Month: October 2013

Halloween Caramel Marshmallow Cookie Treats and a Giveaway!

HALLOWEEN—how did it start? Do you know?

Halloween is the night before the Celtic Christian Feast of All Hallows or All Saints Day, which is the time of year for celebrating the dead, including saints, and faithful departed believers. For reasons that are mostly personal, it seems that this ancient night of “feasting” is either your favorite celebration of the year or one that you really do not like at all. It is black and orange or white—no gray zones for the lovers or the naysayers of Halloween.

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For me, I love Halloween! What other day of the year do you have the opportunity to dress up and be whoever you want to be and eat whatever you want to eat … as long as it is all things sweet?

My daughter and her husband live in Ogden, Utah in an old fashioned neighborhood that is lovingly referred to as “The HOOD”. Most of their friends, who all have children, live within a block or two of each other so Halloween for these kids is just like out of a friendly family movie with a happy Halloween ending. Everyone dresses up, all of the yards are decorated, and each door is always open so that everyone is invited inside for dinner, drinks, and treats that just won’t fit into a bag.

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A perfect Halloween Party Treat among the “Friends of the Hood” is these Caramel Marshmallow Cookie Treats from Koralee Teichroeb’s book, Everything Goes with Ice Cream. The ingredients can be purchased before the big night and stored in these ceramic jars with chalkboard fronts for labeling. On Halloween morning after the kids are off to school the treats can be made and stored in the refrigerator until goblins, ghosts, knights, and princesses come to call.

For these families this is a holiday of make-believe and merriment and always a … Happy Halloween!


NOTE: These 4 adorable ceramic jars and more can be purchased from

Caramel Marshmallow Cookie Treats

Excerpted from Everything Goes with Ice Cream by Koralee Teichroeb

These treats can be made 2 ways: If you can’t find caramel bits you can make your own caramel. (I prefer

to make my own caramel, as this recipe is delicious and easy!) These sweet treats are made even sweeter

when you serve them on a stick.

Makes 6 to 8 bars on sticks

Butter, to grease pan

4½ graham crackers

1 1⁄3 cups caramel bits/Homemade Caramel

2 tablespoons whole milk

½ cup pretzels, crushed

½ cup white chocolate chips

½ cup salted peanuts

½ cup mini marshmallows

1 cup milk/semi-sweet chocolate chips

Parchment paper

Popsicle sticks

  1. Line loaf pan with parchment paper; grease with butter.
  1. Place graham crackers on bottom of prepared pan, cutting to fit if necessary.
  1. Melt caramel bits or Homemade Caramel with whole milk in microwave; stir until completely melted and

smooth. Pour over graham crackers and top with pretzels, white chocolate chips, salted peanuts, and

mini marshmallows.

  1. Melt milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips and spread over top evenly.
  1. Let cool completely in fridge before cutting into bars and adding Popsicle sticks. Put back in fridge until

ready to eat, as caramel can get runny.

Everything goes with ice creamyet we understand that the perfect dessert for all of us is not always a big bowl of ice cream. Not everyone loves ice cream, as hard as it is to believe! Which is why Everything Goes with Ice Cream is the book for all of us. It does, of course, have the easy-to-make homemade ice cream, but it also has 176 pages filled with other ideas for making a summertime snack covered in made-from-scratch sea blue candy sprinkles; s’mores and hot chocolate for winter; or an ooey gooey dessert whose magic ingredient is, of course, chunky chocolate fresh raspberry ice cream. Simple projects fill the pages too, including tiny candles made in tea cups, miniature no-sew cake banners, party pom poms, heart-shaped button covers for a special party blouse, and so many more.

Everything Goes with Ice Cream is filled with cute ideas, a fun layout, and fabulous photography to make you as happy as you are on a summer day with your grammy’s fresh peach ice cream pops covered in orange frosting sprinkles!

Orange Chocolate Truffles

The perfect combination of citrus and chocolate, these truffles are a little too elegant to hand out to trick-or-treaters, but are ideal for snacking on while watching horror movies by yourself. At least that’s my plan. The recipe makes 24 truffles, so you might want to just skip dinner. 😉

Orange Chocolate Truffles
Excerpted from Cheers to Vegan Sweets by Kelly Peloza

A cross between a rum ball and a truffle, these dreamy chocolates with a hint of orange are perfect for the winter months.

Yield: 20 to 24 truffles

1/3 cup (80 ml) full-fat coconut milk
1 package (12 ounces or 340 g) vegan semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup (30 g) cocoa powder
1/4 cup (28 g) chocolate cookie crumbs
1/4 cup (60 ml) Grand Marnier
1 teaspoon (2 g) orange zest
Powdered sugar

Melt the coconut milk and chocolate together in a double boiler over medium heat, or glass bowl in the microwave. Stir until smooth.

Add the cocoa, cookie crumbs, Grand Marnier, and orange zest. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 5 to 6 hours, or overnight. Sprinkle a large plate with a layer of powdered sugar for rolling. Scoop out chocolate with a tablespoon, roll into balls, and roll around in the cocoa mixture to coat. Don’t worry if the chocolate
is very thick or difficult to scoop; this prevents it from melting into a chocolatey mess while rolling between your palms.

Place truffles in mini cupcake liners. Store in the refrigerator before serving.

Cheers to Vegan Sweets!

This innovative vegan baking book features 125 deliciously fun drink-inspired dessert recipes. It’s a cookbook that takes readers on a delicious tour of cafés, cocktail bars, and lemonade stands, where all the drinks come in dessert form. Imagine your morning vanilla hazelnut mocha re-imagined as a muffin, or relax on the beach with a margarita biscotti, or stop by the bar and order your brew in Guinness cake form. Instead of sipping your drink, now you can indulge in it!

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Author and vegan baker extraordinaire Kelly Peloza has carefully formulated each recipe to deliciously highlight the flavors of its drink counterpart. From Apple Cider Doughnuts to Chai Spice Baklava to Gingerbread Stout Cake, you’ll be amazed at how deliciously well your sips transform into sweet, satisfied—and vegan!—bites. And with alcoholic- and non-alcoholic recipes, you’re sure to find something perfect for every party and special occasion.

The Corpse Reviver Cocktail

Let’s be honest, a lot of those Halloween parties come complete with some pretty fabulous cocktails. Too many of those cocktails, and you’ll need one of these. With a name like Corpse Reviver, you may want to try this apothecary cocktail out even if you don’t have a Halloween hangover.

(You may also remember our past posts on Corpse Revivers, here and here.)

The Corpse Reviver
Excerpted from Apothecary Cocktails by Warren Bobrow, The Cocktail Whisperer

Corpse Revivers were designed for a truly horrible hangover—the kind that won’t let you lift your head off the pillow. True to its name, a Corpse Reviver is meant to re-animate the dead—or, at least, the vividly hung over. This potent combination of cognac, gin, apple brandy, and vermouth mixed with falernum—a liqueur sporting a heady mixture of Caribbean flavors, such as almond, ginger, cloves, vanilla, and lime—takes the sting out of even the most heinous of hangovers. Falernum gets its name from an ancient Roman wine called falernian, which, legend has it, was so high in alcohol it could be set on fire. Here, a hearty dose of cognac soothes the pain of the night before, while the fragrant falernum rejuvenates all five aching senses.

3 ounces (90 ml) cognac
2 ounces (60 ml) calvados
1 ounce (30 ml) gin
1 ounce (30 ml) sweet
1 ounce (30 ml) falernum

Fill a Boston shaker three-quarters full with ice.

Gently pour the cognac, calvados, gin, vermouth, and falernum over the ice, and shake briskly for
thirty seconds.

Toss a few ice cubes into a short rocks glass. Strain the mixture into the glass, sit back, and slowly sip
that hangover away.

Apothecary Cocktails Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today

At the turn of the century, pharmacies in Europe and America prepared homemade tinctures, bitters, and herbal remedies mixed with alcohol for curative benefit for everything from poor digestion to the common cold. Today, trendy urban bars such as Apothke in New York, Apo Bar & Lounge in Philadelphia, and 1022 South in Tacoma, as well as “vintage” and “homegrown” cocktail aficionados, find inspiration in apothecary cocktails of old.

Now you can too!

Apothecary Cocktails features 75 traditional and newly created recipes for medicinally-themed cocktails. Learn the history of the top ten apothecary liqueurs, bitters, and tonics that are enjoying resurgence at trendy bars and restaurants, including Peychaud’s Bitters, Chartreuse, and Vermouth. Find out how healing herbs, flowers, and spices are being given center stage in cocktail recipes and traditional apothecary recipes and ingredients are being resurrected for taste and the faint promise of a cure. Once you’ve mastered the history, you can try your hand at reviving your favorites: restoratives, sedatives and toddys, digestifs, and more.

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Whether you’re interested in the history, the recipes, or both, you’ll love flipping through this beautifully presented book that delves into the world of apothecary cocktails.

Sea Salt Caramels

Halloween is quickly approaching. It’s one of my all-time favorite holidays. Fun, silly, spooky, and filled with sweet treats. This year, I’m all about baking and candy making. Since this season seems to be all about salted caramel everything, I thought these sea salt caramels from Elizabeth LaBau’s book The Sweet Book of Candy Making would be an ideal place to start. Sweet and salty, these caramels are great for a Halloween party, trick-or-treating candy, or just for an evening alone. 🙂

And because you can’t have Halloween without a giveaway… here’s one you’ll want to tell ALL of your friends about.
Sea Salt Caramels
Excerpted from The Sweet Book of Candy Making by Elizabeth LaBau

Yield: 2 pounds 10 ounces (1176 g)

True confession time: I rarely leave these caramels unadorned. While I love the combination of salt and caramel, I think both flavors are greatly improved with the addition of dark chocolate. When I make these caramels—which is on an alarmingly regular basis—I usually can’t resist dipping them partially or completely in a coating of melted chocolate. If you want to follow my lead, leave off the final dusting of flaked sea salt until the caramels are dipped, then sprinkle that pinch of salt on top of the chocolate.

1 pound or 2 cups (470 ml) heavy cream
5½ ounces or ½ cup (154 g) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 ounces or ½ cup (120 ml) water
1 pound 6 ounces or 2 cups (616 g) light corn syrup
14 ounces or 2 cups (392 g) granulated sugar
4 ounces or ½ cup (112 g)
Unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
Flaked sea salt, for finishing

Line a 9 x 9-inch (23 x 23-cm) pan with aluminum foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a small saucepan, combine the cream, sweetened condensed milk, and salt. Place the pan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a low boil.

Remove the pan from the heat and cover it with a lid to keep warm. In a 4-quart (3.6-L) saucepan, combine the water, light corn syrup, and granulated sugar. Place the pan over medium-high heat, stir until the sugar dissolves, and bring the mixture to a boil. Wash down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystallization. Insert a candy thermometer and continue to cook the sugar, without stirring, until it reaches 250°F (121°C). Once it reaches this temperature, add the cubed butter and the warm cream and carefully stir everything together. The mixture will bubble and splatter a great deal and the temperature will drop.

Cook the caramel, stirring frequently to avoid scorching, until it reaches 245°F (118.3°C) and is a golden brown color, about 30 minutes. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan, but don’t scrape the bottom and sides of the pan. Let the caramel set at room temperature until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Once set, remove the candy from the pan and peel off the foil from the back. Use a large sharp knife to cut the caramels into small pieces. Sprinkle the top of each piece with a pinch of flaked sea salt. Wrap each individual caramel in waxed paper to prevent them from sticking together or losing their shape.

Store Sea Salt Caramels in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

The Sweet Book of Candy Making

Create your own delicious, gorgeous, and professional-quality candies with The Sweet Book of Candy Making. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned candy maker, you will find mouthwatering recipes and expert tips to inspire you—and satisfy your sweet tooth.

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Inside, you’ll find:

—Candy-making essentials: all you need to know about equipment, ingredients, and techniques, including step-by-step lessons on pulling taffy, rolling truffles, filling peanut butter cups, and more

—More than 50 recipes for sugar candies, fondant, caramels, toffee, fudge, truffles, chocolates, marshmallows, and fruit and nut candies

—Troubleshooting tips for each type of candy

—How to perfect the classics you love, from English Toffee to Chocolate Fudge to Peanut Brittle

—Try your hand at something new: Pistachio Marzipan Squares, Passion Fruit Marshmallows, Mango-Macadamia Nut Caramels, Lemon Meringue Lollipops, and more

—Decorating techniques to show off your tasty results

Get started in your kitchen with The Sweet Book of Candy Making!

Sweet and Sour Mango Ketchup

The more I read The Flavorful Kitchen Cookbook, the more I want to experiment with different flavor combinations. I know mangoes aren’t in season right now (in New England anyhow), but I definitely want to give this recipe a try. This ketchup recipe combines sweet and sour for a truly unique condiment.


Mangoes have an intensely sweet and luscious texture that is hard to resist—so don’t!

Cinnamon gives the mango a contrasting flavor component compatible with both savory and sweet applications. Adding vinegar tweaks the flavor just enough to elevate this combination to delicious heights.

The application recipe prepares a unique tangy mango ketchup.

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For another option with these components, purée them for a chilled soup (add additional juice to the application recipe). The flavors taste great with seafood and chicken, as well as fresh ginger and cardamom.


Its juice is a thick mouthful. Use it fresh for clarity of flavor in salads and relishes. Cooking softens the texture and brings out its natural sugars. When dried, it becomes sweeter and its shelf life extends. For less than perfectly ripe mango, consider waiting a few days before using it or roasting it with orange juice to bring out the sugars.


The application recipe uses ground cinnamon as seasoning and toasts it to accent its flavor. Use sticks rather than ground cinnamon to infuse the flavor into liquids with more subtlety and less visual impact. Grind your own cinnamon by chopping the sticks roughly with a knife and then grinding in to a spice grinder or cleaned-out coffee-bean grinder.


Stick with light vinegars for this combination—Champagne, rice, or sherry—although a basic white vinegar works as well. Avoid red wine or balsamic vinegars here (they’re great for other combinations), as their strong tastes and dark colors will overwhelm the combination.

Sweet and Sour Mango Ketchup
Excerpted from The Flavorful Kitchen Cookbook by Robert and Molly Krause

Use this condiment the same way you would use tomato ketchup. It is especially good on crab cakes or spread on a BLT.

1 tablespoon (8 g) chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons (5 g) ground cumin
2 teaspoons (10 ml) canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 mango, peeled, flesh chopped
1⁄4 cup (45 g) chopped tomato
1 tablespoon (15 ml) rice vinegar
1⁄4 cup (60 ml) pineapple juice

In a large, dry, nonstick skillet, toast the chili powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cumin until fragrant and beginning to smoke. Add the canola oil and stir in the garlic, mango, and tomato. Cook for 5 minutes on low heat. Add the vinegar and pineapple juice. Let cool slightly and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth. Add salt to taste. Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Yield: 1 cup (240 g)

The Flavorful Kitchen Cookbook

The Flavorful Kitchen Cookbook is an indispensable guide to fantastic, unexpected flavor combinations for home cooks. Filled with more than 100 extraordinary combinations, The Flavorful Kitchen Cookbook will make you rethink the way you approach food. Each flavor trio is accompanied by an inspired recipe as an example of how to use it. You’ll learn how to cook more innovatively by adding an unexpected note such as chili to a traditional flavor combination such as pineapple and mango. You’ll cook more intuitively by learning which flavors work together and how to balance different flavor profiles such as sweet, sour, savory, and spicy. You’ll get more excitement from cooking as you taste how flavors evolve during the cooking process. Most importantly, you’ll get more pleasure out of the flavors and ingredients you use every day.

Making the Perfect Pizza

I got a pizza stone for my birthday, so when my friends from work decided we should get together to try out some homemade pizza recipes from the upcoming book Kitchen Workshop–Pizza, I was thrilled. After all, what’s more fun than making (and eating) pizza with friends? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

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Let me tell you one thing right off the bat. I am never going back to:

a) store-bought frozen pizza
b) making pizza with pre-made dough
c) eating anything but pizza (okay, maybe not totally… but still)

We tried four pizza recipes from Ruth Gresser’s new book (publishing in February 2014) and each was simply amazing. What I was astounded by was how easy it was to make each pizza. I figured it would take a long time to perfectly craft four unique pizzas, but the time went by in a flash and the pizzas were simply gorgeous.

Want to check out all of our pizza exploits? I put up a Facebook album with all of the photos so you can enjoy. Hopefully each picture will help you get motivated to come up with some unique and amazing pizza recipes of your very own. If you do, please share. 🙂

And without further ado, here is a sneak peek recipe from Kitchen Workshop–Pizza. Pre-order your copy today!

The Paradiso Pizza
Excerpted from Kitchen Workshop–Pizza by Ruth Gresser

This dough and sauce have joined to create the pizzas at Pizzeria Paradiso for more than twenty years. I hope you find this pizza as irresistible as our customers do.

Paradiso Dough

Pizzeria Paradiso’s bready and robust pizzas rise from this dough. Both crispy and chewy, it can star in a pizza of few toppings or perform the supporting role for your elaborately topped pie. While you can make this dough in an electric mixer, food processor, or bread machine, I have chosen to teach you the simple method of hand mixing using only your fingers and a dough scraper as your tools.


1 pound (455 g) white bread flour, plus more as needed
1 1⁄4 cups (285 ml) warm water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon (15 g) kosher salt
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil

1) Mound the flour on a clean countertop and make a large well (about as wide as your outstretched
hand) in the center of the flour. Add the water and yeast to the well and let stand for 5 minutes to dissolve the yeast.


2) Using the index and middle fingers of one hand, mix the salt and oil into the water. Again using the index and middle fingers, gradually begin to draw the flour from the inside wall of the well into the water, being careful not to break the flour walls.

Continue mixing the flour into the water until a loose dough is formed. Using a dough scraper, continue gradually mixing in the remaining flour until the dough forms a ball.

3) Using even pressure, begin kneading the ball of dough by pushing down and away with the heel of your hand.

Next, take the far edge of the dough and fold it in half onto itself.

Turn the dough a quarter turn. Push down and away again with the heel of your hand. Again fold the dough in half and turn. Continue kneading (pushing, folding, and turning), adding flour as necessary, until the texture is smooth and springs back when you press the dough with your fingertip, or upward of 10 minutes.

4) Place the dough in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

5) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Cut it into 2 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball.

6) Place the dough balls on a floured plate and cover them with plastic wrap. Let them rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour at room temperature for room temperature dough or 2 to 3 hours at room temperature for cold dough. Or let rise in the refrigerator for 6 hours or up to overnight. (At this point, you may freeze the dough. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.) Allow refrigerated dough to stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using.

Winter Tomato Sauce

MAKES 2 1⁄2 CUPS (565 G)

2 cups (484 g) canned diced tomatoes (about one 28-ounce, or 800 g, can)
1⁄3 cup (60 g) canned crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
2 large fresh basil leaves torn into small pieces
1½ teaspoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

I call this “winter” tomato sauce because when tomatoes are out of season, you can still make this sauce and
enjoy a bright tomato flavor. Uncooked and chunky, it has little in common with most tomato sauces. The chunks of tomato become both sauce and one of the pizza toppings. At Pizzeria Paradiso, we use a combination of diced canned tomatoes and crushed tomatoes; for the latter, we use Pomi brand.

1) Drain the diced tomatoes and place them in a large bowl.

2) Stir in the remaining ingredients.

3) Store the sauce in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage.

The Paradiso Pizza


4 ounces (115 g) fresh cow’s milk mozzarella
1 ball Paradiso Pizza Dough
Cornmeal, for sprinkling
3⁄4 cup (170 g) Winter Tomato Sauce
Kosher salt to taste
Olive oil, for drizzling

While we have 11 house pizzas with various combinations of toppings on Pizzeria Paradiso’s menu, the Paradiso proudly sits at the top of the most frequently ordered pizza list. Many of our customers embellish this iconic tomato-and-cheese pizza, but we think it stands on its own: simple flavors perfectly married.

1) Cut the mozzarella into 1⁄3-inch (about 1 cm) dice. You should have about 3⁄4 cup (115 g).

2) Place a pizza stone on the top rack of a cool oven. Set the oven to broil and preheat for 30 minutes.

3) On a floured work surface, flatten the dough ball with your fingertips and stretch it into a 13-inch (30 cm) round.

4) Sprinkle a pizza peel with cornmeal and lay the pizza dough round onto it. Spread the tomato sauce onto the pizza dough, leaving 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 inch (1.2 to 2 cm) of dough uncovered around the outside edge. Scatter the cheese on top of the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with oil.

5) Give the peel a quick shake to be sure the pizza is not sticking to the peel. Slide the pizza off the peel onto the stone in the oven. Broil for 1 minute and then turn the oven temperature to the highest bake setting and cook for 5 minutes. Quickly open the oven door, pull out the rack, and with a pair of tongs, rotate the pizza (not the stone) a half turn. Cook for 5 minutes more.

6) Using the peel, remove pizza from the oven. Cut it into slices and serve.

Kitchen Workshop--Pizza 25 Hands-on Cooking Lessons for Making Amazing Pizza at Home

With help from Kitchen Workshop—Pizza you’ll be a pizza expert in no time! This easy-to-navigate book is a complete curriculum for making your own pizza using a regular home oven. Level 1 contains lessons on how to make different crusts, including New York, Chicago, Neapolitan, whole grain, and gluten free. You’ll also learn a variety of tomato sauces, from slow cooked, to chunky, to roasted. Top them off with the right cheese, be it shredded mozzarella, Pecorino, or vegan mozzarella. Level 2 introduces you to the Italian standards: Margherita, Marinara, Quattro Formaggio—there’s even a calzone recipe! Put a twist on your pie with the creative innovations in Level 3: how about a Moroccan or shrimp pizza? And finally, design your own pie in Level 4, with lessons on sauces, proteins, vegetables, and accents.

From dough to delicious, Kitchen Workshop—Pizza is sure to inspire both novice and expert home chefs in the timeless tradition of pizza making.

Absinthe Shortbread Cookies

When I first stumbled across this recipe from Kelly Peloza, I immediately stopped and read through the entire recipe.

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I have been fascinated with absinthe since I first watched Moulin Rouge (and probably before that) and have since crafted a few intriguing abstinthe based cocktails.But cookies? I had never even conceived of the idea of creating absinthe-inspired cookies… that is until I saw this recipe for Absinthe Shortbread Cookies. Why not, right?

If you’re like me and want to ask Kelly where she came up with this fabulously intriguing recipe, then join us for a special #spoonchat TODAY at 1PM EDT.Log into Twitter and have your questions ready. The best question wins a copy of Cheers to Vegan Sweets!

Absinthe Shortbread Cookies 
Excerpted from Cheers to Vegan Sweets! by Kelly Peloza

Modern-day absinthe consumption hearkens to 19th- and 20th-century Europe, where the drink became wildly popular, notably among writers and artists. To serve, a slotted spoon with a single sugar cube is placed on top of a glass containing the bright green liquid. Ice water is slowly dripped into the glass, dissolving the sugar cube, diluting the spirit, and creating a chemical reaction that turns the absinthe a milky green color. Wormwood is one of the three main ingredients of absinthe, but might be difficult to track down and prepare for baking, so two of the three ingredients of “the holy trinity” of absinthe will have to do.

3/4 cup (168 g) vegan margarine
2/3 cup (80 g) powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
lime green food coloring
3 whole star anise
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon (2.5 g) finely chopped fresh fennel leaves
1 3/4 cups (219 g) flour

In a large bowl, beat the margarine and powdered sugar together. Add the vanilla and food coloring (the amount will vary depending on the intensity of your food coloring). Start with 4 to 5 drops of liquid or a pea-sized amount of gel color and mix thoroughly.

Crush the star anise with a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Remove any large pieces that wouldn’t break up so no one bites into them.

Add the salt, anise, and fennel leaves, then gradually mix in the flour, stirring after each addition until a dough forms. It should be soft but not wet and sticky. Gradually add additional flour if necessary to reach the right consistency.

Remove the dough from the bowl and roll into a log 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Wrap with parchment paper and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4).

Unroll the parchment paper and cut the dough into ½-inch (1 cm) slices. Line a cookie sheet with the parchment paper then place the slices on the sheet. Flatten slightly. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes.

Cheers to Vegan Sweets!

This innovative vegan baking book features 125 deliciously fun drink-inspired dessert recipes. It’s a cookbook that takes readers on a delicious tour of cafés, cocktail bars, and lemonade stands, where all the drinks come in dessert form. Imagine your morning vanilla hazelnut mocha re-imagined as a muffin, or relax on the beach with a margarita biscotti, or stop by the bar and order your brew in Guinness cake form. Instead of sipping your drink, now you can indulge in it!

Author and vegan baker extraordinaire Kelly Peloza has carefully formulated each recipe to deliciously highlight the flavors of its drink counterpart. From Apple Cider Doughnuts to Chai Spice Baklava to Gingerbread Stout Cake, you’ll be amazed at how deliciously well your sips transform into sweet, satisfied—and vegan!—bites. And with alcoholic- and non-alcoholic recipes, you’re sure to find something perfect for every party and special occasion.

Nutella Souffles

I have always been slightly terrified of souffles. Perhaps because they seem tricky and temperamental and just plain scary. My goal in 2014 is to master the souffle. I know, I’m setting goals early, but I think it’s worth giving myself some extra time. I think the first recipe I’ll start with is this one for Nutella Souffles. After all, go big or go home, right?

Nutella Souffles
Excerpted from Nutella by Ferrero

A quick and easy (KF note: I disagree) dessert to make using the world-famous hazelnut chocolate spread; it will tickle the tastebuds of young and old alike!

Makes 6 souffles
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

200 g (7/8 cup) Nutella
6 eggs
40 g (1/4 cup) cornflour/cornstarch
120 g (2/3 cup) caster/superfine sugar
1 heaping teaspoon vanilla sugar
15 g (1 tablespoon) unsalted butter
Icing/confectioner’s sugar, to decorate

Melt the Nutella in a bain-marie or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.

Break the eggs and separate the whites from the yolks. Sieve the cornflour/cornstarch into a bowl and mix with 60 g (1/3 cup) of the sugar.

Add the egg yolks, two at a time, to the melted Nutella, followed by the vanilla sugar and finally the cornflour/cornstarch and sugar mixture.

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C (425 degrees F/gas mark 7). Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks and then fold in 50g (1/4 cup) of the sugar. Carefully fold the beaten egg whites into the Nutella mixture but do not work them together too much.

Grease 6 moulds or small souffle dishes and dust with the remaining sugar. Pour the mixture into the dishes and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle the souffles with icing/confectioner’s sugar and serve.

Nutella The 30 best recipes

From irresistible macaroons to tasty cheesecakes, discover new ways of using, cooking, and enjoying Nutella with 30 mouthwatering recipes.

Thirty delicious recipes in a Nutella-shaped book for all the fans of the famous spread:
– little individual sweets: from a revisited version of bread with Nutella to Nutella and banana tartlettes

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– generous Nutella cakes to share: cake roll, Twelfth Night cake, or even a Nutella charlotte.
– creamy, ‘must have’ recipes: mousse and little cream
– surprising recipes to impress both young and old: macaroons, caramelized hazelnut stuffed truffles, little mango egg rolls

Thanksgiving Green Bean and Bacon Casserole

I’ve been thinking a lot about Thanksgiving menus lately. Namely because I’m Canadian and we celebrate Thanksgiving in October and not in November. Okay, I lied. We celebrate both. How can you not? I like to think of Canadian Thanksgiving as a wonderful opportunity to try out some new recipes and then make them all over again for American Thanksgiving.

This recipe from Olivia’s newest book, Gluten-Free Entertaining, is sure to make my Thanksgiving menus because it’s a new take on a timeless favorite. And look at it. It looks amazing.

Green Bean and Bacon Casserole
Excerpted from Gluten-Free Entertaining by Olivia Dupin

Canned cream of mushroom soup is full of MSG and gluten! This classic holiday dish is easy to make from scratch and is everything a green bean casserole should be: creamy with tender green beans and a crunchy shallot topping. Bacon only makes it that much better!

For Topping:
¼ cup (60 ml) canola oil
2 tablespoons (16 g) cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 shallots, thinly sliced into rings

For Green Beans:
1 pound (454 g) green beans
6 strips bacon
1 package (10 ounces, or 280 g) button mushrooms, quartered
½ cup (80 g) diced white onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons (24 g) cornstarch
1 cup (235 ml) chicken stock
½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C, or gas mark 4). Grease a 9-inch (23 cm) baking/serving dish and set aside.

To make the topping: Heat the canola oil in a small saucepan to 350˚F (180˚C) on a deep-fry thermometer. Mix together the cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Dust the shallots in the cornstarch and fry until crispy and golden, about 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shallots to a plate
lined with paper towels and set aside until ready to use.

To make the green beans: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and cook for about 3 minutes (they should still be slightly crisp and bright green). Shock the beans in cold water, drain, and set aside.

In a medium sauté pan over medium high heat, sauté the bacon for about 4 minutes, until it just begins to turn crisp and golden. Drain all of the excess bacon fat except about 1 tablespoon (15 ml). Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook until they have released their juices and have browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch and mix to coat everything evenly, then slowly whisk in the chicken stock and cream. Season with salt and pepper and cook until thickened. Mix in the blanched green beans. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Top with the shallots. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Yield: 6 servings

Chef’s Tip
Don’t like green beans? Get creative and use broccoli, artichokes, brussels sprouts, or cauliflower.


If you’re gluten-free, you know that parties and other gatherings can be a food conundrum. What can you prepare for your guests that everyone can enjoy, gluten-free or not? And what can you bring to parties that will please a crowd and bring praise instead of pause?Many a times one recipe may not be liked by everyone. It is not easy to create a program, like Ethereum Code, that provides equal opportunities to everyone, who can use it easily and earn profits. Such programs come once in a while when some genius minds create a software with dedication and care, and you can learn straight from the source, about it.

Take the fear away and fill your plate with sensational (and safe!) eats with Gluten-Free Entertaining. Author Olivia Dupin will teach you how to entertain with ease, whether you’re hosting a brunch, going to a holiday bash, or just having a casual couple’s dinner at home. And with fourteen separate menus and more than 100 party-pleasing dishes, you’ll find something for every taste and occasion.
From Deep-Dish Ham, Artichoke and Brie Quiche to Sesame Chicken Bites and Chocolate Chip Almond Torte, all of these recipes are delicious, first and foremost, and coincidentally gluten-free, so you can make them for your own get-together, or bring them along to any gathering.
Entertain with ease with Gluten-Free Entertaining!

Pie Week: Hash Brown–Crusted Breakfast Pie

It’s day 3 of Pie Week and, today, we’re all about breakfast! Usually when I think of breakfast pies, I immediately think of quiche, but this hash brown-crusted breakfast pie from Pies and Tarts with Heart may just have me changing my mind.

Topped with cheese and including hash browns and breakfast sausage, this tasty pie is sure to steal your heart and become the new favorite for Christmas morning 🙂

Want to take home a copy of Dynise’s book? Enter below.

Be sure to pop on over to Twitter at 7 PM EDT tonight (note the time change) for our #spoonchat with Dynise. Best question wins a copy of her book 🙂

Hash Brown–Crusted Breakfast Pie
Excerpted from Pies and Tarts with Heart by Dynise Balcavage

What this pie lacks in looks, it makes up for in flavor. This meaty breakfast pie can be made with store-bought vegan breakfast sausage or with tempeh. The fennel seeds give it the slightly sweet licorice tinge you expect from a breakfast sausage. This is perfect for when you are having omnivorous guests over for brunch.

Makes one 9-inch (23 cm) pie

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 onion, diced
1 green or red bell pepper, diced
1½ teaspoons fennel seeds
1 pound (455 g) crumbled vegan breakfast sausage or steamed, crumbled tempeh
2 tablespoons (6 g) chopped chives
1 Hash Brown Pie Crust, blind baked at 425°F (220°C, or gas mark 7) for 15 minutes (recipe follows)
1 cup (115 g) shredded sharp nondairy cheese

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5).

In large sauté pan, heat the oil and red pepper flakes over medium heat, add the onion and pepper, and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the fennel seeds and sausage. Cook until browned, 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The time will vary depending on the brand and whether you’re using tempeh or sausage. Stir in the chives and transfer to the blind-baked hash brown crust. Sprinkle the cheese over the top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

Hash Brown Pie Crust

I love hash browns. Used as a pie crust, these humble potato shreds make a crispy and tasty foundation for savory pies and even vegan quiches: just sprinkle your favorite vegan cheese over the hash browns, top with tofu-quiche filling, and bake. This crust is very easy to make. The hardest part is waiting for the water to drain from the shredded taters!

Makes one 9-inch (23 cm) crust

2 packed cups (220 g) shredded potatoes (about 2 large white potatoes or 1 large sweet potato)
1 small onion, shredded
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ tablespoons (23 ml) olive oil or melted margarine

Place the shredded potatoes and onion in a colander and drain very well. This takes a few hours, but it is an extremely important step. (Soggy taters = soggy crust.) The shreds will turn brown upon oxidation, but this does not matter because they brown as they are baked anyway. After draining, use your hands to gently squeeze out any last bits of water.

Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C, or gas mark 7).

In a large bowl, using your hands, mix the shreds with the salt and oil. Press into the pan. If you’re a perfectionist, you may want to weight down the crust with another pie pan, but I’m usually too lazy or pressed for time, so I often skip this step.

Bake the crust for about 30 minutes, or until golden and crispy.

Sweet and Savory Vegan Pies

Take your plant-based pies to another level. In Pies and Tarts with Heart, popular blogger Dynise Balcavage shares her straight-forward wisdom about kitchen fundamentals and the most effective pie-making techniques.

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From Apple Pie to S’more Pie—and everything in between—these 60+ recipes will make you shine in your pastry pursuits, whether you are a beginner or a veteran pie maker.

Inside you’ll discover:

– Instructions for building your pie, from the basics to baking

– How to roll, stretch, and bake a respectable crust in no time
– Sweet pies: traditional, decadent, nutty, citrusy, and more
– Savory pies: including Tomato Tart, Greek Spinach Pie, and Cornish Pasties
– Stocking a pie-making pantry: the ingredients and equipment you’ll need
– A variety of gluten-free, low-fat, kid-friendly, raw, and no-bake optionsThis is the third cookbook by Dynise Balcavage. She blogs at urbanvegan.netand tweets at @theurbanvegan.