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Feb 2, 2006 12:19 PM

AGM/ Cape Cod and others... "Better Than Store Bought?"

  • k

I tried to find a description of it, but didn't find anything. Does it have a different focus or is it more of the same as "Fancy Pantry?" (Stop making me buy stuff!!! ;-)

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  1. a
    AGM/Cape Cod

    Katie, I am so sorry to make you buy more things. You can ignore my suggestion but when you eventually run across a copy of the book you will yell at me. My favorite recipes include: chinese duck sauce, chili sauce (like Heinz but better), candied fruit rinds, caramel corn, lemon curd, almond buttercrunch, pickled cornichons and dilly beans. Those are just the ones I make all the time. Hopefully the link to Amazon works- check out the reader recommendations.


    1 Reply
    1. re: AGM/Cape Cod

      "Katie, I am so sorry to make you buy more things."
      Oh... somebody has to do it!!! ;-) I am the person they're targeting with all the magazines, gum, etc. at the front of the grocery store... I'm weak!
      It does sound like a good one too!

    2. "Better Than Store Bought?" is a great book to have. You will love it.
      You can usually find cheap copies on eBay.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Fleur

        i gave my recently bought copy of Better than Store Bought to my daughter-in-law thinking the one i had from my mother-in-law was in my books. i can't find the book. i desperately need the caramel recipe from the book. can someone either post it or email it to me? i would also like the almond butter crunch recipe from the book Better than Store Bought book. am trying to get candies made for family by tomorrow. thanks so much. i can't find better recipes than those two.

        1. re: llrandall

          I just noticed this thread. I am heading out the door and can only give you the Almond Buttercrunch. Hope that is ok.

          I got this from one of my favorite cookbooks-Better than Storebought. I have paraphrased here.

          Almond Buttercrunch

          Makes about 1 3/4 pounds

          3/4 cup whole, unblanched almonds
          1 cup finely chopped, unblanched almonds
          1 1/4 cups sugar
          1/3 cup light corn syrup
          1/3 cup water
          1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
          1 stick (8 tablespoons) margarine
          1/2 teaspoon salt
          1/4 teaspoon baking soda
          8 ounces dark sweet chocolate
          4 ounces (4 squares) unsweetened baking chocolate
          2 teaspoons tasteless vegetable oil

          Toast whole almonds in a 300 degree oven for about 10 minutes until barely colored.

          Butter a baking sheet and keep it warm while the candy is cooking. I use a jelly roll pan. Butter a metal spatula as well.

          In a heavy pan, bring the combined sugar, corn syrup and water to a boil, stirring. Simmer covered for 2 minutes to wash the sugar crystals off the sides of the pan. Add the margarine and butter then stir until melted. Stirring occasionally, boil over moderate heat until it reaches 240 degrees. Then stirring constantly cook until the mixture reaches 300 degrees.

          Move the pot from the heat and add the salt and soda. It may foam up a bit. Move the toasted almonds to the buttered baking sheet and pour the candy mixture over it. Using the metal spatula move the toffee to cover all the almonds. Let cool completely.

          Toast the finely chopped almonds (I use almond meal from Trader Joe) in a 300 degree oven for about 10 minutes until barely colored.

          Just melt half the chocolate in a microwave with 1 teaspoon of oil (I don’t use the oil and generally use just chocolate chips) –don’t let it get too hot. Pour it over the bark and spread with a metal spatula (an icing spatula is perfect for this). Then cover with the finely chopped almonds pressing them lightly into the chocolate. Let cool and turn over the toffee and repeat the chocolate process on the other side. When completely cool break into pieces. Store in an airtight container

          1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

            I would dearly love the recipe for Chinese duck sauce when it isn't a major holiday, and you have a moment. Thanks in advance.

      2. I've had a copy of "Better Than Store Bought" for years. Never made anything from it, but that's not necessarily a negative review - I have hundreds of cookbooks, and I don't cook all that often.

        Some recipes that I've flagged to try: marshmallows, deviled ham, laban (yogurt "cheese"), caponata, (va)nilla wafers, corn muffin mix, nectarine chutney, and ginger syrup for homemade ginger ale. Someday!

        It's a big book with lots of recipes, so you're sure to find something you like. Look for a used copy (it was published in 1979).


        3 Replies
        1. re: AnneInMpls

          How BIG is it? For $140, it must be gigantic. Sounds interesting though...

          1. re: coll

            $140!! Amazon has it used starting at $12.35. One seller at Amazon had it listed for $999.99! It has only 325 pages. I can't imagine it retailed for anything close to that when it was first published. It may be because it's currently out of print.

            Happy Holidays, coll.

            1. re: bushwickgirl

              Thanks, maybe I'll put it on my Christmas list for next year! (Or check the library) It does sound interesting. Have a great holiday, bushwickgirl, and hope the ham turns out good this year ;-)