“That does look good”… – Nearly Headless Nick, wistfully watching Harry eat in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
When deciding to start 2 Girls Bookin’ It, we thought about the different things we could do that tied into books we’ve read or are currently reading. One of the ideas we came up with was to try out recipes from books we’ve read or are associated with books we’ve read. We thought what better way to feel more immersed in the story than to try recipes that were mentioned within the chapters, or would make us imagine what meals or recipes were eaten during different time periods. This was our first attempt at trying out recipes related to a book we read, and let’s just say we learned some valuable lessons. So let’s take a journey through our baking experience. :)
Since we’ve talked so much about Harry Potter this month, we thought we’d continue the theme and pick a recipe from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. When we decided to make snacks, we thought, well, let’s do two recipes! Hindsight is 20/20 as we all know though! Anyways, we then scoured through the book and landed on two recipes - Coconut Ice (a very deceiving name!) and 1-2-3 Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bonbons for Kids (we’re kids at heart). These are both considered Honeydukes treats per The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook.
Let’s first make one point clear - Kelli is not a baker. She does not like baking. She does not like measuring. She doesn't like having to follow recipes and measurements to a tee to make sure it will come out correctly! We decided to start off the night making the Coconut Ice because once we read through the whole recipe, it seemed like it would take the longest. We didn’t realize that it would take quite as long as it did though! The mixture has to be stirred pretty consistently for 30 minutes! We had to watch out for crystallization on the sides of the pot as we stirred as well. If they formed, we needed to get a pastry brush, dip it in hot water, and wipe the sides. One of us was calmly taking a turn stirring and keeping an eye out for the crystals, while the other was anxiously watching and pointing out crystals to be brushed away.. Hmm, who is who I wonder?? (It didn’t help that we had used the pastry brush for garlic butter earlier in the night. We thought we had cleaned it well, but realized after using it once or twice in the Coconut Ice that it still smelled like garlic!). After 30 or so minutes, once the mixture reached a temperature of 238 degrees (and we were laughingly singing “Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble” as it bubbled away), we then had to remove it from the heat and wait for it to cool back down to 125 degrees!
Kelli accidentally touched the thermometer to the bottom of the pan and saw the temperature reach up to over 250 degrees, panicked, and quickly slid the pot off the heat worried she ruined the batter! Batter? Should it be called that or a mixture? LOL. Once the mixture cooled to the required temperature, we then had to add a few more ingredients, one of which was shredded coconut, and beat it by hand with a wooden spoon for 10-15 minutes! Our arms (mainly Kelli’s!) were exhausted! The mixture thickened up and was so difficult to stir!
While making the Coconut Ice - and waiting for it to cool - we decided to start making the 1-2-3 Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bonbons. These were much easier - but definitely hard to make pretty! If you’ve ever made Buckeyes the process and ingredients are pretty similar, but with an added crunch of rice krispies! It seemed easy enough to mold these cute little balls to become bonbons, but oh were we wrong! The mixture was a little too soft to mold easily into balls so we decided to add some more confectioner sugar, per the recipe, to help make it less sticky and more firm (except Chelsea accidentally dropped the bag and added a ton!). We also popped it into the freezer for a couple of minutes to see if that would help harden the mixture up a bit while we melted the chocolate to dip the balls in.
Kelli first started to form the bonbons and dip it in the chocolate using forks to try and help dip it but not lose it in the chocolate! (Now we are wondering if maybe we should have used toothpicks to dip them in and pull out of the chocolate more easily?). Chelsea took over the rolling out and dipping in chocolate as Kelli worked on stirring the Coconut Ice. The recipe said we should get 30 bon bons…we think we ended up with 18? Somebody just couldn’t help snitching the mixture while forming the bon bons. Plus I guess we made them too big? Even though they may not be the prettiest bonbons you’ve ever seen, they sure are tasty! We definitely think this is a keeper recipe that we will want to make again and again!
As the bonbons were being finished up, Kelli was stirring the Coconut Ice for 10-15 minutes! Half of the mixture was to be placed in a parchment lined baking dish. Boy was it difficult to spread that out in the dish! The mixture was really sticky and was not spreading smoothly in the baking dish. Kelli’s nervousness of not wanting to mess it up was in full swing at this point!
After getting half the mixture in the dish, we put in a couple drops of red food coloring in the remaining half. Once again, stirring the mixture was needed! Kelli thinks her arm workout for the day was complete at this point. Once she stirred the mixture and all the red coloring was mixed in, she then had to spread this half on top of the other half. Goodness this was quite the task since it was such a thick mixture and wouldn’t spread easily! Once done and packed away into the fridge, Kelli tried the fudge that was still on her finger. The face she made was priceless! The fudge was so sweet! I think we both agreed that this is not a keeper recipe for us - for one, it was way too sweet for either of us, and two, it was a lot of work!
All in all, we had such a fun time together baking (can we use the term baking if nothing went into the oven?) these recipes for the blog! We will make sure to read the recipes thoroughly before saying yes to making it and possibly even schedule to do so on a weekend rather than a weeknight after a long day of working. Memories were definitely had though and we cannot wait until we try more recipes from a different story!!
Have you tried any recipe books from a series? If so, how did it go? If you’d like to read more about our cooking (and reading) adventures follow us on Instagram and Facebook! And subscribe to our blog to stay up to date with our reviews and all things books! Thanks for reading with us!