I have a confession to make…. I like gummy bears. I could easily go through an entire bag on my own in one sitting. Lately, I have seen a lot of recipes for gummy bears, including wine gummy bears. Being the curious hostess that goes all out to entertain friends, I thought it might be a fun treat to serve for Girl’s Night In.
Here’s what I learned from the wine gummy recipe experiment, and yes I’m calling it an experiment.
Buy good wine. I bought 2 buck chuck to save money on the trial run. The consensus was they looked pretty but tasted like crap. In hindsight, the recipe only calls for a cup, so buy a bottle you will drink and the gummy bears will taste better too.
Don’t add in the food coloring. It’s gross and does nothing for the flavor. Instead, use a good red wine for the same result.
Make sure you fill the molds to the top. I didn’t do that and had a few with really thin heads when I removed them.
Despite them not being a great success the first time, I wasn’t giving up on the idea. I tried them again using a better wine, instead of the cheap stuff. The results are still pending.
Here’s the recipe for the wine gummy bears:
6 packages of unflavored gelatin
1 cup of wine (or juice)
1/2 cup sugar (omit if using a sugary juice)
In a small stock pot, warm the liquids and whisk in the sugar and gelatin. Stir until they dissolve. Bring mixture to a boil and remove from heat. Using a eye dropper, fill in the gummy bear molds. Place molds in an air tight container or in a baking pan and cover with foil. Chill up to two hours before serving.
When they are ready, gently remove them and serve in fun little vessels. I used square bowls, but you could use crystal or champagne flutes. Another idea is wrap a few into pretty cellophane bags and tie with a bow for favors as friends leave.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of hosting a few girlfriends for a quiet evening in. Every event calls for something sweet, but not heavy. I turned to my favorite sugar glitter cookie recipe discovered on Martha’s website. She calls these Glitter Ball Cookies as they are rolled in glittery sanding sugar. I love them because they have just enough buttery sweetness without being over the top and they can be color coordinated for your event. I opted for gold and white for our evening in. Aren’t they pretty?
The recipe calls for:
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
They are super easy to make too.
Start by pre-heating your oven to 350. Cream the sugar, butter and salt in a stand mixer on medium-high until pale and fluffy; about 3-4 minutes. Mix in the vanilla and then gradually add in the flour at a low speed. Mix until well combined.
Roll cookies out into 3/4 inch balls, then roll balls in small bowls with sanding sugar to coat. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes.
Martha makes these into sandwich cookies with a ginger cream filling. I opted to skip the filling and honestly, they don’t need it.
I have made these for Christmas, and Valentine’s Day. It’s fun to mix and match sanding sugar colors for any holiday or event. There are so many colors available too. I was surprised to find it in a pretty gold.
The only problem with these is that they are so light and gently sweet that you’ll find it hard to just eat one. I had a tray of them on our coffee table and found all of us enjoying one and then another all evening. I think I may have the most though…. oops. There were a few left over for tea the next day….
Ice cream, especially homemade ice cream, is one of my biggest weaknesses. I love the feel of cold sweet cream on my tongue. It is one indulgence I have a hard time giving up. I could be a happy camper if it were the only thing available to eat, although I might be a bit plumper. It is likely the worst thing for you, loaded with sugar and dairy, but I simply cannot resist it. Lately, I have become fascinated with homemade ice cream. This weekend I found a recipe I had to try; black coffee ice cream.
I love coffee and ice cream so why not make a batch up. I tweaked the recipe by adding mini chocolate chips for a little extra something too.
As I was whipping it up, my husband asked what I was making and then said that does not sound good at all, joking of course. I think it will make a delicious treat tomorrow night after a day of grilling out.
2 cups of half & half
6 tbsp instant espresso
2 tbsp Hershey’s Baking Cocoa
½ cup cane sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
Place 1 cup half & half in a pan along with the espresso, cocoa, sugar and vanilla. Heat over low heat and whisk until everything has dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining cup of half & half. Let mixture cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or longer if need be. Using an ice cream maker, churn according to the directions. While it’s churning, pour in ½ cup of mini chocolate chips. Place in freezer safe bowel, and freeze until mixture is no longer soft.
We first tried going gluten free a few years back, and then last summer we made an earnest attempt to stick to it. I’ll admit it didn’t last. We like our bread a bit too much. I also love to bake and it’s a bit difficult to make baked goods with out flour. Some all-purpose gluten free mixes are decent, but you can’t count on cake or cookies to turn out well.
I discovered this flourless chocolate cake recipe a while ago. I was skeptical at first and decided to try it anyway. Oh my goodness! It turned out so dense and chocolaty. Forget the fork, it was dense enough to eat in your hand like a cookie.
I have served this decadent dessert at dinner parties and have sent it into work with Kevin for office holiday parties. It’s always a hit. I would suggest baking two of them, just so everyone gets a piece. The first time I made this it went so fast, Kevin didn’t get a piece. I had to make a second one the next day just for him.
Since Mother’s Day is this weekend, I think this would be a fabulous sweet treat to add to a brunch.
To make this Flourless Chocolate Cake you will need:
4 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 stick unsalted butter
¾ cup sugar
3 large eggs
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees and butter an 8-inch round baking pan.
Line the bottom with parchment paper, and butter the paper.
Cut up the chocolate into small pieces. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over simmering water, stir until smooth.
Remove the top of double boiler from the heat, and whisk in the sugar.
Add the eggs and whisk well.
Gently sift in the cocoa powder and whisk to combine.
Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until a thin crust is formed on the top.
Cool the cake for five minutes on a rack before inverting onto a serving plate.
Dust the top with confectioner’s sugar using a small strainer or a sugar shaker before serving.
I have a sweet tooth and dessert is my favorite meal after breakfast. Let’s face it though, desserts are a rare treat. If I bake something sweet every week, I am the one to eat a majority of it. The last thing I need is to make a batch of brownies that will go mostly uneaten, or show up on my hips. This year I opted to experiment with dessert recipes that are perfect for two.
I found a recipe for a low carb peanut butter cheesecake pie and realized I could adjust it with ease. If there’s two things that this house loves it’s peanut butter and cheesecake. (we had a cheesecake wedding cake) This recipe combines both of these making it an a winner .
The best part is its only 5 ingredients.
You will need:
½ cup of creamy peanut butter
4 oz of cream cheese
½ cup cool whip
8 Biscoff cookies crushed.
1 ½ tbsp of sugar
In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, sugar and cream cheese. Fold in the cool whip until it’s well incorporated.
In small dessert cups, layer cookie crumbs, then peanut butter mixture, more crumbs and more peanut butter. Cover the cups and freeze for up to an hour. Serve chilled with a dollop of cool whip or fresh whipped cream.