Batter Licker

October 27, 2011

project wedding dessert bar: part 9 (toffee)

This toffee is an oldie but goodie. It is the first candy I ever learned to make (Thanks Mom!). Except that, back then, I learned to make it with milk chocolate and almonds. Or maybe it was pecans. I forget (it’s been a couple decades). Now, I prefer it topped with bittersweet chocolate and pistachios.

The key is to start with room temperature butter. Or fake it with a microwave. Or deviate from the recipe a little and just melt the butter slowly in a pot before adding the sugar.

Reach deep down into that almost-empty 10-pound bag of sugar. I couldn’t believe I was almost at the bottom. Good thing I had another 10-pound bag on hand … because that’s the kind of over-preparation I do when making everything for my own wedding dessert bar, apparently.

Must stem from Girl Scouts back in the day. “Be prepared,” which in my perfectionist mind translates to “be more than prepared at all times for things you couldn’t possibly imagine might happen at the beginning of a project.” Like actually using up an entire 10-pound bag of sugar. (more…)

September 20, 2011

project wedding dessert bar: part 1 (mexican wedding cookies)

I’ve been admittedly absent lately. Important wedding decisions have been eating up my spare time. Critical questions, like whether to use aubergine or eggplant or plum linens, are getting answered. Choices, like whether to use vodka or tequila or champagne in my signature cocktail, are being made (in case you’re curious, I went with this). Methods of affixing mini floral clusters to jackets and dresses are being selected.

A pin? But then there will be a hole in the dress. A wrist corsage? But then it will be bulky and obnoxious to wear, especially while dancing. A magnet? Perhaps the best option, assuming not wearing a corsage is not an option. Technically, not wearing one is an option, but everyone else will be wearing them. So deal with it, or decide not to and save us $50. At this point, whatever.

But just as I’ve reached the “whatever, I don’t even care anymore” point in the minutia of wedding planning, it has come time to work on the part that I have most looked forward to and have more experience and confidence in making decisions about. Project Wedding Dessert Bar begins!!

In the interests of not completely abandoning this little blog and whatever readers it still retains after a two-week posting hiatus (and as a way to keep me accountable) while I continue down the road of wedding prep for the next four weeks, I’ve decided to post a series tracking my dessert bar progress. The pictures won’t be as fabulous (I don’t have time to haul everything from the kitchen to the naturally lit dining area just to obtain a “good shot” each and every time) but the commentary for each one will hopefully be worth following. And the recipes certainly will be worth making on your own, especially if you’re crazy enough to put together your own dessert bar.

And with that, I give you part one: Mexican wedding cookies. (more…)

February 2, 2011

toffee topped with bittersweet chocolate and pistachios

I have a confession to make. I’ve been holding out on you. I should be ashamed. It took me more than a year from my first blog post to actually share this recipe. Sure, there are quite a few toffee recipes available online anyway. But none of those are the one I’ve been making since I was old enough to reach a countertop. None of those are the recipe I attempted to make as a teenager only to get distracted, fail to stir the pot often enough, burn the toffee, and get a good screaming-at from my mother for wasting ingredients, among my other then-apparent inadequacies.

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And none of those were recipes that, despite such a traumatic experience, I continued to make again and again as I grew older, feeling inspired to become a life-long homemade candy gift-giver for holidays. In other words, this ain’t no Hershey’s Skor toffee bar, people. This is the good stuff. (more…)

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