Category Archives: Baking: Other

Peanut Brittle

Peanut Brittle 1

My Dad’s birthday was recently and I decided to make him a special treat, something he loves, but almost never gets…Peanut Brittle!  It also gave me a good excuse to test out my new candy thermometer.  I decided to use Alton Brown’s recipe for peanut brittle, and it came out great!  I left out the cayenne pepper, but the cinnamon gave the brittle a great flavor.  Just make sure you do use a candy thermometer and be sure it gets to 350ºF  (as stated in the video.)  I tried to make it again without the thermometer, judging just by sight and I must have taken it off too soon because that time it did not come out right at all.  Still, when it’s done right it’s a delicious treat.  My Dad loved it and I am really excited to make more recipes using a candy thermometer…Toffee perhaps?

Peanut Brittle 2

You can find a video of Alton Brown making the recipe here and the a text version of the recipe here.

7 Comments

Filed under Baking: Other

Bird’s Nests

Birds Nests 3

If someone had me write a list of my favorite desserts, Bird’s Nests would probably be in the top ten.   I am not exactly sure what to call them, they’re not cookies…but I don’t know if candy really fits either.  They are chocolate bundles of sweet and salty goodness.  In my family they have somehow become a Christmas only dessert, like gingerbread cookies.  However, this year I decided to change that.  Since Monday was Valentines Day, as well as my Birthday, I decided to treat myself with this delicious treat.

Chow Mein Noodles for Bird's NestsThe ingredients in this recipe are pretty straightforward, milk chocolate chips, semi sweet chips, peanuts…except for one, Chow Mein Noodles.  For some reason when I tell people about this recipe that one ingredient always throws them.  They add another layer of saltiness to the peanuts and they give the dessert another bird’s nest like quality, they act as the twigs.

Despite how easy this recipe is to make, the directions I have to make them are very vague.  “small bag of chow mein noodles”, about 3/4- 1 cup peanuts, “barely coat.”  I usually just keep adding the peanuts and noodles until it looks right, but that is a little difficult to explain through a blog post, so I’ll do my best! Despite this I think it would be very hard to mess this recipe up.  If you don’t add enough peanuts and noddles each nest will just be more chocolately, and vice versa.  Feel free to comment if you have any questions.

Bird's Nests 4

Bird’s Nests
1/2 – 3/4 package (6-9 ounces) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 package (12 ounces) Milk Chocolate Chips
About 3/4 – 1 cup Peanuts
About 1/2 – 3/4 can Chow Mein Noodles
1 bag M&Ms, whichever flavor is your favorite

Line two cookie sheets with wax or parchment paper.  In a pot on the stove melt chocolate chips over medium heat until melted.  Add in peanuts and chow mein noodles, add more if needed, they should be barely coated in chocolate.   Scoop small tablespoons of the mixture on the wax paper lined cookie sheets, quickly press in 2-4 (depending on preference and size of nests)  M&Ms to be the “eggs.”  Let sit for 1-2 hours, peel off wax paper and store in airtight container.  Enjoy!

And lastly, an update on the Surfer Squares my friend and her husband loved them!  He said they tasted just like his mother’s, though he wasn’t able to tell me how they got their name.

Bird's Nests 1

3 Comments

Filed under Baking: Other

Dark Chocolate Truffles

I have been wanting to make truffles for a while now, I tried once a few years ago and it failed horribly. I let the chocolate sit in the refrigerator for too long before I tried to roll it into balls, so it hardened up way too much. Then I was impatient and didn’t let it sit out long enough before I tried to roll the chocolate again, and I ended up with something like shaved chocolate and not nice round truffles (it still tasted good though :P)

This time, it went much much better! I ended up with 12 delicious round truffles. I used the recipe that was on the back of the Ghirardelli chocolate, but I decided to half it. It said it would make about 30 truffles and I really didn’t need that many. So all the amounts in the pictures are half the normal amount, the full recipe will be at the bottom of the page.

Truffles are so simple to make! Only three ingredients!
Truffles 1

As I said, I just took the recipe right off of the back of the chocolate.
Truffles 2

You start by adding the heavy cream to a saucepan and bringing it to a simmer.
Truffles 4

Once the cream is simmering add in the butter and stir until melted.
Butter

Then add the chocolate to the saucepan and stir until entirely melted. Once the chocolate is smooth remove from heat and pour into a shallow bowl.
Chocolate

Then put the bowl in the refrigerator until firm (but not solid) it will probably take at least two hours.
Truffles 13

Once firm roll the mixture into 1 inch balls and roll in a coating of your choice. I left half of mine plain and the other half I rolled in finely chopped walnuts. I prefer them plain, but my family likes the walnuts so by doing half and half everyone got what they liked.
Here is the finished product!
Truffles 14

Enjoy!

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Truffles
Makes 30 Truffles
8 oz. (2 Bars) Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar
1/3 Cup of Heavy Whipping Cream
6 Tbsp. of Unsalted Butter Cut into Small Pieces
Coating
1/3 Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa or 3/4 of finely chopped almonds or pecans (or whatever you want really)

Bring cream to simmer in small saucepan. Add butter and stir until melted. Add chocolate to saucepan, stir until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and pour chocolate mixture into a shallow bowl. Cool, cover and refrigerate until firm, at least two hours. Roll mixture into 1″ balls. Roll each ball in coating.

4 Comments

Filed under Baking: Other