This morning I swore I wasn’t going to put this post up because the photos turned out awful. These babies do not mesh well with artificial light. But then I thought ‘This candy is so darn good, why would I hold back over photos?”
These are normal thoughts if you have a food blog.. and completely justified since photos are the most important aspect of a food blog. You eat with your eyes. This is why I groan so much about not having natural light. One more time...everyone has natural light, whyyy not meeee? :/
Remember the filling for my Butter Pecan Thumbprint cookies? Well, of course you do, since it was my last post…from like 5 days ago.
As of late..I’ve been a posting maniac on this blog and I’m posting like I never posted before. *off the shoulder, cut sweatshirt sopped with perspiration from all the posting*
OK, I don’t care how old you are…you have to have seen or heard of Flashdance and/or heard the song Maniac, so I’m going to safely assume everyone gets that.
Anyway…I’m posting a lot, for me. Usually I’m lucky to get a post up every two weeks. So, because of this, I’m straining to think of what to write. Well, it’s not only because of my maniac posting, it also has a lot to do with things changing around here and not flowing because of it, which has led to me writing self-consciously on and off for the past 6 months or so.
I miss being excited to write…my brain rife with thoughts and musings that would pour easily from my fingertips . I used to literally ‘check out’ as I was writing, having to snap out of these zones and back into the present when I was finished.
So, because of this..I’m going to do something a little different, and then tell you about these easy and delicious chocolate clusters. You know how some bloggers choose one day of the week to write about stuff they love..sometimes with links? Well, I’m going to do a quick list of things that bugged or annoyed me the past week, minus links.
Bah Humbug? Nooo, I just felt like venting, and it’s all trivial, surface stuff.
And, no, this will not be a regular thing on my blog.
1. I ordered two stuffed artichokes from a very reputable and amazing Italian Emporium. They were kind of pricey, but I knew they were going to be good, and they were..until I got half-way through the stuffing in the center. With one deep forkful, my mouth was full of prickly, dry bristles. Yep, they left the choke in. The stuffing was ruined and I had to rinse the heart (the best part) off, after I pulled out the remaining choke, not to mention my mouth out..like 20 times. It was a mess and a major disappointment. Even after alerting them to this, they continue to leave the choke in.
I imagine a disgruntled employee with a pornstache and stained white apron, who hates his job so much, he takes pleasure in it..
“Oh, yes, *rubbing his hands together with glee* it looks and smells deeeelicious, but just wait until they get to the choke! The artichoke and luscious stuffing will be ruined…RUINED! MWhahaha!”
I haven’t made stuffed artichokes in a few years, but I have a fabulous recipe from Biba Caggiano that’s more than worth the time it takes to scrape out the choke before stuffing it. Sayonara, Italian Emporium.
2. Saw a photo and link for a recipe for two ingredient truffles on the Yahoo home page slideshow. Umm…that’s what truffles are – two ingredients, chocolate and hot cream. Yeah,. some may add corn syrup and/or butter..but it’s not a norm. Nice lure for those who have never made truffles, Yahoo!
3. Nice restaurants should not have microwaves. Ordered out a side of what usually are amazing meatballs from an Italian restaurant we frequent often. I got rubber balls. It took every ounce of strength I had to tear them apart. They were completely inedible. I had to bounce one just to see, and it bounced! Well..just a little bounce, but it bounced! Reheating meatballs in the microwave when someone phones in take-out – NO, just…NO.
4. I have an ear infection in my right ear. I’m a righty..I hold my phone to my right ear – the left is uncomfortable. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve screeched, “Whaaaaa?” or “Hehhh?” the past week, I could buy a side of rubber meatballs.
So, these candies. When I made my butter pecan thumbprint cookies, the white chocolate feuilletine filling was a test. Because of this, I ended up melting 1 pound of white chocolate. Once the two dozen cookies were filled, I had a ton left. Then it hit me, I’ve got crunchy white chocolate and a good amount of butter pecans left in the freezer, not only from the cookies, but from this luscious stuffing I made back in November. DING! Leftover chopped butter pecans dumped into remaining white chocolate feuilletine and spooned onto a baking sheet to set = awesome candy.
Now, the amounts are estimated, since you go by the texture and thickness when you add the feuilletine (or corn flakes) to the white chocolate (you can use dark, milk, or any kind of chocolate you prefer), but in the double photo collage above, you can see how it should look before you spoon it onto the baking sheet in rustic clumps. Granted, you can use less feuilletine (or corn flakes) and let the chocolate dominate, but they won’t be as lumpy and rustic. No matter..they will taste just as delicious, albeit sweeter.
In other words..this recipe is easily altered to suit your preference.
4 ingredients, 30 minutes or less of your time. You can make these tomorrow morning for gifts to friends and/or relatives who stop by, or you go to visit. OR, we all end up exchanging gifts the days following Christmas, at least once…so, my point is..last minute gift? This is the candy for you!
The hardest part is melting the chocolate, and how hard is that? Oh, the butter pecans, you need to make those too..but toast them while you’re melting the chocolate! Still 30 minutes or less total. And, you can make the buttered pecans ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze them, so even less time!
- 1 pound good quality white chocolate
- 1½ to 2 cups feuilletine or crushed corn flakes or rice krispies
- 1½ cups chopped pecans
- ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
- Prepare buttered pecans. Stir together chopped pecans and ¼ cup melted butter. Spread in an even layer on a parchment lined sheet pan. Bake at 350° for 10 – 15 minutes, stirring them around once half way through. until pecans are toasted (you’ll be able to smell them). Keep checking and stirring so they don't burn. Remove from oven, and let cool.
Alternatively, In a pan or skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add pecans and cook until toasted and fragrant, about 4 to 5 minutes. Spread across sheet of foil or parchment to cool.
- Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over simmering water, or in the microwave, stopping and stirring every minute so it doesn't burn.*
- Stir in feuilletine or crushed corn flakes and buttered pecans.
- Using a spoon, drop mixture in rustic clusters onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. Let set in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes.
- Package up for gifts or just serve and enjoy!
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!