Category Archives: Reviews

Cookies and Cream Frappuccino

I’m a big fan of cookies and cream flavored things, even though I try not to have them too often. So I buy Oreos kind of sparingly and eat them kind of sparingly. Just the other week, I was down to 5 Oreo cookies, and it turned out to be just the right amount to make this Cookies and Cream Frappucino. I got the idea from a recipe on the Community Coffee blog site, but I ended up changing it quite a bit. One ingredient I added to give this frappuccino a rich chocolate flavor was some unsweetened cocoa powder. I also added some honey to enhance the sweetness. It’s a great dessert coffee to indulge in on a warm day!

You can use your favorite coffee to make this frappuccino, but I used Community Coffee’s Coffee and Chicory Blend (it comes in a regular or decaf blend). I had the chance to try out a few Community Coffee products that included chicory, which I’ve been wanting to try out. I’ve read that mixing coffee and chicory is a Southern tradition, especially in New Orleans, where it’s often served cafe au lait style with steamed milk. And I’ve also read that chicory is a great caffeine-free option to use on its own or mixed in with coffee if you need to watch your caffeine intake (I usually have to limit my caffeine to the morning hours). Since I used the decaf Coffee and Chicory Blend, I was able to enjoy this frappuccino later in the day and still get a good night’s sleep! 🙂 I really like the taste of the Coffee and Chicory Blend–the chicory blends in so well with the coffee you don’t really notice it–it just tastes like a great cup of coffee. I also tried the Ground Pure Chicory.  You’ll be able to taste a difference if you’re just drinking the pure chicory without blending it with coffee, but I actually thought it tasted good on its own. Some people I know prefer it blended with coffee, so it just depends on what you like.

Here’s the recipe if you want to try this frappuccino out for yourself!

COOKIES AND CREAM FRAPPUCCINO by NancyC, adapted from the Community Coffee blog

Makes 1 serving

  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 Tablespoons light cream (Half & Half)
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cold, strong brewed coffee (any Community Coffee flavor works great, as well as their Decaf Coffee & Chicory blend or 100% Pure Chicory)
  • 4 Oreo cookies, crushed (or your favorite chocolate sandwich cookies)
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes or crushed ice
  • Whipped cream and 1 additional crushed Oreo cookie for garnish

In a blender, add milk, light cream, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla, coffee and 4 crushed Oreo cookies; blend for 45 to 60 seconds. Add in ice cubes and blend everything for another 20 to 30 seconds.

Pour mixture into a coffee mug, drinking glass, or mason jar. Garnish with whipped cream and 1 crushed Oreo cookie.

This is a real treat when you’re craving chocolate or something mocha-flavored! And it works well with coffee, chicory, or both! Have you ever tried blending chicory with your coffee?

Sharing this at Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday, Full Plate Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things.

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Easy Marinara Sauce

Good, simple recipes are the best, especially when they don’t take long to make! I found a lot of recipes like this in my review copy of Simplify Supper, by Krista Numbers (softcover). There are lots of Italian and Tex-Mex-style dishes, as well as all-American classics like BBQ Ribs, Southern-Style Baked Beans, and Chicken Noodle Soup. And great color photos of the recipes too. Overall, it’s a great cookbook to have when you want to make a delicious dinner that’s quick and easy.

The very first recipe in the book, and the one I tried out, is Homemade Marinara Sauce and it is really good! It’s great served over pasta, but it also makes a wonderful dipping sauce (I enjoyed dipping my favorite store-bought Rosemary Sea Salt rolls in it!). This marinara sauce has a rich, tomatoey flavor and is thick and chunky. The seasonings, onion, and garlic all give it a great flavor. Here’s the recipe if you want to try it out:

HOMEMADE MARINARA SAUCE from Simplify Supper

Makes 6 servings

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and stir about 5 minutes until evenly caramelized. Add the garlic and Italian seasoning and cook another five minutes until garlic is fragrant.

Add chicken broth and use to deglaze bottom of pot.

Add sugar, tomato paste, and undrained diced tomatoes. Stir to combine all ingredients. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally until sauce reaches desired thickness. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I love tomatoey-flavored dishes–and this sauce is perfect for tomato-lovers! And it’s always nice when you can make homemade sauce. Do you make your own homemade pasta sauces?

Sharing this recipe at Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday.

Carrot Cake

When I think of Amish food, I think of good, homestyle comfort food. That’s why I was interested in reviewing the recently published Amish Community Cookbook: Simply Delicious Recipes from Amish and Mennonite Homes. I was in the mood for some comfort food and there are lots of comfort food-type recipes in this book…breakfast items, casseroles, main dishes, sides, and desserts. I thought I’d try the Carrot Cake because I really love carrot cake and this one sounded really easy to make.

It was easy, but there are some positives and negatives to this recipe. The positives are that it tastes great, and it has three–yes, three–cups of shredded carrots in it. All those cups of carrots made me feel a little better about eating this cake. The cream cheese icing, which I turned into a thicker frosting, is really good too (but not healthy at all)!

The negative thing about this recipe is that it sunk in the middle when I made it. It was higher at the edges and lower in the middle. I made a batch-and-a-half of frosting to fill in the sunken middle and make the cake appear level. And sprinkled the top with chopped pecans. So it ended up looking fine. I’m not sure if the sunken middle was due to something I did wrong or if it always turns out that way. So if you try this, you’ll have to let me know if your cake sunk or not!

At any rate, everyone I shared this cake with loved it. So I guess that’s the most important thing!

CARROT CAKE adapted from Amish Community Cookbook

Makes a 9×13″ cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups (granulated) sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 cups (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

CREAM CHEESE ICING

(Note: I made a batch and a half of the frosting to have enough to generously cover the cake and the sunken middle: 3/4 cup butter, 4.5 ounces cream cheese, 3 tsp. vanilla, 6 cups powdered sugar; I also topped the frosting with 1/3 cup chopped pecans. Below is the original icing recipe from the book)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar or more as needed for consistency (I used 4 cups of powdered sugar because I wanted a thicker frosting)

In large bowl, beat eggs well. Add sugar, beat until creamy. Beat in oil and vanilla. Stir in carrots.

In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

Add dry ingredients to egg/sugar mixture. Stir in nuts. Pour into ungreased 9×13-inch pan and bake at 350˚F for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Spread with cream cheese icing. Keep cake refrigerated.

If you’ve looked over this recipe and have any ideas why this cake may have sunken in the middle and how to fix that, be sure to let me know! Even with the sunken middle though, I would make this again because it really does taste good. If you’re a carrot cake fan, I’m sure you will like this! Have you made carrot cake before and do you have a favorite recipe for it?

Sharing this at Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck, Meal Plan Monday, Inspire Me Monday.

Cinnamon-Glazed Carrots

I’ve never been very crazy about raw carrots. But I do like them cooked or roasted. So when I found this recipe for Cinnamon-Glazed Carrots in my review copy of No Excuses Detox, I knew I wanted to make them! As the subtitle says, this book includes 100 recipes to help you eat healthy every day.

Written by Megan Gilmore, No Excuses Detox features recipes that are quick and easy, affordable, and yummy–not the kind of recipes you’d expect to find in a “detox” cookbook. In fact, I was surprised that there are recipes for lots of comfort food-type foods with a healthy twist–like Butternut Mac n’ Cheese, Skillet Breakfast Hash, Speedy Black Bean Burgers, and even Carrot Cake Cupcakes. Lots of great recipes to choose from! But the Cinnamon-Glazed Carrots recipe was calling my name and I had just bought some organic rainbow carrots at Whole Foods, so it was the perfect time for me to try this out.

I used large carrots when I made this, but you can slice your carrots or use baby carrots and if you do, your cooking time will only be about 10 minutes. Since I used large carrots I had to cook mine a little longer. So here’s the recipe–it’s a great way to eat your carrots!

CINNAMON-GLAZED CARROTS from No Excuses Detox

The addition of cinnamon and naturally sweet maple syrup makes these carrots taste like dessert, plus they can be ready in just 15 minutes!–Megan Gilmore

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 pound baby carrots, sliced carrot coins, or halved large carrots
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of fine sea salt

In a Dutch oven, melt the coconut oil over medium heat and saute the carrots for 2 minutes. Add the water, which should start bubbling right away, and lower the heat to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and cook the carrots for about 10 minutes, until fork-tender (note: since I used larger carrots, my cooking time was more like 15 to 18 minutes). Check the pot periodically to make sure the water doesn’t completely evaporate so the carrots don’t burn.

Once the carrots are tender, raise the heat to cook off any excess water, then stir in the maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt (adjust seasonings to taste). Serve warm. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

There are other recipes I want to try in this book. It’s always nice when you can make great-tasting food that’s good for you, too. Do you have some favorite healthy recipes of your own?

Sharing this at Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday, Full Plate Thursday.

Spa Spring Gift Basket

Happy first day of spring! I hope you had a beautiful day! I’m not a big fan of cold winter weather, but I love the warmer days of spring! I love seeing the flowers outside begin to bloom and the longer, sunnier days. I’m really glad spring has arrived!

Something else arrived at my doorstep recently–this Premium Spa Gift Basket, compliments of GourmetGiftBaskets.com. It was just what I needed–a farmhouse-style wire basket filled with lots of pampering spa products like scented lotion, triple milled bath soap, body wash, comfy terry cloth slippers, a 4 points massager, pumice brush, skin smoothing brush, massaging bath brush, wooden foot brush, sea sponge, and loofah. It was such a treat to receive this basket, and I’m enjoying using all the spa items so much! With Easter coming up, this basket would be a great gift for a mom, sister, or friend who needs and would enjoy some pampering. It also makes a great springtime birthday gift. There are several other spa-themed baskets you can choose from at the Gourmet Gift Baskets site, including the Classic Spa Gift Basket and Bath & Snack Gift Basket.

If you’re looking for other Easter gift basket ideas, you’ll find a large selection to choose from at GourmetGiftBaskets.com. They offer baskets filled with candy and toys for the kids. Or Easter cakes, cake pops, popcorn tins, chocolate dipped strawberries, cheesecakes, and other treats for anyone who loves sweets. For healthier eaters, there are baskets of fresh fruits, dried fruits, and nuts. And there are also baskets filled with gourmet meats, cheeses, and crackers–so there’s quite a selection! You’ll have to visit the site to see all that Gourmet Gift Baskets has to offer.

Are you excited spring is here too? And what’s your favorite way to pamper yourself?

Holding Tight to the Permanent One

ssrt_book

“How quickly things change. Life is a given until it isn’t,” writes Amanda as she shares about her father’s battle with cancer.

“For a long time, nothing was certain except that life was uncertain,” Raechel adds, as she describes the brokenness in her childhood home.

Two women, two stories–different, yet not so different from yours or mine. In their new book She Reads Truth: Holding Tight to Permanent in a World That’s Passing Away, authors Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams share experiences in their lives that we all can identify with. As I was reading through my review copy, I realized that even though our stories are different, they’re similar in many ways. Loss, illness, financial setbacks, family relationships–we all can relate to the pain, the stress, the worry, and the uncertainty of life’s ups and downs. But the stories don’t end there. Raechel and Amanda write about how faithful God has been in every situation. And how they found comfort in the Truth of His Word and strength in His promises.

14322622_732489793750_5655470604830158633_nWe live in a world that is temporary and fleeting, but  the authors of She Reads Truth emphasize that in this world of uncertainty, God is permanent, unchanging, and ever-faithful. He is our Rock–the One we can always hold on to, the One who is always holding us. And He specializes in redemption. He redeems our stories in beautiful, unexpected, unpredictable ways.

“Sometimes, by God’s sweet grace, the hard stuff is also the most worth–it stuff.” says Raechel. “Because of God’s proven faithfulness to us, His people, we can put our hands squarely on each other’s shoulders, look one another in the eye, and remind each other that God is at work. Without a doubt. Redemption is always coming.”

In Amanda’s words, “He is the God who penned redemption’s story, from before the beginning of time all the way to the fingertips of eternity’s outstretched hand. He is the God who is not bound by my efforts or held back by my doubt. He is the God who is Love infinite, Love perfected, Love inextinguishable.”

I found this book so encouraging because it points to our everlasting God and His unchanging promises. He is the Permanent One–the Alpha and Omega who is, who was, and who is to come. He has always been there for us and always will be. He takes the brokenness of our lives and creates something beautiful from it. He will never stop loving us and loves us more than we will ever be able to comprehend.

He holds us close by the Truth of His Word. Let’s always hold tight to Him!

Authors Raechel Meyers and Amanda Bible Williams also have an online community called She Reads Truth–to learn more about it, visit SheReadsTruth.com.

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

Finding Strength in Beauty

Lovely Pansies @ NancyC

51AAkaaspaL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_In some way I feel you here with me as I write, and I hope you feel that I’m there with you as you read, just your friend, across the table at a coffee shop, swapping stories and sharing hope,” Annie F. Downs writes at the beginning of her new book, Looking for Lovely. And as I read my review copy of the book, I really did feel that way–like I was having coffee with a good friend, sharing life…funny stories, disappointments, struggles…and most importantly, seeing together the hope beyond the difficult times.

Annie challenges us to look for the beauty around us in simple everyday moments, because it’s in those moments we see God in unique ways and we’re reminded of His love and care for us. And we draw strength from that–strength and encouragement to keep us going on our journey. Annie explains, “There is a correlation, I’m finding, between beauty and perseverance….Beauty is what makes it possible to keep going. And beauty is in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it? It’s not just in the things everyone sees, but it is what YOU see, what sticks out to you, the unique moments God gives you to collect up and hold and draw strength from.” 

Strength for the journey–we all need that! Annie, in her very personal, honest style, shares some of her own struggles–things that so many of us can relate to. And how finding loveliness in simple things like a sunrise or time spent with friends helps her see God’s love and His truths more clearly. God blesses our lives with loveliness in so many ways and it’s all around us, like little gifts He surprises us with every day.

I found that I had a new perspective after reading this book. I realized, as Annie points out, that an everyday occurrence like a sunrise is a beautiful reminder that there’s an end to darkness–it’s the beauty God created for us that helps get us through the hard times, keeps us from quitting, and gives us hope. Annie sums it up perfectly when she says, “I’m believing what I cannot see because of what I can see.” And after reading her book, I’m inspired to do the same.

Linked to Thursday Favorite ThingsCreate With Joy.

Salted Dark Chocolate Coffee Bark

Salted Dark Chocolate Coffee Bark @ NancyC

On chilly mornings, I like to have a hot cup of coffee to start my day. With cream. I don’t like black coffee or sugar in my coffee, but I love having cream in my coffee! But cookingwithcoffeeapparently you can do so much more with coffee, as I discovered when I received a review copy of Cooking with Coffee by Brandi Evans. It’s a hardcover book with 60 recipes and lots of color photos.

The book begins with a brief history of coffee, benefits of coffee, different brewing options, and popular ingredients to use with coffee. Then you’ll find recipes for baked goods; homemade coffee creamers; drinks and smoothies; sauces, dips, and toppings; savory foods; and sweets and snacks. Recipes include:

  • Espresso Banana Muffins
  • Coffee and White Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
  • Salted Chocolate Coffee Creamer
  • Peanut Butter Mocha Smoothie
  • Chocolate-Coffee Gravy
  • Coffee Maple Vinaigrette
  • Chicken Enchiladas with Quick Coffee Ranchera Sauce
  • Triple Chip Espresso Cookies

I decided to try the Salted Dark Chocolate Coffee Bark, because I thought it would be a great recipe to keep in mind as a food gift for the holidays. It’s easy to make and only has 3 ingredients, so you can whip it up easily and quickly. You just need to give the bark enough time to harden, at least an hour, before you break it up into pieces. It makes a great sweet treat for coffee and dark chocolate lovers! The recipes says to use 10 ounces of 60% dark chocolate, so I used one 10-ounce bag of dark chocolate chips and that worked perfectly!

SALTED DARK CHOCOLATE COFFEE BARK from Cooking with Coffee

Makes about 2 cups pieces of bark

  • 10 ounces 60% dark chocolate or semisweet
  • 1/4 cup whole coffee beans
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons large flake sea salt (I used less salt-more like 1 teaspoon, and that was salty enough for me!)

Over a double boiler or in a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate until it’s just warm enough to completely melt when you stir (a few minutes over the double boiler or 1-2 minutes in the microwave, checking every 30 seconds).

Pour the chocolate onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and smooth out into an even layer.

Sprinkle the melted chocolate with the coffee beans and the sea salt.

Let the chocolate set at least 1 hour, then break into bite-sized pieces.

Like I mentioned earlier, this bark makes a great homemade food gift. Or you may want to give the book itself to a coffee-loving friend. Are you a coffee-lover yourself, and do you use coffee in any recipes?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, FoodieFriDIY, Sunday Features, Inspire Me Monday, Show and Share, Tasty Tuesday, Wow Us Wednesdays, Wake Up Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Wonderful Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Share Your Style, Thursday Favorite Things, Showcase Your Talent Thursday, Create It Thursday, Fabulous Foodie Friday.

Breakfast Berry Scooper Cake and Yogurt

Breakfast Berry Scooper Cake @ NancyC

It’s hard to believe we’re almost through November already and looking forward to the 51oDdaQDHAL._SX442_BO1,204,203,200_Thanksgiving holiday! I didn’t realize until this year that November is also American Diabetes Month. In 2012, 9.3% of the American population (or 29.1 million Americans) had diabetes, so chances are that you or someone you know has been diagnosed with it. I recently received a review copy of the Two-Step Diabetes Cookbook by Nancy S. Hughes, so I thought I’d share a little about the book and try out a recipe.

This cookbook includes over 150 recipes that are simple, quick, flavorful, and healthy. And everyday ingredients are used to create these diabetic-friendly dishes. Some of the recipes include:

  • Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
  • Apple-Walnut French Toast
  • Pepperoni Mozzarella Pita Crisps
  • Corn and Black Bean Salsa Salad
  • Vanilla Honey Sweet Potatoes
  • Veggie-Loaded Sweet Corn Muffins
  • Herb-Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables
  • Cinnamon Raspberry Cookie Cake Squares

I decided to try the Breakfast Berry Scooper Cake, which is served with Greek yogurt. This breakfast cake is very, very moist, lightly-sweet and packed with fruit. If you serve this hot, you can scoop it out of the pan. If you serve it warm or cool, you can cut into squares, which is what I did. The yogurt is a nice creamy pairing with the cake, giving you a slightly sweet, slightly tart taste combination–a great option for your morning meal!

BREAKFAST BERRY SCOOPER CAKE AND YOGURT from Two-Step Diabetes Cookbook

Makes 9 servings in an 8″square pan (2 1/2″ square and 1/3 cup yogurt per serving)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (I used unbleached flour)
  • 7 Tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 (1-pound) bag frozen mixed berries
  • 3 cups plain nonfat Greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Meanwhile, combine the flour, all but 2 teaspoons of the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, buttermilk, egg, oil, and extract in a medium bowl. Whisk together until smooth and pour into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray; top with the frozen berries.

Bake 1 hour or until browned and wooden pick inserted 2 inches from edge comes out clean. Remove from oven, place pan on cooling rack, and sprinkle with remaining sugar (I forgot to sprinkle on the remaining sugar, but I didn’t really miss having it on there). Serve hot, warm, or room temperature with yogurt on the side.

Cook’s Tip: If serving hot, use a spoon to remove. It will be a “loose” pudding cake texture. If serving warm, carefully cut into squares and use a flat spatula to remove; it will be a very moist pudding cake texture. If serving room temperature, cut into squares. Use a flat spatula to remove. It will be a firmer, but still very moist, pudding cake texture.

EXCHANGES/CHOICES: 2 Carbohydrate, 1 Protein, lean 1/2 Fat

BASIC NUTRITIONAL VALUES: Calories 215 (Calories from fat 45), Total Fat 5.0 g (Saturated Fat 0.5 g, Trans Fat 0.0 g), Cholesterol 20 mg, Sodium 175 mg, Potassium 180 mg, Total Carbohydrate 30 g (Dietary Fiber 2 g, Sugars 17 g), Protein 11 g, Phosphorus 170 mg

My cake had browned quite a bit on top, so next time I’ll check to see if it’s done at 55 minutes instead of 60. You may want to do that too, especially if your oven tends to run hot.

Even if you don’t have diabetes, the recipes in this cookbook give you lots of great ideas on ways to eat healthier. What are some of your favorite healthy breakfast dishes?

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Linked to Fiesta Friday, FoodieFriDIY, Sunday Features, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, Inspire Me Monday, Show and Share, Tasty Tuesday, Wow Us Wednesdays, Wake Up Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Wonderful Wednesday, Share Your Style, Create It Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Showcase Your Talent Thursday, Fabulous Foodie Friday, Feathered Nest Friday.

Cinnamon Bun Caramel Corn

Cinnamon Bun Caramel Corn @ NancyC

SallysCandyAddicitonWhen I think of autumn flavors, cinnamon is one of the first to come to mind for me. I use cinnamon in quick breads, muffins, cakes, all kinds of treats…and I guess that’s why this Cinnamon Bun Caramel Corn stood out to me. I found it in my review copy of Sally’s Candy Addiction: Tasty Truffles, Fudges & Treats for Your Sweet-Tooth Fix. Written by Sally McKenney, the blogger behind Sally’s Baking Addiction, this book has over 75 recipes for wonderful homemade sweets and colorful photos of them that show how irresistible they are.

Just to give you an idea of what you’ll find in this cookbook, here are some recipes that were calling out to me:

  • Southern-Style Pecan Pralines
  • Chocolate-Dipped Cocoa Marshmallows
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Bark
  • Mint Truffles
  • Chocolate Sea-Salt Caramels
  • Salted English Toffee
  • Overloaded Cinnamon Spice Brittle
  • Pretzel M&M’s Puppy Chow
  • Birthday Cake Fudge
  • Crazy Candy Deep-Dish Cookie Cake

So you get the idea…so many yummy things to try!

And as I mentioned, because cinnamon has been on my mind with the arrival of fall, I had to try the Cinnamon Bun Caramel Corn. Inspired by a caramel sticky bun drizzled with vanilla glaze, this caramel corn has a yummy, slightly cinnamony caramel coating and it’s drizzled with melted white chocolate–a combination that’s hard to resist! Here’s the recipe if you want to try it…

CINNAMON BUN CARAMEL CORN from Sally’s Candy Addiction

Makes 7 cups

  • 7 cups air-popped popcorn
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used 1 cup of white chocolate chips)
  1. Preheat oven to 200˚F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Spread the popcorn evenly onto the baking sheets. Set aside.
  2. Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt in a 3-quart heavy-duty saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until butter has melted. Next, bring to a boil while stirring occasionally. allow to boil for 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the baking soda. The caramel will immediately foam and bubble. Give it a quick stir, then stir in the vanilla and cinnamon. Pour the caramel over the popcorn and toss gently until all of the kernels are coated.
  3. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Allow to cool on the pans, then break apart large clusters if desired. Melt the white chocolate,* being careful not to overheat it. Once melted, immediately drizzle over the caramel corn and allow to cool.

Once cooled, store in an airtight container at room temperature in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks.

*To melt chocolate in the microwave: Place the chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and place the bowl in the microwave. Heat on 50 percent power in 15- to 20-second increments, stirring the chocolate between each increment (It took about 90 seconds for me to melt my 1 cup of vanilla chips). Also, Sally advises: When microwaving, you don’t need to completely melt the chocolate before removing it from the microwave, because the warmed chocolate will continue to melt as you stir it. Always stop early to be safe.

You do have to work fast once the caramel is finished cooking–pour it over the popped corn right after you mix in the baking soda, cinnamon, and vanilla; if you don’t work fast, the caramel will start thickening as it cools and won’t be as pourable–and your caramel corn won’t be coated quite so evenly.

Caramel Corn is one of my favorite sweets and I really liked how this recipe tasted. Are you a fan of caramel corn too?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Simply Sundays, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, Sunday Features, Inspire Me Monday, Show and Share, Wonderful Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday, Wow Us Wednesdays, Wake Up Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Inspiration Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Create It Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Showcase Your Talent Thursday, Share Your Style, Feathered Nest Friday, Fabulous Foodie Fridays.