Appetizers & Snacks

Wine Gummie Recipe

Making Wine Gummy Bears…

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.

wine_gummy_recipe

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)

wine gummy recipe

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.

wine_gummy_recipe

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.

 

 

edible cookie dough

Edible Cookie Dough

I admit it, I like raw chocolate chip cookie dough. I know, I know, it’s the worst thing in the world to eat raw. The eggs pose a salmonella threat, and there’s a risk of getting violently sick.  Still, sneaking a bite or two is always an inevitability when I make chocolate chip cookies.  So, imagine finding an eggless cookie dough recipe that is meant to be eaten raw and not baked.

At first I was excited and then rather skeptical. The only way to find out if the cookie dough was worth any effort was to try it. So, I set out last night to give it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised.

It’s a decent substitute for the regular cookie dough, despite a grainy texture.  The grainy texture wasn’t quite as noticeable after it was chilled for a bit.  Overall, it gets two thumbs up from me.

It’s fairly easy to whip up with only a handful of ingredients.

Edible Cookie Dough Recipe

You will need:

1 cup of flour

a pinch of salt

3/4 cup of brown sugar

1/4 cup of butter, softened

1/4 cup of milk

1/4 tsp of vanilla

1/2 cup of chocolate chips

Directions:

Start by creaming the sugar and butter in a medium bowl with a hand mixer.  Then add in the vanilla and milk. Next, slowly add the flour and salt. Lastly, stir in the chocolate chips.

Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

Enjoy with a spoon.

This would be a perfect treat for girls night in, or a kids sleep over.  Heck, I would keep it on hand for that sweet treat craving.

The next time I make it, I may try adding unsweet cocoa to it to give it a little more chocolaty goodness.  You could also switch out the chocolate chips for peanut butter morsels, or butterscotch chips.  This is one recipe that can be played with a little and will still be a sweet treat.  Healthy? Absolutely not.

 

 

 

Spicy Cheddar Crackers from Scratch

People are always amazed when I take the time to make anything from scratch, such as brownies, cakes or even crackers. The assumption is it takes too long or is just too cumbersome.  I’ll admit baking from a box seemed the norm for me when I first learned to bake, but then I met someone who was rather opinionated about baking. In her world nothing could come from a box, she looked down on the Betty Crocker/Duncan Hines home baker.  While there is nothing wrong with opting for the ease of a box cake,  brownie mix, or even mass produced crackers,  there is also no harm in testing your skills with a few scratch recipes.  I took her rather uppity attitude as a challenge and stretched myself.

Since then, I have learned to make many things from scratch. Now, cookies, cakes and brownies are easier and of course make more sense, but why not try crackers.  A while ago, I decided to give them a shot. I made parmesan crisps then and decided to try spicy cheddar crackers this weekend.  And wow! They are amazing!

ingredients for spicy crackers

ingredients for spicy cheddar crackers

 

The recipe is super easy.  It only has six ingredients and requires just a few tools.

You will need:

1 ½ cups of grated cheddar

4 tablespoons of butter cut into small pieces

¾ of a cup flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon either milk, cream or ½ & ½

In a food processor, combine first five ingredients and pulse until the mixture forms crumbles. Then add the liquid and pulse until a ball forms. In some cases a ball won’t form but the dough becomes wet enough to form a ball by molding it with clean hands.

On a floured cutting board with a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 1/8th inch thickness.  Then, using a small biscuit cutter, cut out as many small rounds as will fit. Lift the rounds carefully and place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

spicy cheddar crackers

spicy cheddar crackers

I found the recipe on the blog Smitten Kitchen, and it was originally for cheese straws.  I altered it just a little, replacing the red pepper flakes with cayenne pepper and cut them into a cracker rather than into strips.

I baked these up Saturday to snack on during the Final four basketball games. Once they cooled, they didn’t last very long. Kevin gave them a rave review, commenting that the cayenne gave it a little kick of intense flavor.

If you can make pie dough from scratch, then this is a piece of cake. Actually, it is easier then pie dough and only took me 30 minutes from start to finish.  If you want to impress your friends, whip up a batch of these for the next book club.

Heart Healthy Pistachio Chewy Bites

Every year most of us begin with the resolution to either lose weight, eat healthier or both. It helps to have healthy snacks on hand that satisfy the sweet tooth and provide useful nutrients. Recently Setton Farms approached me to review their Pistachio Chewy Bites.  Pistachio Chewy Bites combine roasted pistachios with dried cranberries and agave nectar.

pistachio_chewy_bites

Most healthy snack bars I have tried in the past were dry and unappetizing. I thought for sure these would also be less than appealing. I could not have been more wrong! I was surprised to find they were full of flavor, sweet and satisfying.  Perhaps, it helps I love pistachios and cranberries.

These will become my go to snack in the coming year. They come in bags of 6 individually wrapped bite size chews. Each one is packed with pistachios and deliciously sweet cranberries.  They are gluten and dairy free, GMO free, low in sodium and each serving of 2 bars has 6g of protein. I love that they are heart healthy too.

The only drawback is they are a bit high in fat with a serving having 110 calories from fat with 210 calories over all.  Eating a half serving will help, but it will hard as they are very yummy and just eating one may not be possible.  Each one is a great Grab-and-go snack, perfect for the post work out snack or incorporate the bite size chews in a delightful parfait layered with Greek yogurt as an alternative to cereal in the morning.

To try them yourself, they can be purchased at most local grocery stores. They come in packages of 6 and 16.

Disclosure: I was provided two bags to try the product.