Thursday, December 24, 2015

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.......

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone has had a good year and are looking forward to a new year, which has too quickly set apon us.

Today my mom and I are making Christmas candy and I wanted to share a couple of recipes that we tried this year. Both of these we will be making for friends in the future and we will be adding them to our traditions list.

First we made that cracker toffee that's been floating around Pinterest and Facebook. Then I twisted it a little. So I will share the twisted version below.

The second one we made is Coconut Walnut Drops. These are little praline like drops. The original recipe called for pecans and corn syrup and called them cookies. Mine did not resemble cookies, but blobs, so drops it is. Also, I don't use corn syrup at all. I don't buy corn syrup and I read all labels. You know even Worcestershire sauce has corn syrup in it! Why?! Ok, I jumped quickly to that soap box. I climbed down, so read on for the recipes.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas! Enjoy time with friends, family and of course food!

No Bake Coconut Walnut Drops
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup*
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (or nuts of choice)
  • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine coconut and nuts; set aside.
  2. In a heavy saucepan over medium high heat, stir sugar, evaporated milk, corn syrup, salt and butter. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a full rolling boil -- let boil and stir for 3 minutes.
  3. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla and coconut/nut mixture. Stir until mixture starts to cool and thicken.
  4. Drop by spoonfuls on wax paper/foil/parchment. Let harden completely -- about an hour to an hour and a half -- before serving.
*Corn Syrup substitute: for light CS use 1 cup sugar mixed with 1/4 cup water. For dark CS use 1 cup packed brown sugar mixed with 1/4 cup water. I heat mine until the sugar dissolves. This equals 1 cup of corn syrup.

Christmas Cracker Toffee (Sorry no picture yet)
Line a large cookie (11x17) with foil, make sure the whole pan is covered including the sides. Spray the foil lightly with cooking spray. Line the entire pan with a single layer of saltine crackers. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium saucepan over medium high heat melt 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter and 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons of packed brown sugar. Bring to a boil stirring constantly and boil for 3 minutes. Remove and pour over crackers. Spread evenly with spatula. Place in oven for 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with one bag (12 oz) white chocolate chips. Tent with foil until chips melt or return to oven for 1 minutes. Spread chocolate evenly with spatula. (You can also melt chips in microwave and drizzle over toffee crackers.) Sprinkle with dried cherry pieces, craisins, raw pumpkin seeds and walnut pieces. Make sure chocolate is still warm to push topping into. If drizzling with chocolate, place toppings in toffee then drizzle to secure to toffee.

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