Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Christmas Snacks Part 1 - Macadamia Nut Crunch

Holy hell, only one week left until the big day! My kids are on fire about the holiday's! They are 1 and 4, such awesome ages for this time of year!

    I was talking to a friend yesterday and we were discussing the disgusting amounts of temptation this time of year. Do you ever find yourself partaking in treats just to be social? You're at someones house and you don't want to be rude, so you have a "little plate". Which actually turns out to be the size of a small child. Or you try and be strong and don't make a plate at all, and instead hover over the snack table like a stalker. Which leads to eating double the amount had you just made a god damn plate to begin with! My best advice is to never go into the war starving. If you're going out, eat before you go. Try something if you really want it and stick to the stuff that is really worth it! Like shortbread and nuts and bolts. :)) Not that those are my fav's....

   A while back I spotted a recipe on Pinterest for macadamia nut crunch. It's basically a toffee/carmel type thing with delicious nuts in it. I finally had a chance to try it this week, and dare I say it's the best sweet thing I have ever made? My husband wouldn't leave it alone long enough to set, and my kids were circling me like Jaws. Little, cranky, drooly versions of Jaws. It sets in the fridge for around an hour, but is good waaaaaaay before that! The recipe was a little vague and I had no real idea how long it took to reach toffee temperature, so I had to hit up "the Google" (as my dad says). I was convinced it wasn't going to come together. But turns out it takes around 25-30 minutes to get there. Don't be scared. It's not constant stirring. Just watching and stirring. Can you handle that? It will be easier if you have a candy thermometer as it tells you a certain temp. If you don't have one, once you think it's getting there, drop a few drops into a glass of water and if the mixture sets in the water, then you're there! 

Macadamia Nut Crunch

You need:
1 cup raw honey
1 cup butter
2 cups Macadamia nuts
1 tbsp pure vanilla
few pinches of sea salt

Line a baking dish with greased parchment. I don't know if it's necessary to grease it, but I was too chicken not to! Leave enough so it sticks over the edges, to make pulling it out easier, later on.
If your butter is not a room temp, soften it up a bit.
Melt the butter and honey over medium heat in a heavy sauce pan (not glass or you'll be in a burnt up mess)

Once you get a solid boil going, drop heat to around 4/5 and stir every few minutes or so. You'll start to see the colour change and all of a sudden you'll smell the beautiful caramel scent and you're almost there.

All in all I think it took me about a half hour to get it thick. If you have a candy thermometer, you're looking for about 300 degrees Fahrenheit. For the rest of us losers, use the drop in water method I talked about earlier.
Once it's thick and you're ready to go, party time. Everybody into the pool!!! Dump in the nuts and stir to coat them all well. Take off the heat and stir through the vanilla and the pinches of salt. Now at this stage, don't go paint your nails and come back in an hour. This will start hardening right away!
Spread that buttery caramel goodness into your prepped pan.

Into the fridge it goes. Go get a broom and be ready to beat your family away for the next hour or so! Once it's set, you can leave it on the counter if you prefer a chewier toffee. But because it's a honey based toffee, as soon as you bite into it, it will become soft and chewy in your mouth!
Using your previously genius method of parchment lining, grab the outsides and lift the crack, I mean crunch, out of the pan.

Break that baby into pieces and store in a cute little Christmas tin, pretending you're going to give it as a gift to someone! Enjoy!

Original recipe pingback to""

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