Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Brandini Toffee

While I did so well with the peanut brittle I wanted to try and make something in the caramel, peanut brittle family again. I decided to make some toffee. It is very similar to peanut brittle but boils for longer allowing a deeper flavor and color. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Once the toffee was done I melted down chocolate and poured it over the top. Then I chopped up pecans to finish it off. It was super easy to do and everyone loved it. The only thing that I would do different is to thin out the toffee a little more. Maybe spread it over two baking sheets. Some of the pieces of toffee were too thick causing you to really have to bite down hard on the candy.

Just a couple of pictures fo the toffee. This was the perfect little treat to place in the Hoilday baskets I made for some of our neighbors. Like I said the toffee was so good just need to make it a little thinner next time.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

White Chocolate Pretzels

This weekend I did a ton of baking. I was not able to complete everything I wanted but what can you do. I started off with some easy baking by making some white chocolate pretzels. They are very easy to make especially if you have a couple of little hints to melt the chocolate. One trick I like to do is add a tablespoon of light corn syrup. The corn syrup gives the chocolate a shiny exterior and allows for sprinkles to stick on the chocolate. One thing that I have noticed is when you are melting chocolate it can clump and lump. The best way to smooth chocolate when melting it is to add a couple of tablespoons of water. You don’t want to add too much and water down the chocolate but it does allow for the chocolate to melt more evenly.

The pretzels before they are dipped in white chocolate

Melting the chocolate, if you dont have a double bolier you can make your own with a pot of boiling water and a heat proof bowl on top.

The pretzels as they are cooling.

A close up of the pretzels.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sundays in the South

I bought this awesome cook book at the DC food convention called Sundays in the South by Ginny McCormack. In the book Ginny talks about how important dinners with the family are especially Sunday dinners. I know from my family I always looked forward to Sunday dinners. My mother would always put a little something extra into Sunday. So, I was so excited to see this cookbook and get to read about Ginny experiences with Sunday Dinner.

The first dish I made from this cookbook was a chocolate gooey fudge cake. I was just pure chocolate, so delicious. The icing itself was very simple just a little chocolate and some powder sugar. It was a very easy cake to make but the one thing that always seems to be reoccurring to me is it was too sweet. I love sweet things but next time I make this I am going to make sure that I cut down on the sugar a little. Check this book out, there are great recipes and great entertainment ideas.

Full view of the cake.

A piece of the cake after I cut it.

Dark Chocolate and Pecan Muffins

I love blueberry muffins as can be seen from my other posts, but after the same thing over and over again you need something a little different. So I decided to make dark chocolate and pecan muffins. It was an easy recipe to alter. I cut down the sugar and added one cup of wheat germ for one cup of flour. I also sprinkle some wheat germ and chopped pecans on top of the muffins to give them a little bit more color and a better taste. These are great muffins to make in the beginning of the week and eat for breakfast or, what I did was eat them at night when I was craving something sweet but did not want to eat a cookie. The muffins give you sweet with the dark chocolate and a crunch from the nuts.

Close up view of the muffins

Top view of the muffins. I made them small so they would be easy to eat in the car.

Peanut Brittle

I love to cook and bake one of the reasons why I started this blog was so that I could share my adventures in cooking and baking with others. I never cooked until I graduated college and moved out on my own to start my life. I realized very early I did not want to be eating grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup for the rest of my life so I better learn how to cook.

I was also able to meet and marry a wonderful man who I am thankful for everyday of my life. One great thing about my husband’s family is they used to own a bakery. However, the bakery closed when my husband’s grandparents could not run it anymore. Well, I was lucky enough to receive some of those recipes from their bakery. Now the hard part is trying to dial down the recipes. So with some help from Martha Stewart I was able to combine the two recipes and make peanut brittle. This is one of my father’s favorite types of candy besides black jelly beans.

I was so surprised at the way it tasted. So much better than anything you could buy in the store, and very easy to do. I did however suffer one battle wound. When I was spreading out the brittle I was getting upset because it was not spreading out as thin as I would like so without thinking I touched the brittle to try and smooth it out. My finger immediately blistered. Trust me a small price to pay for such a great product. I will be making this recipe again.

Three different pictures of the Peanut Brittle