Tuesday, November 29, 2011

.candied grapes.

how about a little twist on the traditional candied apple? and by little, i'm talking grape-sized. the one magazine that i must get each month is every day with rachael ray. she's my martha stewart and i just love her and her magazine's editors. so when i ran across this super simple, super cute recipe for candied grapes, i just couldn't resist. let me show you how it's done.

put toothpicks, preferably decorative on the end sticking out, in about 36 grapes. feel free to pop a few extras in your mouth as you go. you're working hard after all. wait- you do i mean grapes and not toothpicks, right?

boil your granulated sugar and grape juice and stir in the corn syrup. to prevent a mess on the insides of your pot from hardened crystallization, keep scraping the sides down with a pastry brush. if you don't have one, a wooden spoon or spatula would help.

in a small bowl, combine the grape nuts and brown sugar. the original recipe doesn't call for brown sugar, but i found the cereal to be terribly drab without it. i needed a little pop of extra sweet.

after about 30-45 minutes of boiling your sugar mixture, it is ready to go. dip each toothpicked grape into the liquid and then immediately into the grape nuts. they'll stick and form a cute little candied grape. as it dries, the candy coating will harden for a nice contrast to the juicy grape beneath.

serve on a pretty party platter for a swanky presentation. i would show you a picture of that if i had one, but i don't. so, you'll just have to imagine. try not to let your eye guy eat them before they're ready to serve to guests. what, you don't have an eye guy? well, you know what i mean.

candied grapes
adapted from every day with rachael ray
2 cups Grape-Nuts cereal
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup grape juice
36 large, firm seedless grapes, rinsed and dried
1/4 cup brown sugar (my addition for sweetness)

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Place the Grape-Nuts in a small bowl; set aside.

Clip a candy thermometer to the inside of a deep 3- to 4-qt. saucepan. Combine the sugar and grape juice in the pan and boil over medium-high heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until the sugar is melted. Stir in the corn syrup. Continue to cook, brushing down the sides of the pot with a moistened pastry brush to prevent crystallization and adjusting the heat as needed to prevent boiling over. Remove from the heat when the mixture registers 305° (hard-crack stage) on the thermometer, about 45 minutes.

Working with 1 grape at a time and holding on to the toothpick, dip the grape into the sugar syrup, tilting the pan and rotating the toothpick to coat the fruit in a thin, even layer. Lift the grape and twirl gently and carefully over the pot to let the excess drip off. Immediately dip the bottom half of the grape into the Grape-Nuts (mixed with brown sugar) and stand cereal end down on the prepared baking sheet. Let cool for 10 minutes at room temperature before serving. Repeat with the remaining grapes, reheating the sugar syrup over low heat as needed to restore fluidity.

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