Dreamy Vanilla Fleur de Sel Caramel Krispies

When I received the email from Heather letting me know the theme for this month’s What’s Baking challenge was ‘salty and sweet’ I immediately thought of the Vanilla Fleur de Sel Caramel that I make (recipe here). It’s so so so delicious. I thought about baking it into brownies (but I’m not all that much of a chocolate fan), I thought about making cupcakes and using that over the frosting and the list went on and on.   Then bing!!!bing!!!bing!!! Rice Krispie treats came to mind.  Yummy-sweet marshmallowy crispy goodies plus the gorgeous caramel? Yes, please. The only problem was that I’d never actually made RK treats even though as a kid I ate tons.  So I looked at the recipe on the Rice Krispie website and saw that wow it’s easy.  So here we go.

They’re very slightly salty, marshmallowy, crispy, a touch vanilla-ey and subtlety caramelly. These are sticky. They’re gooey. They’ll ruin your diet. And you’ll love every minute of it 🙂

I’d say these took about 45 minutes not including the cooling time. That includes making the caramel (so easy!) and the Krispie treats.

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Dreamy Vanilla Sea Salt Caramel Krispies

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 10oz package of marshmallows
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies
  • 1/4-1/3 cup Vanilla Fleur de Sel Caramel
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • waxed paper

Instructions:

  1. Lightly spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with the non-stick spray and set it aside.
  2. Pull off a sheet of waxed paper about the size of the pan and set it aside.
  3. In a pan (large enough to hold all ingredients and stir them) over low heat melt the butter then add marshmallows and stir until they’re melted completely (I used a metal spoon).
  4. Add the Rice Krispies and stir until evenly combined with the marshmallows.
  5. Stir in the caramel and mix until evenly combined. Start with the 1/4 cup and add a little more if you want to.
  6. Pour the mixture into the pan and use the spoon and waxed paper to press it evenly into the pan.
  7. Set the pan aside for it to cool and set.  Store in airtight containers. rice1

 

Heather from www.hezzi-dsbooksandcooks.com was the host. Thanks Heather!

WB

 

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Yummy Granola

Have you bought granola recently? Holy cow it’s a fortune!! I’ve seen a few recipies here and there for it but I never tried to make it.  Recently I took the cookbook ‘Quinoa 365’ out of the library and spotted their ‘Ultimate Granola’. Well-it wasn’t MY ultimate granola as I can’t stand raisins and I’m not much of a pumpkin seed fan-so I made it my own.  It’s full of all kinds of good stuff-the flake coconut and the tart cranberries are so great together and I love the whole almonds and parts of walnuts.

Feel free to make the same kind of adjustments to YOUR ultimate granola.

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Yummy Granola

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut (unsweetened and crushed into small bits)
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 cup real maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup cranberries

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 225F.
  2. Combine all ingredients through and including walnuts in a large bowl and mix well.
  3. In a small bowl mix the syrup and vanilla and stir to combine.  Pour the syrup over the oat mixture and stir until evenly distributed.  Add the cinnamon and stir again until evenly mixed.
  4. Spread mixture evenly onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Mix in the cranberries and extra coconut if desired. I did  🙂

Store in a sealed container for up to 4 weeks.

Makes 7 cups.

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Hush Puppies with Maple Butter

Husband and I have been eating and drinking at Brother Jimmy’s BBQ for years and years. First there was 1 in Manhattan, then 2, then 3, then one at  Yankee Stadium (woot woot go Yankees!) and now there’s one in Puerto Rico (will visit that one in April) and on St. Maarten (will also visit that one in April). We spent countless hours at the bar watching football on chilly fall and winter afternoons, laughing with friends, enjoying each other’s company and Husband and I were introduced to each other at one by a very good friend. In other words-for nearly 13 years it’s held a special place in our hearts.  They serve southern BBQ food. They have skee-ball. They have some drinks served in goldfish bowls.  It’s a happy enough place that people bring their kids for lunch on the weekends and everyone enjoys themselves.

Imagine my surprise when I saw that they have a cookbook out!! I bought it for Husband for Christmas and made one of his favorites, Hush Puppies, for Super Bowl Sunday.  They’re so good. They’re easy to make!  They’re perfect for football or hockey or staying in and reading. And the butter-YUM!!  If you don’t know they’re about the size of golf balls-enough for a few bites.

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Hush Puppies

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup diced Spanish onion
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 2&3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1&1/2 tsp granulated onion
  • about 5 cups canola oil for deep frying

Instructions

  1. Heat 6 inches of oil to 325F in a heavy-bottomed stock pot. While the oil is heating lightly heat the eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in the baking powder, add the buttermilk and mix well. Add the oil and onion.
  2. Im a separate bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, cayenne and granulated onion. Add the dry ingredinets itno the bowl with the wet ingredients, mix to incorporate but don’t over-mix. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Carefully drop round heaping tablespoons of the batter, one at time, into the hot oil being sure not to over-crowd them. Cook until golden brown, 3-5 minutes.
  4. Using a spider or metal slotted spoon remove them from th oil to a wire rack to cool.
  5. Serve warm with maple butter.

Note: this recipe makes about 24 hush puppies which is a lot as they’re heavy. I made the full amount of batter, cooked half and froze the other half for use later.

Maple Butter

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl beat together the butter and maple syrup until incorporated. Set it aside at room temperature. 

Note : the maple butter needs to be at room temperature to serve. You can also feeze it too and it’s great on other things like pancakes, cornbread etc…

Peperonata

What a delicious combination of onion, red pepper and tomato. I made this on Sunday morning and put it in the fridge to cool and then was invited to a friends house for some wine and apps.  I brought some with me and it was great chilled and put onto toasted pita wedges.  This can be served warm, cold or at room temperature and is so versatile! Put it on a sandwich or on a cracker or eat as a side salad…the list goes on an on. Such a fresh refreshing little salad.

Peperonata (Braised Sweet Peppers, Tomatoes and Onions)

Ingredients:

  • 1lb (500g) red bell peppers (capsicums), stems, ribs and seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup (2fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tomatoes, seeds removed and coarsely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

  1. Cut the bell peppers into 2 inch squares. In a saucepan over low heat, combine the peppers, olive oil, onion and bay leaves and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened and have released their juices-about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer gently until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves.

Serve warm or chilled.

Slightly adapted from Williams-Sonoma Florence cookbook.

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