Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's Solid, Solid As A Rock

First, I need to give you a little background.

While I'm normally a very devoted rule-follower, in the kitchen I tend to walk on the wild side...much to my family's dismay.  I'm infamous for forgetting to purchase necessary ingredients and deciding on a whim to make a substitution.  Recipe, shmechipe!  That's my motto.

It often gets me into trouble.

Like a few nights ago.

I had a hankerin' for some Pecan Pralines and my favorite cookbook happened to have a MICROWAVE Pecan Praline recipe which sounded like it would be a snap.

Oh, a you need a little more background.

My friend Kim makes a FANTABULOUS microwave fudge.  It melts in your mouth like buttah.

I have tried rather comically THREE times to make this delightfully easy fudge.

It did not end well.

Kim says I'm the only person she knows that can screw up microwave fudge.

Ok, back to my story.

So, I skimmed the recipe and perused my pantry...

Here's where the wheels fell off my endeavor.

The recipe called for half-n-half.

I had flavored coffee creamers, fat-free milk and evaporated milk.

Hmmm...what to do, what to do?

I ruled out the Peppermint Mocha coffee creamer for obvious reasons.

I ruled out the fat-free milk because it just seems like fudge should have fat in it.

Which left the evaporated milk.

Why not?  It's a dairy product, right?

So I proceeded to mix it all up and pop it in the microwave just like the recipe said.

Everything seemed to be going fine after 4 minutes when I checked it and stirred, as directed.

I popped it back in for 5 minutes like the recipe said but after 3-ish minutes it started to smell...

And not a good smell either.

More like a burnt milk and sugar smell.

I still wasn't ready to give up so I boldy dropped it into blobs on the waxed paper while Wes looked on skeptically and I kept saying optimistically that maybe they were ok.

The smell was overwhelming.

Before I could get it all scooped out...

It set up like concrete.

Ok, no problem.  We'll just soak the bowl and spoon in hot soapy water, right?

Not so much.

Wes volunteered to finish cleaning up for me:

He's so helpful.

Not one to be daunted by failure, I pulled out my traditional stove-top praline recipe...which actually DOES call for evaporated milk.

Wes was dubious especially when he heard me muttering about my candy thermometer being broken and having to use the old-fashioned method to determine when it had reached soft-ball stage. (Sidenote: Thanks Mom for teaching me the cup of water method!)


Now, THAT'S a praline!

Once again my family is amazed.

And they have banned me from using any more microwave candy recipes.

Today I made Chewy Gingersnaps...except I was out of ginger.

They are actually more like Randomly Available Spices Cookies.

But quite tasty, thank you very much!


Amber said...

I adore you.

'Nuff said.

No more thing....


Kendra said...

So, what's the cup trick? Curious minds and all.

Carpool Queen said...

You crack me up -The picture of the ice pick was priceless.