I noticed, just after starting an afternoon shift one day, that there were only three cookies left on the plate! On a cool fall day, three cookies were not going to last long with a full house. I looked for cookie dough but there was none already made. I didn’t think I’d have time to mix some up, so I looked for a quick and easy recipe in a cookbook a sweet guest gave me, River Road Recipes, “the textbook of Louisiana cuisine.” I make glazed pecans, p. 212, almost every week. I’d try Nut Butter Crunch, p. 213 (“You must hide it if you expect it to last at all!”). The recipe is short: butter, sugar, corn syrup, chocolate, and nuts. The directions were short: melt, add, stir until 320 degrees, spread, harden, break. What the recipe didn’t tell me is how long, at low heat, it would take to get to 320 degrees!
I only had two more guests checking in but of course they arrived at about 232 degrees! Dennis and Judy, from Massachusetts, were great sports and found their room on their own. Dennis came back wondering about a key. He willingly stirred while I got the key for room 11 for them. Then, at about 276 degrees, Lynn and Neil from New York were ready to head out to Deer Isle. I really wanted them to see the Settlement Quarry overlook so Lynn willingly stirred while I pulled out the map and the yellow highlighter. Finally, we reached 320 and I poured it out into my greased pans just before serving hors d’oeuvres to the second group of guests.
Nut Butter Crunch
2 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup finely chopped nuts (I used toasted almonds)
Melt butter over low heat in medium saucepan. Add sugar and stir until melted. Add water and syrup. Continue cooking over low heat until syrup, dropped in cold water, becomes brittle (320 degrees F). Don’t undercook. Remove from heat. Pour onto greased platter. This should be thin. Cool until hardened. Melt chocolate over hot water. Spread on crunch. Sprinkle nuts over top and pat it. Break into pieces. This is quite similar to a Heath bar. You must hide it if you expect it to last at all! Mrs. Laurence Siegel, from the River Road Recipes cookbook.
What the recipe doesn’t say is that it takes a good long while to reach 320 degrees and you shouldn’t start the recipe when you have guests checking in and other tasks to pay attention to, unless you have kitchen helpers. If you have questions about the recipe (or need me to stir while you do something else), give me a call.