Tuesday 13 December 2011

Twelve Days of Christmas Goodies ~ Day 1: Chocolate Peanut Toffee

In our house, Christmas baking is one of the telltale signs that Christmas is just around the corner, and this year is no exception. I absolutely love to bake, and my children are awesome helpers, so we produce a lot of yummy treats during the holidays. But treats are meant to be shared, so over the next 12 days I will be highlighting some of our favorite holiday recipes. 

I strongly believe that everyone, diabetic or not, should be able to enjoy a treat once in a while, especially during the holidays. I have always encouraged Dylan to eat anything he wants, in moderation of course, and we simply bolus for the carbs, so I will try to include nutritional information for each recipe, or at least the carbohydrate amount for each serving size. 

Our first recipe is for Chocolate Peanut Toffee. I made this for the first time last week and it was a huge hit! Not only is it super easy to make, you can easily vary it to suit different tastes by changing the type of nuts or chocolate.

4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups whole cocktail peanuts plus 1 cup chopped (1 pound 10 ounces)
8 ounces 70%-cacao bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

15"x10"x1" baking pan (cookie sheet)
a candy thermometer (I used a digital meat thermometer and it worked fine)

Butter baking pan and put on a heatproof surface. Bring butter, sugar, and salt to a boil in a 4-to-5-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat, whisking until smooth, then boil, stirring occasionally, until mixture is deep golden and registers 300°F (hard-crack stage) on thermometer, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Immediately stir in whole peanuts, then carefully pour hot toffee into center of baking pan. Spread with spatula, smoothing top, and let stand 1 minute, then immediately sprinkle chocolate on top. Let stand until chocolate is melted, 4 to 5 minutes, then spread over toffee with cleaned spatula. Sprinkle evenly with chopped peanuts, then freeze until chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes. Break into pieces. 

Toffee keeps, layered between sheets of parchment paper, in an airtight container at cool room temperature for 2 weeks. Makes 3 pounds.

Nutritional Information (Per 1-oz piece): Calories 157, Fat 9g, Carbohydrates 18g, Sodium 38mg, Protein 0g. 
Source: Gourmet Magazine, December 2007

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