Thursday, December 20, 2007

An early Christmas present from me to you...

So, today officially begins *my* Christmas. Work has slowed to a crawl and tomorrow will be barely noticeable, all my obligations for the season are met, my shopping is 99% done (still something else to get for the brother and for the fur-kids) and everything is wrapped. Now is the time I start cooking, and setting up the house for THE BIG DAY. And, well, doing WHATEVER I WANT, BECAUSE IT'S CHRISTMAS. Pajamas all weekend? Perhaps. Gingerbread house decorating? Totally. These next few days are my favorite part of the whole year. So in the spirit, here's a recipe for you all via a classic Alton Brown, the most addictive Christmas treat *ever*. A nice change of pace from Fudge and Cookies, 'round these parts we call this White Trash:

2 bags white chocolate chips (Nestle and Ghiradelli work best, NONE of that "white candy coating" stuff!)
3 1/2 cups Cheerios
3 cups Rice Chex
3 cups Corn Chex
1 lb bag of M&Ms (and really, if you're making this for Christmas, you should be using the green and red, trust me)
2 cans Mixed Nuts (the Deluxe kind, with NO PEANUTS, your family is totally worth it)
3 cups small pretzels

Lay sheets of wax paper on your kitchen counter or on a couple rimmed baking sheets.

In the biggest bowl you own, combine all the ingredients except for the white chocolate chips, and stir gently until everything is well-mixed. Set aside.

Melt the white chocolate chips in a double boiler over gently simmering water. Once melted, pour over the cereal mixture and stir thoroughly with a big ol' rubber spatula. Spread out on the waxed paper and let harden, then break into bite sized chunks, and try not to eat the whole thing yourself.

And, naturally, I have Cortney-notes on this--
We have a giant metal bowl set over a stockpot that we use as our makeshift double boiler, that way we stir the cereal into the white chocolate and save a few extra bowls/steps. Also, this way we can add the M&Ms last, since the heat of the white chocolate will sometimes melt a few, muddy-ing up your mix.
This year I decided that, if you're already covering them in white chocolate, the difference in Rice Chex and Corn Chex is negligible, and I just used 6 cups of Rice Chex. Everything is fine, and the world did not end.
This year I was also able to find holiday shaped pretzels--I cannot tell you how cute these things are in this stuff!
Finally, once we've dumped out all the White Trash on the counter and scraped every last little bit from the bowl, we set it in the sink and pour in the pot of boiling water from the double boiler--that melts off all the residual chocolate and makes it MUCH easier to clean.
Next year--We are buying those red and green candy melts and drizzling the mix with both colors before we break it apart, because we're just Martha Stewart like that.

'Kay, gang, I'm off to start some cookies (shortbread with apricots and pecans, and orange marmalade thumbprints dipped in chocolate), tonight we're making Cathedral Cookies (you know, with the colored marshmallows like when you were a kid!), and this weekend, it's Gingerbread Madness.
FESTIVE, y'all. That's what's up.

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