Monday, December 24, 2012

More Cookie Making...Almond Joy Balls and

I have been so busy with finals that I didn't have time to share the different cookies I make. (and I had the flu for the entire past week) I cannot make the cookies fast enough! I make them and usually they are gone within a day or two. I made three different types to hand out as gifts. Money is tight this year. The spritz cookie dough turned out perfect, unfortunately, they didn't make it. My cheap cookie press broke and I burnt the only batch that turned out!

Peanut Brittle
Good thing I made these Almond Joy type cookies from Alton Brown and Trisha Yearwoods' Pecan Tassies and Peanut Brittle. They both were a big hit! Last night I also made my first Cashew brittle. Not everything turns out perfect! It was a bit thick. I know I need two jelly roll pans next time.

I think Trisha Yearwood is a genus! I was very nervous about making my own brittle. I had cashews on hand and decided to use those. One thing that's essential is a candy thermometer. I started out with 3 cups of sugar, 1 cup of light corn syrup, and 1/2 cup water in a medium stock pot. I attached the candy thermometer to the side and let the temp. come up to 240 degrees. You need a long spoon because it gets very hot. In a separate bowl mix 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. baking soda and reserve. Once the mixture comes up to 240, stir in the nuts. I used cashews. (Trisha used about 3 cups, I used about 1 cup) Then let the caramel go up to 300 degrees in temperature. Remove from the heat and add the baking soda, salt, and the stick of butter. Stir until the butter is melted and pour onto two buttered jelly roll pans. Make sure the mixture is spread thinly. Mine was a bit thick but still tastes good! Let cool and brake into pieces. 
Next up are Alton Brown's Almond Joy Balls. I can't think of what else to call them except for that lol
They are very easy to make and the result is fantastic! I used the Macadamia nuts per the recipe last time and Hazelnut nuts this time. You can use Almonds for the complete Almond Joy experience.
this is right after they were dipped in chocolate
Santa is going to love these treats. I made these very easily. Use one whole bag of coconut shreds, nearly an entire can of sweetened condensed milk, and one small bag of nuts of your choice (about 8 ounces.) Mix the coconut, milk, and nuts together and use a small mellon baller to make the balls. I placed them on parchment paper, but you can also use tin foil. They are very sticky and need to sit in the fridge for a about a hour. Next use a double boiler to melt a bag of Nestle chocolate chips. I used a glass bowl with a pot that had enough water in it but wasn't touching the bowl. If the chocolate wasn't melting enough, I added a bit of water to make it more liquid.

After the chips have melted, turn off the heat and begin adding the balls into the chocolate. Use two forks to get the excess chocolate off. Return to the parchment paper and refrigerate. Then hide them from your family!

I gave them out as gifts and they went over pretty well!  I will be posting the Pecan Tassie recipe at a later date. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Joyful Holiday! I will be posting pictures of the food tomorrow!

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