Speaking of the absent-minded, I finally remembered to buy a candy thermometer.
It only took me three years.
Three Christmases ago I broke mine making English Toffee. I only remembered the next Christmas, and then ONLY when I wanted to make English Toffee, not when I was actually at the store. Same thing last year.
The upside of having this kind of mind is that it forces you to either become inventive or take on the mind of a housewife from pre-modern times. In this case, I learned to make candy using the water- sugar drop test (I’m sure there is a more technical name for this). It actually was quite fun dropping globs of melted sugar into water and feeling it to find out where it was in its confectionary splendor…the names soft ball and hard crack taking on new meaning. I felt a bit like Caractacus Potts, making his fortune-reversing Toot-Sweets.
So I have to wonder why I bought a candy thermometer this year. I think it was just the vainglory I felt when I was shopping and *ping,* the word…candy thermometer …ran through my head. Ahh, sweet victory!
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 6oz. pkg semi-sweet, or bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (plus a little extra handful)
dash of salt
Line jelly-roll pan with waxed paper. In saucepan, combine butter, sugar and dash of salt over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until mixture reaches 300 degrees F, about 15-20 minutes. (If using the water-sugar drop test, remove from heat when the candy “strings” snap easily and are still a little cloudy.) Remove from heat. Sprinkle pecans over waxed paper, reserving a handful. Pour butter-sugar mixture over waxed paper, let set for 20 seconds. Sprinkle chocolate chips over candy. Use the back of a wooden spoon to spread chocolate over hot candy. Sprinkle pecans over melted chocolate. Cool and break apart.