Sunday, December 27, 2009

christmas crack

hmmmm. christmas is now over and the new year is almost upon us. yikes! i was speaking to the heart sister last night about how the past year feels like it has flown by.....but how it has also felt likes years at the same time. so much has happened over the past year and it makes me both excited and a bit apprehensive about what the upcoming year will bring.

life these days isn't boring....that is for certain.

yet i had a lovely christmas .....and i hope you, dear reader, did as well. as usual, i went to BF and DB's swanky place for their annual christmas white elephant party.

what was a bit different this year was that i decided to make spicy dark chocolate bark with brown sugar roasted pecans ....and sprinkled with maldon sea salt. there is nothing subtle about this candy. it is spicy. it is salty. it is decadently wicked...and somehow, very appropriate for my christmas party hosts.

so on christmas morning, i was signin' along to "all i want for christmas"....



on repeat......which probably annoyed the crap out of my neighbors through my super thin walls....but heck...it was christmas. as the music was playing in the background, i roasted the pecan halves until they were done (i.e., until they smelled done), then bathed them in a heated and blended mixture of bourbon, vanilla, butter, brown sugar, and cayenne......


then set them aside....

then i chopped up some dark chocolate (in this case it was 62% cacao...although 70% also works quite nicely as well),

added some cayenne, and grated in some cinnamon.....


while i put on a large pot of water to simmer.....


once it was at a simmer, i turned the water off.

then i put the stainless steel bowl of chocolate, cayenne, and cinnamon on top of the hot pot and slowly stired the chocolate as it melted through.....



until it was ready.....

then i added about half of the butter brown sugared pecans into the chocolate...


talk about some porn....

then poured the mixture on a parchment paper sitting on top of a chilled sheet and added the rest of the pecans to top....


then grabbed the maldon sea salt....



and sprinkled the flaky salt on top of the gooey dark chocolate nutty goodness....

then chilled it for over an hour while i puttered around my place and got ready for the party.


then right before i left my place, i chopped up the bark into pieces.


as i sat on BART with my christmas goodies (i.e., bulleit bourbon for DB, kiehl's for BF, and the homemade candy), i had a moment when i started to wonder if the party guests were going to "go for" the chocolate bark. i mean, i knew that DB and BF would like it ....but i wasn't certain about everyone else.


yet my moment of fear was put aside later in the evening when people yelled to me across the room that the homemade candy was crack....and was finished off.

hmmmm. christmas crack? i couldn't help but grin a guilty and self-satisfied grin. it was probably one of the best compliments i have ever received.

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