Saturday, July 24, 2010

sweet treats for the picture show

growing up
the drive-in was a summer treat
we'd load up the country squire
with blankets, pillows,
and kids
and drive for what seemed like ages
to see the latest Disney flick
snuggled in the "way back" 
having already had our evening bath and dressed in our jammies
we gorged ourselves on popcorn and candy

i hope to repeat history
sans country squire and Disney flick
we are headed to the drive-in
a group of adults
in suv's and convertibles
dressed in summer frocks with cashmere wraps and throw pillows
with every intention
of gorging ourselves
on olive oil and parmesan cheese flavored popcorn
and hand dipped chocolates
i can hardly contain my excitement
I like to use bittersweet chocolate for my treats.  
These are very simple.  
You must temper your chocolate so they retain sheen and snap when set.  Jacques Torres is the master and he has a simple microwave method that works great.  Check it out here
I simply made dots of chocolate with a spoon onto parchment paper and added sprinkles.  One bite and you will be hooked!
Milk duds rock--I love them. But I also love my teeth. So, rather than test my luck tonight, I decided to make a bit softer caramel and dip it in bittersweet chocolate. 
 The feature tonight is SALT, so I added a bit of fleur de sel for whimsy. 
I wonder if anyone will get the connection.
  If you don't want to make can buy some at any good candy making or cake decorating shop...shape it and then dip it in tempered bittersweet chocolate.  the design on top was simply made by lightly tapping the top with the tines of a fork.  If you want to make the caramel, try this recipe from would add a nice pinch of kosher salt to it.  this recipe from the culinary institute is also good, but you need to double it to get nice thick caramel squares. When making caramel a good thermometer and heavy pan is important. Make sure you test the accuracy of the thermometer by dipping it in boiling should read 212F (unless you are at high altitude, and I will let you do the math!).
Do they even sell these anymore? I used to love the commercials for goobers and raisinets...the chocolate covered treats. I think they have lost out to chocolate covered cookie dough and gummy bears as of late.
 I had a bit of tempered chocolate left, so I dropped a handful of salted virginia peanuts into it and stirred it up. (*my friend julie tells me that they sell blistered peanuts at trader joes now..i think they are similar to the virginia peanuts...but any peanuts will do--just make sure they are salted). I separated the nuts from the clusters and let them firm up on a piece of waxed paper.  I already know I didn't make enough of these...they will be a favorite for sure!
i am linking to around my family table's tip-day thursday


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