Friday, November 05, 2010

Twelve Weeks of Christmas Cookies—Chocolate Covered Honey Almond Nougats (News about French Fridays With Dorie)

Just in case anyone is wondering, as I’m sure everyone is (ha), I have decided something about French Fridays With Dorie, the huge group of people cooking and baking along in Dorie Greenspan’s latest book, Around My French Table.  I still plan to cook and bake along when I can, but plan to post those things on a more rare occasion, at least for right now.  There is no specific requirements for the group, so check it out on the French Fridays link and cook/bake along. 

Now, it’s coming, I tell you, be ready.  Be prepared.  Even before Halloween was over, we were bombarded in the stores with Christmas.  Are you ready?  They sure want to make sure you are when you’re shopping.  I’m here, along with a bunch of other bloggers, to help you in the holiday baking department.  It’s the sixth week of the Twelve Weeks of Christmas Cookies!

12 Days

Sixth week.  Do you realize what that means?  Don’t blink, the holidays are pretty much upon us.  Now that it’s actually November, I can start to get excited.  First there’s my birthday (What?  You didn’t know that was a holiday.  Well, it is here!)  Mary at The Food Librarian has even declared a month long craze over it.  Oh wait, she’s crazy about bundts, big bundts.  My birthday just so happens to be on National Bundt Cake Day, November 15.  For the second year now, Mary, who has an amazing love for bundts, has posted a bundt cake per day for the 30 days leading up to my birthday National Bundt Cake Day.  There are some great looking bundts over there.

So again, first there is my birthday, then Thanksgiving rolls around.  Or is it that I roll on to Thanksgiving from eating too much birthday cake?  After that, before you can even say ho, ho, ho it’s Christmas.  So a group of us are sharing ideas for treats.  I think it’s kind of fun to see all the ideas everyone is coming up with or even just all the good old traditional cookies and treats that are a good reminder of what people like. 

What I decided to do this week is make candy.  In the checkout line at the store last week, I picked up the Taste of Home holiday issue while I was waiting and flipped through the magazine.  It was a quick flip-through, but I saw some interesting candy that caught my eye.  You can get the recipe on the Taste of Home website for the Honey Almond Nougats.

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The nougat was simple and took no time at all on the stove.  The honey, sugar and cornstarch boils to the soft-crack stage very quickly.  I might have even taken it slightly more than soft-crack.  I hadn’t gotten my thermometer out when I started the sugar and by the time I fumbled around a bit and found it, it was already just past the soft crack stage.  You can definitely taste the honey.  Cinnamon and ground almonds are added after the sugar is slowly beaten into some stiff peaked egg whites and left to beat for 10 minutes.  And just like that you have a bowl of nougat.  Once it is cool enough to touch (which also was in no time), you roll it into balls and roll them in some chopped almonds.  That’s it.

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But if you know me, I couldn’t stop there.  I decided these just HAD to have chocolate.  So I melted some dark chocolate and added a little bit of shortening and dipped some of the balls of nougat into the chocolate.  These are really good!

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I am certain I will be making these again. 

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I ended up with some leftover melted chocolate.  It was only natural that it was used in making some chocolate covered nuts.  I used some deluxe mixed nuts.

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I think a few pieces of homemade candy are great to have on holiday cookie trays and this was actually easier than I thought it was going to be.

Note—if you’re wondering what those cookies are on the tray with the candy, I also made Almond Roca Cookies that I saw on Donna’s blog, My Tasty Treasures.  I made some bigger ones with a drizzle of chocolate but also tried some much smaller, almost bite-sized with mini chocolate chips added to the dough.

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Do there you have it, I’ve given you TWO ideas instead of just one this week.  Bake on!

Check out all the links below for even more ideas and happy baking (and shopping!).



27 comments:

Katie Rose said...

mmm, I love nougat but I've never tried making it. These look delicious, I may have to make a foray into candy making!

Pam said...

I love new candy recipes, and this one looks great! I am so glad that you shared it. I'm with you though, everything is better with a lil chocolate ; )

Lee Ann said...

Those look to die for... I'm starting to collect more candy recipes as I only have the ones from my mom so thanks..this ones going in the keeper folder!

Eliana said...

I heart Christmas cookies. And yours look wonderful Katrina.

Steph said...

These look fabulous and the fact that the nougat is easy to make gets me more excited! Great job!

Megan said...

I.Must.Make.Nougat.

Now!

Seriously, how hard does that look? Not at all. Even I could do it! :)

So....your birthday is coming up. Couldn't tell from your post.

At all.

Jennifurla said...

Hello cookies, get into my belly please

Mickey said...

Now those could go on my cookie tray! They look delicious!
mickey

Tracy said...

These look wonderful, and so simple too!

Sue said...

Your candy looks picture perfect, as though it could be sold on the shelves at See's!

Lisa said...

Both cookies look great as always. I love how you always add your chocolate touches to whatever you make. My chocoholic sister would definitely agree with you.

Jacque said...

All hail, the cookie queen! or candy... whatever, you're the baking queen of Christmas, or something, LOL. All of the cookies look fantastic.

Chow and Chatter said...

oh my amazing cookies yum

Mary @ Bites and Bliss said...

e how you always take already delicious things and make them even more incredible by covering them with chocolate. Or serving them with ice cream, of course! ;)

These sound amazing! And yes, I can't believe it's already Week 6. It's coming so fast!!

Nutmeg Nanny said...

These look great! I think dipping them in chocolate makes them extra special...and delicious!

Clivia said...

You've made these sound so easy. I think I'll try them. It's good to have a no-bake that's really special. I love that you dipped them in chocolate. Bravo!

Donna-FFW said...

Oh those nougats look absolutely delicious.. I must give them a whirl.. and so nice they look on the tray.

Thank you for the generous link to my cookies, my friend:)

jillbert said...

Perfect for a cookie plate! Candy is one of the many things on my to-make list.

Jacqueline said...

OH, you are killing me! Everything looks outrageously delicous. I would love one of each and then maybe a second one!

Megan said...

I'm not ready for the actual day of Christmas but I'm ready for the season. Colored lights, Christmas movies, and cookie trays! O-YEA!
That nougat looks delicious! I've never made it but I sure want to now!

Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food said...

Oh, Lordy, what a temping duo you've given us here! I'm leaning toward your chocolate covered nougat but might just have to flip a coin on which to include in my Christmas cookie lineup.

Kerstin said...

I was just thinking about nougat the other day and wondering how you make it - very cool. And I love the ones covered in chocolate - yum!

Sportsgirl said...

They look so great!!

Marcellina said...

I am speechless! These are amazing! Particularly the cross section of the choc covered one. I am printing this out immediately! THanks!

Manu said...

I think nougat is perfect with chocolate!

Catalina said...

Hmm, it looks so yummy! I love nougat, but it's very hard to find a good one in my local store, so I'm really happy to see your recipe and I'll try it as soon as I have enough time :) Thank you!

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Yumm! Those look amazing. I love chocolate covered anything@