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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chocolate caramel matzo "crack"

Since it is still Passover, I thought I would get in one batch of chocolate caramel matzo "crack".  This is a versatile bar and can be made with or without nuts and can be made any time during the year. I have never tried Holyland Matzos before, but I bought them this year because they were the only brand I could find in single boxes.   I was happily surprised with a crispy, well done matzo.
My cousin Lori gave this recipe to me and I have tweaked just a little bit over the years.

If you like a mixed marriage of caramel and chocolate, you will love this bar! It might turn out to be your favorite all time treat.  It is crispy, but not crunchy, chocolately, caramely, and not too sweet because you use salted butter and add nuts.  You can leave the nuts on or off. I have heard this recipe is also made with saltines, but saltines definitely have a different flavor and texture than matzo.  Let me know what you think!
  The few, delicious ingredients:

The matzo set up:

The caramel stuff:

The spread:

Post baked, ready for chocolate:


The chocolate spread:

The final nuts:

The final cut:

The ingredients:
(4) plain, no salt added matzos
(1) cup salted butter (two sticks)
(1) cup packed light brown sugar
(1) cup chopped nuts (I use pecans - if you have time toast them)
(1.5 -2 ) cups semi sweet chocolate chips
(1) 2-ounce package of toasted sliced almonds

The directions:  Preheat oven to 350°

Line the bottom of a Pam-sprayed cookie sheet with the matzos (the sheet should have sides and be about 11"x17").  Break them to fit.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt butter and then add brown sugar and pecans.
Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil stirring constantly.
Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and let boil for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and pour quickly over matzos.  Spread quickly to cover matzos because the caramel wants to start setting up.

Bake matzos in the pre heated oven for 9 or 10 minutes or until the caramel is bubbly and a little darker..
Remove them from the oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips.   Turn oven off.
Return to the oven for 2 minutes so chocolate melts.
Spread melted chocolate to cover chocolate doesn't always cover completely-I like a little bit of the caramel showing through-it is a pretty dark gold and shiny.
Sprinkle immediately with sliced almonds and pat them down.

I usually slice them at this point because once they are completely cool, it is more difficult to slice them. I take a sharp large knife and press down hard.  
Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.   They can be stored on the counter top for a week, or longer if you refrigerate them.   Please let me know what you think if you try this recipe!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Chocolate covered PB pretzel snacks

I've been making this easy, quick,  no cooking involved "candy" for many years using Ritz PB mini sandwhich crackers. Now I use Snyders of Hanover's mini PB pretzel sandwiches. 
All you need are the sandwich pretzels, semi sweet chocolate chips (I think milk chocolate or a combo of semi and milk would work too),  a little bit of vegetable oil, and optional sprinkles.-- Oh yes, and wax paper.

Chocolate and peanut butter pretzels posing with Northern Gannetts

I made these in a hurry so they were a bit messy this time.

Here is the recipe:

One bag of peanut butter pretzel sandwiches
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips ( I used Nestles minis because I wanted to use them up-Ghirardelli or Hershey's are better in my opinion.)
1 teaspoon canola oil or other vegetable oil
optional sprinkles
wax paper
cookie sheet

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper and set aside.
Put the chocolate chips in a microwavable measuring cup-preferably a 1 cup or larger size.
Microwave the chips for 30 seconds-stir-then add 1 t oil.  Continue microwaving another 30 seconds and continue doing this until they are just about melted.  Stir until they are melted.  Mix in a few of the pretzels at a time and carefully stir to coat them.  You can use a fork or a spoon to take them out and drop them onto the wax paper.  While they are still wet add optional sprinkles.  Put into the refrigerator for about 15 to 30 minutes until the chocolate is not glossy. Store in a covered container on the counter.
**Note:  I don't know how many pretzels a 1/2 cup of chips can cover since I don't count...when you run out of chocolate, just melt up more!