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the sweet scoop
the sweet scoop
‘Tis the season for temptations. And for gift giving. So if you’re looking for the perfect holiday present, treat your family and friends to some festive handmade candy. As easy to make as they are impressive, these luscious Bourbon–Sea Salt Caramels can make a thoughtful hostess gift and are sure to delight all the sweets lovers on your list.
Special Equipment: A candy thermometer
Lightly coat an 8×8” baking pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2” overhang on 2 sides; spray parchment.
Bring sugar, corn syrup, and ¼ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until mixture turns a deep amber color, 8–10 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and whisk in sweetened condensed milk and butter (mixture will bubble vigorously) until smooth. Fit pan with thermometer and return to medium-low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until thermometer registers 240°. Remove from heat and whisk in bourbon and kosher salt. Pour into prepared pan; let cool. Sprinkle caramel with sea salt, cut into ¾” pieces, and wrap individually in parchment paper.
Do Ahead: Caramels can be made 2 weeks ahead. Store wrapped tightly in plastic in airtight container at room temperature. Image courtesy of Bon Appétit
Impress guests this holiday season with flavorful, easy-to-make Bourbon Balls. These sweet and chewy, no-bake confection will have dessert lovers (and especially bourbon fans) swooning. Get creative with tasty toppings—colored sprinkles, granulated sugar, chopped nuts, melting chocolate—for a box of bourbon-flavored beauties that’s perfect for gift giving. Now, grab a bottle of your favorite Kentucky whiskey and get rollin’!
Holiday Bourbon Balls (makes about 4 dozen bourbon balls)
Recipe adapted from the Los Angeles Times Holiday Cookies E-Book
Rich dark chocolate ganache gets kissed by hazelnut liqueur. The result? Decadence at it’s finest.
Celebrated chocolatier MarieBelle has paired up with Frangelico to unveil an indulgent new truffle flavor just in time for the holidays—the Frangelico Ganache. Blending creamy dark chocolate with luscious hazelnut, this melt-in-your-mouth confection also reveals notes of vanilla, coffee and almond. And it’s quite stunning. MarieBelle founder, chef and chocolate artist, Maribel Lieberman, incorporated hues from the Frangelico bottle into the beautiful sunset-colored mosaic design on each truffle.
Last week, I attended an intimate media gathering at MarieBelle, to celebrate the new flavor. The boutique itself is gorgeous. A luxurious chocolate haven, evoking European sophistication and old-world charm, nestled into SoHo’s Broome Street. Attendees settled into the shop’s darling Cacao Bar—a cozy cafe offering sweet nibbles and hot cocoas—to experience the Frangelico Ganache.
Maribel warmly greeted guests and excitedly debuted her latest creation. “These artisanal holiday truffles embody the flavors of the season, blending the hazelnut flavor of Frangelico with the gourmet taste of high-quality dark chocolate.” And to perfectly complement the flavor nuances in the confection, Master Mixologist James Moreland was on hand to stir up three Frangelico-based dessert cocktails (recipes below).
Beginning November 15th, Frangelico Ganache truffles will be available at the MarieBelle retail location in New York City, online at MarieBelle.com and at select department stores nationwide. They come packaged in a variety of sizes, each wrapped in an exquisite ribboned box that is uniquely Mariebelle.
Life is always sweeter with chocolate, and these truffles make a delightful gift that any chocolate lover will enjoy. And to sip while you sweet, try these tasty dessert cocktails from James Moreland:
Frangelico Truffle Cocktail
1 oz Frangelico
1 oz SKYY Vodka
¾ oz cold espresso
Shake with ice and serve up in a cocktail or martini glass. Dust with dark chocolate shavings.
1 ¼ oz Frangelico
1 ¼ oz Flor de Caña 7 Year Grand Reserve Rum
1 ¼ oz sweet vermouth
Shake with ice and pour over ice into rocks glass.
1 ¼ oz Frangelico
2 spoonfuls sour cherry macerate
¾ oz cherry brandy
Shake hard and strain over rocks in a Collins glass.