As I mentioned, I am volunteering to test some recipes for my friend Jenny’s upcoming Georgian cookbook (the country, not the state), because Georgian food is amazing and testing recipes is fun. So far though my one attempt at “testing” a recipe has been more like “seeing all the ways that inexperienced cooks can mess up a recipe,” which is probably still helpful if you’re writing a cookbook?
So yesterday was a snow day and I tried to make gozinaki, or honey nut brittle. Jenny’s description, photos and recipe are all much better than I could describe/photograph/write so just check it out here. Due to a long series of events which I won’t bore you with here, though, I didn’t get the temperature of the boiling honey to the point where it would harden to a candy when it cooled (I’m thinking this is similar to making peanut brittle or other similar candies). So the moral of the story is use a candy thermometer, or you’ll end up with a messy pile of honey-coated nuts.
Which is an amazing consolation prize, let me tell you. My nut mixture was supposed to be half walnuts and half hazelnuts, but because I can’t tell walnuts apart from pecans (some very localized brain disorder? Just a terrible memory?) and I also have no idea how much volume nuts take up, I ended up with about a third each of hazelnuts, pecans (pretend they’re walnuts), and almonds to fill in the gap. So basically….hazelnut/pecan/almond granola, minus all the oats (everyone knows oats are just filler anyway). I’ve been eating this stuff on oatmeal, in yogurt, and by the handful out of the container. It’s verrrry rich and sweet, as you’d expect from a snack made entirely from nuts and various forms of sugar, so I think this tasty snack will last me a while, even if it’s not exactly what the recipe writer envisioned. I’m calling them “Georgian Nut Clusters” instead of honey nut brittle, because it is not exactly the most brittle thing on the planet.
I think I’m taking a bye week for Week 4 of this little experiment, because our fridge is stuffed to the gills with both leftovers and ingredients that I need to use up before going out to buy specialized ingredients for whatever. High-class problem to have, I know.