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Archive for the ‘Candy’ Category

postheadericon Homemade Peanut Brittle

When I was a child in the 60s and early 70s, we visited my Mom’s sister, my Aunt Gerry. often. She lived in Jersey just across the river from Philly (Philadelphia). Our drive included traveling Route 61 through the tiny borough of Port Clinton (Pa.), an old canal and railroad town near the intersection of Pa. Route 61 and Interstate 78 in Schuylkill County. On the main street — busy Rt. 61 — is the Port Clinton Peanut Shop.  If you blink while driving by, you will miss it. But it is a fixture in the town and has been for many decades. Still in business today, they have old-fashioned/nostalgic candy, fudge, and they still roast peanuts fresh on the premises. But it was the peanut brittle I remember most and the treat that peaked my child’s imagination as I spotted the Pagoda in Reading (Pa.) on the mountainside headed home on Route 61 and KNEW it would not be long before we were able to stop at the Peanut Shop.  Now, let me tell you, Rt. 61 is busy.  I mean REALLY busy. The kind of busy where multiple lanes of traffic zip by so fast a parked car rocks in their wake.  My poor Dad (actually, my super brave, best in the world, no one like MY Dad) would pull in to a hard-to-come by parking spot on the northbound side of Rt. 61, get out the car, and take his life in his hands – literally – to sprint across the highway and into the Peanut Shop. He would return, repeating his death-defying feat, arms loaded with bags of freshly roasted peanuts in the shell and — peanut brittle! Every time I page through my recipe file and see this recipe, I am 10 years old again, sitting in the back seat of the family’s blue Buick Electra, nose pressed up against the side rear window, waiting for him to emerge from the Port Clinton Peanut Shop with those treasures.  I miss you so much, Pop. And it is only now, later in my life, that I realize just how truly enjoyable life was when you still were in it. NOTE: use care when working with hot sugar syrup mixtures – they can stick to your skin if contact is made and cause deep burns.

Homemade Peanut Brittle

Homemade Peanut Brittle

Homemade Peanut Brittle

Ingredients

    Have all your ingredients ready and prep your pan before starting the cooking process!
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter + more for pan if using
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups dry roasted or raw peanuts

Instructions

  1. Prepare and gather all ingredients and prepare a large low-sided baking sheet by lining with parchment paper, a silicone mat, or lightly buttering surface.
  2. Place sugar, corn syrup, water, and 2 Tablespoon butter in a medium-size heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to boil. Boil without stirring until a candy thermometer reaches 240.
  3. Add peanuts, and cook 2 to 3 more minutes or until temp hits 285 to 290F. (The cooked mixture should be golden brown.) Watch temperature carefully, it can go beyond this quickly and ruin your batch.
  4. Remove from heat, and stir in baking soda, salt and vanilla extract. Be careful, mixture can bubble up when making these additions and it is VERY HOT!!
  5. Pour mixture onto a prepared metal shallow pan. Quickly spread the brittle by tilting the pan and allowing the mixture to flow across the pan to all edges forming a thin layer.
  6. Allow to stand several minutes or until cooled and hardened. Break into pieces.
  7. Optional: Drizzle with melted chocolate chips.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/10/27/homemade-peanut-brittle/

Port Clinton Peanut Shop

Reading Pagoda at night overlooking the city.

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postheadericon Flitch – Potato Candy

Popular at bake sales, school fundraising events and across the Coal Region in general, this old-fashioned jelly-roll type potato based candy is known in the Anthracite region as “Flitch”.

Flitch

Flitch – old fashioned potato candy

Flitch – Potato Candy

Ingredients

  • 1 potato (about the size of an egg)
  • 1 pound confectioners sugar or quantity as needed
  • Vanilla extract (optional)
  • Peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Boil and peel potato. Make sure you use a SMALL potato as directed. In a dish, mash potato smooth with a fork. While still warm, begin mixing in confectioners sugar. Continue adding sugar and mixing until the mixture is the consistency of firm yet pliable dough. If desired, add a few drops of vanilla when mixing. Sprinkle a little confectioners ugar on a cutting board, put the dough between two sheets of wax paper, and roll the mixture to a 1/4 inch thickness - like the cake portion of a jellyroll. Spread peanut butter atop the rolled "dough", almost to the edges. Roll up the sheet from the long end, loosening it from the paper with a knife as you roll. Cut into slices and serve. (see photo for example of this technique)
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/flitch-potato-candy/

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