Endless Christmas Cookies: Fluffernutter Candies

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I’m pretty sure my wife has made more cookies than Mrs. Clause does this time of year. Awful, I know. There’s the nostalgic cookies that remind us both of our families, then the cookies made because they are Italian and that’s what Italians do, the experimentals … the list goes on. This year, we introduced fluffernuter candies to the list. First off, if you like peanut butter, then you’ll love these. Secondly, they are very easy to make – no baking required.

These crack-like substances are made from four things: Ritz crackers, peanut butter, fluff, and chocolate. Sandwich a rich and luscious mixture of peanut butter and fluff between two Ritz crackers. STOP. DO NOT eat the sandwich. You will be tempted for sure. Then, dip these scrumptious sandwiches in melted chocolate until submerged. That’s it. Friends and family will be impressed (if you have any left by the time the holidays come around). Make sure you find a good spot to forget about them until then…because you can’t eat just one.

In case you need a “real” recipe, here it is:

Ingredients:

  • Ritz Crackers
  • Peanut Butter
  • Fluff
  • Melting Chocolates
  1. Mix together peanut butter and fluff to a ratio of your liking (half and half works well)
  2. Spread mixture onto cracker and top with another cracker
  3. Melt melting chocolates in microwave
  4. Dip/cover sandwiches in melted chocolate and let them cool

Yes…it is that easy. You’re welcome.

Every Day is Pie Day

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I know Easter is just around the corner, but I hope it’s not too late to share this recipe that came in earlier in the month for Pi Day — aka the dorkiest holiday since Festivus.

Pi Day, March 14, celebrates the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, 3.14 – and those of us who love dessert as much as we love diameters tradionally celebrate with pie. Well, in my book it’s never too late to celebrate with pie.

Viki Sater, founder of Viki’s Granola, whipped up this function-over-form crustless pie, perfect for your Easter, Passover, Pi Day or just any-day-of-the-week stuffing your piehole festivities.

Viki’s Granola Mixed Berry Crisp

Topping Ingredients:
•    ¾ cups all-purpose flour
•    ½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
•    1 cup Viki’s blueberry almond granola 
•    1 stick unsalted butter
Filling Ingredients:
•    4 cups frozen mixed berries (don’t thaw)
•    1/3 cup of sugar
•    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Directions: 
•    Preheat oven to 375oF.
•    Lightly butter oven safe ceramic bowl.
•    Place topping ingredients into a bowl, working the butter into the granola mixture. Once complete, set aside.
•    Place filling ingredients into a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
•    Pour the berry mixture into the buttered ceramic bowl.
•    Pour granola mixture evenly on top of the berries.
•    Bake for 40 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the fruit juices are bubbling.
•    Let it rest for 15 minutes before serving.

 

tangerine souffles

Bake Better in 2016: Tangerine Soufflés

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If your 2016 resolution was to be a more accomplished baker, the good people of Paulding & Co. (a cooking school/space that has been featured on Top Chef and more – very cool) have a recipe just for you. (And lots of other good recipes on their site, too.) Soufflés are considered one of the trickier baked goods to pull off… we all have our stories of that fallen soufflé. Personally, I’m scared to even attempt one these days.

Paulding & Co. has some good tips, though:

What’s the secret to a good soufflé? Beating the egg whites with the sugar until they are stiff and still very shiny, then folding them into the flavor base carefully in two or three additions so that the whites do not deflate.

Hmm. Okay. So, no DeflateGate here. (You’re welcome for that year-old sports reference, by the way.) Now that we have unleashed the secrets, it’s time to try the soufflé… with a twist. It’s a sunny tangerine version!

Tangerine Soufflés

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Yes We Can Eat Pierogies In Summer: Peach Crumble Pierogies Recipe

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There’s no better warming winter treat than a Polish pierogi stuffed full of potato and cheese, then topped with gobs of sour cream. BUT pierogies don’t have to be only a cold-weather treat. Casey Barber’s new book Pierogi Love puts a whole bunch of new-school spins on this old-world treat. One of our favorite versions makes great use of summer’s bounty. Here’s more from Casey Barber… 

IT’S MY SUMMER BREAKFAST RITUAL: standing over the sink, devouring a fresh peach, no plate necessary. In the height of peach season I can plow through two pounds a week this way without even thinking of saving a few for a cobbler or pie. But because all things must end, I’ve stashed a few dozen of these in my freezer to remind me of warm-weather days. The crumble topping freezes
incredibly well, too—spread it on a baking sheet as you would pierogies and transfer to a bag once it’s hard.

Peach Crumble Pierogies

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The Endless Road Trip, Philly: A Waffle to End All Waffles

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At Philly’s new V Street, the all-vegan menu is inspired by street food from around the world, fusing flavors from as far afield as Hungary, India, Peru and the Philippines into an amazing array of meat-free snacks like jerk trumpet mushrooms and harissa-grilled cauliflower mixed up with spiced avocado, olive salad and chermoula, an intensely flavorful North African marinade.

The cocktails are particularly off-the-wall—the “Cruz Control” mixes tequila with horchata, lime and tepache—a Mexican fermented pineapple drink—but the true crazy prize has to go to this dessert waffle: it’s layered with rich chocolate ganache, gooey bites of banana, vegan ice cream and a chunky miso caramel, with Sriracha peanuts and syrup poured over the whole thing. Yes, please.

(Photo: V Street)

Hello Hello from the Philippines

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I just returned from a trip to the Philippines, which has gotta have one of the most oddball food cultures in this whole entire world. I like to think of it as Asian tastes with American sensibilities — they’ve got all the fishy, funky flava you’ll find in Japanese or Korean cooking, but then they go and do things like deep-fry a whole dish or put cheese and ice cream on top. In other words, it’s pretty amazing.

But the most far-out dish of all I had there is known as halo halo — the ubiquitous Filipino dessert. It consists of a fruit cocktail melange topped by shaved ice and a scoop of ice cream (in this case, ube — purple yam — ice cream), with a cup of evaporated milk poured over the whole thing for a gooey, melty mess. But the kicker lies back in that melange of fruit cocktail, which basically seems to contain whatever the chef had in the fridge or lying on the counter that day. This version included bananas, syrupy peaches, coconut, sweet potato, regular potato, something that may or may not have been tapioca balls, lima beans, black beans, an old boot…you get the point: just surprise after mushy, delicious surprise.

Oh, and there’s Cheerios sprinkled on top of the whole thing, because why not?