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December 2004 Issue
A Gift from a Friend
by Ronda L. Halpin and Victoria Smith
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I recently got a special treat. Victoria Smith (of Victoria’s Vegetarian Victuals fame) got in touch with from her sabbatical and shared some lovely dessert recipes that can be made in the microwave. Not being the type to keep such gems to myself, I thought that I would share this special treat with everyone at Seasoned Cooking. Consider it a special holiday gift from Vicky to us – after all, we can all use a little more sweetness and time in our lives and these offer both!

 

Microwave Peanut Brittle
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 13/4 cups dry-roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
Generously grease a baking sheet. In 2-quart microproof bowl, combine the sugar and corn syrup. Cook on high for 4 minutes.

Stir in the peanuts with a wooden spoon. Cook the mixture on high for 4 to 5 minutes, or until mixture reaches 300 degrees F on a microproof candy thermometer (or a small amount separates into hard, brittle threads when dropped in cold water). Stir in the butter and vanilla. Blend in the baking soda; stir until the mixture is light and foamy.

Pour onto the prepared baking sheet; spread quickly. As the candy cools, stretch into a thin sheet. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

  • Yields: 1 pound
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

 

Microwave Brownies
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • Confectioners sugar
Place the butter and chocolate in a 2-cup glass measure. Cook the mixture on high for 1 1/2 minutes or until the butter is melted. (The chocolate will not appear melted until it is stirred.)

Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla, and salt; blend well. Stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture. Stir in the nuts.

Pour the batter into a 9-inch square microproof baking dish. Microwave on high for 6 minutes. (The brownies will be moist but will become firm as they cool.) Sprinkle with confectioners sugar. Cool before cutting into squares.

  • Yields: 18-20 servings
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes



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