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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 July 4th

RECIPE: Blueberry Cake Or Red, White & Blue Cake

blueberry-layer-cake-fanny-ohsweetsday-colorfulharvestFB-230

To create a July 4th cake, add a rectangle of
raspberries to the upper left corner of the
cake. Photo courtesy OhSweetDay.com.

 

We discovered this recipe, Lemon Blueberry and White Chocolate Cream Cake, on the Colorful Harvest website. It was contributed by Fanny at OhSweetDay.com.

Turn it into a July 4th cake by adding raspberries or strawberries to the filling layers, top, or both.

RECIPE: JULY 4th CAKE, A.K.A. LEMON BLUEBERRY & WHITE CHOCOLATE CREAM CAKE

Ingredients For One 8-Inch 4 Layer Cake Or
Two Loaf Cakes)

For The Lemon Cake

  • 1-1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  •  

    For The Blueberry Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  •  
    Plus

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 cups grated white chocolate
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8″ x 8″ square cake pans.

    2. SIFT together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk sour cream, lemon zest, juice and vanilla.

    3. BEAT butter and sugar together on medium speed in a bowl of a standing mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until blended.

    4. REDUCE the speed to low and beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half of the sour cream mixture. Repeat with another 1/3 of the flour mixture and the remaining sour cream mixture. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until just incorporated.

    5. DIVIDE batter evenly among prepared cake pans. Transfer pans to oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for about 10 minutes before inverting on rack. Let cool completely.

     

    mixed-berries-greengiantfresh.com-230

    Fresh summer berries. Photo courtesy GreenGiantFresh.com.

     

    6. PREPARE blueberry sauce: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool completely.

    7. BEAT heavy cream with powdered sugar until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Place into the fridge to chill.

    8. ASSEMBLE: Slice cakes into half horizontally, so you have 4 layers of cake. Then cut vertically to have 8 layers of rectangular cakes, if you want to make two cakes. Place one cake layer on the serving late and spread with blueberry sauce. Gently spread the whipped cream on top, and scatter with blueberries. Top with another cake layer and repeat the same process until you place the 4th cake layer.

    9. FROST the top and sides of the cake with the remaining whipped cream. Press white chocolate around the sides of cake and place blueberries on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Blue & Purple Potatoes

    The All Blue variety of blue potatoes.
    Potatoes can be blue or purple, depending on
    the soil in which they are grown. Photo
    courtesy Burpee.com.

     

    Naturally blue and purple foods are relatively rare.

    Blue Foods. In the blue group are blackberries, blueberries, blue cheese, blue corn, Concord grapes, pale blue oyster mushrooms and edible flowers like bachelor’s buttons. And there are exotica like decaisnea, an Asian plant known as dead man’s fingers, with a blue pod and edible blue pulp.

    Purple Foods. In the purple group: black currants; black rice; eggplant; elderberries; figs; red cabbage; purple artichokes, asparagus, bell peppers, carrots, cauliflower, grapes “green” beams, and kohlrabi; plums; prunes; raisins; and some microgreens.

    But our favorite in the blue and purple group are blue and purple potatoes and yams, which have both blue/purple flesh and skin. More flavorful than many starchy white potatoes, they tend to have a slight earthy and nutty flavor. Look for them in specialty produce markets or better supermarkets.

    The blue or purple color comes from anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that create red, blue and purple colors, depending on the pH of the soil and other growing factors.

     

    There are numerous varieties with commercial names such as All Blue, Congo, Lion’s Paw, Purple Peruvian, Purple Viking, Purple Majesty and Vitilette. Specialty Produce magazine notes that there are 700 purple varieties in Peru, the birthplace of the potato.

    They are generally harvested young, which is why they tend to be smaller and rounder. Leave them in the ground and they’ll grow larger and oblong.

    According to Web MD, they’re a heart healthy vegetable, helping to lower blood pressure. What better reason to go out and buy some!

     

    A Versatile Potato

    Blue and purple potatoes have a medium-starchy texture. They keep their shape when baked but also mash and blend easily—for example, into potato soup, shown in the photo at right.

    The pop of color is a delight in potato salads and a surprise in dishes like blue/purple potato soup.

    Make fun dishes like purple potato chips or potato latkes. Mix purple potatoes with orange-fleshed squash. Try a purple potato pizza with smoked salmon and salmon roe, or with caramelized onions and rosemary.

    For Easter, how about this purple potato soup from Family Spice? Here’s the recipe.

    Purple mashed potatoes are also stunning on the table. If your tradition is roast lamb with rosemary potatoes, make those potatoes purple—or a mix of purple and white.

     

    purple-potato-soup-familyspice-230

    Purple potato soup: a treat for Easter dinner—or anytime. Photo © Family Spice.

     

    Think of how you’d use blue or purple potatoes and let us know.

    One suggestion you shouldn’t pass up: red, white and blue potato salad for Independence Day!

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Make A Watermelon Boat

    Put your fruit salad or munchies in a
    watermelon boat. Photo courtesy Old World
    Gourmet.

     

    Have you ever carved a watermelon basket? The simple watermelon boat shown in the photo is a charming presentation. Most people fill it with fruit salad, but you can create rows of assorted munchies: cheese cubes, crudites, fruit, salami cubes.

    While it puts some labor into Labor Day, you can carve a true work of art from a watermelon, and it’s a fun project.

    The National Watermelon Promotion Board is here to help you, with almost 60 carved watermelon designs to inspire your fruit artistry. Beyond the conventional basket filled with fruit salad, there are:

  • Animal watermelons: cat, fish, hippo, ladybug, moose owl, penguin, pig, porcupine, rabbit, robot, seal, shark, turtle, T-Rex, whale
  • Kids’ watermelons: Minion (from “Despicable Me”), pirate skull and bones, smiley face, treasure chest, Viking helmet
  •  

  • Sports watermelons: eight ball, football helmet, golf ball, race car, sailboat, surf wave
  • Summer theme watermelons: beach bucket, flip flops, flower garden, flowers,
  • Assorted fun watermelons: Angry Birds, mermaid, purse, submarine, tea pot, tiki mask
  •  
    There are more, of course, including lovely basket designs and holiday-themed watermelon boats: Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, etc.

     

    RECIPE: WATERMELON RELISH

    Take some of that watermelon flesh and rind and make yummy watermelon relish. Use it to top burgers and hot dogs, mix it with yogurt for a dip, mix it with mayonnaise for a sandwich spread.

    Ingredients

  • 2 cups watermelon rind, dark-green skin removed and white part cut in 1/3-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2½ cups water and ¾ cup water, divided
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 pinch each cinnamon and cloves
  • 2 cups diced watermelon
  •  

    Watermelon relish. Photo courtesy National Watermelon Promotion Board.

     

    Preparation

    1. MIX rind with 2-1/2 cups water and 2 tablespoons salt. Let stand covered at room temperature overnight. Drain and rinse well.

    2. COMBINE in medium saucepan the sugar, 3/4 cup water, 2 teaspoons salt, the lemon zest and juice, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the rind and cook gently for about 40 minutes or until the rind is translucent and tender (do not boil hard as mixture might caramelize). When done, remove from heat and cool.

    3. MIX in the diced watermelon.

    Makes 3/4 of a quart. The watermelon relish will keep refrigerated for 4 days.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Gourmet Hot Dog Recipes For Labor Day

    A hot dog Boston-style, topped with baked
    beans, crumbled bacon and chopped red
    onion. Photo courtesy Applegate.

     

    If you didn’t whip up some gourmet hot dogs on July 23rd, National Hot Dog Day, Labor Day Weekend is another opportunity to strut your hot dog stuff.

    In case you’re thinking chili cheese dogs, corn dogs and pizza dogs, take a look at these gourmet hot dog recipes. Below are more examples created by chefs across the country. Now, you’re ready to turn hot dogs to haute dogs.

  • Downward Dog, Japanese Style Hot Dogs. At The Corner Office in Denver, there’s a Japanese spin: Downward Dogs, two hot dogs with Japanese mustard, kewpie mayo, sweet soy sauce, nori and cucumber tsukemono (Japanese pickles sliced thin and marinated in rice wine vinegar, mirin, sugar, and salt for two days). The dogs are served in a split-top bun with a side of butter fries (tossed in clarified butter and salt). Kewpie mayo is a Japanese brand, a smoother, creamer mayonnaise made with rice vinegar rather than distilled white vinegar. You can buy it online.
  •  

  • Coney Island Style Hot Dogs or Coney Dogs. They’re not from New York’s famed Coney Island: This style of hot dog originated in Michigan in the early 20th century at Todoroff’s Original Coney Island. The original dog was topped with an all-meat (beanless chili), chopped white onions and stripes of yellow mustard. A special coney sauce evolved at hot dog stands that combined ground beef, onion, ketchup, mustard, celery seed, Worcestershire sauce and other seasonings. Here’s a coney sauce recipe. Toasted Oak in Novi, Michigan, an American brasserie, serves them with a twist: mini dogs topped with venison (instead of beef) coney sauce.
  • Southwestern Style Hot Dogs. Kachina Southwestern Grill in suburban Denver makes a Sonoran Dog, named after the state in the northwetern corner of Mexico. The restaurant pays homage to this culinary melting pot with a Kobe beef hot dog topped with applewood bacon, cowboy beans, pico de gallo, crumbled cotija cheese and smoked tomato aïoli, wrapped in house-made bolillo, a long, crusty roll with a baguette-like texture.
  •  

  • Poutine Dog, Breakfast Dog. There are two special dogs at Portland’s The Original Dinerant (a cross between a diner and a restaurant). Poutine Dog adds a hot dog to the classic Canadian dish. The dog is topped with warm cheese curds, crispy French fries and veal gravy. Or try a Breakfast Dog instead of sausage and eggs. It’s a grilled hot dog topped with a sunny-side-up egg, and wrapped in a bun that’s been French toast-battered and fried bun. The condiments: a drizzle of maple syrup and powdered sugar, of course.
  •  
    These recipes are from our chef friend Ken:

  • BLT Dogs. Shredded lettuce, bacon, mayonnaise, diced tomatoes.
  • Peking Dogs. The dog is topped with the fixings of Peking Duck—julienne cucumbers, chopped scallions and hoisin sauce—and wrapped in a crepe.
  •  

    A San Francisco-style hot dog: healthy salad fixings on your frank. Photo courtesy Applegate.

  • Taco Dogs. Wrap halved hot dogs in grilled tortillas, topped with taco condiments (shredded cheese and lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa, guacamole, etc.).
  •  
    WANT SOMETHING EASIER?

    Just provide some special ingredients in addition to the traditional hot dog condiments.

  • Traditional hot dog condiments: barbecue sauce, chili, cheese (shredded), ketchup, mustard, onions, pickles, pickle relish, sauerkraut.
  • Special hot dog condiments: bruschetta and fresh basil leaves, caramelized onions, cilantro, crumbled blue cheese, corn relish, jalapeños (raw and/or pickled), fruit salsa (mango, peach, pineapple), Onion Crunch.
  •  

    HOT DOG TRIVIA

    According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, an estimated seven billion hot dogs are eaten by Americans between Memorial Day and Labor Day. And every year, Americans eat an average of 60 hot dogs each!

  • Miller Park in Milwaukee is the only Major League ball park in which sausages outsell hot dogs. We recently featured “The Beast,” their “turducken” of hot dogs.
  • Ball park hot dog vendors need to be strong. A fully loaded bin weights approximately 40 pounds, and vendors typically walk 4 to 5 miles per game, up and down steps. They work on tips and commission.
  • “Nobody, I mean nobody, puts ketchup on a hot dog” is a phrase less famous than “Go ahead, make my day.” But Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry said them both (the former in “Sudden Impact”).
  • Glamour queen Marlene Deitrich’s preferred meal was hot dogs and Champagne.
  • Visitors can purchase hot dogs at the Vatican Snack Bar.
  •  
    Want more trivia? Take our hot dog trivia quiz.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Budget Tips For Barbecues

    Anyone who entertains knows how costly it can be to host a aimple barbecue. We can’t believe how much we spent for July 4th. We could have taken everyone to a really good restaurant!

    With much summer entertaining ahead, we’re publishing these budget-friendly tips from Jeanette Pavini, consumer savings expert for the philanthropic savings site, CouponsForChange.org, shares her tips for hosting a barbecue on a budget:

    TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SUPERMARKET SALES

    Don’t wed yourself to certain menu items. Be flexible, and build your menu around foods that are on sale. For double the savings, find coupons that match the sale items. Sites like CouponsForChange.org have printable coupons for thousands of grocery items. Plus, for every 3 coupons you clip, a free meal is provided to a needy person.

     

    Tailor your menu to items on sale. Photo courtesy 123rf.com.

     

    KNOW WHEN TO SHOP

    Ask your butcher what time of day the store marks down meat. It’s usually in the early morning or in the evening. Some stores have two rounds of markdowns. For example, a package of chicken might be marked down 30% in the morning, and if it doesn’t sell by evening, it will be further marked down to 60%.

     

    Be sure to put different veggies on the grill
    Corn grilling cage available at Sur La Table.

     

    ADD COLOR TO THE GRILL

    The grill is not just for cooking meat. Make your grill do double duty with vegetables, so you get the most from your charcoal. Grilled vegetables are easy and delicious (we love the color of orange, red and yellow bell peppers). If you’re serving a large crowd, see if there is a wholesale produce market in your area. That’s where the restaurants shop, so you’ll get the same wholesale prices as they do as well as the freshest fruit and veggies available.

    BUY IN BULK

    Usually, a large cut of meat will be cheaper than the same amount cut into smaller pieces. If you don’t want to cut it yourself, you can always ask the butcher if he or she will cut it into smaller pieces for free. You can save even more if you buy bone-in cuts of meat.

     

    BE A BUDGET BARTENDER

    If you’re looking for a lower-cost beer and wine alternative, sangria is a popular and refreshing option—and a little goes a long way. Buy whichever fruit is on sale: apples, berries, oranges, pineapples, whatever. Combine with a bargain bottle of wine, add carbonated water and a sweetener like orange juice.

     
    Please share your budget barbecue tips!

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Red, White & Blue For Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Enjoy the red, white and blue all day. Photo courtesy Shiloh Farms.

     

    For three weeks leading up to Independence Day we’ve presented quite a few ideas for red, white and blue food.

    Here’s the last one for Independence Day 2013:

    For each meal today, use red and blue berries to create a red, white and blue dish.

  • Breakfast: Sprinkle your cottage cheese or oatmeal with red and blue berries.
  • Lunch: Garnish plain or vanilla yogurt with red and blue berries.
  • Dinner & Snack: For dessert, garnish or layer the berries with frozen yogurt, ice cream, rice pudding or tapioca.
  •  

    INDEPENDENCE DAY: HOW THE CELEBRATION BEGAN

    Independence Day, popularly known as the Fourth of July, commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The document declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

    The day before, John Adams had written to his wife, Abigail: “I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

     

    The Festivities Began Two years Later

    The first Independence Day celebration took place in 1777. Bristol, Rhode Island marked the day with a thirteen-gunshot salute in the morning and evening, honoring the 13 colonies that formed the United States of America.

    Philadelphia also celebrated that day: with 13-gun salutes, speeches and prayer sessions, music, parades, troop reviews, an official dinner and the now-indispensable fireworks. Ships in the harbor were decked with red, white, and blue bunting.

    In 1781, the Massachusetts General Court became the first state legislature to recognize July 4 as a state celebration. The first printed reference to “Independence Day” appears in 1791.

     

    Today we’d prefer these petit fours to turtle soup, an earlier favorite. Photo courtesy Dragonfly Cakes.

     

    The Federal Holiday Was Declared In 1870

    Congress established the first federal holidays in 1870, including New Year’s Day, the fourth of July and Christmas.

    Much of the 1777l Philadelphia celebration had become July 4th tradition: barbecues, baseball games, bunting, civic ceremonies, concerts, fireworks, parades, picnics and more. To add some civics to your day, read the Declaration of Independence.

    Here’s more Independence Day history.

    FOOD TRIVIA: Hot dogs and potato salad were not served on Independence Day in the 18th and 19th centuries. The popular food choice was turtle soup! (Source)

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Tequila On The Rocks

    Sure, you enjoy tequila in a Margarita, Tequila Sunrise or hundreds of other drinks that use the popular Mexican spirit.

    But have you tried tequila on the rocks? That’s how the aged tequila expressions, Añejo and Extra Añejo, should be enjoyed (here are the different types of tequila).

    Even if all you have is a bottle of Blanco/Silver tequila, you can pour it over rocks. Here‘s a refreshing tip for summer sipping from the folks at Milagro Tequila:

    Serve Silver tequila on the rocks with a sprig of spanked mint.

    Least you think that “spanked” mint is something kinky: Just crush the mint lightly in your hand to release some of the essential oil inside. It’s a tip to use with all fresh herbs, whether you’re adding rosemary to a marinade or basil to a sauce.

     

    Tequila on the rocks: no mixing required. Photo courtesy Milagro Tequila.

     

    Spanking is different from muddling, where the ingredients—fruits, herbs, and/or spices—are mashed in the bottom of a mixing glass to release their flavor.

    A long, stick-like gadget (the muddler), similar to a mortar-and-pestle effect, is used for crushing.

     

    Red, white and blue tequila shots. Photo
    courtesy Navan Liqueur.

     

    JULY 4th TEQUILA SHOOTERS

    You can exchange the mint for fruit and turn tequila on the rocks to red, white and blue tequila shooters.

    Just add a spoonful of purée or fruit juice to the shot glass:

  • Red purée: raspberry or strawberry
  • White purée: lychee or white peach
  • Blue purée: blackberry or blueberry
  •  
    FOOD TRIVIA

    While explorers of the New World brought much exciting food back to Europe (cacao/chocolate, potatoes, tomatoes and turkey, for starters), they contributed two pretty essential foods to the New World: distilled spirits (they taught the Aztecs how to turned the original fermented mezcal into tequila) and honey.

    Check out the history of Tequila.

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: More Red, White & Blue Food

    A healthful dessert or snack for Independence Day Weekend: You can’t go wrong with Red, White & Blue Fruit Salad. This fanciful fruit dessert was created by the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

    RECIPE: RED, WHITE & BLUE FRUIT SALAD

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 4 cups watermelon balls
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 4 dollops prepared whipped topping or substitute*
  • Optional garnish: red, white and blue star sprinkles
  •  

    *Whipped Topping Substitutes

    Prepared whipped toppings typically have high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils, which we avoid. Instead, use crème fraîche, mascarpone, sweetened sour cream, vanilla frozen yogurt, whipped cream or miniature white meringue cookies.

     

    Another beautiful dish of red, white and blue. Photo courtesy National Watermelon Promotion Board.

     

    Preparation

    1. MIX together the watermelon and blueberries. Divide among 4 sundae bowls.

    2. TOP each with a dollop of topping and sprinkle with red, white and blue sprinkles. Serve immediately.

     
    HOW ABOUT SOME RED, WHITE & BLUE COOKIES TO GO WITH THE FRUIT SALAD?

     

    Another way to enjoy the red, white and
    blue. Photo courtesy CookieMadness.net.

     

    Here‘s a delicious idea from Knicole of CookieMadness.net, where you can find many wonderful cookie recipes.

    It’s essentially a chocolate chip cookie with added dried raspberries and blueberries. You can incorporate the red, white and blue into other cookies, including oatmeal. If you don’t like white chocolate, use macadamia nuts.

     
    RECIPE: RED, WHITE & BLUE COOKIES

    Ingredients For 24 Cookies

  • 1-1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 9 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup dried blueberries
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips or 3 ounces white chocolate, cut into chunks
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Have ready two ungreased cookie sheets.

    2. MIX together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium size bowl.

    3. CREAM butter and both sugars together in a second bowl. Add egg and vanilla and beat for 30 seconds.

    4. ADD flour mixture and stir with a mixing spoon until well mixed. Stir in all dried berries and white chocolate.

    5. DROP by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 12-13 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

     
    MORE JULY 4TH FOOD RECIPES

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: July 4th Layer Cake

    A patriotic layer cake. Photo courtesy
    Harry & David.

     

    You can buy this delicious Red, White and Blueberry Cake from Harry & David ($49.95 plus shipping). Or you can make your own.

    First, Harry & David’s cake:

    Made in the company’s bakery, three layers of fluffy vanilla cake are separated by strawberry and blueberry fillings and covered in rich cream cheese frosting.

    The fun continues with the decoration: What look like blueberries atop the cake are actually Harry & David’s chocolate-covered dried blueberries.

    We can’t imagine who wouldn’t want to receive one of these as a gift.

     

    BAKE YOUR OWN JULY 4TH LAYER CAKE

    It‘s easy to bake your own red, white and blue layer cake.

    Ingredients

    All you need are:

  • A box of white cake mix, or your own from-scratch recipe
  • Raspberry, strawberry or other red jam or preserves
  • Blueberry or other blue jam or preserves
  • Frosting (we like our cream cheese frosting recipe)
  • Garnish: fresh blueberries and raspberries or chocolate-covered dried berries, sparklers
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREPARE batter and bake cake in 3 layers, according to package or recipe directions. Check directions to see if you need to prepare extra batter for the third layer. Cool.

    2. MAKE frosting. Assemble cake, frost and garnish.
     
    You can add red, white and blue candles and sing “Happy Birthday” to America.

      

    Comments

    JULY 4TH GIFT: Red, White & Blue Macarons

    If you need a snazzy July 4th gift, these red, white and blue macarons are sure to impress.

    From one of our favorite chocolatiers, Richart, they are made with the finest ingredients, including Bourbon vanilla from Madagascar.

    A gift box of 12 macarons is $18.00; a large box of 25 macarons is $37.00. Buy them at Richart-Chocolates.com.
      
    MACARONS VERSUS MACAROONS

    What’s the difference?

    The original macarons were made by Italian monks of ground almonds, egg whites and sugar.

     

    Red, white and blue macarons. Photo courtesy Richart Chocolate.

     
    The name comes from the Italian maccarone or maccherone, derived from ammaccare, meaning to crush or beat. It refers to the crushed almonds that are the principal ingredient.

    Theose maccarone were the ancestors of today’s Amaretti cookies, which were created by Francesco Moriondo, pastry chef of the Court of Savoy, in the mid-17th century.

    Because they contained no flour, macaroons were kosher for Passover. At some point, the Jews of Europe incorporated shredded coconut to make a more cakelike coconut macaroon.

    During the French Revolution (1789-1799), two nuns seeking asylum in the town of Nancy paid for their housing by baking and selling the macaroon cookies—or macarons, pronounced mah-kah-RONE in French.

    Today’s popular gourmet French cookie sandwich called macaron—two meringues sandwiched with ganache—was invented by Parisian pastry chef Pierre Desfontaines Ladurée at the beginning of the 20th century. Over the years, he developed many flavors of macarons—from cassis to violet. If you’re in Paris or New York City, stop into his stores to see the rainbow of airy delights.

    Here’s the whole history of macarons.

    HOW MANY COOKIE TYPES HAVE YOU TRIED?

    Check out some of the world’s most popular cookies in our delicious Cookie Glossary.

      

    Comments

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