I was SO excited to be chosen by MommyParties and Werther's Original for a Baking Bash featuring their new Baking Caramels recently. Imagine how thrilling it was to get this box in the mail, full of Werther's Original Baking Caramels to use at the bash, with plenty more to share with my guests. Woot!
My party was supposed to be this past Sunday, only... no one could make it. Big, huge bummer. I had planned baking, fun and games (and even cleaned up my house in preparation, which is momentous in iteself), but my invitees were unable to join me.
So yesterday (Tuesday), Team Odette had the Werther's Original Baking Bash all on our own. I have some Freecycle ladies coming today, and they have been forewarned that they WILL be taking home some caramels and caramel-baked goodness, so I'm still sharing, right?!
Come along, now, and see what this is all about. Here we go!
Of course, all of the recipes I baked up at our Bash started with the Werther's Original Baking Caramels. These rich and creamy Caramels are great for baking and making delicious caramel apples (hello, first thing you think of in Autumn, right?). Made with real butter and fresh cream, they are perfect for melting and incorporating into your favorite recipes. Did I mention they taste great all on their own, if you can't help but pop one - or, um, three - into your mouth during your unwrapping frenzy?
Of course, the first recipe I had to try was Caramel Apples. You know, Caramel (and Candy) apples are an October staple in this country, but I don't think I've ever made homemade ones for my family. So I was excited to make these for our continuing Halloween/Autumn parade of treats, and you know the kids were chomping at the bit to try them, too! The recipe, here, calls for scrubbing your apples with some dish soap and drying before starting to melt the caramel, so I did exactly that. Rob always teases me for not following recipes and going off on my own tangential trail - sometimes with great results, sometimes disastrously - but this time, I followed it to a 't.'
The recipe even called for melting the caramels in a 2-cup glass measuring cup and, voilà, I did that, too! The bag of Caramels itself brags about how easy to unwrap they are, and it's no lie. I had a 20-second timed unwrapping contest with my kids and video-taped the whole thing, but my iPhone ate the videos before I could save them to my camera.
(Okay, I deleted them by accident. iPhone is not at fault here. I lied.)
In the 20 seconds, Sophia managed to unwrap 4½ Caramels! Chloë came in second with three, and Jack did 2½. I coached, cajoled and coaxed them along in that time, and the videos were pretty funny, so I'm bummed not to have them to share with you! Just imagine me being hilarious and the kids being their usual amusing selves, and you're In Like Flynn.
By the way, the recipe, printed on the bag, also calls for adding a tbsp (or two, if ya want) of milk or heavy cream (your preference) to the caramels during the melting phase. Don't be a dummy like me and neglect to read that part. I made the recipe twice, and guess what? It works so much better when you follow the dang directions.
Because of my milk omission, and I think because of the shape and size of the 2-cup glass measuring cup, it was a little hard for me to coat my apples completely and thoroughly. I did use a spoon, as suggested, but when I later repeated the recipe in a regular FiestaWare cereal bowl, it worked much better. So, my vote is for shallow and wide, rather than tall and narrow, m'kay?
Sophia was the first taker on a Caramel Apple. She bit into it and deemed it delicious, BUT, full disclosure here, it was too hard to bite into the caramel. We had put them in the fridge to harden the caramel and, well, that worked at little too well. We're having issues with our refrigerator being too cold (or not cold enough, when we attempt to turn it down), so maybe that's the problem. When I put the formerly-chilled apples in the built-in microwave over the constantly-on oven after that, the caramel softened for later eaters to be able to eat it. For Sophie, though, we had to cut up the apple in order for it to be eaten. Still quite tasty, but not quite the same.
End Result: Delicious, Semi-Easy, and Repeatable!
Next up was Caramel Mocha Hot Chocolate. You can find the recipe here.
Now, this recipe should have been simple, but the recipe forgot to tell me when to add the majority of the chocolate to the saucepot (before adding caramels, by the way), and also, I completely messed it up. It was a comedy of errors:
First of all, there was that omission, and I called my MommyParties contact, Amy, for clarification. Second, it calls for instant coffee, and I had no instant. So like a dummy (and not for the first time in my life), I subbed coffee grounds. Ha! DUH! I forgot that it wouldn't dissolve. Rob solved that problem by running the milk/coffee/sugar combo through his French press after it boiled. Mah Hero! And finally, for whatever reason I can't quite explain, I made a cup of coffee with a K-cup in my Keurig and dumped the whole cup into my post-boiled mixture for more coffee flavor. Even though the recipe only called for 2 tsp of instant... so yeah. It was more Mocha, Less Chocolate, you know?
But that's okay, because Rob liked it so well, he drank two cups! Jack had a cup, too.The girls tried it, as did I, but we weren't big fans of the bitter chocolate I used for garnish. And it was too coffee-ish for the ladies. (Jack loves coffee; go figure.)
End Result: Pretty Good, Kind of Hard for ME, Possibly Repeatable.
Third on the list was this Caramel Apple Tart. The recipe is here. Oh, my word, y'all. THIS was delicious. Absolutely, completely, totally delicious. It was easy to make, rich and flavorful, and I just can't say enough about it. You have to make this one, you guys!
Chloë was first to try the Caramel Apple Tart. Sorta. I tasted the mixture after scooping it out of the skillet and just knew it would be a winner. What did Chlo think?
She loved it. She asked me to make it again. Soon. And I will. Because yum. Every one of us agreed with her, too.
End Result: Insanely Delicious, Easy, MUST Repeat!
I saw this recipe for Almond Drizzle Apples and knew I had to try it. My apples didn't turn out anywhere near as pretty as the ones in the recipe, and I had a dickens of a time splotting chocolate drizzle all over them, but the end result was superb. If I could have the sugar, I would absolutely have eaten an entire apple, but I had to refrain. More for the rest of Team Odette!
End Result: Delicious, Hard for ME, Probably Repeatable
Next on my agenda was this Candy Apple Cheesecake. I probably would sub a regular, 8" pie crust instead of a 9" one next time, but I wouldn't change any other thing. It was simple to make, and I followed the directions and chilled it thoroughly before serving much later in the evening.
By the time I served this at night, Chloë and I were the only ones left with any kind of appetite, so we dug in. Another "OMG" moment, like the tart. Y'all totes need to stock up on Werther's Baking Caramels and a bunch of apples, because you need to make these recipes. No joke!
End Result: Super Delicious, Very Easy, Must Repeat!
I love a good popcorn cluster, so I knew these Caramel Popcorn Clusters would be on my list. I can't eat much of it anymore, but the bottom line is, if you like this sort of snack, it's a must. So good; I wish I could eat more!
End Result: Delicious, Easy, Repeatable
Eating peanut brittle was on Chloë's Bucket List, so I had to make some of this Caramel Peanut Brittle when I saw the recipe online. It came together quickly and simply. My only suggestion to you would be that when you're spreading it out on a cookie sheet for hardening, spray a metal spoon with cooking spray and flatten it with that. Oh, and stick it in the freezer for five minutes for fast hardening before breaking. I did both of those things, and it worked well.
End Result: Crazy Delicious, Very Easy, Repeatable!
* * *
The bottom line is, we had a fabulous time discovering all that can be done with these versatile Baking Caramels, and I still plan to make more recipes later this week, like this Caramel Apple Silk Pie, and this Caramel Spiced Bread, and these Caramel Sticky Buns (probably without the cherries, but we'll see).
For MORE mouthwatering caramel recipes, baking tutorials, special offers, and even giveaways and sweepstakes, you'll want to join me and sign up here for an awesome Werther's Caramel Community. Let me know if you do - I'm there, too! The community is full of ideas, including amazing recipes submitted by readers and users like you and me, so check it out.
* * *
I hope you've had a good time reading this post. You can go snag a coupon by joining here, so let me know if you try out any of these delicious Baking Caramels treats. I'd love to know how you fared compared to us!
Full Disclosure: I received free Werther's Original products in order to host the Werther's Original sponsored MommyParty. The opinions expressed here are, as always, completely my own.