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Monday, September 21, 2009

A Mysterious Disaster

Despite not eating a single meal at home this weekend, between our Friday night out, a Saturday overfilled with football (in my humble opinion), and a Sunday of family time, we still managed to repeatedly destroy the kitchen, leaving me to wonder how exactly that happened. Looking back through our pictures from the weekend, I figured out that the plethora of snacks produced and consumed for the weekend were probably the culprits.   
Exhibit A: Boiled Peanuts
These are really nothing fancy, 1 lb raw peanuts, boiled in extremely salty water for 4-8 hours, and optionally saturated with your choice of seasonings. The longer you boil, the softer (or soggier) they become. Its a southern thing. If you don’t understand, don’t worry. Nonetheless, they worked very well for Daniel to watch his favorite team play Saturday afternoon, and they were easy to prepare while I destroyed the kitchen in other snacking endeavors. 
Exhibit B: The Failed Whoopie Pies
I was getting together a package of goodies to send to my in-laws this week and while looking for recipes that shipped well, I came across the suggestion for a whoopie pie. A chocolate cake like cookie with a marshmallow/butter cream-icing filling. It sounded good, supposedly shipped well, and it seemed like an infinite array of possibilities opened up before me as I imagined combinations beyond chocolate and marshmallow. I don’t give up easily so chances are, I’ll try again with some modifications, because although they were a pain and looked like the sticky gooey mess they were,  they nonetheless came out quite tasty in my family’s review. I think these would probably be most fun to make if you have kids and don’t mind them getting covered in goo while you assemble the treats. You can access the recipe I used here if you’re interested, but I’m refraining from posting it on here, simply because it didn’t work out as well as I had envisioned, but that could have been operator error. 
Exhibit C: Bacon Brittle
Really, we do not eat bacon that much. I really debated posting this one or not, simply because realized that much of what I end up posting ends up having bacon. I guess since everything is better with bacon, the tastiest recipes end up featuring it. Nonetheless, at the suggestion of a fellow blogger, and following the epic whoopie pie mess, I opted to make candy to send, brittle specifically. When I made the bacon caramel a few months ago, Daniel had suggested trying a Bacon Brittle recipe, so I thought this would be the perfect chance to experiment. I was happy with the results, although it was the straw that broke the camel’s back as far as the messy kitchen is concerned, since you do mess up at least four pots and pans.
The first thing you will want to do is to fry the bacon you want to use crisp and make maple-glazed pecans. I choose a maple-smoked bacon, but the choice is yours. For the pecans, simply toast one cup of pecans in a small iron skillet for a few minutes over medium heat until pan heats up and pecans are fragrant, stirring occasionally. Once lightly toasted, add two tablespoons of maple syrup and stir quickly and vigorously until most of the liquid seems to be dissolved. Turn the heat off, and allow pecans to cool. Remove from pan and carefully break apart. You’ll only need a half cup of pecans chopped, but if you’re like me, the other half cup will not last long. From there, simply follow a basic brittle recipe, and enjoy!
Bacon Brittle
6-10 Strips Bacon, Fried Crispy and Crumbled
½ Cup Maple Pecans, Chopped
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Light Corn Syrup
1 Tsp Baking Soda
2 Tsp Vanilla
1 Tbsp Butter
Butter to grease baking sheet.
1. Prepare bacon and pecans, set aside. Butter or grease large baking sheet. Measure out baking soda, butter, and vanilla and set aside.
2. Place sugar, water, and corn syrup in heavy saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil. Place candy thermometer into pan, and turn to high heat. Allow mixture to cook until it reaches 290 degrees. Remove from heat immediately, carefully but quickly add remaining ingredients. Mixture will foam up and then settle. 3. Once foam has settled, carefully pour into thin layer on prepared baking sheet. Try to pour thin, but allow mixture to settle naturally; do not spread with spatula or stretch. Allow to cool 20-30 minutes and carefully break into pieces. Store in covered container and enjoy!


Divina Pe said...

This is something that I've never tried before. Brittle with bacon. But if they can make pancakes with bacon, why not with brittle. :)

Dawn@CocinaSavant said...

Lately I've been trying to make tons of things with baocn, at least since we started the blog. I'm not sure why, but most have turned out well :)

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