Little Things

On Wednesday I woke up to a gorgeous sunrise.

OK, well to fair I woke up about an hour before the sun even did and then after lying in bed with a cuddly kid and a cuddly cat and a cuddly husband for a while I got out of bed to see that there was a gorgeous sunrise afoot.

So while Joe showered I got Lilli and I up and dressed lickety-split and out we headed into the freezing morning to greet the day as a day should be greeted…with a lot of mirth and a tiny bit of cursing about how damn cold it is.

Since we were already out there, we let the chickens out in the beautiful pre-dawn light, which was probably the highlight of Lilli’s day because she loves to be outside and she loves those chickens. Then we came in and made some breakfast and went about out business, which included a trip down to Cash and Carry to buy a humongous bag of sesame seeds for $5 because I had a plan.

A few weeks ago we were shopping in Pike Place Market and we stopped in to browse at Cost Plus (World Market) where they always have things I didn’t know I needed. This time was no exception, as waiting for me at the checkout counter–the land of impulse buys–was a barrel with little packages of Loucks Sesame Snaps,  one of my all time favorite impulse buys. (Which I have since found out that almost nobody I know has ever even heard of them. What?)

These were different though. These ones had chocolate striped delicately across the top. Yum. Why did I not know about this before?!

I restrained myself and only bought one package because sesame candy is something I’ve been meaning to try my hand at making for a while. I knew they would be easy enough to replicate at home should the combination be what I expected it to be. In other words, perfect. Which they totally were.

I made them with a dark chocolate like the ones I bought, and they are probably not going to last very long here in our house. Joe even said that they were quote “Good for a sesame candy, if you don’t like sesame.” Which he doesn’t. (Then we went on a date!)

Those little things made my Wednesday, just like getting to see the sun in it’s full cycle with Lilli did. They made it even sunnier and brighter and more productive and fun that it would have been on it’s own. And more tasty. Which was so good because Tuesday was a one way ticket to Lame-Town. Anyway these little candies will get you on the tracks to Awesome-Town if you decide to make them, especially if you follow up your snappy snack with another trip to the park, this time to view the sunset.

Toasted Sesame Snaps with Chocolate Drizzle

2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp lemon juice
1 1/3 cup sesame seeds
1/4 tsp salt
4 oz dark, milk or white chocolate, your choice. Either chip form or in small pieces

Toast the sesame seeds by baking on a clean baking sheet in a 350ºF oven for 20 minutes, stirring every 7 minutes or so.

In heavy saucepan, stir together sugar, water, honey and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook without stirring. Brush down the sides of pan with pastry brush dipped in cold water, about every 5 minutes. The mixture will cook until medium amber in color and a candy thermometer reaches 310ºF, about 15 to 20 minutes. But just in case you need to know, I accidentally cooked mine to like almost 350ºF and it still turned out pretty good. Of course, I happen to like almost burnt stuff, so you know, just a warning.

Stir in the sesame seeds and salt. Immediately pour onto greased baking sheet, spreading with greased spatula. Mine didn’t quite fill my standard 1/2 sheet size pan. Using greased knife, score into 3″ squares, and then score each square diagonally in half.

While the snaps cool, melt about 4 oz of chocolate–either over a double boiler or in the microwave in 30 second intervals (Stir between each 30 seconds. It’s the lazy way to go…which is why I did it that way.) When it’s melted all the way use a fork to drizzle lines over the whole sheet of snaps. It’s OK if they’re not completely cool when you do the chocolate.

Let cool completely, and making sure the chocolate is completely set (pop it in the freezer for a bit if it’s not and you’re impatient like me), break along the score lines into triangles.

Like other hard candies, these will get sticky in very humid weather, but in a super air tight container they should keep for at least a week.

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