I hope everyone had a good Christmas! (Or is having a good Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or Boxing Day!)
I participated in the usual Christmas festivities; Eric’s family’s Christmas Eve party, their Christmas Day breakfast, and my family’s Christmas. Lots of good food was to be had; homemade pulled pork tamales on Christmas Eve, along with guacamole, rice, and jalapeno poppers, Honeybaked Ham for Christmas breakfast, along with donuts, cinnamon rolls, biscuits, bacon, sausage, eggs and fruit.
My family had Chinese food for lunch. That’s our tradition now! This is the third year we’ve done that, and it’s worked out well. I’m a fan of it… even though everyone gives me a hard time about ordering “Hunan Bean Curd.” It’s just tofu, people!
I’m also proud to say that I am now an owner of a Kindle! Eeee. I was so excited and surprised when I opened up the package. Thank you, mom and dad! My mom also gave me the complete collection of the Little House on the Prairie books. Haha. You all know how much I love those.
My sister gave me an angel food cake pan, which I didn’t have. Get ready for some angel food cake recipes! January is going to be heavenly.
Let’s see… I’m trying to think what other food-related presents I received… a fancy cheese knife from my dad, and a book on putting up preserves from my mom. I’ll have to do some posts and jams and pickles in the future!
We did not have toffee for Christmas dessert, but we did have French Silk Pie. I used this recipe from Cooks Illustrated. I thought it was really good and I’d definitely use the recipe again. I’d probably use one of my own crust recipes, though. I barely had enough dough to fill the pie dish.
I didn’t take a picture of the pie. Fail. Oh well.
I made this toffee before Christmas, but there’s no rule that says you can’t make toffee after Christmas! It’d be perfect for a New Year’s Eve treat!
I made one batch of almond toffee, and covered it with chocolate and white chocolate. On one half I sprinkled crushed mint cookies and candy canes. Mmm. Both were really delicious! So buttery and crispy.
This is my written version of a combination of Cookie Madness’ almond toffee and another recipe I found online, but I can’t find the other recipe now. Anyway, you’ll have to try this sometime. It’s pretty easy. The most important part is taking the hot syrup off the stove at the right time. I didn’t use a candy thermometer for this because I found it easier just by looking at the color of the syrup. Also, toast your almonds!
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a 13x9-inch baking dish with foil.
Place almonds on a cookie sheet and bake 8 minutes or until lightly toasted.
Bring butter, sugar, water and salt to a boil, in a large saucepan, over medium heat. Boil for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When hot syrup turns light golden brown, stir in almonds. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until syrup starts to turn golden brown. Quickly remove pan from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla until combined; pour toffee into prepared baking dish.
Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of toffee and wait a few minutes for them to melt before spreading evenly. Sprinkle white chocolate chips on top, wait to melt, and swirl into chocolate. Cool completely before cutting into pieces.
To make a mint variation, sprinkle 1/2 cup crushed Thin Mint cookies on top, followed by 2 crushed candy canes.