Saturday, February 14, 2009

spreading the love

It's here! While many people think Valentine's Day is just a racket for card shops and florists, I happen to love the holiday. And embrace it, even.

Since I am too wrapped up in running a business around the holidays, I never get a chance to let the people in my life know I am thinking of them in December. And Valentine's Day provides the perfect opportunity to spread the love. The cards I send out don't get lost in the shuffle of all of those Christmas cards and holiday catalogs. (not that I have ever lost any of YOUR cards, dear reader).

This year, I decided to go beyond the cards, and whip up some candy for those dear to me who are within my delivery area. I bring you, (ala Pioneer Woman's tried and true technique for presenting recipes), Nut Goodie Candy. (actual recipe follows the photo montage):

Here are the ingredients, "artfully" arranged on my counter:Melt the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and dark chocolate in a double boiler. (love this one, found it at Ikea)Or you could do it in the microwave, I prefer the stovetop method):
Combine the melted chocolate with the peanut butter. I used an 8 cup mixing bowl (because you will need to divide this mixture in half, and it saves a step by having the mixture in something you can measure it in).Spread HALF of the chocolate mixture in a rimmed baking sheet that you have lined with aluminum foil, and buttered thoroughly. In the winter, just set it out on the step to harden up. If it is too warm for that, pop it in the fridge to harden while you make the next layer.Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the evaporated milk and pudding mix. Stir well to combine, add the maple flavoring, then add the powdered sugar. It will look like this:Spread this over the hardened chocolate layer, and then let this layer get firm, either outside or in the fridge. Once it's ready, combine the nuts with the remaining chocolate, and spread over the now hardened middle layer. An offset spatula works the best, you will have to work quickly and smoothly to get it to spread evenly and cover it all.

Let the finished candy harden up really well in the fridge, preferably overnight.

When you are ready, let it sit out about 10 minutes before you start to cut it into pieces. Use the sharpest knife you have.Pull out your packaging supplies-this year I used little paper candy cups and cute Valentine plates, twine, clear film, and stickers.Time to make some deliveries!

12 oz. choc chips (I used semi sweet, you could use milk if you prefer)
12 oz. butterscotch chips
1 oz. very dark chocolate (I used 72% cacao)
2 c. creamy peanut butter
1 c. butter, plus more for buttering foil
1/2 c. evaporated milk
1/4 c. vanilla pudding mix (NOT INSTANT)
1/2 tsp. maple flavoring
2 lbs. powdered sugar
2 cups. nuts (the traditional Nut Goodie is made with peanuts, I used almonds)
Line a rimmed baking sheet (I used a 12" x 17", a smaller size will just give you thicker candy) with foil, and butter the foil completely. Melt the chocolate and butterscotch, combine with peanut butter. Spread HALF of this mixture in the pan, let it harden. Melt the butter, add the milk and pudding mix, stir well. Remove from heat, add the maple flavoring and powdered sugar, stir well. Spread over hardened chocolate, then put it back in the fridge to harden. Stir the nuts into the remaining melted chocolate, spread over the middle layer, and place in fridge overnight. Cut into squares and share!

And a very happy Valentine's Day to all of you and those you love.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for being the sweetest friend ever...LOVED my candy ala Kristi.


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