Even though my friends have coined me the "slave driver", all the workers at the local Smart & Final recognize me as the girl who buys heavy cream by the gallon and I've developed the tiniest callus on the tip of my thumb, it was all for a good cause. I was thrilled when I was asked to make a charitable contribution to the Sports Spectacular Women's Luncheon gift bags. What an honor to take part in a charity that has been so, so dedicated to raising money for the Cedar-Sinai Medical Genetics Institute. I'm all about helping out and if I can do it in the kitchen, well then, all the better. :)
After lots of recipe testing and way too much taste testing, the clear winner was a chewy caramel dusted with pistachios - Kind of like baklava in candy form. At this point, I have to give a shout out to the Santa Barbara Pistachio Company and their superior pistachios. I used the shelled, roasted, unsalted kind for the caramels. I kid you not, these pistachios are the best I've ever had. Far superior to Trader Joe's stale, muddy brown counterpart. I only wanted to use the best ingredients so it was an easy choice. I also love the pop of the vibrant lime green.
So the goal was to make 400 packages at three pieces per package. Yup, that's 1200 pieces. Lots of caramel making, so I got a jump start on them mid-week. There I am pouring the umpteenth batch (in my snowflake apron - you caught me).
Making the caramels was the easy part. Wrapping, well now, that's a whole other story. Thank goodness for friends with nimble, origami-skilled fingers (thanks everyone! I owe you a lobster dinner). I had to crack the whip a few times, but it was all for a good cause. Now you see why they started calling me a slave driver. Imagine that. Sweet, innocent, charity giving me, a slave driver? :)
-Making caramels in 90+ degree weather can be bad news. Have a fan on hand and a towel to cover the window or else it's melt city.
-My friends are even more amazing than I had thought. :)
-Snowflake aprons can be rocked year round!
-I'm a hard caramel kinda girl. B's an ALL caramel kinda guy.
-Giving your time to charity is a good thing. Have you done your part?