|With the first shoots of green grass appearing in our lawns up here in the Northeast, we’re thinking of springtime holidays and spending more time out- doors. This month we’re recommending a moist carrot muffin with an almond twist; there is marzipan in the batter. (The mini carrot garnish is there for those who want to spend a little extra time, but not fuss.) And our dense hazelnut and chocolate truffle would make a treat suitable for any seasonal celebration.|
| FROM OUR RECIPE BOX – Carrot Marzipan Muffins These moist carrot muffins strike just the right note of sweetness with a hint of almond from grated marzipan in the batter. The secret to a tender muffin is in the mixing, only enough just to moisten the ingredients. The miniature marzipan carrots add a welcome flourish. Enlist older children to help shape the mini veggies. Kids (and adults) will have as much fun making them as eating them.
| FROM OUR RECIPE BOX – Hazelnut Chocolate Ginger Truffles
A rich truffle is an elegant end to any meal or a house gift that is deceptively simple to prepare. The flavor of our Hazelnut Praline adds a pronounced nutty undertone and the crystallized ginger punches up the flavor of these little gems. This recipe calls for 70% chocolate, which refers to the cocoa solids in the chocolate. (A higher percentage of cocoa solids means a darker, richer-tasting chocolate, the kind used by professional confectioners.) Quality bittersweet chocolate from a brand such as Callebaut, Ghirardelli, Green and Black or Valhrona will work well here.
(Here is a memorable way to use a small amount of hazelnut praline you may have left over from another recipe.) This recipe is adapted from one attributed to chocolatier Jacques Bockel, who runs two chocolate shops in the Alsace region of France. To see his delectable creations, visit his site.