Halloween has come and gone. So, I bet some of you are already thinking about the upcoming holidays – what to give, what parties to throw or attend and what tasty treats to bake for your loved ones.
I’m not much in the kitchen but I AM quite the planner. I’ve already ripped out my halloween costume "to buy" list from my planner and inserted a new list: Treats for the Neighbors. This year I plan on baking and packaging tasty (we’ll see) goodies for my neighborhood.
You see, growing up my mom (who is MUCH more in the kitchen) did a fantastic job of baking tasty treats, wrapping them in festive paper and handing them out at the door when neighbors came to call. My childhood neighborhood was always very involved in exchanging goodies. By the end of the year we always had a different dessert from just about every neighbor within 3 blocks. Our counter was overflowing and "dangerous to your waistline" as my dad would put it.
And what did we give our neighbors? Peanut Brittle. Every year. It’s a showstopper and has come to be expected of my mom.
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 cup peanuts
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon baking soda
Grease a large cookie sheet. Set aside.
In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, over medium heat, bring to a boil sugar, corn syrup, salt, and water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in peanuts. Set candy thermometer in place, and continue cooking. Stir frequently until temperature reaches 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), or until a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard and brittle threads.
Remove from heat; immediately stir in butter or margarine and baking soda; pour at once onto cookie sheet. With 2 forks, lift and pull peanut mixture into rectangle about 14×12 inches; cool. Snap candy into pieces.
Since mom and I live in different cities, I figured it would be okay to use her recipe to spread joy in my own neighborhood. Only I’m adding a new twist: Easy Find Lids Containers. When wrapped in pretty ribbons and bows, they make excellent "packaging" for the holidays (also check out the color of the lid). They are also reuseable – for when my neighbors are finished DEVOURING my tasty gift.
I’ll use the 2 cup container for my peanut brittle. It seems ot be just the right size for the goodies and for reuse after the goodies disappear. Extra small containers are really good for small mints, or maybe hot chocolate mix! Use larger containers for cookies and brownies. See another cookie recipe.