Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cherry Love Popcorn & January's Funny Food Blogger Posts

Here's the first Valentine's day post of the year. This colorful cherry popcorn was a breeze to make.

I popped about 1/3 cup of popcorn (in oil) and then spread it out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

For the flavor I melted cherry flavored chips and some additional pink candy melts for color.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Applesauce Caramel Pomegranate Cakies with Caramel Glaze

Yes cakies. The result of these clean out my fridge cookies was a consistency between cookies and cakes.

I had promised cookies to a UN Spouses Association event and ran out of time to plan what I was going to make. So I gathered the left over odds and ends in my refrigerator which included a pomegranate, a stick of organic shortening, unsweetened apple sauce and an almost empty jar of caramel sauce.

After I made the cakies, I fancied them up a bit and added a caramel glaze. The cakies themselves were not very sweet, so adding the glaze gave that a boost. It also balanced the tartness of the fresh pomegranate seeds and apple sauce.

There was not one left at the end of the evening and several very nice people went out of their way to tell me how good they were. Yay for cleaning out the fridge!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Brownies with Pink Raspberry Frosting

These are not unique and they are a bit sloppily decorated (me+piping bag=not pretty) but they tasted so good and were so loved by the birthday girl and party attendees I changed my mind about posting them.

The birthday girl's favorite flavor combo is raspberry and chocolate. Brownies with raspberry buttercream frosting seemed the perfect treat to make. After smearing the brownies with frosting, the leftover was loaded into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and piped on the brownies as decoration. No judging please.

Letters were cut out of  homemade marshmallow fondant with alphabet cookie cutters and then brushed them with vodka and covered with disco dust.

I packaged them up individually in cellophane bags tied with ribbons and arranged them on a platter. Not one left at the end of the evening.

You could also make these for Valentine's Day, cutting them into heart shapes and changing the message spelled out in fondant letters.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Starfruit Newtons

Growing up I hated Fig Newtons. How could they possibly compare to homemade warm luscious chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies? No surprise. I have been making homemade cookies since I was about 11 so the list of grocery store cookies I like is short. Waaay short. Several times over the years I would try to like them but one taste..blech!


Then I started to see homemade versions of Fig Newtons in the blogosphere...and I was intrigued. They no doubt taste way better and of course there is complete control over the ingredients, like not even using figs at all. Nothing against figs  but I love them fresh best.

Brave Tart's recent fabulous homemade Fig Newton post made me immediately forget my past FN aversion. I wanted to eat one of Stella's creations stat and was inspired to make my own version.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

White Mulberry Macadamia Brown Sugar Biscotti

When I saw dried white mulberries and macadamia nuts only a shelf away from each other in a local store, I knew I had to find a way to marry them together.

Since I haven't made biscotti in a while and have never blogged about it, it's making a debut here today. What a great combination these two flavors turned out to be. So good I left them naked, ditching my planned final stage of dipping them in white chocolate. 

Naked biscotti never tasted so good.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Spearmint Fudge Ripple Ice Cream

I swear this ice cream does not taste like toothpaste. My newest obsession? Fudge rippling ice cream.  Ever since I made a pumpkin version, I can't seem to stop.

The inspiration for this ice cream was simply having leftover flavoring from making vanilla spearmint macarons. It made me want to create yet another wacky ice cream flavor.

If you are used to peppermint ice cream, this is a surprisingly pleasant change. This ice cream was a hit with everyone who sampled it. Sexy spearmint scores again!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Frito Caramel Cupcakes

Most likely I have too many guilty pleasures to mention in one post. The Real Estalker is one. Mama keeps me rolling with laughter over her diatribes on celebrity dee-Kor and high profile cases of real estate fickle-dom. 

I am pretty sure I just made up that word, fickle-dom. Anyway, guilty pleasures help ward off the January post holiday doldrums. When visiting the States over the years I lived in overseas, I always tucked big bag of another guilty pleasure, Fritos, in my suitcase to bring back. Germany is a Frito free country. No corn chips either. And what look like Cheese Doodles taste of peanut butter. They are called Flips and my husband loves them. Don't ask. It's a sad state of snack affairs in German supermarkets. 

I bookmarked these fabulous frito cupcakes on Beantown Bakers site awhile back and I've been meaning to make my own version. So let's perk things up with some guilty pleasure inspired fun flavored cupcakes.

Salty corn chip and sweet caramel flavors blend perfectly here. A cupcake and a snack in one.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Banana Coconut Pepita White Chocolate Granola

When Trader Joe's handed me flattened bananas, I made granola.

Really good, delicious granola. Perfect for snacking, with greek yogurt, over ice cream or just plain milk.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Lemon Peel Macarons with Lemon Rum Buttercream Filling

Here are my first macarons for the new year. Zesty, bright, happy with a little shot of booze. What's not to love?

I used ground lemon peel in the shells to boost the flavor. Lemon zest added zing to the rum buttercream filling. The result was an amped up version of regular lemon macarons. Just wondermmmmmful. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Roasted Carrot Pistachio Spread

This is my Rainbow Carrot Hummus reinterpreted as a spread. 

On New Year's Day we invited several friends for brunch at our apartment in NYC. Several bottles of prosecco were consumed, lucky marzipan pigs (brought back from Germany) were distributed and we all participated in bleigeissen.

Bleigeissen (lead pouring) is a New Year's custom in Germany and Austria. Little metal lucky shapes are passed around and each person melts their shape in a little metal cup over a candle flame. When the shape has liquified it is quickly dumped into a bowl of cold water where it takes on a new form altogether.

The guest picks the now cold piece of metal out of the water and decides what the new shape looks like to them (insect, heart, baby, etc). The new shape is then matched to a key of explanations that comes with the game and it tells something that will happen in the upcoming year. A flower means new friendship, a fish means new happiness, etc.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Cherry Chili Spelt Cookies

Let's start of the new year with a spicy, healthier cookie, Shall we? These are in the style of classic oatmeal cookies but I made a few adjustments.

I gave my favorite oatmeal cookie recipe a makeover replacing the white flour and oats with spelt flour and spelt flakes. I ditched the raisins for chopped dried chilis and dried cherries to bump up the flavor.

These were really good. Deep brown sugar flavor, tangy sweet cherries and little bite of chili to wake things up and start the year off right with a few notches down on the guilt scale.