Tag Archives: hazelnut

coconut ohmygosh bars

28 Oct

This isn’t really a “new” recipe. In fact, it’s not much of a recipe rather than a last-minute bake-off to use my shredded coconut before it expires – because letting anything expire in your pantry is just so sad. But my oh my, this accidental treat is yummy yummy yummy in my tummy (and a problem for my hips!). These bars are SO sweet and decadent, yet there is something about the combination of caramel and coconut and hazelnuts that is just to die for. The caramel brittle at the bottom just has the right combination of salty crunch and sweet caramel, and the coconut layer is chewy and delicious, and of course you then come aross the bittersweet chocolate layer on top with the added crunch of the toasted nuts. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry because I have no more bars left. You can seriously substitute everything in this recipe and just use my recipe as a guideline, and create your own ohmygosh bars with whatever you have lying around in your pantry. Seriously, all you need is a yummy caramel base, and top it with whatever your heart desires. I simply used my pecan praline caramel cracker recipe and then modified it slightly. Trust me, make double the recipe, keep half for yourself and give the other half away. That way, you’ll seem like the most amazing and generous friend in the world – while eating your own stash secretly in the privacy of your own home. You can have your ohmygosh bars and eat them too ;) Seriously, I have found a new religion in these bars.

stacks and stacks of "ohmygosh, these are amazing" bars

stacks and stacks of "ohmygosh, these are amazing" bars

look at all that gooey chewy coconut filling on top of that crunchy caramel brittle, smothered in chocolate!

look at all that gooey chewy coconut filling on top of that crunchy caramel brittle, smothered in chocolate!

who am I kidding - no one eats these with a fork

who am I kidding - no one eats these with a fork

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 40 salted soda crackers
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup (1/2 can) condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts

How-to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet completely with foil, and then line the base of the foil with parchment paper, cut to fit.
  2. Line the bottom of the baking sheet with crackers, covering all parts.
  3. In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it has begun boiling, let it bubble for three more minutes, stirring it well. It will thicken a bit as it cooks. Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla, and then quickly pour it over the matzo or crackers. You’ll want to spread it quickly, as it will begin to set as soon as it is poured.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the coconut and the condensed milk. You can use more of the condensed milk if you find the coconut mix to be too dry, but I found that 1/2 cup was just enough to bind the coconut together and provide the right amount of sweetness.
  5. Spread the coconut mixture evenly over your caramel-covered crackers.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, making sure that the corners of the caramel or the coconut layer doesn’t get too dark. You want it to be golden.
  7. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle your chocolate chips evenly over the coconut. Return to the oven just for 2 minutes, to soften the chocolate.
  8. Using an off-set spatula, spread the chocolate into an even layer. Sprinkle the toasted hazelnuts over top, and feel free to drizzle even more chocolate on top. Since I also had sliced almonds on hand, I sprinkled those on top too. The more, the merrier =)
  9. Enjoy!

xo dessertchick

hazelnut buttercrunch toffee brittle

26 Oct

I have finally settled back into my kitchen after being away from it for over two months. Since I’ve landed back onto Canadian soil, I have made the following: marble cake, key lime pie, lemon cheesecake tart, mini pecan pie, mini carrot cakes, hazelnut shortbread, buttercrunch toffee brittle and coconut bars. Sadly, I wasn’t able to take photos of any of these delightful goodies until I made the buttercrunch toffee because the charger of my beloved SLR is currently on its way in a FedEx package from Vietnam. Yes, the idiot that I am, I forgot the chargers for both my SLR and my point&shoot in Vietnam – although it is because of very mean and bitter and unfair customs officials in Vietnam who were very very very corrupt. But that’s a story for another day.

Let me now introduce you to this super easy yet oh-so-delicious, you-can’t-eat-just-one-or-four-or-five buttercrunch toffee brittle.  I found this recipe on Joy of Baking while I was supposed to be “interning” and being a good reporter, so shhhh, don’t tell anyone, okay? I found hazelnuts on sale the day after Thanksgiving, so I decided to slightly change the recipe by substituting the almonds with the hazelnuts. The layer of toasted hazelnuts at the bottom, followed by the buttercrunch toffee, and the chocolate and hazelnut sprinkles on top…it tastes fantastic! Also, I think this makes a really good gift idea – especially since Christmas is slowly creeping up on us now. Brittle is sold in stores in very pretty cellophane and fancy ribbons for a ridiculous price, and you can make your own (many!!!!) variations at the fraction of the price. Plus, you can then awe your friends with how amazing and talented you are at making these very pretty and yummy goodies.

The brittle is pretty sinful on its own with a nice cold cup of milk, or a hot cup of coffee, but if you’re feeling like living life on the edge, eat the brittle with a homemade sundae or just a couple of scoops of your favourite ice cream. I’ve been eating ice cream like crazy as of late – mostly due to the fact of finding the CUTEST ice cream scoop on the face of the world. So really, the cow tells me to eat ice cream – and I’m not crazy, I promise! Anyhow, enough of my ramblings. Here is what you’re really waiting =)

a plate full of deliciousness

a plate full of deliciousness

crunchy brittle paired with ice cream - scooped with the coolest ice cream scoop ever

crunchy brittle paired with ice cream - scooped with the coolest ice cream scoop ever

crunchy layer of hazelnuts topped with buttercrunch toffee layer, smothered in milk chocolate and sprinkled with toasted hazelnuts

crunchy layer of hazelnuts topped with buttercrunch toffee layer, smothered in milk chocolate and sprinkled with toasted hazelnuts

notice the earring that the Cool Cow Scoop is wearing?

notice the earring that the Cool Cow Scoop is wearing?

okay, at this point, I was just having too much fun =)

okay, at this point, I was just having too much fun =)


Recipe

Tips (from Joy of Baking):

  • do not make the brittle on a humid day
  • use a wooden spoon to stir, since it is easier to clean than a metal spoon
  • have all your ingredients ready to go, especially the baking soda and vanilla
  • the vanilla adds flavour, while the baking soda aids in browning and allows for a lighter texture
  • store in an airtight container to prevent the brittle from softening
  • this recipe makes one pound of brittle (which is barely enough for you to enjoy AND to share with others =P)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups slivered almonds or chopped hazelnuts (or both!)
  • 1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 6 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate

How-to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place almonds/hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Once the nuts are cooled, you should now chop them. The recipe calls for a food processor, but I found that it pulverized them too fine. I found it was easier and tastier when you just gave them a rough chop with a knife.
  3. Sprinkle half of the nuts into a 8×10 inch buttered baking sheet. Set aside.
  4. In a heavy saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar and water
  5. Have the baking soda and vanilla ready to go at this point.
  6. Bring the sugar mixture to a boil, avoiding over-stirring, until the mixture reaches 285F on a candy thermometer (soft-crack stage).
  7. Immediately remove the pan from heat, and add the baking soda and vanilla all at once.
  8. Immediately pour the mixture evenly onto your baking sheet over the almonds/hazelnuts.
  9. Sprinkle the chocolate over top. The hot caramel mixture will soften and melt the chocolate. Using an off-set spatula, spread the chocolate evenly over the caramel mixture.
  10. Sprinkle with the remaining nuts and refrigerate until completely cooled.
  11. Once cooled, you can break or cut the brittle into your desired sizes and shapes.
  12. Mangia <3

xo dessertchick

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