Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Pralines

Last week, the days seemed to drag on.  The hours at work seemed endless and Friday took twice as long to get here.  It was just one of those weeks.  A week that required a relaxing weekend at the very end of it.  What did boyfriend and I decide to do in order to wash away the previous five days?  We went tubing.

If you are in the New Jersey/Pennsylvania/New York area this summer, I would recommend you set aside some time  and head to the Delaware River.  Boyfriend and I were a little wary as we got to the River.  Would it be cold?  Is the river deep?  Will I really need this life preserver?  What was the compelling story that the river tube staff member didn't tell me that would make me want to actually wear this life preserver?  I feel a little strange wearing a bikini in the middle of rural New Jersey.

When we stepped in the water, all my fears were set aside.  At this time of the year, the Delaware River is like a bath tub.  It is slow-moving and hip-deep along most of the tube riding route.  Most of all, it is the most relaxing way to spend an afternoon.  Although boyfriend and I apparently can't find the current in a river to save our lives.  We slowly floated along as everyone else in a tube passed us by.

The one fun thing about floating along in the slow current?  You find stuff on the bottom of the river!  Boyfriend and I rescued a fishing weight, a rubber wristband and a set of car keys from the riverbed.  If you're out there and find your long lost keys in the mail one day, that was us!  (and Shop Rite!)

So boyfriend and I started our workweek yesterday refreshed, relaxed and a little sun kissed.  Nothing like floating down a river for a few hours and enjoying a riverside barbecue to melt away the stress from the previous week.  Ahhh, floating away...

One Year Ago: Peanut Brittle
Two Years Ago: Marriott Style Crunchy French Toast

Chocolate Peanut Pralines
Adapted from Chocolates and Confections

It's been a while since I've had some candy come out of the Wilde Kitchen, I thought it was necessary to fix that!  These pralines are super simple to make and even easier to eat!  Dust off your candy thermometer and get ready for some sweet, chocolate and peanut butter perfection.

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 cups chopped unsalted peanuts
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Combine sugars, cocoa powder, heavy cream, milk and peanut butter in a 4-quart pot.  Clip on candy thermometer and start stirring over high heat.  Keep stirring (don't put down that spoon!) until the temperature reaches 225 F.

Add the peanuts and keep stirring until the temperature reaches 236 F.  Remove from the heat and add salt and vanilla.  Stir to combine.  Let candy mixture sit until the temperature reaches 210 F.

Using a wooden spoon, stir for 2 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly.

Using a small ice cream scoop (about 1 tbsp), scoop out candy mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.  Flatten the mounds slightly and let cool completely before trying to remove them from the pan.

Store candies at room temperature in an air tight container.  Candies will keep for about two weeks, if they last that long!
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