heavenly

Hello from the other side of my surgery rotation, from being halfway done with third year, and from sunny Miami, where I’m spending a blissfully warm winter break. I’m ashamed that I’ve been away from sugarcured for over two months, and I hereby pledge to not let such a hiatus happen again. Rest assured, though, I haven’t been hiding much from you on the food front other than defrosted dinners, protein bars, and peanut butter. Lots and lots of peanut butter. I am so grateful to be able to spend two full weeks over break with family and friends, to trade the tundra for the tropics, and to get back into the [parents’ incredible, fully-stocked, fully-equipped with every cooking implement known to man] kitchen.

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This afternoon, on the heels of a strenuous day of reading in bed, walking the dog, tanning in my backyard, and lunching with my family, I embarked on a solo baking adventure. For a messy, multitasking cook like myself, there is perhaps nothing more liberating than having the time and space to tackle multiple recipes and tear apart the kitchen with reckless abandon (and of course, to finally clean it all up, mom). I rolled crescents of cream cheese dough around apricot preserves, hazelnuts, and chocolate, to be frozen and baked into scrumptious rugelach on Christmas morning. I whipped up a sugar cookie dough that will be bathed in cinnamon sugar tomorrow when I make snickerdoodles at our family’s annual cookie baking extravaganza. I crushed graham crackers in preparation for making s’mores bars. And, finally, I made a heavenly candy that I’d been pining for all week, ever since seeing it here.

IMG_2545Fittingly, it’s called Heavenly Hash: a Southern classic that combines chocolate, marshmallows, and nuts, and settles into a dangerously decadent cross between fudge and candy bar. I’d neither made nor eaten this before, but I knew in an instant that I had to have it in my life. I swapped out almonds in favor of hazelnuts, which added an air of elegance and reminded me of my favorite gelato flavor, nocciola. With a base of intensely bittersweet chocolate that’s only slightly tempered by the mellowness of the marshmallows, this Heavenly Hash packs quite the punch. Its richness makes it such that it can only be eaten in tiny pieces, which luckily means that it will—or theoretically should—last a long while.

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So, to the List of Ways in Which I am Measuring My Break, which currently includes #1. Novel pages read and #2. Progressive shades of brown my skin is turning, I’m officially adding #3. Pieces of Heavenly Hash left in the fridge.

As the food-filled festivities ensue over the next week, I look forward to sharing my family’s favorite culinary traditions with you. Happy Holidays, from my warm Winter Wonderland to yours!

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The recipe for Heavenly Hash can be found here. I followed it exactly as written, except swapped hazelnuts for almonds. The base absolutely lends itself to whatever combinations your heart desires!