11/22/13

Foodie Friday -- Heart Attacks

When my hubby and I were in Canada this last September, we ran across these monster candies they called Murtles. I'm guessing that they are basically a Mongo Turtle . . . with salted peanuts. Those things were at least six inches in diameter . . . yes, we shared.

The bottom layer was milk chocolate, with a layer of salted peanuts, a layer of caramel and then topped off with a dollop of chocolate.

So I decided to make them myself.

Here's a picture of my first batch. These measured about 3 inches in diameter.
 
And I didn't name them, my daughter did.

She loves them! How can you not love chocolate, caramel and peanuts?  Well, unless you have a peanut allergy, then these should be called Anaphylactic Shock.
 
A couple of things I would do differently for my next batch:
  1. I used a cookie scoop to measure and spread my first layer of chocolate. I would spread them out a little bit more to give them a thinner base. Once these things set, they became very hard. I used Merken's chocolate wafers, but you could use any kind of pre-tempered chocolate.
  2. I bought a huge container of salted peanuts from Sam's club for $8 and used a coffee scoop to try to get the same amount of peanuts on each chocolate layer. I still have a lot of peanuts and I hope they don't go bad. I may weigh and freeze them in one pound batches for use later.  
  3. More caramel. I skimped a little on the caramel because I wanted the peanuts to show. I used a cookie scoop for this layer too. I would just add a little more. Yes, I made my own caramel--recipe to follow. I froze the left overcaramel, but will just heat it up on the stove to melt it enough to make it liquid.
  4. I'd make the top layer of chocolate a little larger.  
Try making some of your own. It's easy.
 
Okay, I promised a caramel recipe. This recipe was originally a Land O Lakes butter caramel recipe that I made last year. Since I tend to use heavy cream, the mixture was too oily when I used the full amount of butter. It was also too bland. The original recipe didn't have salt in it, so I added Kosher salt.
 
Everyone will tell you that salt is salt, well, it isn't. I find regular iodized table salt to be too harsh for some caramel recipes, so I use the Kosher flake salt. It's milder and blends nicely.  
 
This is also a 'soft' caramel, which means it doesn't cook as long or to a higher temperature, which would firmly set the caramel to make it easy for dipping. Many people will cut this caramel up and wrap it in waxed paper to give away to friends and family.
 
Soft Caramels
2 cups sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup (3 sticks) butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half and half
1 cup dark corn syrup
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Prepare a 9 X 9 pan (line with parchment and spray with Pam), set aside.

Combine all ingredients in heavy 4-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat until butter is melted, stirring constantly. Increase heat slightly until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches 244 degrees on candy thermometer, about 30 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Pour into prepared pan.

---I cooled this mixture slightly before I ladled it over my peanuts. I wanted it warm enough to flow when it hit the colder peanuts, but not so hot it melted the chocolate on the bottom.

Let the caramel set. Either wrap it, dip it or freeze it until needed. . . . yes, you can just scoop and eat, too!

Enjoy!

Later, Peeps!

 

1 comment:

Meg said...

Those look delicious even though I don't like peanuts!
Give me another year here on The Bluff to send pecans.
Thanks for the recipe!