Served with a delightful trio of dipping sauces -- mango puree, orange marmalade with dark rum, and pineapple chutney, these crispy coconut shrimp were prepared by the Plant City Fire Rescue Department. Understandably, they were a huge hit!
The Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Department made a panko-encrusted, prosciutto-wrapped red snapper with a roasted mango and chipotle pepper sauce. The blend of ingredients produced a wonderful contrast of flavors. Another hit!
The scene stealer and people's choice was the beurre blanc scallops, with a tropical slaw that was drizzled with a balsamic reduction. The slaw hinted of jalapeno with toasted coconut and jicama slivers. Congrats to the Plant City Police Department!
If given the choice of any dessert, I almost always pick cookies. But between you and me, I'm not very good at decorating them.
To remedy that, I decided this year to experiment with powdered sugar and paper doilies. These lace-like, heart-shaped cookies turned out so pretty. They're a delicious variation of a whoopie pie.
Before moving to the South, I always thought "whoopie" was a figure of speech for sex used only by contestants on the old television show "The Newlywed Game." However, that's not the case.
These soft chocolate, sandwich cookies are filled with a creamy pink frosting that is not overly sweet.
Happy Valentine's Day!
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
Pink paste food coloring
Small pieces of of lace with porous design or paper doilies
In a medium mixing bowl, beat together sugar and butter. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Mix together dry ingredients, and then add them alternately with milk to butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Cover and chill for 2 to 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift a layer of unsweetened cocoa onto a flat surface. Roll dough out to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out cookies with heart-shaped cookie cutter. Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheet. When cool, spread almond filling on the flat side of half of the cookies. Top with remaining cookies, rounded side up.
To stencil cookies, place them in the center of plate. Position lace or doily over each cookie, as desired. Sift powdered sugar onto cookies. Tap plate gently on counter to force sugar through holes in lace or doily. Carefully remove the lace or doily straight up.
In a small mixing bowl, combine sugar, butter, milk and extract. Stir until smooth and creamy. Tint with food coloring.