Archives from December 15, 2006

The Gift Knitting Is Not Done!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, December 15th, 2006 in Sheri's Recipes

College Boy is home and I am a happy mom! (Happy to have his presence in the house, happy to have his technical expertise on all the computer issues I have been saivng up for him, happy to have him helping me pack orders, happy, happy, happy!) I know he’s glad to be done with Finals and home for a couple of weeks of spoiling. :-)

Today’s recipe is from one of my good friends and I highly recommend it. Monica used to make this for the teacher gifts every year, and this recipe had a reputation all of its own. She makes lots and lots of batches every year. This year, I’m making it for our neighbors. I alternate between cinnamon-pecan rolls, and candy/cookie trays. They put up with all of my UPS deliveries and people stopping by all year long, so I want to stay on their good side! Do you have anyone you need to butter up? This toffee just might do the trick.

DSC00166.JPGMONICA’S TOFFEE

1 cup unblanched (skin on) whole almonds

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

½ tsp. vanilla

¼ tsp. salt

1 12-oz. pkg. milk chocolate chips (2 cups)

¼ c. pecans, finely chopped (optional)

uToast almonds by spreading them in a single layer on a plate and microwaving on high for 3 minutes (stir after each minute).

uOn a foil-lined baking sheet arrange almonds in a single layer over an area measuring approx. 12×7 inches.

uIn a heavy 2-quart saucepan combine butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly with a clean, dry, wooden spoon till butter is melted. Continue cooking and stirring for 5-7 min. till candy is the color of the unblanched almonds. (It will start smoking slightly.) Immediately pour candy, without scraping pan, over almonds, covering all nuts.

uSprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the hot candy. Wait 1 minute and spread the melted chocolate until it is smooth. Sprinkle with pecans.

uLet cool and break into pieces. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.

uMakes 2 pounds or 25 pieces.

Let me know how you like it!

DSC00119.JPGI’m in rather a bit of a spot. The Gift Knitting? It’s not done. And honestly, there wasn’t much on my Gift Knitting List to begin with. I probably shouldn’t admit that my list was short and it’s not even done. I’m thinking that I will have to really let the needles fly this weekend and next week, to accomplish what I need to accomplish. I was thinking today how nice it’d be to wrap up several pairs of handknit socks for several good friends and send them off. In 2007, I am SO going to stockpile knitted gifts early. Someone please remind me of that often, next year. Do any of you knit up ahead of time – like certain things every month, starting in the summer? Or is that a total pipe dream? Every year I say I’m going to knit more. Every year, I blow it. sigh. If you have a surefire plan for gift knitting, please share it. (If you blow it every year like I do, please share that, too. You’ll make me feel better.)

In case you need to do your own gift-purchasing for your own sweet self – I just headed over to The Loopy Ewe and put up a few new Yarn Pirate colors that arrived yesterday afternoon. Hawthorne – a wonderful limited edition holiday colorway, Malamute, Isobel (hello – Isobel? You just have to get a skein of Isobel!), Black Water, and Loopy Blues. (Loopy Blues is our own exclusive Yarn Pirate colorway in honor of my love of Vera Bradley’s Java Blue pattern. I’m thinking I need socks AND a scarf knit out of this. How cool would it be to have a scarf to match my bag?) Also back in stock – String Theory and Paris from Yarn Pirate. How is a person ever supposed to finish twinless socks when the new stuff coming in is so ding-dang beautiful?? Also, just added today – Soak Wash. I love this stuff! It is biodegradable, phosphate-free, and has a wonderfully subtle scent. It’s so gentle on your fibers (and hands) that you don’t even have to rinse it out. Go check it out!

Sheri thinkingStarbucksGiftCardswouldmakenicegifts&thenIgettokeepwhatIknittedup

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