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Bon Bons!

Relaxing on the couch eating bon bons….That’s what we do, right?   Not a chance.  But we do DESERVE bon bons, and why not eat them on the couch?!

What is a bon bon anyway?  It’s not a truffle – A truffle is a chocolate-based confection, usually a ganache base rolled in cocoa or finely chopped nuts.  Bon bons, on the other hand, are not chocolates to begin with; they are sweet confections that can stand alone, but instead get dipped in chocolate at the very end of the candy making process. This creates a thin layer of chocolate around the candy instead of the thicker shell commonly associated with truffles.

The name bon bons stems from the French word “bon”, which means “good”.  Think: Bon Voyage (have a good trip/voyage), Bon Appétit (have a good meal/appetite). Put a “bon” and a “bon” together and you’ve got something doubly good – a goody goody!  I couldn’t agree more.

And now joining the bon bon menu are three new flavors – cookie dough, coconut and coffee.

And yes, they taste the best while relaxing on the couch with your feet up…..

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I used to love twinkies….and ding dongs…and, well, almost anything sweet and stuffed to the brim with artificial flavoring and preservatives.  But now, as a mom and a baker, when I look at snack cakes, I get grossed out looking at the lengthy list of ingredients that no one I know can pronounce.

So, I decided to turn those childhood favorites into cupcakes.  Twinkies became a delicate yellow cake with light and airy marshmallow filling.  Ding Dongs became a dark, rich devil’s food cake with marshmallow filling, topped with chocolate ganache and those signature white squiggles.  Both super yummy, and while not exactly health food, MUCH better for you than the real thing.

I had never filled a cupcake before, but it was fun!  Well, the first attempt was a disaster – filling oozing out all over the place.  Not pretty, but my kids and I had no problem eating the mistake.  Now, I’ve got it figured out, and want to do some more!

So, creative friends, what other fillings shall I try, and with what cakes?  Chocolate cake with peanut butter filling?  Carrot cake with cream cheese filling?  What delectable combination shall I try next?

How fantastic!  I never knew there was such a designation, but I certainly know how much I love ice cream.  Ice cream sundaes, ice cream shakes, ice cream floats, ice cream cakes…..

In 1984, Ronald Reagan declared July as National Ice Cream Month, and the 3rd Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day.

To celebrate ice cream, I am creating some new cupcakes inspired by my favorite ice cream flavors.  Cookies n’ Cream cupcakes (vanilla cupcakes with chunks of cookies, fluffy buttercream frosting and an Oreo sticking out), dulce de leche (chocolate cupcakes with a caramel filling and caramel drizzled on top)…..ooh, I am getting hungry just thinking about the possibilities.

What are your favorite ice cream flavors?  Maybe your fave will become the best cupcake, ever!

Did you know that Neiman Marcus sells cheesecake pops?  I didn’t, but now that I do, I think I may just have to start working on making such a delicacy.  A cheesecake bon bon sounds deliciously decadent to me – cheesecake and chocolate in a bite size treat, stored in the fridge, cool and creamy and perfect?  Wow.

I never even considering putting my bon bons on sticks, but maybe I should do that as well.  What do you think?

Loving Linda

So, my good friend Lisa just lost her dog, Vishy, to cancer.  Lisa and Vishy had a super close relationship, and when Lisa learned of the diagnosis, her friend Linda Crayton came to take some special pictures of the two of them.  When I saw the pictures, my heart got all warm and fuzzy – Linda truly captured Vishy’s spirit and Lisa’s love.

Last week I got to spend a morning with Linda during a Treats photo shoot –  – Not only is Linda unbelievably talented, but she’s funny, and nice, and genuine.  And the pictures she took are fantastic.  Will they warm your heart like the pictures of Vishy?  No.  But they very well might make you hungry.  Check them out!

And check out Linda at LindaCrayton.com – I promise that you will dig her as much as I do.

I’m trying to rename my cakeballs. They originally WERE cakeballs – that is, cake, mixed with frosting, then shaped into balls and dipped in chocolate. But now, what I offer is different – not a cake at all. And dare I say better.
More like a truffle, but not quite a truffle. Picture a fudgy center drenched in milk or dark chocolate and then swizzled with even more chocolate. And then there are two peanut butter versions – one soft, one more “butterfingery” (I know…that is not a word, but it’s a darn good description). So, what would you call them?

Since they’re temperature sensitive, I haven’t yet figured out how to ship these. But if you suggest the winning name, and you’re local, you shall receive a dozen as a prize!

Friends,

Come see me this Sunday, May 23rd, from 1-4pm at Saint Stephen’s and Saint Agnes Upper School (1000 St. Stephen’s Road, Alexandria) – I will be there in support of the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation, a wonderful foundation set up in memory of a 7 year old student who died of cancer last fall.

What to expect on Sunday – It’s a walk AND a family fun event filled with balloon animals, crafts, a rock climbing wall, great raffle prizes and a magic show. You can pre-register for the event at http://www.mattiemiracle.com/Cancer_Walk.html, or just register at the event on Sunday.

Come visit me, buy a treat, and support pediatric cancer research and the families who have been affected by the disease. If you can’t come to the event, just mention Mattie’s name when placing any Treats order between now and July 1st, and I will donate 10% to the Foundation.

I love baking, obviously. But baking for such a fantastic cause raises it to a whole new level, and I hope that you will support Mattie and much needed cancer research.

Sweetly,
Erica