It's almost Christmas, which means it's time for baking. Or rather, showing off your brilliance in sugar form. The true meaning of Christmas is hearing everyone compliment you and then end up in a sugar coma.
So here is what I pull out when it's really time to throw down sugar style:
Jenna’s Homemade Snickers -MOTHER F***ER
Technically, this isn't baking - it's candy making- o you don't need an oven.. You will need a stovetop, a decent pot, a candy thermometer, a great deal of sugar, and even more patience. This is a fancy version of a snickers candy bar. Homemade nougat, homemade caramel, topped with peanuts, chilled, cut into pieces, and then dipped in chocolate. It only takes three, maybe four hours.
Nougat is the first thing you have to make, and really, you don't want to make this without a standing mixer. So go drop $200 on a KitchenAid. $300 if you want one of the fun colors, but white will do if you're on a budget.
Put egg whites (at room temperature to get best results) and a small amount of corn syrup into the mixing bowl. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, 1/2 cup water, and 1 1/2 cups corn syrup and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. When it begins to boil, clip a candy thermometer into the bowl. Now, this is different from a meat thermometer, they are dramatically different so make sure you get the right one. Once temperature has reached 235 degrees, start whipping egg white mixture on high speed. Continue to cook sugar syrup until it reaches 245 degrees. Remove the syrup from heat and carefully pour hot syrup into egg whites in a thin stream (pour it down side of bowl, not directly onto beater). Whip for 8 minutes, then add vanilla.
Pour this into a 13x9 pan that has been seriously buttered and sprinkled with cornstarch, otherwise you will never get them out again.
Now it's time to make caramel. It can be a real trick to get the color and consistency right, so cook it slowly and carefully. The trick of caramel is the right ratio of sugar, butter, and heavy whipping cream. Half and half will not do, and under no circumstances will you use margarine. Seriously. Everyone will know, and they will judge you.
Cook the sugar, corn syrup, butter, and cream in pot then clip that damn candy thermometer cause it’s go time round two! This time the candy thermometer is mostly decorative because temperature can lie. Watch the color, you know the color of caramel you want. Deep, but not burnt a rich earthy color that just screams- tooth decay!
Pour the caramel over the nougat, then sprinkle roasted and salted peanuts on top. Then chill it in the fridge, or even the freezer, because the nougat will be a serious bitch to cut. It goes everywhere, really.
But once you have managed to cut the bars into delightful rectangles, not too big, because these are much more intense than the commercial nonsense, it's time to melt chocolate. So pull out your double boiler and pull out your bittersweet 65% chocolate and melt that beauty down. Then ideally you let the chocolate cool about 20 degrees, then heat it back up. That will give the chocolate a glorious glossy finish and nice snap.
So dip those beauties into the melted chocolate, put the finished pieces on wax paper, let them cool, and then you are ready to impress all of your friends. Merry Chocolate, I mean Christmas.
“But Jenna, what are the measurements??” If you have to ask, you weren’t meant to be a candy maker. Give up now and click the link below.