Do you ever wonder what recipes you’ll be remembered for once you’re gone?
What foods will your children or grandchildren make because the sheer act of creating it brings back a little bit of you?
I’m not sure I know the answer to that question. It is probably something I have yet to make. I worry that I try too many new recipes to relinquish a signature soup, pie, or cookie.
I’ve spoken a lot here about my grandmother and her famous recipes. I’ve become the steward of her greatest hits since she passed away a couple years ago, which becomes especially important this time of year. For the next month I will busy myself with almond gingersnaps for my cousin and orange cookies for my dad. And then there’s the peanut brittle.
Until last week I had never actually made the peanut brittle. I’ve watched her close to a million times carefully stir in the peanuts and pour the lava-like mass on to the buttered cookie sheet. But because bubbling caramel and kids don’t mix she never actually let me do more than observe from a safe distance.
Not wanting to let a good recipe die I searched through all my grandmother’s recipe cards and sent a flurry of texts to my aunt and cousin, who finally found it among her stash. In the process we had a few laughs at Grandma’s expense (we might have unearthed a recipe for tuna Jell-O salad) but really what a lovely way to spend a late Friday afternoon snapping shots of our long lost favorite dishes and reminiscing.
Then on Saturday (while the kids watched from a safe distance) I made the brittle and it was just as I remembered; deeply caramelized with a satisfying airy crunch which comes from the addition of baking soda and a dab of butter right before setting out to harden.
But you know me, I couldn’t possibly leave well enough alone so I made a dairy-free version with extra virgin coconut oil which got me thinking actual coconut flakes and pumpkin seeds might be pretty amazing here too and well, don’t tell Grandma, but I kind of liked it better. I included a note on how to make the classic peanut kind if you want to stick to the true recipe.
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One More Thing
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