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Christmas Candy Craziness

December 26, 2009

The holidays season inspires people to do things they wouldn’t normally do otherwise.  Like, attempt a 3-course meal from scratch to serve to the visiting in-laws while 8 months pregnant (not guilty of this, but I have been a witness), or spend more money than appropriate on way too many people (not guilty of this), or consume massive amounts of food with no disregard for feelings of satiation or guilt (guilty).

This year, the holiday season inspired me to make candy.

Now this may not be looney behavior for you, but it is for me.

  • I don’t own a candy thermometer
  • Unlike many families, making candy at the holidays is NOT a tradition
  • I’ve never made it before, nor have I seen it made
  • The aforementioned statements includes making fudge, too

But, hey, I had a bag of pistachios and some time on my hand.  So I spent about 2 1/2 hours shelling the nuts.  No, I kid, I kid.  I thought it would take that long to shell a pound of pistachios but it actually only took 7 minutes.  Do not be intimidated. But I was sure that by the end of my candy-making session, I’d have no desire to eat the nuts.  It must be good candy (or the holiday season), though, because I ate more than my fair share (and the Omnivore’s!  He didn’t care for this sweet).

Sour Cream Pistacho Candy (Illustrated Encyclopedia of Great American Cooking)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp light corn syrup (or pinch cream of tartar if you have none of this stuff)
2 T butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 c. pistachio nuts

Combine sugar and sour cream with syrup in a saucepan.  Cover.  Bring to a boil over low heat and cook to softball stage (235*).  Add butter and vanilla; cool to lukewarm.  Beat until mixture loses gloss.  Add nuts; stir until coated.  Spread on foil and break apart when cool.

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