It's the story of Buddy, accidentally brought home by Santa, raised by Papa Elf at the North Pole and never quite fitting in with the other elves because he actually is human. Finding out that he is adopted and his birth father is (HORRORS!) on Santa's "Naughty List"--Buddy sets off for New York City to meet him. Buddy's naive and very exuberant spirit and excess of holiday cheer make him not quite a fit for the human world either and he causes all kinds of funny chaos.
Elf is one of my very favorite holiday movies and I watch it at least once each holiday season. Directed by Jon Favreau, in addition to Ferrell (at his joyful, child-like best as Buddy), it has a stellar cast including Bob Newhart, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, Edward Asner, Peter Dinklage, and even Amy Sedaris. It's the reason that whenever I see a mall Santa, I have to stop myself from going up to him and saying "You sit on a throne of lies!" If you don't know that quote, don't be a Cotton-Headed Ninny Muggins and just watch the movie already!
For my dish inspired by the film, I looked to a cookbook that I received for review: Sprinkles: Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts by Jackie Alpers. Since Sprinkles has all manner of candy, sprinkles and sparkling sugar over anything everything you can imagine and, as Buddy says, "We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup"--it seemed like a cookbook he would enjoy.
Paperback: 144 Pages
Quirk Books / October 2013
Author Jackie Alpers, photographer, cook and food stylist from Jackie's Happy Plate blog, has created a colorful cookbook full of interesting and tasty uses for different types of sprinkles--sure to please children and the 'inner child' of any candy lover. Besides the assorted cookies and cakes toppings, you can add them to drinks and cocktails rimming glasses with Mix-and-Match Cocktail Rims or making Sparkling Stone Fruit White Sangria. Create swizzle sticks for hot and cold beverages like Rock Candy Garnishes or Hot Chocolate Stir Sticks coated in crushed candy canes. You can also top your own Gingersnap Cookie Butter or Homemade Pop Tarts. Alpers even teaches you how to make your own homemade Sprinkles, Fondant Pearls, Rock Candy and different sugars.
I wanted to pick something sort of breakfasty for Elf and found Sprinkles-Stuffed French Toast, Belgian Pearl Sugar Waffles, Fancified Donuts and Happy Day Pancakes served with I ❤ Sprinkles Butter and Sparkling Syrup (Buddy would love the syrup.) In the end, I went with Fudge Puppies--which according to the book are a popular state fair food. I have not been to a fair in ages but from a little research, I guess they usually consist of Belgian waffles on a stick dipped in chocolate and then dipped or rolled in all manner of toppings. Alpers says she likes to make her fudge puppies in miniature and serve them in cupcake liners. Rather than the hassle of making waffles, I went the easy route and bought some Van's Minis--little chocolate chip waffles than can be popped into the toaster. I think these treats are something Buddy would enjoy for breakfast or any time--probably with a generous dousing of his beloved syrup. ;-)
Adapted from Sprinkles by Jackie Alpers
6 Belgian waffles or 24 mini waffles
8 to 16 oz chocolate (dark, milk, semi-sweet or white)
1/2 cup sprinkles of choice (or crushed peanuts or candy canes or other fun toppings)
maraschino cherries or large candies for topping if desired
Toast waffles. If using larger Belgian waffles, cut into fourths. Melt chocolate in microwave or a glass or metal bowl set over simmering water, stirring frequently.
Line work surface with parchment paper and using a fork or tongs dip each waffle in chocolate to coat in a smooth, even layer. Then dip in sprinkles, peanuts or other toppings of choice. Place on parchment paper to cool and set.
Transfer cooled fudge puppies to cupcake wrappers. Top with whipped cream and more sprinkles and toppings if desired. You can decorate them further by placing a maraschino cherry or piece of candy on top. (Note: You can also insert skewers into the waffles, then freeze for 30 minutes to help waffles stay on their sticks. Remove from freezer when ready to dip into chocolate and decorate.)
Notes/Results: Obviously I need to hang out at fairs because fudge puppies are quite tasty with their crisp little waffles coated in thick chocolate. I used up my random partial bags of chocolate chips so these are a combination of dark and semi-sweet vegan and regular chocolate. I half-dipped them as that was shown it the picture in the cookbook and I think dousing the entire waffle in chocolate would be overkill. If you live in a warm and humid climate like me, they may need to spend a bit of time in the fridge to set up and, I would also forgo the whipped cream--especially if I was serving them outside. (As you can see in some of the pictures, it doesn't hold up that well and gets *blobby*--even when going on the cold dipped waffles straight from the refrigerator. Ah well... it didn't hurt the taste at all.) I did sprinkle a few of my fudge puppies with crushed candy canes and although not quite as *pretty'* as the sprinkles, they were my favorites to eat. Quick to make and fun to eat, I think these are worthy of being called "Fudge Buddys"--I would make them again. And, I look forward to trying more sprinkle-laden recipes from Sprinkles.
Thanks to Elizabeth for hosting this holiday round! If you missed this month's Food 'N Flix deadline (12/29) and you love food, films and foodie films, join us in January for one of my favorite 80's movies--The Breakfast Club, hosted by Eliot's Eats.
Note: A review copy of "Sprinkles" was provided by the publisher in return for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for this review and as always my thoughts, opinions and experiences cooking from it are my own.
Whatever way you celebrate, have the happiest of holidays!