I'm not making as much candy this year because so many of us are eating less sugar. I had requests for the traditional choices: bourbon balls, truffles, toffee. The weather has been warm so we'll doing the things that require melting chocolate tomorrow.
The bourbon balls turned out very well. I ground the cookies finer than usual so the texture is smoother.
I've made one batch of toffee for my pilates class tomorrow. I'll be making more toffee tomorrow because lots of folks love it. It's an easy recipe but you must have a candy thermometer.
I think I'm in the mood for caramel because that's what I've had the most fun making this year. Below you can see what is sitting on my table now, waiting to be cut and/or broken. The top one is a Martha Stewart recipe. Click here. It's from her most recent magazine and when you click the link, you get the basic recipe and see the photo with the lovely variations.
I made the basic caramel (not pictured) and cooked it 3 degress too long and it's more like a Heath bar. Good, but not chewy. I'm going to dip those pieces in chocolate tomorrow and I think it will be well-liked. The pan with the nuts, below, has 3 cups of salted mixed nuts and one tablespoon of thyme stirred in when you stir in the salt and vanilla. I think it's going to taste great. FYI – when the recipe says 248 degrees, it means it!
The bottom pan in the photo is a batch of apple cider caramels from the Smitten Kitchen. I don't gush about many cookbooks, but this is a cookbook that I love. And Steve is making recipes from it too which is high praise. You should have it :-).
I'm going to chocolate-coat some gluten-free pretzels and that may be it. No, wait, Celia requested a pecan pie (baking that on Friday or Saturday) and I'm making a cheesecake for Christmas dinner in Oklahoma City. And you know what? I am not going to eat much of this at all. I love making it, smelling it, packaging it… and by then I'm so tired of it I don't need to eat it. I almost feel guilty for sharing it, but the recipients love it and I don't give them a whole lot. Just enough :-).
PS – In case you don't get the piece o' cake newsletter, click here for a free ornament pattern. It is my gift to you!
AND, Elanor's bathroom has water! It's done and we are all oh-so-happy. Now Steve has to finish his grading so he can get back to my TV cabinet… but in the spirit of the holdays, I'm not going to nag him…
AND, Jeff and Celia come in tomorrow night. Celia is hosting a baby shower here for Lorna and Chris on Saturday. If I don't post until after Christmas, I wish you each and every one a happy holiday!