Some of the stuff I’ve been up to in the last week:
Here’s the original recipe from the link above:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped pecans (about 2 ounces)
1/3-1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon (6 to 8 ounces uncooked bacon)
- Grease or butter a large nonstick baking sheet.
- In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water over medium heat.
Stir until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a boil.
- Attach a candy thermometer to the pan, increase the heat to high, and cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 290 degrees.
- Immediately remove from the heat.
- Stir in the butter, vanilla, baking soda, pecans and bacon bits.
- Watch out, as the mixture will foam.
- When the foam subsides, pour the hot mixture onto the prepared baking sheet as thinly as possible.
- Do not use a spatula.
- Cool at least 10 minutes before breaking into pieces.
- Store in a covered container.
I screwed this up a little. The temperature given is I think a bit low. You really want it to be about 300 degrees, hard crack. I don’t really have much sugar-fu, so I’m still getting things wrong. I’ll get it. At 290, it still will come out good, but it’s the stickiest stuff in the universe after you’ve tried to chew it once.
Oh, and forget the damned pecans. They might as well not be there. They contribute neither flavor nor texture.
Citrus Spiced Cashews (Michelle Malkin posted this link on twitter.) I’ve pasted the whole recipe here because with the internet being what it is, it may disappear:
The Citrus Spiced Cashews (all close-up and macro-y):
¼ cup water
½ tsp. orange extract
1 cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. apple pie spice
3 cups salted cashews
Combine the water and orange extract in a large pan over medium heat. Add the sugar and apple pie spice; stir well. Add the cashews. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook and stir until the cashews are completely sugared with no syrup left in the pan. (This takes about 13-15 minutes. Stir often! Don’t try to turn the heat higher or they’ll scorch.) Spread on wax paper and let cool.
A note about this recipe (and the one below): It looks for all the world like nothing’s going to happen. you stand there and stir and the ’syrup’ boils down and gets thicker, but nothing really changes. But then you’ll see it start to dry up around the edges of the pan. Then you’re only a couple minutes away. I experimented a bit with how long to leave them in the pan, stirring. But nothing I’ve done makes much sense. When the mixture is dry I pour it out.
These are easy enough that it would make sense to make them immediately so that they can be eaten while still warm.
Also, I’m not SUCH a fan of the “Apple Pie Spice” I have. (Spoiler: It’s just Ginger, Nutmeg & Cinnamon.) But these were such a hit I wasn’t willing to adjust the recipe for the second batch.
I have to say, the cashews came out really well, but I don’t think cashews themselves have enough strength of flavor to stand up to the assault of that much spicing. I seem to be alone in my assessment as these were scarfed up with horrifying speed.
Cinnamon Almonds (a dead easy recipe of my own wingingititude):
Having made the Cashews above I thought “Well shit! It’s got to be easy to make those Fosillized Cinnamon Bird Turds I used to get.” (cinnamon sugar coated almonds.) And indeed, it’s dead easy:
- half a tsp (biasing large) of Cinnamon
- 1 Cup Sugar
Follow above instructions. (And skip the damn “wax paper”. Just lay them out on a cookie sheet.)
Updated Now with actual recipes. I can’t have Mlle Cheese linking and leave the post as diabetic porn.
I know, I know, it’s two months later. But someone in Oklahoma is hitting this post EVERY day, so I thought I’d add something.
I mentioned the problem with the bacon brittle being too chewy. I’ve since made it a couple times more and waited until the temperature was about 310 and it made a marked difference. I may try to go higher than that, see what happens. But I’m pretty pleased with the results and I don’t really make a lot of bacon brittle, so I’ll likely leave it alone ’til next time.