Toffee apples a sweet idea


November 27, 1994|By Karol V. Menzie

You may have seen them on one of the shopping networks: Gorgeous, luscious chocolate- or caramel-covered apples studded with nuts or candy, delicious treats you can feel somewhat good about. (Hey, there's an apple underneath.) Appealing, but at $30 or so each, not exactly affordable. However, folks in Baltimore can get spectacular toffee apples for a fraction of that price -- as well as other treats, such as chocolate-covered spoons for stirring into coffee, gourmet coffees and chocolate-covered berries.

The apples come from Lisa Anne's Toffee Apple company at Meadow Mill. Lisa Anne Portera says the idea of selling the apples came to her one day when she was riding in a car.

She told a friend, "I can really imagine a tart apple covered with candy that really enhances the flavor, wrapped in cellophane and tied with a bow -- I got that detailed."

Ms. Portera uses local pick-your-own Granny Smith apples and covers them with toffee and candy. The finished confection is about 5 or 6 inches in diameter. The apples cost $6.95 each. Chocolate coffee spoons come in five flavors and cost from $1.25 to $1.50. Ms. Portera also does gift baskets and oversize latte cups.

The items are available at the company, 3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 21211, and at local stores, such as Vaccaro's, Night Goods, Greetings & Readings, and Coffee Coffee in Bel Air.

For more information, call the company at (410) 366-5850, or fax, (410) 336-5852.

Shrimp like Bubba's

Fans of Winston Groom's poignant story of the world's last innocent, Forrest Gump, will be pleased to know that they can now prepare shrimp with confidence with the "Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Cookbook" (Oxmoor House, $14.95). Recipes are from the kitchens of Southern Living magazine, and range from simple kebabs to Bayou la Batre Shrimp Mornay. As Forrest says, "Bubba knew his shrimp."

Here's a sample.

Spicy shrimp dip

Makes 1 2/3 cups

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 pound unpeeled medium-size fresh shrimp

1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 8-ounce carton sour cream

1 0.7-ounce envelope Italian salad dressing mix

2 tablespoons finely chopped green pepper

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Bring water to a boil; add shrimp and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Drain well; rinse with cold water. Chill. Peel, devein and chop shrimp.

Beat cream cheese at medium speed in an electric blender until creamy. Stir in sour cream, shrimp, and remaining ingredients. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Serve with fresh vegetables.

Sauce sans the fat

If you're tired of serving plain old chicken breast every night, but reluctant to enhance them with fat-laden sauces, here's a new product to try: Village Saucerie, a mixture of flour, dried vegetables and spices. You sprinkle it on chicken, add some water and bake, and it creates a tasty, no-fat, no-cholesterol sauce right in the baking pan. There are four varieties: garlic and herb, country home-style, garden herb and Southwest. Suggested retail price is $2.29 for 4 1/4 ounces. Village Saucerie is available at Giant, Safeway, Mars and SuperFresh.

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