12.17.2013

Gift Ideas and a Recipe for (Microwave) Baileys Sea Salted Caramels


I received the products in the photo to facilitate this review. Amazon affiliate links included.

I am a big fan of sea salt and have been using it in my cooking for years but it has been trial by error - knowing what salt goes best with whatever it is I am cooking is sometimes guess work.  Sure, I have my favorites and I shop at our local market where they have a stand that sells salts by the ounce BUT I'd be lying if I told you I remembered what the vendor says about the salt when I go to use it.


There are a plethora of uses, recipes and pins out on the world wide web to tell me what I can make with sea salt but what if I am just cooking and experimenting?

One of the neat things about sea salt from Gourmet Nut is that they put the best use and some characteristics on the bottle of each salt so you can't go wrong! Plus they have a large selection of sea salts to pick from - Himalayan Pink Salt for grilling and presentation (and caramels), Alaea Hawaiian Sea Salt is good for red meats, my personal favorite of this group Northwest Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt which gives a smokey taste without having to grill, Sonoma sea salt from the clean waters of the Pacific Ocean, Sel Gris French Sea Salt dissolves quickly and Hiwa Kai Hawaiian Sea Salt

Tip: A variety of sea salts and olive oil makes for
a great appetizer when paired with hard crusted bread.
Browsing their website, I think the Gourmet Nut name comes from being nuts about gourmet and bringing a gourmet flair to the masses but they also have packages of amazing nuts.  Since they sent a gorgeous gift basket of goodies to try I am going to go with nuts - in the best way possible - they are nuts for bringing gourmet seasonings at such great prices.  They are making it easy for me to feel confident trying new flavors while cooking and sea salt is a great start.

Personally, I love getting gift baskets for the holidays and for any reason.  I wish I got them more often so I tend to give them.  With a lot of Gourmet Nuts products available on Amazon building a basket for your holiday party hostess is easy to do.

The basket I received for this review is perfect for me because I love to dip French bread in olive oil and sea salt.  This is by far the best (and easiest) appetizer to have on hand.  Take a basket along with some bread and presto - a dish and a gift that your hostess will use again.



Another great gift to give is homemade caramels.  You can give a few and since they are homemade they seem decadent.   Actually, these are.  I made Pink Himalayan Sea Salt Caramels and Baileys Sea Salted Caramels.  The recipe is easy enough and you get a pretty impressive gift.  I added Baileys to one batch because Baileys makes everything taste amazing.


This recipe is deceptively easy.  The hard part is making sure your bowl is big enough to not boil over and burn oneself (like I did) and cutting the carmels to wrap in wax paper.  It is time consuming and sticky - but worth it.   After I did all of the cutting (and crying) I found The Yummy Life's recipe for these and her pictures and tips are fantastic.  The Yummy Life also had the brilliant idea to make them in ice cube trays!  I really wish I saw her post first. Needless to say I think my turned out pretty well and they were the perfect gift to give to my colleagues at work.

tip: freeze before cutting

Homemade (from the microwave) Sea Salt Caramels 

Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons of butter butter, cut in 6 pieces
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • Baileys (optional - measure condensed milk and stop short of 3/4, top with Baileys)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • cooking spray
  • coarse sea salt
Combine all ingredients except sea salt and microwave for 8 minutes. Stopping at least twice to stir. Pour into a foiled and well oiled dish and cool for 60 minutes. Once cool remove from dish and place on parchment paper or waxed paper. Sprinkle with sea salt and cut into bite sized pieces.

tip: freeze caramel if it is to soft to cut.

Store in an air tight container in the fridge or a cool place.





Follow MryJhnsn iNeed a Playdate's board Sea Salts for All on Pinterest.
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