Monday, March 2, 2009

Family Traditions . . . by Terri

Over 20 years ago I taught at Young Children's World, a mother's day out program in our community. One Christmas a fellow teacher gave each of her coworkers a tiny box of the most delicious candy I have ever eaten. She called it "Butterthumbs." It was a homemade version of Butterfingers. She generously shared her recipe with me. Since that Christmas it has become a family tradition of ours to make "Butterthumbs". Some years our Christmas season is too busy to make this special treat, but whenever possible we make it.

"Butterthumbs" has very few ingredients. However, it is rather complicated and you must have at least 2 people to make it. Always in the past Jerry & I have made this candy together without any help. That changed in December 2004. Our daughter Lori was getting married on December 31st and she had decided in honor of her new last name - Sweet, she would have a Sweets Buffet at their wedding reception.

So, on the Saturday before the wedding Jerry & I passed that tradition on to our children. Just as we were getting started Dave's best friend Caleb arrived and couldn't resist pitching in to help. For the first time ever Jerry & I had help making this special treat!

I thought you might like to try making our favorite family candy . . .

In Heavy Saucepan Combine:
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup Light Karo Syrup
1cup water

Mix above ingredients together and boil to 300 degrees ”Hard Crack”. 
Remove quickly from heat.

Butter iron skillet completely.

While Karo mixture is heating:  Place 2 cups of “smooth” Peter Pan peanut butter in the center of a well buttered extra large iron skillet.

When candy reaches Hard Crack pour it out onto peanut butter. Stir with wooden spoon quickly and thoroughly before it cools down.

Dump peanut butter mixture out onto aluminum foil and pat into a ½” to ¼” thick form (be sure to butter your hands to keep them from burning).

Using very sharp cooking scissors, cut into ¾” strips then cut strips into 1” pieces. After pieces have cooled, set out on wax paper. (This step works best if done by 4 or 5 people since the mixture hardens before one person can get the whole mixture cut. In the past we have tried cutting with knives - but you just can't work fast enough using knives).

Chocolate Mixture:
Melt 4 or 5 pkgs. High Quality Almond Bark in double boiler. Dip candy using candy dippers into chocolate mixture, allow excess to drip off, place on wax paper and let chocolate harden. Best if left undisturbed for 24 hours. Store in cool but not cold airtight containers.

Candy dips best if placed in layers in air tight container and allowed to rest overnight before dipping. Use wax paper to separate the layers.

Walk with God!

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