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!
Almond Saltine Toffee with Sea Salt
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Toasted Quinoa Bourbon Chocolate Bark with Sea Salt
8 ounces high quality chocolate melting candy
2 tablespoons ( pre- rinsed) quinoa
2 teaspoons bourbon
1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt such as Maldon
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.
White Chocolate with Pink Peppercorns
16 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
2 teaspoons pink peppercorns, ground
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
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.