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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 12-08-2019, 11:03 PM   #31
Giantswede
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Asking somebody to make caramels for them if they pay for the ingredients is like asking somebody for a helicopter ride if they pay for the gas.
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:26 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giantswede View Post
Asking somebody to make caramels for them if they pay for the ingredients is like asking somebody for a helicopter ride if they pay for the gas.
I should clarify that he wanted about 400 caramels to give as gifts to his friends as he thought these were the best he'd ever had and wanted to share. Since he's a dear friend, he's among the recipients of my candy making this year, as in years past. He often reciprocates with a bottle of good Tequila.

Edit: I missed the gist of your comment and should clarify further. I told him I'd only charge for the ingredients but he insisted on me including my labor, which I did.

As with grilling and cooking, it's a fun pastime and the rewards are worth the effort. Mrs lunchman and I are doing our utmost to stay clear of the temptation for sampling and keep reminding ourselves that these are gifts for friends and family.
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:55 PM   #33
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Default Round Three - Smoked Pecan Pralines

Having seen Chef Tom's recent atbbq.com video re: Smoked Pralines, I was determined to give this a try. I thought at first I'd use a saucepan and forego the Lodge CI Skillet, but went with his recommendation to use one. Worked perfectly, and since this skillet is extremely well seasoned from years of use, cleanup was a breeze.

This candy making episode ACTUALLY makes use of one of the grills, namely the Weber Kettle to lightly smoke and toast the pecans. Out onto the Kettle they go at around 200-225 for 20-30 minutes -



The rest of the ingredients. Any recipe that includes Bourbon is a hit in my book! -



Combine the Brown Sugar, White Sugar, Turbinado Sugar and Heavy Cream in the Lodge CI Skillet -



While it's heating, stir occasionally -



Until it reaches a temp of 235 -



Add in the Butter and Bourbon, then as soon as the Butter melts add the Pecans -



Drop 2-3 tablespoons onto a parchment lined baking sheet -



Two trays of Pralines -



Although the printed recipe fails to mention this, sprinkle with Smoked Salt -



Let 'em set up. I put the trays out in my cold garage to assist with set up, then had a heck of a time getting them to release from the parchment -



Looking as if this is a bit of a failure (sigh) -



However, had I waited another 5 to 10 minutes and not been in such a hurry to see how they turned out... I was rewarded with some perfectly set up Pralines from the second tray -



They're firm when bitten into and quite creamy. So I'd say this candy making session was a success!

These were a lot easier to make than caramels. One pan, not a ton of stirring, one temperature to watch for.

I went back out to the garage to check pan #1, the Pralines firmed up and released easily from the parchment. Whew!

Honestly, I don't recall ever having Pralines, but these are a winner. Give these a try. They're easy to make and worth the effort.

As always, thanks for checking out this post!

Regards.
-Dom
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:55 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid Post View Post
The name probably comes from or, is related to, the season. Mom only made it during the Christmas season. One of many reasons to look forward to Christmas as a young adult!

Peanut Brittle was my father's favorite during the cold part of the year. I never really got into it too much but, it was a good warm-up for Divinity closer to Christmas.
My Aunt said that it is only made in the Wintertime down here because of the humidity.I have no idea.
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Old 12-10-2019, 07:23 AM   #35
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Great posts and recipes, thanks for sharing.

Those caramels in your 1st post, but sprinkled with bacon bits, that needs to be tested!
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:25 AM   #36
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I think since the news is covered up with listeria-e choli-salmonellosis etc etc cautionary alerts from Fruits and veggies it’s time to “break bad” and cook some Christmas candy. My Bride used to make divinity and a pecan fudge with native pecan and black walnut pieces. Photographs & Memories
Looks grand. Thanks for posting

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Old 12-10-2019, 10:56 AM   #37
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Quote:
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2 teaspoons seems about right.
Do you think replacing that with Vanilla Bean moonshine or a Bourbon would work?
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Old 12-10-2019, 12:57 PM   #38
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Do you think replacing that with Vanilla Bean moonshine or a Bourbon would work?
Probably, only one way to find out!

I've noticed in a number of atbbq videos that bourbon is often used in place of vanilla extract (as in Chef Tom's Praline recipe). Most recipes I looked at while researching the problem I had with them setting up used vanilla.

From what I've found I should have stirred them a bit more to stiffen the mixture up when the first few spread out too much on the parchment. First time praline maker, novice mistake.

I'm off to mail out my first batch of caramels, peanut brittle and pralines and will stop by a specialty store to check out their stock of vanilla bean. More caramels are on the agenda.
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Old 12-10-2019, 01:45 PM   #39
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Outstanding!!
I make different fudges every year for Christmas gifts.....I think I'll be changing it up this year! Thanks for the inspiration!
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Old 12-10-2019, 02:54 PM   #40
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My grandfather owned a candy factory where he handmade many types of candy. I only have a few memories of it as he closed the factory when I was young. My dad of course spent a lot of time making candy but all he makes these days is peanut brittle. It's fun to watch him make it with no thermometer, adding ingredients and pulling from the heat based on how it looks and smells.

I'll be trying out your caramels recipe for sure this year. I have an english toffee recipe that I make for Christmas that will go well with some salted caramels!
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:31 PM   #41
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Feeling somewhat guilty about using Vanilla Extract instead of Vanilla Bean for the caramels, I headed out to my local organic store and picked some up -



More expensive than they've been in the past but so it goes. Split 'em open -



scrape out the vanilla seeds -



and into the cream/butter mixture they go -



Everything else is the same, but here's today finished caramel block, cooling -





I'll cut 'em and wrap 'em in an hour or two. I don't have any of the first batch still available for a taste comparison, but despite my earlier statement about not noticing a difference, I'm quite sure there will be a difference in flavor.

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Old 12-11-2019, 02:45 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoss View Post
My Aunt said that it is only made in the Wintertime down here because of the humidity.I have no idea.
Humidity is hard on Divinity which leaves it too soft and super sticky. That really isn't an issue where I lived but, Winter heat does drop the humidity levels which is good for Candy making in general.
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Old 12-14-2019, 04:26 PM   #43
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Well I tried the pralines and heated it up to 235 like the instructions said but they turned out gritty instead of nice and smooth. They have a good flavor but the texture isn’t like others I have had. Maybe next time!
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