Monday, December 31, 2012

Cowgirl Chic Jewelry for the new year

 I had so much fun mixing and matching beads to put this piece together. The Rose pendant was something I couldn't pass up when I spied it, especially since it was on sale. The leaf toggle was a perfect way to finish this off.
Created to match the necklace, these lovely dangle earrings sparkle and shine. To see more about them please visit my etsy shop - Simply Sheryl's

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Almond Fudge Bars on a Tasty Tuesday

Another holiday tradition around our home is to have Almond Fudge Bars, and their counterpart Butterscotch Bars. Originally a recipe created by and using Bisquick Baking Mix,  I adapted the recipe so I could use ingredients we always have on hand. These go fast, so be sure to have plenty baking supplies around.

Almond Fudge Bars
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 cup real butter
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups brown sugar
3 cups rolled oats
2 eggs
1 tsp each vanilla and almond extract
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Fudge filling
1 12oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 T butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup toasted almond slices

For the dough, a large bowl cream butter, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extracts. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt, mix in to creamed mixture. Add oats and stir in well.  In a 15 x 10 inch cookie sheet press 2/3rds of the dough to cover the whole pan. Buttering your fingers helps with this.
Over a double boiler slowly melt chocolate chips in the sweetened condensed milk,  along with 2 T. butter and add salt.  Spread over the dough in cookie sheet. By teaspoonfuls drop the rest of the dough on the chocolate layer. Sprinkle almonds over that and press in to dough. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. After slightly cooled cut into 48 squares. When completely cool store in airtight container. Enjoy!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Homemade English Toffee a Christmas Tradition

Toasted almonds in a buttery sweet, melt in your mouth toffee, slathered in luscious chocolate with more toasted almond bits. Heavenly treats your family will love. My mother started making toffee when I was 13, and it became a tradition. I started the same tradition when I was raising my own children, so they would have a bit of the grandmother they never knew. Here's our version, easy and delicious. No water, no corn syrup, I like this recipe the best as it is.

English Toffee

1 cup real butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup toasted almond slivers
1/2 cup each semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips

In a heavy duty pot, melt butter and add sugar. Over medium heat, or a little lower depending on your stove, continue to cook, stirring constantly with a back and forth motion over all the pan bottom to keep from scorching. Using a candy thermometer bring toffee to 290 degrees. Before you get to that temperature you might find there is a separation stage, where it looks as if there's a layer of oil that separated from the carmelized sugar. Keep stirring and it will go back in to the toffee mixture. Do not pour it off, you will ruin your toffee.  ( I test by dropping a drizzle into a cup of cold water and tasting it. You want a smooth texture, not grainy. I have learned to eyeball this over the years as there's a point where you get just past the grainy texture, but before it gets too brown. You want a nice golden brown. )  Add nuts, stir in and pour onto cookie sheet. This will make the pan very hot so you want to put the cookie sheet on a cooling rack. You do not need to butter the sheet as some recipes suggest, as it makes the toffee too greasy. After about 5 minutes, sprinkle the chocolate chips on the hot toffee. Let it sit for a few minutes and then using a spatula spread the melted chocolate over the toffee. You can sprinkle it with more toasted almond bits if you like, we do. :-) If you have any questions drop me an email. I hope you get a chance to try this!