Monday, December 12, 2011

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

Hot cocoa and homemade biscotti.  December Breakfast. =]
1/2 lb butter, softened          1 T. baking powder
1 1/2 c. sugar                         1 T. lemon juice/peel, or vanilla, or about 2 tsp. anise 
4 eggs                                     sliced almonds, if desired
3 1/2 c. flour
Cream the butter.  Add sugar.  Add eggs.  Add flour, baking powder and flavoringAdd in almonds, if desired.
Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.  Divide the dough into 4 loaves and roll each loaf until it is about 1/2 inch high and 2 inches wide.
Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.  Let cool.  (I didn't wait too long.)
Cut diagonal and arrange slices on side.  Bake again until lightly toasted about 20 minutes on one side. Turn and brown a few more minutes on the other side.

I love winter break.  It's so great to have Danny all to myself!  We finally found some time to put together his birthday present--a barbecue!  This beauty had been sitting in its box for the last two months.  I'm so glad we can finally use it, especially after having a Dan-burger (he says the secret ingredient is love).  I ate that right up.  Literally.

In other news, I made toffee for the first time ever!
It was fabulous!
This is the recipe of a family friend, and surprisingly, it was fairly simple.  Just keep stirring, keep your eye on it, and don't lose hope.  I managed to succeed on the first try!

English Toffee
2 cups white sugar
1/2 lb butter
1/2 cup Light Karo Syrup
1/2 lb Margarine

Combine all ingredients in large, heavy saucepan.  Turn heat to medium high and bring to a boil.  Stir constantly until syrup turns a medium brown or caramel color.  Pour into cookie sheet and cool slightly.  Cover with melted chocolate chips and sprinkle with favorite nuts.  When completely cooled, break into pieces.

A few notes:
1.  I halved the recipe, since there's just the two of us.  I had enough to give away to friends and some left-over to enjoy.
2. I didn't use margarine, I just doubled the amount of butter I put in.  I didn't have any margarine on hand, and I know you can interchange the two.  Not sure how it affected the toffee, but I still enjoyed it.
3. It takes awhile for the syrup to change colors, but once it does, it goes quick, so make sure you're paying attention!
4. I used a 9x13 glass pan to let it cool, since I had halved the recipe.  Turned out fine, although the toffee may have been just a little too thick. 
5.  I used pecans, but I feel like walnuts would also be good.



Autumn said...

You used pecans because you are a southern girl :)

This is what I am looking most forward to as well...being greedy with Devin!

Brady and Jamie Sefcik said...

Yum! We'll have to try this one out :)

7carrs said...

yes- her grandparents had 2 pecan trees in the backyard that we would get pecans from- until a hurricane spawned tornado knocked them down! Now we have to pay for them! Egads!