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Archive for 2017

HOLIDAY: Cereal Donuts For National Cereal Day

Donuts With Cereal Toppinf

Cereal Donut

Lactaid Whole Milk

Types Of Lactaid Milk

[1] and [2] Cereal-topped donuts and milk from Show Me The Yummy. [3] and [4] Lactaid for everyone! (photo courtesy Lactaid).

 

March 7th is National Cereal Day, and here’s the big question: Do you drink the leftover milk in your cereal bowl?

According to a survey by Wakefield Research*, 74% of Americans frequently drink the leftover milk in the bowl after finishing their cereal; 79%* feel that dairy milk tastes best as leftover cereal milk

We’re one of them. We even pour extra milk into the bowl, just so we’ll have enough left over.

People love cereal milk so much, that pastry chef Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City whipped up cereal milk as a standalone drink.

Quirky? Yes. Tasty? Yes. Here’s a recipe to make you own.

As a lactose-intolerant American, we just can’t enjoy nondairy milks—almond, coconut and soy milk, for example, on our cereal.

Thank goodness for Lactaid. We live on their milk, chocolate milk, ice cream and cottage cheese. All are real milk products, neutralized with the addition of lactase (like Lactaid pills), which provides the enzyme our system no longer produces.

We can drink and eat all we want, no Lactaid pill required.

Lactaid sent us this special Milk + Cereal Donut recipe from Show Me The Yummy.

Those of you who have no lactose issues can use regular milk.

Prep time is 45 minutes, cook time is 10 minutes. We ate three of them today, and they are delish!

LACTOSE-FREE MILK + CEREAL DONUTS MADE WITH LACTAID

Ingredients

For The Donut Base

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (15.25 oz) box cake mix, yellow or chocolate (most store-bought cake mixes are lactose-free)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup Lactaid whole milk
  • 1/2 cup cereal of choice
  • 1 cup crushed cereal of choice
  •  
    For The Vanilla Glaze

  • 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons Lactaid whole milk
  • Pinch salt
     
    For The Chocolate Glaze
  • 1-1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons Lactaid Whole Milk, more if necessary
  • Pinch salt
  •  
    Topping

  • Cereal(s) of choice
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the donut base. Combine the milk and 1/2 cup cereal of choice in a small bowl. Let sit for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F and spray a donut pan or mini muffin tin with cooking spray.

    2. WHISK together in a large bowl the cake mix, egg, oil, and milk-cereal mixture until well combined. Stir in the crushed cereal.

    3. ADD the batter to the pan. For a mini-muffin pan, use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop to fill the prepared mini muffin pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes. For a standard muffin pan, make a small cut in the corner of a gallon sized Ziplock bag and fill with the batter. Pipe the batter into the prepared donut pan. Fill only halfway up or they’ll spill over. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

    4. REMOVE from the pan and let cool.

    5. MAKE the vanilla glaze and/or chocolate glaze. Whisk together glaze ingredients in a medium sized bowl until smooth.

    6. ASSEMBLE: Dunk the cooled donut into the glaze and roll into cereal of choice. Enjoy immediately!

    ________________

    *The Lactaid Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,009 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18+, between February 6th and 10th, 2017, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population 18 and older.

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Cookies For St. Patrick’s Day

    One friend of ours has a set of shamrock cookie cutters, and makes shamrock shortbread every St. Patrick’s Day. She tops them with green and/or white royal icing, and an assortment of green glitter and sprinkles.

    While we love shortbread, we take the easier way out. Here are two recipes that will make you extremely popular with friends, family and co-workers on St. Patrick’s Day.

    They give a St. Patrick’s Day dress-up to two of America’s favorite cookies. (According to a poll published in Huffington Post, chocolate chip is #1, Oreo is #4 on the Top 10 list.)

    RECIPE #1: MINT GREEN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

    This recipe is from Karen of The Food Charlatan, who says, “It’s like eating Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream in the form of a warm, buttery, gooey cookie.”

    Note that if you don’t like mint, you can make green chocolate chip cookies simply by substituting the peppermint extract for vanilla extract.

    If you’re using another chocolate chip cookie recipe, make sure it is one with white sugar only. The classic Toll House Cookie recipe, for example, uses equal parts white and brown sugar, and brown sugar makes the cookie dough darker.

    We prefer this type of St. Pat’s chocolate chip cookie to another popular recipe, a dark chocolate cookie with green baking chips.

    Although tasty, the baking chips aren’t real chocolate, i.e., they aren’t white chocolate tinted green and flavored with mint.

    Instead of cocoa butter, even the best quality chips (e.g. Guittard) use palm kernel and palm oils instead of the cocoa butter. (Call us super-picky, but that matters to us.)

    Ingredients For About 28 Large Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract (or more to taste)
  • 10 drops of green food coloring (or more for a deeper green)
  • 3-1/4 cups flour, spooned* and leveled
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  •    

    Green Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Green Food Color

    [1] America’s favorite cookie, dressed up for St. Patrick’s Day (photo and recipe courtesy The Food Charlatan). [2] Green food coloring can turn food into St.Pat’s fare, from morning yogurt to garnishes like sour cream and whipped cream.

  • 12 ounces dark chocolate chips, 1/3 cup reserved, the remainder divided†
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Line one or more baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

    2. BEAT the butter and sugar together in a large bowl or stand mixer. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then beat on medium for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and extra yolk, peppermint extract and food coloring, and blend.

    3. COMBINE the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt in a separate bowl. Add to the wet ingredients and combine until the flour is not quite incorporated.

    4. ADD half of the chocolate chips to the dough.* Chop the other half coarsely, with a knife or in a food processor. Add the chopped chocolate to the dough, and mix until just combined. This creates more of a distribution of chocolate throughout the dough; but you can keep all the chips whole.

    5. COVER the dough and refrigerate for about an hour. Note that chilling is not mandatory, but Karen tried the recipe both ways, and prefers the texture and flavor that chilling creates.

    6. USE a 2-inch cookie scoop to form balls of dough and drop them on the cookie sheet. These are very large cookies, and fit 8 cookies per pan. Alternatively, use a teaspoon or smaller scoop to drop smaller cookies.

    7. BAKE for 8-10 minutes, or until the cookies barely start to brown on the edges (you want the cookies to be green, not browned). Let them cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove to a cooling rack.

    When cool, serve or store in an airtight container.

    NIBBLE TIP: For a yumilicious dessert, prepare the cookie dough in advance and refrigerate. Half an hour before dessert, scoop it onto the cookie sheets and bake. The result: warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies to serve alone or with vanilla or chocolate ice cream.

     

    St. Patricks Day Oreos

    Double Stuf Oreos

    Green Candy Melts

    [3] Green-dipped Oreos from Crafty Morning. [4] Double Stuf Oreos (photo courtesy Nabisco). [5] Green white chocolate, the real deal, from Merckens.

     

    RECIPE #2: GREEN-DIPPED OREOS

    This recipe comes from Michelle of Crafty Morning.

    The original recipe uses Double Stuf Oreos (that’s how they spell it).

    If you want mint flavor, you can use Mint Oreos (with a green center) and/or add peppermint extract to the candy melts (here’s how).

    Michelle’s original recipe uses half green, half white, candy melts, so that half of the cookies are dipped in green and half are dipped in white.

    We went all-green for St. Pat’s.

    As a substitute for the green chocolate melts, you can melt regular white chocolate and tint it green with food coloring.

    Ingredients

  • Double Stuffed Oreos (substitute regular Oreos)
  • Merckens green melting chocolate/candy melts/candy coating‡
  • Green and white sprinkles
  • Wax or parchment paper
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MELT the chocolate/melts in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds at a time until it is melted.

    2. DIP each cookie halfway into the chocolate and lay it on a sheet of wax or parchment paper. Shake the sprinkles onto the cookies while the chocolate is still warm. Let them harden for 20 minutes.

    3. REMOVE the cookies from the paper and serve or store.

    ________________

    *Spooned means exactly what is sounds like: You spoon the flour into the measuring cup and then level it off. If you scoop it by dipping a measuring cup into the canister, the pressure compacts more flour into the measuring cup.

    †Karen reserved 1/3 cup of the whole chips and pushed them into the tops of the baked cookies immediately after taking them out of the oven. This creates more “chip appeal” on the surface.

    ‡Merckens, a top-quality supplier to chocolatiers, actually sells real white chocolate tinted green! Candy Melts are made without cocoa butter, substituting vegetable oil. This makes them confectioner’s coating or imitation chocolate, not real chocolate.

    Note that for many years, a product called confectioner’s coating—imitation white chocolate made with vegetable oil instead of cocoa butter—was widely believed to be white chocolate. It is not, and doesn’t taste anywhere as good. White chocolate has cocoa butter, and is defined as white chocolate by the FDA.

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Pimp Your Cheesecake

    Only ice cream and cake surpass cheesecake on American restaurant menus, says Flavor And The Menu, a magazine and website for restaurant chefs.

    The article points out that plain cheesecake is a blank canvas, waiting for an artistic or flavorful treatment—or both.

    The next time you plan to bake a conventional cheesecake, consider playing around with these options.

    You can combine more than one on/in a single cheesecake. Check out photo #4: rainbow cheesecake with a “still life” top.

    INCLUSIONS

    Treats mixed into the batter can change the character, visual appeal and texture of the cheesecake experience. Examples:

  • Candy: There’s much to choose from: brittle, candy pieces (butterscotch, fudge bits, baking chips [butterscotch, chocolate, cinnamon, mint, etc.]), seasonal items like candy corn or Easter egg malt balls, toffee, a swirl of seasonal fruit purée, sugared nuts, trail mix. Just look around the store for inspiration.
  • Cake and cookie pieces: brownie, cookie dough, doughnuts, pound cake, crushed or mini Oreos, shortbread.
  • Citrus: zest and peel.
  •  
    ENHANCED SAUCES & TOPPINGS

    Forget the gloppy canned cherry or blueberry topping. Use the sauce to spark enhanced flavors.

  • Elevate the conventional: Think salted caramel sauce, Mexican-style chocolate sauce, framboise sauce (raspberry sauce with raspberry liqueur)*.
  • Fruits beyond the can: fruit syrup, coulis, a mosaic of fresh fruits, seasonal fruit purée or a “still life” like photo #4 (fresh berries, meringues, herb sprigs, edible flowers).
  • Ganache or icing, spread or piped (photo #2). Ganache becomes a semi-hard chocolate topping, like chocolate truffles (here’s a recipe).
     
    Consider turning the sauce or piped icing into a decorative design such as loops (photo #2) or zigzags.
     
    OTHER TOPPINGS

  • Smooth: Consider crème fraîche, chocolate ganache, icing or whipped cream, plain or flavored.
  • Scattered: Scattered candies add texture and color, such as like chocolate-mint lentils or coffee/mocha lentils or confetti sprinkles.
  • Sparkling: Add some sparkle with edible glitter.
  • Fruits & Flowers: For the most beautiful top, create a “still life” of fruits, meringues, and sprigs of fresh herbs.
  •  
    THE BOTTOM

  • Crust: Try a brownie or cake crust, or cookies beyond Oreos and grahams.
  • Bottom: Decorate the bottom perimeter with squares of chocolate or other candy.
  • Bottom-plus: The latest rage is rainbow cheesecake (photos #3 and #4).
  •  
    REFORMAT

    How do you want to present the cheesecake?

     

    St. Patrick’s Day Cheesecake

    St. Patrick's Day Cheesecake

    Rainbow Cheesecake

    Rainbow Cheesecake

    [1] St. Patrick’s design from Kraft, using a stencil and glitter, and [2] a ganache top with decorative icing, from Harry & David. [3] Rainbow cheesecake (here’s the recipe from She Bakes). [4] Rainbow cheesecake with a “still life” top (here’s the recipe from Taste | Australia).

     
    Baked in a jar, cake pop, deconstructed, heart shaped, individual mini, layered with cake, mousse, rainbow cheesecake square, trifle.

    So many variations, so much fun ahead!
    ________________

    *You can purchase the sauces and add spices, liquors, etc. to create your flavor.

      

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    ST. PATRICK’S DAY RECIPE: Ice Cream Cake

    Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake

    Andes Mints

    After Eight Mints

    [1] Devil’s food cake and mint chip ice cream (photo Jennifer Davick | Southern Living). [2] Andes Mints (photo courtesy Sweet Factory). [3] After Eight Mints (photo courtesy After Eight | UK).

     

    We’ve been saving this recipe from Southern Living for our St. Patrick’s Day lead-up, when our recipes wear a tinge o’ the green.

    Made with a Devil’s Food cake mix (or from scratch, if you like), the ice cream doesn’t have to be mint chip. Those who don’t like mint can tint vanilla chip ice cream, or plain vanilla, with green food color.

    The topping is chocolate ganache, chocolate mints and whipped cream. We skipped the chocolate ganache, not wanting to gild the lily (it also saves time and money), and used Chocolate Reddi-Wip to anchor the mints around the rim of the cake (it’s easier to slice than cutting through the pile in the picture).

    RECIPE: CHOCOLATE MINT ICE CREAM CAKE

    Make the whole cake ahead and freeze until ready to serve.

    Prep time is 30 minutes, freezer time is 10 to 12 hours.

    Ingredients For 10 to 12 Servings

  • Devil’s food cake mix (plus the other ingredients required—egg, oil, etc.)
  • 1/2 gallon mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened
  • 10 chocolate wafers (e.g. Nabisco Famous), coarsely crushed
  • Chocolate ganache
  • Garnish: Thin chocolate mints (After Eight or Andes)
  • Garnish: Reddi-Wip or other whipped cream
  • Equipment: parchment paper, springform pan
  •  
    For The Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 cup whipping cream (not ultra-pasteurized)
  • 11 ounces bittersweet chocolate pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter (ideally use a low-moisture brand (European style) with a higher fat content)
  • Optional: 3 tablespoons liqueur of your choice (for this recipe, mint or chocolate liqueur)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper. Prepare the cake batter and spoon it into the pans.

    2. BAKE for 12 to 14 minutes or until a wood toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans to wire racks, peel off the parchment paper, and cool completely, about 1 hour.

     
    3. PLACE one cake layer in a 9-inch springform pan. Top with one-third of ice cream (about 2-1/3 cups); sprinkle with half the crushed wafers. Repeat with the second layer. Top with the remaining cake layer and ice cream. Freeze 8 to 12 hours.

    4. MAKE the ganache. In a small saucepan, scald the cream. In a small bowl, carefully pour the hot cream over the chocolate pieces. Stir in the butter. Stir in the liqueur. Store in the fridge, sealed in a plastic container, until ready to use.

    5. REMOVE the cake from the springform pan, and place it on a plate or a cake stand. Spread the top with the ganache. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Garnish as desired before bringing to the table.

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Roast Your Roots

    While we wait for spring vegetables to appear, we’ve been eating lots of root vegetables.

    Root vegetables have sustained mankind through millennia of winters, because they last for long periods in cool temperatures.

    Before the advent of modern refrigeration, root cellars provided vital cold storage that kept a family fed through the winter.

    Growing underground (photo #1), the root are generally storage organs, enlarged to store energy in the form of carbohydrates. These large roots are eaten as vegetables.

    WHAT ARE ROOT VEGETABLES?

    Root vegetables are plant roots eaten as vegetables (photo #2).

    Beet, carrot, parsnip, potato and sweet potato, radish, and turnip are widely consumed in the U.S.

    Some roots, such as galangal, ginger, horseradish, turmeric and wasabi, are used for condiments or seasonings. Arrowroot is used as a thickener. Gingseng is used medicinally.

    To give you a perspective on the category, here’s a categorization of the root vegetables more familiar in the U.S.

    True Roots

  • Taproots: beetroot (beet), burdock, carrot, celeriac (celery root), daikon, dandelion, jicama, parsley root*, parsnip, radish, rutabaga, salsify and turnip, and others not well-known in the U.S.
  • Tuberous roots: cassava/yuca/manioc, Chinese/Korean yam, and sweet potato, among others.
  • Bulbs: fennel; garlic, green onion/scallion, leek, onion, shallot and the rest of the Allium family.
  • Corms: Chinese water chestnut, taro.
  • Rhizomes: arrowroot, galangal, ginger, ginseng, lotus root, turmeric
  • Tubers: Chinese artichoke/crosne, Jerusalem artichoke (sunchoke), potato, ube, yam.
  •  
    Roasted taproots and tubers are popular roasted vegetables in American cuisine. Even people who fuss over eating vegetables enjoy the sweetness of the sugars that come out during roasting.
     
    TWO WAYS TO ENJOY ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES

    There are endless recipes, of course; but here are two recipes from Idaho Potatoes with some added glamour.

    RECIPE #1: ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES WITH CHICKEN

    We like the convenience of this recipe. Root vegetables are hardy, and can keep for a few weeks. It’s easy to pick up a rotisserie chicken if you don’t have time or inclination to roast one.

    You can use substitute other root vegetables, or create a grain bowl with a bottom layer of a favorite grain.

    Ingredients

  • 4 russet Idaho potatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 turnip, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, and then cut into wedges
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup butternut squash, chopped and peeled
  • 2 beets, rinsed, peeled, cut in half and then cut into wedges
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, removed from stem
  • 3 cups Swiss chard, removed from stem and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup cooked rotisserie chicken, chopped
  •  
    For The Maple Aïoli

  • 3 tablespoons fresh mayo
  • 1 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  •  

    Root Vegetables Illustration

    Root Vegetables

    Roast Chicken & Vegetables

    Whole Roast Chicken

    [1] An old illustration showing how root vegetables grow (photo courtesy Etsy). [2] Harvested root vegetables (photo courtesy DIY Naturals). [3] Recipe #1: roasted root vegetables with chicken (photo courtesy Idaho Potatoes). [4] Rotisserie chicken (photo courtesy McCormick).

     
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.

    2. TOSS all of the vegetables in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with thyme. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden and fork tender, flipping once, halfway through. Meanwhile…

    3. HEAT the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium-heat. Sauté the Swiss chard with the chopped garlic, until wilted, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    4. MAKE the aïoli: Whisk the mayonnaise with the maple syrup and cinnamon until combined. Spoon into a serving dish.

    5. DIVIDE the chard evenly in serving bowls. Top with the roasted vegetables and chicken. Serve with the maple aïoli on the side for dipping.
     
    ________________
    *Parsley root is not related to parsley, the herb, but is a beige root vegetable that resembles a parsnip or turnip. The edible leaves that grow above the ground do resemble curly parsley leaves, but taste like celery. Parsley root is also called turnip-rooted parsley. In Germany it is known as Hamburg parsley, and is a popular winter vegetable in Germany, Holland and Poland.

     

    Scalloped Root Vegetables

    Purple Top Turnips

    Smithfield Honey Cured Spiral Ham

    [5] A three-potato gratin with turnips (photo courtesy Idaho Potatoes). [6] Turnips (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [7] We served the casserole with a beautiful Smithfield spiral-cut ham (photo courtesy Smithfield).

     

    RECIPE #2: SCALLOPED ROOT VEGETABLE CASSEROLE

    This casserole reminds us of a tian, a beautiful way to serve summer vegetables.

    It is actually a gratin†.

    This recipe serves a trio of potatoes plus turnips under a cloak of melted cheese. They work together in this recipe because they can be sliced into roughly the same sizes, which cook evenly.
    Ingredients

  • 4 large russet Idaho potatoes, sliced thin, approximately 1/8″
  • 3 red Idaho potatoes, sliced thin, approximately 1/8″
  • 2 sweet potatoes, sliced thin, approximately 1/8″
  • 3 turnips, sliced thin, approximately 1/8″
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 packages of whipped chive cream cheese
  • 16 ounces heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoon of salt, more to taste
  • Garnish: grated Parmesan and diced chives for garnish
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Slice the potatoes and turnips and set aside in a large bowl.

    2. HEAT 1/2 tablespoon butter over medium heat in a medium, non-stick skillet. Add the onions and garlic; sauté until translucent.

    3. ADD the cream cheese, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and stir until smooth. Turn off the heat.

    4. SPRAY a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place half of the potatoes and turnips in a separate large bowl. Slowly add 1/3 of the cream mixture into the bowl with the potatoes and turnips and mix to coat well.

    5. PLACE the coated potato and turnip slices into the baking pan vertically, using your hands. Make sure the slices are close together (see photo #5). Add another 1/3 of the cream mixture to the remaining potatoes and turnips, coating well. Layer them into the baking dish. Once all the slices are in the baking pan…

    6. POUR the remainder of cream mixture into the baking pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the foil and bake for an additional 40 minutes.

    7. REMOVE from the oven, sprinkle on the parmesan cheese and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Garnish with the chives right before serving.

    We liked the recipe so much, we’re making it again today!

     
    †WHAT’S A GRATIN?

    Gratin (grah-TAN) is a method of food preparation in which a protein, vegetable or starch is served with a browned crust of grated cheese. The crust may also include breadcrumbs, egg and/or butter.

    Gratin originated in France and is usually made in a shallow baking dish. The main ingredient can be baked (roasted) in the oven or cooked on the stove top. In the latter case, the toppings are then added and the dish is finished in the oven or broiler.

    The baking dish is usually brought to the table piping hot. It’s a perennial favorite: Who doesn’t like their food topped with melted cheese?

      

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