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Holiday 2009


Holiday Crunchy Treats
Feature by Annette M. Rose-Shapiro
Recipes by Chef Lorilynn Bauer
Photographs by George Ross

Click any photo to see a gallery view of treats.


[toffee crunch]

Chocolate & Butter Toffee Crunch Candy

  • ¾ cup almonds
  • 1 pound of dark chocolate
  • 2 cups (1 pound) butter
  • 2-2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup

Toast the nuts by spreading them on cookie sheet and placing in 325-degree oven for approximately 10 minutes. Stir every 3 - 4 minutes, remove once they darken and become fragrant. Let nuts cool, and then chop finely.

Prepare a 12 x 16-inch cookie sheet by lining it with Silpats (silicone non-stick baking mat) or aluminum foil sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine butter, sugar, water and corn syrup in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly to dissolve sugar and melt butter. Insert a candy thermometer and bring the candy to a boil, periodically brushing down the sides with wet pastry brush to prevent crystallization.

Continue to cook candy, stirring frequently, until it reaches 300 degrees. If the candy appears to separate (with a layer of melted butter on top) stir vigorously to make it come back together again. Watch the candy as it approaches 300, since it cooks quickly and can scorch at high temperatures.

Once candy reaches 300, remove from heat and pour onto prepared baking sheet. Use spatula or spoon to spread candy to even thickness. Allow toffee to cool completely.

Once toffee is cool, melt dark chocolate in double boiler. Pour chocolate over toffee. Place toffee in refrigerator to set chocolate, about 30 minutes. Once set, toffee can be served immediately by breaking it into pieces.


[reindeer poop]

Reindeer Poop

  • 6 cups whole hazelnuts, peeled (about 3½ pounds)
  • 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped (discard pod)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur (e.g., Bailey's Irish Cream)

Preheat oven to 250, line 4 sheet pans with parchment paper or Silpat (silicone non-stick baking mat).

Mix sugar and vanilla beans together.

In a separate bowl, whip egg whites and salt until frothy. Add sugar mixture and fold. Stir in coffee-flavored liqueur. Add hazelnuts, stir to coat.

Pour onto pan, stirring every 10 minutes to break up nuts, until golden – about 50 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, transfer to another baking sheet. Let cool 6 hours or overnight.

Nuts can be stored in airtight container up to 5 days.

Variation

Pour out one pan of nuts onto baking pans. Add 1 tablespoon of finely ground espresso to the remaining nuts in bowl. Pour those nuts onto remaining 2 pans for half-vanilla and half-coffee nuts.

ENJOY GREAT DESIGN

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