Saturday, November 24, 2012

Caramel Apple Cider Fudge

Have you ever had a recipe that just would not work?  The recipe you follow to the letter but it still comes out all wrong?  This fudge started out that way.  In fact, I made it THREE times and it was wrong.  Every.  Time.  Frustrating!  But it sounded so good, I just had to try again.  And so, with a little tweaking and a whole lot of persistence, the fourth time was a charm.

Caramel Apple Cider Fudge
Adapted from Very Culinary
Printer-friendly copy

3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. apple cider
1/4 c. evaporated milk
1/2 c. butter
2 c. brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
2/3 c. vanilla chips
2 Tbsp. Mrs. Richardson's Butterscotch Caramel Sauce, melted

Spray an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.  Measure powdered sugar into a large bowl and set aside.  Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.  Add cider, evaporated milk, and brown sugar.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently because it can easily scorch.  Add vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and mix thoroughly.  Remove from heat and pour butter mixture over the powdered sugar.  Add vanilla chips and stir to combine.  Press mixture evenly into baking dish.  Drizzle with melted caramel sauce and allow to cool completely in the refrigerator.  Cut into 64 bite-sized pieces.  Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Honey Roasted Almonds

It's funny how one's tastes change.

I have vivid memories from my childhood of being held captive and forced to eat zucchini pot pie.  Well, maybe not captive.  Or forced.  But I do recall not being allowed to leave the dinner table and go to the county fair unless said pot pie was eaten.  Enter ketchup.  Lots and lots of ketchup!

I'm still not a fan of zucchini pot pie (specifically the zucchini part, not the pot pie part), but I never in a million years would have imagined that one day I'd be voluntarily eating almonds.  And LIKING them, much less blogging about them and singing their praises.  But these almonds are good.  Really, really good.  Hubby tells me they really complement a glass of bourbon (as pictured below).  Not that I'd know, though, since bourbon just isn't my thing.  I'm finicky, in case you hadn't noticed.  

Honey Roasted Almonds (printer-friendly copy)

1 1/3 cup whole almonds, raw
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. Splenda
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. Splenda brown sugar
1 Tbsp. Land O' Lakes Light Butter
1 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.  Place almonds in a medium-size heat-resistant bowl and set aside.  Mix together both Splenda varieties and sugar in a small dish and set aside.  Stir together light butter, honey, and Kosher salt in a microwave-safe dish.  Heat in the microwave at 15-second intervals until the butter has melted and the mixture is bubbly.  Pour the honey mixture over the almonds and toss until the nuts are well-coated.  Place nuts on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven until well-browned, about 30 minutes.  Stir the mixture at 10-minute intervals to ensure even cooking.  Remove from oven and scrape nuts into a large heat-resistant bowl.  Sprinkle nuts with the sugar mixture and stir to evenly coat.  Allow to cool to room temperature.  Store in a sealed container.

It's amazing what you discover when you take a risk and try new (or old) things.  Next thing you know I'll be eating zucchini.  Or not.