Monday, December 27, 2010
At a friend's xmas party a couple days ago myself and all the other partygoers were delighted when two friends came in with candy. There was a deep fudge and two other kinds of candy they had made themselves as well as some nuts which were coated with something. Folks really dug in and many bemoaned the fact that they couldn't stop eating the nuts, they couldn't resist the fudge. DbR told the candymakers they should have made praline and everyone chuckled because there was really enough candy to put us all into comas but he insisted again there should be praline.
Yesterday, I was doing the dishes and he was sitting at the table reading the Gourmet book of cookies and he stopped at this cookie, the Dutch Caramel Cashew Cookie, and after reading the directions, he protested that the candy process was lacking in necessary directions. Temperature, for instance, wasn't described. I believe he has had some candy making experience and when I read the directions myself I did notice that it was brief in the description. Today, I thought that might work for me. It seemed easy to do and the cooky part of the directions was just what I was interested in accomplishing after a day at work. So I started the process.
I had made a pecan pie on xmas day but the only nuts we had in the house today was a small bag of salted mix nuts which we received from Tanya's parents as part of their overgenerous xmas offering. I chopped them up and started the pan heating up with the sugar and water. This mix dried up before it became anywhere near caramel and so I added some more water and turned it down. David was looking over my shoulder and noticed with some alarm that it wasn't going as smoothly as the easy directions had led me to believe. I kept stirring and as soon as it graduated from the yellow color, I threw in the nuts and after mixing them up, put them on the buttered surface. He and I looked at them dubiously and folded the other half of the buttered paper over the top of the "candy" and left the iron skillet on top, for whatever reason. I was dismayed and a little skittish but after calming myself by doing the dishes (do I ever do anything else?) I declared that the "candy", in whatever state it was in now, would still be interesting mixed in with cookie dough and this help me to let go of my praline failure. David seemed to agree that this was a correct attitude, considering the final product and I went ahead with the cookie plan.
They came out fine. If you like a sandy-type, shortbread cookie with a little crunch, then you would love these. They are a hearty, robust cookie. Not as salty sweet as I was hoping for, but still nice. One could use a more salty nut, perhaps.
Don't forget to brush.