Sunday, August 30, 2009

Home Made Star Crunch

Home Made Star CrunchLittle Debbie Star Crunch are quite possibly my favorite junk food from childhood. 

Last week, I went for home made.  I found two recipes online, both of which looked close, but not quite right in the soft-but-chewy caramel department.

Here’s my recipe.  Yield 12-16, depending on size.

  • 1/2 bag caramels, unwrapped
  • 1/2 bag marshmallows (about 12)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Milk or water, as needed
  • Rice Krispies (enough, maybe 1/4 box)
  1. Melt camels and 1 tablespoon butter in a double boiler until you can stir them with a spatula.  Add vanilla and salt.
  2. Add marshmallows to caramel mixture, and allow to melt.  Fold gently with spatula to maintain fluffiness.
  3. Fold in as many Rice Krispies as the caramel-marshmallow mixture can adequately coat.  Remove from heat.
  4. Spray your hands with Pam and prepare yourself to ignore the pain of handling something hot.  Working quickly, form the mixture into little pucks, and place on wax paper to set. 
  5. Melt the chocolate chips and remaining butter in the double boiler until it is thin enough to coat a spoon.  Add milk (or water if you happen to be out of milk, like I was) one or two teaspoons at a time if the chocolate is too think.
  6. Using chopsticks, dip the carmel-krispie centers into the chocolate one-at-a-time.  Set on wax paper elevated on a cooling rack.  Cool until chocolate is firm.

I like to eat them slightly cooler than room temperature, kind of like if they spent the morning in your lunch box next to an ice pack.  This effect can be simulated by refrigerating the Star Crunch, then pulling them out 20-30 minutes before you want to eat one.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Northwest Passage

My home improvement project today was to create a passageway from my living room to my office, through which audio/video cables can span the two rooms.

The vast majority of my music and movies live on my computer.  Hulu, streaming Netflix, Zune, even my record player – the signal begins in my office, and can be played back on through the receiver and speakers in either room.

Before, the wires had to go ‘round the cape.  This was messy.

Rounding the Cape    Floorplan - Before

The new route goes straight west through the wall.Clean and Neat   

Total project cost was $3.52 for two GFCI faceplates, four wood screws, and one square of flexible cork.  Yellow paint was leftover

Cables   Cork Flap

Thanks to John at my neighborhood hardware store, Pacific Supply for listening to my plan and offering advice on the construction.