I pre-ordered Vegan Food Gifts: More Than 100 Inspired Recipes for Homemade Baked Goods, Preserves, and Other Edible Gifts Everyone Will Love because I knew that the combination of Joni's food brilliance and Celine's photography must have a spot reserved for it on my bookshelf. I already had a lot of ideas swirling around in my head about what everyone would be receiving this winter, so I didn't make too many of the items yet. I knew that everyone would expect sweets, so I wanted to make sure that I surprised them all a little bit. Instead I laid out a tarp and broke out the fabric dye and paint brushes and all sorts of markers and what not early one morning. Things turned out pretty well, but by the end of the night I still ended up in the kitchen churning out a few snacks to fill the remaining nooks & crannies in the box. So at around 8PM I decided to try this amazingly simple saltine butter toffee. I didn't add anything extra to the toffee, aside from an extra sprinkle of coarse sea salt on top of the chocolate. The broken pieces were sweet & salty, had a lovely crunch, and are incredibly customizable. Toss a few ounces into a cello bag with ribbon, and you're sure to get on every neighbor's nice list. Or at least get to pet their five month old Bernese puppy!
I also made a large patch of peanut brittle. I have made several pounds over the last few weeks and I think I have finally perfected my recipe. I'm not quite ready to share it with anyone. Sometimes you have to hold your cards. There's only one other recipe that I am not willing to share, because it's the best thing that I have ever done (shh...it's the pastry cream that I use in my fruit tarts). I haven't made too many other brittles, but I have a growing list: ginger sesame, chocolate covered hazelnut, and pumpkin seed. Do you have a favorite brittle? What treats did you make for all your loved ones this year?