Sometimes I make the mistake of doing, ahem, research for my blog when I’m hungry. And it never ends well. After looking at numerous varieties of desserts for this post, it was all I could do to not go into my kitchen, get a huge bowl of peanut butter, sprinkle it with dark chocolate chips and crushed graham crackers and call it dinner. But I didn’t! Instead, I had a sensible meal of garden lasagna (delicious!) and refrained from eating every bit of sugar in my house. Just a word of caution!
Any of these desserts would be GREAT for a Superbowl party. I tried to choose things that were fairly simply and not too labor intensive. After all, you’ve barely recovered from Christmas baking! I really don’t think you can go wrong with whatever recipe you choose–they’re all delicious. And next week I’ll have football themed desserts if you’re feeling a little more crafty with your baking…football shaped sweets are just too darn cute!
Happy Friday! In case you’ve been thinking about what you’re going to give to that hard-to-buy for friend or family member for Christmas, why not give them food?? Everyone loves food. Seriously, everyone. What I like about these food gifts is that they are not your typical fudge or baked good that will probably get a little stale before you can recover from all the holiday eating. These can be stored away for a cold winter night (or day) and made or used whenever the urge strikes.
I’m not a huge popcorn fan but every now and then I do love to munch on some caramel or cheese popcorn and it’s usually around Christmas when some member of my family sees fit to lug a HUGE tin of the stuff to our family holiday dinner. Ya know, cause there’s not enough food at those family dinners.
So the other day I remembered how my mom used to make caramel corn in the microwave. I mean, really, really good caramel corn. From the microwave! She sent me the recipe and I made it for the first time ever and I have to say it’s even better than I remember as a kid. Maybe I can appreciate it more now? Who knows. But for whatever reason I love the stuff and it’s very addictive.
I added my own little touch with some sea salt and then through in some homemade dark chocolate and peanut popcorn. The recipes for both are below and they are super simple but if you only choose to do one, make the caramel corn!
½-1 t. Fine Sea Salt (depending on how salty you want it to be)
Dark Chocolate Peanut Popcorn
4 c. Popped Popcorn (NO butter or salt)
1½ c. High Quality Dark Chocolate Candy Coating (NOT chocolate bark)
½ c. Dry-Roasted Peanuts
For the Salted Caramel Corn:
Line a large cookie sheet pan with foil. Place Popped corn in a large brown paper bag. Set aside.
Combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and regular salt in a large bowl. Microwave on high setting 3-4 minutes, stirring after each minute, until mixture comes to a boil (it only took 3 minutes for mine to boil). Microwave 2 minutes longer (without stirring) and then stir in baking soda. Pour syrup mixture over popped corn in bag. Close bag and shake well. Microwave for 1½ more minutes. Shake bag well. Microwave 1-1½ minutes more (I stopped at 1 minute because it smelled slightly burned and 3 or 4 pieces did burn--no biggie, just watch it). Add the sea salt and shake bag well. Pour onto the large cookie pan. Cool and stir to separate.
For the Chocolate Peanut Popcorn
Line a large cookie pan with foil. Place popped popcorn and peanuts in large brown paper bag. Melt the chocolate in a medium bowl at 20 second intervals, stirring between each, until completely melted and smooth. Pour chocolate into the bag over the popcorn and peanuts and shake well. Pour onto the cookie pan. Cool and stir to separate.
Serves...well, it depends on how well you share. :)
This is the wedding cake I should have had. I am in love with it. Not that I could have afforded it, but one can dream.
This masterpiece was done by a little chocolate shop called ChoccyWoccyDooDah that describe themselves as an “art and design focused chocolaterie” and wow, is that the truth! Their cakes are unique and fun and maybe even a tad bit odd, but beautiful nonetheless! It looks like they focus a lot on cakes but also offer truffles, popcorn and marshmallow “lollies” and in fact have a “bar du chocolate” where one can indulge in almost every form of chocolate known to man, all served by a chocolista, of course!
Unfortunately, I won’t be dropping by anytime soon to give an unofficial review of the place since they’re located in the UK but I can drool from afar.