Monday, December 12, 2011

handmade holidays: holiday sparkle - that you can eat!

oh, hello, blog! Sorry about that - school, life, etc. getting in the way of me making things. Well, rest assured, more to come. I just proctored my students' final exam today; let the grading begin!

So, what are these fabulously purple sparkly things above? They're sugar plums! Yeah, like "Sugarplum fairy" and all. I always figured there must still be a recipe out there somewhere, but I'd never really thought about what it might be.

LinkThen I saw these: Beakman 1802 sugar plums at Williams-Sonoma. Four sugarplums, a total of 2oz., for a whopping $22. ouch. They sound amazing: figs, dates, apricots, a bit of brandy, a bit of orange oil, spices... yum.

So, after a bit of digging around on the internet, I found Alton Brown's recipe, which is similar: fig, prunes, apricots, slightly more unexpected spices (caraway, fennel, cardamom). No orange oil, but I bought some from the natural foods section of the store and just put a few drops into the mix. They are delicious; our favorite barista at our favorite coffee shop said it was like eating a disco ball! Don't you want to eat a disco ball at your new year's party? =)

I think this recipe could be similar to the one used by Beakman: if you put in 2/3 c. each dates, apricots and figs, and substituted orange oil for the orange zest, the ingredients seem to be just about the same. But I prefer the spices in Alton Brown's recipe - the caraway was totally surprising and delicious - and I think the prunes may be more traditional, even if they turn some off. So, I'll probably make Brown's again (maybe with some dates?) and I'll add some brandy to the mix and let it ripen for a few days before rolling in sugar or coconut (coconut sounds good).

Give 'em a try. They don't take long at all to make. More from me soon - sterilizing some weck jars and I have two bags of meyer lemons sitting on the table... oh yes!

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