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Lee's Kitchen: One family, two great food present recipes

Now it is time to think about food presents. The two recipes below came from one family. The Amazing Peanut Brittle is a gift from H.G. Sawyer, a retired dentist, for whom I worked until he retired. Yes, he is a dentist and it is his recipe. The peanut butter and chocolate buckeye recipe was given to me by his wife, Barbara. Both are beyond delicious and make terrific gifts for friends you may visit over the holidays whether that holiday is Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa. You may save some as you watch 30 full days of Hallmark movies, just in case you need even more sweets.


Amazing Peanut Brittle

From H.G. Sawyer, DDS Emeritus, Groton

4 cups sugar

1/2 cups white and/or dark Karo syrup

1/2 cups water

4 cups Spanish peanuts

3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon vanilla

3 tablespoons baking soda

Butter two rimmed cookie sheets.

Mix sugar, syrup and water into a heavy-bottomed large pan. Stir with long wooden spoon. Place candy thermometer into the mixture. Heat at medium-high until thermometer reaches 320 degrees (this will take a long time to hit 290 degrees and very little time to hit 320). Add Spanish peanuts, stir, then add butter and vanilla. Stir, then add baking soda and stir again until frothy, about 15 to 20 seconds.

Pour into cookie sheets and thin to about one peanut high; it is great to have a silicone spatula for this. Place sheets in refrigerator (or outside if it’s cold) until hardened, about 20 minutes. Break brittle apart and place in tins or zippered bags.


From Barbara Sawyer

Yield depends on size of buckeyes

6 ounces butterscotch bits

6 ounces chocolate chips

thin slice of paraffin*

1 stick butter, melted

2 cups peanut butter

1 pound confectioners sugar

3 cups Rice Krispies

In a double-boiler (or in a saucepan on top of another pan of simmered water), melt butterscotch bits, chocolate chips and paraffin (use just enough paraffin to keep mixture from being too thick).

In bowl, mix melted butter, peanut butter, confectioners sugar and Rice Krispies. Form into small balls and place on waxed paper. Drop balls, a few at a time, into chocolate mixture and lift out with a fork onto waxed paper on a plate. Refrigerate.

Will keep in a container in a cool place or in the refrigerator. They can also be frozen.

*Paraffin is available in the baking section of most supermarkets.


On the Side

I made roasted vegetables for my daughter-in-law's Thanksgiving dinner in Newburyport, Mass., and, again, when I created an encore dinner two days later at my house.

I tried to spend enough money at Shop-Rite — $400 before Thanksgiving to get a free turkey — but failed. In a way, though, I became a winner. I found many different kinds of squash and a somewhat long, crooked purple sweet potato that not only tasted delicious but made for a colorful roasted platter, along with red, yellow and orange sweet bell peppers, chunks of eggplant and wedges of onions, all of which I tossed with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and freshly grated black peppers. And the reasonably priced blueberries sugared and topped with an oatmeal-nut topping ended the meal nicely.


Lee White lives in Groton. She can be reached at


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