The last few day have brought so much rain that I nearly began building my own ark. Branches and leaves are covering the roads, drainage ditches are swollen and overflowing, and the ocean has been a swirling angry mass. Today however, it's a new world! We woke to a brilliant sunshine with stunning clear blue skies.
Sending my son outside with a rake, Liv and I headed back to the kitchen for a little more treat making. With our swaying palms looking so tropical and glistening in the sun, we chose a Hawaiian themed Macadamia Nut Brittle. Studded with a chopped mac nuts the perfectly crisp toffee-like candy only takes half of an hour start to finish (well...except for the cleaning the dishes part!).
With the leaves raked and bagged my hungry 14 year old son returned to the house and immediately smiled as he reached for a chunk of the toffee. Leaning back in his chair with a satisfied grin he said, "Ahhh... I knew you loved me!" Watching him reach for a second piece, I know all is good... Happy Holidays my friends!
Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Brittle
Adapted from the Macadamia Cookbook, Mauna Loa Macadamias, Leslie Mansfield, pg. 80
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups chopped macadamia nuts
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Lightly oil a baking sheet or line with a silicone mat.
In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup and water. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer placed in the syrup near the center of the pan reads 260º. Add the butter and salt and continue to cook until the temp reaches 295º. Remove from the heat and stir in the macadamias, baking soda and vanilla. Note that the baking soda will make the mixture bubble up for a minute or two, so be certain to use a large pan for this candy to avoid sticky overflows.
Pour the brittle onto the prepared baking sheet and spread to a 1/4 inch thickness. Cool completely at room temperature, then break into pieces. Store in an air-tight container.
Note: the pan will look as though it is ruined with hard, sticky toffee stuck to it. Let the pan cool, simply fill with warm water and walk away! About 15 minutes later the sugar will have dissolved and the pan and spoon will come clean with minimal effort!