A few weeks ago I was invited to be part of the “12 Waverly Bloggers of Christmas“. This month-long event features unique ideas from 12 of Waverly’s favorite bloggers. Our mission? To share easy and useful holiday projects using Waverly materials.
Waverly is also giving you the chance to win two $100 gift cards, one for JoAnn’s Fabrics and another for Michael’s Arts & Crafts store. Just hop over to their Facebook page to enter.
As far as holiday gifts go, I can’t think of anything better to get than a loaf of freshly baked Maple-Walnut Bread. Or maybe Homemade Caramel Corn. Okay, Sea Salted Caramels are pretty high on my wishlist too. Sounds good, you say? You love all those treats too?! Then you’ll be happy to know that I have recipes for all of the above and easy ways to package them up for gift giving!
Christmas cones are so easy to make and they are reminiscent of Victorian paper cone ornaments, only larger. You can fill them with cookies and candies – and they are reusable, too! For complete instructions check out the how-to video below. (Email subscribers, please visit the site to view).
Bread is such a beautiful thing to give, and this Maple-Walnut Bread is so hearty! It’s like a big ol’ biscuit that gets baked in a loaf pan. There’s only one way to eat this bread (in my opinion); top a slice with goat cheese and place under the broiler until toasty. It makes a great appetizer, unless you top the whole thing off with fig jam. Then it’s more like heavenly dessert.
There’s something so humble and utilitarian about ticking fabric. That’s why it’s perfect for wrapping these simple bread loaves. Cut a length of fabric with pinking shears and wrap the bread. Wind a few lengths of baker’s twine or yarn around the fabric and tie off. A charming little package!
And why not give bread in a loaf pan? You can find the the pans for a modest price at discount stores or even vintage shops, and the recipient gets a double gift! Maybe after sampling some delicious homemade bread they will be inspired to make good use of the pan.
Since we are all terribly busy during the holidays season, I found a two-in-one recipe that I think you will LOVE. Seven minute microwave caramel is poured over popcorn for a Crunch-n-Munch type snack, or you can pour the caramel into a parchment lined dish and when cool, cut into individual caramels. You just can’t get any better than that, folks.
Before I close, a few tidbits of SprinkleBakes news:
- My book! You can read an update here, and it’s available for pre-order now! I’m so excited!
- You may have noticed that SB has a new look! This is thanks to Mr. Boddington’s Studio, illustrator of the SB book cover. I’m so in love with their illustrations of my sweets. In love, I say!
- The winner of the ModCloth gift certificate is Madeline Olin. Congrats to you, Madeline!
- SprinkleBakes has a mailing address. If you like snail mail, send me a letter. I’ll send you one back! You can find the address under “Contact Me” on the “About” page.
7 Minute Microwave Caramels or Caramel Corn
Yield: About 50 individually wrapped caramels, or 15 cups of caramel corn [click for printable version]
Make the Caramel:
Note: If making individual caramels, have an 8×8 dish lined with parchment paper at the ready. If making caramel corn, prepare 12-15 cups of popped kettle corn and place in a large bowl. 1 1/2 standard size bags of microwave popcorn popped equals about 12 cups. This is the amount I used.
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
1/2 cup corn syrup
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (not low fat)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. In a large microwaveable bowl or 8 cup glass measure, combine the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup. Microwave at 100% power for 2 minutes.
2. Stir mixture well. It will be a little grainy. Microwave for another 2 minutes, stir well.
3. Add 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk. Microwave for 3 minutes. Watch carefully, it is prone to bubble up at this stage.
4. Remove from microwave and stir in vanilla extract. Be very careful at this stage, the caramel is extremely hot and sticky!
For Individual Caramels:
Sea salt for sprinkling
1. Pour hot caramel into the parchment lined pan.
2. Lightly sprinkle with sea salt.
3. Let stand until set, but still slightly warm. Lift caramel block from pan and cut into individual squares.
4.Wrap in wax paper squares.
*Note: My caramels held their shape quite well without being wrapped.
For Caramel Corn:
1 cup peanuts or cashews
Sea salt for sprinkling
1. Pour nuts over popped kettle corn.
2. Pour hot caramel over popcorn, turning popcorn over with a large wooden spoon to coat.
3. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
4. Microwave caramel coated corn for 4 minutes, stopping after each minute to stir.
5. Pour onto prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. Let stand at room temperature until hardened.
6. Break into pieces and store in an air-tight container.
Note: this recipe should be made in a standard household microwave. High powered commercial microwaves are not suitable for this recipe.
Maple Walnut Bread
Adapted from the Northern Exposure cookbook (I am a fan!)
Yield one 8×4-inch loaf. [click for printable version]
(I often double this recipe to accommodate larger loaf pans.)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease loaf pan with vegetable shortening and set aside.
2. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Add egg, milk, maple syrup and butter and mix until thoroughly blended. Fold in walnuts. Dough will be wet and sticky. Pour into prepared loaf pan.
3. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove loaf from pan and let cool.
Note: This is not a sweet bread. It’s more like a southern biscuit baked in a loaf pan. It is GREAT toasted and topped with goat cheese and jam.
PS. Here’s the calendar of Waverly bloggers and projects.
Waverly fabrics used in this post:
Classic Ticking 652221
Disclaimer: Fabric and notions courtesy of Waverly.