Christmas Goodies Part 2

Friday, December 4, 2009
Tomorrow morning I'm attending a candy making party at a friends home. I've never been to a candy making party but am excited to attend and see what others ladies make. I've always enjoyed making candies and give lots of it away as gifts. I'm linking this post to Michael's Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum. Be sure to check out the others posts there. Many inspiring cooks!

English Toffee Candy
(Printable Version)

1 c. sugar
1 c. butter
3 tbsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla
4 or 5 Hershey chocolate bars
Toasted and chopped almonds

Combine sugar, butter and water in heavy saucepan. Cook to 300°F (hard crack stage) stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add vanilla and pour into a buttered 9 x 9 inch pan. Lay the chocolate bars on top and spread them evenly as they melt. While still warm, sprinkle chopped nuts over the top. Cool thoroughly and break into pieces.

Homemade Marshmallows
(Printable Version)

.75-oz unflavored gelatin (3 envelopes of Knox gelatin)
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Line 9 x 9-inch pan with plastic wrap and lightly oil it. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil and boil hard for 1 minute. Pour the boiling syrup into soaked gelatin and turn on the mixer, using the whisk attachment, to high speed. Add the salt and beat for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, add in the vanilla extract beat to incorporate. Scrape marshmallow into the prepared pan and spread evenly (Lightly greasing your hands and the spatula helps a lot here). Take another piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap and press lightly on top of the marshmallow, creating a seal. Let mixture sit for a few hours, or overnight, until cooled and firmly set. In a shallow dish, combine equal parts cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar. Remove marshmallow from pan and cut into equal pieces with scissors (the best tool for the job) or a chef’s knife. Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners’ sugar mixture. Store in an airtight container.

I tint some of my marshmallow mixture with a couple drops of red coloring (to make a light pink color) and add peppermint extract. These are great on their own BUT are wonderful when dipped in chocolate. YUM! Be adventursome, add flavorings and colors to suit your tastes. Have fun!

Macadamia Brittle
(Printable Version)

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water, to dissolve
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup macadamia nuts, toasted and cooled

In a saucepan boil the sugar and water together to make a caramel. Test the color of the caramel on a white plate. It should be amber-brown. Stir in the butter with a wooden spoon then stir in the nuts. Pour onto a cookie sheet and let cool. Break up into chunks (for brittle, just chop or crush with the bottom of a bottle). Store in an airtight container.

(Printable Version)

16-oz. jar creamy peanut butter
1 c. butter, softened
6 c. powdered sugar
12-oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 bar paraffin

Blend together peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar, mixing with your hands. Shape into one-inch balls; chill for at least an hour. Melt together chocolate chips and paraffin over hot water in a double boiler. Use a toothpick to dip each ball in chocolate, leaving a small spot uncovered. Arrange on wax paper-lined baking sheet. Using the tip of a small knife, smooth over hole left by toothpick. Place in cool area or freezer to set. Makes about 5 to 6 dozen.