So here are the recipes:
Suzi Style Rocky Road - you know me, can't do anything without stuffing something healthy in there! All measurements are "-ish" add more or less, whatever you like.
2 x 375g packets of Nestle cooking chocolate Melts (I did one batch white and one batch milk)
1 cup whole dried cranberries (I got mine from Thomas Dux as they looked nice and plump)
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup whole raw cashews
1/2 cup cacao nibs ("raw cocoa is full of antioxidants that rival super foods like blueberries, and many antioxidant rich teas the cacao nib is also rich in good fat and minerals such as calcium, zinc, iron and potassium.")
Marshmallows - this was a bit of a blur.. it may have been 500g packet per batch... so just chuck a load in and see what you think..
I simply melted the chocolate in the microwave for a min. combined all other ingredients in well and then plopped it into a lamington tray (40x30cm -ish) that was lined with baking paper and buttered.
Cover with plastic wrap ( I have to use foil so the kids don't see it) and hey presto! Cut into half then in strips.
Now you know when something turns out so well it's braggable!?! Well my first batch was.. then we had a couple of really humid days and it went chewy on the outside.. but still Yummo!
Here's my secret - GELATINE and the microwave:
1 cup white sugar
1 cup syrup (I used golden syrup but can be corn syrup, maple etc)
1 tablespoon white vinegar.
Stick those three in a pyrex dish and stick in the microwave for 6 1/2 mins on high, then wait until it's slowed down bubbling a bit before you take it out.
Then add a 1/4 tsp of gelatine that was "blooming" in a tsp of water - stir stir stir!!! (will start doing the bubble up thing here.)
Then quickly add 1 pre-sifted Tablespoon of baking soda - madly stir! stir! stir! (volcanic action here)
Then when it looks all mixed and is huge and foaming, tip it into a lined and super buttered baking tin (butter all the way to the top of the paper). NOT a tray but a cake tin. I used the smallest one I have about 20cms across. This way it's a high chunk and the gelatine makes better air holes throughout.
It'll take an hour or two to dry out, then cut/smash/splinter up, pack and store in air tight container. If you leave it to the air it will go sticky and chewy then eventually dissolve.
UPDATE: the Sauerkraut is great! I'm really surprised I managed to pull it off. It has a few more days to go but we've had really warm weather so I'm tempted to jar it up now and refrigerate... we'll see.
Other treats I made this year are:Mulberry jam (to clear the freezer to make way for ham mainly!)
Fermented mustard (coriander, garlic and honey mustard)... it's... an acquired taste :o)
Honey almonds with a cayenne kick
My fav gifts received this year:* A basket of home grown carrots, parsnips, onions (with decorations and chocs) from my kindred spirit American friend Heather
* A gift bag full of mini jam jars with home made jams - ok one or two jams is impressive but four!?! Plus they're all interesting; passionfruit and peach, kiwi and orange marmalade, wine jelly and choc hazelnut spread. Plus chocs, from my very soft hearted friend Kay (she made them for all the oldies she looks after, and seriously doesn't have the time!).
* A dwarf Meyer lemon tree from my husband (and tea pot with mesh strainer inside for my new herbal tea fetish - rooibos chai is my fav at the moment)
And for next year?.. I'll remember to get more sleep, wrap early and buy food for boxing day! - what a mistake to make ;o\ Maybe some mini gingerbread houses to give away.. or I might go back to the easy peasy chocolate candycane fudge... Oh gimme a break! I'll start thinking about that in June :o) haha!