Flashback: Domesticated

January 26th, 2012

A past post of mine from a blog I started when I first moved to NYC called Bloggy, Blog, Blog.  Although “Nibbles by Nora” was a few years away it was clear I had the baking bug already! 😉

April 17, 2007

So somehow I’ve gotten in the habit of making treats for people when in a theatre production. It first really started when I was involved with directing some shows around Christmas and a friend of mine had a cookie exchange. I found so many recipes of interest that although I only made one kind for the cookie exchange (Cinnamon, Spice and Everything Nice Cookies – they don’t look pretty but they taste good!) I decided to use the others to share with my cast and find out if they tasted as good as they sounded. They did!

Two recipes that disappeared the quickest Spicy Pumpkin Cookies – Sans Raisins
and a variation of this Cake Mix Cookie recipe – I used Chocolate Cake Mix! 🙂 They tasted like brownie bites.

Then when my directing duties started to taper off I began working backstage for a month as a dresser for the traveling production of “The Lion King”. Every Sunday we’d have a potluck since we didn’t have a lot of time in between shows. Once again, it was a chance to try something new!

Smoky Corn Muffins (didn’t use liquid smoke)

This time around my baking flurry was influenced by the fact that my character (Essie) in “You Can’t Take It With You” makes candy, but still – I’m finding that as long as the recipe is fairly simple – I enjoy baking…as long as I can share it with a group. That’s the key…not all that enthused about making something that will go to waste cause I only eat a piece of it…I had that happen to a picante peach cobbler. I ate 2 pieces and the rest went in the trash – sadness.

Rarely do I make a dish twice as I am always curious about new ones – so I’m constantly in finger cross mode and hope, hope, hope that whoever is eating it – likes it.

Needless to say here is a list of some of the recipes (the links are all from allrecipes.com) that I tried and those that ate it seemed to like it! (No deaths or stomach trauma were reported either! ;))

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Cherry Mash Candy

Pistachio Fruit Salad (Some of the cast was diabetic, so this worked well for the potluck!)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

Hot Jezebel – Took this to the cast party and previously to a Bridal Shower, knew it was good when a former co-worker brought it to work several times and it always disappeared quickly!

I also discovered a Truffle recipe in a cookbook that used the same instructions as an easy fudge recipe I found online. Go figure. I went the truffle route though, using chocolate sprinkles on some and cocoa on others. One of my co-stars thought they were donut holes though and had a bit of surprise when he bit in.

And when not in the baking mood, thanks to my mom (who’s a rep), I’ve discovered Watkins has great dip mixes. So good and so easy to make! I highly recommend ordering some to try! 😉

So now it is your turn – share your fav recipes or maybe this will give you inspiration to try baking if you haven’t already! 😉 Good Luck!

Celebrity Nibbles by Nora, Episode 7

November 20th, 2011

In this episode I create a treat based on The Band Perry’s favorite snacks.  Perry Pieces are so good, they may make you want to sing! 🙂

Celebrity Nibbles by Nora, Episode 7, Sweets to Sing About…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXsfat0tV3s

Inspired by White Chocolate Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookies from picky-palate.com and The Band Perry Official Fan Club, http://www.thebandperryofficialfanclub.com/.

Perry Pieces Ingredients

Perry Pieces

1/2 cup margarine

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal, slightly crushed up

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

12 oz pkg Mini Peanut Butter Cups, chop each cup in fourths

2 cups Cocoa Rice Krispies

12 oz Dark Chocolate, melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cake pan and set aside.

In small bowl beat margarine and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla until well combined.

In large bowl combine flour, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal, baking powder and salt. Slowly add wet ingredients along with Mini Peanut Butter Cup chunks until just combined.

Spread mixture evenly into cake pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until edges start to turn golden brown.

Let cool. Then crumble bars. Place half of the crumbles in a bowl. Spread the other half over a wax paper lined baking tray. Set tray aside.

Add Cocoa Rice Krispies to bowl and mix with crumbles. Then add  Dark Chocolate until mixture is coated.

Spread Dark Chocolate mixture evenly and firmly over crumbles on tray.  Place tray in refrigerator to let mixture harden.

Once mixture is hardened, break into pieces and Enjoy!

**************************************************************************************

Aimee Todoroff

And here’s info on the “Before They Are SuperStar’s Taste Tester”, Aimee Todoroff‘s theatre company fundraiser

Elephant Run District “Babes in New York” Fundraiser

Monday, November 21, 2011 – 7-10pm

Please join us for an evening celebrating the first year of the Elephant Run District and fundraiser for next year’s production of “Rabbit Island,” a Coney Island themed comedy about fitting in, freaking out, and becoming a “real” New Yorker.

We’ll be having fun raffle prizes, amazing silent auction items, and some stellar performances by some of New York’s most talented transplants.

Hosted by Chad Lindsey, featuring Adam Wade, Cathryn Lynne and Laura Butler.

$30 suggested donation at the door.

If you are unable to attend, or would simply like to support the work we do, please make a 100% tax deductible donation through our profile with The Field: https://www.thefield.org/Profile.aspx?SAID=946

Thank you and Much Love from The District.

PS- Please “like us” on Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Elephant-Run-District/185593531461387

Flashback: Peanuts & Crackerjack Chocolate Cupcakes

October 21st, 2011

A past post of mine from the “Bicoastal Bakes” blog (a blog that pre-dates Nibbles by Nora!) I created this treat for the show run of  “Top of the Heap” at the Gallery Players.

October 27, 2009

Inspired by Scarecrow Treats, the cupcake has 3 layers – Chocolate Molasses Cake (there are many recipes via the google out there – pick your fav!), Marshmallows and Homemade Crackerjack.

After the cake is mostly baked, add a layer of mini marshmallows and put back in the oven until the marshmallows puff up.Adding the marshmallow layer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then add a layer of crackerjack on top.

Adding the crackerjacks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The finished product!

Peanuts & Crackerjack Chocolate Cupcake

Celebrity Nibbles by Nora, Episode 6

September 5th, 2011

Now you can celebrate #Jerzday everyday with this Snooki inspired recipe on this episode of “Celebrity Nibbles by Nora”!

Celebrity Nibbles by Nora, Episode 6, Tastes Like Jersey Shore … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1TsWcaieGY

Inspired by Savory Cornmeal Cookies Recipe from Countryliving.com and “Snooki Cookies” suggestion from youtube viewer, Lola801.

Snooki Cookies

Snooki Cookies  

About 3 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup white cornmeal

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup baking cocoa*

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp chili or cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp cinnamon*

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup sharp Cheddar cheese (shredded)

1/2 cup dill pickles pulp (chopped well in blender)

2 Tbsp margarine (melted)

1 egg

1/3 cup dill pickle juice

1/4 cup water

*optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease baking sheet(s).

In a medium mixing bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, cocoa, cinnamon, chile/cayenne and black peppers. Stir in cheese and dill pickle pulp. Then add melted margarine, egg, pickle juice and water. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes or more to let batter firm up a little.

Drop rounded Tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheet(s).

Bake on top or center rack in oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire rack.

Enjoy!

Note: Leftover Snooki Cookies can be stored in an airtight containers for up to 2 days.

**********************************************************************

And here’s info on the “Before They Were SuperStar’s Taste Tester”, Zach

Zach McCoy

McCoy‘s Show that he’s in, “The Birthday Boys”.

ArtEffects Theatre Company Presents:

The Birthday Boys By Aaron Kozak

Directed by: Montserrat Mendez

Winner of the 2010 Hollywood Fringe First Award (world premiere) and the LA Fringe Award (LA Theatre Review Critic’s Choice).

“A high-tension, clock-ticking-away dramatic thriller.” — LAist.com

Three Marines captured by insurgents during an unheard-of infiltration of the Al Asad green zone struggle with the horror of captivity and their unknowable fate. But what first appears to be a kidnapping unravels an emotionally complex trio of characters dealing with major values such as honor, good, evil, commitment, ethics, God and country. Tense, hilarious and frequently heart-wrenching, The Birthday Boys keeps us guessing on the edge of our seats, as we barrel towards a shocking climax.

Producers:

Kristi McCarson

Phil Newsom

Stage Manager: *Mary Spadoni

Starring:

Lowell Byers

Walker Hare

Zach McCoy

Abraham Makany

Jevon McFerrin

Patrick Cann

Roland Lane

(*courtesy of actors equity, an equity approved showcase)

PR/Marketing: Lanie Zipoy lanie.zipoy@gmail.com

Graphic Design: Theresa Evangelista

Lighting Design: Porsche McGovern

Set Design: Jason Bolen

Sound Design: Patrick Metzger

Costume/props: Rebecca Snyder/ Kristi McCarson

Performance Dates:

Thurs. Sept 15th, 8pm

Fri. Sept 16th, 8pm

Sat. Sept 17th, 8pm

Sun. Sept 18, 3pm and 8pm.

Wed. Sept 21, 8pm

Thurs Sept 22, 8pm

Fri, Sept. 23, 8pm

Sat, Sept 24, 8pm

Sun, Sept 25, 3pm

Location:

Access Theatre

380 Broadway (at White Street)

New York, NY 10013 (2 blocks South of Canal)

4th Floor

Tickets price: $18

Purchase online at

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/186960

or Reserve tickets at: ArtEffectstheatre@gmail.com

Discounted tickets available for military personnel and Veterans for $10 (Please email for details).

Website: www.ArtEffectsTheatre.org

 

Flashback: Cupcake Kebabs

June 28th, 2011

A past post of mine from the “Bicoastal Bakes” blog (a blog that pre-dates Nibbles by Nora!)

6/14/2009

In an effort to be different (and use up some of my cupcake batter that was in the freezer) I formulated a plan to make mini cupcake kebabs for a gathering sponsored by “Cupcakes Take The Cake”.

Based on the batter I had, I chose Neapolitan as my combo of flavors, then I had to figure out spacers. My original thought was Strawberries dipped in white and milk chocolate. But they don’t stay nice for very long so my thought turned to dipping marshmallows. I know I had seen strawberry marshmallows before, but where?!

So my search began for marshmallows. And as I searched I began to pick up alternatives if I couldn’t find them. Little Debbie Strawberry Shortcakes cut up and partially dipped in chocolate was an idea. I picked up sugar wafers and inspected them closely to decide if I thought they’d hold up to a kebab skewer and then my last stop – there they were! Strawberry Marshmallows!!!

By the time I got home on Friday, my original vision for the kebabs had been altered. Now I would combine the use of strawberry marshmallows – dipped in white chocolate & chocolate cookie crumbs (inspired by the Neapolitan ice cream sandwiches) and the sugar wafers. With careful twisting and guidance the skewer went thru the wafers just fine!

Once I got my minis baked and frosted, my marshmallows dipped and my wafers sliced up it was time to assemble!

I found that the key (besides keeping the skewer centered on whatever you are putting on there) is to make sure you wipe off the skewer as you go! No premature mixing of flavors that way! ;)

Once I got them assembled I was a bit stymied as to how to store them w/out the frosting looking flat on one side but then I decided to balance them on the edge of a casserole dish for overnight storage in the fridge and it worked out just fine…until it was time to pack them up.

I decided to use an aluminum casserole dish w/ a wax paper lining for transport and as a whole they traveled okay. How I was going to travel w/ them wasn’t my first thought when I woke up though- it was wondering if the wafers and cookie crumbs were still crisp. They seemed to be but later feedback said the wafers were a bit soggy. Something to work on…

I was a bit anxious to see what the feedback would be and they

cupcakeKabobWMK

went over extremely well! So well in fact that apparently I’ve given people lots of ideas and was blogged about! :)

Since I’ve been in the process of starting my own online baking company, this little niche of a product has been inspiring and I can’t wait to try out new flavor combos- that will hopefully be made available to you all soon! :)

 

~NY Nora

 

 

Celebrity Nibbles by Nora, Episode 3

June 4th, 2011

For those that missed it, here’s a link to the third episode!

“Celebrity Nibbles by Nora – Team ShortyNache Scores!”

And here’s the recipe for the Razzle Razz DWTS Edible Scorecards…

Inspired by Shortbread Cookie Recipe from JoyofBaking.com and Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Recipe from FoodNetwork.com.

Razzle Razz DWTS Edible Scorecards

Razzle Razz DWTS Edible Scorecards

Makes 12 Edible Scorecards

Shortbread Cookie Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

Beat butter in bowl until smooth. Then beat in sugar, vanilla & salt until smooth. Stir in flour until just incorporated. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour or until firm.

Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

On a lightly floured surface roll dough to a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out circles no larger than 3 inches across. (A larger biscuit cutter works nicely.) Place circles on baking sheet and place baking sheet in refrigerator for 15 minutes. (This will help dough maintain shape while baking.) During this time preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool.

Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Ingredients

10 oz Semi Sweet Chocolate, chopped and melted

1/2 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup raspberry jam

Directions

Combine all ingredients in bowl and stir until well mixed. If frosting is too thick to spread easily, add a little cream.

Additional Item/Ingredients for Assembly

1 1/2 lbs White Chocolate, melted

12 Wooden Craft Sticks

2 tsp vanilla extract

Gold Disco Dust

1 Red and 1 Black tube of Wilton Sparkle Gel OR Royal Icing (see NbyN Recipe #2) colored Red and Black

Assembly

Spread ganache onto the bottom of a shortbread cookie, then place a craft stick in the center making sure there is enough ganache to hold it in place. Add another shortbread cookie on top of the ganache and stick. Place in refrigerator for several minutes to let ganache harden.

Prepare cookie sheet(s) lined with wax paper. Begin dipping cookies in a shallow pan of melted white chocolate (see video). Use a spatula to assist with evenly distributing the white chocolate on the sides and all around. Place on cookie sheet and put back in refrigerator until white chocolate has hardened. Once hardened, you can use a knife to assist with rounding out edges that may not be perfect.

Mix vanilla extract with a couple dashes of disco dust – a little goes a long way! Flip the cookies so the side that was on the cookie sheet is facing up.  Using a  pastry brush, spread the disco dust mixture on the top of each cookie. Then add numbers and outer circle (see photo) using red and black gel/icing.

*****************************************************************************

And here’s information on where you can see “Before They Are SuperStars Taste Tester”,

Jessica Ritacco

Jessica Ritacco in the sketch comedy group, Desperate Times.

Upcoming Desperate Times performances:

MAY 11th, 9pm, SKETCH BLOCK at Under St. Mark’s Theatre, 94 St. Mark’s Place. Desperate Times will be one of many hilarious sketch teams performing at the popular monthly sketch extravaganza: Sketch Block!  Tickets are $8.

MAY 14th, 8:30pm, The Living Room, 154 Ludlow Street. Desperate Times will be one of several featured performers at “Got Greek?  A Fundraiser for the Euripides Series Summer 2011”.   Reserve tickets for $12.50 online at www.apoloniadproductions.com or pay $15 at the door.

MAY 15th, 8pm, The Creek and Cave Restaurant and Bar, 10-93 Jackson Ave in Long Island City.  Desperate Times will be opening for the awesome improv team FRODUCE.  Free admission!

MAY 18th, 8pm, Burning Bridges Comedy at McSwiggans Bar, 393 2nd ave (corner of 23rd st.) Desperate Times will be featured performers at a new weekly comedy show Presented by Ray Field & Todd Montesi!

Great Drink Deals and no Cover! (1 drink minimum)

More information can be found at http://desperatetimescomedy.tumblr.com/

 

Celebrity Nibbles By Nora, Episode 2

May 8th, 2011

Time for another episode of Celebrity Nibbles by Nora – A Royal Treat!

Celebrity Nibbles by Nora, Episode 2 – A Royal Treat!

And here’s the recipe for the “Will & Kate 4Eva Shortbread Tarts”.

Inspired by Shortbread Tarts with Cream Filling Recipe on JoyofBaking.com and Emily’s Famous Chocolate Shortbread Cookies on Allrecipes.com.

Will & Kate 4Eva Shortbread Tarts

Makes 12 Tarts – using regular sized muffin tin

English Breakfast Tea Shortbread Tart Shell Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 Tbsp cornstarch

4 tsp English Breakfast Tea (from tea bag)

1/8 tsp salt

Optional

2 Tbsp Corn Syrup

Silver Dragees & Edible Silver Glitter

Directions

Beat butter and sugar together in bow. Then beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour, cornstarch, tea and salt and mix just until incorporated.

Divide the dough into 12 even pieces and place one ball of dough in the center of each muffin tin. With your fingertips, press the dough up the sides of the individual tins so there is an indentation in the center. Once filled, place the muffin pan in the freezer for about 10 minutes so the shortbread can become firm. (This will help to prevent the shortbread from puffing up during baking.)

Bake for approximately 18 – 20 minutes or until lightly browned. About halfway through the baking time, lightly prick the bottom of each shortbread, with the tines of a fork, if they have puffed up. Once they are fully baked, remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. (If they have puffed up again, take the back of a spoon and press the center down again while they are still warm.) When completely cooled, remove the tarts from the muffin pan.

Optional-Once tarts are cooled, take a small pastry brush or clean paint brush and spread corn syrup around the rim of the tart.  Then sprinkle edible glitter/sparkles and place dragees around the rim.

Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients

4 oz Cream Cheese – softened

7 oz of sweetened condensed milk

Juice & Zest from 1 Lemon

1 tsp vanilla extract

Optional

Royal Blue Food Coloring

Directions

Beat the cream cheese in a bowl until fluffy. Add the condensed milk, lemon juice, zest, vanilla and food coloring and process just until smooth. (Do not over process or the filling will be too runny.) Cover the bowl and refrigerate until serving time. (It is best to make the filling at least a day in advance to give it time to become firm and for all the flavors to mingle)

Cadbury Royal Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies Ingredients

Note: Recipe will make more than a dozen cookies, but you can freeze leftover dough to use for later! 🙂

1 cup powdered sugar

3.5oz Cadbury Royal Dark Chocolate Bar (melted)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

9 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, melted chocolate, flour and salt until well blended. Cut in the butter until lumps are no larger than peas. Add eggs and vanilla; mix until a stiff dough forms.  If dough is somewhat sticky, put in the refrigerator for a while to firm.

Once dough is firm, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness and use small heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.

Bake about 8-10 minutes or until surface appears dry. Allow cookies to cool, frost w/ Royal Icing (see recipe below). Once Royal Icing has dried (put in refrigerator for a while to speed this up) you can personalize with edible markers, gel or frosting.

Royal Icing Ingredients

1/4 cup meringue powder

2 cups powdered sugar

2 Tbsp Water – Add more if necessary to get correct spreading consistency

Beat all ingredients together in bowl until desired consistency is reached. If you add too much water, add 1 Tbsp of powdered sugar at a time until mixture thickens again.

Assemble

Right before serving, fill tart shells with cream cheese filling and place shortbread cookies in the center of the cream cheese filling to garnish.

Enjoy!

**************************************************************************

And here’s information on the reading “Before They Are SuperStars Taste Tester”, Rachel Dart, is directing!

Rachel Dart

Book: Zac Kline

Music: Mark T Evans

Lyrics: Eric Kubo

Musical Director: Mark T Evans

Director: Rachel Dart

On Easter Sunday 1967, Jim Thompson, an American businessman credited with revitalizing the Thai silk industry, mysteriously disappeared while taking a walk in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia – to this day he has not been found.

Performed by:

Al Bundonis*

Steven Eng*

Anthony Holds*

Jaygee Macapugay*

Andrew Redlawsk*

Megan Stern*

Sandy York*

Katie Zaffrann

*denotes member of Actors’ Equity

Tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/170583

When: Sun May 8th  8:00 pm

Location: TADA! Theater, 15 W 28th St, 2nd Fl, New York, NY 10001

Tickets: $10

More Info: “I Am Jim Thompson” is part of Notes from a Page – Emerging Artists New Works Series. www.emergingartiststheatre.org

**************************************************************************

Remember to email your celebrity suggestions to nibblesbynora@gmail.com!

Celebrity Nibbles by Nora, Episode 1

April 7th, 2011

While awaiting results for the last recipe contest I entered (check back in early May), I decided it was time for a new baking related challenge: creating a baking webisode.

So last weekend, armed with my Flip Camera, tripod, various brainstorm scribbles & props and a friend who was game to be my taste tester, I began putting the pieces together and by the wee hours of Monday morning, the first episode (Return of the Foo) of  “Celebrity Nibbles by Nora” was posted on YouTube.

Rather than blather on about it, I’ll just let you watch the episode of Celebrity Nibbles By Nora – Return of the Foo!. Click Here.

Red Hot & Rockin' Foo Cookies

Here’s the recipe for the “Red Hot & Rockin’ Foos Cookies.  (Inspired by Black & White Cookie Recipe on Epicurious.com)

Bake a batch while you listen to their new album! 🙂

Red Hot & Rockin’ Foo Cookie Recipe

Makes 6-8 Cookies

Cookie Ingredients

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup margarine, softened

1 egg

Directions

Preheat oven at 350 degrees F

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in separate bowl.

Beat together margarine and sugar in large bowl until pale and fluffy. Then add egg, beating until combined. Mix in flour and buttermilk mixture alternatively. Keep mixing until smooth.

Butter baking sheet. Then spoon 1/4 cups of batter onto baking sheet spacing 2 inches apart. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until tops are puffed and pale golden. Let cool.

*Quick Tip* Use a biscuit cutter to make your cookies perfectly round after baking

Icing Ingredients

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup Cinnamon Red Hots

Water

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Red food coloring (optional)*

Directions

Pour red hots into small pan and add just enough water to cover them. Then place the pan on the stove and warm to medium heat. Continue stirring red hots until dissolved. Turn off heat and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar, vanilla and 4 Tablespoons of liquid Red Hots. Stir until smooth.

Transfer half the icing to another bowl. Add cocoa powder and 3 Tablespoons of liquid Red Hots. Stir until smooth.

*You can add red food coloring to the other half to achieve the red color in the photo

Icing Cookies

Turn cooled cookies flat sides up, then carefully spread red icing over half of each cookie and chocolate icing over the other half.

*Quick Tip* If you want to add a Foo Fighters logo to the cookies, put them in the fridge for a few minutes to harden the frosting.

**********************************************************

And here’s info on “Before They Are Superstars Taste Tester” Bill Bria’s show, Killing Time.

Bill Bria

Tom Slot’s original play “Killing Time” will be making its world debut at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre’s Spring Playfest 2011 this April.

A prostitute, a Star Trek fan, a mute math Teacher, and a tree lover seek to discover why they are trapped in the afterlife together while a cop and a Jersey girl fall in love at Starbucks. Killing Time is an absurdist dramatic comedy that isn’t afraid to ask the tough questions of the ages, like will we ever get the hoverboards from Back to The Future II?

KILLING TIME

Written and Directed by Tom Slot

Technical Director and Stage Managed by Amanda Raymond.

Starring Nicole Balsam, Milee Bang, Bill Bria, Paul Caron, Sheila Griffin, Sharon Pinney, Nishi Rajan, Jordan Swisher, and Stephen Thornton.

4/27/2011 – 9 PM

4/29/2011 – 9 PM

5/1/2011 – 8 PM

Tickets $20.

For ticket reservations call (646) 329 – 6588.

**************************************************************

Be sure to email nibblesbynora@gmail.com with celebrity suggestions for a future episode!

Scharffen Berger Chocolate Adventure Contest Entries

March 18th, 2011

Back in October, Nichelle Stephens of Cupcakes Take the Cake gave my name to the organizers of the Scharffen Berger Chocolate Adventure Contest Kickoff Event.  Per the title, the event was held to promote their recipe contest with this year’s focus on cupcakes!

I’d never entered a recipe contest before but after attending the event, I felt inspired and decided I’d give it a go!

Each recipe had to include Scharffen Berger Chocolate and at least one of their 13 Adventure Ingredients.  After some brainstorming, I came up with 4 recipes (you could enter 10!) and invited friends over for a taste test in November.  1 recipe idea didn’t make it to the tasting after I saw how it turned out by the other 3 did!

I got some great feedback and tweaked the recipes accordingly, then entered them and crossed my fingers!

Alas, the winners were announced recently and my recipes weren’t even finalists.  But I will still share them with you here in case you want to embark on a non-finalist cupcake adventure! 😉

Entry #1 – “What the What?!” Cupcakes Recipe

Photo taken by Emilie Soffe

 

Adventure Ingredient Used – Stout

Topping
6 oz apricot preserves
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 Tablespoon Dijon prepared mustard

Prepare this up to a day ahead of baking your cupcakes.
Combine all ingredients, cover and chill until ready to use.

Chocolate Custard Filling
1 ½ cups water
1 ¼ cups sugar
½ Tablespoon corn syrup
¾ cup Scharffen Berger Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/3 cup cornstarch
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine sugar, corn syrup, cocoa powder and 1 ¼ cups of the water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally.

Dissolve cornstarch in ¼ cup of water. Whisk into cocoa mixture and return mixture to a boil, whisking constantly.  Continue to cook and whisk constantly until mixture becomes thick.

Remove mixture from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Pour mixture into bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure you press plastic wrap gently against the surface in order to prevent a skin from forming. Chill about 45 minutes until firm.

Cupcakes
½ cup margarine, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup stout beer, room temp, no foam

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare 1 muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In large bowl, cream margarine and dark brown sugar together, add egg and beat well. Set aside.

In separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, baking soda and salt.

Add flour mixture alternatively with stout to egg mixture. Beat well.

Fill each cupcake liner up to ¾ full of batter.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
¼ cup butter, softened

Use mixer to blend all ingredients.

Photo taken by Emilie Soffe

To Assemble
Once Cupcakes have cooled, use a pairing knife to cut a cone out of the center of each cupcake and fill centers with Chocolate Custard. Cut off pointed end of cake cone so it fits back on top of the cupcake, covering the custard-filled hole.

Frost cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. Then glaze Frosting with 2 Tablespoons of the Topping.

Recipe #2 – Beet-iful Carrot Cupcakes Recipe

Adventure Ingredients Used – Beets, Meyer Lemon

Cupcakes

Photo Taken by Emilie Soffe

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
¾ cup milk
1 ½ tsp Meyer lemon juice
3 eggs
1 ¼ cups beet puree
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 8 oz can crushed pineapple,drained
1 cup grated carrots
1 ½ cup orange marmalade

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 muffin pans with cupcake liners.

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in small bowl and set aside.
Combine milk and lemon juice. Add the milk mixture to the eggs, beets, sugars, oil, pineapple and carrots in large bowl and mix well.
Gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined.

Pour 2 Tbsp batter into each liner. Add 1 Tbsp orange marmalade to the center and top with an additional 2 Tbsp batter.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
16 oz cream cheese, softened
4 tsp vanilla
5 cups powdered sugar
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup Scharffen Berger Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
4 oz Scharffen Berger 70% Bittersweet Chocolate, Melted

Mix cream cheese, vanilla, powdered sugar and butter until just combined. Then mix in cocoa powder and melted chocolate. Frost cooled cupcakes.

Candy Carrot Garnish
2 medium size carrots
½ cup pure maple syrup

Photo Taken by Emilie Soffe

Peel carrots length wise to get 24 long strips.
Simmer maple syrup in sauce pan and add a few carrot strips at a time. Let strips simmer until they start to appear translucent (about 2 minutes). Transfer strips to wax or parchment paper and allow to cool.
Twist them in a “curly q” and place on top of frosted cupcake.

 

 

Entry #3 – “Pant and Pucker” Cupcakes Recipe

Adventure Ingredients Used – Chili Pepper, Molasses, Buttermilk

Chili-Lime Peanut Garnish

Photo Taken by Emilie Soffe

1 cup raw peanuts
½ Tablespoon olive oil
1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon sugar
1 ¼ teaspoons lime juice
½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
½ teaspoon pulverized dried chili pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Toss peanuts in bowl with olive oil, salt and sugar until they are coated evenly. Spread peanuts out on baking sheet.

Roast peanuts and stir occasionally for about 30 minutes until they are fragrant and begin to darken.

Pour peanuts into bowl and add lime juice, hot pepper sauce and chili pepper. Toss to coat. Cool.

Store in airtight container in refrigerator until ready to use.

Lime Curd Filling
2 Limes, zested
1 ¼ cups sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
¼ cup lime juice
pinch of salt

Pulse sugar and lime zest in food processor until zest is finely minced into sugar.

Cream butter and beat into sugar mixture. Add eggs one at a time, then lime juice and salt. Mix until combined.

Pour mixture into saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes until thickened.

Remove from heat, cool and refrigerate until ready to use.

Cupcakes
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup Scharffen Berger Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon pulverized dry chili pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup dark molasses
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sugar
½ cup margarine, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare muffin pans with 15 cupcake liners.

Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda into bowl. Mix in chili pepper and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix buttermilk and molasses together. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time until mixed well. Then add vanilla.

Begin adding a third of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture. Mix until combined and then add a third of the buttermilk mixture. Mix until combined and continue to alternate until everything is mixed together.

Fill each cupcake liner up to ¾ full of batter.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup Scharffen Berger Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, cocoa, milk and vanilla until creamy. Mix in additional cups of powdered sugar until your frosting appears to be a good spreading consistency.

Photo Taken by Emilie Soffe

To Assemble
Once Cupcakes have cooled, use a pairing knife to cut a cone out of the center of each cupcake and fill centers with Lime Curd. Cut off pointed end of cake cone so it fits back on top of the cupcake, covering the Lime Curd-filled hole.

Frost Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and Garnish with several Chili Lime Peanuts.



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