Meet Extraordinary Sweets: Their Custom Candy Buffet Will Be at This Weekend's Sweet Dreams Festival

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A buffet minus the heating lamps and chafing dishes.

Think back to the last wedding you attended. Was the highlight of the evening the painfully drawn-out and chuckle-free best man's speech or the leathery steak? More likely, it was the elaborate candy buffet that would make Wonka's factory look like the vending machine in an auto repair store's wait room.

Three and a half years ago, Kimberly Hale launched Extraordinary Sweets -- her Florida-based custom candy buffet company -- just ahead of the candy buffet trend that's now so popular at weddings, engagement parties, showers, and coroporate events. She and her small team of candy stylists (yes; such a job does exist) will be among the vendors at this weekend's sixth annual Sweet Dreams holiday festival at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek.

The 21-and-older event is Friday and Saturday nights and promises a hedonistic spread of sugary treats like cake pops, fancy cookies and brownies, a chocolate fountain, liquid nitrogen ice cream, sweet crepes, and an assortment of other not-so-good-for-you goods. Hale and her team are putting together a "winter wonderland" themed buffet resplendent in silvers, ivories, purples, and blues.

"Almost everyone loves candy," Hale said. "It's that kid in a candy store sensation. You can take what you like."

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- Food Network Kitchen Opens at Fort Lauderdale International Airport

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Schakolad Chocolate Factory Offers Sweet Deals & Kiddie Classes

Categories: Sweet Tooth
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Schakolad Chocolate Factory
Is your kid a budding Wonka?
Now that school's about to let out for the summer, you've got to figure out what to do with the kids.  Here's the problem: You want them to do something other than sit around playing Nintendo, but they don't want to be stuck in some FCAT prep course when the sun's out. 

Clean Plate Charlie has found a Wonka-like compromise that both parents and kids can agree on -- candy-making classes at the Schakolad Chocolate Factory in Davie.

For the fourth year in a row, these makers of gourmet chocolates will open their doors to kids age 6 to 14 for a series of interactive summer activities.  Each session lasts from 45 minutes to one hour and includes the following:

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Krispy Kreme Announces Key Lime Doughnut for National Doughnut Day

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Krispy Kreme
Krispy Kreme introduces a Key lime doughnut. You want it!
There's something about Krispy Kreme doughnuts that incites near riots at generally civilized offices, schools, and church groups. 

While many people treat their work friends to  doughnuts (and we appreciate it, we do)... the mere sight of that green and white Krispy Kreme box is enough to set off a serious bout of pushing and shoving in anticipation of those warm, sugary substances that require no chewing because they simply melt in your mouth.

In a serious attempt to show South Florida some of the obsessive love we show it, Krispy Kreme has introduced a Key Lime Kreme variety to celebrate National Doughnut Day on June 1 and as part of the doughnut baker's 75th anniversary.

The Key Lime Kreme doughnut is a yeast doughnut filled with a blend of Key lime and original kreme, topped with white icing and graham cracker crumble.

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Cupcake Battle 2012: And the Winners Are...

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Just Cupcakes selection 

A warm thank you to this year's participants at the New Times' cupcake battle at Friday night's Las Olas Wine & Food Festival, during which seven bakers whipped up hundreds of cupcakes for an enthusiastic crowd. 

Three judges sampled the bakers' choice cupcakes to determine Best Decorated and Best Tasting. The Fan Favorite tallies were just under way when the skies opened to the downpour that pummeled the night's event. Despite the weather, a crowd remained, encouraged by restaurants that fed a damp crowd. 

Each bakery offered a cupcake to characterize its style and flavor.

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Cupcake Couture Bakes for Obama and Romney in the Same Week: At Least Everyone Can Agree on Sugar, Right?

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Demonstrating that baked goods can be nonpartisan or, perhaps more accurately, bipartisan, Cupcake Couture Sweet Boutique in Delray Beach this past weekend prepared special sweet treats for a second presidential hopeful in less than one week.

On Sunday, April 15, the boutique bakery created nearly 300 cupcakes for a fundraiser held in Palm Beach and attended by presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. The bakery also prepared cupcakes that were served to President Barack Obama during his Tuesday, April 10, visit to South Florida. (Read about the president's red velvet request here.) 

"We couldn't be more proud that we have been asked to be a part of both of these political events," said owner Pamela Joyner in an email to Clean Plate Charlie.

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Cupcake Couture Sweet Boutique in Delray Beach Bakes Red Velvet Cupcakes for President Obama

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The president's flavor of choice? Red velvet.
Cupcake Couture Sweet Boutique in Delray Beach scored a culinary coup this week when their sweet baked goods were served to President Barack Obama who spoke Tuesday at Florida Atlantic University as part of a visit to South Florida (view a slideshow of images here). The boutique bakery's cupcakes were served Tuesday at a private fundraiser for Obama: he had three such stops as part of his visit to South Florida.

The bakery got the call on Monday afternoon that a caterer they work with was in need of sugary treats for a private affair with Obama in attendance. On Tuesday morning, they baked 40 "vogue" cupcakes (muffin-sized) as well as 100 petite cupcakes in an assortment of flavors. The president's flavor of choice? Red velvet. Or in Cupcake Couture parlance, Red Valentino.

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Doughnuts Are the Cause of America's Problems

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It is true that America is home to the Luther Burger. It is true that America invented greasy fast food and continues to love its Burgerdonalds and McKings with heart-stirring (and -stopping) patriotic ardor. It is true that our prolonged prosperity in the 20th Century, our early adoption of refrigeration, and our vast continent of cattle-friendly farmland combined to addict our grandparents to unhealthy quantities of red meat and to enduringly define the American dinner as a plate full of starch and flesh, with an unloved ghetto of frozen vegetalia shmushed off to the side. And it is true that several species of indigenous American grub were meant to power farmers through long days manning a plow, or whatever it is that farmers do. (Think the sweet meatballs and hot bacon dressing of Pennsylvania Dutch cooking and the classical breakfast poison of flapjacks + syrup + bacon + sausage + eggs + toast + coffee. The coffee, as it happens, is a diuretic, which hamper's the body's ability to eliminate the lethal tonnage of the foregoing ingredients.) It's the last point that I've been thinking about lately: Locating the culprit for my expanding waistline amid breakfast foods. 

What put me in mind of breakfast foods was an argument I had with a roommate of mine, the daughter of a ship captain who has grown up internationally, in coastal cities around the world. We were at dinner. She'd eaten mussels. I'd had steak tartar. We both had a sweet tooth. My roommate commented on the absence of doughnuts on American dessert menus. And I said -- as I think a lot of Americans might say, rather thoughtlessly -- "Of course. Doughnuts are a breakfast food."

That we were in a French restaurant made my remark more idiotic than it would otherwise be, French restaurants being the sorts of places where doughnuts really are a dessert food. (Here there was only chocolate pot de'creme.) My roommate gave me a look both incredulous and fearful -- incredulous because, the moment you think about it, it becomes apparent that doughnuts are a horrendous breakfast food; fearful because a few years in the United States had taught her that there is no limit to the grossness of the American palate, and she suspected she was about to learn something ugly.
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Cupcake Battle Contestant: Elite Cake Creations

Categories: Sweet Tooth
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Elite Cake Creations
Divorce cakes are a specialty at Elite Cake Creations.
In Cuba in 1921, Beatriz Otero's ancestors founded a bakery called La Gran Via. It eventually grew to have 55 employees, five storefronts, and a dozen delivery trucks. But when Fidel Castro came to power, the family fled to Puerto Rico. The bakery was seized by the government and continues to operate under state control to this day, Otero says.

Otero's family opened another La Gran Via in Puerto Rico.  Otero was raised in the Dominican Republic but went to college at Florida International University, where she got a degree in business administration and marketing and wrote a thesis on the family bakery. Not long afterward, she opened Elite Cake Creations.More »

South Florida's Best Milk Shake

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joefoodie via Flickr Creative Commons

In a region that is home to dozens of burger joints and seaside shacks, it was no easy task to narrow down the choice of best milk shake in South Florida. That being said, we've compiled a list of ten of the best spots to score a creamy, rich, and cold sugary treat in Broward and Palm Beach. As always, feel free to use the comments section to voice your agreement or to tell us who we should've included in our list.

1. Kilwin's

It's only natural that a store that devotes nearly every fiber of its being to the veneration of the cocoa bean would excel at providing a rich, creamy cocktail that's a veritable chocolate explosion. The double-chocolate shake at Kilwin's bypasses the half-assed -- and some would say, incorrect -- method of using vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup. Instead, the shake is the straight-up good stuff: chocolate ice cream blended with chocolate syrup. Prepare to lose yourself in a cocoa-induced frenzy, followed by the subsequent crash.

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Wednesday, March 14, is Pi Day - Four Places to Get Your Pie in South Florida

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Paulaadamsmith via Flickr Creative Commons
Slice into mathematical deliciousness on Pi Day.
Wednesday, March 14, is Pi Day. Get it? Pi is 3.14 (plus a bunch more numbers) and March 14 is equal to 3/14 and, hey - an excuse to eat pie! Anyhow, you don't have to be a geometry aficionado to participate in Pi- and pie-related fun. If you're the do-it-yourself type, try your hand at a Pi recipe. Or, leave the baking to one of South Florida's experts. After the jump, four places in Broward and Palm Beach to get a slice of pie on Pi Day.
 
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