Christmas Baking

Let me tell you what I’ve been up to lately:   baking for Christmastime.  I love to bake many special treats to give as gifts or to munch on during the holiday season.  My son Darin conveniently came over for tea one afternoon this week just after I’d finished baking his favourite Christmas squares.  Hmmmm.   Of course, we had to “test drive” all the baking :  Hello Dollies, Chocolate Cocoanut Macaroons, Chocolate Chow Mein Clusters,  and Rice Krispie Squares!  I call them my “Christmas” baking as I only bake these desserts at Christmastime…..to keep them special.

All women, men, and children who bake must have a love for chemistry and physics as well.   For instance, take today’s Peanut Brittle I made:  the water, corn syrup, and sugar come to a boil (212F or 100C) very quickly, but it doesn’t stop there.  Slowly the temperature rises beyond the boiling point of water and when it reaches 300F (I always use a Candy Thermometer) it has reached the hard crack stage. Now it’s time to take it off the heat and add the butter, then salt and peanuts.  VERY quickly it needs to be spread onto a buttered cookie sheet as the chemical reactions continues to harden the candy.  By the time it’s cooled down, the peanut brittle tray can be smacked hard against the counter or floor to break up the candy into bite size pieces.  Here’s the recipe if your interested:

1+1/2 cups white sugar

3/4 cup corn syrup

1/2 cup water (I use boiling water to rinse out the corn syrup measuring cup)

Boil this to 300F -Hard crack.  Stir constantly sort of, for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from heat and very quickly add (have this ready):

2 Tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1+1/2 cup salted Peanuts

MIX FAST then pour onto the buttered cookie sheet.

Other than people with peanut allergies,  who doesn’t like homemade Peanut Brittle!  I usually put it into a large mouth glass jar for gift giving.

This recipe and all the other Christmas treats I bake, are from  my ‘self published’ cookbook, Mom’s Recipes .  I compiled all my homemade recipes  for my children and combined them into a “cookbook” and gave a copy  to each one of them when they grew up and left home.  I’ve also given Mom’s Recipes  as a wedding gift and birthday gifts.

All that’s left to do is make the Cherry Cheesecake on Christmas Eve so it’s fresh and ready for dessert on Christmas Day when my children, children-in-law, and grandchildren arrive!

Homemade Peanut Brittle

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Maureen Sinclair
    Dec 23, 2011 @ 17:05:45

    Aw , Baking for Christmas is so nice, I love to bake as well Linda, Wishing you & your family A wonderful Christmas with your family, Nothing like family to enjoy all the goodies with.
    Love & hugs dear cousin”
    Maureen & Murray.

    Reply

    • grammomsblog
      Dec 23, 2011 @ 17:24:41

      Oh Maureen, I know too well what an awesome cook you are! I remember fondly the meals that you have made for us when we come Down Home to visit you…..Love you too!

      Reply

  2. Robin (@rmellway)
    Dec 23, 2011 @ 22:05:09

    I wish I could stop by and test drive some of those treats!!!

    Reply

  3. Rod
    Dec 25, 2011 @ 08:41:01

    Amazing. Love reading your stories from the heart! Merry Christmas!!!

    Reply

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