Honey Carmels

Surprisingly, we still have honey from our August 2014 harvest. Just a tad under 1/4 gallon. It certainly is not enough to give everyone a jar of honey for Christmas, but it is enough to make carmel candies. I modified a friend’s recipe for making carmel topping into this recipe that makes more solid carmels using none other than– honey!

If you are livin’ the dream, but livin’ it in the poor house this holiday season, you have just enough time to make a batch of carmel candies to feed a small army (or deserving family and friends). Plus some “scraps” to shove into your mouth while you’re wrapping these beauties up.

   
   
Honey Carmel Candies

You need:

  • 2 cups honey
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Line a 9×13″ pan with parchment paper; the bottom and sides should be lined making a full paper insert.
  2. In a heavy sauce pan, lightly simmer the cream and salt together. Be sure not to boil!
  3. Stir in honey and bring to a boil. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
  4. Cook until the temperature has reached 250*F with a candy thermometer (or 20-30 minutes; when the carmel does not easily drip from the spoon… think sludge).
  5. When the carmel reaches 250* degrees remove from heat. Carefully pour carmel into parchment paper-lined pan.
  6. When carmel is nearly cool, feel free to sprinkle it with sea salt or nuts. Allow to cool completely in the pan.
  7. Remove whole parchment paper to the cutting board when cool to cut into pieces. It helps to lightly oil your knife between cuts so the carmel does not stick.
  8. Cut 4×2″ strips of parchment paper to roll the carmel candies into. Trust me, as cute as mini cupcake papers look, carmel sticks to them like crazy! Roll up and twist the ends.

Crock Pot Greek Yogurt Using Raw Goat Milk

We really don’t drink milk around here. I know, it sounds weird considering we have dairy goats now. We may not care for milk in a glass, but we do enjoy all those dairy-based foods. Mozzarella, feta, chèvre, mac n’ cheese (awesome use for goat cheese), Gjetost, ranch dressing, chip dip, cream cheese sour crem, and… yogurt.

I do have two more goat milk foods to mark off my bucket list: hard cheese (like cheddar or jack) and using chèvre or cream cheese to make a cheese cake. If any of you out there have good recipes for small batch hard cheese using goat milk, let me know. I will love you forever.

For now, I am absolutely smitten with the yogurt I made yesterday. It was easy. It was painless. It used two ingredients. It turned out rich and creamy. This recipe is definitely a winner in my book.

This batch will be used for both regular yogurt –with honey drizzled haphazardly ontop– and some will be used as a test for frozen yogurt. Mmmmm.

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Crock Pot Yogurt

:: makes 2 quarts
• 2 quarts milk (raw is best, but you can use milk that has been minimally pasteurized; not ultra-pasturized)
• 1/4 cup Greek yogurt starter (use the last of that container from the store as long as it says it contains “live and active cultures”)

Pour 2 quarts of milk into crock pot. Cover and heat to the “low” setting for approximately 2.5 hours or until the milk has reached 110*F for 30 minutes.

Turn off the crock pot and cool the milk with the lid on until the milk meets 110*F.

Add the yogurt culture or finished Greek yogurt. Do not add your culture if the milk temperature exceeds 115*F. Mix well with a whisk.

Cover the mixture. Wrap in towels and let sit for 8-12 hours. Refrigerate for 6 hours before eating (it will thicken a bit more during this time).

Bam! Yogurt. I told you it was easy. You have no excuse now. Especially since you can keep the yogurt going forever by always saving that last 1/4 cup to start the next batch.