Friday, December 19, 2008

12 Days of Christmas - Day 8

8 Loads of Laundry

7 More Inches of Snow
(There is a giant snow hill across the street (in the median) and I had to dig the end of the drive way out because the guys who shovel our driveway and sidewalk came before the city guys who do the street.)

6 Years of Marriage
(Happy Anniversary Babe!)

5 More Years in Iowa

4 More Days of Christmas 
(Well, plus Christmas Day)

3 Bags to check
(We're only allowed to check 3 bags tomorrow, or else!)

2 Chocolate Fingerprints on My Keyboard
(Where did those come from??)

A tip (or two) for the Caramels:

When cooking the caramels, you must watch the temperature very closely, 248 degrees is the HIGHEST it should go.  The guy who taught me how to make these only cooked them to 240 degrees, in fact.  That was just a little too soft for me though.  The tricky thing about getting the temp right though is, that you can't get the temp from the bottom of the pan - that will be about 8-10 degrees hotter than the top of the pan.  So, when your temp reaches 248 - give the gooey stuff a stir and check the temp.  I know that if the thermometer is touching the bottom of my pan and reads in the 250's then near the top it should read around 240 - or even a degree or two less.  That is usually about perfect.  Caramels can be temperamental though.  This year, my first batch was too hard, almost like a soft toffee.  I had to heat it up with a blow dryer a little to get it not crack when I cut it.  The taste was great, you just have to let it sit in your mouth for a few seconds to let it warm up enough to chew it.  My second batch was perfect.  Just keep trying.

Someone also asked about how much this makes.  Well, I made two batches and I would say that there is at least 500 pieces - maybe even as much as 700.  It's kind of hard to tell.  I put two handfuls in each bag and made 17 bags for the people here in Ames, and that only used up about half of the caramels.  The other half I am taking to AZ with me.  So, if you want to try it out, give me a call or come by my parents house.  That's where we're staying.

Anymore questions?  Feel free to email me.

PS - Sorry no pics, my camera battery needed to get recharged.  This is the first time it has gone dead - great battery!


Kristina P. said...

Happy anniversary!

And thanks for the caramel tips. That makes a lot!

shanny said...

may I please have your address, sending out our Christmas late!

Erin said...

I understand the 8 loads of laundry. And the 7 inches of snow too! (I saw on Erika's blog pictures of her kids playing on the huge mountain in their median thing.)

Tabitha Blue said...

Oh what a neat idea for the days of Christmas!!! Happy Anniversary and have a GREAT trip!!!