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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

RESULTS!! Caramel Cook-off Competition!

So, over a week late past the date we said we would post the results, I am finally putting together this blog! I apologize for the long wait, things got super hectic and I wanted to make sure that this blog was worth the while because our winner and runners up deserve it!

Our FIRST runner up is: CC Confectionary .

1. Taste: 9/10 these caramels were SOO GOOD! We loved these and couldn't stop eating them!
2. Presentation: 5/5 Everyone agreed that the packaging was absolutely gorgeous and it felt like we received a great little gifty.
3. Uniqueness/individuality - shape, color, ingredients: 4/5 One surprise to us was that there was lemon in the recipe! Although we couldn't taste a distinct lemon taste, it obviously added to the quality of the caramel.  Another thing that we adored about this caramel recipe is that everything was organic, natural, and GMO-free. Over here at skinnyhound, we are health freaks and LOVED this aspect.
4. Desire for more 5/5 we recommend that everyone try these caramels because they were phenomenal! We ate both boxes pretty much in one day.
5. Quality/accuracy of caramel description 5/5 Wonderful description that VERY accurately described the taste and experience of the caramel. Well done.
6. Did you follow the rules? 4/5 We were hoping to receive the photos of your kitchen/you, but no such luck! Don't worry, though, it did not bring you down very much at all. Besides, these caramels speak for themselves!
Bonus: 5/5 we received more than the required amount (and were so happy that we did!)

Great job, Catherine! Here is an excerpt from CC Confectionary's write-up:
"I have been baking and cooking since I was teeny, tiny with my mom. I love all things sweet and became frustrated because I couldn't find a good caramel to bake with and always had trouble making it from recipes I found. I was on a mission to figure out how to make caramel and came up with my very own concoction. I love these caramels and hope you enjoy them as much as my family and friends do." (Catherine of CCConfectionary).

And oh boy, do we love your caramels, Catherine! I know we will buying from you in the future and encourage our readers to do the same!

And now the moment you have all been waiting for...the WINNER of the Caramel Cook-Off Competition!!!

Goodies by Deidre Wood

Congratulations Deidre!!! Your caramels were fabulous!! So, I went to the mailboxes to check to see if any packages arrived. I found a key in my box which meant that a package came and was in one of the bigger lock boxes. *so exciting*. I opened the door and found this nicely sized packaged. I ran upstairs with it and immediately started cutting into the box. I open it to find bubble wrap and tissue paper. I tear both away and see two beautiful bags of caramels. Two bags! Lucky us! YUM! But wait. There is more. Just like a kid on christmas or your birthday, I wanted to rummage through the rest of the packaging to see what else there was if anything. There was! Another layer of bags of caramels! And then ANOTHER layer! I would like to say that I think we received either 8 or 10 bags of delicious caramel goodness!

So gosh, what to do with so much caramel? Well Deidre, you had our work cut out for us because each back was a different flavor from your kitchen! We received fleur de sel caramels, butterscotch, chocolate, marzipan, pecan pie, pumpkin spice, and more! You name it, we got it!

It took us a long time to score your delicious caramels, but here you are:

1. Taste: 10/10 Obviously the first package that I wanted to break into were the Fleur de Sel caramels. All of your caramels were DIVINE, but these totally took the proverbial cake! Phenomenal. After the judging was over I ate these without stopping. I was extremely sad when the bag was empty! But my second favorite were the Pumpkin Spice caramels - and just in time for the holidays too! Another judge favorite were the Chocolate because of the tiny hint of fleur de sel sprinkled on top. YUM
2. Presentation: 4/5 Wonderful packaging we were wondering how you were able to create a plastic airtight pouch the way that you did for these caramels! What is your secret, Deidre?!
3. Uniqueness/individuality - shape, color, ingredients: 5/5 I think it is safe to say that when it came to unique-ness, you won! With so many different flavors to taste, we had to cleanse our palates constantly. But oh boy it was worth it!
4. Desire for more 5/5 Each flavor left us begging for more. My personal favorite was the Fleur de Sel, which was phenomenal and I kept the rest of the bag to myself!
5. Quality/accuracy of caramel description 5/5 Great write-up which we will post at the bottom.
6. Did you follow the rules? 5/5 Yes! And believe it or not, you were the only one that sent us a photograph!
Bonus: 5/5 I wanted to give you a 10/5 because of HOW MUCH we received, but that would have been unfair :-p. Thank you so much Deidre, for sharing so graciously with us!

Shop Name:  Goodies by deidre wood
Web Address:
The baker behind it all:  I’ve never been one for cooking, but baking – now that’s my niche.  As someone who’s always searched for that perfect job, or spectacular school and never really felt that strong connection and desire, I’ve felt like my future has been a continuous ‘when I grow up, I want to be _____’ mentality.  Through it all though, baking has always been what I’ve resorted to in order to relieve stress and truly have a good time.  It’s what I do for fun.  Then the thought occurred to me, at a time that I was working my butt off going to law school, why not work my butt off at something I love?  The thought had honestly never occurred to me to do what I love as a career.  And with the stress of law school, believe me, I was baking a lot!  In this arose goodies by deidre wood when I discovered that not only were the items I made good, but sellable.
Every item is made with care and the desire to spread a little goodness and sweetness.  Every recipe made from scratch, each truffle hand dipped, every batch of caramel poured with precision, hand cut and hand wrapped.  Every item that I make is one that I’d not only devour myself, but also gift to a loved one.  There is no better end to a rough day (or even a fun one at that) than to bite into a delicate caramel or decadent truffle.
It is my main desire and motivation to not only enjoy life but also indulge in the goodies that life itself has to offer.  

Caramels featured: 
Chocolate caramels – All the delicate, chewy goodness that chocolate has to offer – in caramel form.  The only thing better to give than chocolates, is chocolate caramels.  Or, according to my front-toothless niece, ‘chocolate - ‘nuff said.’
Ingredients: sugar, cream, dark chocolate chips, butter, corn syrup, fleur de sel salt
Pecan pie caramels – perfect caramel counter part of fall’s best pie.  Chewy pecan goodness with a crunch and salty kick.  A Mess-less alternative to complete Christmas dinner.
Ingredients:  sugar, cream, butter, corn syrup, fleur de sel salt, vanilla, pecans
Vanilla Bean caramels – A flashback to childhood sweets in the summertime.  Light and delicate with a sweet aftertaste that lingers and makes you eager for more.
Ingredients:  sugar, corn syrup, cream, butter, vanilla beans, vanilla, fleur de sel salt
Fleur de sel caramels – The ultimate addiction.  This will fulfill the caramel deprivation in any purveyor of confection.  Satisfyingly sweet, salty and seductive.
Ingredients:  sugar, cream, butter, corn syrup, fleur de sel salt, vanilla
Marzipan caramels – the sweet, salty excellence expected but with a smooth, nutty finish.  The unanticipated aftertaste completes this caramel decadence.
Ingredients: sugar, cream, butter, corn syrup, marzipan, fleur de sel salt, vanilla
Butterscotch caramels  - Like stealing candies from grandpa’s candy jar! The ‘old-school’ nature of this caramel is not only smooth and scrumptious, but competes with any cookie or candy grandma can make!
Ingredients: sugar, cream, butterscotch chips, butter, corn syrup, fleur de sel salt, vanilla
Spice caramels – Reminiscent of pumpkin pie, starbuck’s spice latte and, of course, fall.  So bring on the turkey and those beautiful fall colors and bite into a spiced caramel!
Ingredients: sugar, cream, butter, corn syrup, fleur de sel salt, cloves, allspice, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla
Golden caramels – Buttery deliciousness topped off with the sweet succulence that leaves you wanting more.  Truly mouth-watering excellence.
Ingredients: sugar, sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup, butter, vanilla

 Well there you have it, Guys!!! I will be creating little icons for both our runner up and winner of this competition shortly for advertisement. I will also be sending Deidre a surprise gift!! (Please email me your address deidre to or convo it to me on Etsy to Both of these wonderful candy makers did an amazing job, and so did the rest of our submissions!! Great job :)

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