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It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

La Petite Maison Verte: It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Monday, July 26, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Last weekend our friends hosted a "Christmas in July" party. Naturally, that meant cooking up all kinds of delicious holiday treats.

Nothing screams old-fashioned holiday indulgence more than tiny hotdogs wrapped in crescent dough and baked. I'd never made pigs in a blanket before but they were pretty delicious, and I served them with some tangy honey mustard dipping sauce. I think they complimented eachother perfectly! I won't post a recipe because there's really nothing to it and you can easily google "pigs in a blanket" and find a recipe, but I will say the turkey cocktail-size mini hotdogs that I substituted for pork or beef were great and nobody missed the extra calories :)

And I don't know about you but for me it wouldn't really be Christmas without the desserts. My grandma is the Christmas cookie-baker in our family (and my mom makes a really delicious cookie that we all love). I don't have any of my own recipes for favorite cookies but I'd been wanting to try to make Baked's Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars for some time now. I'd seen the recipe in their book when we visited Charleston and of course being the chocolate-peanut butter lover that I am, I knew I had to to make it. I thought the Christmas party was the perfect opportunity to try it out.

I have to say that while I really enjoyed the combination of chocolate and peanut butter in these little bars, I did not like the crisp rice layer at all. In all fairness, I didn't use a candy thermometer when I was cooking the corn syrup and sugar (my pan was too shallow to allow for an accurate reading by a candy thermometer) so I suspect the goopy, wet, sticky consistency of the krispies was due to undercooking of the sugar syrup. They still tasted good but I was very dissapointed with the way it stuck all over my fingers (in a not fun way). They were also SO rich! And that's saying a lot considering I'll eat a whole slice of cheesecake without batting an eyelash. The recipe made an 8x8 pan which was supposed to be cut into 9 squares. Instead, I cut it into 16 squares and then cut each of those in half, forming 32 small triangles which were much more manageable.

Check out this cute cookie tin I bought for 10 cents at a yard sale last fall...

Elmo...and Snuffleupagus!! How cute :)

The party was lots of fun. The decorations were beautiful and the treats were lovely! And my favorite part of the evening was the Christmas music!!

Here's the recipe:

Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

1 3/4 cups rice crispy cereal
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp light corn syrup
3 tbsp butter, melted

peanut butter layer
5 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup creamy peanut butter

chocolate topping
3 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp light corn syrup
4 tbsp unsalted butter

To make the crust:
Spray an 8″ square pan with nonstick spray.
Put the cereal in a large bowl and set aside.
Carefully mix the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high. Insert a candy thermometer and boil until the mixture is 235 F.
Remove from heat, stir in the melted butter, then pour over the cereal and mix quickly and thoroughly. Press into the prepared pan and let cool while you make the peanut butter layer.

To make the peanut butter layer: Melt the milk chocolate and peanut butter together in the top of a double boiler over gently simmering water. Stir until smooth, then pour over the crust and chill for an hour or until set.

To make the chocolate topping: Clean out the double boiler, then put the dark chocolate, corn syrup, and butter in it and put it over medium-low heat. Stir until smooth, then remove from the heat, cool for about 30 seconds (stirring constantly), then pour all over the peanut butter layer. Chill for another hour so the topping can harden, then cut the bars into small squares to serve.

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At August 4, 2010 at 5:14 PM , Anonymous HeidiRob said...

Since I now live near Baked NYC is there anything you'd like me to sample for you??


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