THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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TIP OF THE DAY: Gingerbread Mustard (Pain d’Epices)

Bring the flavor of fall to your mustard: gingerbread-spiced mustard.

You can buy it or make it.

French brands such as Pommery make it, and you can find it on Amazon.

Its French name is Moutarde au Pain d’Epices: moutarde (moo-TARD) is mustard and pain d’epices (pan day PEACE) is gingerbread.

Gingerbread is one of the specialties of the Burgundy region of France. The flavored mustard is delicious served with poultry, ham, roast pork or sausages.

You can spread it on a sandwich, serve it with an omelet, turn it into a dip, add it to a stuffing mix for roast chicken or make a vinaigrette for for salad and crudités.

You can also make it into mustard sauce (recipe below).

And you can give a jar as a seasonal gift.

To make your own:

Prep time is 5 minutes. Note that you may like a different proportion of spices, or a subtler spicing. Our personal adjustment was to halve the cinnamon and double the nutmeg.

Make a test batch using half the ingredients.
Ingredients For 1 Cup

  • 8 ounces Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

    1. ADD the spices to the mustard and blend thoroughly. Allow to stand for an hour or more for the flavors to meld.

    2. TASTE and adjust the seasonings as desired.

    It’s so easy to use the mustard to deglaze a pan. Or make this equally easy creamy mustard sauce.

    In addition to serving as a sauce with meats and vegetables, you can use it a dip, flavor a marinade, even spread it on a sandwich.

    Ingredients For 1 Cup

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • Pinch ground white pepper (substitute black pepper)
  • Salt to taste

    Dijon Mustard Maille
    [1] Start with Dijon mustard or grainy mustard (photo courtesy Maille).

    Gingerbread Mustard
    [2] You can buy gingerbread-flavored mustard, here in the old-fashioned grainy form from Pommery.

    Creamy Mustard Sauce
    [3] It’s easy to make a creamy mustard sauce (photo courtesy Recipe Community).


    1. COMBINE the cream, mustard and pepper in a small saucepan.

    2. STIR constantly as you simmer the mixture over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt.



    HALLOWEEN RECIPE: Apple Cider With Apple Skulls

    Apple Skulls in Apple Cider
    [1] A skull with your cider (photo courtesy The Pampered Chef).

    Granny Smith Apples
    [2] Granny Smith apples (photo courtesy Good Eggs).


    Looking for Halloween fun? This cider recipe, from The Pampered Chef, will take you there.

    Carved apples become shrunken skulls as they cook in the cider.

    You can serve the cider straight, or augmented with spiced rum or spiced/cinnamon whiskey.

    Ingredients For 14 Servings

  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 small orange
  • 7 small Granny Smith apples (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 small lemons, divided
  • Optional: whole cloves for the skulls
  • 1 gallon fresh apple cider
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • Optional: 2 cups spiced rum or 1½ cups cinnamon whiskey
    Food Trivia

    Granny Smith apples originated in New South Wales, Australia in 1868.

    There was an actual Granny Smith, Maria Ann Smith, who propagated the cultivar from a chance seedling.


    1. PREHEAT the oven to 250°F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.

    2. PLACE the cinnamon sticks in as large spice ball or cheesecloth. Peel the rind of the orange and place as much of the rind as possible into the spice ball, then close. Optionally, you can first juice the orange and add the juice to the cider before serving.

    3. PEEL the apples and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and core. Then carve the rounded side of each apple half to create faces, using the tip of the corer and a paring knife. Juice the lemons into a small bowl. Dip the apples in the juice and transfer to paper towels to drain. Reserve the remaining juice.

    4. PLACE the apples face-side up on the sheet pan. Press the cloves into the “eye sockets” or use them as noses, as desired. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until the apples are dry and begin to brown around the edges. Meanwhile…

    5. PLACE the spice ball in the bottom of a large dutch oven. Add the apple cider and maple syrup. Heat the mixture, covered, on low while the apples are baking. Do not let the mixture come to a boil; turn off the heat before it reaches boil.

    6. SERVE: Remove the spice ball and stir in the reserved juice and optional rum or whiskey. Add the “skulls” to the pot of cider. Top each serving with one skull and serve with a spoon for eating the apple.



    HALLOWEEN: Ghost Marshmallows For Cocoa / Hot Chocolate

    If you’ve never made marshmallows, here’s your chance to delight family and friends as you warm them up with a cup of hot cocoa.

    In addition to cocoa, you can use them to garnish fruit salad, ice cream, cakes, pies and other desserts.

    You can make them in traditional squares, or use cookie cutters to make any shape you like.

    The recipe is from Karo Syrup.

    These marshmallows can be made in traditional squares, or cut with a cookie cutter into shapes.

    Prep time is 45 minutes, cooling time is 4+ hours.
    Ingredients For 3 Dozen Large Marshmallows

  • 1 cup water, room temperature, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 2-1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup Karo Light Corn Syrup
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Optional cookie cutter

    1. COMBINE 1/2 cup water, the salt and gelatin in the large bowl of a stand mixer. Stir and set aside.

    2. COMBINE the remaining 1/2 cup water, the sugar and corn syrup in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Using a candy thermometer, cook until mixture reaches 240°F, the soft ball stage.

    3. SLOWLY POUR the hot syrup over the gelatin mixture with the mixer on low. Turn the mixer to its highest speed and beat for 8 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes. The mixing bowl will get very full. The marshmallows will become very thick, white and shiny. Spread mixture onto greased baking sheet with sides.

    4. LET the sheet of marshmallow cool at least 4 hours or overnight. Combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a shallow pan. Cut the marshmallows into bite-size squares with a sharp knife or scissors, dropping one at a time into the powdered sugar. Toss to coat well.


    Ghost Marshmallows Cocoa
    [1] Add some ghost to your hot chocolate (both photos courtesy Karo Syrup).

    Karo Light Corn Syrup
    [2] Use Karo Light Corn Syrup, which also can be used in many other recipes.

  • For spooky shapes, grease a small ghost or other Halloween cookie cutter. Press straight down through marshmallow. Remove marshmallow and lightly dust with the powdered sugar cornstarch mixture.
  • Store the marshmallows in an airtight container in a cool place and use within one month.

  • Mint Marshmallows: Add a few drops of green food coloring and 1/4 teaspoon mint extract with the vanilla.
  • Chocolate Chip Marshmallows: Coarsely chop 8 ounces of dark chocolate and fold into marshmallows just before spreading on baking sheet to cool.
  • Cinnamon Marshmallows: Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to the mixture while beating.


    TIP OF THE DAY: Pumpkin-ize Your Favorite Comfort Foods

    Pumpkin Mac & Cheese
    [1] Mac and cheese with a touch of pumpkin (photos #1 and #2 courtesy Libby’s).

    Pumpkin Peanut Butter Sandwich
    [2] How about a pumpkin peanut butter sandwich?

    Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes
    [3] Another delicious comfort food: pumpkin mashed potatoes. Here’s the recipe from Taste of Home. You can also make a pumpkin and cauliflower mash.

    Canned Pumpkin
    [4] Be sure to use pumpkin purée, not pumpkin pie filling. Here’s why from Jessica Gavin.


    Before you make another pot of mac and cheese, a bowl of pasta, or a PB&J, think of how to “pumpkinize” them for fall.

    Beyond pumpkin pie, mousse and other sweets, it’s easy to turn a can of pumpkin purée (not sweetened pumpkin pie filling) into a sauce or spread.

    Here are 16 everyday savory recipes that get the pumpkin treatment. Most of these recipes require just a few tablespoons of pumpkin purée.

  • Pasta With Pumpkin Sauce & Sausage
  • Pumpkin & Cauliflower Mash
  • Pumpkin Chili
  • Pumpkin Cocktail
  • Pumpkin Compound Butter
  • Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
  • Pumpkin Egg Braid
  • Pumpkin Manicotti
  • Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes
  • Pumpkin Oatmeal
  • Pumpkin Pancakes & Waffles
  • Pumpkin Sloppy Joes
  • Pumpkin Soup or Chili
  • Pumpkin yogurt (mix the purée into vanilla or plain yogurt)

    Pumpkin is a lovely seasonal addition to mac and cheese (photo #1). Prep time is 25 minutes, cook time is 20 minutes.
    Ingredients For 4 One-Cup Servings

  • 1 cup dried regular or whole grain elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup (5-ounce can) Carnation Evaporated Lowfat 2% Milk
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Gouda or Gruyère cheese
  • 1 cup Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon finely cut fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup (about 1/2 slice bread) soft bread crumbs*
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Cook the macaroni in large pot of boiling water until al dente in texture. Drain and return to the pot. Meanwhile…

    2. MELT the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

    3. ADD the evaporated milk and water all at once. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly and slightly thickened. Stir in the cheese, pumpkin and sage until the cheese melts. Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir to coat. Spoon the mixture into four ungreased 8-ounce ramekins.

    4. COMBINE the bread crumbs, parmesan, walnuts and oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the pasta. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

    If you prefer to use a casserole dish, pour the mixture into an ungreased 1-1/2-quart casserole dish and top with the crumb mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

    You can buy pumpkin peanut butter from specialty PB companies, but that’s typically peanut butter with pumpkin pie spices—no pumpkin per se.

    You can also use pita bread, English muffins or tortillas. The pumpkin peanut butter spread is also good on crackers or with celery sticks.
    In this version (photo #2), pumpkin and peanut butter, two nutrition powerhouses, blend easily to create a spread without all the fat and calories of plain peanut butter. Simply spread the light and creamy pumpkin-peanut butter over whole wheat bread and cover with banana slices.

    Ingredients For 2 Sandwiches

  • 1/2 cup Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter-or-pumpkin butter-or jam of choice
  • 4 slices whole wheat or white bread
  • 1 medium banana, cut into 1/4-inch slices

    1. COMBINE pumpkin and peanut butter in small bowl until well blended. Makes 1 cup.

    2. SPREAD 1 tablespoon pumpkin peanut butter spread on each slice. Top the two bottom slices with banana slices. Top each with the top slice of bread to make sandwiches.

    3. REFRIGERATE the leftover spread in a tightly covered container for up to 5 days.

    *Soft bread crumbs are made from fresh or slightly stale bread. Tear the bread apart with a fork or use a blender or food processor to break it into fluffy crumbs. Pile gently into a measuring cup; do not pack.



    WORLD BREAD DAY: Make An ‘Everything Bagel’ Savory Babka

    October 16th is World Bread Day, and our colleague Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet Blog has created something new: the Everything Bagel Babka.

    First, a bit of history:

    A Queens bagel maker lays claim to having “invented” the Everything Bagel around 1980. There was nothing like it among New York Bagels.

    Seth Godin came forward to say that he worked in a bagel factory in 1977, and Everything Bagels were on the menu. Here’s the story. At least we have a general timeline of “around 1980.”

    Now for the babka:

    Babka is an Eastern European Jewish sweet yeast bread. The word means “little grandmother” in Polish, Russian, Ukranian and Yiddish.

    Babka is made from a doubled and twisted length of yeast dough, originally with swirls of cinnamon and sometimes almond paste. It was baked in a loaf pan unless the household owned a fancy Kugelhopf (turban) pan, and topped with streusel.

    Babka was created in the early 1800s, when housewives, baking challah for the sabbath, had extra dough at hand. They spread the dough with jam or cinnamon, perhaps with some raisins; then twisted it and baked it alongside the challah, as a treat for children.

    When Eastern European Jews came to America, they discovered that chocolate affordable, and chopped up chocolate bars found their way into the babka. Until the late 20th century, babka was not well-known outside of Jewish homes and bakeries.

    Here’s a longer history of babka.

    These original babkas were parve—no dairy products—so used oil instead of butter. Modern bakers switched the oil for butter, and a better babka was born. And it evolved:

    Today, “nouvelle babka” is made with Nutella as well as flavors such Chocolate Raspberry, Cinnamon Pecan Sticky Bun, Gingerbread, Matcha Black Sesame, Pumpkin Walnut, Salted Chocolate & Marzipan White Chocolate Cranberry (find these and other babka recipes here—there’s also a gluten-free recipe).

    Leftovers (who has leftovers???) can be made into bread pudding.

    You can make the same sweet twists of babka in a savory dough, which is what Hannah Kaminsky did. Instead of cinnamon or chocolate, she used cream cheese and an “everything bagel” topping to create a “bagel, lox and cream cheese” without an actual bagel.

    You don’t need the lox and cream cheese. You can use jam or enjoy it plain.

    Ingredients For 1 Loaf
    For The Dough

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (1/4 ounce / 2-1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or olive oil plus more for greasing
  • 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
    For The Cream Cheese Filling

  • 1 package (8-ounces) cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup Everything Bagel seasoning, store-bought or homemade (recipe follows)
    For The Egg Wash

  • 1 egg, beaten

    You can use this on avocado toast, eggs, grains, hummus, popcorn and salads.

    Add the following ingredients to a small jar or airtight container, then shake to blend.


  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoons white or black sesame seeds
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons dehydrated chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon dehydrated minced garlic
  • 1-2 teaspoons coarse/flaked sea salt

    Everything Bagel Savory Babka
    [1] “Everything Bagel” Babka created by Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog.

    [2] Sliced and turned into an “everything bagel” sandwich with cream cheese and smoked salmon (photo Bittersweet Blog).

    Everything Bagel Topping
    You can make your own “everything bagel” topping, or buy it from Pereg or King Arthur Flour (photo courtesy Take Two Tapas).

    Chocolate Babka
    [4] Chocolate babka (photo courtesy @DraganaBakes | Twitter>/font>


    1. GENTLY WARM the milk and the sugar to just above room temperature (no hotter than 100°F). Sprinkle in the yeast and let sit for about 5 minutes, until the yeast re-activates into a foamy froth.

    2. MIX in the eggs and melted butter, stirring well to combine. Next add the first 3-1/2 cups of flour and the salt. Incorporate all of the dry mixture into the milk blend: Using a stand mixer, knead on low speed for about 5 minutes with the dough hook attachment. To knead by hand, plan on spending closer to 10 minutes. Add more flour as needed to achieve a smooth, tacky but not sticky dough.

    3. ROUND the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel, rest in a warm spot, and let rise until doubled in volume; about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

    4. PRESS down the dough and divide it into two equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece into a rectangle of about 14 x 10 inches and smear half of the cream cheese all over the surface. Sprinkle evenly with half of the everything bagel seasoning, and then roll it tightly, lengthwise, like you would for cinnamon buns. Repeat with the remaining dough and fillings. Once you have two filled logs…

    5. SLICE both logs cleanly down the middle with a very sharp knife, leaving the bottom intact. Twist the two split rolls together and tuck the messy ends underneath. Place the full loaf in a lightly greased 8 x 4-inch loaf pan and lightly cover with a clean dish towel. Let rise for another hour. As you near the end of the second rise…

    6. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Gently brush the loaf with the egg wash, and bake for 60 to 75 minutes, until golden brown all over. Let cool completely before slicing.



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