Brittle with a Bite
Adapted from Yankee Magazine
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
1 cup water
1 cup Spicy Nut Mix (roughly chopped)
In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water; cook, stirring often until sugar melts. Cook until temperature reaches 310 degrees (hard crack stage) and mixture becomes amber in color, 15 TO 20 minutes. As mixture cooks, use a wet pastry brush to push accumulated sugar down from the side of the pan; be careful not to stir mixture. Now stir in nuts. Pour carefully onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and spread into a 1/2 inch layer. Let cool completely (about 30 minutes). Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.
Spicy Nut Mix
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
1 cup unsalted cashews
1/2 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar
Heat oven to 300 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine nuts and oil until nuts are well-coated. Add hot sauce and stir well to coat. In a separate small bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add to nut mixture and stir well to coat. Turn nuts onto rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment and bake, stirring 2 or 3 times, 15 minutes. Remove and transfer to another baking sheet to cool. Yield 2 cups nuts. Store unused nut mixture in airtight container.
Who doesn’t love receiving homemade gifts during the month of December – especially things that can be eaten! Here’s my adaptation on a recipe for Homemade Butterscotch Sauce. It’s quite easy and will keep for up to three months in the refrigerator.
Homemade Butterscotch Sauce
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Scotch whisky
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water and salt and cook to dissolve the sugar. Add the cream and simmer, stirring, until thickened, 10 minutes. Add the whisky and vanilla and simmer over low heat for 2 minutes. Let cool, then transfer to jars.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve got to stop eating the leftover Halloween candy. It’s sitting in a beautiful silver bowl on the table in the entry of my kitchen, calling to me everytime I walk in the door. First it was the Almond Joy, then the Peanut M&Ms and now I’ve dipped into the candies that I don’t even like, I’m just eating them because they’re there.
I did some searching to find the perfect use for all the leftover empty calories, hoping desperately to find something I could make and drop off at a neighbor’s house, so they could eat it instead of me and came across this candy pie (via Serious Eats).
It’s a CANDY PIE!
How do you make this ridiculous indulgence you ask? Simply bake a pie crust, fill with candy and bake at 350 until the candy is duly melted. Remove from oven and let set. Serve while still warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
5. - The Chicago Tribune Easter Ham: What to buy, How to carve “The three most important things to consider are your party size, whether you want soup and your abilities with a carving knife.”
4. - The Boston Globe Meat me Halfway “But lately the food world has seen a slight retreat from this meaty fervor – a step back, a measured gaze, and a thought bubbling up: Perhaps less is, after all, more. This isn’t polar opposition to the carnivorous lifestyle. People still love their meat. They are simply moving toward balance.”
3. - The LA Times Homemade Easter Candy, An Old-fashioned Treat “This year, I’ve decided to make three of my favorite candies for our Easter baskets: sugar-dusted marshmallows, cream cheese mint straws and hand-dipped chocolate eggs with almond butter centers. The contents of my basket settled, I bring out the ingredients I’ll need to make them, for the most part, pantry staples — sugar, chocolate chips, peppermint extract and honey among them. Almost instantly, I notice, the kitchen begins to smell like a candy store.”
2. – The NY Times Building on Layers of Tradition “They start by reinventing the banh mi — the classic street-vendor Vietnamese-French sandwich. They are taking it back to its roots with house-cured meats that blend French, Vietnamese and Chinese influences, but also nudging it forward with cross-cultural fillings (Polish sausage), local breads (crisp rolls from Parisi Bakery in Little Italy), and American influences like the sloppy Joe.”
1. – The Washington Post Bring on the Feast “But first, before anyone can fill a plate, they all must play the traditional red egg game. Twelve dozen bright-red hard-cooked eggs are passed out to the nearly 175 adults and kids. The color of the eggs represents Christ’s blood. The idea is to bang your egg against someone else’s, pointy end to pointy end, with one person calling out “Christos anesti” (Christ is risen). After the eggs hit, the other person responds, “Alithos anesti” (Truly he is risen). Then you repeat, using the opposite end of your egg. The object is to crack the other person’s egg while leaving yours intact. (For obvious reasons, kids adore this tradition.) Another benefit to the game: You can nibble on the egg while waiting for your meal.”
photo from The LA Times
Martha’s got a bunch of Easter Treats up her sleeves this week! Check out the recipes and directions for these cute goodies here. I’ve made the homemade peeps before, which are tricky, but well worth the time spent. This year I’m tackling those chocolate eggs inside the real shells! It would be fun to do them in different sizes by using quail and ostrich eggs!
Think personalized M&Ms are so last year? Necco, the New England confectionery company famous for conversation hearts, has one upped the Mars company by offering personalized hearts.
What’s the catch? You have to really love that significant other (as well as the candies) since you have to order a minimum quantity of 3,500 pounds! Don’t worry – you can have up to 30 different sayings printed amongst the approximate 1,535,500 hearts – so you won’t be stuck munching on “be mine” for all eternity. And the best part, they’re a steal at $2.25 a pound (or $7,875 for the minimum) – just don’t forget to tack on another $1,500 for shipping!
To order, email Dana at email@example.com