Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Easy Homemade Christmas Gifts- Day 3 Ice Cream Sauces

Post contains affiliate links. 

Williams Sonoma plates and spoon old, others available

Good morning how is your week? I hope that you liked the the first two days of easy homemade Christmas gifts, if you missed them be sure to check out the Peanut Brittle and the scrumptious Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts.

Today I am sharing two sauces that can be used over ice cream, cakes, drinks or to eat by the spoonful. 

Weck's Jar, Williams Sonoma plates and spoon

Salted Dark Chocolate Hot Fudge 


3 oz. bittersweet chocolate
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup of heavy cream
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

In the top of a double boiler melt the chocolate and the butter together. When the mixture is completely melted remove from the heat and add the cocoa powder.

In a medium saucepan combine the cream, corn syrup, sugar, salt and bring to a boil. Be careful not to let this burn, it comes to a boil quickly. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and the chocolate mixture. Scrape into a bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap over the surface. Let cool for 20 minutes. You can store this is a glass jar for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator. 

Bourbon Pecan Salted Caramel
Recipe from Garlic & Zest

1/3 cup pecans 
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
3 Tablespoons PLUS 1 Tablespoon of bourbon, divided
3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon fine sea salt


Preheat oven to 300. Place peacan on a baking sheet and toast for 10-12 minutes. Transfer the pecans to a cutting board and chop. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan place the sugar, corn syrup and 3 tablespoons of bourbon. You do not need to stir. 

Have the whipping cream near the stove so it is ready for use. 

Over medium to medium -high heat bring  the mixture to a boil, you can swirl it a little. The mixture will turn from light colored to light brown to amber. From amber to burnt comes really fast so watch the sugar mixture. Once mixture is amber color pour the cream into the center of the pan, the mixture will bubble. Once the bubbles calm a bit stir vigorously with a wooden spoon, then add the nuts and the salt, mix. Let it cool for 10 minutes then add the bourbon and mix again. Once cooled pour into a glass container. You can store for up to 2 weeks in the the refrigerator. 

As always, I hope that you try these recipes. If you do let me know, I think you will really enjoy them. 

Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Easy Homemade Gifts- Part 2 Peanut Brittle

Good morning and welcome to day 2 of Easy Homemade Christmas gifts. Today I am going to share the easiest peanut brittle recipe with you. If you do not like peanuts, than use whatever nuts you like, almonds, pistachios, etc. 

This recipe could not be easier, you basically place three ingredients into the pan and let it do its thing, occasionally you swirl the pan until the mixture looks caramel brown. I should warn you that the difference between caramel brown and burnt is about 20 seconds, so you do have to watch the mixture or you will have a burnt mess.

Peanut Brittle

Recipe from Nigella Lawson

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup peanuts( or nuts of your choice)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon soft butter
11/4 teaspoon baking soda

Line a baking sheet with foil, or parchment and butter it. Place it near the stove so that it is handy when you need to pour the hot mixture. 

Put the sugar, water, and corn syrup into a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil gently, then turn the heat up and let it boil for 8-10 minutes, swirl the pan, do not stir, a couple of times until the syrup has turned a golden brown. Be careful not to burn it. 

Take the pan off of the heat and with a wooden spoon, stir in the nuts, then vanilla, butter and baking soda. The mixture will bubble up so be careful,  but be sure to mix well. 

Pour the mixture onto the waiting pan and spread it out a little. 

Let cool and then break into pieces. You can store the candy in an airtight container or box, or bag to give as presents. 

Do you have a favorite nut brittle recipe? Is it similar to this or even easier? I would love to hear about it or any other food gifts that you make and give. 

In case you missed Day 1, Union Street Cafe Bar Nuts, you can find the recipe HERE.

Have a great day!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Easy Homemade Christmas Gifts- Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts

Good morning! I hope that you had a great weekend. Were you one of the lucky ones that got a little or a lot of snow? Sadly we did not get one flake, lots of rain and really cold weather but no snow.

It was gray and rainy, the perfect kind of weather to stay home and make things. I have a long list of people that I bake or make things for and I decided this year to try a few recipes. 

So this week I am going to share one or even two a day with you. That way if you have people that you like to give homemade food gifts to there is time to try them out.

I love nuts and think that they are an easy and delicious gift to give. In addition to just giving a beautiful tin of these nuts you can add them to a bottle of wine or champagne or even a basket with cheese and homemade crackers.

Whatever you do make sure that you make an extra batch for your own house because they are a great snack or appetizer to serve with drinks when people stop by over the next few weeks.

Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts
Recipe from Once Upon a Chef


2 1/2 cups of mixed unsalted nuts (pecans, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, etc)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Toast the nuts until lightly toasted and golden brown, about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl mix together the butter, rosemary, cayenne pepper, brown sugar. Add in the warm nuts and then sprinkle with the salt. Toss to coat. These nuts are delicious served warm.

That's it, the whole recipe takes about 10 minutes and they are spicy and sweet and scrumptious!

They look beautiful in clear cellophane bags tied with ribbon or in a holiday tin with a clear window so that your recipients can see what they are getting. 

I hope that you try them. 

Have a great day!

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