Peanut Brittle Version 2

This second time around making brittle I like better, it has a snappier texture.

Peanut Brittle

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cool water
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups honey roasted peanuts
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Directions:

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, cut to fit. Spray a metal spatula with cooking spray.

In a heavy tall saucepan heat the corn syrup, sugar, water and butter to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Clip a candy thermometer to the side and let cook till it reaches 280°(soft crack), add in the peanuts and cook to 300° (hard crack), stirring often with a clean wooden spoon. Take off the stove, take out the thermometer, stir in the baking soda. Beat in quickly then immediately dump out on the prepared pan and start spreading with the spatula. Brittle sets up quickly!

Let cool for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight). To break gently drop the pan on your counter a couple of times and it will shatter into pieces.

– To remove the hard candy in your pan and on your tools soak in very hot water and it will melt. If your tap water isn’t high enough you can fill the pot with water and bring to a boil.

~Sarah

Dipped Pretzel Rods

Pretzel rods decorated are a long-standing tradition for holiday giving and it is a great project for kids to help make. You can decorate them with anything you like. Many people use sprinkles or colored melted white chocolate to drizzle on. I kept it simple with crushed nuts and coconut.

Dipped Pretzel Rods

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounce package Baker’s German Chocolate, chopped up
  • 1 package pretzel rods
  • Items of choice to roll in

Directions:

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper cut to fit.

Pick out the pretzels that are not broken, you will need about half the package.

In a medium microwave safe glass bowl add the chocolate. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes, stir until fully melted. Using a silicone pastry brush, paint the rods with melted chocolate, covering about 80% of the rod. Let cool for a couple of seconds and then roll in your toppings (spread out on flat plates for ease). Place each rod on the baking sheet to harden up. Repeat till out of chocolate!

~Sarah

Eggnog Bark

A pretty bark to look at, it reminds me of Bliss Bars at Starbucks for some reason!

Eggnog Bark

Ingredients:

  • 4 4-ounce white chocolate bars (I used Ghirardelli©), chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups pecans, chopped fine
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

Directions:

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, cut to fit. Add the chocolate to a large microwave safe glass mixing bowl, heat on high for 1 minute, stir well and cook for 1 more minute. Stir until the chocolate is fully melted. Add in 1 cup of the pecans, 1/2 cup of the cranberries, vanilla and nutmeg, stir till well mixed. Immediately knock out on the prepared pan. Spread with a silicone spatula. Top with the remaining nuts and fruit, gently pressing down.

Let cool for a couple of hours or preferably overnight. Break into pieces.

~Sarah

Peanut Brittle Version 1

Brittle is something I have worked on. The nice thing is that with each recipe you get better at it and more comfortable. I finally decided that my expensive digital candy thermometer just wasn’t doing it good enough and went down and got a cheap $5 old school one. Not sure why the fancy one works so awful, but I am going to return it back to said over priced kitchen gadget store – I had been suspicious that it wasn’t doing it right so had watched the color of syrups and the smell, instead of relying on it. Turns out it was coming in 30° under! Sigh. But not to worry, everything came out fine since I paid attention to it ;-)

Peanut Brittle

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup cool water
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups honey roasted peanuts
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp baking soda

Directions:

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, cut to fit. Spray a metal spatula with cooking spray.

In a heavy tall saucepan heat the sugar, corn syrup, water and salt to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Clip a candy thermometer to the side and let cook till it reaches 250°(hard ball), add in the peanuts and cook to 300° (hard crack), stirring often with a clean wooden spoon. Take off the stove, take out the thermometer, stir in the butter, then the baking soda. Beat in quickly then immediately dump out on the prepared pan and start spreading with the spatula. Brittle sets up quickly!

Let cool for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight). To break gently drop the pan on your counter a couple of times and it will shatter into pieces.

– To remove the hard candy in your pan and on your tools soak in very hot water and it will melt. If your tap water isn’t high enough you can fill the pot with water and bring to a boil.

~Sarah

Rum Raisin Fudge

Rum Raisin Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 18 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 1/2 bags)
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 Tbsp rum
  • 1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Line an 8×8″ glass baking pan with 2 sheets of parchment paper, with ends hanging over, forming handles.Put the raisins in a small bowl, cover with the rum and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes (or longer) until plumped up. You can drain off the remaining rum or add it into the fudge.

In a large microwave safe glass bowls add the chocolate chips and the milk. Heat on high for 1 minute, stir well. If needed heat for another 15 seconds and stir till thoroughly combined. Add in the vanilla extract, the raisins and the peanuts, stirring well to combine. Immediately pack into the prepared pan and smooth out. If you want a smooth texture use a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap to press down on and then smooth out the top. Let cool for a couple of hours or overnight, knock out, peel off the parchment paper and cut into pieces.

~Sarah

Jeweled Bark

Time for more holiday candy making! This quick chocolate bark shines with holiday color, in the form of cranberries and apricots. Be sure to get the softest dried fruit you can get for it.

Jeweled Bark

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (1 bar), roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped

Directions:

Line a cookie tray with parchment paper, cut to size. Divide the dried fruit and nuts in half, in two small bowls. In a large microwave safe glass mixing bowl melt the chocolate on high for 1 minutes, stir gently and melt for 1 minute more. Stir until fully melted, add in one bowl of the dried fruit and nut mixture, mixing in well. Immediately knock out on the paper and quickly spread with a silicone spatula out evenly. Top with the remaining fruit and nuts randomly, gently press down. Let cool till hard (at least a couple of hours, overnight is better. Break into pieces.

~Sarah

A Seasons Collection of Candy Making

We have a nifty party store in town that sells fabulous packaging collections – inexpensive yet very nice looking. If making luscious handmade gifts search out gift bags, gift trays and more. It completes the gift perfectly! (And best of all? These trays all wrapped up fit perfectly into a USPS medium Flat Rate shipping box. Got to love that!)

Here is our 2008 – 2010 collection of candy recipes:

Almond Roca

Triple Chocolate Almond Bark

Gingersnap Bark

Penuche Fudge

Mocha Cranberry Spiced Pecan Fudge

Wild Blueberry Walnut Fudge

Marshmallows

Maple Syrup Marshmallows

Alton Brown’s Marshmallows

Mint Cakes(These are similar to ‘Kendal Mint Cakes’)

5 recipes for fudge, based on past recipes used for backpacking.

Bear Scat Fudge

Chocolate Fudge Peppermint Fudge

Rocky Road Fudge

The Easiest Best Fudge Ever

PB & Chocolate Fudge

~Sarah

Candy Making: Mocha Cranberry Spiced Pecan Fudge

Marshmallow fudges are easy to do, mostly because they don’t involve as careful watching and neither do you need a thermometer. The only commercial marshmallows that are affordable (not from a natural foods store) that don’t have artificial dyes are ones from Wal-Mart, which I pick up for these fudges. I pick up the cranberries and the spiced/candied pecans from Trader Joe’s.

Mocha Cranberry Spiced Pecan Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup canned evaporated milk
  • 2 Tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup diced candied spiced pecans
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

Line a 8×8″ baking dish with two layers of plastic wrap, overlaying them with a long lip so you can pull the fudge out later.

In a large saucepan combine the sugar, milk, espresso, butter and salt, bring to a boil over medium heat, let continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Take off the heat and add in the marshmallows, chocolate chips, nuts, cranberries, vanilla and cinnamon. Stir rapidly till fully melted and mixed. Pour into the baking dish, pack down with a silicone spatula. Let cool in the refrigerator for 2 hours, then knock out on wax or parchment paper and cut into pieces. A bench scraper or think boning knife works well.

~Sarah

Candy Making: Wild Blueberry Walnut Fudge

Marshmallow fudges are easy to do, mostly because they don’t involve as careful watching and neither do you need a thermometer. The only commercial marshmallows that are affordable (not from a natural foods store) that don’t have artificial dyes are ones from Wal-Mart, which I pick up for these fudges. I find dried wild blueberries at Trader Joe’s. They are tiny, sweet and chewy. If you cannot find them I would suggest currants instead.

Wild Blueberry Walnut Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup canned evaporated milk
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup diced walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried wild blueberries
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Line a 8×8″ baking dish with two layers of plastic wrap, overlaying them with a long lip so you can pull the fudge out later.

In a large saucepan combine the sugar, milk, butter and salt, bring to a boil over medium heat, let continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Take off the heat and add in the marshmallows, chocolate chips, nuts, berries and vanilla. Stir rapidly till fully melted and mixed. Pour into the baking dish, pack down with a silicone spatula. Let cool in the refrigerator for 2 hours, then knock out on wax or parchment paper and cut into pieces. A bench scraper or think boning knife works well.

~Sarah

Candy Making: Penuche Fudge

This is a traditional fudge, a long cooking time and yes, you have to keep an eye on it. It is very dense and very rich. Do eat it soon after making and keep leftovers tightly wrapped.

Penuche Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup canned evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup diced walnuts (3 ounces)

Directions:

Line an 8×8″ glass baking dish with plastic wrap, allowing extra to lay over the sides (laying one piece down, then another piece the other direction works well, giving “handles”).

Bring the milk, brown sugar, butter and salt to a boil in a tall and heavy saucepan, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula or a wood spoon. Turn to medium-low, set the timer for 25 minutes and let bubble. Clip in a candy thermometer and watch for 236° (which is about 25 minutes). Stir often during the cooking time.

Take off the stove and scrape into a large heat proof mixing bowl, add in the powdered sugar and beat on low-speed with a hand mixer for 1 minute. Turn up to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Turn back to low and add in the vanilla and walnuts.

Scrape the fudge into the prepared dish and pat down. Use a small piece of plastic wrap to flatten and smooth it out. Score the fudge and cut into 18 to 24 pieces. Let cool on the counter for a couple hours.

~Sarah

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