I’ve been re-living a cringe moment in my head the last few days. I don’t know what brings these old memories back to the surface, but when it happens, it takes days to shake it off.
When I was in college, I taught yoga classes. The yoga classes were part of a general fitness program on campus that students could attend at the gym. Every semester, we held a promotional event where each teacher taught a quick 5-minute segment to introduce their class. Students were doing 5 minutes of kick boxing, followed by 5 minutes of step aerobics, then 5 minutes of belly dancing and so on. I was on the schedule to end the event with 5 minutes of relaxing yoga. I stood on the side of the stage, awaiting my turn and trying desperately to fit the head set on my head. Nothing labeled ‘one size fits all’ has ever fit me, so why would a head set fit around my petite head on this day? Suddenly, time ran out and I had to go on stage regardless. I teetered the head set on my ears and thought if I could just hold my neck a certain way, it would stay up for 5 minutes. Mid-pose, the head set fell off my head and crashed down to the floor. Except, before the microphone hit the floor, it passed briefly in front of my mouth long enough to hear me say “Craaaap!” Except…I didn’t say crap. I said, well, you know…starts with an ‘sh.’ Did I mention I went to a Christian college? It was awful. The whole room froze: staring at me because I just said an expletive. So much for relaxing, calming yoga! My face turned red, and I wrapped up my session early and slipped off stage.
What does this have to do with peanut patties? Nothing, except that the color of these peanut clusters was the same color as my face that day.
If you’ve never had this chewy Texas delight, it tastes a little like a homemade PayDay candy bar: peanuts encapsulated in a soft, creamy caramel. Peanut patties are some of the best things found in gas stations in Texas. This recipe requires a candy thermometer. Don’t be scared! Also, the red dye is optional.
Dear friends, thank you SO much for the good wishes on our move! I have arrived safe & sound in the beautiful green rolling hills of north eastern Kansas. However, our stuff has not arrived from California, so in the meantime I have baked recipes ahead of time to share with you. I shared some photos of the house on Instagram if y’all are interested. Click here. Also, don’t miss the priceless moment my Dad caught on film last week: I found my dream wedding dress!
Makes 6 4" peanut patties
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup raw peanuts
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon red food coloring (use 1/2 teaspoon for the pink color seen here)
- In a deep, heavy-bottom sauce pan (preferably enameled cast iron), add the sugar, peanuts, corn syrup, water and salt. Clip your candy thermometer to the side of the pan, but ensure the probe does not touch the bottom of the pan--you want it to hang slightly above for an accurate reading of the candy, not the pan.
- Turn the heat to medium, and begin to stir the mixture with a silicone spatula. Keep stirring while cooking until the mixture reaches 240 degrees. Immediately turn off the heat, add the butter, red dye and vanilla. Let the butter melt. Let the mixture rest and stir it every minute or so until it cools to 130-135 degrees. Meanwhile, have ready a sheet of parchment or wax paper.
- Once the mixture reaches 135 degrees, begin scooping it by the heaping tablespoon onto the paper. Work quickly before it sets! Press the mixture into patty shapes. Let cool completely on the counter, then wrap in plastic wrap for storage. Do not leave the patties uncovered--they will absorb moisture from the air and their texture will change. Keep tightly wrapped!