Here, I give you an old family recipe. I don’t know which side it came down from, I think my mother’s. It was printed in one edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook in the late 60’s, early 70’s (I haven’t been able to check to see which edition my mom’s copy is). It was never printed again. The recipe does not exist in their online recipe archives. And exhaustive three year search of the internet has revealed this recipe is not online, until now. It is so easy. Even if you fuck it up, it tastes good. Which I did tonight, I under cooked it by about 5 degrees and it didn’t crystallize like it should have, but it tastes awesome and doesn’t look bad. Here is the recipe:
Crispy Sugared Nuts
Heat 1 1/2 cups walnut or pecan halves in moderate oven (375) 5 minutes, stirring once.
Butter sides of heavy 2 quart saucepan.
In saucepan combine 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup hot water, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp. salt.
Heat and stir until sugar dissolves and mixture boils.
Cook without stirring to “soft ball” stage (236-238).
Remove from heat.
Beat by hand 1 minute or until mixture just begins to get vreamy.
Add 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla and the warm nuts.
Stir gently until nuts are well coated and mixture becomes creamy.
Turn out on a buttered cookie sheet, separate at once using two forks.
Nut halves can then be dipped half way into melted chocolate and cooled for an added treat.
That’s it. Easy-peasy, huh? I’m going to look up some advice, and then I might try doubling the batch. It is so small right now that the end of the candy thermometer doesn’t reach down to it. So what just happened with me was, the foam was 236, but the liquid underneath wasn’t. I needed to let it go another 5-8 degrees, and I needed to beat it with a whisk once I removed it from the heat, that was a big mistake, trying to mix it with a heat-resistant spatula. I just couldn’t get the momentum to get the creamyness I was looking for. But Doc will be lucky if there are any left by the time he gets home. I used pecans. Mmmmmm nom nom nom.
Off to go look for a recipe for almond lace cookies. Doc got me a big bag of slice almonds, and I only need a handful for the Green Beans Almondine I’m making. And I want to see if I can add toasted hazelnuts to them. I think that would be an incredible flavor combination. And again, more dipping in chocolate. And those are just for me. They are expensive, almost impossible to find fresh, and just plain not worth buying. The only way is to make them. Since I have parchment paper this year, I will dare it. I would never dare it on my beat up baking sheets, but with parchment paper, it’s like a new pan every time.