Top Chef Holiday Gift Ideas
Some additional great ideas. Give your TOP CHEF FAN cookies/candy and recipes from the Chefs.... or bake em and eat em yourself.
From Chef Betty to you:
Well, we just had to make 1,400 pieces of candy so I thought I'd share with you my recipe for Coconut Macadamia Brittle with Orange Essence...for 1,400.
I've adjusted this recipe down to about 2 lbs though...
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of Karo corn syrup (light)
orange peel from 1 large orange (use a microplane if possible, right into the pan and you get all the luscious oils as well)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons salted butter, plus additional for buttering sides of saucepan.
1 1/2 t baking soda, sifted (this helps the brittle not stick to your teeth)
2 cups roasted macadamia nuts
1 cup sweetened coconut, toasted or untoasted, whatever you prefer
Canola oil to oil baking sheets
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: Candy Thermometer with side medal clip attachment so it can rest on the rim of the saucepan and the thermometer can sit in the candy mixture.
Oil or butter two large baking sheets, set aside (this will stop the brittle from sticking to the sheets when you pour it out). In a heavy bottom large saucepan, butter the sides. Add sugar, corn syrup, orange peel, orange juice and butter. Cook over medium high heat to boiling, stirring constantly. (use a wooden spoon). Stir to dissolve all of the sugar, but be very careful because boiling hot sugar is friggin' hot. Add thermometer to side of pan at this point, you want it to get to 300 degrees which is hard crack stage, this will take 20 - 30 minutes. When it reaches the proper temperature, remove from heat, remove thermometer, add the nuts and stir and quickly sprinkle the baking soda over the mixture stirring constantly, then CAREFULLY pour the mixture onto the buttered baking sheets and sprinkle the top with coconut. You can spread the mix to cover the pan, and it may be thicker in some areas depending on how flat your baking sheets are...not to worry, it's candy, it'll be enjoyed any way.... Set aside in a cool area (not the refrigerator though) and cool completely. When set, take out a mallet and crack it into rustic pieces, serve or store in tightly sealed container. If it's a bit oily from the oil on the pan, just set it on a paper towel to absorb some of the oil and ENJOY!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL OF YOU WONDERFUL TOP CHEF FANS!
LOVE CHEF BETTY
From Chef Marisa to you:
One of my most recent and favorite holiday traditions has been to get together with a few good friends who are fellow chefs and we make chocolates and cookies together. One of our favorite cookies we make are gingebread cookies that we cut and decorate into snowflakes. This is always a great opportunity for us to just hangout and have some fun together. There is inevitably a generous amount of champagne and wine that starts flowing. It's funny to look back and see the difference between the cookies we decorated at the beginning of our cocktail/baking party and the ones we decorated after a few drinks.
DECORATING GINGERBREAD COOKIES
6c. AP flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
1c. br. sugar
2T 2 tsp. powdered ginger
1T 1 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tsp clove
1 tsp blk. Pepper
½ tsp. salt
Combine the butter and sugar and paddle for several minutes. Add the spices, salt. Then add the eggs, then the molasses. Sift together the flour, soda, and powder. On low speed add the flour, and mix until combined. Flatten the dough into disks and chill. When you are ready roll out the dough and cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Bake the cookies in a 350 oven for 7-10 minutes, depending upon the size of the cookie. Allow the cookies to cool and then decorate.
Thank you Chef Betty and Chef Marisa,
We at BTC wish you both a wonderful and safe holiday season.