Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Hanging In There
Why on earth did I decide to try to post everyday during the month of January? I must have been feeling New Years euphoria or something. It gets harder as the month passes. All the 'extra' posts that I had photos for have been used up. So have some of the 'things about me you might want to know', although we still may go there. Curiosity about others never seems to wane. I do have something yummy for today and (I think) tomorrow, but we may get to parlor games by the end of the month. Still, as anyone who knows me can testify, I am super stubborn, so now that I've started I'm determined to finish.
Do you have any challenges you set for yourself that you later questioned your own sanity for making?
So, slightly insane, today's goodies are ones that I had been meaning to make before Christmas as a surprise Christmas gift for Sweetie. He always buys the things he wants when he sees them so it is difficult to find a gift he both needs and wants. That leaves unneeded and/or unwanted. Given that we overindulged over the holidays this probably qualifies on both counts, but we each stopped ourselves after a small taste. The rest will probably be given away to some lucky fire fighter, mail person or librarian.
The recipe I adapted this from used additional toppings I didn't have on hand when I finally made this a few days ago. No peanut butter cup candy, not Reese pieces or peanut M&Ms, but honestly it wasn't needed. Since the peanuts I used were unsalted, I did sprinkle on a bit of sea salt and I'm glad I did, but if you use the honey roasted or even salted peanuts you can follow the recipe...or not. It is fun to mix your own combination and if you use good quality chocolate almost anything you like will taste good this way.
Peanut Toffee Bark Candy
Makes about 2 pounds or 30 two-inch pieces
• PREP: 20 minutes
• TOTAL: 50 minutes
Recipe adapted from one of the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen, October 2010
• 1 pound bittersweet chocolate chips
• 3 1.4-ounce Skor or Heath toffee candy bars, cut into irregular 3/4-inch pieces or 10 oz. toffee candy pieces (I used the Heath bar pieces from a bag)
• 8 0.55-ounce peanut butter cups, each cut into 8 wedges
• 1/4 cup honey-roasted or regular roasted peanuts
• 3 ounces high-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Perugina), chopped
• Line baking sheet with foil. Stir chocolate chips in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted and warm (not hot) to touch. Pour chocolate onto foil; spread to 1/4-inch thickness (about 12x10-inch rectangle). Sprinkle with toffee candy or pieces, peanut butter cups, and nuts, making sure all pieces touch melted chocolate to adhere.
• Put white chocolate in heavy small saucepan. Stir constantly over very low heat until chocolate is melted and warm (not hot) to touch. Remove from heat. Dip spoon into chocolate; wave from side to side over bark, creating zigzag lines. Scatter Reese's Pieces and M&M's over, making sure candy touches melted chocolate.
• Chill bark until firm, 30 minutes. Slide foil with candy onto work surface; peel off foil. Cut bark into irregular pieces.
Elle's note: I only made 6 oz. of chocolate (Scharffenbergers instead of chocolate chips, with a few drops of vegetable oil added) worth of this, scaling down the ingredients to fit. Left out the peanut butter cups, used unsalted peanuts instead of honey roasted, but sprinkled on some sea salt after the peanuts were added.)