Friday, April 5, 2019

Bulls-Eye Caramel Pie & Caramel-Filled Cupcakes

As a kid, growing up in the Midwest,
I lived in what I thought was the best town ever.

It had everything… at least everything a girl like me,
living her best life in the early 1980’s could ever need…or want.

We had little stores on a tree-lined main street, 
the best bakery ever (still is the best-ever bakery), a city pool, 
loads of friendly neighbors…
We knew everyone on our street 
and everyone knew us too.

It was a wonderful place to call home.

I walked to school every day with friends, 
past quaint manicured homes with dewy little front yards…
Our older neighbors would wave good morning 
as they weeded their flower beds.

We rode bicycles all summer long, to the pool and back,
still soggy from our last dip in the pool with damp towels
 draped around our necks for the ride home. 
We played outside with our friends until the street lights 
came on or until our dad whistled a familiar
tune from the front porch to let us know 
we had better hurry home.

Such a sweet town, during what seemed like a much 
simpler and slower paced time.

When I was old enough, 
I was sometimes given the very responsible job 
of walking to the corner store to buy bread or milk 
for my mother… this was kind of a big deal to 8 year-old me.
It was a big deal,
because nothing makes you feel more independent
 and capable than having a very
important task to do…all alone…in the “big” city… 

I was given a single dollar bill and tasked
 with running to the corner store to
 get whatever dinnertime staple we were low on… 
My mom always, always, always, reminded me 
not to talk to strangers and to be careful 
crossing the street. 
 – money in hand, and off I would go…  

… Maybe the best part…
I was allowed to use the change… and it was only a dime or two
to buy penny candy for my walk home.

I found that it was better if 
I went on these errands alone, but sometimes 
I had to take my little brother.  
The reason it was better to go alone??  
It was a selfish reason… it was all about the 17 cents.

I would get back a small amount of change… 

...really small... minuscule, but just enough.

  The change I had to spend on candy
 was always less if my brother 
was tagging along. 

When my brother came along it meant sharing--
Sharing my meager, yet 
fortuitous windfall of candy-money.

My trips to the store
were always was made longer
by perusing the candy counter and the endless bins
of confectionery goodness…

I had a few favorites…one of which were
 Bulls-Eyes…those delicious
caramels with the white cream center.
Remember those??

Oh, my goodness... those were so delicious.
--turns out, they are every bit as delicious toady too...

Fast forward to today…
Can you imagine my excitement when a representative
From Goetze’s Candy Company… asked if I ...

(little old me--Karri, the girl from the little town, who loved her errand-bonus
 Bulls-Eye caramels)
could create a recipe with those old-fashioned favorites of mine?!

How could they have known my love of the Bull-Eye caramels?? 
Maybe everybody loves them as much as I do…

I decided, yes… yes, I was up for the challenge…
and I created two new recipes!

I took one of my all-time favorite candies and combined
 it with my all-time favorite pie… pecan.

Here is the:
Bulls-Eye Caramel Pecan Pie!! 

A fun pie and a great twist on a standard 
(although this prize-winning desert is anything but standard) pie.

What better way to celebrate today…
National Caramel Day, than by sharing 
these fun new recipes with you.

Enjoy these new recipes. 
Please remember no matter how delicious they are,
sharing is always appreciated… just ask my little brother.

Bulls-Eye Caramel Pecan Pie

Karri Perry,
Blue Ribbon Kitchen

Baking temp: 350
Time: 50-55 minutes
Yields: 9-inch pie

Pie Dough—or use a store-bought pre-made crust
2 cups all purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp Crisco-either butter flavor or original is fine
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
¼ cup- plus 2 Tbs ice cold water and vodka mixed 50/50

15-20 unwrapped Goetze’s Bulls-Eye Caramels
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup dark corn syrup
4 TBS butter melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
¼ tsp salt
½ cup chopped toasted pecans
2/3 cup un-toasted whole-unblemished pecans for edging pie-decoration is optional

Step 1: Mix together flour, sugar and salt, set aside.  Make pie dough by cutting in (using a pastry cutter or food processor) butter, shortening and lard into the flour, sugar and salt.  Add liquid a little at a time…Once dough comes together, shape into 2 equal disks and let rest, covered tightly, at least one hour in the refrigerator. (Only one disk of dough is used for this pie)

Step 2: Roll out 1 dough round to ¼ inch thick, fill pie plate. Place Bull’s-eye caramels in the pie shell in one even layer.

Step 3: Whisk eggs, sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, extract, salt and vanilla together.  Fold in chopped toasted pecans.

Step 4: Fill pie shell, covering the caramels with pecan mixture.  Top with whole pecans around edges.  Add dough cut-outs in decorative shapes if desired.

Step 5: Bake in preheated 350-degree oven, on the lowest rack for 55-60 minutes or until filling is set.  Allow to cool before serving.

 Caramel-Filled Cupcakes

Karri Perry,
Blue Ribbon Kitchen
Baking temp: 350
Time: 50-55 minutes
24 cupcakes

Make 24 yellow cupcakes.  Boxed mix is fine.

Caramel Filling
20 unwrapped Goetze’s Bulls-Eye Caramels
2 Tablespoons dark corn syrup
1 Tablespoon evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

Vanilla Frosting (store-bought) OR:
2 sticks softened butter
5-6 cups confectioner’s sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1-2 Tablespoon heavy whipping cream- more or less to reach desired consistency.
1 tsp vanilla extract
Prepared Caramel Corn

Step 1: prepare cupcakes, let cool.

Step 2: In a small, non-stick skillet, add corn syrup, evaporated milk and salt.  Add the unwrapped Goetze’s Bulls-Eye caramels.  On low heat, begin to melt the candies.  Stir often.  Once caramels are melted, remove from heat to cool.  If mixture is too thick, add 1-3 tablespoons of evaporated milk to thin.

Step 3:  Using an apple corer, remove a small amount of cake from the center of each cupcake. 

Step 4: Fill a piping bag with the cooled caramel sauce.  Fill each cupcake with 1-2 teaspoons of caramel sauce.

Step 5: Make Frosting: Beat the butter on high for 3-4 minutes.  Slowly add the sugar, salt and vanilla.  Thin the frosting with the heavy cream.  Frost cupcakes with vanilla frosting add caramel corn to the top of each cupcake and drizzle with extra caramel sauce.

Disclaimer:  This was not a paid sponsorship of Goetze’s Caramel Creams, these opinions and recipes are my own.  Goetze’s Candy Company did provide the Bulls Eye caramels for recipe development.

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