DIY

DIY: Spicy Honey-Roasted Peanuts

by Shawnda on September 16, 2012

in Appetizers,Candy,Condiments,DIY,Giveaways

Homemade Honey Roasted Peanuts

To me, the appeal of any recipe has always been that it was created with a good, solid base, allowing me to easily swap out a few ingredients and transform the dish into something completely new. Adaptability. Variability. Riffability.

(I’ll concede that one of those might not be a real word.)

One recipe I’ve been playing around with lately is honey-roasted peanuts. They’re sweet, salty, and addictively crunchy “plain.” But add crushed red pepper flakes (like the nuclear hot stuff we made from our serrano explosion) and you’ve got a sweet & spicy treat. It’s pretty much legal crack.

Add the warm flavors of pumpkin pie spices (stay tuned) and you get a crunchy snack perfect for fall snacking. Substitute almonds for peanuts? You’ve got a whole ‘nother ball game (and a healthier one, too).

But perhaps best of all, there are fewer (4! Maybe 5) and less-processed ingredients than its store bought counterpart and the names of all of those ingredients? They can be probably pronounced by your average 2nd grader or your incredibly gifted 1st grader.

Homemade Roasted Peanuts

The honey roasting process is simple. Peanuts are coated with honey before being tossed with sugar and salt and roasted in the oven. I changed the method just a bit to produce a crunchier, coarser texture on the peanuts – the coating on the peanuts accounts for 56.3% of the fun!

The trickiest thing about making the peanuts in my oven is preventing them from burning before the sugar and honey caramelize enough to produce a beautiful golden brown crunchy coating. Enter the Silpat.

Homemade Honey-Roasted Peanuts

My favorite rinse-it-off-and-wipe-it-clean baking mat keeps the temperature even and makes honey-roasting clean-up a breeze. If you’ve been around here long enough, you know that I’m a huge Silpat fan. I’ve used them for years – cookies, scones, macarons, salmon roulade, bread! – and have given a few of them away along the way.

Congratulations to commenter #352 – Ashley P! Please check your email for instructions on how to claim your prize.

And we have another one to giveaway today! Silpat has provided a “half” sized baking mat for a lucky reader, just in time for fall and holiday baking. The half size is made to fit the large jelly-roll style baking pans.

To enter the giveaway, tell us in the comments below: What are you looking forward to baking most this fall?

You can earn up to 5 bonus entries by:
– Leaving a separate comment that you’ve tweeted about the giveaway. It’s simple – just click here!
– Leaving a separate comment that you like Silpat on Facebook.
– Leaving a separate comment that you follow Silpat on Twitter.
– Leaving a separate comment that you follow Silpat on Pinterest.
– Leaving a separate comment that you subscribe to Silpat’s YouTube channel.

Good luck!

The fine print:
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm (Texas time!) 9/24.
– Winner will be selected by one of those cold, soulless, unfeeling random number generator thingies and announced on this post after selected.
– Winners will receive a Silpat Half Size baking mat (maximum retail value of prize = $30).
– Prize must be claimed within 7 days or it will be forfeited.
– Prize can only be shipped to a US address.
– Prize is being provided directly to the winner by Silpat.
– Official giveaway rules can be found here.

Homemade Honey Roasted Peanuts

Homemade honey roasted peanuts couldn't be easier to make with only 4 ingredients. Adding crushed red pepper makes a sweet and spicy (and addictive) snack.

Ingredients

  • 16 oz cocktail peanuts
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line a baking sheet with a silpat.
  3. Place peanuts in a medium bowl (large enough to stir the peanuts).
  4. Microwave honey and crushed red pepper in a bowl for 30 seconds and pour over the peanuts.
  5. Add half of the sugar and the salt, stirring well.
  6. Spread onto the baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, making sure to stir the peanuts on the edges in to prevent burning.
  7. Let cool for 2-3 minutes and then stir the peanuts, scraping the honey from the silpat to coat the peanuts.
  8. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp sugar and stir again.
  9. Sprinkle with remaining sugar and let cool completely.
  10. Break up the peanuts into single/smaller pieces and store in an airtight container.

Notes

Yields: ~3 cups

Adapted from The Kitchn

Estimated time: 35 minutes

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DIY: Crushed Red Pepper

by Shawnda on September 3, 2012

in Condiments,DIY,Garden

Homemade Crushed Red Pepper

One of the biggest pains in the garden this year, besides fire ants and weeds, has been the Serrano plant. It’s a hold over from last year’s garden and the only reason it got a reprieve was because I got it mixed up with the jalapeno plant.

Serrano peppers are hot. Really hot. Too hot to eat as casually as we eat jalapenos and they’re not really meaty enough to candy. So what do you do when you’ve got over 100 peppers, screaming to be picked?

You ignore them.

Homemade Crushed Red Pepper

More than once this summer, we decided that we were just going to rip out the serrano plant but I’m really glad that I was too lazy to pull the trigger. Because we found the perfect use for the 71 red serrano peppers that I picked last week: homemade red pepper flakes. (The other 40-ish will meet the same fate as soon as they turn red.)

Crushed red pepper is one of those things that, once you make at home, you’ll never want to buy again. And it takes no real special equipment although some modern conveniences will make the crushing go faster. And with less eyeball-stinging and therefore probably much less cursing.

Your jar of homemade red pepper flakes will be a vibrant shade of red, hinting at the life in each bite. But even more than the heat, which of course I loved, was the texture – crisp and crunchy.

A coarser grind (done by hand, blender, or food processor) will give you a crispy, crunchy bite when sprinkled on top of a bowl of honey sesame chicken and couscous. A finer grind (done with a spice grinder) will give you a powerful powder for seasoning a mean pot of chile.

Homemade Crushed Red Pepper

There’s no real recipe here – after all, there’s only 1 ingredient: Fresh red peppers (I used serrano). I don’t have a food dehydrator so I simply used the “Keep Warm” setting on the oven – it’s 170 degrees. One day, I’m going to try Alton Brown’s DIY dehydrator method (2 AC filters, a bungie cord, and a box fan) but for now, the oven is about as unmessy as it gets.

We cut the stems off the peppers and cut them in half down the length of the pepper. I put them on on an ungreased baking sheet in the oven at 170F (the “keep warm” setting) for 6 hours and then I shut the oven off and let them sit overnight. By morning, they were perfectly crispy and will crumble when squeezed. And shatter into a million pieces when dropped on the floor and stepped on.

Homemade Crushed Red Pepper

Peppers can be crumbled by hand – but only if you have gloves; crushed in a plastic bag, run through a food processor, or coarsely ground and then transferred to a spice grinder.

71 peppers yielded over 1 cup of coarse red pepper flakes. And I’m a little disturbed at how fast we’re tearing through it.

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DIY: Homemade Garlic Chile Sauce

by Shawnda on July 11, 2012

in Condiments,DIY

Homemade Garlic Chile Sauce

Oh, sriracha. I adore that stuff. At some point in the last year or so, it supplanted Tobasco as my favorite hot sauce. It’s sweet, it’s spicy, and with a nice dose of garlic, it’s far more flavorful than the little bottle with the red lid.

And with only 5 ingredients, it’s so easy to make your own garlic chile sauce at home. Fresher. And with less (no!) xanthum gum.

The red bell peppers give body to the sauce as well as sweeten it naturally (no added sugar!). And then you’ll get the heat. If you’re not big on heat, consider using less peppers than the recipe calls for (the original recipe called for 4 habaneros or other spicy red or orange peppers).

I used tepin chiles after my 2-year-old stumbled upon a small bush growing wild in our backyard. “Strawberry hurt” were the first words she finally muttered after several minutes of crying and drooling like she had rabies. And for good reason – tepin chiles are hot.

Tepin Chiles

Like, crazy *@&!#% hot. They’re either almost as hot as habanero peppers or as hot as habanero peppers, depending on which site you look at. They’re the official native pepper of Texas (the distinction is important so as not to offend jalapenos) and mostly grow wild because the seeds won’t germinate unless they’ve passed through a bird.

Our wild little plant is growing in the neglected corner of the backyard… right under a power line.

Because the sauce doesn’t have any commercial thickeners, the texture will resemble a fresh, homemade tomato salsa. And after the flavors get a chance to settle for a few days, you’re only problem will be figuring out how to work a spoonful of the vibrant red-orange sauce into everything from breakfast to dessert :)
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