Salted Bacon Caramels

You may have seen my prior post on salted caramels or pecan caramels, but this is an experiment I did for my husband who is CRAZY about BACON!  Amazingly, it worked!  This is my creation…Salted Bacon Caramels.  It may not be your thing…but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!

Start by frying the bacon.  Make sure to fry it very crisp, flabby bacon doesn’t work well in this recipe. Break the strips of bacon into small bacon bits and set aside.  (My example shows 4 strips instead of 2 because I had to make extra for my son.)

Next, prepare a pan for the caramel by lining it with parchment paper and spraying it with non-stick spray.

Have two pots ready.  Place the heavy cream, butter and sea salt into the larger one.  Put the sugar, corn syrup and water into the smaller one and stir just until mixed.  Bring both to a boil.  Turn the heat off of the cream but keep boiling the sugar pot.  This is very important: Do not stir the sugar mixture while it is boiling.  Gently swirl the pot periodically to keep it from burning but do not stir it with a spoon or the sugar with crystallize.

The color of the sugar above is very light.  After about 10 minutes it will darken into a caramel color like below.

Then it is ready to add to the heavy cream mixture.  Turn the heat back on the heavy cream mixture until it starts to boil again and then add the sugar mixture to it.  Be very careful because it will boil up violently!  That’s why I suggest having a bigger pot for the heavy cream mixture.

Bring the mixture to a full heavy boil and keep boiling about 5 minutes until the candy thermometer reaches 248 F or 120 C.

Remove from heat and add the bacon.

Then pour into the lined pan and cool for two hours before cutting.

Salted Bacon Caramels

2 Strips of Bacon (fried crisp and cut into small bits)
1 Cup Heavy Cream
5 Tablespoons Butter or Margarine (cut into Tablespoon pats)
1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt (Fleur de Sel)
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1/4 Cup Light Corn Syrup
1/4 Cup Water
Line the bottom of a 8×8 pan with parchment paper and spray it with non-stick cooking spray.  In one large pot add the cream, butter and salt and bring to a boil.  Remove heat and set aside.  In a small pot heat the sugar, corn syrup and water to a boil.  Boil the mixture and occasionally swirl the pot but do not stir it.  Boil for about 10 minutes until the mixture turn a caramel color.  Return the heavy cream mixture to a boil and add the sugar mixture.  Be careful because it will boil up about four times its size.  You can stir the mixture occasionally while using a candy thermometer until the mixture reaches 248 F or 120 C.  Remove from heat and add the bacon.  Then pour into the prepared pan and let it cool for two hours before cutting into pieces.  Top with rough sea salt as a garnish if desired.

The link to the regular pecan caramels is:

Regular or Salted Pecan Caramels

Personal Update for August

Most of my posts lately have been food related!! Yikes, maybe that’s why I can’t loose this weight.  Anyway, I’m making a personal update post to get everyone up to speed on my life.

I am finishing up my second week of work and everything is going great.  I like the job although it is very hectic.  The first week was really hard because it was my first week working away from the kids and I also had to travel that work.  So all of the sudden, Mommy was gone for three days.  The kids did OK though, better than I did, and now they are in a routine and they LOVE the new nanny.  (And so do I, it’s been a blessing).  Amazingly, even though I have been working some overtime for work already, I still have MORE free time than I did while being a SAHM.  Amazing, but about what I expected.

I’ve been working like crazy on nights and weekends to get the posts up for the details of my daughter’s party.  All my friends are asking and so I made all the posts (behind the scenes) and they are scheduled to post every Thursday, Friday and Saturday for the next four weeks.  I wanted to space them out so everyone doesn’t get PINK PARTY OVERLOAD which is a rare and almost always fatal disease.  The symptoms are kind of like having a stroke and you become listless and want to throw up.

My friends are still here and have been so supportive of me starting work.  So far, it’s almost like things haven’t changed.  My best friend and I are having a bit of trouble getting to see each other since we used to meet up during the daytime, but we still get to about every other week.  My bestie phone friend hasn’t been calling because the time zone difference means I will already be at work, but we’ll see what we can work out.

I have started planning Mason’s birthday party for January.  Thankfully my kids are exactly 6 months apart for birthday parties (July and January) so I just finish one and can start the next!  Ha!  It did take me 6 months to plan and execute Brie’s party.  Mason’s won’t be quite as involved but he and I have picked out a pretty awesome theme in my opinion and I’m excited to get started on it.  The hardest part of his birthday parties is always the cake.  Last year I made him a cake in the shape of Lightening McQueen from the Cars movie.  Shown here:

Lightening McQueen Cake

Onions, Butter and Wine, Oh My!
I really love to cook and sometimes it gets the better of me.  I decided to cook quite a few crazy things today and it’s 10:00 PM and I’m still cooking?!  That’s life at my house!  Cheers!

Boats are Nocturnal!

Recently some family members invited us to go on a boat ride with them and see some fireworks.  Since the fireworks were included, it was a bit late for us to take our daughter (1 year old) so we left her with the sitter and got to have some close time with just Mason (3.5 years).  The boat we rode was located at the end of a very long boat dock.  On the way out that night as we passed all the boats after the sun had gone down, Mason announced for everyone:

Boats are nocturnal just like bats are!

Well, in this case, I guess they are.  LOL


Flower Ice Cubes

For my daughter’s one year birthday party I created a cool thing for the punch bowl and the other adult beverages…Flower (or Rose) Ice Cubes!  They work perfectly for any special occasion, shower or wedding.

I happened to have these special over-sized ice trays but I think any size or shape tray would work.

I read on the internet to used boiled water so the cubes would be clear, but I still had a hard time and it took much longer to freeze them.  A good friend of mine suggested distilled water which I believe would work better.

You can find the edible flowers in the herb section of most specialty grocery stores.

Getting the flowers (or roses) to freeze in the middle of the cubes was the most difficult challenge because they float.  So what I did was to start freezing the water half-way and it caused the edges and tops to freeze first, so mid way through the process, I used a fork to lift up the top of the half-frozen cubes and I slid the roses into them and pushed the frozen edges back down…walla…flowers in the middle.  You might come up with a better idea, and if so, please post it!

I didn’t choose the best cube as an example here (I was in a hurry) but this is the finished product: