you need:
Jars – http://amzn.to/12mVzVR
Waterbath Canner Starter Set – http://amzn.to/1veExnU
Cheese Cloth – http://amzn.to/1pKASx2
Potato Masher – http://amzn.to/1yIcwpA

– place trimmed crabapples in a large saucepan and add 1 cup of water for every pound of crabapples.
– bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
– boil for 15 min and then crush crabapples with a potato masher and boil for a further 5 min.
– strain the crabapples through a jelly bag or cheese cloth into a container for at least 2 hrs or overnight.
– place a small plate in the freezer for checking set point later.
– place juice in a saucepan and add 2/3 cup sugar for every cup of juice.
– bring juice and sugar gently to a boil while stirring constantly. Continue to boil for 15-18 min while stirring.
– after 15 min, remove the plate from the freezer and add a small amount of jelly onto the plate and return to the freezer for 1 min.
– remove plate again and run finger through the jelly. If the jelly wrinkles, it’s ready. If not, continue to boil jelly for another couple of minutes and test again.
– remove jelly from heat and skim any foam/scum off the top.

To preserve:

8 qt. pan for jam
Smaller pan for lids
Large pan/stockpot for canning – I use a 21 qt. canner that has a jar rack as well.
Mason jars
Funnel
Jar-lifting tongs

– wash jars and lids with hot and soapy water and rinse well.
– to sterilize jars, place jars in canner with just simmering water. Leave the jars in there until ready to use.
– warm lids (do not boil) in smaller pan.
– pour hot jelly into jars.
– make sure there’s no jelly on the rim of the jars that could affect the seal. Clean with a damp cloth.
– place lids on top of jars and screw on bands until finger tight.
– place jars in canner and lower into water. Make sure there’s at least 2 inches of water over the top of the jars. Bring water to a boil and process jars for 10 min. Use the following chart to adjust water canning times for different altitudes:

Altitude (feet) Increase processing time
1001 – 3000 5 minutes
3001 – 6000 10 minutes
6001 – 8000 15 minutes
8001 – 10000 20 minutes

– remove jars from water and place on a towel for at least 12 hrs. During this time you’ll hear each of the lids pop as they seal.
– check the jars have sealed properly – they shouldn’t move up and down when you press in the middle of the lid. If a jar hasn’t sealed, you can refrigerate it and eat it or you can process the jar again using a new lid.
– keep processed jars in a cool, dry and dark place. They will last for about 1 year. Enjoy!

How to Make Homemade Peach Jam

This is a really yummy and easy peach jam recipe. It’s great to give as a gift or keep it and enjoy it yourself! This recipe makes 10 half pint jars.

Ingredients:

7 cups peaches, crushed* (about 12 whole peaches)
juice from 2 lemons
8 tbsp classic pectin
5 ½ cups sugar

* to crush peaches, place in a single layer in the bottom of your pan and crush with a potato masher.

Equipment:

8 qt. pan for jam
Smaller pan for extra hot water
Large pan/stockpot for canning – I use a 21 qt. canner that has a jar rack as well.
10 half pint mason jars
Funnel
Jar-lifting tongs
Ladle
Magnetic lid lifter or tongs

Buy equipment you need here:
Waterbath Canner Starter Set – http://amzn.to/1veExnU
Half Pint Jars – http://amzn.to/1tGft3L
Ball Classic Pectin – http://amzn.to/1tGgtEW
Ladle – http://amzn.to/1FLqkln

Method:

– to remove skin from peaches, cut a small cross in the bottom of each peach.
– place peaches in boiling water for 30-60s and then remove to a bowl of ice cold water.
– once cool, peel peaches, remove pits and cut into pieces and crush.

– wash jars and lids with hot and soapy water and rinse well.
– to sterilize jars, place jars in canner with just simmering water. Leave the jars in there until ready to use.
– warm lids (do not boil) in smaller pan.

– in 8 qt. pan, mix peaches and lemon juice. Gradually stir in pectin.
– bring mixture to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly.
– add sugar all at once and stir to dissolve. Bring to a hard boil (that can’t be stirred down) and then boil for 1 minute. Use a spoon to skim any foam from the top of the jam.
– remove from heat and ladle into hot jars. Fill to about ¼ inch from the top.
– make sure there’s no jam on the rim of the jars that could affect the seal. Clean with a damp cloth.
– place lids on top of jars and screw on bands until finger tight.
– place jars in canner and lower into water. Make sure there’s at least 2 inches of water over the top of the jars. Bring water to a boil and process jars for 10 min. Use the following chart to adjust water canning times for different altitudes:

Altitude (feet)           Increase processing time
1001 – 3000                       5 minutes
3001 – 6000                      10 minutes
6001 – 8000                      15 minutes
8001 – 10000                    20 minutes

– turn off heat, remove lid and allow jars to sit for 5 min.
– remove jars from water and place on a towel for at least 12 hrs. During this time you’ll hear each of the lids pop as they seal.
– check the jars have sealed properly – they shouldn’t move up and down when you press in the middle of the lid. If a jar hasn’t sealed, you can refrigerate it and eat it or you can process the jar again using a new lid.
– keep processed jars in a cool, dry and dark place. They will last for about 1 year.

How to Make Homemade Blueberry Jam

It’s so easy and fun to make your own jam. Blueberry jam is one of my favorites!
This recipe makes 5 ½ x half pint jars – 5 to store or give as gifts and ½ for you to eat right away.

Ingredients:

4 cups blueberries, crushed* (about 6 cups whole berries)
3 tbsp lemon juice
4 ½ tbsp classic pectin
3 cups sugar

* to crush blueberries, place in a single layer in the bottom of your pan and crush with a potato masher.

Equipment:

8 qt. pan for jam
Smaller pan for extra hot water
Large pan/stockpot for canning – I use a 21 qt. canner that has a jar rack as well.
6 half pint mason jars
Funnel
Jar-lifting tongs
Ladle
Magnetic lid lifter or tongs

Buy equipment you need here:
Waterbath Canner Starter Set – http://amzn.to/1veExnU
Half Pint Jars – http://amzn.to/1tGft3L
Ball Classic Pectin – http://amzn.to/1tGgtEW
Ladle – http://amzn.to/1FLqkln

– wash jars and lids with hot and soapy water and rinse well.
– to sterilize jars, place jars in canner with just simmering water. Leave the jars in there until ready to use.
– warm lids (do not boil) in smaller pan.
– in 8 qt. pan, mix blueberries and lemon juice. Gradually stir in pectin.
– bring mixture to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly.
– add sugar all at once and stir to dissolve. Bring to a hard boil (that can’t be stirred down) and then boil for 1 minute.
– remove from heat and ladle into hot jars. Fill to about ¼ inch from the top.
– make sure there’s no jam on the rim of the jars that could affect the seal. Clean with a damp cloth.
– place lids on top of jars and screw on bands until finger tight.
– place jars in canner and lower into water. Make sure there’s at least 2 inches of water over the top of the jars. Bring water to a boil and process jars for 10 min. Use the following chart to adjust water canning times for different altitudes:

Altitude (feet)           Increase processing time

1001 – 3000                       5 minutes
3001 – 6000                      10 minutes
6001 – 8000                      15 minutes
8001 – 10000                     20 minutes

– turn off heat, remove lid and allow jars to sit for 5 min.
– remove jars from water and place on a towel for at least 12 hrs. During this time you’ll hear each of the lids pop as they seal.
– check the jars have sealed properly – they shouldn’t move up and down when you press in the middle of the lid. If a jar hasn’t sealed, you can refrigerate it and eat it or you can process the jar again using a new lid.
– keep processed jars in a cool, dry and dark place. They will last for about 1 year.

How To Make Homemade Strawberry Jam

Strawberry jam is easy to make, tastes great and is a perfect gift.

Ingredients:
1 kg fresh strawberries
1 kg jam sugar

Equipment:
Preserving jars with lids and bands
Jam funnel
Jar lifting tongs
Strawberry huller
Large pot for canning

Directions:
– Preheat oven to 110 C.
– Wash and hull strawberries.
– For a chunky jam, leave strawberries whole. For a less chunky jam, chop strawberries.
– Place jars, lids and bands on trays in oven for a minimum of 10 minutes (or just leave in oven while cooking jam).
– Place strawberries and sugar in a large pot and heat over a low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
– Once sugar is dissovled, insert jam thermometer if using, and bring jam to a boil.
– Skim off any foam while boiling.
– Continue to boil until jam setting temperature is reached – 104 C on a jam thermometer or you can also check for setting point using a plate out of the freezer and checking if the jam wrinkles. (Before starting the jam, place a plate in the freezer, after boiling the jam for about 5 min, take the plate out of the freezer and place a small amount of jam on the plate. Leave for about a minute and then push your finger through the jam, if it wrinkles, then the jam in done. If not, boil for a few minutes longer and try again).
– Once the jam is ready, remove from the heat.
– Take your jars out of the oven and carefully ladle the jam into the jars using the funnel, leaving about 1 cm from the top of the jar.
– Place lids and bands on jars.
– Place jars in one layer on the bottom of a large pot or canner. Make sure you have a tea towel or trivet between the bottom of the pot and the jars, so that the jars don’t break.
– Boil jars, in batches, in water for 10 minutes and then remove them to a cooling rack.
– Cool for 12 hours to allow jars to finish sealing.
– After 12 hours, check lids are sealed – press on lid to see if it springs back. If it springs back, then the lid hasn’t sealed properly and will need to be canned again. If the lid doesn’t move, then the lid has sealed properly.
– Label jars and enjoy.

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