Chocolate Peanut Brittle

Peanut brittle makes me think of Christmas. I can’t really associate it with any other time of year, which is ridiculous because there’s nothing particularly Christmas-y about it. I think it’s just an ingrained marketing ploy. Years of advertising and conditioning maybe.

You’re probably asking yourself why this matters. Well, today is National Peanut Brittle day. January 26th. I have no idea why anyone would choose this day to celebrate it, but here we are. It seems strange to me, but I’m not one to pass up an excuse to make candy.

I love good old fashioned peanut brittle, but this year I came across a recipe for it that stopped me in my tracks. Chocolate peanut brittle. Whoa. What??? Yep, you read that right. I had to make it just to try it out. My curiosity was killing me. And then I made it again (several times to be honest) because it was so good!

I used dark chocolate baking cocoa because I’m an absolute fanatic about dark chocolate but regular baking cocoa works just as well. The ingredients are pretty simple, and start to finish it’s about 30 minutes to make. I’m thinking about experimenting with other flavors and add ins but for now here is the basic recipe. Hope you enjoy ♥️

Chocolate Peanut Brittle

1 1/4 cups dry roasted peanuts

1/4 cup baking cocoa

1 tsp baking soda

1 Tbsp butter

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 heavy cream

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly coat with cooking spray. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa and baking soda. Set aside. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and cream in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan making sure it doesn’t touch bottom of the pan. Stir frequently. Add peanuts when thermometer reaches 265 degrees. Continue cooking and stirring until the thermometer reaches 300 degrees. Remove from heat and quickly stir in butter and cocoa/ baking soda mixture. Once it’s fully incorporated, pour onto prepared pan. Spread out with a buttered offset spatula. Cool completely. Peel off parchment paper and break into pieces. Store at room temperature. Makes approximately 1 lb of candy.

Banana Coconut Rice Pudding

Mid January always gives me the doldrums. The holidays are over and the weather is so blah. I dream of sunshine and tropical beaches. Insert heavy sigh here! So this time of year, I have to make my own tropical getaway.

A little inspiration came to me via leftovers. I love it when that happens. Am I the only one who is incapable of making the right amount of cooked rice? I’m a single person and yet I make way too much every single time.

So, I was staring down a large pot of cooked rice wondering what to do with it when a lightbulb came on and I thought of rice pudding. Ultimate winter comfort food, am I right? I was looking for a good recipe, but I wanted a little twist on the basic idea. Suddenly, the combination of bananas and coconuts with the rice pudding hit me! Perfect use of the leftover rice and a quick fix for my tropical longings.

It is so delicious, you’ll be licking your plate clean. Hot or cold- it’s great either way. I added some toasted coconut and whipped cream for garnish. Hope you enjoy!

Banana Coconut Rice Pudding

2 cups cooked white rice

3 cups coconut milk

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup sugar

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

2 medium bananas, sliced in coins

1/2 tsp coconut extract (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine rice and sugar, mixing well and breaking up any clumps of rice. In a medium bowl whisk coconut milk, eggs, vanilla, and spices to combine. Add coconut milk mixture to rice and sugar. Mix well. Stir in shredded coconut and banana slices. Pour into prepared baking dish. Set baking dish in a large roasting pan and add just enough water to come up 1 inch along outside baking dish. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until center is just set.