Ahh Christmas time is upon us! As a teacher I especially love this time of year because it marks two whole weeks off from work…woohoo! I plan to spend the first week being semi-productive (hey now, wouldn’t want to exert myself too much now) and the second week visiting my family in Philadelphia. The SC & I go up about twice a year & I have to say, christmas time is one of my favorite times to go. I can’t wait to be with my whole family for the holiday!
What I especially love about the holiday season are all of the traditions that come with it. One of my favorites is when we decorate our tree & I get to see all of the ornaments that have special memories associated with them. As a newlywed couple, we don’t have many unique ornaments yet but I was lucky enough to obtain a few ornaments made by my late grandma. My grandma made these out of eggshells! Take a look at the detail!
Two years ago my family attempted to make some ornaments of our own. Below is the one I made, and let me tell you I give my grandma mad props because this baby took me more than an hour to make!
This year we were gifted an ornament from our friend Amy. She used our wedding invitation to make this unique & fun ornament. Check out her blog to see instructions on how to make one of your own.
Over the weekend I had some girl friends over to made some photo ornaments. We had huge plans for making something I had seen on pinterest that involves some of those clear ornament balls like Amy used, but every craft store in the area were sold out so we improvised & got crafty with some scrapbook paper instead. I made a few as gifts & one for us.
I do believe that ornament making will become a new tradition around here! However, we all know every good foodie has traditions that involve well…food! For me nothing tastes like christmas time as much as the English Toffee my mom made when we were growing up. Now that I am off on my own I make the toffee myself each year. This year, I got the brilliant idea to add sea salt! It seems like salted sweets are all the rage lately & this combination did not disappoint. In fact, I can’t imagine going back to eating toffee the regular way ever again!
This recipe may seem intimidating because it does involve using a candy thermometer but I can assure you, if I can do it, so can you! And the end result is so worth going through the process.
Salted English Toffee
A unique twist on a Christmas favorite.
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 lb butter
3/4 lb of slivered almonds
1/2 cup of chocolate chips
1. Put sugar, water and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan. Stir on high until sugar dissolves.
2. Using a candy thermometer cook until softball (235 degrees F).
3. Add butter, one cube at a time, stirring constantly.
4. Once all butter is dissolved, add the almonds. Continue to stir constantly until hard crack (300 degrees F)
5. Pour into two greased cookie sheets. Let sit for about 3 minutes.
6. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and allow to melt slightly, spread evenly over the toffee.
7. Sprinkle chocolate topping with sea salt. Place in fridge to harden (about 15 minutes).
8. Break into bite size pieces & serve.
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!