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Archive for the ‘Desserts – candy’ Category

Pralines

Posted by moderndaygourmet on September 3, 2007

I have been making these forever – found them in a kids’ cookbook called Christmas Gifts Good Enough to Eat. There are lots of good recipes in there and it has tips on packaging gifts for mailing and such, which is great. These are really good and pretty easy too. The only thing is the temperature of the sugar and getting it just right. Sugar is a beast to work with.

2 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup butter
2 cups pecans

In large saucepan, measure sugar, water and butter. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a boil. Stir in nuts. Boil syrup slowly about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until temperature reaches 234 (to the soft ball stage). Remove pan from stove and immediately form pralines by dropping one tablespoonful of syrup at a time onto waxed paper. If mixture gets hard and crystallizes before you are finished, add a few drops of hot water and stir well.

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Peppermint Bark

Posted by moderndaygourmet on September 3, 2007

Found this on Epicurious a while back.  So pretty with the layers of white & dark chocolate and peppermint candies.

17 ounces good-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Baker’s), finely chopped
30 red-and-white-striped hard peppermint candies, coarsely crushed (about 6 ounces)
7 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons whipping cream
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

Turn large baking sheet bottom side up. Cover securely with foil. Mark 12 x 9-inch rectangle on foil. Stir white chocolate in metal bowl set over saucepan of barely simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water) until chocolate is melted and smooth and candy thermometer registers 110°F. (chocolate will feel warm to touch). Remove from over water. Pour 2/3 cup melted white chocolate onto rectangle on foil. Using icing spatula, spread chocolate to fill rectangle. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup crushed peppermints. Chill until set, about 15 minutes.
Stir bittersweet chocolate, cream and peppermint extract in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat until just melted and smooth. Cool to barely lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Pour bittersweet chocolate mixture in long lines over white chocolate rectangle. Using icing spatula, spread bittersweet chocolate in even layer. Refrigerate until very cold and firm, about 25 minutes.

Rewarm remaining white chocolate in bowl set over barely simmering water to 110°F. Working quickly, pour white chocolate over firm bittersweet chocolate layer; spread to cover. Immediately sprinkle with remaining crushed peppermints. Chill just until firm, about 20 minutes.

Lift foil with bark onto work surface; trim edges. Cut bark crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips. Using metal spatula, slide bark off foil and onto work surface. Cut each strip crosswise into 3 sections and each section diagonally into 2 triangles. (Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Chill in airtight container.) Let stand 15 minutes at room temperature before serving.

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Fool’s Toffee

Posted by moderndaygourmet on August 31, 2007

My friend Kelly shared this recipe.  It’s amazing how it tastes like toffee.

1 sleeve saltine crackers
2 sticks butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 regular size bag chocolate chips
1 cup finely round nuts

Line a cookie sheet with a piece of aluminum foil. Place crackers side by side on cookie sheet in rows, filling the sheet. Heat butter and brown sugar together on stovetop to boiling, stirring constantly, and let boil for 3 minutes. Pour mixture over saltines. Place cookie sheet into a preheated 400-degree oven and bake 5 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over crackers. Smooth melted chips over crackers with a knife, then sprinkle with chopped nuts. Let cool a few minutes and divide into squares. These taste very similar to Heath bars.

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Divinity

Posted by moderndaygourmet on August 31, 2007

Can you tell I’m now posting by category from my old recipe file?  This can be really hard to get right, so I don’t make it often.  Don’t try to make this on a rainy day or it will just be a pile of goo.  Also, it’s important to have the temperature right and to pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites really slowly.  It takes forever, but it’s necessary.

3 cups white sugar
1/2 cup white Karo syrup
1/2 cup cold water
2 beaten egg whites
1 cup nuts
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Heat sugar, syrup and water in a sauce pan until a drop forms a ball in a cup of ice water (or use a candy thermometer to measure to the soft ball stage). Beat the egg whites till they have stiff peaks. Pour the syrup into the egg whites in a very slow trickle, all the while continuing to mix (it’s impossible to do this without a stand mixer unless you have help). When it gets a little stiff, add the nuts and vanilla. When the mixture loses its shine, put by teaspoons onto wax paper – do this quickly before it hardens.

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