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Caramel recipes are scrumptious

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By Susan Lowery

This time of year always reminds me of caramel apples. My grandma Dillon would make them only in the fall, and they were very special. I've always liked caramel, and have lots of recipes that use it in all kinds of ways.

This week's recipe, called Caramel Dumplings, is an old, REALLY old recipe. In Illinois where I grew up, it was a favorite of my friends and me, and was inexpensive and easy to make. We even made it in home economics class in high school! It's not gourmet food, for sure, but it will feed a bunch of kids very cheaply.

The Carrot Cake with Caramel Glaze is best made in a tube or bundt pan. The caramel glaze is poured over the cake when it is still warm. Do it gradually, letting it sink in. You will have a beautiful dessert that will be so scrumptious you won't believe it.

Old Timey Caramel Dumplings

2/3 c. brown sugar

2 c. water

1 t. vanilla

1 t. butter

1 c. flour

1/2 c. white sugar

1 t. butter

1 t. baking powder

1/2 c. milk

Bring brown sugar and water to a boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla and butter. Pour into 9x13 cake pan. Mix together flour, sugar, and baking powder; add butter and milk. Stir briefly to make dumpling batter. Drop into brown sugar-water mixture by tablespoon. Bake in 350-degree oven for 45 minutes, uncovered. Turn dumplings once halfway through cooking. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 12-16.

Carrot Cake with Caramel Glaze

1 1/2 c. vegetable oil

3 large eggs

2 c. sugar

2 1/2 c. cake flour

2 t. baking soda

1 t. salt

1 c. sweetened crushed pineapple, drained

1 c. flaked coconut

1 c. grated carrots

2 t. vanilla

1 c. pecan pieces

Caramel Glaze:

1 c. light brown sugar

1/2 c. buttermilk

1/2 c. butter

1/4 c. light corn syrup

1 t. vanilla

1 t. baking soda

In large bowl combine oil, eggs, and sugar. Beat well, then add flour, soda and salt. Mix well. In another bowl, combine pineapple, coconut, carrots, vanilla and pecans. Add to batter and mix to blend. Pour batter into 2-quart tube or bundt pan that has been well-greased and bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or till tests done. For glaze, combine brown sugar, buttermilk, butter, corn syrup, vanilla and baking soda in saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer 12-15 minutes (mixture will not thicken.) Pour over cake in pan while cake is still warm. Let cool about 5 minutes, then remove from pan. (Note: put foil on the cake plate or stand before you turn the cake out on it, as the glaze will run.) Serves 12.