Saturday, March 12, 2011

How Sweet it Is

{Candy Shoppe}January 2010
Janica & Celesta

{The Invite}
The Gals were each given a handmade chocolate bar! Each gourmet candy bar was hand wrapped in a darling invite!
{Candy Shoppe Decor}
{Place Settings}
{The Menu}
. Cran-Raspberry Cocktail .
Submitted by Amy ~ The Sisters Cafe

1 large bottle cran-raspberry juice
48 cups pineapple juice
1 cup grapefruit juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 bag of frozen raspberries
1 bag frozen pineapple
Ginger ale
*Freeze overnight. To serve sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Put a scoop of slush, frozen pineapple and frozen raspberries in a cup. Pour ginger ale on top.

. Lemon Cheesecake Cheese Ball .
10 oz. cream cheese
2½ tbsp. sugar
Zest of 1 large lemon
4 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 graham crackers

Combine the cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl. Stir together with a spoon or spatula until well combined and smooth. Mix in the lemon zest and lemon juice until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a ball, wrapped tightly. Refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours. Reshape if necessary once firm.
Coarsely crush the graham crackers and transfer the crumbs to a plate or bowl. Roll the cheese ball in the crumbs until evenly coated. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

. Chicken Nachos .
4 cooked chicken breasts
1 can mild Ro-Tel tomatoes
½ c. fresh cilantro, chopped
2 ½ tsp ranch dressing powder
1 tsp. cumin1 can black beans, drained1 red bell pepper, chopped 1 C. shredded Mexican Cheese Blend
*Saute red bell pepper in a little olive oil remove from heat and place in a large bowl. Add chicken, tomatoes, cilantro, ranch powder, cumin, black beans and cheese. Mix all ingredients and place in a cooking dish. Heat in oven at 375 for approx. 15 minutes. To serve spread over chips and top with white nacho cheese sauce.

. White Nacho Cheese Sauce .

2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons self-rising flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
Melt the margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until it forms a paste. Gradually stir in the milk so that no lumps form. Cook and stir until thickened, then remove from the heat and stir in the cheese until smooth.

. Honey Walnut Shrimp .

1 tsp. salt
1 pound extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 large egg white
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. garlic salt
panko bread crumbs
4 cups plus 1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp lime juice
1/2 cup candied walnuts (recipe below)
Place 2 cups warm water in a bowl and add the salt; stir to dissolve. Place the shrimp in the salt water and swirl. Leave the shrimp in the salt water for 5 mins. then rinse with cold water and drain. Pat dry with paper towels.
In a small bowl, mix together the egg white, cornstarch, baking soda, garlic salt, and 1 tsp canola oil to a smooth paste. Add the shrimp and blend to coat very well. Dip in panko bread crumbs.
In a small bowl, mix together the milk, mayo and juices until smooth. Set aside.
In a wok or large, deep nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 4 cups oil to 350. Deep-fry the shrimp until light brown, 3 to 4 minutes, turning as necessary. Remove from the oil. Increase the oil temperature to 375. Cook the shrimp for 1 more minute and remove; drain well on paper towels.
Pour the mayo mixture over the shrimp and stir until well covered. Place on a platter, sprinkle walnuts over and serve.

. Candied Walnuts .

4 ounces shelled walnut halves
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups water
peanut oil -- for deep frying (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup honey
In a saucepan, place walnut halves and enough water to cover plus another inch; boil for 10 minutes then remove and drain walnuts (discard water).
Place in the saucepan the walnuts, 2 cups water, and 1/2 cup sugar and boil for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove walnuts from the water, drain well, pat dry with paper towels, then stir with honey in a bowl until they're coated well.
Deep fry the walnuts in peanut oil at approximately 325 F for 5 to 8 minutes, until golden; set aside, placed on plate or cookie sheet to drain (don't use paper towels because they'll stick).
. Rosemary Bread .

2 ¾ cup flour
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sea salt
1 egg white
1 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. active dry yeast
1-2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. kosher salt
1 cup water
1 tsp. course black pepper
2 tbsp. rosemary, crushed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together 2 ¾ cup flour, salt, sugar, yeast and garlic powder. Mix well. Fold in oil and water with a fork. Place on a lightly floured surface and kneed dough for 6 minutes until it is resilient but smooth. Divide dough into 6 round balls. Place on a large cookie sheet far enough apart that when doubled they do not touch. Brush with olive oil and cover with a thin towel in a warm place for 30 minutes. When dough has doubled in size, brush with lightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with a mix of rosemary, kosher salt and black pepper. Cut three fine lines in the top of the bread for presentation. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm.

. Fire Roasted Tomato Soup .

1tablespoon butter or olive oil
1large onion, chopped (1 cup)
2cloves garlic, finely chopped
2cans (14.5 oz each) fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1can (14 oz) reduced-sodium chicken broth
2tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1teaspoon sugar
1/4teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2cup whipping cream

1.In 3-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until onion is crisp-tender.
2.Stir in tomatoes, broth, 1 tablespoon of the basil, the sugar and pepper flakes. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat; pour mixture into large heatproof bowl; cool slightly, about 15 minutes.
3.In blender, place half of the mixture. Cover; blend until pureed. Return to saucepan. Repeat with remaining mixture. Heat over medium heat until hot. Remove from heat. Stir in cream and remaining 1 tablespoon basil.
Serve with sour cream and tortilla strips.

. Oven-baked Avocado with Mushroom and Bleu Cheese Sauce .

2 Tbsp. butter
14 white mushrooms
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup cream sherry
¼ cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. fresh chives, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
¾ cup heavy cream
1 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 tsp. beef bouillon paste
2 large avocado, ripened
3 oz chevre cheese
½ cup roasted walnuts,pine nuts or hazelnuts
Preheat oven to 400°F. Melt butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are golden and tender. Add the cream sherry. Cook for another few minutes or until liquid is reduced to half. Add the cream, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the parsley and chives. Set aside.In another small sauté pan over medium heat, add the cream, gorgonzola and bouillon. Stir and cook until gorgonzola cheese melts and sauce is thick and creamy, approximately 5 minutes. Set aside.Cut the avocados into halves. Remove the pit and with a spoon, scoop out the avocado, keeping it in one piece. Place the 4 avocado halves in a baking dish. Spoon over the mushroom mixture and bake for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and spoon over some of the gorgonzola mixture and continue to bake under the top broiler for another 3 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbly!! Remove from oven. Cut the chevre cheese into 4 pieces. Place each piece on a large plate, top with the baked avocado and sprinkle over some of the nuts! Enjoy!! Serve with foccacia crisps!

. Baked Zucchini Fries .

3 medium zucchini, sliced into skinny sticks
2 large egg whites, beaten
1 cup spelt flour
2 T grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp dried basil
Pinch of dried oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a small bowl, beat egg whites with a fork until frothy.
Put the flour, basil, oregano, garlic powder and cheese on a plate-I used a pie tin. Mix well.
Dip the zucchini sticks in the egg whites and then into the bread crumb mixture, make sure all sides get coated well. Place the sticks on the prepared baking sheet. I did the sticks one by one.
Bake at 425° for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a little crispy. I turned over the fries half way through. Serve warm.

. Sweet Potato French Fries .

3 sweet potatoes (yams)
Kosher salt
Olive oil
Turn oven to 475 degrees. Wash and cut your sweet potatoes (skin on) into long strips. Place in a large bowl and cover with hot water for 20-30 minutes. Drain water and pat dry potatoes with a paper towel. Brush olive oil to lightly coat the sweet potatoes and lie them single layer on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake covered for 5 minutes. Uncover potatoes and bake an additional 15 minutes. Turn potatoes over and bake again for 5-10 minutes until lightly brown.

. Sweet Cinnamon/Sugar Dip .

¾ cube butter softened
½ cup brown sugar
3/5 cup cream of marshmallow
½ tsp. cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whip together.

. Spicy Sour Cream Dipping Sauce .

¾ cup sour cream
1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo, minced
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon cilantro or parsley
¼ teaspoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon lime zest
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir well to mix through.

. Gorgonzola Crusted Beef Filet Mignon Slider .

Beef tenderloin medallions
1 cup gorgonzola cheese
1 tsp. salt
¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
1 tsp. ground black peppercorn
¼ cup fresh chives, finely minced
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh basil, gently minced
1 c. seasoned dry bread crumbs
¼ tsp. salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Season medallions with kosher salt and pepper. Grill medallions. Place medallions on cookie sheet, set aside. Combine bread crumbs, cheese, parsley, chives, basil, and ¼ tsp salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly, pack bread crumb mixture on top and sides of each medallion. Broil in oven for approx 3-5 minutes until tops are bubbly and browned. Serve Immediately on a toasted bun with desired toppings.

. Hawaiian Turkey Burgers .

1 lb. lean ground turkey
1/2 c. (plus more if you need it) dry bread crumbs
1/2 c. red or green bell pepper, minced (about 1/2 medium bell pepper)
1/2 c. thinly sliced green onion
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger root
1 small can pineapple slices; reserve juice
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
Thick Teriyaki sauce (like Kikkoman or this recipe)
Light mayonnaise (optional, but very yummy!)
4 hamburger buns (you can use this recipe if you're feeling ambitious)

Gently combine turkey, bread crumbs, bell pepper, green onion, ginger, 1/4 c. reserved juice from pineapple, and salt. Form into 4 deliciously large patties. Chill until ready to cook.
If you can, pop these puppies on the grill until done; otherwise, you could put these under the broiler in your oven, a grill pan on your stovetop, or just a frying pan. If desired, grill pineapple in last 5 minutes of cooking. Baste burgers with Teriyaki sauce during last two minutes of grilling. Spread buns with light mayonnaise and a little more Teriyaki sauce. Enjoy!

. Light Brioche Burger Buns .

3 tbsp. warm milk
1 cup warm water
2 tsp. instant yeast
2½ tbsp. sugar
1½ tsp. salt
1 large egg
3 cups bread flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2½ tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
For topping:
1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water, for egg wash
Sesame seeds
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the milk, water, yeast, sugar, salt and egg. Mix briefly to combine. Add the flours to the bowl, and mix until incorporated. Mix in the butter. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for about 6-8 minutes. The dough will be somewhat tacky, but you want to avoid adding too much extra flour which will create tough buns.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1-2 hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Using a dough scraper, divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each portion of dough into a ball and place on the baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart. Cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise again, 1-2 hours, until puffed up and nearly doubled.
Set a large metal pan of water on the lowest rack of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F with a rack in the center. Brush the tops of the buns lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake the buns about 15 minutes rotating halfway through baking, until the tops are golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
. Pink Lemonade Cupcakes .

1 cup flour
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ tsp. baking powder
2 egg whites
¼ tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup thawed pink lemonade concentrate
Pinch of salt
¼ cup buttermilk
½ cup granulated sugar
red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with liners. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, egg whites and lemonade concentrate. Alternately whisk in flour mixture and buttermilk, making three additions of flour mixture and two of buttermilk, beat until just smooth. Add just enough food coloring to turn the batter a light shade of pink.
Scoop batter into liners. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until top of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Top cooled cupcakes with frosting.

. Pink Lemonade Butter cream Frosting .

3 cups + 3 tbsp. powder sugar
2 tbsp. pink lemonade concentrate
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
red food coloring
1/8 tsp. salt

Add the butter, powder sugar, salt, lemon juice and a few drops of food coloring to the stand mixer and mix on low using the paddle attachment until combined. Turn the speed to medium to whip.

. Raspberry Meringue Cookies .

6 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 cup superfine sugar
2-3 drops of raspberry flavoring
2-3 drops food coloring (optional)
Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Fit a pastry bag with a large star or round tip and set aside.
Using a clean, dry mixing bowl, whip egg whites on medium speed until foamy in a Kitchen Aid mixer or a similar high-speed mixer.
Add cream of tartar and whip until meringue starts to form soft peaks.
Add sugar a little at a time. Continue to whip until meringue forms very stiff peaks that hold their shape.
Add extract and coloring if desired and whip just until mixed. Transfer to the pastry bag. Get creative and pipe swirls or any other desired shapes for your meringues.
Bake at 225 degrees for 60-70 minutes, or until meringues are light in color, crisp and dry. Turn the oven off and let the meringues sit in the oven for another hour or more.
Cool completely, and store your Meringue Cookies in an airtight container

. Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cookies .

1 cup powdered sugar
3 cups soft butter
1 Tbsp. Vanilla
3 eggs
3 small pkgs. Instant pistachio pudding (put through sieve to remove nuts)
6 cups flour1
½ bags chocolate chips,½ milk & ½ Semi sweet
Cream powdered sugar and butter. Add remaining ingredients. Roll in 1” balls. Flatten slightly. Bake at 350 for 10 – 12 mins. Let cool.
3 cups powdered sugar 2 Tbsp. soft butter 1-2 tsp. almond extract 8 oz. soft cream cheese.
Cream together. Frost cookies and drizzle with melted chocolate. Makes 9 dozen.

. Coconut Yogurt .

3 cups Greek-style yogurt
3/4 cup sugar1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
Mix yogurt, sugar and coconut extract. Let it chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour to let the sugar dissolve. Following instructions that came with your ice cream maker, churn until the mixture is the consistency of soft ice cream.
Meanwhile, while the frozen yogurt is churning, toast coconut. Set a dry skillet on medium heat and add the coconut flakes. Stir constantly until flakes toast to a golden brown. Remove from heat immediately, and set aside. To serve, sprinkle the toasted coconut on top of your frozen concoction.

. Lemon-Ginger Yogurt .

3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
Bring water, sugar, light corn syrup, and grated ginger to boil in medium saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil 2 minutes. Strain into medium bowl and chill until cool. Whisk in yogurt, buttermilk, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions; cover and freeze.

. Blueberry Frozen Yogurt Recipe .

Frozen blueberries work great for this recipe.
3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (about 1 lb)
3 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup to 1 cup of sugar (depending on how sweet your blueberries are, and how sweet you want the result to be)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups full fat plain yogurt (full fat yogurt is preferred, if you use low-fat or non-fat yogurt, substitute 1/4 cup of it with heavy whipping cream)
1/2 cup whole milk
Place the blueberries, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Heat on medium heat, stirring, until all of the sugar has dissolved. While the mixture is heating, use a potato masher to mash up the blueberries. When all of the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
If you want a smooth result, you can process the cooled mixture in a food processor, or skip, in which case you'll have pieces of blueberries which can add flavorful texture to the frozen yogurt.
Stir in the yogurt and milk until completely incorporated. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for several hours (or overnight) until completely cold.Process the blueberry yogurt mixture in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions (usually about 25 minutes). Serve immediately (it will be soft) or let it firm up a bit by freezing it for several hours.

. Frozen Chocolate Yogurt .

2 cups whole milk
4 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups full-fat plain yogurt
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk until just under a boil (you will see tiny bubbles around the edges and steam rising from the surface). Remove the milk from the heat.Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and the sugar in a bowl to blend. Gradually add 1/4 cup of the hot milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then add the egg yolks back to the saucepan with the rest of the milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened.
{Other Sweet Treats}

. Zebra Popcorn .

· 12 cups popped corn (approx 1/2 cup un-popped)
· 1/2 cup butter
· 1 cup brown sugar
· 1/2 cup of light corn syrup
· 2 teaspoons vanilla
· 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
· 6 ounces dark chocolate (approx 1 cup)
· 6 ounces white chocolate (approx 1 cup)
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Lightly butter a large baking sheet or two 9x13 pans, set aside. Place popped corn in large mixing bowl.Place butter in 2-qt microwave safe bowl; microwave on high about 1 minute or until butter is melted. Add brown sugar and corn syrup; microwave on high, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Without stirring, continue to microwave for 3 minutes. Stir in vanilla and baking soda. Drizzle syrup over popped corn; mix well to thoroughly coat popcorn with caramel. Spread popped corn on prepared pans. Bake 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove popcorn from pan, spread out on parchment paper or wax paper far enough apart so pieces do not touch. Cool. On low heat, slowly melt dark chocolate (in double boiler, microwave, or according to package directions). In a straight thin line, drizzle dark chocolate across caramel corn (see tips below). Cool while melting white chocolate, drizzle as for the dark chocolate. Cool completely and allow chocolate to harden.Notes:To make even consistently thin lines place melted chocolate in disposable cake decorating bags or freezer bags; close bag tightly. Clip a small hole in the tip of the bag and squeeze or pipe chocolate across popcorn.

. Chocolate Sauce .

3 Tbl. Cocoa
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbl. Cornstarch
1 1/2 c. milk
2 Tbl. Butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix first four ingredients. Cook over medium heat until thick. Add butter and vanilla. Stir until melted. Store in refrigerator and then reheat on stove.

. Creamy Carmel Sauce .

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whipping cream
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place granulated sugar, cream, brown sugar and corn syrup in a heavy 2 quart saucepan. Stir over low heat until mixture boils. Carefully clip candy thermometer to side of pan. Cook stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes or until thermometer registers 238 degrees F. Immediately remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool about 15 minutes. Serve warm or pour into clean glass jars and seal tightly. Store up to 6 months in refrigerator. Reheat sauce over low heat before serving.

{Take Home Gifts}
Each Gal was given a bucket to fill with frozen yogurt and any mix-in treats. Also, each gal was given homemade jarred sauces for toppings. We filled our bags with every gourmet, fun, exotic candy available on the planet! So sweet and delicious!

{The Hostesses}
A special thanks to the ultimate candy ladies! This night was filled with nostalgic memories of candies we enjoyed as children as well as new, gourmet candies never tried!
The food was amazing and each bite wonderful. The decor and atmosphere was so fun and comfy! What a truly "sweet" evening spent with girlfriends!
{The Gals}