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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chocolates and Confections

I received several great cookbooks for Christmas this year and I'm excited to try some new recipes.  The first one I've tried is from my new book, "Chocolates and Confections at Home with the Culinary Institute of America", Pecan Buttercrunch, a chocolaty nutty toffee ~ it's so wonderful.   Overall it is simple to make, the tricky part is cooking the sugar mixture.  You will need a candy thermometer for this.  Here's the recipe:

Pecan Buttercrunch
1 cup sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract extract
8oz dark chocolate, I used ghirardelli 60 % cacao bittersweet chocolate about 3/4 of a 12 oz bag
2 cups chopped salted toasted pecans

Line a 10X15 sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a heavy 2 qt saucepan combine the sugar, butter, water, salt and vanilla.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heat resistant spatula.
Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and continue stirring while cooking until the thermometer reads 290 F degrees and the mixture is a light golden brown.
Immediately pour into prepared pan and spread quickly to the edges with a metal offset spatula.
Sprinkle the chocolate evenly over the buttercrunch and let sit for 2-3 minutes to melt.  Then spread the chocolate until smooth with a clean offset spatula.  Sprinkle with the pecans.  Allow the chocolate to set completely.  Break the buttercrunch into pieces and serve.  Can be stored at room temp in an airtight container for up to 10 days.
Adapted from "Chocolates and Confections at Home with the Culinary Institute of America"

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