Thanksgiving Desserts: Caramel Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe

This recipe is courtesy of Coombs Family Farms.

3/4 cup Coombs Family Farms 100% pure organic maple syrup
1 T water
4 T butter, chilled
2 T heavy cream
6 T butter melted
1 cup sugar
4 golden delicious apples, peeled, seeded and quartered
1 box puff pastry dough, cut into an 8” circle
Vanilla ice cream

Caramel Apple Tarte Tatin
photo courtesy of Coombs Family Farms
Pre-heat oven to 350 F

To make caramel sauce:
In a small pot, combine maple syrup and water. Without stirring, heat over medium high heat until syrup boils and turns to a dark brown. Remove from heat and stir in butter and cream. Be careful as the syrup may be hot and may splatter with the addition of the butter and cream. Pour mixture into an 8-inch cake pan.

To make apple filling:
In a medium bowl, combine sugar, butter, and apples. Place apples in heavy baking pan, over syrup mixture. Place puff pastry circle on top of apples; prick with fork. Bake for 25 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove from oven and carefully remove puff pastry. Set puff pastry aside. Put baking pan (with apple mixture) over medium heat and simmer until the juices have completely evaporated. Watch constantly so it doesn’t scorch.

To finish the tarte tatin:
Put puff pastry back on top of apples and flip pan onto large round platter. Remove pan. Slice and serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

About Coombs Family Farms:
100% pure maple has been a way of life at Coombs Family Farms for seven generations (since 1840). Since 1988, Coombs Family Farms has produced certified organic maple syrup. A champion of small family farming, Coombs Family Farms also sources 100% pure organic certified maple from other small, independent farmers who share the Coombs commitment to quality, environmental stewardship, and sustainable forestry management. To learn more, please visit or view their videos on Youtube.

Thanksgiving Recipes: Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwich

We’ve all heard of Christmas in July, well what about summer in November? This holiday season bring back the warmth of summer, or the thought of it, with everyone’s favorite treat… ice cream! This recipe and picture are courtesy of Executive Chef Denise Baron of Burtons Grill. She has created the Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwich, available at Burtons Grill the upscale casual eatery located in Boston’s Fenway District, beginning November 1st through the winter season. Topped with a warm Pumpkin Caramel Sauce, the Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwiches are a yummy treat that combines the sentiment of summer with the tastes of the season. This frozen treat is sure to melt away the winter blues.

Gingerbread Ice Cream SandwichGingerbread Brownies

3 cups Flour
2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 tsp Ginger, ground
2 tsp Cinnamon, ground
1 tsp Clove, ground
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, Melted
2/3 cup Molasses
4 ea Eggs
Unsalted Butter for greasing tray
6 oz Pumpkin Ice cream

Half Sheet Tray
2 Stainless Steel Bowls
Rubber Spatula
Measuring cups and spoons
Ice cream Scoop
Oz Scale
Plastic Wrap

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, clove and baking soda together in a bowl.In a separate bowl mix the butter, molasses and eggs.
Pour the butter mixture into the flour bowl and incorporate with rubber spatula.
Stir until the consistency is thick- be sure not to over mix.
Grease a baking sheet with unsalted butter.
Pour batter into sheet tray and using rubber spatula evenly spread over entire half sheet tray.
Bake in a 350° oven for 16 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.
Once cooled, cut edges off brownie in the pan. Then cut into 3 x 8 squares to get 24 pieces.
Cut the brownies in half horizontally with serrated knife.
Working quickly place 2.5 oz pumpkin ice cream on each the brownies.
Place the top on and press down. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap and freeze immediately.  You might want to have a friend help wrap while you put ice cream in sandwich!
Store in the freezer for a yummy snack.

Pumpkin Caramel Sauce

2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
1/2 tsp lemon juice
8 oz salted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Measuring Cups
5 qt Sauce Pan
Metal 1/3 Pan
Pound Scale

In 5 qt heavy sauce pan, mix sugar, water and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Let simmer without stirring.While sugar mixture is simmering, heat cream, butter and pumpkin pie spice in the microwave until it is hot, not boiling (180˚). When sugar mixture starts to show a little bit of color, watch closely.  Continue to simmer until the mixture turns a medium golden brown color. NOT TOO DARK. Turn off flame and add butter and cream, whisking consistently. Be careful of the steam.Transfer to a metal 1/3 pan and cool at room temperature, not in an ice bath.

The Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwich is available at Burtons Grill, located at 1363 Boylston Street, Boston, Ma 02215. Burtons Grill hours are as follows– Mon – Thu: 11:30 am – 10 pm, Fri – Sat: 11:30 am – 11 pm. It is only available November 1st through the winter season! For more information about this seasonal delight, contact Burtons Grill at 617.236.2236 or visit the Burtons website at

Chocolate Manufacturers – Guide for Chocoholics – Chocolate Inked Sweet Shoppe

We have featured Chocolate Inked Sweet Shoppe in our Chocolate Manufacturers – Guide for Chocoholics.

ciss_trufflesChocolate Inked Sweet Shoppe is located in the historic Village of Metamora, MI. Metamora dates back to the 1800’s and is also known as “horse country.” The building that CISS is located in was built over 150 years ago and has quite a history. It was recently purchased by friends and has been in the process of a complete renovation, the chocolate shoppe is located in the back half of the building. The outside of the building is in the process of being completed now, though when you walk into the shoppe  you will be taken back to years gone by. It gives you a quaint, warm and cozy feeling when you see the signature colors of teal and brown. The fireplace will make you want to sit at one of three tables that remind you of a old fashioned ice cream shoppe. You can enjoy the warmth of the shoppe as you wit with your laptop to access the only shoppe in the village with WiFi or you can relax as you watch a favorite program on the large plasma T.V. 
Sharon and Kevin make a variety of handmade chocolates, which include their signature handmade salted caramels, molded caramels, molded chocolates, truffles, specialty chocolates, nutty and krispy barks, dipped nuts, fruits, pretzels, cookies, and so much more. They offer muffins, cookies, brownies, cupcakes, and even Sharon’s signature cake that will truly bring you back. The signature cake can be ordered in any flavor with infused ganache, a chocolate whipped cream, or a fruit filling. Each cake is then drizzled with dark, milk and white chocolates. It is a mouth watering cake that will have you wanting more. “CISS” also does gift baskets for all occasions. One unique product that they have is chocolates that can be printed with photos, logos, and text. These chocolates are not made by Sharon and Kevin, they are made by their supplier in a nut free facility. They do personalized chocolates for all occasions, weddings, graduations, birthdays, funerals, etc. “CISS” also offers Cook’s Farm Dairy Ice Cream. Cook’s is a  working dairy farm and is well known in the Metamora area. You can order ice cream cones, handmade waffle cones and bowls that are dipped in chocolate, great tasting shakes, smoothies, sundaes, parfaits. Coffee, sweet tea, lemonade, canned soda, bottled water are other items that are available. You never know what may be available on any given day, there is always something different.
cissChocolate Inked has a website for the personalized chocolates and you can call them with any questions and to place your orders. You can access the website at:
You will be pleasantly surprised when you enter the world of “CISS.”  With a tag line of “Have you been CISS’d today?” first time customers will leave with a special chocolate “CISS” so that they too,  “Have been CISS’d today!”
Chocolate Inked Sweet Shoppe
70 E. High St.
Metamora, MI. 48455
Fax: 810-678-2022

“Toffee to Go” Giveaway – NOW CLOSED

The Toffee To Go Story

When Lisa first tasted the traditional Schalk toffee she thought it was so incredible she told her husband, Jim, they had to learn how to make it immediately. Jim and Lisa spent hours learning the family recipe and after many attempts they had it mastered. They made a few alterations to the original recipe and what started out as a yummy treat for their friends and family has become Toffee To Go-home of “incredible handmade toffee.”

During the holidays, Jim and Lisa cooked their handmade almond toffee for family, friends and neighbors. It wasn’t long before their toffee became a popular topic of conversation and many of their friends hoped to be included on their Christmas toffee giving list. In 1997, their friend, Debbie Jackson, suggested the couple sell their incredible handmade toffee.

photo courtesy of Toffee to Go
photo courtesy of Toffee to Go

Jim and Lisa first started selling their toffee in 1998 to friends who had their own holiday gift giving needs. That year, Lisa also started selling the toffee at local Christmas shows. To their surprise, the first year they sold over 125 pounds of their gourmet treat. The next holiday season they were asked back to every Christmas show, and many new clubs and organizations were asking them to display and sell their toffee.

Jim and Lisa realized in 2002 that the demand for their toffee was getting too large for them to continue to sell out of their home. They decided to incorporate and expand into a commercial kitchen. Again, it wasn’t long before Jim and Lisa realized they needed more than just the commercial kitchen: they also needed a packaging and shipping area. They moved into their first commercial location in July of 2004 and opened a small retail shop on November 23, 2004.

With the incorporation in 2002 , and business thriving, the couple knew their delicious toffee was more than just a treat for the holidays. After adding two new packaging options, they quickly moved into the corporate gift segment, selling their toffee year round. Local corporations were ordering the Tampa Treasure for client and employee gifts and receiving rave reviews. Back then, Jim, did all the cooking and Lisa did the packing and shipping. Now, companies all over the country are ordering Toffee To Go and Jim still cooks and oversees the production staff and Lisa handles sales and marketing.

Whether customers need holiday gifts, business gifts, corporate gifts, party favors or just a treat for themselves, Jim and Lisa have a delectable selection of toffee available. They take pride in the fact that no preservatives are added to their toffee and that it is still made by hand in small batches. Lisa and Jim love the candy business and they are ready to serve you at Toffee To Go!

toffeetogo.comAbout their flavors:

Toffee to Go has a thin layer of chocolate so the incredible rich buttery flavor comes through on every bite. Toffee to Go has three fabulous melt in your mouth flavors. All three are made by first blending sweet creamery butter with pure cane sugar to create a rich, bubbling aromatic mixture. Their mouth-watering milk chocolate almond toffee has an abundance of roasted almonds and a thin layer of pure milk chocolate. Their decadent dark chocolate pecan toffee is paved with pecans and covered with a thin layer of pure semi-sweet chocolate. Their wonderful white chocolate macadamia nut toffee has mouthfuls of macadamia nuts and is covered with a thin layer of white chocolate. The final sprinkling of chopped walnuts on each flavor completes the transformation into a decadent gourmet treat!

Toffee to Go has several packaging options. From their signature gold boxes and tins, to bright colorful options that can all be imprinted with corporate logos or event names for branding purposes, Toffee to Go has sizes and styles to fit every budget and occasion. Of course, the best part is knowing that the recipient will remember your gift of Toffee to Go long after the last bite is gone.

Discount CODE for readers: CAFE20. This code will give you a generous 20% discount on the 8oz gold Toffee to Go boxes.  It expires on Sept. 30, 2009.

The Giveaway

This giveaway is open to US residents only.

Toffee to Go will give away three (3) of their 8 oz. Assorted Flavor boxes of Toffee to Go. That way the winners can sample each of Toffee to Go’s incredible flavors!

How to enter (required): Visit and then come back and leave a comment telling us the name of your favorite product!

For additional entries (leave a new comment for each additional entry):
– one additional entry if you become our fan on FACEBOOK;
– one additional entry if you grab our button from the sidebar and post it on your blog, please post the link;
– one additional entry if you follow us on Twitter;
– one additional entry if you send a tweet about this giveaway (once a day only); make sure to include @1happyblogger. You may use the following to tweet: @1happyblogger For a chance to win some toffee, go to
– one additional entry if you fave us in Technorati;
– one additional entry if you blog about this Giveaway with a link back to and
– one additional entry if you follow via email.


The giveaway ends on Sept. 9, 2009 at the end of day, Pacific Standard Time. Toffee to Go will ship the prizes.

*Please make sure you leave a comment for each additional entry so you get credited.
*Also, please make sure you typed in the correct email address.
*The winners will be announced via e-mail and have 2 days to get back to us or other names will be chosen.
*Incomplete entries will be disqualified & deleted.

Chocolate Manufacturers – Guide for Chocoholics – Bake Me A Wish!

We featured Bake Me A Wish! in our Chocolate Manufacturers – Guide for Chocoholics.

Bake Me  A Wish, cake, gourmet food, gift, overnight

Founded in 2004, Bake Me A Wish! is a premiere on-line bakery offering handmade cakes based on award-winning family recipes.  Perfected by master pastry chefs and using the freshest and most decadent ingredients available, the cakes are priced between $20 and $66,  including shipping.  The fresh and mouth-watering delights arrive beautifully packaged in a customized box with a personal note.

Bake Me A Wish!icon has unveiled its Holiday Gift Cakes 2009icon.  Now you can celebrate the season by sending delicious cakes to your family, friends, clients and colleagues!  All of the cakes are decorated with an imported Belgian chocolate plaque, a “season’s greetings” salutation and are specially packaged in an elegant gift box to guarantee freshness. For corporate clients, Bake Me A Wish includes a customized gift card with the company’s logo accompanied by a personal message of gratitude. Best of all, Bake Me A Wish!icon cakes are both kosher and certified by Chof-K, perfect for this holiday gift giving season.

Here a few of the Holiday Gift Cakes 2009 offered that are under $35:

iconCaramel Apple Crumb Cake

A moist golden cake layered with apples, cinnamon and topped with a layer of thick, delicious, tender streusel.

Then, a layer of creamy caramel is drizzled on top.

Serves 6-8 people (7” diameter)

Price: $29.99

iconCookies and Cream Cake

A moist and fudgy brownie cake topped with crunchy chocolate sandwich cookie pieces .

Topped with a festive drizzle of white chocolate.

Serves 6-8 people (7” diameter)

Price: $34.99

iconDouble Fudge Crunch

A moist and fudgy brownie cake enrobed with mouth-watering chocolate chip and cinnamon oat streusel, with ribbons of dark chocolate glaze.


Individual Serving (4” diameter)

Price: $15.00

To order your gourmet cake gift or to inquire about Bake Me A Wish’s corporate loyalty programs, please call 888-987-9474.

Chocolate Manufacturers – Guide for Chocoholics – Recchiuti Confections

We featured Recchiuti Confections in our Chocolate Manufacturers – Guide for Chocoholics.

michaelAbout Recchiuti Confections:

Consuming about 11 pounds of the stuff per person every year, America eats and drinks all manner of chocolate, from the mass-marketed all-American candy bars to the imported bonbons and truffles of Belgium and France. Using words like “seductive,” “sensual,” and “decadent,” Americans claim chocolate as their favorite flavor when it comes to desserts. All this, yet most people in the United States are only familiar with super-sweet “snacking” chocolate, and have very little exposure to premium, dark chocolate and its myriad varieties and complex flavor profiles. Enter Recchiuti Confections, an artisan company in San Francisco on a mission to introduce consumers to “real” chocolate and to share with people what it was meant to be. There’s no going back – one bite of these handcrafted morsels will change the way you think about chocolate forever.

Recchiuti Confections was created by Michael Recchiuti and his wife Jacky Recchiuti in 1997. Michael, a self-trained chocolatier, spent many years in the test kitchen experimenting with herbal and other infusions before finally brining his creations to the masses. He founded Recchiuti Confections with the idea that once you introduce truly exquisite chocolates to people, they will be won over instantly and forever. Then, as now, he achieved those exquisite chocolates by painstakingly selecting each ingredient – all natural – that would go into the final creation. Michael is constantly on the lookout for the freshest herbs and spices that make Recchiuti Confections a necessary indulgence and have made them an obsession to consumers nationwide.

About the products:

Everything at Recchiuti Confections is handmade in small batches using traditional European techniques.

Over time, other confections were added to the Recchiuti repertoire including dessert sauces that taste as good straight from the jar as they do over ice cream, over-sized gourmet chocolate bars, heavenly Fudge Brownies, chocolate-coated Key Lime Pears and a do-it-yourself S’mores Kit. Here are two of their most popular products:

recchiuti confectionsCreativity Explored Box III (3.5 oz, 8 pieces) $21 **This is a gift that gives back!**
Recchiuti Confections released brand new collection of art-adorned chocolates. The third in the Creativity Explored series features the work of Vincent Jackson, Bay Area artist and long-time CE studio contributor. Pieces of Burnt Caramel chocolate serve as tiny canvases inspiring the artist to create something compelling, beautiful and delicious. 
Your purchase of the Creativity Explored series helps the organization continue its work. each sale goes to Creativity Explored, a nonprofit visual arts center where artists with developmental disabilities create, exhibit, and sell art.


recchiuti confectionsBlack Box (16 pieces; 8 ounces) $44
A chocolate assortment containing Tarragon Grapefruit, Burnt Caramel, Lavender Vanilla, Sur de Lago, Lemon Verbena, Spring Jasmine Tea, Pearl Mint Tea and Star Anise & Pink Peppercorn, Ginger Heart, Force Noir, Kona Coffee, Sesame Nougat, Rose Caramel, Candied Orange Peel, Bergamot Tea and Piedmont Hazelnut.

In 2005 Michael’s book Chocolate Obsession (Stewart, Tabori & Chang), co-authored with renowned pastry expert Fran Gage, was released to wide acclaim; the book was a finalist at the 2006 James Beard Awards and won high honors for photography and design at the 2006 International Association of Culinary Professionals annual conference.

Recchiuti creations have received praise from hundreds of upscale consumer publications, critics and the food and wine industry in general. Currently, new chocolates and confections are being developed with Michael finding new ways to make the chocolate consuming public happy and…obsessed.


In 2003, Recchiuti Confections opened its first retail store in San Francisco’s Ferry Building Marketplace; the renovated historic building has become a mecca for the artisan food community and a destination point for food lovers everywhere. Meanwhile, chocolate lovers across the U.S. are able to purchase online at

Banana Chocolate Pancakes with Caramel Sauce Recipe

Preparation Time: approx. 30 minutes
Cooking Time: approx. 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 10-12,depending on size

banana pancakesIngredients:
– 250ml (1 cup) cake flour
– 15ml (1 TBLSP) baking powder
– 2ml (1/2 tsp) cinnamon
– 2ml (i/2 tsp) salt
– 45ml (3 TBLSP) castor sugar
– 2 eggs
– 1 banana,mashed
– 125ml (1/2 cup) dark chocolate,chopped
– 15ml (1 TBLSP)melted butter
– 150ml (1/2 cup+ 2 TBLSP) milk

1. Sift flour. baking powder,cinnamon and salt into a bowl and add sugar.
2. Beat in eggs and nestle cream.
3. Stir in banana and chocolate….leave to stand for 15 mins.
4. Lightly oil a heavy based frying pan and place on med. heat.
5. when hot, drop spoonful of batter onto the pan and cook until bubbles appear on the surface and underneath is golden brown.
6. Turn over and cook the other side.
7. Serve with caramel sauce or sauce of your choice.

To make the sauce :
Simply heat the nestle treat in a saucepan with the milk,stirring, until heated through and sauce is of pouring consistency.


Mother’s Day Fairytale Brownies Giveaway – CLOSED

To celebrate Mother’s Day, we are hosting a Fairytale Brownies Giveaway! 

A couple of weeks ago, we had the priviledge of interviewing Mrs. Eileen Spitalny, the co-founder of Fairytale Brownies. You can read it here.

On April 20, Fairytale Brownies will be featured on “Unwrapped” (Food Network); to celebrate this event they offer FREE SHIPPING – use coupon code unwrapped.brownies

Fairytale Brownies has generously offered a box of Mother’s Day Wishes Medley for this Giveaway. This delightful mix includes a box of Fairytale Wishes® gourmet soft caramels, 6 Magic Morsels, 3 brownies and 6 Fairytale Sprites packed in a gorgeous Mother’s Day gift box.

If you can’t wait or would like to purchase this gift for someone else, please visit

This giveaway is open to US residents only.

How to enter (required): Visit and then come back and leave a comment telling us the name of the product you would buy for your mother or a mother you know.

NOTE: If, due to high traffic, you run into problems at, please try again later. We have no control over it – to correct the problem. Thank you for being patient and understanding.

For additional entries (leave a new comment for each additional entry):
– one additional entry if you grab our button from the sidebar and post it on your blog, please post the link;
– one additional entry if you follow us on Twitter;
– one additional entry if you send a tweet about this giveaway, please post the link (once a day only);
– one additional entry if you fave us in Technorati;
– one additional entry if you StumbleUpon our Founder;
– one additional entry if you blog about this Giveaway with a link back to and
– one additional entry if you follow via email.


The giveaway ends on May 5, 2009 at 8pm, Pacific Standard Time. Fairytale Brownies will ship the prize.

*Please make sure you leave a comment for each additional entry so you get credited.
*Also, please make sure you typed in the correct email address.
*The winner will be announced via e-mail and has 2 days to get back to us or other name will be chosen.

Thank you Fairytale Brownies!!:) Good luck, brownie lovers!:)


RESULTS: This giveaway is now closed. Thank you everybody for participating. It’s been really fun reading your messages. Unfortunately, we have only one prize and it goes to:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2009-05-06 07:16:00 UTC

Congratulations, Carol! Happy Mother’s Day to everybody!