I checked the spiral-bound table-top calendar the other day that sits on my fridge top; dusty and untouched, with spiders spinning webs around its edges. I realized, I hadn’t shifted pages on it for months. It read March, with scribbles around dates marking the liters of milk we got delivered each day and encircling dates when my maid took leaves. Oh, was that the last time I even glanced it? May be yes.
Yes, I recall that was the last time we had a milkman deliver us milk at doorstep since he eloped with the advance money cheating on us. It’s been far too long we have been doing away without a replacement for him. And also, probably the reason why I never flipped pages on my calendar and moved dates, since I stopped tracking them. I feel sheepishly low about the passing time. Because I am unable to recollect anything worthy I may have achieved this year.
On a positive note, the later part of the year brings immense joy to my heart. Loads of festivities, several holidays, family get-togethers and festive food is something I have always enjoyed and looked forward to. October, this year will be hectic, yet fun-filled. We have a calendar packed with activities. Together I hope, we will weave wonderful memories with our family and friends. We have some important birthdays and anniversaries to celebrate. Then there’s a family destination wedding we have been looking forward to. Between these preparations, while cooking has been regular, I have lost the mojo to pursue food photography or blogging simply because 24 hours a day does not suffice my schedule. Alas, if only I had more time to pack in more things I love to do, while the others take the priority.
Yet in all say, for recipes like this one I have for you today, it takes hardly any effort and time. From start to end, Honey Loops & Nuts Chikkis are done in a matter of few minutes, assuming you have the roasted nuts handy. Even if not, it's no greater effort. Chikkis or Caramelized Nut Bars are my all time favourite pass time snacks. I have made them on several occasions in the past and posted some here and here too.
The key to getting a good chikki is the right level of caramelization of sugar, a golden amber stage where it sets well with the perfect delectable crunch. Honey Loops are just my substitution for Indian puffed rice (a.k.a. murmurra) in a bid to wipe off the last few handfuls that I had in stock. You may as well use the Indian puffed rice with same ease. They lend a lightness and crispness that sets well again crunch of roasted nuts.
Honey Loops & Nuts Chikki
1 cup mix of roasted almonds & walnuts
1 1/4 cup Kellog's Honey Loops / Cheerios (substitute Indian puffed rice instead)
2 tsp. golden raisins
1 cup regular sugar
1 tbs. ghee/ clarified butter
1 tsp. cardamom powder
Grease a flat steel plate with some ghee / clarified butter and set aside.
Roast the almonds and walnut on a medium low flame, stirring frequently till they change their color to golden brown and become aromatic.
Take the sugar in a kadai or a heavy-bottomed pan. Heat it on a medium low flame stirring continuously till the sugar melts and begins to turn golden brown. At this stage we need to keep a constant eye on the sugar syrup. When all of the sugar melts completely, switch off the flame and add in the nuts and raisins, followed by honey loops quickly. You need to be swift and quick here. Sprinkle the cardamom powder. Quickly stir all the ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon. Transfer it to the greased plate. Smooth the prepared chikki with the back of a flat wooden spoon. If you prefer neat squares, use the tip of a knife, drag lines across to form square/bite sized pieces. Allow to cool then break them off.