When I was young, my family went grocery shopping at the local A & P every Friday evening because Fridays were payday for my Dad. The local store was small, but seemed to have everything we needed at the time.
As Mom, Dad, and I embarked from the Buick, Dad would drop a nickle in the parking meter, Mom would gather her pocketbook (purse) from the car and deftly drape it over her forearm, and I would run ahead to secure the perfect shopping cart (sometimes referred to a “buggy” in my area and by my folks); it was important it have no wobbles or wheels that made it undesirable for a trip around the supermarket!
Upon opening the door, the smell of freshly roasted coffee hung thick in the air at the entrance/exit; a set of red coffee grinders, shoots caked with coffee grounds from previous users grinding their beans, proudly proclaimed “Eight O’Clock!”.
By this time the folks had caught up with me and Mom started down the produce aisle while Dad and I went exploring. Nothing was ever more exciting to me than when we rounded the aisle that contained the thing I longed for most. I would tug on Dad’s shirt sleeve, he would dutifully bend down, and I would whisper in his ear – like I did every week – “Did you bring some?” “Yes,” he would answer grinning, “I brought some!”.
The “some” was money. Pocket change to be exact. So very important because the object of my affection and the thing that drew me week after week was the display of individually wrapped assorted candies of which you could buy individual pieces! Right there! Just pick your favorite, drop a nickle in the box in the center of the display, and chow down! And so we did.
He picked his favorite (which seemed to vary – something I did not quite understand in my child’s reasoning) and I went right for the nougat. That individually wrapped piece of white, chewy, goodness inside which were little jewel colored gobs of flavored jellies. Ah, my night was complete!
That special little bond in childhood that Dad and I shared in that moment lives on today in my memory. Those displays are still around in markets, although the individual pieces are not 5 cents anymore. I have to admit, they do not hold the same fascination for me now these many decades later as I stand in the mega mart staring at the display. Sure, I still enjoy the candy once in awhile, but it feels like something is missing – and it is; my beloved Pop.
This super-easy recipe for jelly filled nougats to create at home makes me think fondly of my Dad. It is among my favorites in my recipe collection
- Extend parchment out ends or sides of pan to form “handles” to help with removal from pan before cutting into squares.
- Mixture is sticky, a piece of lightly greased parchment paper makes a good tool to push down and level our the mixture in the pan.
- Use a very sharp knife when cutting the nougat into squares.
- Be sure to cool completely before cutting (several hours or overnight).
- To make ahead or store: layer the cut pieces of nougat between pieces of parchment paper and place in an air tight container and freeze. To serve, let them sit for about 1 hour or 2 to bring them to room temperature.
- You can use the gumdrops of your choice; red and green for the holidays, even spicy gumdrops, but be sure to use fresh gumdrops and SMALL gumdrops (otherwise you will need to cut large gumdrops up into smaller pieces and that’s not the best use of your time!!). Other types of “gummy” candies may not work correctly in this recipe (too tough, etc.).
- Use FRESH marshmallows.
Homemade Nougat CandyCourse: SnacksCuisine: Coal RegionDifficulty: Easy
Reminiscent of the jewel speckled nougat candy sold in supermarket displays.
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 bags mini marshmallows (250g per bag)
2 bags white baking chips (225g per bag)
2 cups small gumdrops
- Prepare a 9 inch x 13 inch pan by lining with parchment paper.
- Melt first 3 ingredients together, stirring often, until smooth over low heat in heavy saucepan. Remove from heat. Allow to cool for 2 minutes.
- Stir in gumdrops.
- Spread on parchment lined 9 inch x 13 inch pan.
- Chill overnight in refrigerator. Cut into squares.
- Can be stored in refrigerator or frozen.
DID YOU MAKE THIS?
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Lori Fogg, A Coalcracker In The Kitchen
Sharing coal region comfort foods and nostalgia
Born and raised “a coal miner’s daughter” in Schuylkill County in the Anthracite Region of Pennsylvania, I love to share recipes and memories of home with fellow “coalcrackers” and celebrate our unique blending of Eastern European and Pennsylvania Dutch heritage and cuisines here in northeast Pennsylvania.