Tag Archives: Bourbon recipes

Favorite Summer Spare Rib Recipes

Memorial Day Weekend is the kickoff for summer grilling season, but one of my favorite dishes for summer entertaining is spare ribs. I’m sharing some of my favorite rib recipes, which are mostly prepared in the oven. These recipes are easy to make , taking more cooking time than preparation time with mouthwatering results. Try of one or all of these variations for your next summer gathering!

From by the bay, wishing you mouthwatering rib food memories!

Maryann

Spare Ribs with Bourbon Apple Barbecue Sauce
Serves 4 as main course or 8 as appetizer

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs. racks baby back ribs
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a small sauce pan add all ingredients except for ribs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, then turn off heat and cool. Puree in a food processor and set aside covered. In a large roasting pan lined with aluminum foil place the ribs in a single layer. Place in oven to brown for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes remove ribs from pan and pour off any juice and fat. Place the ribs back into the pan. Use half the barbecue sauce and pour over and spread over the ribs. Lower the oven to 400 degrees F and place the ribs back in the oven, turning the ribs over and covering them with the remaining sauce. Bake for another 30 minutes and remove from the oven. The ribs can be served immediately or at room temperature.

Spare Ribs with Root Beer Barbecue Sauce

Serves 4 as main course or 8 as appetizer

2 1/2 lbs. racks baby back ribs

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 cup ketchup

3/4 cup root beer, preferably made with cane sugar

2 tablespoons molasses

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a small sauce pan heat olive oil and saute garlic for one minute, then add the remaining ingredients except for ribs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, then turn off heat and cool. In a large roasting pan lined with aluminum foil place the ribs in a single layer. Place in oven to brown for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes remove ribs from pan and pour off any juice and fat. Place the ribs back into the pan. Use half the barbecue sauce and pour over and spread over the ribs. Lower the oven to 400 degrees F and place the ribs back in the oven, turning the ribs over and covering them with the remaining sauce. Bake for another 30 minutes and remove from the oven. The ribs can be served immediately or at room temperature.

Mango and Honey Glazed Spareribs

Serves 4 as main course or 8 as appetizer

2 ½ lbs. racks baby back ribs

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger , grated

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

¼ cup honey

¼ cup vermouth

½ cup soy sauce

6 ounces mango chutney

Directions

Combine all ingredients into a plastic sealed bag. Place in refrigerator for at least 6 hours or better overnight. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking dish with aluminum foil and empty the entire contents of the plastic bag into the dish. Arrange ribs in pan in one layer. Place in oven and turn every 15 minutes as the ribs brown. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Tranfer ribs to cutting board and let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

Sometimes I use country style ribs for this dish, in which case the cooking time is a little longer 1 hour. The meat literally falls off the bones – it delivers great favor and is more economic.

Tip: keep handy in the refrigerator tubes of garlic and ginger paste. They are available in Japanese specialty food stores. They are perfect for making quick marinades – without compromising the taste.

Asian Style Barbecue Beef Short Ribs
Serves 4-6
Ingredients

For the ribs
21/2 pounds boneless beef short ribs
2 star anise
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 cinnamon stick
1 inch piece ginger, peeled
chopped scallions to garnish
For barbecue sauce
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup cooking water from ribs
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
Directions
Place short ribs in a large cooking pot with star anise, cinnamon, garlic and ginger. Add water to just cover the ribs. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to simmer and cover with a lid for 45 minutes. Remove the ribs and place on a platter, covering with some foil. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water for the barbecue sauce. To make the sauce, add to a medium sauce pan the hoisin sauce, ketchup, cooking water, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and toasted sesame seed oil. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 30 minutes. Preheat the grill . Brush the short ribs with the barbecue sauce and grill for 8 to 10 minutes on each side. Serve immediately.

Great Balls of Fire- Memphis Style  Dry-Rub

2 tablespoons smoky paprika

1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 ½  teaspoons fine sea salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

( at the time of use 1 tablespoon white vinegar)

 

To make the rub combine all dry ingredients well and store in a covered jar. When ready to use add a little white vinegar, if using all the rub add 1 tablespoon of vinegar.

To make ribs: 

Use 4 pounds of slab baby back ribs. To prepare the ribs, remove the thin papery skin from the back of each rack of ribs. Wash and pat dry. In a bowl mix all the rub ingredients together .  Rub ½ of the mixture all over the ribs on both sides and place in a shallow roasting pan. Keep the remaining rub for later. 

Place ribs in a 450 oven for 30 minutes. Continue baking in a 350 oven for about 2 more hours. Half way through take the drippings and mix with remaining rub and baste the ribs with the mixture.  When done transfer the ribs to a cutting board and cut into pieces. Serve with your favorite  barbecue sauce. 

 
Rockin Blue Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
Makes 2 cups
 

1 1/2 cups Jack Daniel’s Black Label or Bourbon

1 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 tablespoons dark molasses

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce


 Pour 1 cup of whiskey into a saucepan. Bring the saucepan to a boil and reduce the liquid to about 2 tablespoons. Don’t let the alcohol flame. 

 Add 1/2 cup of the whiskey and the other ingredients. Simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes and reduce it by about 1/3. Use it immediately or bottle it and keep it in the refrigerator for a month or more.

Bourbon Sugar Chocolate Toffee

Getting ready for the holidays? Baking cookies? Looking for an easy , thoughtful and delicious gift to give friends and family? Look no further and try this recipe for bourbon sugar chocolate toffee.  This is easy candy making , simple just minutes to make. I love to wrap in plastic place in a craft box and share !

From by the bay , wishing you hard candy Christmas food memories!

Maryann

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Bourbon Sugar Chocolate Toffee

Ingredients
1 sleeve saltine cookies or favorite biscuit such as Biscoff wafers
6 ounces butter ( 1 1/2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
12 ounces milk chocolate buttons
2 tablespoon bourbon sugar, recipe follows
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt , such as Maldon

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with non stick cooking spray. Arrange the crackers or biscuits side by side in a single layer on the baking sheet. In a heavy medium size saucepan place the butter and brown sugar. Stir while the butter is melting and then bring to a rolling boil. Remove from the heat and carefully pour over the crackers on the baking sheet trying to cover all the crackers. Place in the oven for about 5 minutes, so the toffee bubbles and spreads across the crackers. Remove from the oven and cover with the chocolate buttons. Put back into the oven for 1 or 2 minutes so the chocolate softens. Remove from oven. Use an offset spatula to spread the melted chocolate evenly covering the entire surface of the toffee. Take 3-4 saltines and crush them into small pieces. Sprinkle on top of the chocolate while it’s still sticky and soft. Next sprinkle the bourbon sugar on top and finally the sea salt. Place the pan in the refrigerator for at least one hour, to cool and set. Once set, break into smaller uneven pieces and serve. Store in an air tight container for up to 10 days.

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Bourbon Sugar

Ingredients

  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 cup demerara sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon

Directions

Preheat oven on the lowest temperature or 275 degrees F. Scrape vanilla seeds into a small bowl; stir in demerara sugar and bourbon. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let dry out in oven overnight or minimum of five hours. Let cool. It should feel like sugar again. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.

 

Countdown to Thanksgiving-Maple Bourbon Gravy

The perfect gravy for your turkey – especially if you decide to try the Maple Bourbon Roasted Turkey  recipe below:

Countdown to Thanksgiving – Maple Bourbon Roasted Turkey

From by the bay, wishing you delicious maple bourbon food memories!

Maryann

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Maple Bourbon Gravy

Gravy Base

6 cups chicken stock

Giblets and neck from turkey

1 carrot peeled and chopped

1 onion, not peeled and quartered

1 celery stick, chopped

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Gravy

1/4 cup bourbon

6 tablespoons flour

6 cups gravy base

4 tablespoons butter, melted

2 bay leaves

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoons fine grey sea salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions for gravy base

Combine into a soup pot chicken stock, cider, carrot , onion, celery, bay leaves, peppercorns, giblets and neck from turkey. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 1 hour. Cool and strain broth and keep refrigerated until ready to make gravy. This can be done one day in advance.

Directions for gravy

Place seasoned broth into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Take melted butter in a bowl and then add the flour, whisk until a smooth paste.  Take one cup of hot broth and whisk into flour mixture until smooth. Sieve back into the broth and whisk to blend. Add maple syrup, salt and pepper and whisk again. You can have this prepared as the turkey is roasting. Once the turkey is done and removed from the roasting pan and pour pan juices into a measuring cup. Spoon off fat and discard. Add remaining juices into broth in the saucepan. Place roasting pan back on heat and deglaze with the bourbon. Scrap pan to get all brown bits, let reduce to half , about 2 minutes. Add to the gravy. Whisk together and let simmer until reduced to a sauce consistency. Remove bay leaves, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve with turkey.

Countdown to Thanksgiving – Maple Bourbon Roasted Turkey

Thanksgiving is coming and to kick off this year’s recipes we start with the main event – maple glazed turkey that has been spent the night in a brine that includes both maple and bourbon. It’s an unforgettable turkey – moist and delicious , as well as beautiful. I’ll be posting recipes from now until Thanksgiving. Each recipe will build the menu for this year’s feast. Stop by again and again and don’t forget there are many additional recipes available to help you create the perfect Thanksgiving feast.

From by the bay, wishing you special maple bourbon Thanksgiving food memories!

Maryann

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Maple Bourbon Roasted Turkey

1 16-18 lb. turkey, preferably organic

Brine

16 cups cold water, or more to cover turkey

3 cups bourbon

1 cup fine sea salt

1 cup light brown sugar

2 macintosh apples , quartered

3 garlic cloves

4 bay leaves

2 tablespoon black peppercorns

2 cups maple syrup

2 oranges quartered

3 sprigs rosemary

To roast turkey

2 whole macintosh apples

1 orange , quartered

1 bunch fresh rosemary leaves

2 tablespoons fine grey sea salt

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

To baste

8 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature

¼ cup maple syrup

Directions

Prepare brine by combining bourbon, water, sea salt, maple syrup, brown sugar, oranges, rosemary, apples, bay leaves and peppercorns. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Clean turkey with cold water removing any giblets and or neck. Keep giblets and neck in the refrigerator to use later for gravy base.  Place turkey and brine into a resealable plastic bag or into a large non reactive bowl covered with plastic wrap. The turkey should be covered with the brine, if not add more water. Refrigerate over night.  The next day remove turkey 40 minutes before planning to place into the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels inside and out.  Season the turkey cavity with salt and pepper.  Fill the cavity  with the apples, orange and rosemary.  Tie turkey legs together and place into roasting pan. In a small sauce pan melt butter and maple syrup together on a low heat. Use this to baste turkey once before placing into the oven. Roast the turkey at 425 degrees F for 30 minutes then lower the oven to 350 degrees F.   For an 18 lb. turkey cooking time will be approximately 3 hours. Use a meat thermometer to check that the meat registers 175 degrees F at its thickest part of the thigh. Baste the turkey about every 30 minutes with the butter and maple syrup mixture. If the turkey browns too quickly tent that part with aluminum foil. When ready, remove from the oven. Take turkey from the roasting pan and place on a cutting board to rest before carving, at least 20 minutes. If you are serving later then 20 minutes from removing from oven tent turkey with aluminum foil until ready to serve.


Whiskey and Rye Chocolate Chip Cookie

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It’s Fall and time to get back into the kitchen to bake. I can’t think of a better cookie than this bumped up version of a chocolate chip cookie. This is by far my favorite recipe. It’s crispy, sweet and salty. Chocolate is in every bite thanks to using different sizes of chocolate bits in the cookie. You will want to make this recipe over and over again.

Enjoy!

From by the bay wishing you sweet chocolate food memories!

Maryann

Whiskey and Rye Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe by San Francisco Cooking School

Ingredients

  • cups chocolate wafers (discs, pistoles, fèves; preferably 72% cacao), divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup rye flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt

Ingredient Info

  • Find chocolate wafers (do not use chocolate wafer cookies) at specialty food stores, some grocery stores, and online.

Preparation

  • Pulse ¾ cup chocolate wafers in a food processor until pea-sized pieces form. Whisk all-purpose flour, rye flour, baking soda, and kosher salt in a medium bowl.
  • Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large bowl, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until light and fluffy, 3–4 minutes. Add egg, vanilla, and bourbon and beat until fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and slowly add dry ingredients, mixing just to blend. Fold in chopped chocolate and remaining chocolate wafers.
  • Portion dough into 16 balls (about ¼ cup each) and transfer to a rimmed sheet sheet as you go. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill at least 3 hours or up to 1 day.
  • Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°. Scrape vanilla seeds into sea salt in a small bowl and mix to combine (save pod for another use).
  • Divide dough balls between 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 3″ apart. Flatten each ball to about ¾” thick and sprinkle with vanilla salt. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown around the edges, 14–18 minutes (cookies will firm up as they cool). Let cool slightly on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.
  • Do Ahead: Cookies can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Chocolate Fudge with Bourbon Sugar

I love to give the gift of food, this is a perfect gift – chocolate bourbon sugar and if you happen to have bourbon sugar already around it’s even easier to make.  It’s  a combination of sweet and salty , the fudge enhanced with coarse sea salt such as Maldon Sea Salt my favorite! I keep this stored int he freezer over the holidays , not need to defrost , just cut and serve. Perfection!

From by the bay wishing you visions of bourbon fudge food memories!

Maryann

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Chocolate Fudge With Bourbon Sugar

Published December 2014 Bon Appetit recipe by William Werner
The exceptional texture and glossy sheen of this fudge result from the way you mix it. Make sure the chocolate and condensed milk are barely hot.

Ingredients
SERVINGS: MAKES 32
Bourbon Sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 cup demerara sugar
2 tablespoons bourbon
Fudge
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 72%), coarsely chopped
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon kosher or fine grey sea salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 1 teaspoon vanilla
Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Directions

Bourbon Sugar
Preheat oven to 150° or as low as yours will go. Scrape vanilla seeds into a small bowl; stir in demerara sugar and bourbon. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let dry out in oven overnight, leaving door slightly ajar. Mixture should feel like demerara sugar again in the morning.
Do Ahead: Store bourbon sugar airtight at room temperature up to 2 months.

Fudge

Line an 8×8” baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang on 2 sides; lightly coat with nonstick spray. Heat chocolates in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let bowl touch water), stirring occasionally, until almost completely melted. Set aside.

Combine condensed milk, butter, bourbon, corn syrup and salt in a small saucepan; scrape in vanilla seeds and add pod. Heat over medium until barely hot (same as the chocolate). Gently stir one quarter of the milk mixture into the chocolate with a rubber spatula. Add another quarter of the milk mixture , stirring to incorporate (it might look broken and greasy; don’t worry it will come back together). Continue with remaining milk mixture in 2 additions, stirring vigorously until fudge is very shiny and almost elastic, about 5 minutes. Scrape into prepared pan and smooth top. Sprinkle with bourbon sugar and sea salt. Let cool, then cover and chill at least 4 hours.

Turn fudge onto a cutting board and slice in squares.

Do head : Fudge can be made 1 week ahead , wrap tightly and chill or store in the freezer wrapped in foil, no need to thaw.

Bourbon Spiced Cider

Kick off your holiday season with the perfect cocktail , this bourbon spiced cider will keep you warm through the holidays! Start with an easy spicy simple syrup, I use my favorite mulling spices to infuse lots of flavor into the simple syrup – then it’s just warm a little cider on the stove top or mircrowave oven , mix with bourbon and the syrup and serve!

From by the bay, wishing you warm spiced holiday memories!

Maryann

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Bourbon Spiced Cider

Ingredients

  • 6 oz. Apple Cider (hot)
  • 1 oz. Bourbon
  • 1 oz. Spiced Simple Syrup recipe below

Directions

Combine everything in a heat-safe glass or mug and give it a good stir. Garnish with cinnamon stick. For a non-alcoholic version, mix 1 oz. Spiced Simple Syrup with 4 oz. hot cider and stir.

Spiced Simple Syrup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon mulling spices
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Directions

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes until sugar has completely dissolved, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat and let the syrup cool. Strain syrup into a clean jar; discard solids. May be refrigerated for a week.

Chocolate Bourbon Kiss

There are all kind of kisses , the universal symbol of love. Every kiss, they say,  is the talk of the soul. These little bites of chocolate and bourbon are a perfect kiss for your Valentine !

From by the bay, wishing you little chocolate kiss food memories!

Maryann

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Chocolate Bourbon Kiss
Makes approximately 30 cookies

Cookies
3 cups vanilla wafers
6 ounces chocolate chips
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup ground pecans
1/3 cup bourbon
coarse sanding sugar for rolling or granulated sugar

Directions

In a food processor, process wafers until finely ground. In a large pot over low heat melt chocolate chips stirring to help melt. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, syrup and bourbon until smooth. Add the ground wafers and pecans and mix well. Shape into 1 inch balls. Roll in sugar and let dry . Store in a airtight container for up to 1 week.

Best Meatloaf Recipe with Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

 

 

 

 

 

January is always an interesting month! It’s post all the holiday festivities and the height of the winter doldrums. It’s usually pretty cold and dreary, so I find food a good way to add a little spark to the month is with a good warm meal. I decided to kick up the flavor for classic meatloaf  by mixing some italian sausage meat to the usual ground beef and adding some additional flavors like grated pickle. That would have been enough, but then I added my rockin’ bourbon barbecue sauce with spectacular results! So jumpstart your New Year right out of the doldrums with this exciting twist on a classic dish!

From by the bay, wishing you rockin’ food memories!

Maryann

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Meatloaf with Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

Serves 4 to 6 

Ingredients

11/2 pounds ground beef

1 pound sweet sausage meat, out of the casing

2 tablespoons shredded sour pickles ( using box grater)

1 egg

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons shredded onion  ( squeeze water out )

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

1 recipe bourbon barbecue sauce ( recipe follows)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl add all the ingredients and mix well ( your hands work best here). Place on sheet pan and form into a rectangle shaped loaf approximately 7″ by 4″. Place in oven and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with about 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce. Bake another 30 minutes , remove from oven and cool before serving. Meatloaf can be served with the remaining barbecue sauce at room temperature or warmed.

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Rockin Blue Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups Jack Daniel’s Black Label or Bourbon

1 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 tablespoons dark molasses

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

Directions
Pour 1 cup of whiskey into a saucepan. Bring the saucepan to a boil and reduce the liquid to about 2 tablespoons. Don’t let the alcohol flame.

Add 1/2 cup of the whiskey and the other ingredients. Simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes and reduce it by about 1/3. Use it immediately or bottle it and keep it in the refrigerator for a month or more.

Top Five Homemade Candy Gifts

Looking for easy food gifts to share with friends and family , look no further and try one of these easy candy recipes!

From by the bay, wishing you a sweet holiday!

Maryann

 

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Almond Saltine Toffee with Sea Salt

Ingredients
1 sleeve saltine cookies
6 ounces butter ( 1 1/2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
12 ounces chocolate chips or buttons
2 tablespoons blanched sliced almonds
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt , such as Maldon

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with non stick cooking spray. Arrange the crackers side by side in a single layer on the baking sheet. In a heavy medium size saucepan place the butter and brown sugar. Stir while the butter is melting and then bring to a rolling boil. Remove from the heat and carefully pour over the crackers on the baking sheet trying to cover all the crackers. Place in the oven for about 5 minutes, so the toffee bubbles and spreads across the crackers. Remove from the oven and cover with the chocolate buttons. Put back into the oven for 1 or 2 minutes so the chocolate softens. Remove from oven. Use an offset spatula to spread the melted chocolate evenly covering the entire surface of the toffee. Take 3-4 saltines and crush them into small pieces. Sprinkle on top of the chocolate while it’s still sticky and soft. Next sprinkle the almonds on top and finally the sea salt. Place the pan in the refrigerator for at least one hour, to cool and set. Once set, break into smaller uneven pieces and serve. Store in an air tight container for up to 10 days.
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Pepita Brittle

Adapted from “Craft of Cooking” by Tom Colicchio and Smitten Kitchen Blog from 11/1/2008
Makes one 12 x 16 – inch pan

Canola -oil spray
2 cups sugar
1/4 pound unsalted butter
6 tablespoons corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 pound or 1 1/2 cup shelled raw unroasted pepitas ( pumpkin seeds)
1 1/2 tablespoons Maldon sea salt

Directions
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray parchment paper with Canola oil. Take a large non-stick pot and add sugar, butter, corn syrup and 1 1/3 cups water. Place on high heat melting sugar until the caramel turns amber color, stir occasionally as this is cooking. This might take awhile, it will thicken as it boils before it finally turns amber. At this point add the baking soda and salt, then remove from heat and add the pepitas. Stirring well, then quickly pour onto the baking sheet and spread out evening with a spatula. An alternate method for a smoother brittle is slide the parchment paper out of the baking pan and onto a smooth counter top. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and use a rolling in, to smooth the brittle and roll it out thin. Once the brittle is rolled out you can remove the top sheet of parchment paper and let the brittle cool and then break into pieces. If you can resist eating this , store in an air tight container.

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Speculoos Cookie Dough Truffles
yield 1 1/2-2 dozen truffles
2 tbs unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup TJ’s Speculoos Cookie Butter (or Biscoff spread, or any other Speculoos spread you prefer)
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup ground shortbread cookies
2/3 cup dark chocolate, melted
optional toppings: fleur de sel, cinnamon chips, white chocolate
Directions:
In a medium bowl, beat together butter, cookie butter, vanilla and ground cookies until well combined. Cover and chill for 30min-1 hour.
Roll dough into 1/2 tbs sized balls, and use a fork to dip and fully coat in melted chocolate. Set on parchment paper, and repeat with remaining dough. Freeze for 1 hour to set, then keep in freezer or refrigerator.

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Toasted Quinoa Bourbon Chocolate Bark with Sea Salt
Ingredients
8 ounces high quality chocolate melting candy
2 tablespoons ( pre- rinsed) quinoa
2 teaspoons bourbon
1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt such as Maldon

Directions
Place the quinoa in a small skillet over medium heat , shaking the pan gently until the quinoa starts to puff and darken in color – this will take 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a bowl add the melting chocolate and heat in the microwave for 1 minute. Remove and stir until smooth. Repeat until another 1 or 2 times until the chocolate starts to melt. Keep stirring to finish melting the chocolate. Mix in the toasted quinoa and bourbon. Pour and spread the chocolate onto the parchment lined tray. You can use an offset spatula to help spread the chocolate into a square about 6 by 8 inch square. Sprinkle with sea salt. Let cool and harden. Break into pieces to serve.

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White Chocolate with Pink Peppercorns
Ingredients
16 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
2 teaspoons pink peppercorns, ground
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

Directions
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the chocolate in a glass bowl and place in microwave at high for 30 seconds. Remove bowl and stir chocolate with a spatula. Repeat again by placing into microwave for another 30 seconds, remove and stir. Repeat this process until chocolate is melted, which varies althought ususally in total it is 2 -3 times. Stir chocolate until it is completely smooth. Once chocolate is melted add the lemon zest and ground pink peppercorns. Stir well. Pour melted chocolate onto the parchment paper and spread into a rectangle shape. You can top with some additional pieces of pink peppercorn if you like. Place into the refrigerator to cool. Once cool, break the chocolate into large pieces.