I’m not going to tell you the decidedly un-PC name for this Reynolds family dessert passed down from my mother-in-law who received it from an old family friend. I will just tell you that they are damn good and you should make them right now. With the holiday treat season upon us officially after Thursday, I can tell you that anyone who receives these will be your slave forever, they will be that grateful.
I made couple of these in the original format that spawned the family nickname (would it be appropriate to remind you I married into this family, that this is not in fact my family’s un-PC recipe?) but then decided to go the patty route because they’re easier to mold that way. But it’s the long ones that got the nickname going in case you want to stretch your mind trying to figure it out. In the meantime, when you wrap them up for friends and family, you can just call them Peanut Butter Goo Bars and after one bite, no one will really care anyway.
I am doing a little experiment here–always dangerous if it involves technology, which this does. I am trying to post a little holiday item from Spain on my iPad. Who knows if this will work?
The food here has been interesting and the way of eating intriguing. I will post more next week but in the meantime I leave you with this little message about chocolate. I don’t think you need to understand Spanish to get the message. I certainly agreed with it right away from the picture alone Enjoy! Hasty luega!
It’s been a while since I had magic brownies, but I remember them fondly so I was intrigued when I saw a magic blondies recipe in Martha Stewart‘s cookies cookbook. Obviously Martha is not offering up a dessert containing an illicit substance. The magic here comes from adding a bunch of sweet and sour items and — at least in my opinion — cooking these little numbers inside cute little cupcake liners because really what dessert isn’t rendered cuter inside a cupcake liner? I bagged the coconut because I’m sorry coconut is just gross. You can of course leave it in if you’re a fan or come up with your own mix of magic. Let us know how you enjoy the trip.
I don’t know how chocolate turtles got their name or what — if anything — they have to do with the four-legged reptile with a shell, but I’ve been a fan since my first bite. That delicious combination of chocolate and caramel with a little salt thrown in for good measure is one of life’s little culinary wonders.
I decided to tackle making turtle brownies for our first official post on the new Table 1095 because one thing Rachel and I have noticed in the three years we’ve been blogging together: Our readers like desserts. (Oh, and so do we )
I can thank my friend, Sharon, for letting me know about something she called matzoh brickle. She gave me a sample last year and I immediately vowed to make a variation of her recipe the next time matzoh hit the supermarket shelves. While you might not think to pair matzoh and chocolate, once you make this, you will always want to put them together again. Trust me, it’s that addictive.
3 matzoh sheets
1 1/2 sticks salted butter
3/4 cup dark sugar
10-12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate bits
3/4 cup sliced almonds
These will vary a bit depending on the size of your baking tin with sides. Mine held two large matzoh squares, plus some broken off bits. If yours holds more, I would move up to 2 sticks of butter and 1 cup of dark sugar.
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil. Melt the butter and dark brown sugar in a pan, stirring frequently. Cook until starting to bubble. Then pour evenly over the matzoh squares and place in the oven for 1-2 minutes.
Take out and sprinkle the chocolate bits over the matzoh. Put back in the oven for 2 minutes. Take out and with a spatula spread the chocolate evenly. Sprinkle with the almonds. Place in refrigerator or freezer and let harden. Then break into pieces. Keep in the freezer or the refrigerator — assuming it’s around long enough to have to save.
So, as my mom posted about yesterday (click here), I have been–no wait, I am–on a mission to make perfect homemade peanut butter cups.
I’ve come a long way since my first batch, but I haven’t quite nailed it yet. My mom wants the chocolate a little darker, my brother wants the peanut butter a little creamier, and John wants the peanut butter to be a little bit sweeter. I’m not sure I completely agree with them all, but the quest clearly continues. I won’t have made perfect peanut butter cups until somebody agrees with me that I have is the way I’m figuring it.
Anyway, the good news–besides the fact that I can consume pounds of chocolate and peanut butter without any issue (before I made the batch I sent my mom I had already made a few trial batches…I kept telling my friend Shirley I’d share them with her but that never happened…I cannot cohabitate with peanut butter cups for very long, whether they’re perfect or not)–is that these are insanely easy.
Make some peanut butter (or don’t! Just use your favorite kind from the store…I won’t tell). To make a dozen large peanut butter cups, melt 16 ounces of chocolate. I used a 50/50 mix of milk chocolate and bittersweet, ultimately trying to make a sweeter chocolate instead of a sweeter peanut butter because I really like the peanut butter I’ve been making as it is. As the chocolate is melting, line a muffin tin with paper liners. Coat the bottom of each muffin cup with a thin layer of chocolate and place tin in the fridge until chocolate solidifies (this is pretty quick, though varies depending on the thickness of your chocolate layer). When chocolate base layer is hard, form peanut butter into circles that are flat on the top and bottom and slightly smaller than the layer of chocolate they’re resting on (this is key for getting chocolate down all of the sides). I used really generous tablespoons of peanut butter for mine, but the nice thing about making these is you can make them in whatever chocolate to peanut butter ratio suits you. Pour chocolate over the top, doing your best to get it to drip down on all sides. Place in the fridge again until solidified and then taste to make sure all is well (it will be, I promise).
I’ve already got ideas for variations. Cashew butter? Orange zest or sea salt on top? This could clearly become an obsession. I’ll keep you all posted.
Are there any variations that sound good to you? Have you ever tried and tried and tried until you’ve perfected a recipe? Do you have any tips on making peanut butter cups?
Rachel has been talking about, and experimenting with, making her own peanut butter cups ever since she visited around the holidays and had some from the Chocolate Moose, a now-defunct (sadly) chocolatier who once had a store but now only makes her chocolates a couple of times a year. (She also makes the BEST almond crunch in the world, and believe me I consider myself somewhat of an expert having consumed this particular type of confection for years and from all over the place. Suzanne’s is to die-for.)
Anyway Rachel had one of the peanut butter cups and proclaimed that she was going to learn to make them herself. Ever the supportive mother, I encouraged her in this endeavor, figuring I would reap the benefits at some point. Rachel started by making her own peanut butter. From there she began experimenting with the chocolate covering. Dedicated cook that she is, Rachel has apparently made several batches of these babies before finally sending me a few. (She also sent me shortbread because, as regular readers know, I have given up ever being able to make my own after several epic fails. I choose to think her sending me these is because she loves me rather than that she wants to rub my face in my shortbread failure.)
Anyway I am happy to report that Rachel is well on her way to nailing this peanut butter cup recipe. The chocolate is damn close to the right mix of dark and milk chocolate (I would vote for a tad more dark myself), and she’ll be posting about it tomorrow for all to try. In the meantime, this photo will just have to tide you over. I’ll think of you all during my next tasty bite.
We had John’s work holiday party this weekend. As with every year, it was a really good time. There was a ton of food (appropriate for a restaurant’s party) and plenty to drink (giant bowls of Margaritas anyone?) and laughter and good times abounded. Every year they do a white elephant gift swap that promptly deteriorates into raucousness. John has a knack for putting in hilarious gifts. This year he wrapped up a shrine to himself, complete with a lock of his hair, a swatch of an old sock (he always wears mismatched socks), a framed photograph of himself from 9th grade, candles and daily affirmation cards (which, needless to say, were pretty funny). I, on the other hand, usually go a different route. Wanting to include something actually desirable with my contribution this year, I made chocolate bark and included pieces in a jam jar on top of my gift.
I found the recipe here. It is absurdly easy and insanely delicious and, though certainly not Pop-pop’s toffee, I highly recommend it if you find yourself needing something homemade without much time to turn it out in. I swirled together bittersweet and semisweet chocolates, adding slices of dried figs, chopped almonds, and generous sprinklings of salt and dried orange zest. Fortunately, only half of what I made fit in the jam jar, meaning we’re left with the difficult task of consuming the rest.
Janet here: I was feeling a little verklempt about everyone having flown the coop (see my post here) and generally wanting to bake, which is what I often want to do when I’m feeling a little blue but also feeling as if there was no one to bake for (sorry Peter but you can only eat so much), and then I had one of those AHA moments and remembered we have a freezer. Duh! Read the rest of this entry »