Feeding this troupe is part of what I do. Some days it's almost the only thing that I can actually get done.
Here's one of our favorite treats. It's one we bring to Christmas gatherings.
In a saucepan on medium heat, combine equal parts butter and sugar. For a 9x13 pan, I usually use 1/2 cup or 1 cup of each.
But - really - it's butter and sugar. Can you go wrong? Unless you burn it to an evil pseudo-enamel on your pan, no. You can't.
Stir this mixture constantly over medium to high heat. The temp you choose depends on how confident and attentive you are. This stuff could burn nasty and spit oil on you, too. Keep it moving and you'll do fine.
That rich toffee color is the key for knowing when you are done. It will separate into oil and sugary thickness at least once along the cooking time and you will be convinced that I've just made a mess, ruined the butter, and spoiled your plans - all from my own living room. Keep stirring. Watch the color and look for any hot spots in your pan surface and you'll do fine.
Pour the toffee into a prepared pan. You can butter liberally -or- do as I do and line with aluminum foil. If you like, add a layer of chopped nuts in the bottom of the pan. I use pecans. Level the toffee a bit and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Cover the pan with a cutting board or something. Just to keep the heat in.
Peek. When the chips are melted, spread them over the top of the toffee. Leave the cover off and let cool til hardened. It's a winter treat usually here so I just set it in the garage for a while. You can put it in the fridge. Or you can wait nearly forever and just let it cool naturally on the countertop. To me, that's boring. And inviting fingerprints in the soft chocolate.
Remove from pan and break into chunks.
If I was a good, normal blogger I would have photos along the way of the method and then a final, tastefully displayed photo of the finished product. THEN there would be a gadget thingy that would let you print off the recipe in either recipe card form or letter sized (with or without pictures).
I'm not that.
But you aren't surprised.
Editor's note: Are there other food questions that you have for me? I have a bunch of ideas of my own but if you chime in, I can bump your suggestion up the queue.