Sunday, October 31, 2010

Caramel Apple Crumble Pie Recipe by Schy's Pies for Peace

Schy, owner of Schy's Pies for Peace, makes and sells pies in Lincoln, Nebraska, giving a portion of her earnings to non-profit organizations. She seeks to use healthy, locally grown ingredients as much as possible. She created this recipe for Caramel Apple Pie, using Butter Caramels, which are available from Licorice International.  She made this recipe without any other sweeteners besides the Butter Caramels, except for a little bit of brown sugar in the crumb topping. Butter Caramels have an excellent quality of melting, she said, and their excellent flavor give this pie a gourmet taste.  

Ingredients for whole wheat pie crust:
  • 2 ½ cups organic whole wheat pastry flour
  • 8 tablespoons cold Earth Balance Buttery Sticks or local organic sweet cream butter
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 4-5 tablespoons of ice water

Directions for Pie Crust:
The key to getting the flakiest crust as possible is using cold ingredients and cold equipment. An hour or so before starting the baking process, put the mixing bowl, flour, Buttery Sticks, and pasty blender all in the freezer. Place the flour in a large mixing bowl that you will be able to get both of your hands into while you mix the dough. Add the pinch of sea salt to flour and mix well by tossing with your hands. Cut up the Buttery Sticks into small pieces and use the pastry blender to cut the shortening into the dry ingredients until the mixture is well blended coarsely together. Add ice water to the mixture and begin mixing the dough and water together with your hands. Do not overwork the dough; it will make the crust tough. Form the dough into a ball and place in freezer while you make the pie filling. 

When you are ready to assemble the pie, lightly dust flour on two 16-inch pieces of wax paper and place the ball of dough in the middle with the floured sides of the wax paper touching each other. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin into a 13-inch in diameter circle. Once the crust is rolled out, remove the top layer of wax paper and invert the pie crust into the center of the pie pan. Once it is in the pan, remove the 2nd piece of wax paper and press the pastry into the pan. Cut the excess edges off with a sharp knife and create a design with the crust edge. (This can be done with your fingers or using a fork.) Rolling out a perfect pie crust, of course, is easier said than done, but with some practice and viewing of Martha Stewart on, you will be a pro in no time.

Ingredients for crumb topping:
  • 1 cup organic unbleached flour
  • ¾ cup organic brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons organic sweet cream butter
  • 3 tablespoons organic cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground organic ginger powder

Directions for crumb topping:
Put the flour, sugar and spices in a bowl and cut the butter into small pieces. Place the butter in the bowl with the other ingredients and use your pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Work the mixture until small crumbles form and the butter is fully mixed in.

Equipment Needed:
wax paper, pastry blender, rolling pin,  mixing bowl, sharp knife, 9 inch glass pie plate

Ingredients for Caramel Apple Crumble Pie
  • 1 premade whole wheat crust
  • 2 cups crumb topping
  • 6-8 local apples (I prefer to bake with Granny Smiths or Jonagolds)
  • 10 butter caramels cut up into small pieces
  • 3 Tbsp. organic lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder or cornstarch

Instructions for Caramel Apple Crumble Pie
First, preheat your oven to 375 and roll out crust. After you have crust rolled out and in the pie pan, place cut up caramels in the bottom of the crust. Next peel, core, and slice apples into 1 inch pieces and immediately cover in lemon juice to keep from turning brown. Next add cinnamon and cornstarch to mixture and let sit for 5 minutes.Pour the apple mixture over the caramels and place in the oven for 20 minutes without crumb topping. After 20 minutes pull the pie out of the oven and check to see that the caramel has fully melted around the apples. If so, sprinkle the crumb topping over everything. Turn your oven down to 350 and bake for an additional 30 minutes.  The crust will be a dark shade of brown and the caramel will bubble up a little through the crumb topping when the pie is finished baking. Remove pie from the oven and let cool. Enjoy this spectacular autumn treat! 
Schy works as  a women's advocate at the Friendship home, a shelter for abused women and children. During the Celebration of Motherhood Support Group at the Friendship Home, Schy had the women and children make pies together using this recipe.  
For more information about Schy's Pies for Peace, see her Facebook Page.

Friday, October 22, 2010

How to Make a Gingerbread House for Halloween using Licorice

A Halloween Gingerbread House? 

Why not? And while you're at it, why not make it a haunted gingerbread house with spooky lights shining out the windows? And of course, you'll need to use lots of licorice to decorate your haunted house.

That's what Erin, an employee at Licorice International, made this year. She used regular gingerbread pieces for the body, along with thick pretzel sticks to help support it. For a creepy looking roof, she used homemade waffle cones. To glue the pieces together, she melted sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until it turned a brownish color (330 degrees F). She simply dipped the ends in and stuck them together. Then she used the leftover sugar mixture to make dark "glass" for the windows. After putting the house together, she placed it on a tray and sprinkled crumbled Oreos around to look like dirt. (No grass in this yard.) You can add some gummy worms to the "dirt" if you wish.

Then came the fun: decorating. Erin used dipping chocolate to apply candy to the haunted house, emphasizing creepy instead of colorful. She shared the following tips, using mostly licorice from Licorice International (click on the name of the licorice to order):

Use Black Licorice Laces to wind around posts, trees, anywhere you wish. You can also use them for spider legs or witch hair.

When you unroll Black Licorice Wheels, you get double laces, which make spooky-looking windows and trim for your house.

Kenny's Black Licorice Twists work well for porch rails and make great haunted trees (just untwist the top to make branches). Then cut a Licorice Twist crosswise to make tiny spiders.

Pontefract Cakes and Batzen both work well for spider bodies.

Make tiny ghosts out of Licorice Chalk.

Beehive Honey Licorice makes a beehive on the front porch. "Instead of flowers, this house has a beehive," Erin said.

Cut a piece of Halva Licorice Bar into a doormat.

Decorate the house with Katjes Kinder (cats) and Gustaf's Platinum Select Sweet, which are shaped like goblins and witches.

To add some autumn colors, use candy corn and Reece's pieces.

Put electric lights inside for a spooky glow.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Licorice and Other Gourmet Candies for Trick or Treaters

This year, why not introduce the neighborhood kids to the great old fashioned taste of licorice?  Order from Licorice International by October 21 to make sure you get your candy in time for Halloween. Here are some wrapped licorice treats that would work great for Halloween:

Black Pipes by Leaf (from Finland). Remember buying these at the corner candy store? These pipes come individually wrapped and have that old-fashioned taste.
Click here for a box of 10
Click here for a box of 60.

Creamy Licorice Toffee from Ireland has a hint of toffee taste, making it an excellent introduction to licorice, even for those who are not sure about trying real licorice. The wonderful chewy texture makes this irresistible.
Click here for a 1/2-lb bag.
Click here for a 5-pound bag (approx. 300 pieces)
Click here for a 20-pound case (approx. 1200 pieces!)

Black Taffy. Similar to the old-fashioned Black Jack Taffy, this pink, white and black colored candy combines the flavors of anise and licorice in a soft, chewy treat.
Click here for a 1/2-pound bag.

Black Licorice Caramels. A delightful combination of chewy caramel and licorice flavor is perfect for Halloween.
Click here for a 1/4-pound bag. (Buy several to make sure you have enough.)

Licorice Starlight Mints. Also known as Licorice Pinwheels, these hard, round mints combine licorice and mint flavors for a great after-dinner taste.
Click here for a 1/2-pound bag.

Not quite courageous enough to give out licorice on Halloween?  How about these gourmet candies from Licorice International:

Butter Caramels You've got to taste these creamy butter caramels . . . there are no words to describe how good they are. Individually wrapped pieces.
Click here for a 1/4-pound bag. (Buy several to make sure you have enough.)

Glitterrati Mint Medley. This eye-catching, one-of-a-kind assortment is composed of SIX deliciously different mint candies: fourr scrumptious mint combinations (butter-mint, vanilla-mint, chocolate-mint and cinnamon-mint), plus a superb peppermint and the Chipurnoi signature mint. Only 3 calories in each piece.
Click here for a 1/4-pound package.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Licorice Ideas for Halloween Parties and Costumes

Halloween is coming, and what better way to celebrate than with licorice!  Did you know you can get gourmet licorice in some fun shapes for Halloween from Licorice International on-line? Order by October 21 to ensure delivery by Halloween. Here are some ideas for decorating and costumes.

Licorice Cats: These black cats won't scare you or bring you bad luck--just lots of real licorice flavor. Use them to decorate cookies, cupcakes or full-size cakes. Or just set them out in a bowl for munching. Available in 1/2 pound, 2.2 pound, or 6.6 pound packages

Black Licorice Laces: Need some whiskers for your black cat cake? How about some legs for your spider cupcakes? Mice ears? Just a black edge around a Halloween dessert? The possibilities are endless.  Licorice International sells Black Licorice Laces from Finland that taste amazing. Available in 4 ounce or 2 lb. packages.

Black Licorice Pipes: Does your Halloween costume need a pipe?  Just for fun, try an old-fashioned black licorice pipe. Made in Finland, home of some of the best licorice in the world, these pipes are so tasty, that you might want to bring along some extra to share. They're individually wrapped too. Available in boxes of 10 or boxes of 60.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Caramel Apples Using Butter Caramels from Licorice International

How long has it been since you've had a caramel apple? Blending the taste of fresh apples with sweet, chewy caramel is one of the delights of autumn. Making caramel apples is easier than you think. They're especially tasty with butter caramels from Licorice International.  (There's no licorice in these caramels, just delicious butter caramel.)

Here's the recipe:
  • 1 pound butter caramels from Licorice International
  • 8 medium apples
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 8 sticks
First prepare the apples by washing them and inserting a stick in each one, close to the stem. Grease a cookie sheet or 9 x 10 cake pan.

Unwrap caramels and place in microwave safe bowl. Add milk. Heat caramel and milk mixture in the microwave about two minutes, or just long enough to melt. Stir thoroughly.

Dip the apples one at a time to coat them thoroughly, letting any excess caramel drip off. Place dipped apples on greased cookie sheet. Let cool, repositioning apples several times to keep them from sticking to the surface. 

Eat and enjoy.

You can find the butter caramels here.

Treat yourself to the world's best licorice and other gourmet candies at the Licorice International website

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

These Girls Love Licorice International

Mattela, who is almost three, and Gabi, who turns five on Halloween, visited the Licorice International retail store this week. They loved tasting licorice and other candy from all over the world. Gabi (right) is holding Sour Stars, their favorite kind. Matella is holding Black Licorice Laces. Gabi wants to make spider cupcakes for her birthday party, and she plans to use the laces as spider legs.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Free Caramels With Your Licorice Order in October

Place any order online with Licorice International during October 2010, and you'll receive a package of licorice and butter caramels ABSOLUTELY FREE.

Each sample package contains three individually wrapped caramels: two licorice-flavored and one butter-flavored. They're both scrumptious!

Here's the story behind the caramels. Several years ago, a customer suggested that we offer them, promising to buy "pounds and pounds" if we stocked them. She included a sample and once we tasted them, we were hooked!

We couldn't forget the delicious combination of a creamy texture and a great licorice flavor. And then we tasted the butter caramels. Yum!

These are no ordinary caramels. They're bigger and better and creamier than most and each one is individually wrapped in clear paper. Order today and we'll send you this FREE SAMPLE PACKAGE OF CREAMY LICORICE AND BUTTER CARAMELS.

Order today! And treat yourself to the world’s best licorice.

Sample packages are shipped to the same location as the order.

If you send a gift, the gift recipient receives the sample package.

Offer applies to INTERNET AND PHONE ORDERS ONLY. Does not apply to shop purchases.

Stay tuned for a great recipe for caramel apples using the butter caramels.

Click here to order from Licorice International

Friday, October 1, 2010

National Boss Day October 16 - Time to Order Licorice

October 16 is National Boss Day.  Does your boss like licorice?  Get your coworkers to chip in for a Licorice-of-the-Month Club from Licorice International, and have it sent to the office. Maybe your boss will share. You can choose from Black Licorice Club, Red and Black Club, or the new Sampler Club. Click here to order, or go to the Licorice International website and search for Club.

For a one-time gift, consider a Licorice Basket (pictured below) or Licorice Sampler.

Your boss doesn't like licorice?  How about giving the new fruit flavored Jelly Cubes or the tiny (and tasty) Glitterati Mint Medley candies in six flavors. Click here to see all the new offerings from Licorice International.

Order by October 7 to ensure delivery by October 16th.