Dark Chocolate and Peppermint Popcorn from Popcorn, Indiana
Blockbuster movies, cooking for the holidays, and snow sports signify winter months, but the coldest season of the year wouldn’t be complete without festive goodies to sweeten your seasonal hobbies.
Cooking Away the Coldness
Feasting is a foodie’s favorite pastime–which makes it difficult to not nibble while prepping a meal. During the coldest weeks, while many individuals battle the winter bulge, utilizing The Winter Tea Collection from David’s Tea, there’s no need to feel guilty about eating the ingredients while crafting cookies or baking bread. Because tea is regularly infused in recipes, sipping while sifting sugar or drinking while deciphering directions is perfectly acceptable. Because these teas are nearly calorie free, in flavors like Cookie Dough and Banana Dream Pie, self-proclaimed chefs don’t have to worry about overstuffing themselves before bidding test subjects–ahem–guests, bon appetit. ($25.50, 1124 Third Avenue and 275 Bleecker Street, DavidsTea.com)
Movie Marathons and Cinematic Sweets
Wintertime calls for blockbuster movies, which means buckets of buttery popcorn. Theaters may have the salty snack down to a science, but there are other flavors of film’s most iconic food pairing. Perfect for holiday, Popcorn, Indiana’s Dark Fudge Peppermint Kettlecorn is all-natural, draped in dark chocolate with a cool mint kick. Other flavors fit for the snowy season include Drizzled Black & White Kettlecorn, Drizzled Cinnamon Suger Kettlecorn, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Kettlecorn. Whether taking a trip to the cinema or snuggling up for movie marathons, Popcorn, Indiana pouches are far friendlier to one’s waistline than other munchies–the brand was awarded “Best Snack” by Shape magazine. ($3.99-$4.99, Whole Foods and other grocers nationwide, PopcornIndiana.com)
Snowball fights for s’mores
What to eat after your snowball fight? Well, win or lose, STK (26 Little West 12th Street and 1114 Avenue of the Americas) has crafted STK’Mores ($11) for you. It’s a twist on the traditional chilly-weather treat with peanut butter and brownies for all to enjoy dining-in or at home:
18 oz Dark Chocolate
14 oz Butter
½ cup Cocoa powder
3 cups Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
Melt butter and chocolate together over a water bath. Whip eggs, sugar and vanilla until double in volume. Pour in melted chocolate and finally mix in the dry ingredients. Bake in a greased pan for 20 minutes.
Peanut butter Sauce
2 cups Peanut Butter
½ cup Heavy Cream
½ cup Half and Half
1/8 cup melted White Chocolate
2 tbs Honey
1 tsp Salt
Heat the heavy cream and half and half until hot, but not boiling. Stir in the white chocolate, then the peanut butter. Finally add the honey and the salt. Let it cool until firm.
¼ cup Water
2 tsp Gelatin, powder
¼ cup Water
1 cup Sugar
1/8 cup Corn syrup
2 Egg whites
In small pot, boil water. Mix in gelatin until smooth and returns to a boil. In a larger pot mix in 2nd water, sugar and corn syrup. Boil until softball (240 degrees). In a large mixer, whip whites to frothy. Add boiling gelatin, then hot syrup. Spread in a sheet tray lined with grease and dusted with cornstarch and confectionary sugar. After spreading, dust with another layer of cornstarch and 10x sugar.
Putting it all together:
Cut a slice of brownie and warm it in the oven. Once hot, pipe on an even layer of peanut butter sauce and top with pieces of marshmallow. Toast marshmallows with a brulee torch or in the broiler of the oven.
Sledding and skiing warrant warm drinks
After a day in the snow with the kids, a cocktail is in order. While cozying up to the fireplace, instead of the traditional hot coco, a Chocolate Blizzard hits the spot:
1 ½ oz Cointreau
3 oz Dark semisweet chocolate
¼ teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup Half-and-half or cream
Combine chocolate and vanilla in a double boiler. Stir until melted and smooth.
Add the half-and-half and Cointreau very slowly and do not boil. Serve with mini-marshmallows. Garnish with nutmeg.