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It’s early December, right now, but it’s already Christmas at my house, and I’m sure it’s the same in many of your homes, dear readers. As I write this article, Helen is hard at work putting up her Christmas decorations. When she’s done, you’ll definitely know it’s Christmas at our house. And once the decorating is done, we’ll turn our attention to Christmas eats, one of my favourite parts of the season. This year, along with the traditional turkey and ham that we cook, I’m planning on making a ragout de boulettes with pork hocks. I found a recipe on the Food Network that I want to try for the first time. Maybe we’ll serve it Christmas Eve.

In the meantime, here are a couple of recipes you might want to try if you’re looking for some sweet treats for the holiday season. Both of these are really easy to prepare. Just be careful that you don’t burn them, which is easy to do when you put brown sugar or maple syrup in the oven. Now, let’s get cooking!

Boston Candy

Ingredients

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup butter

1-1/2 cups milk chocolate wafers

One package out of a four-package box of plain soda biscuits

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Layer it with soda biscuits. In a saucepan, melt brown sugar and butter; stir until well mixed; do not boil. Pour over crackers. Cook in 450°F oven for 5 minutes (be careful not to burn).

Meanwhile, melt chocolate wafers in a double boiler. When biscuits come out of the oven, pour chocolate over and spread with spatula to cover biscuits. Refrigerate to allow to set. When hardened, break into pieces for serving. Enjoy.

Maple Roasted Almonds

Ingredients

6 cups whole almonds, shells removed but skins on

3/4 cup pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons sea salt

1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Toss almonds with maple syrup and salt. Add oil last and toss to coat.

Spread coated almonds on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until roasted and syrup has thickened, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes (be careful not to burn).

Let cool on pan; break apart any clumps while still a bit warm or the sugar will crack off. When completely cool, store in an airtight container at room temperature. Keeps one month. If you want a half recipe, use 3 cups almonds, 3/8 cup maple syrup, 1 Tbsp. salt and 3/4 Tbsp. oil. Enjoy.

Now, let’s get cooking!

tombutkovich@cogeco.ca

Organizations: Food Network

Geographic location: Boston

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