Caramel and I go way back. One of my earliest candy humiliations was the time J, the only girl in the entire fifth grade chubbier than I was, caught me shoplifting a Marathon Bar. All I wanted was a few moments alone with its slender, twixty, chocolate-coated chewiness, but J shamed me into marching back to the corner store and returning it, redfaced, to the owner. The lengths I’d go to for caramel… Even that public disgrace couldn’t lessen my enthusiasm for the stuff. It’s been (cough cough) a few years, and my tastes have gotten a wee bit more sophisticated—these days I’m more likely to consider shoplifting a Dark Gray Salt Caramel from Fran’s Chocolates than a mass-produced bar of additives and corn syrup, but my love affair with caramel still verges on the criminal.
So when I talked to Jennifer, the Domestic Goddess and creator of the monthly food blog event Sugar High Fridays, about hosting in March, caramel was at the top of my list of themes. Just think of all the ways its golden gooey goodness has enriched our lives: There’s the classic, Caramel Apples. The liquid, Caramel Macchiato. The teeth-endangering, Caramel Corn. Oh, and my all-time favorite Girl Scout Cookie, the Samoa (sometimes called Caramel deLite).
What’s that you say? You want to play with caramel? Great! Here are the ground rules: Any time within the next three weeks, make a dessert using caramel. You can make the caramel yourself, or use store-bought. Novices are encouraged to participate, as are wow-inducing pastry chefs—remember, it’s not a competition, it’s just fun! On Friday March 18 (not before), write about it on your website and email the link to me through my profile (or email your entry to me if you don’t have a site, and I’ll post it on Words to Eat By). That weekend, I’ll post a roundup with links to all the caramellicious entries I receive.
Now get out there and start caramelizing!