8 Sweet & Decadent DIY Yogurt Cup Topping Ideas

Last week I shared how much more affordable and better for the environment it is to buy large containers of yogurt and divide into small reusable Ziploc containers to make your own to-go yogurt cups.

I also love making my own because it really lets me get creative and have fun with the flavors and toppings. Here are just a few of my favorite (and totally decadent!) sweet Greek yogurt topping ideas. I usually buy the largest sized yogurt container (my favorite is Fage Total--yes, that's the full fat kind!)

Check out the pictures and recipes below, and let me know which of these is your favorite.

xo

Alejandra

1. Persian Pudding Yogurt Cup
I absolutely LOVE Persian desserts, and they were the inspiration for this fragrant yogurt cup. Flavored with rosewater, cardamom, and honey. This one is equally lovely for breakfast or as a light dessert after a Middle Eastern meal.

To make: Stir 1/2 teaspoon of rosewater and a sprinkle of ground cardamom into 3/4 cup of whole Greek yogurt. Top with a generous drizzle of honey, chopped dried apricots, and roasted salted pistachios.

2. Chocolate Covered Strawberry Yogurt Cup
Who doesn't love chocolate covered strawberries? This is a great way to add that decadent flavor to your breakfast cup of yogurt.

To Make: Slice up 4 or 5 large strawberries and mix with the yogurt. Top with a drizzle of warm chocolate ganache and a teaspoon of semisweet chocolate chips (for that chocolate shell-like crunch).

3. Apple Walnut Charoset Yogurt Cup
If you've ever taken part in a Passover dinner, you've probably tried charoset--a salad of apples, walnuts, honey, cinnamon, and sweet red wine. I've always loved the combination of flavors, and it was the inspiration for this easy yogurt topping.

To Make: Dice up 1/2 of a tart apple (I love Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Pink Lady apples!), crush 5 walnuts and sprinkle on the yogurt. Drizzle with honey and just a dash of cinnamon.

4. S'Mores Yogurt Cup
Oh yes. I did this.

Toasted mini marshmallows, crumbled cookies, and drizzled dark chocolate ganache over a cupful of rich, creamy Greek yogurt is an amazing breakfast for those days when you need something...oh...just a little bit extra to get you through the morning.

To Make: I used my little kitchen torch on a plate of mini marshmallows, but I realized most people don't have a torch. You can also just hold a couple regular sized marshmallows over a gas flame until toasted then chop them up, or just toss them on untoasted. You only need a few marshmallows to get that flavor without a crazy sugar rush. Crumble up a cookie--I used shortbread, but graham crackers are the classic. And then add a small drizzle of chocolate ganache or your favorite hot fudge syrup.

5. Blueberries & Almond Cream Yogurt Cup
It's no secret that almonds are my absolute favorite flavor ever--especially when paired with tart summer blueberries. Try this sweet and fresh twist on the classic berries & cream for your next breakfast.

To Make: Whisk a splash of almond extract and 2 teaspoons of brown sugar with 3/4 cup whole Greek yogurt. Top with fresh blueberries, sliced raw almonds, and a teaspoon of white chocolate chips (they add that "and cream" flavor!).

6. Peanut Butter & Banana Yogurt Cup
Peanut butter, honey, and bananas are a CLASSIC combination. Adding them to yogurt feels like you're enjoying dessert for breakfast, but you're really getting a super healthy bowl of protein, healthy fats, and other nutrients. Total win!

To Make: Top 3/4 cup of whole Greek yogurt with a dollop of your favorite natural peanut butter (creamy or crunchy!). Add 1/2 a sliced banana, a small drizzle of honey for sweetness, and a tiny dash of cinnamon.

7. Blackberry Lime Yogurt Cup 
  If you're a fan of tart, citrus flavors, you should definitely try this combination of lime curd and sweet, ripe blackberries.

To Make: Top your yogurt with a generous dollop of lime curd (fresh or jarred--I love Dickinson's lime curd) and a small handful of ripe blackberries. Easy as pie!

8. Almond Joy Yogurt Cup
It's the responsible grown-up version of having a candy bar for breakfast! This DIY yogurt cup topping has all the flavors of a delicious Almond Joy, reimagined in a healthy morning package.

To Make: Top yogurt with a generous drizzle of dark chocolate ganache or your favorite hot fudge sauce, shaved unsweetened coconut, and sliced roasted almonds. Dig in!

Which of these sweet and decadent DIY yogurt cup topping ideas would you like to try first



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Frozen White Peach Sangria Slushy

My drinks column in the upcoming summer issue of Cosmopolitan for Latinas magazine is all about frozen cocktails. One of my favorite recipes in the article is for a delicious frozen raspberry sangria that absolutely is one of the BEST recipes I've ever created.

No joke.

They've become a regular in our house where I basically have to fight Eugene in order to keep him from slurping them down straight from the blender.

Frozen sangria, in case you're wondering, is basically a slushy, icy version of the classic. It's like what would happen if a Slurpee and sangria hooked up and made a baby.

A fruity, boozy awesome baby. (Much like THIS fruity, boozy awesome baby.)

You'll have to buy the issue (which is on stands next week) in order to get that recipe, but today I'm going to share another wonderful frozen sangria recipe with you.

Because I love you.

This one is a Frozen White Peach Sangria made with crisp white wine, sweet frozen peaches, and citrus liqueur. It's sweet with a touch of tartness, and an absolutely perfect brunch beverage for warm spring and summer weekends.

Planning a Mother's Day surprise for your mama? Make sure this is on the menu. She'll love it.

The recipe below makes two servings, but you can easily multiply it to fill a whole pitcher. Just add sunshine.

Cheers!


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Love Always Order Dessert? Let's connect! Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest, become a fan on Facebook, or sign up to receive my once-a-week e-mail updates. And if you ever need any entertaining or cooking advice, please don't hesitate to e-mail me. Thanks for reading!  


Frozen White Peach Sangria
Serves 2

Ingredients
2 cups dry white wine
2 cups frozen peaches
2 cups ice cubes
1/2 cup Triple Sec or Grand Marnier
1/4 cup fresh lime or lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey or light agave syrup

Directions
Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until very smooth and slushy. Serve immediately.

Kitchen Tip: 10 Easy Fixes to Common Cooking Disasters

We ALL have occasional kitchen disasters (yes, even me!). New cooking methods, unfamiliar ingredients, a temperamental oven, or even just a few minutes of distraction can sometimes turn what seemed like a simple recipe into a total mess.

Before you pick up the phone and order a pizza, here are 10 of my favorite quick and easy ways to fix some common cooking mistakes so you can still get dinner on the table in time:

1. The Disaster: Mushy, overcooked vegetables.
How to Fix It: Drain the vegetables and place in a food processor or blender with a bit of butter and puree until smooth, then serve on the side as an easy vegetable puree.

You can also add chicken broth to the puree to thin it out into a wonderful creamy vegetable soup.


2. The Disaster: Food that is WAY too spicy.
Photo Credit: Mccormick.com

How to Fix It: You can fix dishes that are way too spicy by adding either dairy or sweetness. Cut the spice in a sauce, chili, stew or soup by stirring in plain yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk or heavy cream.

Sweetness also helps--try adding dried fruits or a few spoonfuls of jam. If it's still too spicy to eat, serve it as a sauce or side over plain rice, pasta, or mashed potatoes.

Need to fix too-spicy guacamole? Add another ripe avocado or two, or stir in a little sour cream (no it's not authentic, but it's delicious!)

3. The Disaster: Sticky, mushy rice
Photo Credit: Carolyn Caster, AP

How to Fix It: If it's only a little bit sticky and not too far gone, it can be saved by rinsing in cold water. Place it in a collander and run under a cool faucet, using your fingers to separate the grains.

If it's super mushy/sticky, then the only thing to do is turn it into something else--it can be mixed up with cheese and eggs to make rice cakes (replace the quinoa with sticky rice in this recipe for an easy option) or mixed with ground meat and veggies then stuffed into a pepper. It can also be saved until cool and then used in rice pudding or a rice soup.


4. The Disaster: Separated buttercream frosting.
Photo Credit: Beki Cook's Cake Blog

How to Fix It: You can fix separated buttercream frosting by placing the mixing bowl with the frosting in it into an ice bath. Fill a larger pan or bowl half way with ice cubes and water, then plung the frosting bowl into the ice bath (make sure no liquid gets in the frosting) and whip the icing by hand or with a hand mixer until it comes together and becomes creamy, smooth frosting.

And check out this post for more great tips on how to fix separated buttercream.

5. The Disaster: Mushy, overcooked pasta.

How to Fix It: Drain the pasta well. Heat up some olive oil in a hot skillet and add the pasta, tossing it to coat. Season with kosher salt, black pepper, and grated cheese or top with your favorite sauce.

You can also let the pasta cool completely and use it in another dish such as a noodle soup or a delicious pasta frittata.

6. The Disaster: Gluey mashed potatoes

How to Fix It: You can't really fix gluey mashed potatoes, but you can save them. Spread them out in a casserole dish and dot with butter and lots of grated cheese (I like parmesan, but cheddar is also good) and breadcrumbs. Place in the oven and broil until the top is crunchy. Cut into slices and serve on the side.

You can also save gluey mashed potatoes by adding veggies, chunks of ham or cheese, dusting with flour and frying into delicious potato cakes like these.

7. The Disaster: Food that is too salty

How to Fix It: You've probably heard the tip about adding a raw potato to a too salty dish, but the truth is that really doesn't work. If it's a soup or stew, you need to remove part of the liquid and replace it with plain liquid (so remove a few cups of the too-salty broth and replace with unsalted broth or water).

If it's a pasta or rice dish, remove part of the pasta or rice and stir in plain, cooked, unsalted pasta or rice. The addition of acid such as lemon juice also helps to balance out the flavor. If it's too-salty chicken or meat, try chopping it up and tossing with pasta or salad greens to make an entree salad, or tuck it into bread for a delicious sandwich.

And just like with too-spicy foods, you can serve it with a plain unseasoned side like mashed potatoes, plain pasta, or plain rice to balance the seasoning.

8. The Disaster: Overcooked meat or chicken

How to Fix It: The best way to fix dry, overcooked beef or chicken is to add a liquid. Place in a casserole dish, pour in a few cups of hot chicken or beef broth, cover it, and let it sit a bit. Or top it off with a creamy gravy or salsa.

You can also turn it into a different but delicious dish. Chop it up and use it in tacos topped with a delicious salsa or guacamole. Or stir it into your favorite marinara sauce. You can also chop it up and toss it with dressing and mixed greens for a quick and easy entree salad.

9. The Disaster: Your freshly baked cake is stuck in the pan

How to Fix It: If the cake is stuck in the pan, but it's still hot, let it cool a bit. It may shrink and will be easier to pull out. If the cake is already cold, pop it in the oven for a few minutes or dip the bottom of the pan in hot water to warm up the fats in it, which may help loosen it. In both cases, slide a knife all around the edges and tap the bottom hard.

Cake still stuck? You can try cutting it into three pieces and gently lifting out the pieces with a spatula, then "glueing" them together with frosting.

Worst comes to worst, cut the cake into chunks and use it in a trifle or mash it up to make cake pops or cake truffles.

10. The Disaster: Lumpy gravy
Photo Credit: Christopher Testani, Bon Appetit Magazine

How to Fix It: Pour the gravy into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth (you may need to add a little bit of warm broth to it). Or pass it through a fine mesh sieve to remove the lumps of flour.

How many of these kitchen disasters have you dealt with? Share any additional tips you have below!


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Love Always Order Dessert? Let's connect! Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest, become a fan on Facebook, or sign up to receive my once-a-week e-mail updates. And if you ever need any entertaining or cooking advice, please don't hesitate to e-mail me. Thanks for reading!  


Springtime Italian Rainbow Cookies with Lemon Curd

I'd like to introduce you to one of my absolute all-time favorite sweets.

It's my bright and breezy spring twist on the classic Italian Rainbow Cookies, which you already know I'm obsessed with.

I call these Lily Pullitzer beauties my Springtime Rainbows, and I think they are just perfect for the season!

Brightly colored layers of moist, dense almond cake are filled with tart lemon curd and seedless raspberry jam. Instead of the usual dark chocolate, I cover them with a crackling shell of sweet white chocolate which is perfect against the cool tartness of the lemon curd.

Sliced into one-inch bites, these are fantastic with a cup of tea or a glass of refreshing strawberry thyme limeade. They're also gorgeous and would be a welcome treat at any spring or summer brunch or tea party.

I developed this recipe nearly 5 years ago when I briefly ran a mail order business selling and shipping these cookies all over the country. I specialized in rainbow cookies in a variety of flavors and colors. I also made this amazing Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake.

It was a success, but exhausting since I was also maintaining a full-time job as a magazine editor. After a few months of no sleep (and permanently pink and green fingertips!) I realized that it wasn't the life for me.

Now I just bake up a few batches of these cookies for my friends, parties, and a few select special occasions.

Such an occasion came up this past weekend, when I was asked to participate as a blogger baker for the Sweet Sensations dessert tasting benefiting C-CAP or The Careers Through Culinary Arts Program--a wonderful organization that works with public schools across the country to prepare under-served high school students for college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

I'll be sharing more about the event later this week when I get the photos in, but for now I want to share this cookie recipe with you. 

I made 100 of these cookies to share with the guests on Sunday, and they were definitely a hit. 

FYI: From the photos you can see that the white chocolate shattered a bit--that's because I forgot to bring along a proper knife to the event location (a good sharp chef's knife is best), and had to use a small ceramic knife that was a little too thick to get a nice clean cut. They still tasted amazing, though!

I'm not typically a white chocolate fan, but I really love the way it pairs against the tart lemon curd in this recipe. Even if you don't like white chocolate, I urge you to try it. It's honestly just the thing!



P.S. I recently added a feature to make it easier for your pin any of my recipes on to Pinterest. Just mouse over the photo and a button will appear for you to click and pin to your favorite boards. 

Let me know what you think, and thanks so much for sharing--it really does mean the world to me! 

You can follow me on Pinterest here

xoxo

Alejandra

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Love Always Order Dessert? Let's connect! Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest, become a fan on Facebook, or sign up to receive my once-a-week e-mail updates. And if you ever need any entertaining or cooking advice, please don't hesitate to e-mail me. Thanks for reading!  

Springtime Italian Rainbow Cookies
Depending how you cut them, this makes between 20-40 cookies

Ingredients
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 cup granulated white sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
8oz almond paste, grated (this is flexible--you can use between 6-10oz with same results)
1 tablespoon pure almond extract
Zest of one whole lemon
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
hot pink, green, and yellow liquid food coloring
1 cup lemon curd (I love Dickinson's or use a homemade curd)
12oz (1 bag) white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate (use the delicious kind!)
1 teaspoon Crisco or coconut oil

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three 9" square baking pans with parchment paper. You can also just do one layer at a time if you don't have multiple pans.

Cream butter and sugar in the base of a mixer for 5 minutes until very light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat for 3 more minutes. Add almond paste, extract, and lemon, and beat for 2-3 more minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt, and mix into the wet ingredients until completely combined. Divide batter into three bowls and dye each a different color (I like yellow, lime green, and pink, but you can play around and use whatever colors you like!)

Spread each bowl of batter into one of the prepared pans, then bake for about 9 to 12 minutes, or until edges are a bit golden and middle is set. Transfer to cooling racks and cool completely.

To assemble: lay the yellow layer down then top with 1emon curd, spreading evenly out to the edges. Top with the pink layer, then spread with raspberry jam. Finally cover with the green layer. Wrap the entire stack tightly with plastic and cover with a heavy book or pan. Let chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours (or overnight).

Place the white chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl and microwave for 1 minute or until melted, stirring until smooth. Stir in the Crisco until it melts and is evenly distributed (this will make it possible to cut the chocolate cleanly). Pour over the layered cake and spread evenly. Let chill in the fridge for one hour, or until completely set. Cut into 1" pieces and serve.


Better TV: 5 Money-Saving Ways to Reduce Food Waste

Want to know something a little bit scary? In the US, an average family of 4 wastes about 20 pounds of food a month or about $2300 a year.

That's like every family throwing out 80 hamburgers or 2 DOZEN boxes of cereal a month.

So crazy, right?!

I was on The Better Show this week sharing some of my favorite tips to help reduce food waste AND save a lot of money in the process.

Check out some of my favorite tips from the show below! (And click here to watch the full clip once you're done reading!)

1. Redecorate the Pantry

Head to the Container Store or Bed Bath & Beyond and get yourself a set of stackable bpa-free plastic containers or glass jars (these are my favorite!). By transferring all your dry goods--cereals, grains, flours, crackers--from flimsy boxes and bags to durable containers, you'll help them last weeks and even months longer!

2. Become a Grocery Day Prep Cook

Restaurant chefs all have someone to prep their ingredients so that all they have to do is cook. We may not have that luxury, but it really only takes about 20-30 extra minutes on grocery day to prep ALL your ingredients for the week, making it easier to get dinner on the table and to keep from wasting all those expensive veggies and meats.

Here's how it works:
As soon as you get home from the store, take a few minutes to chop up those onions, peppers, and veggies. Wash and dry salad greens. And divide chicken breasts into baggies with marinade. Once the week begins, all you'll have to do is toss a few things in a pan and dinner will be ready in minutes with NO extra mess.

Easy, right?

Try it just once and I promise you'll be AMAZED by how much easier life gets, and how much healthier you'll be eating. No more wasted food and veggies!

3. Create a Reverse Grocery List
This is the tip we didn't get to on the show, but it's one of my favorites!

Help keep track of what's in your fridge by posting a list of everything that's inside right on the fridge door. Whenever you use something, cross it off. This way, you'll easily see what you have left and what needs to be used up.

No more forgotten packages of chicken breasts lost in the back of the fridge!

4. Make DIY Grab & Go Snacks

All those individual plastic yogurt containers and small bags of chips may be convenient, but they create a TON of waste.

Buy bulk containers of yogurt, apple sauce and other favorite snacks, and portion them into small reusable containers for healthy grab-and-go snacks without the waste.

Not only is it better for the environment, you'll also be saving money since bulk is always cheaper!

Click here for my favorite DIY yogurt cup recipe.

5. Store Herbs & Asparagus Like Cut Flowers

Here's an easy and fun trick to help your herbs and veggies like asparagus last up to 10 DAYS longer.

Take them out of the plastic bags and store them upright in small containers filled with water--just like a bouquet of flowers! Keep these in the fridge and take them out to use as you need them. The water keeps the herbs and veggies fresh and bright green. No more gross wilted herbs!


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Love Always Order Dessert?
Let's connect! Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest, become a fan on Facebook, or sign up to receive my once-a-week e-mail updates. And if you ever need any entertaining or cooking advice, please don't hesitate to e-mail me. Thanks for reading!   

Ceviche for Beginners: Easy Key Lime Scallop Ceviche

There was a time when I was terrified of ceviche.

A bowl of raw fish?! Cooked without heat??

I remember feeling suspicious about the whole thing.

I've never really been a fan of things that are too raw. Even today. I tend to stay away from very rare steak, only eat the cooked edges of seared tuna, and generally prefer complicated trendy Americanized rolls over more aggressively raw slices of bare sushi. Plates of tartare and carpaccio get pushed in my husband's direction. And while I'm ok with raw egg yolks when they disappear into a chocolate pudding, pasta carbonara, or mayonnaise, I prefer to not see bright yellow oozing all over my breakfast plate.

But the ceviche made regular appearances at the Latin restaurants we frequented growing up, and it wasn't long before I'd braved a bite, then two, and then entire plates of it.

Fresh, bright with citrus and herbs, and just a bit of heat from chile peppers. It was fish, but not fishy. Raw, but tasted somehow, magically, cooked.

It was an ideal summer choice, served alongside crispy tortillas or salty plantain chips.

And the truth is that as far as quick cooking methods,  ceviche is about as easy and no-fuss as you can get. At its most simple, it's simply good seafood or fish tossed with lime or lemon juice.

That's seriously it!

Then you can add herbs, spices, sliced chiles, diced fruit, nuts or vegetables...really just about anything but the base is simple.

This recipe only calls for 4 required ingredients (not counting salt & pepper), and the flavor is incredible. I love these rolled up into warm tortillas for easy ceviche tacos (add some diced avocado for creaminess) or even served with tortilla chips like a kind of entree salsa.

As far as raw seafood is concerned, scallops are one of the safest things you can eat. Tiny bay scallops are in season right now and require no prep, but you can also use large sea scallops and just dice them up.

And key lime juice is particularly special with a brighter and slightly sweeter flavor than regular limes. I juiced my own, but you can buy fresh bottled key lime juice at many grocery stores. Or just use regular limes.
Have you ever tried ceviche? Would you make it at home?

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Love Always Order Dessert? Let's connect! Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest, become a fan on Facebook, or sign up to receive my once-a-week e-mail updates. And if you ever need any entertaining or cooking advice, please don't hesitate to e-mail me. Thanks for reading!  


Easy Key Lime Scallop Ceviche Recipe
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 pound fresh bay scallops, rinsed under cold water
3/4 cup fresh key lime juice (from about 15 key limes, or use regular fresh lime juice)
1-2 jalapenos, seeds removed and very thinly sliced (I used one red and one green for color)
1/4 cup minced chives (substitute finely minced red onion or scallions)
Kosher salt and black pepper
Optional garnishes: chopped cilantro leaves, diced avocado, tortilla or plantain chips, for serving

Directions
Place bay scallops in a large non-reactive bowl (such as glass) and pour in the key lime juice. Add the sliced peppers, and chives. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat well. Cover with plastic. Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes, tossing occasionally, and not longer than 3 hours.
Serve cold garnished with cilantro, and with tortillas, plantain chips, or chips on the side.


Maple Fruit & Nut Crisps (An Easy Homemade Cracker Recipe!)

About a year ago, there was a story going around about how Kim Kardashian tweeted that she always feels awkward and a little nervous when she gets to an event before any of her friends have arrived.

People were joking around and being unnecessarily mean about it ("why would she feel awkward?!").

But I knew exactly what she meant!

And I suspect that you do, too.

Because we've ALL had those first few minutes when you walk into an event, be it for work or a casual friend's party, and you get there and you hang your coat then head to the bar for a glass of something, but once you have that in your hand, you suddenly find yourself looking around at a room full of strangers already grouped up into tiny pockets of conversation.

All these little circles, and you're trying to figure out how to get in on it.

How do you deal with those moments?

I start off by pretending to be tremendously interested in my cocktail, all the while surreptitiously sneaking glances around in the hopes of spotting a familiar face or someone else looking equally alone and thirsty for conversation.

If the situation seems hopeless, I'll make a beeline for the bathroom where I admit to taking an excessively long time washing my hands or fixing my lipstick, in the hopes that someone I know will show up while I'm hiding.

(The bathroom is also a great place to make friends since it's where all the other weirdos go to hide.)

And if it's really dire?

Well, I'm not above dialing my voicemail and pretending I'm a business lady on a totally important call.

Oh Whatever..I know you've done it, too!

Anyway...you might be wondering what any of this has to do with these lovely crackers.

These crackers--or a version of them--were actually my saving grace during a recent event when I found myself in a room full of people with absolutely nobody to talk to.

I got to this party and after killing way too much time talking to the coat check lady about how cold it was, I grabbed a glass of wine and wandered over to a cheese plate. Leaning against the bar, I picked up a cracker in what I hoped appeared to be a cool and carefree confident business lady manner. I took a bite and instantly forgot about being cool or carefree or even just plain-old awkward because the cracker was that good.

I didn't have to pretend! I was genuinely suddenly obsessed with the cracker, which was sweet and salty and had tiny bits of chewy fruit and hints of rosemary.

I stood there alone in that crowded room, happily eating one cracker after another, savoring the flavors, even commenting to a man who stood nearby that the crackers were onderful and that he HAD to try one.

He did (taken, I assume, by my rabid enthusiasm and business lady-like confidence), and we soon started chatting about the cracker, then more stuff, and then (just like that!) the party had begun!

It's really all just about getting through those first few minutes, folks.

Just before leaving that particular event (which ended up being lots of fun), I asked one of the waiters about the incredible crackers and he gave me the name of the brand--Jan's Farmhouse Crisps--indicating that they were sold at a shop just down the street.

I bought a bag to bring home for further inspection, because I suspected that I could replicate something similar at home. I checked out the ingredients, and after a bit of searching I came across a few similar recipes via the blogs Dinner with Julie and Simple Bites.

And so here we are!

These little crackers are wonderful--thin, crisp, with a bit of sweetness and a bit of chew. They're not exactly the same as Jan's (those are sliced super crazy thin, which is what makes them so addictive and almost chip-like), but they're still VERY good.

They're perfect with cheese or even just very good salted butter (my current obsession is Vermont Creamery's Cultured Butter with Sea Salt).

And they couldn't be easier to make--just a simple quick bread filled with herbs, nuts, and dried fruit (the combinations are endless and completely up to you--I used apricots, pistachios, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and rosemary), then frozen, thinly sliced, and baked again until crisp.

Fair warning: the recipe is easy, though it does require a bit of patience as you have to let the loaves freeze before you can slice them thinly.

You can't skip that step.

(Trust me. I tried.)

Make a large batch and keep them to enjoy during quiet evenings at home, or pack a bunch in a pretty cellophane bag and bring along to your next party where they can do double duty as a hostess gift AND a conversation starter.

Win!

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Love Always Order Dessert? Let's connect! Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest, become a fan on Facebook, or sign up to receive my once-a-week e-mail updates. And if you ever need any entertaining or cooking advice, please don't hesitate to e-mail me. Thanks for reading! 



Homemade Fruit & Nut Crisps Recipe
Makes about 80 crackers. Adapted from recipes found on Simple Bites and Dinner with Julie.

Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh rosemary
1/4 cup flax seeds, ground
2 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped dried fruit (suggested apricots + cranberries, but use what you like!)
2/3 cup chopped roasted salted pistachios (substitute almonds or walnuts)
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

Coconut oil or baking spray for greasing pan

Directions
Generously grease 4 mini loaf pans or 2 regular loaf pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, kosher salt, sugar, rosemary, and flax seeds.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, maple syrup, and vanilla.

Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour and stir until completely combined. Gently fold in the dried fruit, nuts, and pumpkin seeds. Divide batter into prepared pans and bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown, risen, and firm. Let cool completely on wire racks, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for minimum of 3 hours but ideally overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Use a very sharp knife to slice thin, even slices and arrange on an unlined baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, then turn and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, or until crackers are dark brown and crisp (careful not to let them burn).

Let cool completely. Can be stored in an air-tight container

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