Long days and warm weather call for backyard barbecues, pool parties and potlucks. Whether you are hosting or attending, it’s a good idea to keep a repertoire of quick appetizers on hand.
This year, add some fresh flavor to your summer gatherings by crafting easy-to-make nibbles using caramel. Julie Ayotte, our director of sales, calling on her background as a chef, has created a variety of easy-to-prepare delicious dishes based on six of McCrea’s Candies’ fifteen flavors of caramel.
From Dates Stuffed with Cape Cod Sea Salt Caramel to Ricotta Salata Cheese topped with Slivered Single Malt Scotch Caramel, she shows you how to make summer appetizers that are app-solutely perfect for all your warm weather fetes. Select one or make them all for a fun and festive caramel tasting flight.
Dates Stuffed with Cape Cod Sea Salt Caramel and Finished with a Salted Sugar Rim
12 pitted dried dates
6 McCrea’s candies Cape Cod Sea Salt caramels
1 tbsp. coarse sanding/decorating sugar
1 tbsp. coarse sea salt
Combine sugar and salt in a shallow dish. Slice a thin slit length-wise along 1 side of each date. Cut each caramel in half and roll each between your hands to elongate. Fill cut date with elongated caramel. Close date around caramel. Coat each filled date by dipping top end of date (where the caramel shows) into the sugar/salt mixture. If the sugar/salt does not stick, you can put a dab of water on the end to help. Place dates on serving plate slit side down and sprinkle a little more of the sugar/salt mixture. Serve with additional sugar/salt on the side for people to dip.
Black Mission Figs Stuffed with Tapped Maple Caramel
12 black mission figs
3 McCrea’s Candies Tapped Maple caramels
Remove tip of fig. Slice a cross lengthwise down the fig without cutting all the way through to the bottom. Pull back the 4 pieces to reveal the interior of fig. Cut each maple caramel into quarters. Roll each section into a ball and place in the center of each fig.
Ricotta Salata Cheese with Slivered Single Malt Scotch Caramel and a Honey Drizzle
16 slices of Ricotta Salata cheese cut 1/4-inch thick
2 McCrea’s Candies Single Malt Scotch caramels
1 tbsp. honey
Arrange cut cheese slices on plate. Cut each caramel in 4 slices (4 rounds), then cut each round into a half-moon. Put 1 half-moon caramel onto each slice of cheese and drizzle with honey.
Bosc Pear Topped with Gorgonzola Dolce and Dark Roasted Mocha Caramel
2 Bosc pears
3 tbsp. of Gorgonzola Dolce cheese, divided
3 McCrea’s Candies Dark Roasted Mocha caramels
Core the pear and slice into ¼-inch thick wedges. Cut each caramel in 4 slices (4 rounds). Top the pear wedge with caramel slice. Top each with 1 tsp. Gorgonzola Dolce cheese.
Rosemary Truffle Sea Salt Caramel Wrapped in a Sun-dried Tomato and Rolled in Herbs de Provence and Black Pepper
12 sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated in boiling water for 10 minutes
6 McCrea’s Candies Rosemary Truffle Sea Salt caramels
1 tsp. herbs de Provence
½ tsp. ground black pepper
Olive oil as needed
Pat tomatoes dry after soaking. Combine herbs de Provence and black pepper in a shallow bowl. Cut each caramel in half and roll between your hands to form a 2-inch long tube. Wrap sun-dried tomato around caramel length-wise. Coat each tomato with the herbs/pepper mixture. You can rub with a little olive oil first to help the herbs stick. Seal each with a toothpick and place seam side down on serving plate.
Avocado Maki With Ginger Fusion Caramel Drizzle
Two trays of store-bought Avocado Maki sushi
1 tbsp. half n half
4 McCrea’s Candies Ginger Fusion Caramels (approximate)
Place Maki on serving platter. Put half and half and caramel in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 10 second intervals, whisking in between, until smooth sauce is created. If sauce is too thin, add more caramels. If too thick, add more half and half in ½ tsp intervals. Serve immediately by drizzling over the Avocado Maki.