Katie's Favourite Christmas Recipes, Edition #1

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

So as the Christmas season is coming up soon, I wanted to share some of my favourite recipes that I have ever learned. 

EVAH!

I only make today's particular recipe at Christmas. It's frequently called "Christmas crack" by those who eat it. So addictive, and hits so many taste-and-texture-nails on the head: crunchy, creamy, nutty, salty, sweet and buttery.  I make about 6 batches of this candy per Christmas season...cuz we be right savage for this candy. 





I have to say I had to wait a loong time to get this recipe. This recipe actually comes from the friend of a friend's grandmother (aren't those the best recipes?) and I had to lie, cheat, and steal to get it. (She won't mind if I share it, right?)

The recipe is so damn simple, it's laughable:

1 can of nuts of your choice (I use a mixed nut variety for most batches, but it's equally awesome with peanut free options e.g. I use salted roasted almonds for my bro that is allergic to peanuts)
1 cup of butter (use the real stuff here...it's Christmas, right? You can use salted or unsalted depending on what you have around.  If you use unsalted add some generous pitches of salt)
1 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
1-2 large chocolate bars ( I use pretty large dairy milk bars)

The real key to this recipe is the technique. 

Some people feel comfortable making candy by winging it or using your visual cues or the old water glass trick (click these words to link to this specific technique)

Not me!

Again, I am a control freak in the kitchen and I don't want to risk wasting a full cup of buttery goodness and an expensive can of nuts (the cost of nuts is nutty! Haha.....ha.....ha....haaaaa) 

To ensure the most amount of control while candy making, I use my friendly-neighbourhood-Sobeys candy thermometer. Best 7 dollars I ever spent.



Best rule of thumb: prepare everything first, prior to starting the candy making process. (Cuz once you start stirring...you can't stop....and no body likes burnt tasting candy..cuz there are some things that even chocolate can't fix)

Grab a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. 

Sprinkle your can of nuts on the parchment paper.



Then you can start the candy. In a large pot, with the candy thermometer attached to the side, you melt butter and brown sugar and vanilla over medium heat.



Stir constantly with a silicone spatula, once the butter melts and starts to boil. Continue to stir for what feels like forever, but is somewhere between 5-10 minutes. Wait until the candy thermometer reads 305 or 310 (the mixture will look dark amber and smell amazing) and pour the hot liquid candy on to the nuts, on the parchment paper. (Ooh, sounds sexy right?)




The candy is good to leave for a few minutes to prepare the chocolate topping. In a double boiler, (which is a metal bowl sitting on top of a simmering pot of water) melt two chocolate bars. Then pour over the partially cooled candy. Spread the melted chocolate as evenly as possible over candy, with a knife. 





It's ok if the edges aren't perfect..cuz who are we? Martha? (Hi, Martha!!)

And the edges are just as tasty as the rest. I promise. 

Let the candy cool to room temp and then break into pieces. 

If you are impatient like me, you can cool it some, in the fridge (but I guess food scientists frown upon this as it raises the temperature of the interior of the fridge overall, which may affect other foods...but I live on the edge at Christmas time...when it comes to candy..:except for the candy thermometer part, ahem). 

You can store the candy in a sealed container in the fridge, on the counter, or in the freezer! So versatile; this treat! (I actually prefer this candy chilled.)



And then, try not to eat it all in one day. Or you could give it as a gift. But trust me, this is stuff you want to save for yourself.

Maybe a child if they are lucky. 

Stay tuned for Christmas Recipe #2! Enjoy!

K.

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