Mix together water, butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring as little as possible.
Using a candy thermometer to gauge the temperature, cook until the mixture reaches 300°F.
Remove the pan from heat and immediate stir in the baking soda and vanilla. Mix until just combined (do not over-stir). Then, immediately pour the hot toffee mixture onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
Let cool completely. If your kitchen is warm, you may need to let cool in the refrigerator.
Once hardened, chop the toffee to desired size and sprinkle bits on ice cream, milkshakes, and more!
There are some food trends that I can totally get on board with. Pretzel burger buns is one of them. As a salt addict, I’ve always loved pretzels with their big flecks of salt and chewy dough. This recipe is a riff on an incredible German pretzel recipe by Hans Röckenwagner, owner of one of my favorite bakeries in Santa Monica. Traditionally, pretzels are soaked in a lye solution before they’re baked, but I wasn’t too keen on bringing corrosive chemicals and wearing safety goggles in making these pretzel buns. Luckily, you can substitute the lye solution with baking soda and water. I also love the addition of caraway seeds on pretzels!
Need some last minute ideas for today’s Fourth of July Celebration? We’ve got you covered with some of our favorite Independence Day inspired recipes. How about this lovely Americana tablescape for starters!
The highlight of my trips I’ve taken to Mexico is the street food. Whether its tacos or fresh fruit, I pretty much plan my day around eating. One of my favorites is elote, corn on the cob that is slathered in mayonnaise and garnished with cotija cheese, lime and chili powder. I’ve changed up a few things in my homemade version. Typically the corn is boiled in Mexico, but I love the charred taste of grilled sweet corn. Also, I sprinkle the corn with Tajin, a chile pepper and lime seasoning available at most Mexican markets in the fruit aisle. I put it on just about everything from watermelon to cucumbers to jicama. If you don’t have any, I highly recommend searching some out. Finally, I instead of using regular mayonnaise, I used Empire Mayonnaise’s truffle mayo. Guaranteed, these will be gone the minute you finish assembling them.
In a world of muddled mint and blended fruit, sometimes I lose sight of the true cocktail spirit. Not that I don’t partake, or even enjoy such techniques. In fact, I have a huge soft spot for fancy farmer’s market cocktails. Yet, there’s something special about a simple glass of spirit, sugar, water, and bitters. The Old Fashioned has a timeless quality that suits just about any occasion.
Grilling is a given for the 4th of July. My default has always been pork or beef, but after grilling brick chicken for the first time, I was instantly a fan. This method presses the chicken with bricks and cooks it in a shorter time, resulting in tender, juicy and evenly cooked meat. Don’t let the butterflied chicken intimidate you — it’s very simple to do with kitchen shears. I used my favorite barbeque rub, but the chicken would be outstanding seasoned just with salt and pepper. The only thing this chicken needs is some lime wedges and piquant grilled tomatilla salsa. Charring the salsa ingredients before blending them gives the dish so much depth of flavor. Honestly, its the perfect summer meal.
1 whole chicken
1 lemon, thinly sliced
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper