When I was a child, I had a cookbook published by Nitty Gritty books, Yum, I Eat It! (I think) that had a recipe for “No-Cook Candy”. All I remembered was that it had a lot of confectioner’s sugar in it. Searching for that led me to this recipe at cooks.com. I substituted honey for the corn syrup.
The first time, I made the recipe mostly as it’s written.
And then I got carried away.
Since I live around the corner from a craft store, I hiked over there and got some candy coating to melt in the microwave. My sister gave me some ginger flavored sugar, so I used that instead of sprinkles. I chilled the candy in a roughly rectangular slab wrapped in plastic wrap. When I was ready to coat it, I rolled half of the pieces in the sugar. Then I coated according to the instructions on the package. Crunchyness aside, I thought they were a bit bland.
Enter the dried apricots and almond extract. Because I have those things lying about.
In addition to the ingredients (using honey again), I chopped up 4 dried Turkish apricots (the brown kind, I found them in the bulk bins) very fine. Instead of the 1/2 tsp vanilla, I substituted 3/8 vanilla and 1/8 almond extract. You might have to eyeball it with the 1/4 tsp measure. These went in before the confectioners sugar. This made a slightly wetter dough that previous, so I added confectioner’s sugar until it was the right consistency. I chilled for a couple hours, then I melted the chocolate coating and dipped each square. I left out the sprinkles/granulated sugar. I would recommend getting better chocolate than I did. It would make a huge difference.
The original recipe is a blank slate to add dried fruit nuts, extracts or other stuff. I would love to hear from people who have experimented with this recipe in the comments.
This is sort of an addendum to last week’s post.
I love rhubarb. It has an ‘H’ as the second letter. It requires sugar to eat and super easy to cook. It is is sweet-tart with a delicate flavor. The stuff sold in stores is usually red, but it can be red or green (or pinkish, or speckled). Technically, it’s a vegetable, but if Wikipedia is to be believed, it’s classified as a fruit in the United States.
When buying, look for firm, thin stalks.
Cut any leaf matter off the top. The leaves contain much more oxalic acid than the stalks so do this before you do anything else. Trim the bottoms too.
Chop stalks into thick slices: about a centimeter long.
Put the rhubarb in a saucepan with sugar to taste. (or another sweetener, I guess, I’ve never tried it with anything but granulated sugar) Use several tablespoons of sugar. I used four tablespoons for two thick stalks. Rhubarb is pretty tart and largely unpalatable without sweetener, so omit this at your own risk. If you don’t want to add sugar, strawberries are often added as a sweetener.
DO NOT add water.
Cover and cook on medium low heat until the rhubarb is uniformly soft and a syrup is bubbling up. The ‘stew’ is probably going to be pinkish.
Eat over ice cream, with cookies or tea, or just by itself.
Other sources besides my experience:
The Rhubarb Compendium
Martha Stewart (Includes recipes!)
Update! (4 hours later…)
The cat with the blue necklace is Mister Kitty. He is wearing a necklace I netted from blue and (formerly) gold glass beads. At the front are three large blue drops. Mister is not enjoying wearing the necklace, so when I put it on him he curled back up, hiding the work in the front. One of these days I’ll get him to model for me… The picture was also taken with my new camera.
I added my new header today, taken with my new camera. The cat depicted isn’t Pripyet (who was a real animal), but Miss Kitty. I’m not sure I’m going to keep that header. I might make one of Mister Kitty (such original names, I know — but they aren’t their real names, just convenient). Mister has darker fur and more dramatic eyes.