Monday, 1 December 2008
Hello, and welcome to December! Eek! How did it come around so fast? I thought I was all prepared until my Mum told me yesterday that she's already wrapped our presents! I just can't compete with that, especially as I still have a couple to get before the present swap on Saturday.
One thing I did have ready was N's advent calendar. It's a fabric one that you can put your own things in. A genius idea if you ask me . It's hard if you commit to different things everyday, but I usually have sweets or chocolate during the week and little presents at the weekends. It worked really well last year.
Last year I went for small versions of chocolate bars that I'd tracked down, but this year I was more prepared and wanted to make something special. So last week I expanded my skills and made caramels for the first time. I'd seen a recipe for apple cider caramels on Sugar Punk and knew I had to try it. I decided to steep some cinnamon in the cream and butter when heating it, and as a result got a softly spiced caramel with the slight alcoholic kick. I had to wait until today to tell you all about them because I didn't want N stumbling on them before the surprise. I also wanted a second opinion because I really liked them, but N is a caramel connoisseur and what really mattered was him liking them.
He tends to save his advent treats and have them in his lunchbox so he has a little something in his afternoon to keep him going. When I asked him if he'd enjoyed it today he said they were really nice. When I made a comment about having made them he said he hadn't realised, and was really impressed. I think I did the right thing then!
I would definitely recommend them, as they were easy to make even for a complete caramel novice. I think I'm going to make a second batch, this time a spiced brandy version!
I won't post the recipe because I didn't really change it, and I really appreciated all the hints and tips in the original and am convinced this is what made it so easy. Instead you can find the recipe here.