Paula Deen's "Pine Bark" or This Month's Disaster
|You'd think this was a pretty foolproof recipe. You'd think.|
I've read a few of your posts regarding this "candy" as well as reading about it in Paula's cookbooks and I've drooled and said I was going to make it one day.. it sounded so simple to make and the use of saltine crackers really piqued my interest. Crackers made into candy? Interesting, to say the least. I didn't quite know what to expect, but I figured it had to be good.. we're talking a 1/2 pound of butter and chocolate! And just like Paula's macaroons.. this recipe disappointed me.
As usual, I can not say it was a disaster because of the recipe, because I've read a few bloggers' posts on making it and no one else said theirs turned out like mine did. So my guess is it's me causing the chaos, which isn't shocking ;)
Yeah.. it's pretty, isn't it? NOT. That was the first clue as to how these were going to turn out. My chocolate would not melt.. I don't understand. When I took the crackers topped with the sugar mixture out of the oven it was bubbling hot. I immediately scattered my chips on top and let them sit until they got all shiny.. when I tried to spread the chocolate evenly, I found the chips weren't melted yet. So I put the whole tray back into the oven for a couple minutes. Well I just don't know what to say. When I took the tray back out the sugar mixture was bubbling again but those freaking chips STILL would not spread evenly. The hell?
At this point I was afraid to put them back in the oven for fear the sugar would burn so I just let them sit hoping they would eventually melt down so I could spread a nice layer of chocolate on top. Mmm hmm.. no such luck. Apparently this bag of Ghiardelli chocolate chips were made with some "non-melting" component.
Okay.. so what? As our (my mom and I) motto goes - it doesn't matter how it looks, as long as it tastes good! Yeah.. no. The sugar mixture, which I assume was suppose to be a caramel type substance was grainy and greasy. The chocolate tasted good, but there were hunks here and either thin layers or none there.. the crackers did stay crunchy, which surprised me. When making the caramel (or reasonable facsimile thereof) I stirred and stirred and let it boil for at least 5 minutes.. it all came together but the sugar didn't dissolve completely.
A waste of ingredients. If any of you have made this and it turned out good.. can you figure out what I did wrong? That was my first attempt ever in trying to make a caramel (again, I'm assuming that was what that was?) I melted the butter in a medium sauce pan and then added the brown sugar. I continually stirred it until it came together and bubbled for 5 minutes (Paula's recipe said to boil for 2-3 minutes but at that point the butter and sugar were still slightly separated). Should I have kept it on the heat longer? It was getting pretty thick and sticky at 5 minutes and that's why I took it off the heat in fear that it would burn. Do I get scared too quickly? Lemme know! Please!
hahahahaaaaaaa! What. Ever.