My godmother needed to send a “thank you” from her son for some help he received recently. She thought about a fruit basket… but then she came to her senses and asked me to do some cookies.
Two years ago, almost to the day in fact, I left for the most amazing two week vacation. Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch. 14 days of green hills, fabulous wine, new sites and amazing people.
Needless to say, I was shocked and saddened to hear about the earthquake that hit Christchurch earlier this week. While in New Zealand, I actually spent a majority of my time in this South Island city – with a lovely family who wanted to show me the sites and make me love their homeland. They didn’t have to work too hard.
From the moment the plane landed in Auckland, I was in awe. There is something so warm about the New Zealand people and the New Zealand land. People are content and love life. The land is green and sprawling. Life is simple, in the most amazing way possible.
This is a spongle-like candy that tastes a lot like caramel and is sometimes covered in chocolate. Side note, similar candy is called different things all over the world – most commonly honeycomb which more or less describes what it looks like.
New Zealand takes it to a whole other level. Enter okey pokey ice cream. It’s delicious. No, honestly. A hokey pokey cone along the east coast of the South Island… pretty much perfect afternoon.
All you need is corn syrup (gasp, I know… but this is a treat, not a dietary staple!), sugar and baking soda.
I told you, easy peasy. Alright, I did burn my first batch a bit. So, maybe not easy peasy. But pretty easy.So, hokey pokey is just one of many sweet memories from my trip to New Zealand. The pictures are just a few others.
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1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons dark corn syrup (I used light and it was fine)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
8 ounces chocolate, melted (optional)
In a saucepan, combine the sugar and the corn syrup. Once you place it on the heat you will not be able to touch it, so make sure it is well combined.
Place on medium-high heat until the mixture boils and turns a golden brown color. This can take anywhere from 3 – 10 minutes, so watch carefully.
Immediately remove from the heat and whisk in the baking soda. Pour onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Do not spread, just let it sit and cool.
Once cool, break into pieces and dip in chocolate, if desired.
Source: adapted from Nigella Lawson via FoodNetwork
Just as an FYI – if you use a feed reader, such as Google or FeedDemon, Kristina’s Confections now will (well, should) show up with the correct title and all.
It took a little work on my end. Turns out writing computer jargon is not as easy as baking cupcakes or decorating sugar cookies. Well, at least not for this girl.
Anyway, go ahead. You know you want. Subscribe!!!
Sooo, I bet you thought I forgot. No, no. Well, maybe. But then I remembered again.
I promised to tell you about my best pizza to date and the day has arrived. Just in the nick of time for tomorrow’s Friday Night Pizza. Phew.
Since you already have your dough made, let’s get started on making those caramelized onions. I know, I thought the same thing. They must be so difficult to make, since they are so gourmet, so delicious. Well, folks, I’m here to tell ya – not so!
Making caramelized onions just takes some time and some patience. Don’t have any? Well, pour yourself a nice glass of wine and learn to sit back and let these onions do their thing.
Okay, first, you need to thinly slice the onions. How many is up to you. Since they do take a bit of time, I usually caramelize two onions in a batch – then I have leftovers for meals for the week. As for the type of onion – whatever you have on hand will work.
Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. I usually do a teaspoon, give or take, for each onion. Remember, you can always add but you can’t take away!
Now add all of your onions. You want to be sure that the pan isn’t overcrowded. I probably should have used our larger saute pan, but it was probably dirty. OR I was too lazy to get it out (hey, it’s very heavy).
I decided to add a bit of balsamic vinegar – about a tablespoon or so. This just adds a bit of sweetness and a little depth to the onions. You can absolutely leave this out. Another option is to add a bit of sugar (about 1/2 teaspoon per 2 onions), if you want.
Now it’s time to start adding those ingredients. Here’s my creation…
Another 12 – 15 minutes more in that hot oven and…
This pizza reminds me a bit of Amy’s No Cheese Roasted Vegetable pizza. If you haven’t tried it, you should. But good luck finding it (nearly impossible these days).
On second thought, just make some caramelized onions and layer some veggies. This is really our new favorite pizza around here.
What’s your favorite Friday night pizza?