Slow Cooker Dulce De Leche

Note: This post is a contribution to the first ever Naptime Chef & Small Kitchen College Slow Cooker Challenge! You can enter to win a really awesome slow cooker on either site, so go check out all the recipes, get inspired and enter! There’s also a Twitter chat Wednesday, January 18th from 12pm – 1pm ET, #slowcooker, to help you get in the mood! 

I’m gluttonous. I love dulce de leche. So much so that sometimes when I buy alfajores from my local coffee shop, I twist them open like one would normally do with an Oreo and lick it right off the cookie.

But I’m also lazy, and kind of scared of making the stuff. Traditionalists make dulce de leche from scratch by simmering milk, sugar, baking soda and vanilla. Braver folk than I simmer cans of sweetened condensed milk in water on the stove-top. And then there’s what I do.

It’s not a secret method – it’s all over the internet – but I’m willing to bet you either haven’t heard of it, or kinda discounted it. Plopping cans of sweetened condensed milk in a water filled slow cooker for 8 hours achieves the same results as stove-top boiling, without that pesky fear of exploding cans!

So there you have it. You’re gonna put two cans of sweetened condensed milk in your slow cooker – one if you’re making some lame attempt at moderation – fully submerge them in cold water, covering them by at least an inch, cover and set your slow cooker to low. I like to set this up for over night cooking because a) it’s nice to wake up to dulce and b) it’s a great excuse to force myself out of a cozy bed.

You’ll want to let the cans cool a bit before opening them. I give them about an hour – you know, while I make coffee, shower and get ready for the day. Then I open those cans up and unabashedly dip my spoon in and have a scoop.

It’s this Latina’s version of peanut butter/nutella jar bliss.

Now that you have two cans of the stuff, whatever will you do with it?  Continue reading

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Guest Post: Oreo Balls

This is a guest post from my co-worker and good friend Dave. If you remember the Cran-Orange Scones I made…it was Dave’s tried and true recipe that I used. I tweeted out that I’d had Dave’s Oreo Balls for breakfast one day last week and it was met with such enthusiasm (and some jealousy) that I asked him to guest post! Here we go:

Mmmm! Dave's Oreo Balls!

 

Like many of my friends, I learned a lot of my culinary skills from my mom.  While I’ve tried (and mostly succeeded) a number of her recipes, the one I’m most proud of are the Oreo Balls.

Let it be known that this is not an original from my mom (I’ve seen other recipes online), but it is easy, fun and a real crowd pleaser (just ask my office mates)

  • 1 package of Oreos
  • 1 block of cream cheese (softened)
  • 1-2 bags of semi-sweet morsels

Before the ball making begins, line either a cookie sheet, or whatever pan would fit into your freezer, with wax paper and set aside.

In a food processor (very helpful but you could use a rolling pin if that’s all you have) grind the whole package of Oreos into as fine a texture as possible (no large chunks please).

Add the softened cream cheese to the bowl and start mixing.  I’ve found this to be much easier with my stand mixer, but the hand held one worked great for years.  You’ll want a smooth, shiny texture to the mix.

Using a round teaspoon, scoop a full amount of the mixture into your hand, rolling it into a round ball.  Place onto the wax paper lined pan.  Continue this until your pan is full or you’re out of the Oreo mixture.  Freeze the balls.  Overnight is preferred but if you’re short on time, three hours will do.

After the frozen stage, melt your morsels either in a double broiler or in a glass bowl in the microwave.  You’re looking for a smooth consistency.  Get ready, ‘cause it’s time to dip your balls!

The rest of the directions are after the jump!

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Co Co. Sala Marshmallows

Remember awhile back when I made marshmallows from scratch? And then I pleaded to Co Co. Sala for help? Well, they answered my plea. And they even let me come in and learn how to make marshmallows from scratch. Their way. The right way.

I was in awe. I asked so many questions. I squealed in delight. I fell just short putting my face in the pan of marshmallow fluff and licking it all up.

The good news: it’s not rocket science and their recipe is incredibly similar to the one I was using. The bad news: they’re a restaurant…with ingredients and equipment my budget and tiny kitchen can’t accommodate. It’s okay though! They’re not going to stop making marshmallows anytime soon, so whenever I need a fix I can pop over to Co Co. Sala and indulge myself. It’s probably better that way. Their marshmallows are so addictive they should be a controlled substance.

Nisha at Co Co. Sala (shout out!) invited me over and hooked me up with Katie, their chocolatier, for a marshmallow lesson. Here’s the step by step in photos and ingredients/measurements! I seriously can’t say thank you enough – and that Nisha and Katie were just so damn nice made it even better. Say hello to them if you’re ever there!

Ready?! Ok! First the mise en place…

You’ll notice that Katie uses sheet gelatin. I’d never heard of or seen the stuff before! Katie did a little research and found a box on Amazon for more than I would pay for it, but it turns out King Arthur sells 20 sheets for $8! You soak it in ice water for a few minutes, strain and squeeeeeeze excess water out, then heat it in the microwave to melt it. I’ll just say, this gelatin looked nothing like the stuff I used :(

Recipe and the whole process after the jump…

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Homemade Marshmallows

You know…I expected more of you. Little Gourmet, December 1998 recipe. I wanted soft, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth marshmallows.

Instead, I got rubbery and gelatinous. I was so disappointed. :\ I had a friend of mine taste them to see if maybe I was nuts. He said I was nuts. He said they tasted like other homemade marshmallows he’s had before. I even considered the idea that making something from scratch creates a more true taste than processed foods…like I experienced with my homemade graham crackers.

In the end, all I could say was, “These don’t taste like CoCo Sala’s homemade marshmallows.” *insert frowny face here* So here’s my plea…CoCo Sala…will you help me make better homemade marshmallows? I want them! I need them! I neeeeeeed them by this winter! For mexican hot chocolate! For sweet potato pie! For my hormonal candy binges!

Eeeep! Haaalp!

PS – This is recipe fail, numero dos here at One Bite At A Time. Mark it.

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Candied Lemon Peels

How does one garnish a goat cheese cheesecake? Why…candied lemon peels! Thanks for asking!

To be perfectly honest, I’ve wanted to candy something citrusy for a while now. It wasn’t until last weekend while researching recipes that I realized how easy the process was. Done. Aaaaand done.

The process amounts to boiling the crap out of the lemon peels in water, seeping it sugar-water for a while, only to end the process in a bowl of sugar flipping the lemon peel around wildly.

I used a standard vegetable peeler and a citrus zester (like this one) to achieve the long peels and curly cues. Be careful to not peel the white pith of the lemon in the process…you don’t want that part…it’s bitter and blech.

I was nearly sure that this boiling and simmering and flipping process was going to decimate the curly cues, but boy was I wrong! On the contrary, the curly cues were the best of the candied peels! The long wide peels lost their shape and curled in on themselves in the most unattractive way. (We’ll call those slices “rustic” in an attempt to mask what they really were: ugly.)

I hope you have as much fun as I had with this process! No citrus fruit is safe now…no key lime pie will go ungarnished…

Enjoy!

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