Certain things signal the change of seasons, a robin in the spring, summer sailboats on the harbor, crimson maple leaves against a clear blue sky... For the holidays two things tell me it's the holidays:
One is a cookie jar full of Snappy Ginger Snaps.
Another is a box of marron glacé.
30 Rock and Rock Hard Chestnuts
A long time ago when I made regular trips to New York for various consulting clients, I discovered Teuscher chocolates on a trip to Rockefeller Plaza while working with GE.
After that, every time I could manage to swing by there, I did. First I was smitten by champagne truffles. Who could resist? Perfectly balanced and rich, each truffle was a single bite of luxurious, silky chocolate heaven.
Years later, Teuscher arrived here in Boston and they've been on our special treat list ever since. These marron glacé are a harbinger of the season for me. A texture unlike anything else, both firm and yielding, smooth and slightly granular, these are produced through a multi-day process of preserving whole, shelled chestnuts in sugar syrup.
I tried to make them one year at home. Forget it. I devoted two or three days to the sugaring, dehydrating process and ended up with a big sticky mess and barely edible chestnut-flavored rocks.
Treat yourself to this hand-made confection that is both sweet and savory. Treat a friend. Add some to a holiday dessert tray if your guests have been very good this year. They would also make a lovely hostess gift, guaranteed to get you asked back.
What tells you the holidays are here?