Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Hurricane that Wasn't & Cashew-Toffee Clusters

Sunday was going to be a stormy day, an epic day, the first time any of us had experienced a hurricane in Boston.

It wasn't.

But I stuck to the plan. I woke up, pulled on my Hunter boots, and ran to get coffee down the street. And then I started to bake. 

My freezer is where the good stuff always is. Grey Goose vodka, Haagen-Dazs ice cream, and butter. On Sunday, I made sugar cookie dough, wrapped it up well, and tucked it into the freezer, to be baked another day.

But, I'm not really into delayed gratification. So then I made these:

Cashew-Toffee Clusters. They're nutty, sweet, and chewy, with little pieces of crunchy toffee. They're good with a glass of milk, when you want something small and sweet, when it's rainy outside... or when there's a perfectly clear sky. So, basically anytime.

Cashew-Toffee Clusters

1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup cashew butter (any nut butter would work)
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
Approx. 1/3 pound coarsely chopped toffee (you can use 4 1.4 ounce Heath bars instead)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a saucepan over moderate heat, combine the butter, oil, and sugar and bring to a boil. Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the cashew butter.

Pour the mixture over the oatmeal and stir well. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of the cashew butter. Stir in the chopped toffee pieces.

Use a tablespoon to scoop out balls of oatmeal and place the clusters on the baking sheet. It is easiest if you firmly pack the oatmeal into the tablespoon and then tap the tablespoon against the sheet to release the oatmeal. Refrigerate for at least one hour. The clusters will last several days if kept refrigerated. Makes approximately 30 clusters.

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