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Light up New Year’s dinner with sweet, explosive treat

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Two more days until Christmas. I hope you’re ready. I myself am moving on to New Year’s Eve.

This dessert is my plan for a sparkly, festive and unusual treat to ring in the new. It uses Pop Rocks candy to bring fireworks to the table.

The recipe is from “Sweet Envy,” by Seton Rossini (The Countryman Press, $32.95), a new book of desserts with plenty of visual pizazz but simple to make.

It would be great for someone trying to move up from box cake mixes and easy quick breads to baking from scratch. The recipes are uncomplicated but the results quite spectacular.

This fizzy treat, for example, graduates you from making instant Jell-O to working with unflavored gelatin. The process is simple, yet the exploding Pop Rocks on top elevate it to an extreme dessert.

Bubbly Pop Shots

  • 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups sparkling wine, preferably prosecco
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 packets “exploding” candy, such as Pop Rocks

In small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over 1 cup prosecco; let stand 2 minutes.

Turn heat on low, add sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in remaining prosecco. Cool to room temperature.

Transfer to loaf pan lined with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 3 hours, or until gelatin sets.

Carefully lift plastic wrap and place gelatin on flat surface. Cut into triangles or cubes. Just before serving, sprinkle with Pop Rocks. Makes about 2 dozen pieces.

Top 5 recipes: Last chance

The annual “By Request” benefit for the Good Neighbor Fund is closing in on $10,000 in donations, with five days to go until deadline. This is a 5-for-5 deal: You send me $5 and I send you the Top 5 recipes that ran in this column in 2015.

This year’s recipes:

>> Peanut Butter Brownies aka Peanut Butter Chews: A Hahaione Elementary School cafeteria recipe dating to the 1970s

>> Lemony Portuguese Sweet Rolls: Another school-kine recipe, from the cafeteria manager at Kaiser High School

>> Chicken Alice’s Wings: In memory of Alice Yang, the original Chicken Alice, who died Oct. 3

>> Fish Cake Inarizushi: Homemade fishcake steamed in a cone sushi wrapper — delicious

>> Roast Pork a la Rainbow Drive-In: A home cook’s version of the plate-lunch special

To order: Send $5 for each set of recipes, along with a self-addressed, stamped, legal-size (4-by-9-inch) envelope for each set ordered (if you want five sets, send $25 and five envelopes). You can make an extra donation of any amount, but please be clear about how many sets of recipes you want and how much is a pure donation. Make checks payable to the Good Neighbor Fund.

Mail orders to “By Request” Top Recipes, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813. Deadline to order is Dec. 28.

This is an all-or-nothing offer, so we can’t send you just one recipe out of the set. And it’s strictly snail mail; no fax, phone or email orders.

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