Peanut Brittle Recipe – One of the easiest I have found

 

Peanut Brittle.  It’s basically a butter toffee that peanuts or some other nut is poured into and allowed to cool.  The nuts are cooked and come out slightly softer.

I usually make this with Pecans since we can get them cheap, and they have a stronger flavor.

Most recipes have a couple of steps.  This one only has two.

This recipe does not use baking soda for leavening.  When you add the ROOM TEMPERATURE butter to the candy, it will almost instantly boil creating bubbles that will add volume and make it easier to eat.

If you prefer a thinner candy, wait a few seconds, and the bubbles will die down.

This also works if you switch the nuts out for about an ounce (28 Grams) of lightly chopped roasted coffee beans.  If you use Espresso Grind coffee, you end up with a smoother texture.

I will say that the taste with Espresso is very reminiscent of a specific Japanese candy that I can very rarely find.  They look like a toffee but are very dark brown and taste like a sweet coffee or a Cuban coffee.  Hard to find here in South Florida, so when I discovered this, it was a special treat.

It’s all up to you.

As for calories?  It’s candy for crying out loud:

1 Cup Sugar = 774 Calories

4 ounces unsalted roasted peanuts =  426 Calories

1 ounce Butter = 200 Calories

Total = 1400 calories.

Yes, that is the full recipe calorie count.  If you sit down and eat the entire recipe you should reconsider your diet choices.  I’d say about 1 1/2 ounce is a good (approximately) 200 calorie serving size.  Leaving it out on the counter like I do is a mistake since it means I’m grazing on the stuff all day.

On the other hand since there is no baking soda in it… well you don’t have that gassy problem do you?

This also makes a “reasonable” amount to make in a wet climate.  There isn’t so much that you will have to worry about it getting sticky from the humidity or it simply lingering because you got bored.

It threw together in about 10 minutes – so it’s a dangerous recipe, if you enjoy the stuff!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Ounces Water
  • 4 Ounces Unsalted Peanuts, Pecans, Walnuts, Macadamia Nuts, or any combination you prefer
  • 2 Tablespoons ROOM TEMPERATURE butter
  • Salt to taste – or not, I do not

Process:

  1. Prepare a cookie sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  2. Grease lightly cookie sheet with oil.
  3. Chunk the butter into small pieces and set aside.
  4. Lightly Chop the nuts – Or not, your preference.
  5. Add to a 2 quart/Liter sauce pan the water and sugar.
  6. Mix the sugar and water until well dissolved.
  7. Place the sugar water mix on medium high heat until boiling.
  8. Stir the sugar water while on the heat.
  9. Continue to boil the sugar water until it reaches a proper tan/caramel/toffee color.
  10. Add the butter and nuts at the same time and remove from heat while stirring.
  11. The mixture will foam as the water in the butter boils off.
  12. Pour onto a cookie sheet lined with Parchment Paper or Aluminum Foil.
  13. Allow to cool to room temperature and break into bite sized bits.
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Hurricane Irma, Burgers, and Cream Biscuits

Ok, on Saturdays I usually put up jokes.

Nope.  Not today.

You may have been reading about this monster storm.  If you’re in the path of Hurricane Irma, stay safe, and stay under cover.

At one point the path for this beast had landfall in Key West – 200 miles away.

At one point the path for this beast was literally 3 blocks away from me here in Wilton Manors, Suburban Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Then it moved into the ocean between us and the Bahamas.

Then back to us.

Then to where it is, now, Friday evening.

By my reconing, it would be coming ashore about mile marker 30, the Seven Mile Bridge in the Keys, just West of Marathon, FL.

A second landfall would be east of Marco Island, and then North up the state.

Enough Naval Gazing.

A power outage here can happen because a butterfly farted on a power line.

I have become convinced that the infrastructure here is made from old abandoned barbed wire that was sourced from fence posts on a farm in the Southwestern US.

You know those pictures of rusted barbed wire stapled to a weathered piece of drift wood?

Thanks, FPL, power goes out on a Thursday here.

So I spent the day debating and went on a cooking binge.

Made up 20 hamburgers for the dog because it would free a space for another bag of ice in the freezer.  It’s now about 2/3 ice in a freezer that is about as tall as I am.

I’m a big guy.  Tall, built like a gym teacher.

Then I started looking at the fridge.

Found Cream.  Specifically Whipping Cream.

Made 2 and a half batches of:

Cream Biscuits.

2 cups Self Rising Flour.

1 1/4 cups of Whipping or Heavy Cream.

1 tablespoon of table sugar.

Mix, then knead until it becomes semi sticky.  Like modeling clay.

Divide into 10, and bake at 450F for 11 minutes or until golden brown.

Sorry for only Imperial Units, I actually weighed everything to the gram and annotated the weights in my recipe book, but it’s late and …

Hey if anyone wants my metric measurements, Ask!

See, the point is that cooked food has a longer shelf life when the power goes out than “raw”.

The other point is that you really do have to analyze your every move in a hurricane for preparation.

So this weekend no jokes.

If I get to have power tomorrow morning, Saturday, I will go through the normal morining rituals which includes putting up jokes for Sunday.  Then I’ll write something for the next couple articles.  Nothing fancy.

“If you’re reading this, my blog is on auto pilot, blahblahblah, Hi There!”

If no connection to the internet because power is down, well folks, think well of me and I’ll get back to you when everything comes back.

When Hurricane Wilma hit here in 2005, my own block was without power for 2 weeks.

If Hurricane Irma goes on that path that will do so much damage to South West Florida, the storm will not be quite as strong as Wilma was.  We here will be safe.

I’ll be back then.

Stay safe, no matter where you are reading this from in the world.

Help your neighbor if they need it.  Mine did.

Save your prayers, get off your collective butts and do something that positively changes the world.  Vote for people who will actually DO something to reduce carbon emissions and stop Climate Change or Global Warming.  Millions of people doing small acts of improvement will move the world the right way, away from having two 500 Year Storms in one month.

As the old CB Radio jargon said – See Ya On The Flip Side!

Homemade Veggie Burgers Can Be Quite Good With This Basic Recipe from Kathie

I’ve got quite a few projects going on at any given moment.  I also have quite a few recipes on hand.  What happens is that things get set aside, reordered in priorities, and life sometimes changes your plans.

I went for a drive one day and a seam ripped open on the roof of my Jeep.  That can be fixed since the vinyl is still supple.

I was working on a Docker project that hit a wall.

Then the house “emptied” and I found that I was going to have room to do some of those things that needed doing when there was nobody else here but me, the parrot, and the dog.

At any rate, I found myself standing in the kitchen and remembering a conversation with my godmother Kathie.  She’s vegetarian, and I am not.  Now, I will eat vegetarian meals, but they have to come up to my Foodie Standards.  After all, I was brought up on home made Lasagne and Baked Ziti.

What I wouldn’t give to be in the kitchen listening to Mom and Aunt Betty bicker about what goes into the Saturday morning spaghetti sauce for that night, and Sunday night’s dinner yet one more time.

Kathie and I were talking about how I would pack what the office called “Weird Food” for breakfast.  It had to be high protein, low carb, and low fat.  I was on a training diet for my skating, and it meant that I was constantly hungry and pumping food into my open gullet.  She reminded me that I could eat vegetarian foods, and I lamented that they typically are more expensive than the meat based diet that we’re used to here in the US.

Case in point were the veggie burgers that I would have with breakfast.  They were about $10 a pound where beef burgers were around $3.50 a pound, and chicken breasts can be found as low as $1.50 a pound at a restaurant warehouse store I shop.

She shared with me a recipe that she had kept for a while and I put it in my phone where it rode around until I could put it all together.

The recommended beans are black beans, and I substituted Refried Beans.  That was the trick.  The Refried Beans are a paste that are mildly seasoned, depending on the brand.  Along with the other spices, this made a burger patty that tasted mildly Mexican, and seasoned.  You would not know there isn’t beef in it, although you may realize that it isn’t pure beef.

Ok, I’m being generous, but these were good!

Served on the homemade bun with cheese and a slab of tomato, I actually enjoyed this and didn’t miss the $10 a pound veggie burgers.

Since the can of refried beans were only $.99 at Trader Joes, the entire recipe was about $.30 a serving.  Plus a roll.  About 150 calories maximum if you are counting.

The trick is that you have to cook these until they firm up or else you end up with a rather interesting bean and oatmeal paste that breaks apart annoyingly.  The Refried beans were a bit moister than the recommended pre-cooked black beans that would be mashed.

Enough of my own blather here you go with the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound cooked Beans.  Canned, drained, and rinsed or Refried Beans – to taste.
  • 1/3 cup Quick Oats
  • 2 Tablespoons Ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon Yellow Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F

 

To Food processor, add all ingredients and mix until almost smooth.

Or

Mash beans until almost smooth like I did in a mixing bowl.

Divide into four parts and shape into patties.

Bake for 10 minutes on Baking Parchment Paper or foil.

Flip all patties

Continue baking for 5 minutes more or until desired firmness.

Outside should be crispy.

Note that this recipe with refried beans took longer than the suggested time by a significant amount.  I cooked them for 10 minutes and flipped every 10.  Recipe was done to my taste by about 35 minutes.

Patties may be reheated in a skillet with a little oil for added flavor and texture.

 

Have you ever stuck a fork into some food and said that you wished you had the recipe?

I did when I had this cake the second time.  It is THAT good!

Oh, and as a bonus for those who care, the cake itself … it’s actually Vegan!  Yeah, no milk, no eggs.

The icing is vegetarian since it requires butter and milk.  If you want to try making it Vegan, go ahead I won’t judge…

But this cake is excellent as is.  One of the best Chocolate Cakes I have had in memory.

It is a chocolate cake recipe from the Great Depression Era, when they had to be thrifty and scrimp on every corner they could.

But… whoever came up with this recipe came up with an amazing cake.

I find it every time I look for a chocolate cake recipe, and it haunted me until I took the time to make it.

You will find recipes like this one every time you search.  Some add things to it that are unnecessary and added fluff.   You can have it plain, without icing, and just a bit of confectioner’s sugar on top.  I opted for a rather simple buttercream icing and am really glad I did.

The trimmings I had of the cake to make it round the first time out tasted almost as rich as a brownie.  It stayed moist in the refrigerator longer than I expected, which is a big bonus.  My regular recipe is good, but this is better.

The process of making this is simple:

  • Add to a large mixing bowl (I recommend a stand mixer, but that is for speed) all your ingredients saving the vinegar for last.
  • Mix until smooth (See, that stand mixer would help)
  • Pour into floured and buttered 8 by 8 inch pan.
  • Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean when tested.

 

To make a more modern sized cake, I doubled the ingredients and got a two layer 9 inch cake.

Yes, Double the ingredients.  I did say Depression era and 8 by 8 one layer was the original size.

I also Doubled the icing for a 2 layer, 9 inch cake.

8 by 8 inch is a 20cm square.

9 inch round would be 23 cm.

Or so.

 

Ingredients:

 

For the cake (Each Layer):

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Cider or White vinegar

For the Icing (Each Layer):

  • 2 Tablespoons butter (room temp or melted)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon milk (I used 2%)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bread Dough in Five Minutes In A Plastic Bag

I guess the title says it all, if you’re looking for the short description.

There’s always a back story with me so hold on for the ride.

I wanted a Pizza, but really this can be used to make most basic breads.  I did not want to fuss around with a “full batch” of dough and make a cookie sheet full of rolls and … well you get the picture.

I will say that this will scale up to a larger batch and should be limited by how strong your own hands are.  You see, it’s all about your grip strength.  If you’ve got arthritis or some other limitation, use the machine.

On the other hand, this dough flew together so fast that it’s a great way to make fresh dough for small batches like one pizza dough ball or a couple of rolls.

Basically, I have a “Standard Recipe” for bread.  It’s “Pat’s Pizza Dough” recipe.   It makes 10 sandwich rolls, or about 8 torpedo rolls.  It also will make three pizza dough balls.  The original recipe is at the link – or you can even see my original note written 20 years ago in the picture.

The idea was cut the recipe down to one third of normal, then make it in a bag.

I added to a clean and food safe plastic bag the following ingredients.

  • 3 ounces of water
  • 2 teaspoons of oil
  • 1 cup of bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon of bread yeast
  • 1/3 teaspoon of salt (I used a well rounded 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1/3 teaspoon of sugar (I used a well rounded 1/4 teaspoon)

The process was simple.

 

  • Squeeze most of the air out of the bag and wind the top up to close it.
  • Grip the mix at the bottom of the bag and squeeze it repeatedly.
  • The mix will eventually form a dough ball through repeated kneading.

 

You may have to adjust the water content to fit your needs.  Bread dough is effected by the weather and conditions in your house and kitchen just as you would expect.  Wet climate will make stickier dough, dry climate you may need to add more water.

For Pizza Dough, you need a dough ball that is more dry than tacky or sticky.  Similar to Play-doh or similar modeling clay compound.

For Bread Dough, you need a dough ball that will be a bit tacky and it may want to stick gently to your hands or the side of the bag – but you will be able to remove it from the bag.

Basically that’s about it.  I’ll use this again because it’s saving me a lot of time in preparation and clean up work.

But… it took me just five minutes to get this dough done.  Add to it rolling time and rising time as normal.

Three Ingredient Cake Recipe that actually tastes moist

This really shouldn’t be called a recipe.  It should be called a Hack.

It is so ridiculously easy to make that I laugh at it.

 

It is so popular that the recipe is just about everywhere including on the sites for the companies that make the mixes.

 

 

I tried it with a bulk white cake mix, but the recipe I keep seeing everywhere calls for a “Box Of Cake Mix”.  They are not specifying flavor.   Use your favorite.

The cake mix can’t be one of those “Just Add Water”.

You need a cake mix that wants you to add an egg.

I used White,  but a Yellow Cake mix would be fine.  Choose a flavor that is complementary to the Pie filling you are adding.

I wanted Cherry this time, but I have done it before with other flavors.  I have blueberry and lemon pie filling waiting in the wings for when I want to do it again.

 

 

Why do I have six cupcakes?  I have a small Bundt pan and I didn’t want to risk a mess.

The recipe calls for either two layers, or a Bundt Pan.  It was not very specific.  I would say two 9 inch layers or even perhaps 3 8 inches, but I suspect that may be a bit thin.

Butter and flour your pans.

Bake at 350F / 180C for 35 minutes (or whatever metric equivalent you need to have your toothpick come out clean).

I mean that really is it.  It is laughably simple.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box or 15 ounces of cake mix
  • 1 can of pie filling – 20 ounces or 590 ML
  • 3 large eggs

Process:

  • Butter and flour your pan.
  • Keep cupcake liner and pans aside for any extra cake batter.
  • Preheat oven to 350F or 180C.
  • To a large mixing bowl add 1 box/15 ounces cake mix, 1 can (20 ounces) of pie filling, and 3 eggs.
  • Mix the batter until smooth.
  • Add batter to pans taking care not to overfill.
  • Bake for approximately 35 minutes and test with a toothpick.
  • Make sure toothpick comes out clean

 

Optional:
Icing or not.  I have been putting Honey on top and I really do like that instead.

Personal preference!

Serve and enjoy

How Does The Leaked KFC Fried Chicken Recipe Bake?

Ok, a little history here.

There’s that famous recipe.  The one with eleven herbs and spices.  The one we all had at one time or another in Western Fast Food.  It’s pretty good.  I have had it before, and I’ll probably have it again.

There are a lot of attempts to duplicate it or at least come close.  Many professional chefs have tried, with varying results.  I’ll allow you to search for your favorite.

At one point the Chicago Tribune newspaper published an article saying that the recipe they had was The Original KFC recipe.  They weren’t sure completely, but it made for a good story.  More correctly, it is alleged by a family member that this is the recipe that Harland Sanders used to make his chicken.

Do go read that link at the Chicago Tribune.  The writer told a wonderful story and the Trib definitely deserves the read and my own thanks.

I had to try it.  Or rather, I had to try that printed recipe “My Way”.  And THAT is why I say “Alleged” above.  You see, when I made this, it turned out great.  But it had too much pepper in it.  Black pepper specifically, so when I make it next time, I will tweak it for my tastes.

Otherwise I really did like the chicken that I got.  So much that I will be eating some today for lunch in a big bowl with rice.

Yum.

If you like KFC chicken, either go to a proper KFC and get it there, or go through the work of figuring this one out yourself.

While I have no personal information other than the article, and I can not say whether this is absolutely KFC’s original recipe, it tastes so much like my own memory of it that I’ll keep making it for myself.

 

Yes, it is good.

Yes, it is worth the time and effort.

Yes, I will do it again.

Is it truly KFC?  Dunno but it’s damn close!

How I did it:

There is a Buttermilk Marinade for 30 minutes that I of course skipped since there is no Buttermilk in the house.  You can substitute milk.  You can also skip it.  I would expect the Buttermilk to add a little moderation to the spices and tenderize the chicken due to the acid.

I pressed the chicken breasts by using a meat mallet, but obviously that isn’t necessary since the KFC restaurants are selling mostly chicken parts with bone in.  I used breasts because that was what I had here on hand.  Pressing De-boned chicken makes for a more uniform thickness and therefore a more “controlled” result when baked.

Breasts were dredged through a scrambled egg wash, then generously dipped in the flour and spice mixture.

 

 

This mixture will make enough for about five pounds or two and a quarter Kilos for my non US Audience.  Hello, folks from Sunny Florida!  I split the coating in half and it worked out great for my 40 ounces of chicken parts or 1.1 KG (or so).

I did not have Celery Salt on hand.  I substituted 1/2 the amount of ground Celery Seed.  There does seem to be quite a bit of salt in this recipe to begin with.

I baked the chicken parts on a cookie sheet at 450F 230C for 15 minutes and tested to make sure that it was cooked to an internal temperature of 165F or 75C.  Thicker pieces were returned to the oven until they reached 165F.

 

 

This picture below is a direct link to the Chicago Tribune graphic, but will be explained in case that link disappears.

What that well loved recipe says is to add to two cups of flour the list of 11 herbs and spices.  The “Ts” are Tablespoons.  It makes a bit more than 3 cups of coating.

The list of ingredients are:

2 cups flour plus

  1. 2/3 tablespoon salt
  2. 1/2 tablespoon thyme
  3. 1/2 tablespoon basil
  4. 1/3 tablespoon oregano
  5. 1 tablespoon celery salt
  6. 1 tablespoon black pepper
  7. 1 tablespoon dried mustard powder
  8. 4 tablespoons paprika
  9. 2 tablespoons garlic salt
  10. 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  11. 3 tablespoons white pepper

For the metric crowd:

a cup flour is 120g

a Tablespoon is 15ml

Since this is “cooking” instead of “baking” if you’re a wee bit off, you should be fine.  It isn’t like making bread or a souffle!

Nice thing is that since Recipes are never patented in the US, we can share and enjoy.

But I would say the nicest thing about making this recipe is that once you’re done, you will be craving for your nearest KFC restaurant.  Get the biscuits and gravy as a side.

Do they have a proper “red eye” sausage gravy there now?  I wonder….

My own final verdict is like I said before, I will do it again but I will cut back on the black pepper.

 

I did have a heavy hand in coating the chicken which is why there’s a strange powder on some of the pieces.  If you actually deep fry the chicken, that extra will cook and turn brown.   Baking is a bit less forgiving of my own mistakes when it comes to over-coating your chicken.

 

Now that I am sitting here, reading and re-reading my writing… well lunch is coming and I’m looking forward to more of this recipe chicken!