I was a little distracted by the end of last week, so this post is a little short on process photos. My apologies. I’ll try to grab a shot of the leftovers.
I had people over on Saturday as an early birthday celebration, and tried a fun new recipe and built out some others.
First, I took half of last week’s candied orange peels and dipped them in melted, semisweet chocolate chips. This was a no-brainer. Dark chocolate and orange are MFEO! (Made for each other, for those of you whose “Sleepless in Seattle” addictions are slightly less rabid than mine.)
Put them somewhere to dry, keep them in a place cool enough that the chocolate won’t melt, then you’re golden!
I also made my favorite toffee recipe.
The recipe’s author provided it in metric, but the conversion is fairly straightforward— a sleeve of saltine crackers, 1/2 pound butter, just under 1/2 pound brown sugar, a dash of vanilla, and a little more than a bag of semisweet chocolate chips (plus some good salt for sprinkling on top.)
Here’s what I learned this time: Do not put the butter on to melt while you do something else. Put the butter and the sugar into the pan at the same time. Then, stay there and stir.
This is a difficult concept for a chronic multitasker like me. I put the butter on, then added the sugar. But if these two ingredients melt at different rates, your caramel will separate. Luckily, I noticed when I added the sugar that my recipe’s author mentioned that. I Googled how to repair it. I lowered the temperature and stirred constantly. Eventually, the caramel came back together, and I raised the temperature. I’m lucky I didn’t have to throw it out or start over—two outcomes totally possible.
Once it starts boiling, no more stirring. You cook it for three minutes, remove it from heat, add the vanilla and swirl the pan to combine, then, pour it over your saltines (arranged in a buttered, lipped cookie sheet), and bake it at 425 for 5-6 minutes. Take it out, pour the chocolate chips over it, and wait five minutes. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the toffee, sprinkle it with salt, and let it cool completely (so the chocolate doesn’t bloom.) Cut it into small pieces— it’s rich.