The opportunity to review the book Sweet Confections: Beautiful Candy to Make at Home comes at an opportune time. I’m currently looking to expand the ol’ candy repertoire before the holidays arrive. Is there anything better than getting homemade candy as a gift? I can’t think of anything better at the moment, but that could be because I’m staring down a bowl of buttery pecan pie taffy. This taffy recipe is just a small taste of what this book has to offer.
Cookie dough fudge? This book has it. A sweet-and-salty smorgasbord? This book has it. It also has big, glossy images and plenty of step-by-steps to guide you to sweet success. Author Nina Wanat has packed this book with easy-to-make recipes and intriguing flavor combinations.
In short, I recommend! In fact, I like it so much I’m giving away a couple of copies.
To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment telling me what kind of homemade treat you like to give -OR GET as a gift. Do you like to make rum cakes or fruitcake cookies? Do you love getting peanut butter fudge or pecan divinity?
Tell me! Contest ended 9/14/11
You’ll love these if you’re a molasses fan, and with the addition of roasted pecans, the taffy is quite reminiscent of pecan pie. I think these would be fun for something different at Thanksgiving. Heck, they’d be good for any holiday.
Pecan Pie Taffy [printable version]
Recipe from Sweet Confections by Nina Wanat with my commentary
Yield: 50-60 pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup light molasses
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup bourbon (optional)
2 tbsp. butter
1/16 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup roasted pecans, chopped (I toasted them quickly in a pan over medium-high heat)
Note: You’ll need a 9×13-inch baking pan, a 3 quart saucepan and a candy thermometer. Wax paper should be used to wrap the candies.
1. Coat a 9×13-inch baking pan with oil. (I used canola spray)
2. Bring both sugars, molasses, water, and bourbon (if using) to a boil in a 3 quart saucepan over medium heat. Keep an eye on the mixture once it boils, stirring occasionally. It will quickly boil over if not watched carefully.
3. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Let boil until temperature reaches 250 degrees F – stir constantly to prevent scorching.
4. Remove from heat and vanilla, butter, baking soda and salt. Stir until well incorporated.
5. Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle over pecans. Let cool for 30 minutes, or until just warm.
6. With buttered hands, gather the taffy from the edges and pull until it is lightly colored and firm enough to hold its shape. Roll the taffy into a thin rope and cut into 1-inch lengths. Wrap in wax paper.
Some details about the contest:
Contest ends Sept. 13th, 2011. Winners will be selected randomly by utilizing a random number generator (Random.org). Winners will be notified via email and will have 3 days to confirm receipt of the email. If the winner does not reply within the allotted time, another winner will be selected.