October 30, 2011 § Leave a comment
I used a boxed spice cake with vanilla frosting and…thanks to the power of suggestion… everyone who tried one said “Mmmm pumpkin cake?” Love it.
First I made cake pops the regular old way with orange candy melts, quickly pressing two m&m’s into the top for the ears.
Next, I dipped the tops into black candy melts, and used a toothpick to draw the faces with the black candy melts.
All packed up and ready to ship out to coworkers in LA!
October 20, 2011 § Leave a comment
Seattle- not to get behind the food trends, has a new tavern, created by the local favorite chef/restaurateur Tom Douglas, that features chewy, fluffy, beer boiled, brick oven fired soft pretzels!
Brave Horse Tavern has figured out a way to make pretzels hip by adding quirky dips like peanut butter bacon and clams with lager. It was love at first bite.
Growing up, my mother used to buy us giant boxes of frozen pretzels from Costco- 5 minutes in the microwave, a sprinkle of pre-packaged pretzel salt and BOOM! Pretzelpalooza. I found a recipe on Martha Stewart for beer boiled pretzels- I fiddled a bit and made a pretty addicting dip- both recipes below.
Mustard is always a great staple for pretzels- I also made a really yummy Onion Rosemary Confiturre (or jam as normal people call it). I served the pretzels with a great pumpkin beer from Trader Joe’s (Trader Joe’s?! I know, right?)
A pizza cutter made the perfect tool for cutting the dough.
My dad didn’t have any lager-style beer on hand so we improvised with Hefeweizen- it foamed a ton which was annoying but it was a good indicator when the liquid was getting too hot.
I threw together a Cheddar Habanero dip- so good! The dip had a rich flavor from the cheddar followed by a flash of heat from the pepper.
Pretzel Recipe, from Martha Stewart
- Warm water
- 2 (1/4-ounce) packages rapid-rise yeast
- 3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 6 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
- 4 tablespoons coarse salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces, plus more for serving
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup pale ale-style beer
- Pretzel salt
- Mustard, for serving
Put it together
- In a medium bowl, mix together 2 cups warm water, yeast, and 1/2 cup brown sugar; let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together flour and coarse salt using your hands. Add butter and continue to mix with your hands until mixture is crumbly. Add yeast mixture and, using your hands, mix until a shaggy dough is formed and water is absorbed.
- Using the dough hook attachment, mix dough on medium speed until dough is tight, elastic, and smooth, 6 to 8 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator; let chill at least 8 hours and up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Roll dough out into a 14-by-12-inch rectangle. Cut dough into one dozen 12-inch-long strips, each about 1-inch wide. Transfer to a large baking sheet and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Transfer to refrigerator and let chill for 15 minutes.
- Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll out each piece into a 30- to 33-inch-long rope (about 3/4-inch thick), starting from the center and working toward the ends. Make a “U” shape with the rope and cross the ends over, pinching at the bottom of the “U” to form a pretzel. Return to baking sheet and repeat process with remaining dough.
- Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In a large saucepan, combine 8 cups water, baking soda, beer, and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer pretzels, one at a time, until pretzel floats, about 30 seconds; transfer to prepared baking sheet using a perforated spatula. Repeat process with remaining pretzels.
- Sprinkle pretzels with pretzel salt; transfer to oven and bake for 5 minutes. Rotate baking sheet and continue baking until pretzels turn a chestnut-brown color, 4 to 6 minutes more. Remove from baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.
Cheddar Habanero Dip
- 1/2 Habanero pepper, seeded and diced
- 1/2 c cream cheese, softened
- 1 c sharp cheddar, thinly grated
Put it together
- Combine ingredients, microwave for 60 seconds, stir, and cool. Serve and Enjoy!