"Christmastime is sure to find me
on a high snow-covered hill,
Where an old farmhouse is standing weather-tight and sturdy still
There the plumes of smoke ascending from the Chimneys low and wide
they’re a silent invitation to the glowing fires inside.
Where the warm sweet air is laden with fragrance that combines
The pleasant smells of cookery and the spicy scent of pines."
~ Ida M. Brookshire
Well HELLO, from our old farmhouse, high on our snow-covered hill! Well, an 8 year old farmhouse, to be truthful, but we ARE up on a snow-covered hill, and boy is it feeling like winter here in the Adirondack mountains of upstate New York! Pretty snow on the ground and in the trees, and only 14 degrees for our walk the other morning. Brrrrr.....I do believe it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....
The other day, I was flipping through this month's Ladies Home Journal magazine, and I spied, with my own little eyes (on page 126, to be exact) a recipe for their Easy Pecan Rolls........
(I always scribble all over recipes, don't you?....see my note for "pralines"? That's because I'm planning to make those, next week....I'm so out of control with this whole Cookie Party thing!)
Surprise, Surprise, I just happen to LOVE pecan rolls, so I decided to give their recipe a try. Except...... sometimes I have a little beef with LHJ magazine--their recipes are "iffy" in my book ; I always have to tweek them quite a bit, to get them to come out just right. (Which NEVER happens with my all time favorite cooking magazine, Southern Living, by the way!) At any rate, I went to the store to buy my provisions, and was shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you, by the pecan prices at our local market, so decided to use half pecans, half walnuts, to save a few bucks.
I also need to add sea salt to anything caramel these days--there we go again with that sweet and salty thing! So, in the end, here's my tweeked version of Ladies Home Journal's Easy Pecan Rolls......I'm now calling them Sweet And Salty Caramel Nut Rolls, because I can.....
To begin, you need to make a vanilla cream center. Beat Marshmallow Fluff (Official Food Of The Gods #2--please see my official list, below), powdered sugar, vanilla and butter until blended well......
Leslie's Tweek #1: The ingredients didn't blend as promised--waaay to dry to form into logs, so you will be adding more Marshmallow Fluff in my recipe. The goal is to be able to form logs that are stiff enough--, but IF your log batter ends up getting too soft, just keep adding powdered sugar until you have four logs that look like this...don't worry if they don't look perfect, for soon they shall be smothered in caramel and nuts! (I placed my logs on a baking sheet)......
Place a toothpick into the ends of each log, and place your baking sheet in freezer for about 20 minutes. Spread chopped nuts (you can really use any nut mixture you prefer--even peanuts are great!) on another baking sheet.......
Unwrap a bag of caramels (about 50), and heat in a skillet over medium heat with about 2 tablespoons of water, plus a tablespoon of sea salt (that's my tweek #2).......
Stir occasionally until melted, then let cool a bit. One at a time, dip logs into warm caramel, then roll in the chopped nuts, gently pressing around log......
Repeat with all remaining logs, then freeze. When firm, you can then slice and serve......can I just take a moment here and say that these little candies are too absolutely delicious? In fact, I've got a guy (we call him Marky Mark) doing some construction at our house as we speak, and I just brought him a little plate of these, and I think he's now decided NOT to charge us a dime for his three days of hard work and materials...why, they're THAT good!.............
Oh yes, here's my current Food Of The Gods list, before I forget (my mom started this list, just so you know):
#1--Anything, ANYTHING with smoked salmon
#2--Marshmallow Fluff, straight outa da jar, honey!
#3--Good Brie. Especially Baked Brie.
#4--Avocado anything. Especially Guacamole. Word to your mother.
#5--Cheeseburgers, right off of the grill. 'Nuff said.
#6--Buttered popcorn, with REAL butter.
(Can you tell I'm starving? I'll be adding to this fabulous list from time to time--only foods that are Gods worthy will be making my list...any suggestions?)
Here's the recipe--enjoy!
SWEET AND SALTY CARAMEL NUT ROLLS
Makes 4 rolls, or aproximately 48 pieces of candy
1 and 1 / 2 cups Marshamallow Fluff
3 cups (or more) powdered sugar
1 and 1 / 2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tblsp. unsalted butter
4 cups coarsely chopped nuts, any variety
1 tblsp. sea or kosher salt
1 14oz. bag caramels, unwrapped
For vanilla cream center, beat Marshmallow Fluff, sugar, vanilla and butter until blended well, adding more powdered sugar as needed to make a stiff dough. Quarter dough and roll into four logs. Place on baking sheet (parchment lined) and insert toothpicks into the ends of each. Freeze for 20 minutes. Spread chopped nuts on a rimmed baking sheet. Unwrap caramels; in a medium skillet over medium heat, combine caramels with 2 tblsp. water and sea salt. Stir occasionally until just melted. Let cool slightly. One at a time dip logs into warm caramel using toothpicks as a handle, then quickly roll in chopped nuts, gently pressing around log. Immediately freeze on lined baking sheet. Repeat with other cream logs. Store logs in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
TODAY I'M SO GRATEFUL FOR....
***That the day after tomorrow, Little Miss Thing will be IN THE HOUSE!! Let the festivities begin....
***That I got all of my California relatives' Christmas gifts wrapped and shipped, Priority Mail , baby, yesterday! Ahhh......
***That the sweet little dog coat that I ordered from Amazon for Willie Nelson Willard actually FITS his stout little body, and seems to keep him nice and warm for our chilly walks....he has a new spring in his step, because he knows how fashionable he is!