Friday, December 10, 2010

Candied Pecans, Maple Butterscotch, and Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Pops

Each of these is and easy quick entry and each fills a special role in my Christmas preparedness routine. 

Spicy Candied Pecans

1 Pound Pecan Halves
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4c water
3T butter
2T Old Bay Seasoning or similar crab spices

Roast the pecan halves by spreading them out on a cookie sheet and baking for 10 minutes at 350F.

Meanwhile, combine the other ingredients in a saucepan and heat until boiling.  Boil 3 minutes.  Stir in the hot pecans and mix well.   Continue to boil until most of the liquid is gone.

Spread the sugared nuts on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and put back in the oven at 350F to roast for another 10 minutes. 

When the nuts come out of the oven, use a spatula to transfer them to a fresh waxed paper lined cookie sheet. This will separate them so that they don't stick together as they cool. 

Mix 3T sugar and 1t salt then sprinkle that over top of the cooling nuts.  This gives them a nice sweet sparkle along with the shine of the candy coating.

This one appeals to the men in my life.  I made it last year for the first time and my Dad was hooked immediately.  It's really easy and it's a different taste than anything you can buy in the grocery store.

Maple Butterscotch

I'm not going to repeat my recipe for butterscotch, but if you replace the butter rum flavor with maple flavor you will end up with the richness of buttery pancakes in a candy you can pop in at any time.

My basic theory is that anything that makes a good caramel will make a good butterscotch.  My next attempt will be orange.

Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Pops

This one we made for an event called Kids Helping Kids.  At Rebeca's school every year just before Christmas they set aside a day for the kids to have a fair where they sell treats and crafts to one another and the money is donated to local charities like Children's Hospital.  I like to have the kids involved in making the treats, so this year we expanded on Rebecca's chocolate hobby to make these little guys.  I do confess I used a lower grade chocolate for these, but you can be as fancy as you want.

Lolly pop sticks
Melting chocolates
Sugar Eyes
Coating Wafers
White chocolate melted for glue

1)  We poked a lolly pop stick into each marshmallow, then dipped it into melted chocolate and placed upside down on waxed paper to cool.

2) We melted the white chocolate and used it as glue to attach a wafer hat and eyes.  Then we a attached a white sprinkle for a hat tassel. 

3) We will wrap these in pretty baggies and sell them for 50 cents.

They were originally intended to be Santa-ish but we decided they came out more like french elves.  Another case where my lack of being a perfectionist pays off!

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