BWAV Fave: Nuts.com (Try Their Nuts!)

nuts4I don’t remember how I first discovered Nuts.com, but all I can say is I’m glad I did. I *think* I went out looking for pine nuts and stumbled upon Nuts.com, but I can’t remember at this point.  What’s important is that this is one of my very favorite online vendors to do business with!

They not only sell nuts, but also dried fruit, trail mix, candy, grains, baking supplies… a ton of stuff!  I’ve ordered a little bit of everything from there over the last year or so:  various nuts and seeds, brown sugar, dried mango, colored Jordan almonds, and most recently a huge assortment of red and green candy for a holiday “candy buffet” I’m hosting.

I want to give credit where credit is due.  Most importantly, their stuff is always fresh. nuts1 SUPER fresh.  The dried fruits are soft and chewy, the nuts taste like they just came out of a roaster, and the candy is never stale.  They stand behind their freshness guarantee so I know if I ever do get anything that’s not fresh, they will make it right.

What is almost as important is their shipping speed.  They tend to ship your order the same day unless you’re ordering really late.  I am in North Carolina and my orders always arrive in two days.

nuts2Another plus is the quality of their chocolate.  OMG it is absolutely delicious.  It is some of the best chocolate I’ve ever eaten, especially for the price.  Try the “Ultimate Malted Milkballs.”  You will love ’em!

And that brings me to their prices–they are very reasonable.  And, if you order more than $59 worth you get free shipping.  Go ahead and order that much–try a little of everything–and order some sample packsnuts3 which are a great deal to try new foods!  So far with every order I’ve placed over $59, I have also received a free sample pack  of something new to try!

They make custom gift-trays, as well as custom trail mixes.  You really have to see this store to believe it!  I am truly impressed with www.Nuts.com

Just Shoot Me

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Key lime dessert shooters.

I am obsessed with the idea of doing dessert shooters this year for the holidays.  Instead of making a whole pie or cake, I can make these little 2 ounce mini versions of dessert that I think we’ll all enjoy, and, they will be easier on the waistline.

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Little 2 ounce dessert shooter cups. Don’t they look like mini trifle bowls?

I’m getting these little 2 ounce cups from the Webstaurant Store.  They are rather elegant looking, I think.  And some disposable tasting spoons that look like they are made of silver.  Fewer dishes to wash means a happier me after the party is over.  This kind of stuff doesn’t “go bad” and will keep in the pantry forever, so I can use them for future parties, too.

So the question is how to make them, and I think I’ve figured that part out, which I’m going to share with you here today.  My plan is to make two kinds–a key lime and a chocolate chili.  I love chocolate with chili in it and it will be something unexpected!  Here’s how to do each one:

Key Lime Dessert Shooters

Because these cups are plastic, the dessert has to be no-bake.  My plan is to layer the cups with graham cracker crumbs and butter, filling, lime curd and whipped cream.  Here’s the recipe for all that:

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, finely ground.  (My favorite brand is Trader Joe’s, they have an amazing taste!)
  • 1/2 cup of finely ground roasted pecans OR cashews.
  • 1/2 stick of butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.  The mixture should be like the consistency of wet sand.  Put a spoon full in the bottom  of each shooter cup, and gently  tamp it down with a muddler to make a nicely packed crust.
Filling
  • 12 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp Nellie & Joe’s key lime juice
  • finely-grated zest of 2 limes
  • 4 ounces of whipped cream

Topping

  • 1 can aerosol whipped cream
Combine these ingredients and beat on high speed until light and fluffy.  Taste… if it’s not limey enough add in more lime zest!  Put filling in a piping bag (you can use a ziplock bag–just cut the corner of it off to pipe the filling) and fill each cup about 3/4.  Sprinkle in some more of the crust mixture to create a layer of texture, then add a dollop of the canned whipped cream on top.  You can garnish with green sugar if you like, or, some finely shaved lime zest.
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Chocolate Chili dessert shooters.

 

Chocolate Chili Shooters

The approach to these will be very similar to the key lime shooters.  I’ll be creating a cookie crust layer and a chocolate mousse layer, then topping it with whipped cream.

 

Chocolate Cookie Crust

  • 2 cups of chocolate wafer cookie crumbs, finely ground.
  • 1/2 stick of butter, melted
Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.  Put a spoon full in the bottom  of each shooter cup, and tamp it down with a muddler to make a nicely packed crust.
Chocolate Chili Mousse Filling
  • 6 oz semi sweet chocolate (3/4 cup if using chocolate chips)
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground chilis (I am not sure if I will use adobo or chipotle, but definitely will not use anything like habanero or ghost pepper!)

Topping

  • 1 can aerosol whipped cream

Melt chocolate in a double boiler over medium low heat. Once melted, remove chocolate from heat to cool.

While the chocolate is cooling, whip the cream to stiff peaks. In a separate, large bowl, whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Then, with the mixer running, slowly add the sugar and continue to whip to medium peaks.

Add the chili powder and about 1/4 of the whipped cream to the melted, cooled chocolate and stir vigorously until combined and completely smooth.

Add the chocolate mixture to the egg whites and fold in gently. Add the remaining whipped cream to the chocolate and egg white mixture and gently fold to incorporate.

Put the mousse in a piping bag (you can use a ziplock bag–just cut the corner of it off to pipe the filling) and fill each cup about 1/2 way.  Put a layer of cookie crumbs in, then another layer of mousse, more cookies, then top with a squirt of whipped cream.  Garnish with finely shaved chocolate or even mini chocolate chips.

You’ll notice I’ve posted pictures of shooters I haven’t actually made yet.  Click here to see the “real” finished product!