A Tray of (Sugary) Treats
Posted: Sunday, December 12, 2010 by Lucy & Michael
We love to give neighbors and friends easy, homemade treats for the holidays. We especially like giving the treats in, on, or with something that can be kept and used again - a classic white tray, a Nambe heart-shaped bowl, a copper cookie cutter, a sillicone spatula. This year, we chose not to actually bake, but to put together a plate of super-easy candy treats. If you're a dentist, stop reading now.
PEANUT BUTTER BALLS
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups smooth peanut butter (not the natural kind)
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup Rice Krispies
12 ounces chocolate chips
Beat together the first 4 ingredients, starting at slow speed for about a minute, then at high speed for about 3 more minutes. Stir in the Rice Krispies. Roll into 1-inch balls and freeze on a foil- or wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Once the balls are frozen, melt the chocolate chips. You can do this over a double boiler, but our favorite way is to put them in a glass bowl and microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring in between each interval. This should take about 1 1/2 minutes. Using two forks or toothpicks, dip the balls in the chocolate. Replace onto the cookie sheet, and freeze again. (You can first add sprinkles or silver dragees if you'd like.) Yum.
from a Paula Deen recipe
1 stick plus 6 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cold water
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 ounces milk chocolate chips
Line a rimmed cookie sheet with heavy-duty foil. Over medium-high heat, combine first 3 ingredients. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly, about 10 minutes (do this with a wooden spoon so as not to burn your hands!). Stop stirring, and continue cooking until mixture reaches 305 degrees on a candy thermometer. The color will be dark amber. Work quickly, as this will burn fast (experience), and remove from heat. Stir in the pecans and vanilla. Pour onto the cookie sheet and spread to a 1/4-inch thickness. Let cool slightly (about 4 minutes). Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top. When they have melted, spread them evenly over the toffee. Cool, then pop in the freezer. Lift the foil out of the pan, and break the toffee into pieces. Yum again.
2 bags microwave popcorn, popped
1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts
1/2 cup roasted cashews
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
Line a cookie sheet with foil, and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Spread the popcorn, peanuts, and cashews in a layer on the sheet. In a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the next 4 ingredients to a boil. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches 245 on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes. Quickly, pour the caramel over the popcorn, peanuts, and cashews. Make sure everything's pretty well covered, before it gets good and crunchy. Try telling your family this is a gift and will not stay in the house.