Candy Apples

I used to associate candy apples with Halloween – or autumn in general. There came a time as a middle schooler that I could not eat them due to braces, and I don’t believe I have eaten one since. I need to probably change that, lol.  We made the type with Kraft caramels and spent just ages unwrapping each individual caramel to dump them in the saucepan. Nowadays, I think of the amazing candy apple confections made at Disneyland’s Marcheline bakery – they are works of art!

Candy Apples

1 1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup boiling water

pinch salt

1/8 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp cinnamon (liquid or stick) or peppermint flavoring or whatever other flavoring you wish

Combine sugar, water, cream of tartar and salt. Boil to soft ball stage, about 250º. Put red or green or whatever color of food coloring in until desired color. Add flavoring. Cool to hard crack, 350º. Dip apples quickly as mixture will harden fast. Let drip and cool on buttered pan. Makes about enough for 12 apples.

Buttery Crescents

At first, I thought this recipe was for the airy croissant roll with laminated layers of dough, but instead, this is a cookie. I suspect my friend Diane B probably knows what they are as she is the holiday baking queen (at least when we were kids). There appear to be a number of variations available – from vanilla and pecan to almond and walnut. The type you make appears customizable to your tastes and may of course be influenced by “what Mom used to make” when you were a kid.

Buttery Crescents

1 cup butter or margarine

3/4 cup confectioners sugar

2 teaspoons water

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)

Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in water. Add flour and salt to butter mixture; mix well. Stir in oats. Divide dough into 3 portions. Shape each into 12 crescents. (Dough will be slightly soft) Place on uncreased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated moderate oven (325º F) about 15 minutes. Cool. roll in additional confectioners sugar.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies. Can be frozen after baking.

Butterscotch Pecan Rolls

This looks like one of those recipes you need a little more information for – like the recipe for cinnamon rolls. If you have a good recipe you like, you might give this topping a try. It sounds delicious. Note that the recipe is somewhat inverted – read the whole thing through, then you will see the topping recipe is at the bottom, make that, then make the cinnamon rolls and follow the baking instructions.

Butterscotch Pecan Rolls (topping)

Make “cinnamon rolls” and bake as stated EXCEPT…place slices of dough on top of butterscotch pecan topping. Cool a few minutes. Invert on wire rack.

Combine

1 cup melted butter or margarine

1 1/3 cups brown sugar and 1/2 cup dark syrup (Karo is probably ok)

Spread over bottom of pans, sprinkle with pecans

Boston Brown Bread (Eilene Williams)

Boston Brown Bread is one of those foods I have always known about, but really didn’t know much information about. I remember my mother having it in the house and I even had to buy it one time for her at the grocery store, but beyond that, I have no memory of what it tastes like. Both my parents grew up in the New York/Pennsylvania area, and traveled through New England, so that is likely where they came to enjoy Boston Brown Bread. From what I have read about it, it has a distinct sweet taste due to molasses.

While some information ties Boston Brown Bread back to “thirded bread” of England, no one seems to have an idea of why it is baked in cans. Thirded bread refers to using 3 different flours to help save on the more expensive ones – wheat, rye and oat were originally the flours used in English brown bread. When the Pilgrims came to America, they brought with them the recipes to make thirded bread – but apparently cornmeal was substituted for oats, and wheat was difficult to grow in the area. Again, still no idea why it’s in a can. The bread was steamed rather than baked, due to the use of open fire cooking instead of ovens being readily available. Once the cylindrical bread caught on in the Boston area, it no longer mattered if you had an oven or not – the way to cook this bread is in a recycled can. I’ll put some links for more reading under the recipe. Also of note, it’s a preference to include or omit raisins. Original recipes did not them. The use of brown sugar and a low amount of molasses suggests to me this recipe has been modernized – and of course it’s baked, not steamed.

Boston Brown Bread (Eilene Williams)

1 1/2 cup raisins

1 1/2 cup boiling water

Pour water over raisins and let cool

1 cup brown sugar

1 rounded tbsp shortening

1 egg

1 tsp molasses

Cream brown sugar, shortening, egg & molasses together.

Add:

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

2 2/3 cup sifted flour

Add these and raisins to liquid. Mix well. Add 1/2 cup chopped nuts. Bake 350 in 4 greased size 2 cans for 1 hour. Let cool in cans for 10 minutes

 

 

Further Reading

New England Classic Brown Bread Has Rich History – via The Ellsworth American

Brown bread, a dying New England staple, found far from home – via The Chicago Tribune

The History of American Brown Bread – via Chowhound

B&M brown bread in a  can – via New England Today

20 Minute Fudge

While I’m not very good at making candy, this might be a little easier. Fudges are basically ingredients, mixed together, then allowed to set. Easier recipes like this were designed for women who – like me – didn’t excel with candy. But this looks easy enough to try.

20 Minute Fudge

1 egg, well beaten

3 tbsp cream (heavy whipping)

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1 lb confectioners sugar

4 oz unsweetened chocolate

1 tbsp butter or margarine

Mix 1 egg well beaten, 3 tbsp cream, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 lb confectioners sugar

Melt 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, 1 tbsp butter or margarine.

Add to first mixture. Stir in 1 cup shopped walnuts. Spread in buttered 8 in x 8 in pan. Cool. Cut