Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Honey Toffee Walnuts and Lollipops

I've been eating whole oats every morning for breakfast. In the past I've taken the time to make hot oatmeal, but now that it's summer I crave cold morning eats. I just throw together oats, raspberries, nuts and sometimes a milk of some kind or yogurt. This morning, after seeing a recipe for Honey Toffee Lollipops on the Straight Into Bed Cakefree blog I ran to my kitchen immediately inspired. Well, my husband has been reorganizing our kitchen cupboards this morning and I found a warning sign addressed to me:

Totally worth it, as look what he did to my spices and tea cupboard:

But anyway, he acquiesced to my presence in "his" kitchen only when I promised to be quick. No time for lollipops but I had a minute to throw some walnuts in a pot with a dash of vanilla bourbon extract, a pinch of cinnamon and a small spoonful of honey. It candied the walnuts very quickly, which I threw onto my oatmeal and ran out of the kitchen with! The walnuts are so good I am going to make them again tonight for a green salad. My only problem with walnuts is that they make my mouth sore. Does anyone else have this problem? I can only eat a few at a time, which is good because the candied walnuts are a little too good. I highly recommend them with fresh fruit for your cereal or with any kind of salad.

Looking forward to trying out the lollipop recipe, especially for when friends and their children visit. "Auntie" Nicole will have something for them, just secretly sugar-free!

Honey Toffee Lollipops:

1/4 cup water
1 cup runny honey (or melt set honey and measure it when soft)
1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp bourbon vanilla extract (or a couple of drops of peppermint or lemon essential oil)
1 dessert spoon butter

Grease a large tray or chopping board (that does not smell of onions) and lay out lolly sticks about 3 inches apart. I used chopped up wooden skewers but you can buy the real thing in cook shops. I think this amount of mixture will make about 20 lollies, maybe...roughly...

Heat water, vinegar and honey in a deep sided saucepan as the mixture will froth up when it boils. Allow it to boil gently, not a rolling boil or you will scorch the honey - until a firm ball forms when you drop some into cold water. To do this, just have a glass by the pan and drip a little in. You should be able to roll the ball between your thumb and forefinger.

Plunge the bottom of the pan into some cold water to stop the mixture from continuing to cook and add the butter and vanilla extract stirring until smooth.

Then spoon one or two spoonfulls of the mixture over each stick, covering the top by about an inch. You want your lollies to be about 2 inches diameter. Any that is left over can be rolled into balls and wrapped in cellophane or you could stir in some chopped nuts first and roll into little logs. I made balls by dropping a small spoonful onto a greased tray and then rolling when it had started to set a little. Or you can pour the rest into a small tray, freeze till hard and break with a hammer and sharp object (not a small persons teeth).

These toffees go soft if you don't keep them cold and they must be in an airtight container or they will pick up the taste of the fridge or freezer.


Mindy said...

Aw, what a guy! The walnuts sound wonderfully amazing. And lollipops? My kids would be so thankful...

Naomi Devlin said...

they sound delicious! walnuts may make your mouth sore because they contain a lot of tannin, which some people are sensitive to as it is very astringent. Try making it with pecans which are similar, but less tannic, for a less painful treat!

x x x

My Year Without said...

Mindy-I was actually thinking of adding a natural "juice" food dye to make them fun colors, and maybe if I can find sugarless sprinkles....oh the possibilities!

Naomi-Thanks for the tip. I'm going to try pecans. Funny, I have relatives who run a pecan farm!

Krista said...

These look great! I'll have to give it a try. You could also dry soaking your walnuts. Have you read Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon? You'd probably love it!

Honey said...

I was wondering if you had used honey to make hard candy/suckers before? Mom use to make hard candies & suckers but she used Corn Syrup (ewh. though they were tasty! :) ) But, my children have allergies & I'd love to do the honey Lollies. Did you stop at a soft ball stage & that's why they arent very hard? Or did you go to a hard ball stage & the honey just doesn't set up for some reason?

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