Today we had the first rain storm of the season, an excellent herald to tomorrow’s autumnal equinox. With such downpour, we stayed inside with the fireplace stoked and the gutters’ staccato providing background music. Zach was inspired to make a treat that’s perfect to nibble on while curled up on a lazy day.
Makes over 3 lbs. of toffee
1 lb. of butter
2 cups of vanilla’d sugar
1 cup of unsalted, roasted almonds with the skin on
1 cup of unsalted, roasted cashews
1 cup of unsalted, roasted macadamias
1 cup of unsalted, pecans
1/4 cup of corn syrup
1 tbs. of vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. of freshly grated cinnamon
1/8 tsp. of freshly grated nutmeg
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, aluminum foil, or a Silpat. Combine the butter, sugar, and corn syrup in a large thick-bottomed and thick-sided pot. Heat over medium heat to melt the butter, and stir a few as it melts at first just to make sure everything is well combined. Also at this time, set up a candy thermometer.
Cook until it reaches 291-294 degrees F. The ideal temperature for making this candy is 299-300 degrees F, but even after you remove it from heat, it will still cook a little longer with the residual heat of the pot.
Once it’s reached 291-294 degrees F, remove from heat and stir in the nuts, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Pour onto the lined sheet pan and spread out with a spatula. Let cool for at least 2 hours before breaking into pieces.
Along with some extremely spicy jerky, the last time we drove through Baker and visited the Alien Fresh Jerky shop, we also picked up habanero pistachios. The jerky we tried first tonight, and August was happy to get that over with so that she could enjoy these delicious pistachios.
The process to roast pistachios requires that the unopened nuts be seasoned first, then roasted, which is what pops open the shells part-way. Therefore, the great majority of the spicy seasoning was on the inedible shells. Some people like to suck on the shells of roasted pistachios to get the most flavor, but these were very intensely hot and we weren’t too inspired to keep the shells in our mouths for very long. Cracked open, though, the fresh and meaty nuts inside had a hint of spice, just enough to make a classical ingredient a little zingy. If you enjoy the flavor behind heat without too much of a burning sensation, this is a nice little mouth pleaser.