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Open Sesame

Today, in the middle of taking pictures to create this blog, Noah (boyfriend) suggested that I take a picture pretending to stir something on the stove. As the sole photographer for this blog (and the only one of us with an artist’s sense) he quickly realized that if the photos were staged, it would be quite obvious. There was nothing in the pot except for my whisk. Noah suggested that I whip up something so that the photographs were genuine.

My mind immediately went to caramel. Caramel is my favorite thing to make during stressful times. There is just something about the repetitive whisking motion that seems to calm me. The sound of the mixture bubbling as it boils and reaches it’s peak temperature and the smell of the butter mixing with the sugar and vanilla reminds me to enjoy the simple things in life.

Today, as the camera was in my face (making me very uncomfortable, I don’t like to have my picture taken), I added the butter and sugar to the pan and let it start to bubble away. Only about 8 minutes into the caramel making did I realize that I used white sugar instead of brown. It was starting to come together in a gloopy mess. I decided to add some almond milk and vanilla and see what happened. The caramel like substance thinned out to the normal consistency, although it was still a very pale white color (not the color you want for caramel)!

I took the mixture off of the heat and added in sesame seeds, thinking of these sesame candies that we used to eat in Hebrew School when the teachers would bring in treats (which wasn’t very often because my class was a terror). While the mixture was still bubbling hot, I poured it out onto a silicone mold, curious to see what was going to happen once it cooled.

It cooled quite quickly and as soon as I began to peel it off of the silicone mat it began to crumble into a sand like texture. By the time I got it all off of the mat, my kitchen looked like I had just trekked in all of the sand from the beach a mile away, but my mind was racing with new ideas for this caramel like sesame substance I created. I can sprinkle it on top of cookie before baking, use it on the top of a cake to resemble sand, maybe even use it as a topping for those dirt cups we all used to love as kids.

So here is the recipe for the caramel like sesame substance:

1 Stick of butter

¾ cup sugar

¼ Milk (or milk alternative)

Splash of vanilla

¼ cup sesame seeds

Melt butter and sugar together until they form a thick paste. Add the milk and vanilla and whisk until it comes to a boil. Continue whisking while the mixture boils for 8-10 minutes. Take the mixture off of the heat and stir in sesame seeds. Pour onto a silicone baking mat and let cool.

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