December 17, 2007

Christmas Candy

This past Saturday I was part of the candy making crew. Me, my mom, my sister, my grandmother and two aunts all got together at my mom's to make the traditional Christmas candies. We were on our feet from 9am to 4pm! They got a little bossy too- ordering me around here and there like was 9 years old! It was all good natured though.

Anyways, I am not kidding, but I bet we had about 500 pieces of candy overall made up by the end of the day. What did we make?

4 pans fudge with nuts

2 pans peanut butter fudge
2 pans caramel fudge
3 batches pralines
2 pans spiced pecan bark
100 chocolate covered cherries-this was my project, more on that later
3 batches of divinity
peanut brittle
white and milk chocolate covered raw peanuts
chocolate covered Ritz-peanut butter crackers
300 Martha Washingtons? (coconut/pecan nougat stuff covered in chocolate-look like bon bons)

We were melting chocolate, rolling balls of things and stirring up a storm! When my aunt had the divinity going we were all ready with spoons as soon as it was ready so we could start spooning on wax paper before it hardened in the bowl. It was rather intense sometimes, LOL!

So what did I make specifically? I did the spiced pecan bark and the cherries. A word about the cherries before you all register in shock. When I was in Holland I ate a chocolate covered cherry about about choked- there was alcohol in it. Yeah, the cherries had been soaked in congac. After the initial shock, I like the. We are not against drinking- the Bible says don't get drunk, not don't drink at all ever lest you go to hell.

So, I thought it would be fun to try. I bought 3lbs of marachino cherries and poured out the juice, then replaced it with cognac. They sat overnight, then I drained them well. Wow were they strong! Then I made fondant with 3 T butter, 3 T corn syrup, 2 cups powdered sugar and a few drops of water. This is the tedious part- you have to wrap the fondant around each cherry, then chill it before dipping in chocolate. After they're wrapped and chilled, you dip in melted semi-sweet chocolate. They're supposed to sit for 1-2 weeks, and as time goes by the fondant sort of melts and becomes liquid like the kind you buy in the store. I was afraid they would be really strong, but they aren't- and wow are they good!

Spiced Pecan Bark
2 cups pecans
4 T butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2t cayenne
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
pinch of salt
dried cherries
12oz each melted white, dark and milk chocolate

Melt the butter and sugar in skillet, add pecans and spices. Cook till sugar dissolves, then pour onto sheet pan and put in 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Let cool.

Melt the chocolates- important note- melt them all at the same time in separate containers. Put wax paper on cookie sheet. Put pecans and dried cherries on top-mix together. Pour on the chocolates making pretty swirls. Let set, then break into bark. When you first eat this, you just taste chocolate and nuts, then after you swallow it, you feel with warmth of the spices in your throat. Interesting.

The worst part about this is that I have all this candy just sitting here, tempting us to eat it, and we do!


Linda said...

*lol* Cherry bonbons! (that's what we call them, here in Holland)

My grandma ALWAYS buys tons of them for christmas.. and then remembers that she doesn't even like them.. that they're too strong.. and that chocolate makes her cough anyways.. So all of us end up with about a kilo of them.. hahaha ;)

Anneatheart said...

Hi Linda! The first time my mom ate one (in Holland) she had no idea they had alcohol- she was coughing and sputtering. Then she liked them and brought some back for us. I was just curious if i could make them as good as those ones. Thanks for stopping by.