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.
Awhile ago, I detailed how I put some fruit to soak in vodka. The idea was that the fruit would impart it’s flavor on the vodka (and I could use the fruit for baking).
After about two months the fruit looked like this (the little jar is half gone because my mother and I had to ‘test’ it):
The Fruit Flavored Vodka
The Fat Bellied Jar is an orange liqueur, made from obscene amounts of sugar (as in sugar measured in cups) and orange peel (and vodka). The tall dark jar is the same but with cherries.
They all came out about what I expected, though I think plain cherries is better than cherry/apricot and the pear is as bold as I would’ve liked (but that is pears for you). My favorites are definetly the liqueurs. I like really sweet things though.
Just before Christmas I decided fruit flavored alcohol sounded good and easy to make. Years ago, I re-purposed some of my father’s whiskey for raisins and apples. He wasn’t so pleased, but I enjoyed it. Remembering that…
But Christmas crept up on me, and time is one of the ingredients of fruit flavored spirits.
I was doing some food shopping with my mother and the idea of fruit and alcohol came up again. We both agreed that it was a good idea so:
Fruit Soaking in Vodka
We even bought a dozen mason jars especially for the purpose. The recipe is not really a recipe. I put fruit/herbs/rind into the vodka as you see in the picture. The only potential mystery is that the little jar on top has about three quarters of an apricot, halved cherries, and at least four tablespoons of brown sugar. The others are (left to right):
three quarters of a pear in a mason jar of vodka,
a handful of mint leaves and several strips of orange peel,
and one apricot and fifteen halved and pitted cherries.
I’m not storing them in the direct sunlight like that either, that was just for the lighting.
We shall see.
Cherries and Apricots in Vodka
Most of the recipes I found on the web had enormous amounts of sugar. I wanted the flavor not the syrup (aside from the little jar for my mom). Most recipes suggest several weeks to several months. I may need to hid the jars so I don’t fiddle with them every day.