Peanut Patties

January 5th, 2010
by: Sue

Margie brought this recipe into the family, it makes the best peanut patties you ever ate. I had lost the recipe and found it recently in a file where I had dumped a lot of loose recipes that I used to have in a recipe binder. Thank goodness! I’ve tried dozens of recipes but none were as good as this one. This is a well-loved Texas treat.

3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup light Karo
2 cups raw peanuts (red -skinned, preferably)
few drops of red cake coloring if you can’t find the red- skinned peanuts

Mix the sugar, cocoa, and salt in a heavy bottomed pan. Cook over medium heat to a boil, then add peanuts and food coloring. Cook to soft ball stage. Remove from heat and “beat” (stir rapidly) with a wooden spoon until “creamy”. This will take several minutes. Mixture will become lighter when ready to make patties. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Let them cool.

Rose’s English Toffee

January 5th, 2010
by: Sue

1 cup chopped pecans (or almonds)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Butter 9×9 pan. Spread pecans on bottom. Heat the sugar and butter to boiling. Boil, stirring constantly, for 7 minutes. Spread over pecans, then sprinkle chocolate chips over while still hot. Cover and let chocolate melt, then spread chocolate over. Cut in squares while still hot.


Old Fashioned Divinity

October 9th, 2009
by: Sue

This recipe closely resembles the divinity I loved as a child. Nobody kept the recipe, so I borrowed from Paula and adapted. When I make this candy and include it on my Christmas candy gift boxes some people have said, “What is this? I love it!” Obviously, divinity has fallen out of favor but it’s worth the effort to make this. Just make sure you have pecans worthy of the recipe, because they provide, along with the vanilla, the flavors you really taste.

4 cups sugar
1 cup white corn syrup
3/4 cup cold water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
3 cups chopped pecans

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Stir until mixture is clear and sugar is dissolved (taste to determine if sugar is dissolved). Do not stir after this, cook until mixture is at 250 on a candy thermometer (soft ball stage).

While the syrup cooks, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. A large Kitchenaid standing mixer is best for this. When sugar mix is at 250, carefully pour a steady stream of syrup into the beaten egg whites as the mixer beats at high speed. Add the vanilla and continue to beat until the mixture holds its shape, approximately 5 minutes. Stir in pecans.

Using 2 teaspoons, drop the divinity onto waxed paper , using the right hand spoon to push the candy off the left hand spoon which dipped the candy mixture. (If you are right handed*). Twirl the right hand spoon to make the candy look like a DQ soft serve ice cream cone. If the candy gets stiff, add hot water. Cool the candies on racks after they are cool enough to lift from the paper. Store in an airtight container.

Mer Lil’s Taffy

September 30th, 2009
by: Sue

My friend MJ’s mom Lil brought this recipe from New England where she grew up. It’s a great candy and becomes a family activity! The following recipe was sent to us this year because we couldn’t find the recipe but MJ did find it for us.

Guess what! Remember when I said I was going through a lot of old pictures and stuff? Well, I found the recipe for Mer Lil’s taffy. She wrote: Please make this for Matt & Christy Baron (sic). He loves it. I’ll send the recipe to Sue Baron, too:

“Make taffy only when you have help to pull it.

You must find real pure ribbon cane syrup. No other syrup will work. I looked and they don’t have it in Plains.

1 cup syrup
1 cup sugar

Mix well – it will be thick. Add:

1 Tblspn butter (real butter makes it better)

Bring to a fast boil, turn heat down and cook until hard crack. Be sure not to stir it at any time while it’s cooking. I usually test in water, or when mixture makes strings.

Pour into lightly butter-greased cookie sheet. Cool fast, until it can be handled. (Almost too hot to handle, but not quite.)

Divide into pieces that fit the number of people who are helping. Pull until you can’t pull it any longer. It turns light golden blonde color, pull (or twist if you want) into rope and cut with scissors into bite-sized pieces. It will start to harden, so cut fast. I usually butter the plates I put the candy in. Try not to let them touch, because they’ll stick together.

It works good as coughdrops, too.

As I write this, it makes me lonesome to be there with you and your friends in Plains …”

Creamy Fudge

September 27th, 2009
by: Sue

This recipe takes the guess work out of fudge. You don’t need a candy thermometer, you just need to time how long you cook it. One some days, it takes it longer to set (I guess it depends on the humidity and barometric pressure). But it always does set up and remains creamy after being cut. I like to cut these into small 1 inch or smaller squares and serve in a mini muffin paper liners. So good you had better double the recipe; good for gifts at Christmas and to gift your guests as they leave your house.

1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup (1 small can) evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter
1 jar regular size (approx 7 ozs.) marshamallow crème
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 12 oz. size semi-sweet chocolate (2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Combine sugar, milk, butter, marshmallow crème and salt in a saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture has boiled for exactly 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add chocolate pieces and vanilla and stir until chocolate is melted. Stir in walnuts. Turn into buttered 9 inch square pan. Let stand until firm, then cut into squares. This recipe can be doubled.

English Toffee

September 27th, 2009
by: Sue

My sister, Rose, in one of our many conversations about what we were cooking and why, shared with me her love of her son Tim and his allergy to some nuts. She made English toffee for him with almonds on top, so he could have Christmas candy without breaking out in hives. This recipe is the culmination of a search for the best toffee recipe. Almost no one makes toffee any more, and if you serve this to guests they have no idea what they’re eating. I think that’s a plus!

10 tablespoons butter (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cold water
1 1 /2 cup sliced almonds, divided
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 dash salt
1 (6 ounce) bag milk chocolate chops (1cup)

Generously butter a cookie sheet.

Place butter, sugar and water into a heavy pan over medium heat. Bringing to a bubbling boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spatula, about 10 minutes. Remove spoon and cook to soft crack stage (275) or when mixture resembles the color of peanut butter and will create hard brittle threads when dropped into cold water. Remove from heat and add 1 cup nuts, vanilla, and salt. Stir well, then pour onto prepared cookie sheet and spread to 1/4 inch thickness. Cool slightly, sprinkle chocolate chips on top then spread chocolate as it melts. Sprinkle 1/2 cup sliced almonds on top of chocolate mixture, press the nuts down into chocolate mix. Cool completely in the refrigerator, then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.