Traverse City Record-Eagle

Rebecca Lindamood: Foodie With Family

December 13, 2010

Foodie with Family: Indulge sweet tooth

I have a child with an incurable sweet tooth. When overnighting at his grandmother's last December, he single-handedly defeated an entire platter of frosted cookies. For his birthday feast, he requested pancakes with syrup, finger gelatin, apples with caramel dip and scrambled eggs. (?!?) At our recent Christmas craft event with the kids' friends, he chose only edible crafts: emphasis on the sweet edible crafts. After the projects were done, I spied his little mitts clawing at plates of cookies, brownies and fudge while I was much too far away to stop him. I'm pretty sure he's sweet enough to ferment at this point. This might explain his effervescent personality.

Most of the year, I am on sentry duty preventing said youngster from sugar-toothing himself into trouble; carrot sticks, hummus, hard-boiled eggs and peanut butter abound. This time of year, however, I'm a little more lenient. The stockings will be stuffed with cheese crackers, pretzels, fun pencils, Matchbox cars, a fistful of bite-sized chocolate bars and a candy cane. Homemade sweets will fill plates from now 'til New Year's. If the little sugar bomb plunks down next to me on my chair and snitches from my teacup — an urge he has been known to indulge — he might just find me sipping on English Toffee Steamers. This is, quite possibly, the most sumptuous thing ever to happen to a cuppa black tea. If tea isn't your (ahem) cup of tea, stir this glorious sweet crème into hot chocolate or coffee, or splash a bit of rum in with hot water for Hot Buttered Rum. (Psst. I've filled shortbread sandwich cookies with this to rave reviews.)

While you're at it, how about whipping together a batch of homemade marshmallow crème? It is so easy and eliminates all the nasty preservatives and additives that you find in many commercially available versions. As with most homemade counterparts to commercial products, it just plain tastes better, too. Use it on hot chocolate, on peanut butter sandwiches, in fudge, or any other place you would use purchased marshmallow crème. The shelf life is much better in the freezer, and it is easily used from a frozen state, so my recommendation is to stash it in the deep chill chest.

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