Off and on between the doodles, memes, and politics, I will be posting the recipes for the holiday goodies. First up some of my favorite holiday candies.
4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light (not dark) corn syrup
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
3 egg whites (room temperature)
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tsp vanilla
food coloring if colors other than white are desired
Combine sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt in heavy saucepan.
Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture starts to boil.
Continue cooking until mixture forms soft ball when tested in cold water (or use a themometer).
In the mean time, beat egg whites until stiff. Then pour 1/2 cup of syrup over whites, beating fast all the time. (It helps to have some male with a strong arm to beat while you pour).
Continue to cook remaining syrup while beating egg whites, until syrup reaches the light crack stage when dropped in cold water (this will happen quickly).
Pour remaining syrup over egg white mixture, beating all the while. Continue beating until candy begins to hold its shape. Stir in vanilla and nuts and food coloring. Drop by teaspoonsful onto waxed paper. Makes 50-60 pieces.
Do not try to make divinity if it is damp/humid weather.
Test the hardness of the syrup in a small bowl filled with water that has been chilled with ice cube. When you drizzle some of the syrup into the bowl it is ready when it stays "floating" in the air and does not sink to the bottom. then WORK REAL FAST.
Test a spoonful on waxed paper, if it keeps its shape after just a second you can start to spoon. If you wait until it is too firm, the last 1/2 of the batch will be too difficult to spoon out.
You can pour this into a foil lined pan that has been Pam sprayed then cut into squares if you are not comfortable spooning it out.
Bourbon Pecan Pralines
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups pecan halves, lightly toasted*
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Bourbon
butter for baking sheet
In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter.
Stir in the granulated and brown sugars, dash salt, and heavy cream.
Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Remove the lid and boil until temperature reaches 242° on the candy thermometer, or almost firm ball stage. A small amount of the mixture, when added to cold water, will form a soft ball which will hold its shape and not flatten.
Stir in the toasted pecans.
Remove from heat and beat in flavoring and bourbon.
Continue beating until the candy loses its glossiness, becomes creamy in appearance, and begins to thicken.
Have a buttered baking sheet or waxed paper lined baking sheet ready. Quickly drop the candy mixture by tablespoons onto the greased cookie sheet. Wrap pralines individually in plastic wrap to store.
*To toast nuts, spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in a 350° oven, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes. Or, toast in an ungreased skillet over medium heat, stirring, until light golden brown and aromatic.
Easy Cream Cheese Fudge
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, soft
6 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 package (12 ounces) white chocolate chips
1 ounce (1 square) semisweet baking chocolate
2 teaspoon shortening
3/4 cup chopped pecans, reserve extra pecan halves for garnish
In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth .
Melt white chocolate chips in microwave on LOW until smooth, stirring occasionally.
Fold into cream cheese mixture with chopped pecans.
Spread into a greased 8 inch baking dish.
Chill until ready to frost. Melt baking chocolate with shortening in microwave on LOW (about 2 minutes).
Pour over top of fudge and spread to cover.
Garnish with reserved pecan halves.
Cool, then cut into squares.