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RECIPE: Peanut Butter & Jelly Waffles

Peanut Butter & Jelly Waffle Sandwich

Smooth Operator Peanut Butter

Fancy Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich

[1] A different kind of peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Photo courtesy Cait’s Plate. [2] You can also celebrate with peanut butter and jelly thumbprint cookies. Here’s the recipe from Chef de Home. [3] Don’t want waffles? Here’s a special way to celebrate with a sandwich (photo courtesy Jif).

 

April 2nd is National Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich. It’s easy to whip up a sandwich; but more special to make a waffle sandwich.

We’re making waffle sandwiches, inspired by a recipe from Cait’s Plate.

We used Peanut Butter & Co.’s Smooth Operator, but you can use any flavor of any brand you like.

Peanut Butter & Co.’s other peanut butter flavors include The Bee’s Knees (honey), Cinnamon Raisin Swirl, Crunch Time, Dark Chocolate Dreams, The Heat Is On, Mighty Maple, Old Fashioned Crunchy, Old Fashioned Smooth and White Chocolate Wonderful.

We used Smooth Operator and Smucker’s Fruit & Honey Spread in Strawberry. We made our own waffles from scratch. Frozen just doesn’t do it for us.

But if you use store-bought waffles, you’ll be ready to eat in five minutes.

RECIPE: PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY WAFFLES

Ingredients For 1 Serving

  • Waffles of choice
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons jelly or jam of choice, or more to taste
  • Optional layer: sliced bananas
  • Optional garnish: berries or other fruit
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    Preparation

    1. MAKE the waffles. Spread with peanut butter and jelly, add the optional bananas and stack into a “sandwich.”
     
    P.B. & J. IN THE U.S.A.

    Last year, Smucker’s conducted a study on America’s favorite comfort foods. The winner was PB&J.

    Comforting America through thick and thin, rich and poor, crunchy and creamy, the survey revealed that PB&J is beloved across all generations.

  • 30% of Americans say a PB&J sandwich is their number one choice for comfort food, followed by macaroni and cheese (21%) and grilled cheese (19%)
  • 30% of Americans are most likely to eat a PB&J sandwich when packing/making one for their child.
  • 60% of Moms say a PB&J sandwich is the easiest lunch to make.
  • 57% of Dads say a PB&J sandwich is the easiest lunch to make.
  • 48% of millennials say a PB&J sandwich is their go-to lunch item.
  • 37% of millennials eat a PB&J sandwich about two or more times per week.
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    HOW PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY CAME TO BE

    Jelled, crushed fruits have been around since ancient times. It took a couple of additional millennia for peanut butter to appear.

    Peanut butter was developed in 1880 by a St. Louis doctor, to provide a protein food for people who had lost their chewing teeth. In those days, peanut butter was scooped out of barrels by the corner grocer.

     
    Thanks to the proselytizing of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, who owned a sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan, peanut butter became popular at health spas (sanitariums).

    It was lapped up by the rich and famous who populated the spas, and the recipe returned home with them. Peanut butter was the fad food of the elite. It moved into the mainstream only after the elite market was saturated.

    According to Peanuts: The Illustrious History of the Goober Pea by Andrew F. Smith

    Peanut butter became a trend (in the old days, a “fad”). According to sources in The Story Behind The Dish, peanut butter was originally paired [on crackers or tea sandwiches] with celery, cheese, nasturtium, pimento and watercress.

    Here’s more on the history of peanut butter.

    In a Good Housekeeping article published in May 1896, a recipe “urged homemakers to use a meat grinder to make peanut butter and spread the result on bread.” The following month, the culinary magazine Table Talk published a “peanut butter sandwich recipe.”

    The History Of The Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich

    According to The Story Behind The Dish: Classic American Foods by Mark McWilliams, the first published recipe for peanut butter and jelly on bread was from Julia Davis Chandler in 1901.

    The recipe also appeared in the 1901 Boston Cooking-School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics, edited by Fanny Farmer.

    It helped that peanut butter became popular around the time that sandwiches were becoming common lunch food in the U.S. According to McWilliams, they really “burst onto the scene in 1920s.”

    Check out the history of peanut butter and the history of jelly

    For the rest of PB&J sandwich, here are the history of bread, and the history of waffles.

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Piñata Cake

    Our job includes a lot of research, which often turns up surprising things.

    One of this is piñata cake, a concept that originated in the U.K. and is also popular in Australia.

    We also found it in Germany, called surprise cake.

    You don’t hit a piñata cake with a stick. It’s when you cut into the cake that the treasures (candy) spill out.

    The treasures are theme candies that fill a “secret” center well in the cake. The well is cut after the layers are baked, so you can place anything in the well without fear of melting.

    (If you’re in the chips, silver dollars would be nice!)

    The uncut top layer then goes on top of the well layers, and the whole cake is frosted.

    A four-layer cake is recommended to have enough room for lots of candy to tumble out.

    You can make them in any occasion. We’re keeping a recipe for a Valentine’s Day: a red velvet cake in red and pink layers, filled with Valentine candy.
     
    IT’S EASY!

    “We can’t stress enough just how easy these cakes are,” says The Whoot in Australia. “Everyone will think you must have gone to so much effort.

    “It has a very festive look and you can make it in colors to suit any theme.”

    The only caveats are:

  • You need to bake a dense cake. The cake circle needs to be hardy to hold the sweets in the well.That means no no airy cakes, angel cakes or sponge cakes.
  • Don’t cut too wide a well. The perimeter needs to be sturdy enough to hold up the cake.
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    THE HISTORY OF PIÑATA CAKE

    A 2015 article in London’s The Daily Mail says that “Asda kicked off the trend last year with their Smartie pinata cake and Lakeland [a manufacturer] soon followed, selling all the paraphernalia needed to create ‘surprise’ cake.”

    Asda is a supermarket chain in the U.K., that first created the cake for sale in its stores.

    After the success of the cake, Asda printed the recipe on its lifestyle website.

    The first cookbook with a piñata cake recipe seems to be Cakeology by Juliet Sear, published in 2015.

    She notes that piñata cakes had become popular in the past year, i.e., 2014.
     
    PIÑATA CAKE FOR EASTER

    For a holiday in which the Easter Bunny brings baskets full of surprises, piñata cake this makes a great holiday cake.

    Carrot cake, the favorite of the Easter Bunny, is both theme-appropriate and dense.

    If you have the frosting skills, you can you can make a basket weave frosting, turning the “piñata” into an Easter basket filled with Easter treats.

    Of course, piñata cake works for any holiday, any occasion, any theme colors. The decorations on top can be as simple or ornate as you wish.

    Ask someone else to cut the cake, and be the first to see the surprise.

     

    Pinata Cake

    Pinata Cake

    Pinata Cake

    Pinata Cake

    Some of the many ways to create a piñata cake. Links to the recipes are below.

     
    RECIPES

    Here are the recipes in the photos:

  • Cake #1: piñata cake recipe in spring pastels, from Australia’s In The Playroom.
  • Photo #2: a glamorous piñata cake recipe* from Germany’s Dr. Oetker, which calls it a surprise cake.
  • Cake #3: a rainbow piñata cake recipe from Bakers Corner, Australia
  • Cake #4: The secret well. Photo courtesy Cakeology.
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    CHECK OUT THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CAKES IN OUR CAKE GLOSSARY.
     
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    *The recipe is in German and uses Dr. Oetker baking products. We present the photo as a guideline for the most elegant piñata cake we found. You can cut and paste the recipe into Google Translate if you want a translation.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Deconstruct Your Favorite Foods

    For National Black Forest Cake Day, March 28th, we deconstructed the Black Forest Cake (photo #1), inspired by the dessert (photo #2) at Compère Lapin in New Orleans.

    We had so much fun with it, that today’s tip is: Deconstruct one of your favorite recipes.

    Here’s what we did with Black Forest Cake:

    Instead of a chocolate layer cake with cherry filling, garnished with shaved chocolate and whipped cream, we followed Compère Lapin’s lead with:

  • An individual chocolate round covered with ganache.
  • A side of morello cherries in kirshwasser (cherry liqueur).
  • A scoop of cherry sorbet atop a bed of flakes of grated chocolate.
  •  
    We like the deconstructed even better than the traditional.

  • It’s elegant and sophisticated, as opposed to the old-fashioned layer cake with whipped cream.
  • The richness of the chocolate ganache added an intense chocolate hit, lacking in the original.
  • The morello cherries in kirschwasser added just the right counterpoint to a sweet dessert.
  •  
    Serve it with a liqueur glass (or snifter, or jigger) of kirschwasser.

    If this seems like too much work, here’s a super-easy deconstructed Black Forest Cake:

    Take a slice of chocolate pound cake, chocolate sour cream cake or even a brownie. Top with the Red Sour Cherry Topping from Chukar Cherries (or a quality cherry pie filling) cooked with kirschwasser, and a generous topping or side of whipped cream.

       

    Black Forest Cake

    Deconstructed Black Forest Cake

    [1] A conventional Black Forest Cake (photo courtesy Sweet Street Desserts. [2] Black Forest Cake deconstructed, at Compère Lapin restaurant | New Orleans.

     
    There’s more about Black Forest Cake below, including its origin and a link to traditional recipes.

    WHAT ARE DECONSTRUCTED RECIPES

    Deconstruction is an avant-garde culinary trend of the last 15 years or so, championed by the famed Catalan chef Ferran Adrià, who has referred to his cooking as “deconstructivist.”

    Hervé This, the “father of molecular gastronomy,” reintroduced the concept in 2004 as “culinary constructivism.” Essentially, all of the components and flavors of a classic dish are taken apart and presented in a new shape or form.

    The idea is art plus fun, and the deconstruction must taste as good as the original. For example:

  • Deconstructed pecan pie could be brown sugar custard [emulating the filling], with crumbled shortbread cookies [for the crust] and a side of caramelized pecans.
  • Deconstructed key lime pie could be the key lime filling in a Martini glass, topped with graham cracker crumbs.
  • Deconstructed stuffed cabbage is our favorite way to make stuffed cabbage. We’ve done this for some 25 years—who knew we were so avant garde? We slice the cabbage and cook it in the tomato sauce (sweet-and-sour, with raisins and vinegar) along with rice-filled meatballs.
  •  
    The deconstruction saves hours of blanching cabbage leaves, filling them with chopped meat and rice, rolling them and simmering in tomato sauce.

    All the flavors are there, and it’s also easier to eat: One often needs a steak knife to saw through those blanched cabbage leaves. We say: Our deconstructed version is better than the original.

     

    The first “Black Forest Cake” was probably not a conventional cake but a dessert comprising cooked cherries, cream, kirsch and a biscuit: similar to the original berry shortcake.One of the quintessential Old World desserts, Black Forest Cake transports us to eras past, when the thought of chocolate cake, cherries, liqueur and whipped cream were a dessert equivalent of heaven.If you want to make a traditional Black Forest Cake, here’s a recipe.

      

    Deconstructed Buffalo Wings

    Deconstructed Buffalo Wings

    Two ways to deconstruct Buffalo Wings: [3] as a parfait (Hungry Girl) and as a chicken meatball topped with blue cheese (Carlos Andres Varela Photography).

     


    SOME DECONSTRUCTED RECIPES

    Study these for ideas. When you’ve created your own masterpiece of deconstruction, send us a photo.

  • Deconstructed Bloody Mary
  • Deconstructed Buffalo Wings #1
  • Deconstructed Buffalo Wings #2
  • Deconstructed Caesar Salad
  • Deconstructed Coffee Ice Cream
  • Deconstructed Crab Cake
  • Deconstructed Fruit Loops Cereal
  • Deconstructed Guacamole
  • Deconstructed Ratatouille

  • WHAT IS BLACK FOREST CAKE

    The Black Forest region of southern Germany is known for its sour morello cherries and kirsch, or kirschwasser, a clear cherry brandy made from them.

    It’s not surprising, then, that desserts made with both the cherries and the kirsch are part of the regional repertoire.

    Black Forest Cherry Torte—torte is the German word for cake and Schwarzwälderkirschtorte is its name in German—is a chocolate layer cake filled with layers of whipped cream and Kirsch-soaked morello cherries.

    The cake is garnished with more whipped cream, morello or maraschino cherries (the latter more readily available in the U.S.), and chocolate curls or shavings.

    In the traditional German cake, the chocolate layers are soaked in kirsch syrup, although brandy or rum can substitute. American recipes tend to omit all spirits to make the cake family-friendly (and nowhere near as interesting).

     

    The earliest version of the recipe possibly dates to the late 16th century, when cacao ground from costly New World beans was first integrated into cakes and cookies.

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    FOOD FUN: Easter Toast

    Easter Toast

    Arla Blueberry Cream Cheese

    Easter egg toast. Use the same concept for Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine and other “holiday toast” (photos courtesy Arla USA).

     

    Make Easter egg toast as a holiday treat.

    These were made with blueberry cream cheese from Arla USA, maker of cream cheese spreads in blueberry, herbs & spices, peppercorn, original and lite.

    You can bring these toasts ready-made to the table, or bring the individual ingredients for an assemble-your-own activity.

    Use the same concept for Christmas toast, Independence Day Toast, St. Patrick’s Day toast, Valentine toast, and so on.
     
    RECIPE: EASTER TOAST

    Ingredients

  • Toasted bread of choice*
  • Cream cheese(s) of choice, e.g. plain and flavored, room temperature
  • Fruits of choice, e.g. apple slices, blueberries, grapes, raspberries
  • Vegetables of choice, e.g. bell pepper strips, chives/scallions, grape tomatoes
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SLICE the fruits and vegetables into halves, coins or matchsticks, as desired.

    2. CUT the toast into ovals using a large, sharp scissors. You can buy oval cookie cutters, but we printed out an oval template, cut out and placed over the toast as a guideline.

    3. ASSEMBLE and serve.

     
    USES FOR THE TOAST TRIMMINGS

    Don’t toss the toast trimmings. If you’re not the type to nibble as you cook, then:

  • Pulse them into breadcrumbs.
  • Use as croutons to top soups and salads.
  • Toss into omelets or garnish scrambles.
  • Make a savory parfait: cottage cheese and/or plain yogurt layered with toast bits and herbs.
  • Top an open-face sandwich.
  • Feed birds.
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    *Avoid thick slices or dense breads stuffed with dried fruits and nuts. They’re not as easy to cut into neat ovals.

     
      

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    FOOD FUN: Easter Naked Cake With Chocolate Nest

    In our first apartment, we began to bake Easter cakes. For years, we had a Nordicware lamb-shape cake mold. We baked a chocolate cake (a black sheep, as it were), frosted it in vanilla and covered it with white flaked coconut.

    One year, we out grew the lamb, gave the mold away and moved on to a layer cake. The sides were covered in white coconut and the top was green-tinted coconut, the “grass” upon which we placed our favorite malted-milk speckled candy Easter eggs.

    After years of dying coconut, and with complaints from those who didn’t like coconut cake (you know who you are!), last year we made this Speckled Easter Malted Milk Cake.

    Alas, lacking a good hand for smooth icing, ours didn’t look quite this pretty. We haven’t met anyone who can show us the trick.

    So this year, we’re minimizing the need for icing by going with a naked cake (see photos).

    A naked cake can have can have a light, uneven swath of frosting on the outside with naked cake showing through (see the nakedness here).

    Or, it can have no side frosting at all. That solves my particular challenge!

    NAKED CAKE VS. STACK CAKE: THE DIFFERENCE

    Is a naked cake the same as a stack cake? No.

    Both of these layer cakes are so newly trendy that the terms are often used interchangeably. But they are different:

  • A stack cake has zero frosting on the sides, just between the layers—and often just powdered sugar on top.
  • A naked cake has an iced top, and can have a light swath of frosting on the sides (a semi-naked cake), as described above.
  • Stack cake is an older concept from Appalachia; it was a typical wedding cake in that economically-challenged region. Each neighbor brought one unfrosted cake layer to the party (it could be any flavor), to be stacked with layers of frosting provided by the bride’s family.
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    EASTER CAKE IDEAS

    We like the concept of stack cake as a modern party idea—a pot-luck cake, as it were. Here’s how to throw a stack cake party.

    This Easter, we’re not going to ask everyone to bring a layer (maybe next year, guys). So we’re making a naked cake.

    We’re currently thinking orange pound cake layers topped with a great ganache. (It’s great when you make it from the best chocolate, like Callebaut or Valrhona). Make any cake and frosting recipes you like, 2 or 3 layers. You can add fruit to the frosting layers (raspberries, sliced strawberries).

    Thanks to the video below, we’re topping our cake a chocolate nest, filled with our [still favorite after all these years] speckled malted milk eggs. It is a really easy technique.

    You can find other nest recipes made with everything from shredded wheat and pretzel sticks to Chinese fried noodles and uncooked rice vermicelli. Trust us: The chocolate nests are easier—and taste better.

    You have plenty of time to practice: All you need is sugar water, melted chocolate, two pans, a bowl and a squeeze bag.
     
     
    VIDEO: HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE NESTS

     

    Naked Easter Cake

    Easter Naked Cake

    Naked Chocolate Cake

    [1] Here’s the recipe for this Chocolate Easter Egg Nest Cake from Chewtown. We used the chocolate basket recipe in the video below. [2] This naked cake from Black Jet Baking Co. is decorated with jelly beans and sprinkles (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [3] We prefer this type of side icing on our naked cakes (photo courtesy King Arthur Flour).

     

    Here’s the recipe with measurements.

    Note that this recipe makes individual nests. For a cake of 8-9 inches diameter, use a bowl as your mold instead of the foil.

    We did not make the leaves or feathers shown in the recipe, but instead filled our basket with malted milk eggs.

      

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