Monday, December 10, 2012

English Toffee

A yummy, EASY holiday treat :) 
English Toffee
From: mom
Time: 10-15 minutes

1 lb butter (yum!)
2 C. sugar
1 T white corn syrup (Karo brand)
¾ C. sliced almonds
6-12 oz (one bag or a little less) of semisweet chocolate chips
*candy thermome
Spread almonds evenly onto the bottom of a nonstick, ungreased jelly roll pan.  Toast in the oven 350 for 5-10 minutes (watching carefully to avoid burning.)
Take the pan out of the oven and put on heating pads nearby so that it’s ready to have the toffee poured into it when it’s finished.

Using a heavy 3-4 qt. saucepan, cook the above ingredients over medium-high heat.  Stir constantly with a wooden spoon.  Use a candy thermometer to watch the temp.  Cook until the mixture reaches 310 (hard crack).  You can remove at 308 to avoid burning!

Pour toffee mixture carefully onto pan.  Spread out evenly.  Sprinkle chocolate chips and as they melt, spread over toffee mixture evenly.**  Cool toffee in the refrigerator (I place the pan on hot pads in the fridge).  Once cooled, break into pieces.  Can store in fridge for several days.

**I’ve seen people add sprinkles to the top while the chocolate is still melty.  Yummy & pretty

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bonbons

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bon Bons
From: mom
Time: 30 minutes prep (ish??)

2 C. sifted powdered sugar (you sift first, then measure)
1 C. graham cracker crumbs
¾ C. chopped pecans
½ C. flaked coconut
½ C. butter
½ C. peanut butter
½ C. semisweet chocolate chips
3 T shortening

·      In a large bowl combine powdered sugar, graham cracker crumbs, pecans & coconut.
·      In a small saucepan, melt the butter and peanut butter (medium heat – slowly; stir once it gets liquidy). 
·      Once completely melted, pour peanut butter/ butter mixture over the coconut mixture.  Blend until the mixture is moistened.
·      Shape into 1” balls (being careful not to make them too big)
·      In another small saucepan over LOW heat, melt chocolate pieces with shortening. 
·      Dip the peanut butter balls individually into the chocolate/shortening mixture to coat.
·      Place balls on waxed paper after dipping.
·      Refrigerate before eating J
·      Store tightly covered, between layers of waxed paper in the fridge.  Do not freeze.  (They keep a long time in the fridge.)

Herb Roasted Potatoes

Blogging has fallen to the wayside, but we're having friends over for dinner this week and I'm whipping up this easy side dish, recipe courtesy of my mother (aka: chef extraordinaire).  Just thought I'd share in case you need an easy, tasty, cheap side dish :)

Herb Roasted Potatoes
from: mom
time: 10 minutes prep; 40 minutes in oven

¼ c. olive oil
1 ½ T. fresh lemon juice (I use lemon juice from a bottle sometimes... shh! don't tell! :))
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried marjoram
½ tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 ½ lbs small potatoes cut in half – or small bite sized pieces (washed)

Preheat oven to 400.  Combine all ingredients except potatoes in a LARGE bowl.  Stir to blend well.  Add potatoes to seasoning in large bowl, toss to coat well.  Transfer to large rimmed baking sheet; spread into a single layer.  Bake until brown and tender, about 40 minutes.  They turn out best if you turn them halfway through cooking.  

I'm serving them with marniated pork tenderloin (which takes about 10 minutes MAX to prepare, although you marinade and cook for a while).  Yum!

Enjoy :)