Saturday, December 5, 2009
Dried Cherry & Chocolate Walnut Brittle
Wow, I don't know if I can top those White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies below. Nothing beats a good Christmas cookie!
I can't wait to get started with my usual holiday baking and cooking. Growing up, my sisters and I would always help with the treat making. Cut-out sugar cookies were always my favorite, but I also liked helping out with white chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate dipped peanut butter crackers, chex mix, and butter spritz cookies. It was tradition, and I always insisted on making those items. I feel the urge to get crackin'! This month is already flying by!
Our family would munch on goodies all month long, and we'd usually make up a new batch of items to take to my grandparents' farm on Christmas day to share with aunts, uncles and cousins.
We weren't much into candy-making; no brittles, no toffee, no marshmallows, and gasp - no fudge. I don't ever remember making candy when I was growing up... I suppose because these items are much more difficult to make. Also, molten hot sugar and small children do not mix.
Therefore, I feel deprived of candy making, and need to make up for it as an adult. So this holiday season I'm making it a point to create more candy recipes for my blog. Buttery chocolate-covered toffee, anyone? Peppermint Marshmallows? Wheee!
Making candy can be tricky business, but I'm up to the challenge. I even went out and bought a brand new candy thermometer! The one I had from 1970 wasn't doing the job. :) I used the new candy thermometer when I created today's recipe: Dried Cherry & Chocolate Walnut Brittle.
Traditional peanut or walnut brittle is delicious, but let's admit it - it's pretty boring, right? I thought I would spice up walnut brittle for the holidays and add dried cherries, dark chocolate, and crystallized ginger. Chocolate, walnuts, cherries and ginger are a match made in heaven!
Dried Cherry & Chocolate Walnut Brittle (Recipe from Sugar Plum)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
3 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
Butter a cookie sheet well.
Stir together sugar, corn syup and salt, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; stir in walnuts and cherries, and continue to cook until mixture reaches 300 degrees F, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat and stir in butter and baking soda, quickly; pour onto cookie sheet, and spread out thinly using two forks.
Sprinkle ginger over brittle and gently press into surface. Sprinkle chocolate chips over brittle and gently press into surface. Cool completely before breaking into pieces.