Butter / Egg Usage – December 2016

December started out for me on the 16th. This does not a good month of cooking/baking make. I mean it is December after all, but sometimes after Thanksgiving, you just do the best that you can do. Sad, but true. That and my dishwasher died – serious impediment to doing anything in the kitchen. It is surprising how much so.

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Southern Toffee

16 December 2016 – 12 Tbs / 2 eggs – Chocolate Chip Pretzel Bars

18 December 2016 – 24 Tbs – Southern Toffee 

22 December 2016 – 2 eggs – M&M Cookies

26 December 2016 – 8 Tbs unsalted butter- Chex Mix

26 December 2016 – 16 Tbs / 2 eggs – Sugar Cookies

26 December 2016 – 4 Tbs – Real Macaroni and Cheese

27 December 2016 – 2 Tbs – Sautéed Apples

30 December 2016 – 12 Tbs – Pecan Chocolate Toffee Shortbread Cook’s Country

30 December 2016 – 5 1/3 Tbs – Sausage Cheddar Scallion Biscuit Bread
Eggs = 6

Butter = 83.3 Tbs = 10.4125 sticks – 41.65 ozs – 2.603 pounds.

Eggs = 2 +2 +2 +6 – math is involved. = 12 large eggs.

 

 




Toffee

I first started making toffee when I was pregnant with the Boy – and that is a long time ago. My favorite candy to make in winter, basically the only time we can do it here, is my grandmother Daisy’s Vanilla Taffy. That recipe though required the cooperation of mother nature in the form of really really low humidity. So far, this December that has been few and far between, so I satisfy my candy making desires by making toffee. This is a new recipe to me, but, in the grand scheme of things, I think it turned out very well. A few notes – you must have a candy thermometer. The old methods of figuring if you have heated your sugar enough may have worked 70 years ago, but in this day, that just seems a recipe for a disaster. Buy the damn candy thermometer – they are not that expensive. Or if you have a good digital instant read thermometer, those work too. I finally bit the bullet and got a Thermapen this year. I love it. It was probably last year’s model, but it is nothing short of amazing. And yes, it really works for candy too. dd_1692

So here are the details:

1 cup chopped pecans, or more if that works for you – Renfroes Pecans
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 Tbs corn syrup

1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 12 oz bag of Ghirandelli semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a skillet, dry roast the pecans until they become fragrant. Do not wander away or they will burn, it is inevitable. Let cool and coarsely chop.

Line a 9 x 13 inch baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil. Sprinkle half the pecans on the baking sheet forming a single layer. Reserve the rest for the top of the toffee.

Put the butter, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. Clip the candy thermometer to the pan, but do not let it touch the bottom of the pot – that will mess up your reading. Heat mixture over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the butter is melted. Continue to cook, stirring occasional, until the sugar has melted. The toffee is ready when it reaches 295 – 305 degrees F.* This make take 15 minutes or so.

Pour the toffee over the pecans and spread evenly with a heatproof (read: Get It Right) spatula and tap the pan to get any bubbles out.

Let the toffee cool for a couple of minutes and the spread the chips evenly over the surface. Wait 3 minutes, until chocolate looks slightly melted and use and offset spatula to spread the chocolate evenly over the toffee. Sprinkle with remaining pecans and press them lightly into the surface.

Let cool at room temperature for at least an hour and put in the fridge overnight to cool completely. Once cooled, pull off the foil and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Can be kept there for three months, but do not expect it will be.

*This is when my OCD kicks in and I pretty much hover over the pot and stir the whole time. Well, off and on anyway.

Source: Simply Recipes

 

Butter Usage – by month – May 2016

11 May 2016 – 16 Tbs – Pretzel Toffee – Did not work – need to use a thermometer for the temp of toffee. Damnation

12 May 2016 – 16 Tbs – Shortbread with mini chocolate chips & Heath pieces – just saying damn skippy – And my birthday – the 50th. So where do we go from here? Being old that’s where I go anyway. Just something I have to do. I have always said it is better than the alternative.

21 May 2016 – 16 Tbs – Pretzel Toffee – again. This time I got it right. It is stupidly good. Yep. Stupid. D&D_1465

This was not the best month for me. My Fred died and I miss him so. But I also miss my Mom and my little Bering and my big dog Duke. I am kind of tired of people and dogs I love dying.  Yep tired of all this.

Will do better next month – really need to get back into the kitchen and do something useful.

The kitchen always makes me feel better.

Pretzel Toffee

I love toffee. I can’t help myself. And when you pair it with salty pretzels what is not to love?  I am going to plan this carefully – Florida = humidity, but I think past weekend was my time. In May that is a strange land indeed. What the hell, I will give it a go.D&D_1465

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar (how would this work if we changed it to brown sugar?)
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups of pretzels
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Line a baking pan with a Silpat. Cover with the pretzels in a single layer. Sprinkle walnuts evenly over the pretzels.

Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Cook until the sugar is light amber in color, about 7 – 10 minutes. It can separate but that’s okay.

Pour sugar mixture over the pretzels with the walnuts. Top with chocolate chips then use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate over the toffee. Cool the toffee in fridge. Then break into big or middle-ish pieces. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge. Fridge = dry, and in NW Florida, at this time of year, that is a good thing for toffee.

Egg Usage – by month – (February 2016)

What shall I decide to represent the February Egg Usage, not sure what will work. But these are great sugar cookies that I have been making them for donkey’s years and now I have Mardi Gras Cookie Cutters. Cool.  Thank you King Arthur Flour. I really hope March is better, but that is just me. Damn Mardi Gras came too early. So strange. D&D_1180

February 4 – 2 – Chocolate Chip Walnut Blondies

February 5 – 2 – Sugar Cookies

February 20 – 2 – Oatmeal Pecan Toffee Cookies

February 24 – 3 – Carrot Cake

February 27 – 2 – White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

February 29 – 4 – Apple Carrot Cupcakes

Apparently I need to add this up and do some math – ugh.

15 eggs @ .33 each = $4.95. I can do better.

Butter Usage – by month – (February 2016)

February 1 – 2 Tbs – Grilled Cheese Sandwich – yep boring, but I love a good grilled cheese. Of course with applesauce.

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Spiced Pecans

February 4 – 16 Tbs – Chocolate Chip Walnut Blondies

February 5 – 16 Tbs – Sugar Cookies

February 6 – 4 Tbs – Spiced Pecans Will be making these again even if they are a bit sticky – but we’ve had a rather damp winter  – hence, no taffy (total bummer.)

February 20 – 3 Tbs – Parmesan Rosemary Crackers

February 20 – 8 Tbs – Oatmeal Pecan Toffee Cookies

February 24 – 4 Tbs – Carrot Cake – frosting

February 27 – 16 Tbs – White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Oatmeal Pecan Toffee Cookies

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Oatmeal Toffee Pecan Cookies – only slightly amazing.

I am a huge fan of pretty much any kind of oatmeal cookie. You can call them breakfast cookies and I do. It makes me feel better about eating cookies for breakfast which I do on a regular basis. I guess that’s some form of justification for pretty much doing what the hell I want. This was a new recipe for me, but did modify it a bit – read: more nuts, more vanilla, and straight up toffee bits. What’s a girl to do – always have to make some adjustments. These cookies are slightly sticky, but that’s um, toffee. Yum. I think walnuts would work in place of pecans, but I really liked the pecans. Then again, I have a thing for walnuts with my oatmeal cookies.

You know, one thing I can’t deal with is an oatmeal raisin cookie with chocolate chips – that’s just too damn weird – ugh. Maybe because I always get fooled into thinking the chips are raisins and that’s just not a good thing. Kind of like eating a skittle that you think is an M&M. Blech

So here we go – I think this is a pretty amazing cookie and I got very positive feedback from my usual group of Guinea Pigs (not polite), test subjects (this isn’t science after all or maybe it is a bit), friends (yep – that works).

8 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups uncooked oats (old fashioned oats)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp heaping baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chopped pecans
8 ozs Heath toffee bits

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Over a piece of waxed paper, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.

Beat butter in a stand mixer for 2 to 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add brown sugar mix to combine. Add eggs, one at a time and then add vanilla and blend.

Mix in oats. Then add flour mixture in bits until just blended. Stir In pecans and toffee bits.

Bake for 12 minutes or thereabout. Turning the pan once half way through – that’s the OCD in me – because I have to do it.

Source: Southen Living – Modified by Me – for the better  in my opinion.