Monday, December 21, 2015

Hook You in For the Holidays

Candy canes seem to be one of the few items that are able to cross into multiple holiday areas. That red and white stripey guy can be seen on packages, on trees, hanging out at the play groups with little sticky fingers (you know as a mom, I only like my children's sticky fingers- other kid's sticky fingers gross me out just a tiny bit). Yes, candy canes are wonderful in their natural form but you know me- I am a restless, allergy-friendly recipe guru. I get into my kitchen, I put my favorite apron on and I start seeing exactly how I can stretch the boundaries of our products. Plus, food is fun. It should ALWAYS be fun- even with food allergies. If you feel differently, please reach out to me and I'd be happy to help you with some ideas.

Here is my favorite "kitchen geek" apron/photo. Is it red and stripey? No. Is it holiday-themed, does it light up and play music? No. But it does have a touch of magic and this apron is what keeps my cooking spirits high (not only during the holiday season but every season). So let's go on one of my strange Nutrimom adventures and see what I decided to try out. Come on, you know you want too! Wipe off those sticky fingers and get ready to try some new recipes just cuz'.

When is a Candy Cane NOT a Candy Cane? When it's delicious cupcake batter that has been fried! Similar to a funnel cake, the Glutino Twinkle Sprinkle Cakes mix became a new form of gluten free holiday treat. And, I was able to give NutriSon a taste of what a funnel cake is (egg allergies, among others so he's never tasted one). There are two key factors in making this recipe a success- 1) Keep your objects small and simple and 2) only do one at a time. The reason being that they are flimsy during the cooking process and if they are too large or don't have enough space to flip, you may not come out with the original desired shape. The plus side- regardless of what happens, these Cupcake Canes are delicious!

  • Prepare it: Simply follow the instructions as directed on the box of Glutino Twinkle Sprinkle Cakes mix. I cut the required butter in half and added one (4 oz.) applesauce into the mix as well as replacing the required egg with Ener-G Powdered Egg Replacer.  I then filled a pastry bag with the prepared batter. Do not use a frosting tip, simply cut the bag. If you use a frosting tip, the batter will be too thick and clog the tip.
  • Fry it: On medium heat, add 4 tablespoons of oil. Form the the candy cane and fry until the batter edges begin to brown. Gently flip and fry the other side as well. Add additional oil as needed. Allow to cool on a plate lined with an absorbent paper for the grease.  
  • Top it: This is the fun part. Once the fried batter cools, it actually becomes crunchy. Top with frosting, sprinkles, powdered sugar, cinnamon & sugar, melted chocolate or just chow down on them as is.
  • View it: Need a fast peek at how it looks, what it looks like and how long it will take? Simply click HERE for a short video. I am also happy to share some of my oddly-shaped items because, in real life, nobody has perfect batter shapes the first time and I'm not ashamed of mine.

Aaand, I Still Had Batter so I did make a few cupcakes. But then I was staring at these lonely cupcakes. Although they are delicious, they looked so sad and lonely and simple. Don't get me wrong- simple is good too but sometimes my creative mind spazzes and I can't just let my food be. I wanted to create something that would be a typical "Gosh, I really want a cupcake but I really want chocolate...but I kind of want something minty. Or, maybe something crunchy? OOOh, but I want frosting too!" What is a Kitchen Geek to do? I smooshed and ground and molded and I made Mini Mints. This recipe can be seen either as the ultimate combination of foods for a multi-tasker or for the ultimate lazy person who wants to eat all of these things but doesn't have the energy to get all of these things separately. Either way, they are tasty and you must try them. Seriously- you have to try them now because the Glutino Peppermint Yogurt Covered Pretzels are seasonal and they won't be around all year (le sigh...). 

Mini Mints
Download the recipe here & share
1 Glutino Twinkle Sprinkle Cake cupcake (prepared)
2 Tablespoons vanilla frosting of your choice

On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, form the Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies into small bowls. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, crush up the cupcake and mix it with the frosting and crushed Peppermint Yogurt Pretzels. Form small balls of the mixture and place into the brownie cookie bowls.

In a microwave safe glass measuring cup, combine the chocolate chips and a squirt of oil. Microwave until the chocolate has melted, making sure to stir once. Drizzle the melted chocolate onto the filled cups. 

Insert one half of a Peppermint Yogurt Pretzel

Makes 6 Mini Mints

What is your favorite way to turn your foods inside out? Be creative, be playful and don't let your food allergies limit your foods. Wishing everyone a safe, happy and delicious holiday ~

I am a Kitchen Geek but also a geek in general and I love it!

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