I've finished my first round of holiday candy making and let me tell you, the candies are TERRIFIC! I improvised a LOT on the Reindeer Belly Button recipe. The original recipe called for Pretzel Rings (which no longer exist in the Western Hemisphere) with a hershey kiss in the middle (melted) and then a red or green M&M placed on top. Well that was too boring for me so I spruced them up a bit and used the waffle pretzels with a Caramel Hershey's kiss melted in the middle and then I placed a mini marshmallow on top which I then sprinkled with red and green sprinkles! And they are delicious. The caramel and the chocolate oozes out with each bite. I also made a couple other varieties with M&Ms and Ghiradelli milk chocolates which were also good but the chocolate, caramel marshmallow surprise treat is my favorite.
I'm still working on my second candy project which is taking a little longer than expected. I've been making these candies now for over an hour and once the temp reaches 240 degrees I am supposed to remove the mixture from the stove, stir in some vanilla and smooth to make caramels. Well it appears the longer I bring this goo to a boil the lower the temperature gets! Not quite sure how this is possible. I think it's time to remove from heat. The mixture is now turning a gross brown color. But the house smells soooooo good!!
Now I've removed the mixture from the stove, stirred in the vanilla, poured the goo into a baking pan and sprinkled some chocolate chips on top and swirled them into the mix. It's now starting to look like it could become caramels! Can't wait for it to cool.
And of course during this entire process, my loyal companion has not left my side. I tripped over him a couple times but he doesn't even bat an eye....