Modjeskas

Caramel-dipped marshmallows

Created by Anton Busath in Louisville, Kentucky in 1883 and named after actress Helena Modjeska, who was performing in the United States premiere of Henrick Ibsen's play "A Doll's House" at the McCauley Theater in Louisville.

      1 recipe caramel (below) cooked to 238F
      3/4 lb. marshmallows, cut in half

Allow cooked caramel to stand 10 minutes before starting to dip. Drop marshmallow half into caramel and with a fork, turn it over to coat completely and lift out, pulling the fork over the edge of the pan so excess runs back into pan.

Deposit each piece on buttered or oiled surface, such as a cookie sheet or clean counter top. When set, wrap each piece separately with a square of waxed paper.

When the last of the caramel gets too thick, warm gently over low heat, or use remainder to make "turtles". Place three pecan halves in center and drop a dab of caramel in center, then top with a spoonful of melted chocolate, or mix with nuts, to be cut into little squares.

Caramel

      2 cups sugar
      2 cups heavy cream
      2 tablespoons butter
      1 1/4 cups white corn syrup
      pinch salt
      1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine sugar, 1 cup cream, butter, syrup, and salt in a heavy 3- or 4- quart saucepan. Put remaining cream in a small pan and heat it separately. Bring large mixture to boil, stirring constantly. Wipe down sides of pan with wet cloth or cover with lid briefly to dissolve remaining sugar crystals.

When it begins to actively boil, dribble the hot cup of cream into the boiling mixture, stirring, and don't let the boiling stop in the process. Cook over medium heat, stiring as necessary to prevent scorching, until a thermometer registers 238-240. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.