Chocolate Peanut Pretzel Brittle

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Peanut Pretzel Brittle by twocarolines.com

Yes I know that barks and brittle’s are often associated with the holidays, but this is football season and what sports fan doesn’t want to accompany a game with pretzel, peanuts and chocolate?  We want to post some game day recipes for you as the Super-bowl approaches, not that we will necessarily be watching that game, but you can bet we will be eating our Chocolate Peanut Pretzel Brittle as we cheer for our champion Golden State Warriors! Making candy is sometimes tricky, but this recipe was so easy and such a perfect crunchy, sweet, salty plus chocolate combo.  The one thing to remember when making candy is have all your ingredients out and measured and then you just go step by step and in a few minutes you have a game day treat that will make your hot wings and bag chips feel really bad about themselves.

1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup (you can also use golden syrup)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup broken-up chunks of thin salted pretzels
3/4 cup roasted salted peanuts
3/4 to 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Either grease a large cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Remember to get all of your other ingredients ready; you’re going to need to add them quickly in a few minutes, and you won’t have time to hunt and measure.
  2. Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a medium saucepan, stirring just until sugar is wet. Attach a candy thermometer and heat over medium-high heat, without stirring, until mixture reaches between 300 and 305 degrees F. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you’re looking for a small amount of the mixture dropped into cold water to separate into hard, brittle threads. This takes exactly 9 minutes on my stove.
  3. Remove from heat and quickly stir in butter (until it melts), baking soda, peanuts and pretzels until all are coated. Pour quickly out onto prepared pan. Use a spatula or, even better, two forks to pull and stretch the mixture as flat as you can get it, working quickly. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and let rest for 5 minutes so that they soften. Once they are all soft, use a spatula to spread them over the brittle.
  4. If you don’t want to wait for them to cool put them directly in the freezer for 20 minutes, after which point the chocolate is firm, the base is cold and you can bash the brittle into bite-sized chunks. It works best to lift your brittle up on the site and use an object to break it up as using hands would make a big chocolately mess.
  5. Keeps for a good week or so in an airtight container.

Recipe – Smitten Kitchen 2016 Chocolate Peanut and Pretzel Brittle

Betsy’s 1, 2, 3 English Toffee

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You can’t tell me that the holidays are done! It’s not truly over until you are passed out in a sugar induced coma on New Year’s Day. (I know we were healthy yesterday, but that earns us the right to be gluttons for another few days, right?) Well, we here at Two Carolines have got your back. This toffee recipe is super easy and ever since my rad friend Betsy taught my roommates and I this recipe years ago in San Francisco, it’s been my go-to! She was kind enough to offer to share it with all of you, as well! Lucky us, right? So, without further ado, here is Rad Betsy with her perfect 1, 2, 3 Toffee recipe…

I’m so happy to share my family’s homemade english toffee recipe!  For as long as I can remember, this toffee has been a staple of the holiday season in my house.  My grandmother use to make it during the holidays, my mom still makes it during the holidays to gift to friends and neighbors and now I do the same.  It’s always a hit, has a big wow factor and couldn’t be easier to make.

The method we use is the “1, 2, 3 recipe.”
1 cup granulated sugar
2 sticks salted butter
3 tablespoons water
Put all ingredients in your biggest, heavy-dutiest frying pan on HIGH.  Before you do this make sure you have an 8 or 9 inch metal cake pan right next to you.
Cook on high stirring CONSTANTLY with a wooden spoon.  You’ll watch it change from a melted butter looking mixture to a more creamy looking mixture and before you know it, it’ll start turning light brown.  Literally stir, stir, stir, stir until it’s basically the color of a brown paper bag (that’s how my mom and grandma always described it…no candy thermometers involved!).  While still stirring the boiling hot mixture, pour it into your cake pan and you’re done!  It will literally be just starting to smoke when you quickly dump it carefully into your cake pan.
I usually take my frying pan directly to the sink and turn hot water on it right away and I use my spoon to scrape out any remaining toffee.
Let the toffee cool in the pan for apx. 10-15 minutes or until you can sprinkle chocolate chips on it without them sinking right in (about 10 minutes).  The remaining heat from the toffee will melt them within a couple of minutes.  Once melted, smooth them over the top with the back of a spoon.  Traditionally, I top them with finely chopped walnuts but you can experiment with whatever you like (fleur de sel for your non-nut friends is delicious)!
Once completely cooled and chocolate is set, turn it out on a big sheet of foil.  I then gently bang/tap it into pieces with a mallet or my knife sharpening tool from my knife block…whatever works.
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Added bonus is the nuts that remain on the foil make the BEST ice cream topping.  Nuts with little shards of toffee and chocolate = heaven.
So that’s the official Taylor/Heywood/Santos family recipe!  It can take a tiny bit of practice.  If you cook it too long, you’ll know it b/c it’ll have a slightly bitter taste.  If you cook it too little, it may be a bit chewy.  You’ll get it though!  It’s really quite an easy process.  I have two cake pans and I’ll usually do two batches late in the evening…get them all ready and then in the morning they are perfectly ready to prep and package up for friends and neighbors.
Happy holidays!

Salted Dark Chocolate Pecan Fudge

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Salted Dark Chocolate Pecan Fudge by twocarolines

Fudge is such a staple of my family’s Christmas tradition, for weeks around this time of year my Mom kept a 9×13 on the back porch (where it would stay cool, but not dry out like it would in the fridge) and the intention was to make pretty plates of it for friends and neighbors, but my brothers and I were always sneaking pieces so, to everyones delight, she would end up having to make it a number of times.  Momma May makes the most incredible, rich dark chocolate nutty fudge EVER!  This is not the stuff on the back of your marshmallow cream label, it’s a unique and spectacular fudge experience for sure.  I think the secret is the unsweetened chocolate, that’s what gives is such insane chocolate flavor.  I traded out walnuts for pecans because I’ve been on a pecan binge lately and I added flake salt to the top.  I’m not going to lie, I am deep deep in love with the way it turned out.

 

Ingredients:

4 1/2 cups sugar

1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

1/3 pound of butter (ends up being about 1 stick and 2-3 tablespoons)

2 cups chocolate chips

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate – chopped (I used 7 but who’s counting)

1 container (7 ounce)  marshmallow cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups pecans coarsely chopped

flake salt

 

  1. Have all your ingredients ready – this is a must for candy making as things happened fast and are often timed so finding and measuring is not something you’ll have time for as you go.  Grease a 9×13 baking dish (I use pyrex) with cooking spray or butter.
  2. In a large saucepan (with a heavy bottom – or at least a good thick one) mix sugar, milk, and butter.  Bring to a boil stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula.  As soon as it boils start a timer for 5 minutes and stir while it’s boiling for the full 5 minutes.
  3. Take off the heat and add unsweetened chocolate and chocolate chips, then marshmallow cream and once there are no more white streaks vanilla and nuts stirring the entire time.
  4. Pour into your greased 9×13 and sprinkle with flake salt then let cool.  Don’t slice until cooled down, but if you wait too long slicing is a little trickier to do cleanly.  I slice after about an hour of cooling for clean small squares.  I recommend keeping your servings small because it’s crazy mad rich.  Do not keep in the fridge or it will dry out your fudge.