If anyone knows me they know that my kitchen is filled with cookbooks. Shelf after shelf. As much as our lives have become just about entirely about electronic devices and connections, it's actually amazing that I'm still addicted to buying cookbooks. Real paper, turn paging, heavy books. Something else you should know about me is that I am the anti hoarder. I literally throw everything out. I hate collecting anything. But somehow I can't seem to stop buying more cookbooks. However, I am very specific about the books I KEEP. I BUY plenty of them on Amazon, only to return them soon after. The decision is based on whether or not I feel they are worth the precious real estate on my shelf. I only have 4 shelves and I'm very close to maximum capacity. I return way more than I keep.
It's been quite some time since I have kept ANY books actually. So many have gone back. None of them were really quite inspiring actually. But then recently, since the summer, I began to see an influx of great books. Beautiful, thoughtful books with wholesome recipes and spectacular photos. The kind of photos that make you not want to look away. The ones that make you look at the vintage mismatched sterling with someone else's initials and make you feel jealous that you don't have pieces that look like that too.
Renee Muller wrote, styled and photographed that kind of book. Our Table, presents a breathtaking display of photos and recipes that make you dream of memories and feel nostalgic. She tells a story through her images and food, that is thoughtfully made from scratch to create a very intentional dish. Her Italian roots mixed with her currently American life, make for a dreamy menu. And her background in food styling keeps me on my toes to make my own photos better. I have much to learn her.
With winter school break approaching and holiday time here, this recipe was quick to come onto my list of things to try. And I'm glad it did. Whether or not you are celebrating Chanukah, Christmas, New Years or just have a few days off with your loved ones, this recipe is the perfect activity to make at home. My eldest son and I love to do recipes together in the kitchen. I especially love when they are simple ones, with ingredients that are wholesome.
This Honey and Walnut Brittle can be seen as candy to a child but as a delicacy to an adult. True candy making back to its roots. Way before anyone every heard of Red #40.
1 (6-ounce) bag walnut nibs (walnuts chopped small)
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar (any kind of sugar works here- see note below)*
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. (325 convection) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray.
Spread the walnuts nibs on a second baking sheet. Toast the walnuts for 5 minutes.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine honey and sugar. Stirring from time to time, bring to a simmer. Once it simmers, carefully add the nuts to the honey. Stir to combine. Continue cooking over low heat, stirring continuously for about 10 minutes, until the mixture starts to brown at the sides of the saucepan and begins to thicken. You may think the brittle is burning, but don't worry; you're looking for that darker, thicker consistency. Immediately pour onto the prepared baking sheet and spread with a spatula as quickly as possible. It will harden fast. Allow to cool for some time.
Once cooled, break brittle into wedges, and then hide in an airtight box. Don't worry about shelf life, they will not last.
*Note: In this recipe I tested one batch with regular white sugar and one batch with raw coconut sugar in order to see if a non refined sugar would work well. The result was the same and there was no difference between the two, incredibly delicious batches. Pick whichever sugar choice works for you.
My first tip would be to double the batch. I doubled this batch to test the sugar ingredients, and I'm glad I did, because half was gone pretty fast. Both batches did not last the day in my home. We are 3 adults and a 4 year old. Yikes.
Storing the brittle in a dry environment ensures it will stay crispy. Make sure your container is air tight and sealed. The brittle should last a couple weeks if stored in a cool, dry place.