Remember when the traveling carnival would come to town? My friends and I would excitedly get tickets to go on all the crazy rides and then buy a sugary treat, often peanut brittle. The peanut brittle was always sweet and crunchy and the perfect snack for wandering the game booths or riding the bumper cars! I decided to try and replicate that old time peanut brittle using this recipe but with a little twist- a nice topping of sea salt to give it a more sweet & salty flavor and the addition of 1 tablespoon of butter added with the vanilla. The butter adds a slightly creamy buttery undertone that complements the peanuts and the caramelized brittle. Maldon Sea Salt is a delicate, light finishing salt that is made to sprinkle over the tops of finished foods before serving. This salt is very light and melts quickly so the salty flavor is not overwhelming like a coarse Kosher salt might be. I sprinkled the Maldon sea salt on top of my peanut brittle after I spread it out to cool. I did not butter my baking sheet as indicated in the recipe, instead I lined it with a nonstick Silpat pad, works great and the clean up is simple. Here is a tip to tell if your brittle has reached the right temperature: I keep a glass of ice water and spoon next to my pan of sugar. When the sugar temperature reaches around 260-270 I dip my spoon into the hot sugar and then plunge it into the cold water. I can then check the texture of the cooled sugar- if it's squishy then its not hot enough. If it's hard and keeps its shape then it's probably ready to come off the heat. Sugar goes from brown to burnt really fast so keep a sharp eye! Always remember when making candies that it is very easy to get burned by the molten sugar, so keep a bowl of ice water on hand for emergencies. When your brittle has cooled completely, break into nice size shards. This peanut brittle has that great crunchy sweet peanutty flavor that I remember with an extra nice slightly salty tang. The outside is glossy and smooth with a nice crispy crunch that's filled with buttery peanuty goodness. Next time you're in the mood for something sweet, crunchy and slightly nostalgic try this peanut brittle! Enjoy! Check Out More Pics On Old Fashioned Peanut Brittle with Maldon Sea Salt Here:SFappeal
When my sister flew up to visit Easter weekend I baked her some
delicious Meyer Lemon Cupcakes. I'd been working on the recipe for a
while: delicious white almond sour cream cake, filled with a tart
raspberry jam and topped with a decadent fresh Meyer Lemon
Buttercream.....yum, except I forgot she doesn't like lemon! Duh! To
make up for my major baking faux pas I am sending her a new goodie that
includes two of her all-time favorites of chocolate and coconut: Black
Bottom Coconut Bars! These bars bake up into a nice combination of
rich, moist chocolate brownie, sweet nutty coconut macaroon and a
crunchy toasted coconut topping. Almost like a Mounds Candy Bar, but
better! You don't even need a mixer to make these, just a bowl and
whisk! The whole recipe can be found here!
This is a terrific basic go-to muffin recipe that you can easily change up by substituting flavorings and toppings to whatever you like. I had some leftover coarsely ground almonds in the freezer and thought they would make delicious Vanilla Almond High-Rise Muffins. I followed the High Rise Muffins Recipe with a few changes: I added 1/4 teaspoon almond extract to the batter and mixed in around 1/2 cup to 1 cup of the coarsely ground almonds. Next, i decided to make a nutty topping for the muffins. In a small bowl i combined 1/2 stick butter cut into cubes, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup coarsely ground almonds and 1/4 tsp. almond extract. I used a pastry cutter to mix the butter into the dry ingredients, giving me coarse crumbs. After filling my muffin cups with batter, i spooned on a good amount of the topping and then i sprinkled some coarse vanilla sugar on top for a little extra flavor and crunch. The topping baked up golden brown and slightly carmelized with some extra almond crunchyness that went well with the vanilla almond flavored muffin. This recipe made 12 high-rise muffins. Enjoy!
I came across this cake recipe that gets a lot of great reviews: White Almond Sour Cream Cake and it all starts with a boxed white cake mix. It gets doctored up with sour cream and extra flavorings to create a foolproof white cake. I decided to fill these cupcakes with a delicious locally made raspberry jam and top them off with fresh Meyer Lemon Buttercream dipped in yellow sanding sugars. The cake is super easy to whip up and bake off. The taste is similar in flavor to an angel food but the texture is definately regular cake, not airy or spongey. The raspberry jam makes a nice sweet-tart filling along with the creamy Meyer Lemon Buttercream making these cupcakes perfect for spring! I also got to use these brown cupcake liners and they are terrific! They are made of a greaseproof paper so there is no oily look to the paper on the finished cupcakes and they peel easily away from the cake. I was able to make 24 cupcakes using this recipe, just enough for me and some friends! Happy Spring!
Check out these hot chicks! I received a request for two dozen Easter cookies and I knew that at least half were going to little nieces and nephews so I used the egg cutter to make these cute little chicks that are just hatched! I used a stiff royal icing to make the "cracked" looking edges on the shells and alternated with pink shells/green dots and green shells/pink dots. The beaks are made with stiff orange royal icing using the leaf decorating tip so it stands out from the cookie. The eyes are tiny dots of bright blue royal icing. I brushed them all with some shiny pearl luster dust after they dried. Then they got bagged and tagged for delivery.
Two dozen "chicks" and "eggs" fit nicely into a colorful Easter basket that picks up the colors in the cookies. I filled it with Easter grass (the baskets and grass are on sale at Target for 75¢ and 25¢!) which helps cushion the cookies for a nice presentation and adds a little extra holiday touch for the recipent. Enjoy!
When i was a little kid, my sisters and i would always get a chocolate coconut nest complete with three jelly bean eggs in our Easter baskets. The confection was made at a local candy shop in town and i'm sure most of my friends got them for Easter too. My sister is coming up to visit for the holiday and she requested a Chocolate Coconut Nest, so I decided to try and make them myself. I looked for recipes but couldn't find exactly what i was looking for so I just made it up! Each of the nests are approximately 3" and yields six, but you could make a whole bunch of little tiny ones with itty bitty jelly beans too! I thought these would make a great Easter dinner place setting, they look so cute sitting on a plate!
The nests are made of three ingredients: flaked sweetened coconut, chocolate, and candy eggs (i used malted milk balls), and you will also need a large pan or cookie sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment so the nests won't stick. I used a 3" ice cream scoop and a 2" ice cream scoop to mold the nests, but you could just as easily use your hands. I choose Milk Chocolate Bark instead of regular chocolate because it doesn't need to be tempered so it won't melt outside of the fridge. I used a whole bag of flaked sweetened coconut and toasted it in a 325 degree oven for around 5 minutes–you MUST watch the coconut carefully and frequently stir it around so it doesn't burn. I toasted mine really brown and crispy so it would have some crunch and wouldn't get too soft from the chocolate. After the coconut is cooled, place it into a large bowl and set aside. Next, melt your chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave until smooth. I just guessed with the amount chocolate and used around 6 or 7 squares of the bark (or 1/2 a bag of chocolate chips) to cover one bag of coconut. You can use less or more depending on how coated you want your nests to be. Mix the melted chocolate into the coconut and start working FAST before the chocolate hardens! I used my 3" scoop to gather a compacted mound of the mixture and placed it on the Silpat. Next I used the back of a 2" scoop to form a dent in the mound. You can spray the 2" scoop with Pam so it doesnt stick. If the mixture starts to harden you can warm it up a little in the microwave to soften. When all the nests are finished, quickly place the candy eggs in and put the pan into the fridge for 30 minutes. The nests came easily off the Silpat and were compact enough to move around so i ended up putting them into cello bags with ribbon. What a fun and easy Easter treat! Enjoy!