Friday, September 26, 2008

Recipe Friday September 26, 2008

It will be time for me to start making candies and cookies for Christmas. I usually give out trays of cookies to neighbors. I don't think I did it last year, but I can't remember. I like to find neat trays or platters to put the treats on, then my hubby delivers them for me, I truly enjoy making them all up. I like things to be fresh, so I rarely freeze anything. When I put together the trays, the candy and cookies have generally been done within the last day or two. I've been known to take a day or two off work so I can get everything made, it is the most pleasant thing I do during the holidays.

I use this recipe for my Peanut brittle. I never work without a candy thermometer. I've never had a batch of candy fail since I started using one. I never did 'get' the water method. It just never worked for me. Each year I go buy a new thermometer. It is well worth the expense, I figure one batch of lost ingredients justifies the expense of a new candy thermometer. I take this stuff serious!!!

Peanut Brittle

Yield: 2 POUNDS

3 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
4 1/2 cups salted, fresh roasted peanuts (about 1 pound, 7 ounces), skinned
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking soda

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

1. Coat two 12-by-17-inch baking sheets with vegetable spray.

2. In a heavy 5-quart saucepan with lid, combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup water. Cover pot, and bring to a boil over high heat, about 5 minutes. Dissolve sugar by carefully swirling pot often over burner. Keeping lid on will prevent sugar crystals from forming; however, should crystals form, wash down sides of pot with a wet pastry brush.

3. Once steam just begins to escape from pot, remove cover and reduce heat to medium. Insert candy thermometer, and continue to boil until temperature reaches 230° (thread stage), about 1 minute.

4. Add peanuts, stirring constantly with a metal spoon until mixture reaches 300° (hard crack stage) and is a rich golden brown, 13 to 18 minutes.

5. Immediately remove from heat, and quickly add butter, vanilla, and baking soda. Stir with a metal spoon until butter melts; mixture will become foamy. Pour half of mixture down center of each pan, spreading evenly with a spatula. (I never touch my brittle with a spatula, I skip this step, I love the honeycomb inside the brittle when it is thick) Allow to cool for at least 1 hour.

6. Turn brittle out of pan, and snap it into shards. Store in an airtight container for several weeks.

I wish I had a photo to share with you, this stuff is the best! I only use this recipe for brittle, I can't begin to tell you how many recipes I have for this stuff, but this one is the best one so far!

Oh, we are making a surprise trip to see the grandbabies! They won't know we are coming. We'll pick apples and get a pumpkin, won't that be fun? We'll meet half way and stay overnight in a hotel. We'll even see a butterfly exhibit. Won't that be fun??????

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