Saturday, February 8, 2014

It's a candy making kind of day!

For those that don't know me very well, I LOVE to be in my kitchen.  I'm not a good cook and certainly don't claim to be, but I do love to try.  When Dino and I got married, I knew that one of his favorite things that his mom made was peanut patties.  You know, that's that soft round red candy patty that at the convenience stores sets usually right next to the counter.  Anyway, it is something that I never did really eat growing up, but he loved his moms.  So I made the decision to try to master them.  It's usually hit or miss -- I seem to always want to make them when the humidity is high.  And I have never really found out why, but if humidity is high, can't just won't set up.  So this morning when I got up, I decided that I would try it today and see how they turned out. 

So here we go -- here is the cast of characters:
You're going to start with butter (and use the real stuff), red food coloring, peanuts, vanilla flavoring (I use imitation and it works fine), baking soda, Karo Syrup, Sugar and you'll need water, too.

Start by using a heavy sauce pan.  Mix your sugar, syrup and water together and bring it to a boil on a medium high heat.

After you bring it to a boil, mix in a bag of peanuts and let it continue to boil.  And notice my wooden spoon?  I have no idea why, but I always use a wooden spoon.  Come to think of it, I use a wooden spoon a lot of the time when I cook.  I think I need to go buy more! :) 
While your peanuts are on the stove, take a shallow baking dish or cookie sheet and butter it up.  And now we wait -- let your peanut mixture cook to a soft ball cooking stage.
Now, I typically use a candy thermometer when making candy, but once you make it a few times, you can usually tell by looking when it's ready.  Cook it to softball stage which is about 240 degrees.  Once you reach that, remove it from the heat.  Add in the butter, vanilla, baking soda and red food coloring.  And by the way, I kind of stumped my toe when I put the food coloring in.  I normally wouldn't put that much.

Now the hard part begins.  You have to beat it all together.  Beat and beat and beat and beat.  The more you stir, the harder it's going to get stir.  That's a good sign.  You'll know when it's close to being ready because you will beat the glaze off the top and it will start being kind of stringy.  Don't know how else to describe that.  Guess I should have made a picture.  I didn't time it, but I probably stirred this a good 5 or 6 minutes.  When one arm gets tired, just switch to the other one and keep stirring LOL
Once you get to the point to where your arms won't move anymore, then pour it out onto your buttered pan.  It will probably be a little bit hard to spread out, but that's okay.    Let them cool and then break them into smaller pieces.
And if everything goes as planned, this is what you end up with.  Like I said, I added a little bit too much food coloring, so my patties didn't turn out quite a pink as I would like.  But it doesn't affect the taste. 

So thanks to my mother-in-law, Peggy Condley, for one of the best recipes she left for me to make for Dino.

Here is the receipe:

Mix together
2 cups sugar
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. white karo

Bring water/sugar/karo to a boil then pour in 3 cups of peanuts.  Cook until it forms a soft ball (about 240 degrees).  Remove from heat and add 3 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 3 or 4 drops of red food coloring and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.  Stir until the butter is melted and beat until it looses it gloss and becomes a little sticky.  Pour into a buttered sheet.  Let it cool and then break apart into smaller pieces.

God Bless,