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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Halloween

PRODUCT: Tribe Harvest Carrot & Ginger Hummus

Kudos to Tribe Hummus for advancing the enjoyment of this healthful spread and snack. In addition to a hefty standard line-up, the company continues to produce limited edition flavors to please the palate.

The current limited edition, Limited Batch Herb Infused Olive Oil, is a delight, spiced with sesame seeds and za’atar† (also spelled zahtar), a spice blend that is very popular in Middle Eastern cuisines, including Israeli.

Then there’s the new Farmers Market line, which currently includes:

  • Cucumber Tzatziki Hummus, with cucumber and dill
  • Harvest Carrot & Ginger Hummus, a favorite combination in winter soups
  • Vine Ripened Tomato & Basil Hummus, a newer version of the brand’s Sundried Tomato & Basil flavor
  •    

    tribe-carrot-ginger-230sq

    Harvest Carrot & Ginger, one of Tribe’s new Farmer’s Market flavors. Photo courtesy Tribe.

     
    *Flavors from the Tribe Originals Line: Classic Hummus, Cracked Chili Peppers, Everything Hummus, Extra Smooth Classic, Forty Spices, Lemon Rosemary Focaccia, Mediterranean Olive, Mediterranean Style, Roasted Garlic, Spicy Chipotle, Spicy Red Pepper, Sweet Roasted Red Peppers, Zesty Spice & Garlic. Classic, Roasted Garlic and Sweet Roasted Red Peppers are also available in organic versions.

    †Za’atar is actually the Arabic word for Lebanese oregano, a member of the mint family Lamiaceaea, that was known in antiquity as hyssop. The za’atar blend will vary by the blender, but includes dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, toasted sesame seeds and salt. Some blends add coriander, cumin, fennel seed or savory. A Palestinian variation includes caraway seeds. To these spices, the unique components of Lebanese oregano and sumac berries are added. The sumac, ground into a reddish-purple powder that is a popular spice in Middle Eastern cuisine, imparts a tart, fruity flavor that differentiates za’atar from other spice blends.

     

    carrot-hummus-plated-kaminsky-230

    Tribe’s Harvest Carrot & Ginger Hummus. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

     

    The Harvest Carrot & Ginger Hummus, in particular, has a festive orange hue that looks especially nice for holiday snacking. Served with a platter of crudités, it’s a better-for-you option among the rich holiday fare.

    The orange color also fits right in with Halloween and the entire harvest season.

    If you’d like to make your own, here’s a reicpe:

    RECIPE: CARROT GINGER HUMMUS

    Prep time is 5 minutes, cook time is 5 minutes.
     
    Ingredients

  • 1 cup well-packed shredded carrots
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (about two lemons)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Garnish: snipped cilantro or parsley
  • Dippers: pita chips, baby carrots and other crudités
  • Preparation

    1. PLACE all ingredients in a food processor and pulse several times to coarsely chop. Then let food processor run for about 2 minutes until smooth.

    2. REMOVE hummus from food processor bowl to serving bowl, using a spatula. Serve with dippers of choice.

     
    CARROT TRIVIA

    Contrary to popular belief, baby carrots are not grown bite-sized. They are bred long and slender, and then cut into two-inch pieces and lathed to a uniform width.

    According to Web MD, carrots do, in fact, help with vision. They are high in vitamin A, a nutrient essential for good vision. Eating carrots provides the small amount of vitamin A needed for good vision. (Vitamin A is also be found in cheese, egg yolks, liver and milk.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Seasonal Sangria

    Zulka-Sparkling-Apple-Cider-Sangria-Zulka-230

    Celebrate fall with Apple Cider Sangria. Photo courtesy Zulka.com.

     

    Sangria is a popular party drink, and you can moderate the amount of alcohol or use none at all.

    Here’s the version we’re serving at Thanksgiving, compliments of Zulka Sugar. Fall is apple cider season, so Instead of fruit juice, this recipe uses apple cider and sparkling apple cider.

    Cider s available in alcoholic and non alcoholic versions. In the U.S., alcoholic cider is known as hard cider. (See details below.) Find more delicious recipes at Zulka.com.

    RECIPE: SPARKLING APPLE CIDER SANGRIA

    Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 cup Calvados or other apple brandy
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) white wine (Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc work best)
  • 1 bottle sparkling apple cider
  • 5-6 apples, cored and sliced thin (use red apples for better color, or a combination of red and green)
  • Garnish: Cinnamon sticks
  • Optional: ice cubes
  •  

    PREPARATION

    1. COMBINE the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Pour a little of brandy in another small bowl. Dip the glass rims in the brandy and then the cinnamon sugar. Add a few apple slices to each glass. Set aside.

    2. ADD the remaining cinnamon sugar to a large pitcher. Add the apple cider and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Top with the brandy and wine and mix. Add the rest of the apples. Chill until ready to serve.

    3. ADD the sparkling cider right before serving. Garnish with an apple slice and a cinnamon stick. Serve chilled. Add ice if desired.
     
    WHAT IS CIDER

    While in the U.S. and parts of Canada, the term “apple cider” is interchangeable with apple juice, in Europe a glass of cider is not kid stuff: It’s an alcoholic drink that many prefer to beer.

     

    bottle-glass-original-230

    One of our favorite cider brands. Photo courtesy Crispin Cider.

     
    Usually made from fermented apple juice (although pears can be used—pear cider is known as perry in the U.K.), the juice ferments for eight weeks after the apples are pressed. The cider then matures or several months, is blended, filtered and carbonated.

    The result is a drink with the carbonation and alcohol of beer and the flavor of apples. As with beer, each brand has a distinct flavor profile and alcoholic content, generally from 3% ABV (alcohol by volume) or less to 8.5% or more.

    In the U.S., alcoholic cider is called hard cider, and it’s becoming more popular. Like wine, it has a relatively high concentration of antioxidants—but enjoy it for the crisp, refreshing taste!

  • Hard cider is best served chilled or over ice.
  • Cider is naturally gluten-free.
  • Cider is less filling than beer.
  • The apple flavor is all-natural (as opposed to artificially-flavored malt beverages).
  •   

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Nonni’s Biscotti In Holiday Flavors

    gingerbread-pumpkin-boxes-230

    A holiday treat from Nonni’s. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    We are fans of Nonni’s Biscotti, and even more so with the new holiday flavors.

    Nonni’s limited-edition holiday biscotti are available in Gingerbread and Pumpkin Spice, both with cinnamon icing. The biscotti are individually wrapped for easy grab-and-go.

    Delicious for snacking or for gifting, they also pair well with the season’s pumpkin and gingerbread lattes.

    Be sure to get enough for stocking stuffers!

    If you can’t find the biscotti locally, you can get them online:

  • Nonni’s Gingerbread Biscotti
  • Nonni’s Pumpkin Biscotti
  •  
    Don’t want spiced biscotti? Try the addictive Salted Caramel Biscotti, embedded with chunks of salted caramel.

     

    The biscotti are certified kosher by U.S Kosher Supervision. Learn more at Nonnis.com.

     
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

    Italian-American families often have a festive pasta dish such as lasagna at the Thanksgiving table, along with traditional Turkey Day foods.

    We’ve got two options for Pumpkin Mac & Cheese, a treat throughout the holiday season. Both recipes are courtesy of Cabot Creamery, makers of our favorite supermarket Cheddar.

    This first recipe is courtesy of Kristina LaRue, RD, LDN, for Cabot Creamery. It uses better-for-you whole grain pasta and flour. Note that in this recipe, you can substitute white pastry flour and conventional elbow macaroni; but in baking cookies, cakes, muffins, etc., the substitution proportions will differ.

    RECIPE: PUMPKIN MAC & CHEESE

    Ingredients

  • 14 ounces whole grain elbow macaroni
  • 4 slices center-cut bacon
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3 cups nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup 100% pure canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 ounces Cabot Alpine Cheddar*, shredded and divided
  • 6 ounces Cabot White Oak Cheddar*, shredded and divided
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  •    

    Pumpkin_Mac_and_Cheese_cabot-230

    Pumpkin Mac & Cheese. Photo courtesy Cabot Creamery.

     
    *The recipe used Cabot Alpine Cheddar and Cabot White Oak Cheddar, but you can substitute Sharp Cheddar or Extra Sharp Cheddar.
     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Coat a 13 X 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

    2. COOK the macaroni to al dente according to package directions. Rinse and drain.

    3. LINE a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange bacon. Cook bacon for 10 minutes and blot dry. Crumble and set aside.

    4. MELT the butter in large pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and slowly add the milk until the mixture is smooth and the ingredients are incorporated.

    5. STIR in the canned pumpkin and continue to whisk until the mixture is thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the spices, cheese (reserve 1/2 cup for topping) and yogurt, whisking quickly to combine until the cheese is melted.

    6. POUR the macaroni into the prepared baking dish and coat evenly with the pumpkin cheese sauce. Top with the remaining cheese and bacon.

    7. BAKE for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

     

    Mac___Cheese_in_a_Pumpkin-cabot-230

    Your favorite mac and cheese recipe can served in a baked pumpkin. Photo courtesy Cabot Creamery.

     

    RECIPE: MAC & CHEESE BAKED IN A PUMPKIN

    This recipe is baked in a pumpkin, but there is no pumpkin flesh in the recipe. Instead, you can use the recipe above for a pumpkin-in-pumpkin dish.

    Ingredients For 16 Servings

  • 1 large pumpkin, about 11 inches in diameter, preferably with one flat side
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 cups small elbow macaroni
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter
  • 6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Large pinch ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cups whole milk, heated
  • 2 pounds (about 8 cups) Cabot Sharp Cheddar or Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar, grated & divided
  • 1 cup buttered bread crumbs
  • Optional garnish: sprigs of fresh thyme
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375ºF.

    2. PLACE the pumpkin flat-side-down or remove thin slice from one side so the pumpkin will be stable. With a sharp knife, cut the pumpkin in half horizontally, slightly above stem, to form a bowl. Remove the fiber and seeds. With a spoon or an ice cream scoop, scrape out some of the flesh so shell has a thickness of 3/4 to 1 inch.

    3. SPRAY the top edge of the pumpkin with cooking spray or brush lightly with oil; then place it cut-side down on a pizza pan or baking sheet. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until the pumpkin still holds it shape but the flesh is cooked and can be pierced easily with a toothpick. While pumpkin bakes…

    4. COOK the macaroni according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

    5. MAKE the cheese sauce: Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Sprinkle the flour into the butter and whisk constantly until there is a thick, smooth paste with nutty aroma (about 5 minutes).

    6. ADD the mustard, red pepper and Worcestershire. Gradually whisk in the milk and continue stirring until the sauce thickens and returns to a simmer.

    7. REDUCE the heat to low. Add 7 cups of the cheese and stir until melted. Add the macaroni, stirring until well coated; remove from the heat.

    8. TURN the baked pumpkin over with oven mitts. Place it in a large shallow baking dish (from which you’ll serve it), or leave it on the baking sheet. Fill the pumpkin with the macaroni mixture and top with the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. (Put any mac and cheese that won’t fit into another small baking dish).

    9. BAKE until the filling is puffed and golden, about 40 to 50 minutes longer (a smaller baking dish will be done sooner). Let stand for about 10 minutes to settle before serving. Garnish and serve.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Holiday Dessert Bar

    After a big holiday feast, instead of serving dessert at the table, consider setting up a dessert bar. Guests can digest the main meal a bit, and then help themselves at their own pace. They can also cut slivers of more than one dessert.

    In addition to pies, cake, cobbler, cookies, fruit and other bounty, guests can help themselves to coffee and tea.

    Set out the plates, forks, spoons, napkins, and don’t forget the garnishes. Consider:

  • Crème fraîche
  • Crème anglaise (custard sauce)
  • Hard sauce*
  • Ice cream
  • Mascarpone
  • Whipped cream
  •  
    If you want to over-indulge, add bowls of shaved chocolate and toffee bits, and flavored whipped cream (like bourbon whipped cream or chocolate whipped cream) in addition to the classic.

       

    pecan-pie-beauty-beauty-goodeggs-230

    Set the apple pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie and other desserts on a sideboard or table and let guests help themselves. Photo courtesy GoodEggs.com.

     

    *Hard sauce is a rich dessert sauce made with butter and sugar plus brandy, rum, sherry, whiskey or vanilla.

     

    open-mint-chip-230

    Talenti’s four delicious seasonal flavors. Get them all: They’re heavenly! Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

     

    TALENTI LIMITED EDITION SEASONAL ICE CREAM

    Look for limited edition seasonal ice cream flavors to add to your dessert bar. One of our favorite brands, Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto, has four exceptionally delicious flavors:

  • Caramel Apple Pie is Talenti’s signature cinnamon gelato (the milk is infused with whole cinnamon sticks!), blended with pieces of apples, sweet flaky pie crust and a caramel swirl. It’s a great fusion of ice cream and pie.
  • Old World Eggnog Gelato is made like eggnog, with fresh egg yolks, pure vanilla extract and nutmeg. But it’s family-friendly: no alcohol. A terrific treat for eggnog lovers!
  • Peppermint Bark Gelato adds crunchy morsels of semisweet Callebaut Belgian chocolate to refreshing peppermint ice cream. We’re hooked on it.
  • Pumpkin Pie Gelato blends brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin with real pie crust pieces. It’s even better than a slice of pie!
  •  
    THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ICE CREAM & GELATO

    In brief, gelato is made with more milk than cream, for a lower butterfat content. While many of us have been led to believe that higher butterfat “superpremium ice cream” is better, the butterfat coats the tongue and dulls the flavors in the process.

     
    Gelato is also more dense, with less air whipped into it (overrun). The combination of lower fat and higher density engender greater intensity of flavor. Here’s more on the difference between ice cream and gelato.

    Note that in the U.S. there is no government standard to differentiate ice cream and gelato. We’ve found more than one very high butterfat “gelato.”

    Why? It’s marketing: “Gelato” sounds newer, more sophisticated and special.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Chocolate Pumpkin Tart

    One year we made pumpkin pie with a chocolate cookie crust. But here’s an even better filling for that crust, that marries pumpkin and chocolate.

    “There’s just something about the combination of pumpkin, spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, and chocolate that make me go a little weak in the knees,” says Annalise Sandberg of CompletelyDelicious.com. “This tart is almost equal parts pumpkin and chocolate and is sure to win over everyone.”

    The prep time is 15 minutes, cook time 1 hour. The yield: 8 servings.

    If you’d like to bake something with a special twist this Thanksgiving, go for it! Find more recipes at CompletelyDelicious.com and GoBoldWithButter.com.

    RECIPE: CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN TART

    Ingredients For The Chocolate Cookie Crust

  • 1-1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  •  
    For The Filling

  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups bittersweet or dark chocolate, melted
  • Optional garnish: whipped cream.
  •    

    Chocolate-Pumpkin-Tart-completelydeliciousGBWB-230

    The art of the tart: chocolate swirled into pumpkin. Photo courtesy Completely Delicious | Go Bold With Butter.

     

     

    bittersweet-disks-2kingarthurflour-230

    Bittersweet chocolate disks from Guittard. The better the chocolate, the tastier the outcome. Photo courtesy King Arthur Flour.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F.

    2. MAKE the cookie crust: Combine the cookie crumbs, sugar, salt and butter together in small bowl and mix with fork. Press into a buttered 8-inch tart pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Set crust aside.

    3. MAKE the filling: Combine the eggs, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt in bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Add the pumpkin purée and heavy cream and mix until incorporated. Measure 1 cup of the mixture and set aside.

    4. MELT the chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave.

    5. SET the baked crust on a sheet pan and pour the filling into the crust. Combine the melted chocolate with the reserved filling. Spoon it on top of the on top of the partially filled crust and swirl it into the existing filling.

    6. BAKE until the center is set and no longer appears shiny, 40-45 minutes. Let the tart cool to room temperature. Store in fridge until ready to serve.

     

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Pumpkin Spice Pound Cake Bundt

    pumpkin-spice-pound-cake-bundt-spiceislands-230r

    Pumpkin Spice Pound Cake made in a bundt pan. Photo courtesy Spice Islands.

     

    As a follow-up to our recent article on autumn bundt cakes, here’s one that’s especially appropriate for Thanksgiving: Pumpkin Spice Bundt. The recipe is courtesy Spice Islands.

    RECIPE: PUMPKIN SPICE POUND CAKE BUNDT

    Ingredients For The Cake

  • 2-3/4 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened (no substitutions)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  •  
    For The Caramel Pecan Topping

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • Dash salt
  • Dash ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Optional garnish: whipped cream*
  •  

    Preparation

    For The Cake

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Generously grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan.

    2. BEAT the sugar and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla; the add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each.

    3. COMBINE the flour, baking powder, salt and spices; mix well. Alternately add dry ingredients and pumpkin to butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Pour into prepared pan.

    4. BAKE for 65 to 75 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Invert onto serving plate. Cool completely.
     
    For The Caramel Pecan Topping

    1. COMBINE the brown sugar, cream, maple syrup, butter and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

    2. REMOVE from the heat and stir in the cinnamon, vanilla and pecans. Serve warm over the cake. Top with whipped cream, if desired.
     
    WHIPPED CREAM TIP: If you’re putting whipped cream on a very sweet dessert, such as this caramel topping or pecan pie, you can halve the sugar in the whipped cream or eliminate it entirely.

    An unsweetened or just slightly sweet whipped cream provides a better counterpoint to the sweetness of the dessert. Otherwise, the sweet-on-sweet can be cloying.
     
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Holiday Coffee

    Green-Mountain-Coffee-Pumpkin-Spice-Bags-Kcups-230

    Pick up some seasonal coffee in bags or K-Cups. Photo courtesy Green Mountain Coffee.

     

    We typically take advantage of the holiday blend coffees to switch up our caffeine consumption. In past years, it was always a bag of ground coffee, and we’d make a whole pot, whether or not others wanted to participate.

    But now, with the proliferation of Keurig single-cup brewers and other brands that use K-Cups, it’s easier to enjoy a quick cup.

    It’s time to bring on the holiday K-cups. You can find these limited edition coffees at retailers and online. Here’s a selection of coffees for the holiday season:
     
    Barrie House Pumpkin Spice K Cups

    Arabica beans are blended with the spicy flavor of holiday pumpkin pie. More information.
     
    Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Favor K Cups

    Grab a seasonal donut when you pick up a box of these! More information.

     
    Green Mountain Pumpkin Spice

    Green Mountain’s medium roast coffee is infused with flavors of cinnamon, pumpkin and nutmeg. More information.

    Get the ground coffee in bags.
     
    Starbucks Thanksgiving Blend K Cups

    Starbucks doesn’t have a pumpkin-flavored coffee, but produces a Thanksgiving Blend they describe as a “rich fall brew [that] features herbal notes with Sumatran beans and elegant soft spice from the coffee of Guatemala’s Antigua region. You’ll find it pairs well with the entire Thanksgiving meal, from savory turkey to sweet pumpkin pie.” It’s certified OU kosher. More information.
     
    Seasonal Sampler

    You can get a 30-count K-Cup assortment of holiday and winter cappuccino, chai, cider, coffee and tea from different brewers. Check out the Brewers Variety Pack Sampler with K-Cups from Brooklyn Beans, Crazy Cups, Green Mountain, Grove Square, Twinings and others.
     
    Consider holiday K-Cups as a gift for your favorite Keurig owner.
     
    FOR TEA DRINKERS

    Take a look at Harney & Sons for delicious holiday teas and gift sets.

    There are also two good candidates that are enjoyed year-round, but have notes of holiday spices:

  • Constant Comment, a very popular brand that is blended with sweet spices and orange peel
  • Masala chai, the generic term for Indian spiced tea, which is usually shortened to “chai” in the U.S.
  •  
    We think we’ll make a cup right now.

      

    Comments

    GIFT: Turkey Shaped Whoopie Pies

    turkey-whoopie-pies-cranberryislandkitchen-230

    Seasonal whoopies in the shape of turkeys, plus pumpkins and leaves (not shown). Photo courtesy Cranberry Island Kitchen.

     

    These gourmet whoopie pies are a rich, full-bodied pumpkin cake. The selection includes both vanilla cream cheese filling and maple cream cheese filling.

    They’re also made in pumpkin shapes and maple leaf shapes; then individually shrink-wrapped to preserve freshness.

  • 12 whoopies are $43.95; $44.95 in a gift box with gift card
  • 24 whoopies are $74.95; $76.95 in a gift box with gift card
  • 36 whoopies are $109.95; $115.95 in a gift box with gift card
  •  
    They can be eaten at room temperature or straight from the fridge, and they freeze beautifully.

    Get yours at CranberryIslandKitchen.com:

  • Fall Sampler of pumpkin whoopies and leaf whoopies
  • Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
  • Thanksgiving Sampler of turkeys, pumpkins and leaves
  • Turkey Whoopie Pies
  •  
    WHOOPIE PIE HISTORY

    The whoopie pie is Maine’s Official State Dessert, but the now-defunct Berwick’s Bakery in Boston (1898-1977) may have been the origin: A retired employee said that the company first started to bake whoopie pies in 1926, earlier than any other reference.

    But Lancaster, Pennsylvania claims to be the originator, with an anecdotal story that the recipe originated with an [unknown] Amish housewife. As the story goes, when Amish husbands and children would find the baked treats in their lunch bags, they would shout “Whoopie!”

    The whoopie pie is actually a sandwich cookie: two round, mound-shaped pieces of devil’s food chocolate cake with vanilla frosting in-between. The recipe first appears in cookbooks during the Depression, in recipe collections from several states.

    As the story is variously told, Amish housewives would bake these treats and put them in their farmer husbands’ (or children’s) lunch boxes. When the lucky recipients would discover what was for dessert, they would shout “whoopie!”

    Today there are dozens of flavors of cakes and fillings. There’s nothing left to do but take a bite.

     
      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Pumpkin Spice Fudge

    Here’s something special to make for work colleagues, friends, family and Thanksgiving hosts: Pumpkin Spice Fudge.

    It’s an easy recipe from Nestlé. In fact, you can let kids old enough to work with hot liquids make it as their contribution. Prep time is 10 minutes, cooking time is 20 minutes.

    RECIPE: PUMPKIN SPICE FUDGE

    Ingredients For 48 Pieces (About 3 Pounds)

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup (5 fluid ounces can) evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (pure pumpkin, not pie filling)*
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice†
  • 2 cups (12-ounce package) white chocolate chips
  • 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  •    

    pumpkin-spiced-fudge-nestle-230

    Pumpkin Spice Fudge. Photo and recipe courtesy Nestlé.

     
    *Pumpkin pie filling has spices blended in. Pumpkin purée is not seasoned; the appropriate spices are added separately as the recipe requires.
     
    †Pumpkin pie spice is simply a blend of the traditional spices that go into pumpkin pie. If you don’t want to buy a pre-mixed container, it’s easy to make your own. Combine 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves.

     

    carnation-evaporated-milk-230

    First marketed in 1857 as a safe milk drinking option, evaporated milk and its sibling, sweetened condensed milk, have become an asset in cooking as well. Photo and recipe courtesy Nestlé.

     

    Preparation

    1. LINE 13 x 9-inch baking pan with foil, letting the foil drape over two ends of the pan to serve as handles.

    2. COMBINE the sugar, brown sugar, evaporated milk, pumpkin, butter and spice in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 10 to 12 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches 234°F to 240°F (soft-ball stage).

    3. QUICKLY STIR in the chocolate chips, marshmallow creme, nuts and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until the chips are melted. Immediately pour into the prepared pan.

    4. COOL on a wire rack for 2 hours or until completely cooled. Refrigerate the pan, tightly covered. When ready to serve…

    5. LIFT the fudge from pan using the foil handles; remove the foil. Cut into 1-inch pieces.

     

    WHAT IS EVAPORATED MILK?

    Evaporated milk, also known as dehydrated milk, is a shelf-stable canned milk product. Approximately 60% of the water is removed from fresh milk.

    Prior to the 19th century and refrigeration, milk was highly perishable. In the summer heat, it spoiled in a matter of hours. In addition, there were sanitation problems: Milk straight from the cow was contaminated harmful with bacteria.

    Gail Borden conceived of a shelf stable canned milk product in 1852. His first condensed milk product, launched in 1854, lasted three days without souring. Borden was granted a patent for sweetened condensed milk in 1854. Commercial production began in 1857.

    In Borden’s early product, sugar was added to inhibit bacterial growth. Competitors perfected the technique of sterilizing the product to vastly improve shelf life. Today, evaporated milk has no added sugar; a separate product, sweetened condensed milk, is evaporated milk that contains sugar. [Source]

    While not a hit right out of the gate, evaporated milk soon became popular as a safe and reliable substitute for fresh milk. It could be shipped easily to locations lacking the safe dairy production and/or refrigerated storage.

    The Florida Keys were an example of a hot and remote area that had no dairying. Evaporated milk made it possible for residents to finally enjoy milk in coffee and in cooking. Key Lime Pie, initially made with evaporated milk and now with sweetened condensed milk, is a legacy of Mr. Borden’s vision.

    The shelf life of canned evaporated milk will vary from months to years, depending on the sugar content and its proportion of fat. Carnation Brand makes evaporated milk from whole milk, nonfat milk and 2% milk.

      

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