In this, the age of the Internet, it’s easy to stop buying cookbooks and just print recipe after recipe from the Internet. But there’s something about going to your local bookstore and perusing the vast selection of cookbooks, looking inside, seeing a bunch of recipes just calling your name, waiting to be made. It’s been a long time since I’ve bought cookbooks, but recently, it has been a blast looking, buying, and cooking from them.
I want to spread my newly rejuvenated cookbook love to you, so it’s time for my first GIVEAWAY! I’ve been a fan of Ted Allen for a long time, so I picked up his cookbook on my last visit to Barnes and Noble after looking inside and finding recipe after recipe I wanted to make. I think you’ll be as impressed as I am. In order to whet your appetite, I whipped up a batch of the Butter Pecan Brittle from the book.
I love brittle, but it can be kind of hard to find, and when I do find it, it is of varying quality, often times it can be quite disappointing. I’ve made it once before and it didn’t work out as planned. Still delicious, it may make it on the blog one day, but it simply wasn’t brittle. I put my faith in Ted Allen, tried again, and came out with fantastic results.
The process to make this is kind of long. Caramelizing sugar and waiting for the candy thermometer to creep ever so slowly to the desired temperature is no quick process. But with a lot of patience, the end product is fabulous. I love this brittle because the toasted pecans are the star. As opposed to peanut brittle, the snap of the pecans in your mouth, along with the sugar, is fabulous, and gives the brittle the perfect balance of crunchy and chewy. Toasting the pecans is absolutely necessary to give them that texture. The hint of salt is a welcome accompaniment to the caramelized sugar flavor. While the taste is clearly the more important factor, the intoxicating smell that filled the kitchen all day long was a nice bonus.
Ted Allen’s Butter Pecan Brittle is hands down the best brittle I’ve ever had, and I doubt I will ever top it. If the quality of this recipe is any indication of the others in the book, you will seriously enjoy it.
The prize: Ted Allen’s new cookbook In My Kitchen.
To enter to win this awesome giveaway, leave a comment below telling me your favorite sweet treat.
To earn an additional entry, Like Pies and Plots on Facebook, and leave an additional comment telling me you Like my page. If you already Like it, just leave a comment telling me that.
To earn an additional entry, follow me, @piesandplots, on Twitter, and leave an additional comment telling me you follow me. If you already follow me, leave a comment telling me that.
You have until Monday, May 14, 2012, at 11:59 pm EST to enter. The winner will be chosen using the Random Number Generator from www.random.org. The winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond. If they do not respond in that time frame, another winner will be chosen. As soon as the winner is notified, I will post who the winner is on this page. Good luck!
Update: Congratulations to Lendon on winning Ted Allen’s cookbook! I hope you enjoy it and make lots of delectable food. Please leave a comment or send me an email to let me know how you like it.
- ½ stick unsalted butter
- 3 cups pecans
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- ½ cup water
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon Maldon Sea Salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread pecans on baking sheet lined with parchment and toast in oven for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pecans are fragrant and snap when broken. Set aside. The tray for the pecans may be used again later, just put new parchment down.
- Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is clear. This may take 10 minutes or more.
- Put a candy thermometer in the pan, increase the heat to medium-high and cook without stirring until the mixture reaches 230 degrees F on the candy thermometer. Once this happens, add the butter and toasted pecans. Stir the mixture constantly until it reaches 305 degrees F. It will bubble and be incredibly hot, so be careful. When it reaches the desired temperature, it should be caramel colored and fragrant. This process will take time.
- Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will bubble, so it is again important to use caution. If the mixture hardens too quickly, put it over either the still warm burner or low heat until it comes back together.
- Once the mixture is fully combined, pour roughly equal amounts on the lined baking sheets. Butter the back of a wooden spoon before using it to spread the mixture as thinly as possible. It is important to work quickly as the mixture will harden fast, but it does not have to be perfect. Sprinkle the salt over the brittle. Allow to cool completely on pans before breaking into pieces. May be stored in an airtight container for up to one month.