Today (Wednesday) was supposed to be my baking day. All day. I had intended to make dozens of cookies and at least several batches of my Christmas candy. I make these two things every year and give them out to friends and neighbors. I don't know what happened. I thought I could get the house straightened up a bit before I started the baking project. I did some laundry, cleaned up a bit, read some blogs (that could be part of the problem) and then had to go to the market to pick up nuts and chocolate and butter and more sugar. I went to three stores, ran a couple of other errands, got stuck in a huge downpour (it is STILL raining) and came home worn out. So I took a break. I worked on the Christmas cards for a while. Friends stopped by. And then it was time for dinner and going out for sushi sounded really good. You get the point, right? I didn't get the baking done.
I did come to the conclusion that I do not have to stress over this. People love my candy. And they look forward to it. But it will be okay if they get it as a wonderful 'Happy New Year' gift instead of a Christmas gift. Right? So I took that off my list. I made one batch and called it a day.
Sherri's Christmas Candy
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 & 1/2 cups blanched, slivered almonds
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips.
In a HEAVY skillet over medium to medium-high heat, mix butter and sugar. Add nuts. Continue cooking until golden brown and almonds start to pop, stirring constantly.
Spread onto a cookie sheet and top with chocolate chips.
After chocolate has melted, spread with a spatula. Refrigerate. Break into pieces.
I like to wrap the candy in cellophane and tie them with pretty ribbon, tags and little ornaments. Usually by this time each year I have about 20 of these waiting to be given out. I haven't made my tags yet either but this paper that I printed from the free MAEMAE PAPERIE download from Rue looks pretty great.
I also found this chocolate nut bark in Real Simple last year and clipped it to make this year. I thought it looked so pretty. It was super easy to make! Just melt 12 ounces of semi sweet chocolate chips (I did it in a double boiler), spread the chocolate evenly on a parchment-lined 9-by-13-inch baking pan and sprinkle with 2 & 1/2 cups mixed nuts. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Break the bark into pieces and keep at room temperature for up to 1 week.
I like this because it is a beautiful and also because it is a healthier candy. It looks wonderful against the turquoise tissue paper in a chinese take-out box.
The cookies ... those are another story! I will start at the crack of dawn tomorrow and make as many as I can. How are you doing with your Christmas baking (shopping, wrapping, cleaning ...)?