Category Archives: candy

Brittle with a Bite

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.

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Foodie Gifts: Homemade Butterscotch Sauce

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.



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Sayonara Halloween Candy

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).



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!

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Halloween Desserts

Halloween_DessertsLOVE ‘EM!

Here’s where they’re from…
1. Creepy Crawly Spider Brownies from Paula Dean
2. Owl Cupcakes from Real Simple
3. Spider Web Cupcakes from Bakerella
4. Ice Scream Sandwitches from Martha Stewart
5. Tombstone Cookies from Sunset Magazine
6. Mouthless Mummies from Bakerella

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In Print: Clips from Food Sections

460368125. – 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

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Martha’s Easter Treats

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!


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Treats from Paris

Erin came back to the office last with a plethora of treats from Paris and I can’t help but to show how beautiful the food goodies are…

These are Pates de Fruits from The Galleries Lafayette gourmet grocery store in the basement level of their Galleries Homme (men’s store) in the Opera district of Paris.  Erin had first stopped at a shop that only made Pates de Fruits only to discover they were selling them for $60 a pound!  These are quite possibly my favorite indulgence when it comes to candy.  I love the concentrated flavor and the smooth texture.

I’ve made Passion Fruit Gelees on a couple of occasions and find this is the best recipe to use without making a special trip to a baker’s supply store…


The only request I made when finding out Erin was going to Paris was the Pates de Fruits, but she surprised me with a beautiful little box full of macarons from Laduree Patisserie that were to die for!   If you’re interested in making homemade macarons, this is by far the best method/recipe I’ve seen…



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