Category Archives: desserts
From Keri’s Kitchen, of DelaneyPhotoJewelry
Perfect Cake Pops
I have been in love with the idea of cake pops since I saw my first one a year or two ago at Starbucks. It was so pretty that I couldn’t resist; I had to have it. It was terrible. I have tried many since then, but I have only ever had one that I loved. I decided to attempt them myself for my daughters 6th birthday and couldn’t be happier with the results. Okay, I could be, but I received so many compliments that it made up what I saw as glaring defects.
These are the steps I took, but more importantly, what I would do differently the next time to make them perfect. You will need:
One box cake mix (your favorite flavor)
½ Cup creamy icing (your favorite flavor)
1 bag (14oz) Melting candy (I used white)
Cake Pop sticks (about 35)
Cake Pop stand
Start with your favorite cake mix (I used a very moist carrot cake) and blend it according to the directions on the box. Then bake it as follows: preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray one 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan with cooking spray. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. Once completely cooled, place it in a large bowl. Use your hands to crumble cake until no large pieces remain. You may just have to eat a few to make it perfect. Add icing and mix with hands until completely blended and roll into balls.
If you can roll a tight ball with your hands, you wont need a silicone mold. I will make mine slightly smaller next time (the size of a large marble) so that I can reuse my stand. But if you are using a stand that has the holes further apart then I would make them about 1.5” across. I used a scoop to make them all the same size and then, once rolled, I spread them out on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Place them in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.
Melt your candy according to the package. I used a small double boiler (shown below) to keep the candy deeper. Dip your sticks in the melted candy and place in the rolled balls. Wait until the candy has hardened before dipping the pops. I recommend placing the cookie sheet back in the fridge and taking them out 2 at a time to dip. They need to stay cool to harden the coating faster.
I found myself opening the freezer drawer and holding the pops in the cool air while spinning to keep them from dripping. You have a minutes or so to decorate before they harden completely. So once I felt the candy wouldn’t drip into my bowl of nonpareils I gently set the cake pop in them to coat.
I found this great, colapsable display and finished it off with a roll of hot pink glitter tape for a fun party appearance. My daughter squealed when she saw it. It’s the little things!
I highly recommend having your gathering at about 2 in the afternoon, in between meals when everyone is hungry. They will taste even better and the compliments will have you beaming. Lol
From Amanda’s kitchen, of ArtisanMaskers
Mock Apple Crisp
Doesn’t this Autumny apple crisp look delicious? Well, if you thought those were apples you’d be WRONG! Believe it or not, this is a picture of my sister’s “mock apple” crisp, which uses not apples, but ZUCCHINI! (Great way to use up all the excess zucchini from your garden, right?) Here we go!
First, to turn all that zucchini into “apples”!
8 Cups Zucchini, peeled, seeded, and chopped into “apple-like” chunks or slices
3/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1 Cup Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
Boil zucchini pieces in lemon juice until tender (about 15 minutes). Add sugar, spices, and cornstarch and simmer another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool slightly.
To make “crisp” topping, cut together with a pastry blender:
1 Stick Cold Butter (1/2 Cup)
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Oats
1 tsp Cinnamon
Pour your mock apple mixture into a 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle crisp topping crumbs evenly over all. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until top looks slightly browned. Enjoy hot with ice cream!
GARDENIAS!!! This flower makes my heart sing! It is such a beautiful and exotic wedding flower. These past couple of weeks, we’ve been in the midst of the last warm weather southern gardenia blossoms. I have two of these buxom girls lazing next to me right now in a little bowl of water. While doing backstrokes, their fully open butter cream florescence wafts a heady invitation through the air. I can’t help but bury my nose in their sensual aromatic beauty each time I pass by them.
Gardenia jasminoides….are they edible? A petal popped quickly into the mouth, raked teasingly across the tongue, teeth gently nibbling to release the narcotic fragrance. Rapture!! Yes!! Gardenia j. is edible! Used by chefs and sommelier in ways similar to the addition of edible rose petals. A delightful taste sensation, although a complete surprise, given that this flower does not easily give up her perfumed scent mysteries. The taste is light, sweet, a bit buttery and Gardenia fragrant. The scent of this flower translates accurately to the taste buds, filling your mouth with it’s rich, yet delicate sexy perfume. It’s petals, I shred, pluck, candy and toss au naturelle as often as possible.
When, where and how to apply Ms. Gardenia’s beautiful wiles Writer’s choice: Float a fully opened 2″ bloom in an open mouthed flute of chilled Roederer’s Cristal Champagne. What bride or wedding anniversary couple wouldn’t be enthralled by this lovely romantic sentiment? Pluck the petals, trim the bitter base end and layer into your favorite salad of fresh garden greens – add a handful of pitted fresh lychees for taste and texture interest. Toss with the lightest non-seasoned vinaigrette dressing. Candy the Petals. Rinse and thoroughly dry pesticide-free gardenia petals. Using a small paintbrush, thinly coat the petals with lightly beaten egg whites. Set gardenia petals on a plate covered with superfine sugar. Sprinkle the blossoms with more superfine sugar. Gently shake to remove the excess. Place on waxed paper and allow to dry for several hours. These can be used to adorn any number of wedding food offerings and adds an elegant touch to wedding cakes.
Gardenia Ice Cream
2 cups of heavy whipping cream
2 cups of whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, opened up, seeded (include seeds in mixture)
3/4 cup sugar (1/2 cup if you prefer less sweet)
Petals of 2 or 3 Gardenias (wash them well. Cut leaves up. Home grown gardenias are best)
PREPARATION Bring milk, cream, vanilla bean and seeds, half of the sugar, and chopped gardenia petals to a simmer in heavy saucepan (at least 2 quart in size), stir to melt sugar, remove from heat and let the flavors develop for 30-45 minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk 8 egg yolks and remaining sugar till blended and lighter in color.
For Diabetics: Use Whey Low Ice Cream Sugar(low carb, low calorie, and natural). It works perfectly. Add about 1/3 of the heated mixture slowly to the egg yolk mixture, whisking while adding. (this keeps egg from clotting) Then whisk all of egg mixture into cream mixture. Reheat, whisking continually, bring to simmer, but not a boil. Whisk and heat until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. A spoon dipped into mixture should stay lightly coated, and a finger run down the center should leave a line in the custard. Remove from heat. Put custard into a bowl in an ice bath (partial sink of water with ice works, to cool it quickly) Stir every five minutes or so. When cooled off, strain, put covered in fridge for several hours or overnight. Then use your ice cream maker. Freeze it to “soft-serve” consistency, put in another container and set in freezer to finish.
*NOTE – Be sure to use natural blooms from non-pesticide sprayed plants.
This post brought to you by Lily Fleur
So until pie is worn out as the dessert of choice it is still offbeat if you are going to have it for your wedding.
One of our Offbeat team members, Dionne, from Dionnesimone, made a great chocolate pecan pie for her daughter’s reception. The pies were star shaped. She says pecan pie lasts well and freezes great. You could make them well ahead of time to save yourself the stress of last minute preparation.
Here is the recipe and a few comments from Dionne:
1/2 bag of chocolate chips
2 tbs butter
1 c corn syrup
1/3 c granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp fresh grated nutmeg (optional)
1 1/2 cup pecan halves
prepared graham cracker pie crust
Heat oven to 350
Microwave chocolate and butter in a large bowl (using short intervals – you don’t want to scorch the chocolate) Stir.
Stir in corn syrup, sugar, vanilla and eggs (make sure that eggs are last – you want the corn syrup and sugar mixture to cool the chocolate a little so you don’t cook them on contact)
Stir in pecans & nutmeg.
Pour into pie shell.
Bake for 55 min or until knife inserted 1 inch from center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
For mini pies simply use the mini pie crusts and cook for aprox 40 min or until the knife comes out clean.
This recipe doubles and triples beautifully.
Package each mini pie in celophane bags purchased at craft store. Add a pretty thank you tag to the top. Use your imagination and accent with ribbon, stamps or flowers. The mini scrapbooking brads make wonderful attachments for the flower petals.
Of course you can’t go wrong with good ol’ apple pie. Here is a recipe from Better Homes and Garden Cook Book for
Apple Crumb Pie
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp grated lemon peel
6 cups thinly sliced apples (2 lbs)
3 tbs lemon juice
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp mace
1/4 cup softened butter
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tbs flour,and lemon peel. Sprinkle apples with lemon juice, add sugar mixture and toss to coat. fill pastry with apple mixture. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup flour and spices in a seperate bowl. Cut in butter till crumbly, sprinkle on top of apples. Cover crust edges with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil, bake for 30 min more or until topping is golden.
Makes 8 servings.
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