"treat" news and stories
When I was a young, every summer my cousin Harlan would come to spend a few weeks with my family. He lived in Hawaii, so coming to Los Angeles or Portland seemed like a strange way for him to spend part of his summer vacation, but he seemed to enjoy it and I loved to see him, so everyone was happy. About a month before he was scheduled to arrive, we would start saving pickle juice for him, because he loved the stuff (you weren't expecting that one, were you?). I always thought it was gross, but he looked forward to the jars of briny, green-tinged liquid, so we kept doing it.
Apparently, Harlan isn't the only one out there who is partial to pickle juice. The Pickle Sickle is a pickle juice pop that you can drink from the tube or freeze it and enjoy it as you would a popsicle. The company that created this "treat" is selling it to schools as a way to move away from the corn syrup filled Otter Pops (and other sweet frozen desserts).
What do you guys think? Horrible idea or intriguing treat?
[via Fridge Magnet]
At Trader Joe's the other day, I picked up a container of Dark Chocolate Covered Dried Cherries on my way to the checkout. Unlike chocolate-covered raisins, each piece was huge and there was clearly a high chocolate-to-cherry ratio. Chocolate and cherries are a great combination as it is, but Trader Joe's tends to carry some high-quality brands (under their store name), so I didn't hesitate to put them in my cart. My immediate thought was that they would be good in a cookie, so I baked up a batch to share with some friends. I used one of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes, which turns out cookies that are just sweet and buttery enough to be dangerously addictive, with a slightly chewy center and crispy edges. The cherries added some extra chew to the basic recipe and the chocolate brought it all together.
Still looking for some chocolaty Valentine's Day gift ideas? Why not try some kisses? We're not talking about Hershey's Kisses, although they are offering plenty of Valentine's themed candies, including Chocolate Truffle-filled kisses and Cherry Cordial Creme kisses. We're talking about upmarket kisses from Jacques Torres.
This Valentine's Day, Jacques Torres is offering a lot of sweet treats for lovers. In his stores, the offerings will include Jolie Kiss Chocolate Boxes (pictured) which are hollow kisses in dark, milk and white chocolate filled with chocolate X's, O's, hearts and mini kisses. He will also have Champagne Kiss Truffles, which are made with Taittinger Rosé champagne and chocolate ganache, then topped with a pink lip graphic. For those doing their shopping online, the Champagne Kiss truffles can also be purchased here.
Other, non-kiss treats include heart-shaped boxes filled with romance bonbons and other lovely truffles, three types of body butters - Love Tonic, Caramel Body Butter, and Raspberry Body Paint - to share with your significant other, and a huge basket called the Sweetheart collection for those who can't narrow down their options.
Looking for a way to use up some leftover eggnog, I considered possibilities like eggnog cookies and eggnog cheesecake before deciding to make up a batch of eggnog popovers. A popover is made with an egg batter, very similar to crepe batter, that puffs up in the oven, literally popping over the top of the tin that it is made in. Since the batter is similar to pancake batter, I was hoping for something that would be appropriate for breakfast or dessert and that is exactly what I got.
The interior of these popovers is moist and tender, almost custardy, while the exterior is light and crisp. They're best when they're still hot or warm, but are still tasty at room temperature. You can really taste the eggnog flavor, boosted with a bit of nutmeg and vanilla, and they go wonderfully with maple syrup or powdered sugar.
You can always buy a batch that is already made, but making mendiants is a simple process. Start by assembling a selection of toppings, such as cacao nibs, nuts (pistachios, walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts), dried fruits (cranberries, raisins, cherries, candied orange peel) and anything else that pairs well with chocolate, like small chunks of butter cookies or fleur de sel , as recommended by Clotilde. Melt some good quality chocolate and drop spoonfuls of it onto a sheet of wax or parchment paper to make circles. Place a small assortment of toppings on each disc and set aside to harden. Peel off when ready to serve.