December 12, 2015

caramel crispy tree

On the 6th day of blogmas!
Today I'm sharing a favorite recipe from my childhood. This came from my grandma, and I remember my mom making it at Christmas time when I was little. She once made them for a Christmas party, and I nearly ate all of them. These little caramel treats are so good! And as a bonus, these treats can double has a festive display or centerpiece. I have never seen the recipe anywhere other than my grandma's super old cookbook, so I wanted to share it here. Some helpful display tips are listed at the bottom of this post!

Caramel Cripsy Tree
Yield: 40, Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
• 1 (14 oz) bag or 49 caramels
• 2 tbsp water
• 3 cups Rice Krispies cereal
• 2 cups Corn Flakes cereal
• 1 cup coarsely chopped peanuts
• Styrofoam cone, 9 inches high

1. Melt caramels with water in double boiler or in sauce pan over low heat. Stir occasionally until sauce is smooth.
2. Pour over combined cereals and nuts. Toss until well coated.
3. With hands slightly moistened with cold water, form into 1-inch balls. Let stand until firm (on parchment paper).
4. Insert wooden pick in each ball and attach to cone.

While the tree display looks great, I find that everything else about it is a hassle. Cover the cone with aluminum foil so that the styrofoam flakes don't stick to the food and the tree looks bright and festive. Because of this, the toothpick can just barely go in the cone because if the actual caramel ball touches the aluminum foil, it will stick to the food. Then there's the cone itself. Because it's styrofoam, it is extremely lightweight and cannot remain stable when a guest is taking a ball off of the tree. Therefore, they have to then grab the whole tree to keep from taking down the display.  Also, it's easy to space them poorly and then run out of balls before the tree is covered.

Save yourself from the frustration and think up a different arrangement. Try stacking them in a creative way!
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