Thursday, February 16, 2012

Homemade Milk Duds & A Very Caramel Filled Valentine's Day

I have never been the biggest fan of Valentine's Day. I tend to lean more towards the cynical side and normally disgusted by the intensely commercialized pseudo-holiday. If you care about a person, I think you show them on most days rather than save it for mid-February when you give them a stuffed animal.
All these negative feelings aside, my partner and I celebrated Valentine's Day this year. I was given a really terrific sampler from Obsessive Confection Disorder. The rice crispy treats were soft and chewy and partially dipped in chocolate. The caramels were beautiful. Each had a few flecks of gold leaf on top!

leaves and flours vegan caramelleaves and flours vegan caramel

I decided to keep with the caramel theme and make him homemade milk duds. I have made them once before, by simply dipping caramels I bought from Pangea in chocolate. But this time I knew I wanted to try to make my own caramels. I used the recipe from Dog Hill Kitchen again, this time heating it to the higher temperature suggested for candy rather than for a sauce. I poured the caramel in an 8x8" pan and let it cool for 30ish minutes. I then used a knife to help me pull off small chunks of caramel that I rolled in my hands to small balls. If the caramel is still a little too warm, the balls will tend to flatten again as they harden. You can reroll these in your hands a few minutes later if that is the case, or just have disks instead of balls. After these cooled I dipped them in melted dark chocolate. And voila, homemade milk duds.

leaves and flours vegan homemade milk dudseaves and flours vegan homemade milk duds

Now while this all sounds lovely, there were a few problems with the caramel. It set a bit too hard. I had intended to cut the rest of the slab of caramel into small pieces and wrap them in parchment. While I managed to cut a few, I knew it was futile and dangerous to attempt to cut the other pound. Instead I broke it into a few large rectangles and rolled into a rough rose shape. I intended it to just be an inedible centerpiece, but of course he plans on eating them. I hope he doesn't break a tooth.

leaves and flours vegan caramelleaves and flours vegan caramel

I also attempted some homemade Snickers bars, but those were a total failure. The nougat I attempted was way too soft and when combined with the too hard caramel, the texture was just really off. Maybe I will give it another shot in the future.
I know there are plenty of Go Max Go bars replacing the candies that I miss, but I haven't found a good peppermint patty yet. Maybe that will be next? Are there other candies or candy bars you haven't seen veganized and hope for?

8 comments:

  1. peanut butter cups are the only candy i have made but i really want to make peppermint patties! if i am craving a candy bar i usually just eat one, but there is this golden graham s'mores cereal bar that is SO incredible but wouldn't you know it— there's gelatin in there so it's a no go for me.

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  2. Wow. Homemade Milk Duds? Will you be mine?

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  3. oh yum! these look delicious! xo b

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  4. oh yum! these look delicious! xo b

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  5. those milk duds and the caramel look amazing! looks like a fun v-day!

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