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Salted Caramel Liquor Lollipops

5 Corners Bed and BreakfastAt this year’s Wine & Chocolate Walk, I ventured out to try something a little different…homemade lollipops! These are easy to make (although if you are making 325 like I did it will take you some time). Just be patient and don’t walk away from the stove! These would be great for a bridal shower or Bachelorette party.

Each recipe makes 16-18 lollipops.

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon Smirnoff Kissed Caramel Vodka
2 tablespoons cool water
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt

1) Place silicone mat or parchment paper on baking sheet.  Tip – make sure whatever you lay on your cookie sheet is totally flat otherwise your hot candy will run making for some funny looking lollipops.  You can also use a lollipop mold but I don’t feel it is worth the expense.
2) Mix together 1/4 cup Vodka, water, sugar, corn syrup and salt in a 2-quart saucepan until sugar is wet. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally and gently with a heat resistant spoon.
3) Boil to 300 degrees F without stirring.
4) Immediately remove from heat and working quickly add 1 teaspoon Vodka. Mix well. Be careful – the hot sugar will bubble up.
5) Still working quickly, drop teaspoons of syrup onto the baking sheet. Add stick before the syrup cools. Be sure to twist it so it adheres firmly to the candy.
6) Store lollipops in an air tight container.

 

Recipe originally posted by Hostess with the Mostess (she shows great step-by-step photos).

Fall Open House Recipes 2014

Caramel Apple Dip

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 to 1/2 cup caramel sauce

Blend cream cheese, vanilla and brown sugar together until very smooth. Stir in caramel sauce until desired sweetness is reached. Serve with apples and graham crackers.  This recipe was originally posted by How Sweet It Is.

 

Baklava Bites

1 (15-count) package mini phyllo cups
1/2 cup chopped pistachios,
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 cup honey, plus more for serving
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place phyllo cups on a baking sheet. In a medium bowl, stir together chopped nuts, melted butter, honey, cinnamon and salt until evenly combined. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of the nut mixture into each phyllo cup until they are filled. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the nuts are fragrant and lightly toasted but not burned. Remove and drizzle with extra honey before serving. Serve immediately.  This recipe was adapted from its original recipe on Gimme Some Oven.

 

Smoked Gouda & Pumpkin Cheese Spread

8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup smoked Gouda cheese, shredded
¾ cup pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
5 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ cup green pepper, finely chopped

Mix cream cheese, Gouda and pumpkin in a small bowl. Save a bit of Gouda cheese for garnish.  Add pepper and ¾ of the crumbled bacon into the mixture. Save some bacon for garnish.  Transfer to a serving bowl.  Chill until ready to serve.  Sprinkle with a small handful of shredded Gouda, green peppers and bits of bacon before serving.  This recipe was originally posted by Living Locurto.

 

Apple Cider Sangria

1 bottle of Pinot Grigio
3 cups fresh apple cider
1 cup club soda
1/2 cup ginger brandy
2 large apples, chopped

Combine all ingredients, except apples, and stir.  Refrigerate for several hours.  Right before serving, add apples.  I would recommend freezing some of the extra apple cider in ice cube trays.  This will keep your Sangria cold without diluting it.  This recipe was adapted from its original post on Chef-In-Training.

 

10 Ways to Upcycle Your Halloween Candy

10 Ways to Upcycle Your Halloween CandyTwix and Snickers are my personal downfall of Halloween candy. Once those are gone from the bucket, I start to gravitate to other flavors…which is not good. Its time to get it out of the house. Here are a few ways to upcycle your kids’ leftovers so its still not sitting around come Easter.

1) Trade in candy for Toothbrushes – Many dentists will trade in Halloween candy for new toothbrushes, floss or sometimes even stickers or other small goodies. The candy is then sent to our soldiers overseas or donated to a foodbank. Learn if there is a dentist near you that participates in this program by visiting: www.halloweencandybuyback.com.

2) Offer your kids a trade-in option.  Maybe offer to buy them a new book or crayon set for every pound of candy they turn in then donate it using #3 or #4.

3) Donate it to your local food pantry, nursing home, women’s shelter, church youth group or Ronald McDonald House.

4) Send a care package to a soldier overseas by visiting www.anysoldier.com or Operation Shoebox (please don’t ship anything that will melt).

5) Save it for the holidays and use it to fill stockings, advent calendars or candy dishes (chocolate freezes beautifully).

6) Reward your kids by attaching a note and sneaking it into your kid’s lunch box. Its the perfect way to give them a little support before a big test, big game or other big event.

7)  Make gingerbread houses.

8)  Use it in treat bags for your kids’ upcoming Birthday Parties or to fill a pinata.

9)  Melt down chocolate bars and make chocolate covered apples, pretzels, potato chips and more.  Add candy to pretzels, cereal, nuts and seeds for a wonderful trail mix.

10) Use candy to make homework fun by quizzing your kids and then using a piece as a reward.  Get the question or spelling word correct and they get to eat a piece.  Get it wrong and Mom gets it instead (M&Ms, Skittles or those new mini Reese Cups work great for this).

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