Thursday, November 17, 2011

Candy galore: Maple cashew fudge, buckeyes and candy Thanksgiving pilgrim hats

I think we've talked about how I'm a Food Network junkie before. I'm sure I have. And I've been lucky enough to meet a few of my favorites in the last couple months. I told you I saw Bobby Flay a while ago, but a few weeks ago, I got to see Alton Brown speak as well. And he is way funnier and more personable than I thought he would be. Plus, besides being super informative, he dropped a few sci-fi restaurants, working Yoda into the presentation, and the Matrix as well. So naturally, when I got up to him to have him sign my book, I asked what his favorite sci-fi movie was. "2001: A Space Odyssey." Whodathunk?

My third Food Network star? Aarón Sánchez. He just opened a restaurant in, of all places, Leawood. First place outside of NYC and he picks KC. And I got an exclusive interview with him! He was super friendly and down-to-earth. My stories (I wrote two: one for web and one for print) about him are online at the Kansas City Business Journal.

I seem to have a thing for making these little bites once a year, but they're SO good. They're buckeyes, and it's Smitten Kitchen's recipe. Imagine the wonderfulness of the inside of a peanut butter cup, rolled in a ball, then with just a thin layer of chocolate. I tell you, they're to die for.

So these don't technically count as baking as much as creating, I suppose. But they're Thanksgiving hats! I found them just browsing around Thanksgiving recipes, and they're so easy: fudge cookies, miniature peanut butter cups, some frosting and a sprinkle. Cute little desserts for not much work. Not a bad change of pace!

And what is the fall/moving into winter without some maple? Remember my love affair with the flavor? Well, this maple fudge from Joy of Cooking just reinforces it. Aunt Betty actually made most of this while I put together the hat treats, but this is better than the batch we made last year. This batch has cashews mixed in...and I may hoard it for myself!

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