Making caramel sauce is simple, and additions of sea salt, lavender or even chilies take a basic sauce and make it into something special. This holiday season, I made mine boozy with an infusion of maple bourbon.
When I was a child, there weren't a lot of sweets in our house, but come Christmastime, little teasing bits of my mom's holiday toffee would show up in my normally sugar-starved lunch bag during the week before school let out. Then, during our annual Christmas Eve tamale party, huge platters would appear, with piles of the stuff stacked high like poker chips.
These cute little turtle clusters are so much more than meets the eye. It's hard to resist their addictive combination of buttery pecans and chewy homemade caramel nestled under a creamy milk chocolate shell. So hard to resist, in fact, that I recommend making a double batch if you have any hopes of sharing.
I'm in graduate school, which means that instead of spending December baking and listening to the Peanuts Christmas album the way I'd like to, I'm spending most of my free time in a lonely, silent room studying for finals. Yes, it's grim — but it doesn't mean I'll be skipping homemade-gift-making entirely. This year I've decided to make a few batches of chocolate bark to give away to friends and family. The process is quick, incredibly simple, yet never fails to impress.
Baked goods and pretty things are not my forte in the kitchen. I'm good at stews, quiche, gooey pasta dishes and slow cooked pork that falls off the bone, all sorts of things that taste better than they look. I'm like this in every part of my life. But when I opened this month's Ladies Home Journal and saw an easy recipe for gingerbread caramel sauce, I thought, "This is brown and gooey. I can do this."
It doesn't matter what you call them, whether its Seven Layer Bars, Magic Bars, or Hello Dolly's, these nostalgic delights are always reason enough to celebrate. To make these classic bars gift-worthy — and even more amazing — I shrunk them down into irresistible chocolate truffle form.
Q: My boyfriend's mother loves those little mint nonpareils. You know, the pink green and yellow ones with the tiny white sprinkles. Is it possible to make them yourself? A DIY version would really wow her.
Q: I bought way too much candy corn for Halloween, and now I don't know what to do with all of it! While I do like candy corn, there's only so much I can stomach just straight eating. Does anyone have a good cookie or other dessert recipe that incorporates candy corn? Or some other creative way for how to use it up?
It's a tradition in New York for me: I buy a bunch of Halloween candy for trick-or-treaters and nobody ever shows up. So what to do with the all the leftovers? This 7-layer dip takes your candy to a whole, new decadent level.
Last week we met Alexandra Whisnant, French-trained chocolatier and owner of the boutique chocolate company gâté comme des filles, when she taught us how to temper chocolate without a thermometer. This week, we'll learn how to hand dip creamy ganache fillings into our beautifully tempered chocolate. Like with the tempering process, Alexandra's hand dipped chocolate requires no special equipment, just your willingness to have fun and get your hands deliciously dirty!