I don't know about you, but I love to bake desserts and candy, especially during the holidays, if time permits. A few weeks (maybe a month?) ago I bought Martha Stewart's "Holiday Sweets" magazine containing "100 recipes for the season". There is some great stuff in those pages! Cookies, cakes, pies and candy. If you haven't bought a copy and you love desserts (what woman doesn't?) go out and buy a copy. I'm sure you can find some if not all of the recipes online as well at www.marthastewart.com . Here's one recipe I can't wait to try:
Pecan-Sour Cream Pralines:
2 tbl unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tbl granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tbl packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tbl sour cream
1 tbl bourbon
1 1/2 tsps pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups pecans (about 5 ounces), toasted
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in both sugars, salt, and sour cream. Raise heat to medium-low, and cook, whisking frequently, until sugar has dissolved. Raise heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently and scraping sides of pan with a heatproof flexible spatula, until mixture reaches 240 degrees (soft-ball stage) on a candy thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Remove from heat. Carefully stir in bourbon and vanilla (mixture will spatter). Let cool, without stirring, 2 minutes. Add pecans, and beat vigorously with a spoon until slightly opaque but still creamy, about 2 minutes.
3. Drop spoonfuls onto prepared sheet. (If mixture in pan begins to harden, stir in 1 tsp hot water, as often as needed; if it becomes runny, stir until firm.) Let stand until set, about 30 minutes. Pralines can be stored up to 3 days, between layers of parchment, at room temperature in airtight containers.