Monday, January 31, 2011

Caramel Dumplings


Never heard of these?  Me neither, which is why I had to make them immediately.
Caramel dumplings are exactly what they sound like: flour dumplings simmered in a caramel sauce.  This is truly an inventive dessert; everything about it is unusual, or at least I've never even read about anything quite like this.

The first step is to melt sugar in a saucepan to caramelize it.

I imagine that this dessert is a home-grown and beloved family recipe, one borne of economic necessity or perhaps invented one night when the kids were clamoring for dessert but the pantry was bare: no eggs or chocolate, and just a bit of milk and butter.  Its ingredients are simple kitchen staples -- flour, baking powder, a bit of butter, milk and sugar.  In the recipe box where I discovered this, I found not one, but two recipes for caramel dumplings:  the well-used original (many of the words are obscured with smudge marks) and a more recent hand-written copy.

Don't worry if your sauce hardens when the additional sugar and water are added.  It will all smooth out.



While the sauce is cooking, make the dough (above) and then just form into balls and drop into
 boiling sauce (below).  Don't be distracted by the fact that they almost look like meatballs or matzoh balls.



So how did these taste?  Almost exactly like you'd expect.  They were very good, and the 
sauce was excellent.  DD and boyfriend Josh stopped by for dinner and they quite
enjoyed these -- Josh even put a couple on some noodles (below)!






The original recipe above, with the newer copy below.  



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