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December 27, 2009

Buckhorn Inn Dining Room

Buckhorn Inn Dining Room table looking toward Mt. LeConte.

Pen and Teller

Pen and Teller, the Buckhorn Inn Mute Swans, have reached maturity. We expect they will be raising a new family in Spring 2010.

December 2, 2009

Christmas Rocky Road Crunch Bars

Nigella Lawson’s Christmas Rocky Road Crunch Bars
This version of Rocky Road by English Chef and Food Writer Nigella Lawson is the best yet. Easy to make—and easy to eat. She has a cookbook we recommend for making Christmas cooking delicious and stress-free—Nigella’s Christmas. Ms. Lawson is a regular on NPR.

1 1/4 cups (8 oz) bittersweet chocolate, chopped or chips
3/4 cups (6 oz) milk chocolate, chopped or chips
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) soft butter
1/4 light corn syrup
4 cups (7 oz) macaroons or amaretti (if you can find them)
1 cup shelled Brazil nuts
2/3 cup candied or glazed cherries
2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
Edible glitter (optional)

Put both chocolates into a heavy-based pan to melt with the butter and syrup over a gentle heat.
Put the cookies into a freezer bag and bash them with a rolling pin to get big- and little-sized crumbs; you want some pieces to crunch and some sandy rubble.
Put the Brazil nuts into another freezer bag and also bash them so you get different-sized nut rubble.
Take the pan off the heat, and add the crushed cookies and nuts, whole candied cherries and mini marshmallows. Turn carefully to coat everything with syrupy chocolate.
Tip into an aluminum foil pan (I use one 9 1/4 x 12 inches), smoothing the top as best you can, although it will look bumpy.
Refrigerate until firm enough to cut, which will take about 1 1/2-2 hours. Then take the set block of Rocky Road out of the pan ready to cut.
Push the confectioners’ sugar through a small strainer to dust the top of the Rocky Road. Then, if you like, add sprinkling of edible glitter for some festive sparkle.
With the long side in front of you, cut it into 6 slices down and 4 across, so that you have 24 almost-squares.
Makes 24 big-bite-sized bars