#InsideICC Holiday Hacks: How To Use Leftover Candy

Wondering what to do with Halloween candy after (or before) October 31? Well, the International Culinary Center has you covered this season with a series of holiday hacks that will provide you with the inspiration to love what you do, in your own home kitchen. Learn how to kick up your cookie game a few notches with this Halloween inspired hack demonstrated by ICC Chef Instructor Lindsay Busanich. 


  • Start by chopping up any additional candy you may have around the house. Chocolate based candy works best. M&Ms, candy corn and Reese’s Pieces are used in the following video.
  • Fold candy into already-made chocolate chip cookie batter gently with spatula.
  • Place batter into small bread loaf pan to create thicker cookies. 4×4 inch pan used in video. 
  • Add additional candy pieces on top of batter
  • Bake at 350F degrees for 8-10 minutes until golden brown
  • Add more candy as for a decorative garnish!


For more videos, visit our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/internationalculinarycenter



Join us at our next Open House for all programs on Tuesday, October 4 and watch our Director of Pastry Operations, Chef Jansen Chan demonstrate how to make these fall favorites! RSVP HERE

Yield: 12-4 oz. muffin-size financiers


8 oz. Butter
1 t. Cinnamon, ground
½ t. Nutmeg, ground
¼ t. Ginger, ground
¼ t. Cloves, ground
¾ cup All-purpose flour
1 cup Almond flour
1 cup Powdered sugar
¼ t. Salt
7 Egg whites
½ cup Pumpkin puree
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Pumpkin seeds, optional, for garnish



In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, whisking occasionally. As the mixture begins to boil, continue stirring, until the butter is lightly browned and has a nutty aroma. Remove from heat immediately and add cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Allow to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in another bowl, stir together the flours, powdered sugar, and salt. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites and pumpkin together until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and stir thoroughly.

Pour about 1/3 of the warm browned butter into the mixture and whisk, until smooth. Repeat twice more, adding 1/3 of the butter each time.

Allow mixture to rest and cool in the refrigerator, preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Divide the batter into greased cupcake pans.

Top with pumpkin seeds and dust with powdered sugar.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before unmolding.

Serve warm or at room temperature.



Salted Double Chocolate Cookies

By ICC Professional Pastry Arts student Stephanie Rodriguez
Third Place Winner of the ICC 2016 Cookie Games

Country of Inspiration: United States of America
Yield: 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients for dough:

  • 5.3 oz/150 g. butter, unsalted
  • 1 ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3.5 oz/100 g. glucose syrup
  • 2 ¾ cup + 2 tablespoon bread flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt, kosher
  • 1.8 oz./50 g. chocolate chips, semi-sweet
  • 1.8 oz./50 g. chocolate chips, bittersweet
  • Coarse sea salt, for garnish, as needed.

Cookie games chocolate cookie recipe


1. In a tabletop mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars, until light and fluffy.
2. Gradually, add the eggs, vanilla, and glucose syrup, scraping the sides of the bowl well.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
4. Add the dry ingredients in one addition and combine at low speed until just mixed.
5. Add the chocolate chips and mix until combined. Remove the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm. Let rest at least one hour.
6. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Portion the dough into 48 pieces and roll into balls. Place each portion onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, providing 1 ½” between each cookie, and flatten.
7. Top with a pinch of sea salt and bake for 7-10 minutes or until firm to the touch. Allow the cookies to cool before transferring.
8. Store well wrapped for 3-4 days.


Burnt Honey and Fennel Cookie

By ICC Culinary Arts student Nicole Hope
Second Place Winner of the ICC 2016 Cookie Games

Country of Inspiration: Morocco
Yield: 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients for dough:

  • 8 oz/225 g. butter, unsalted
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cup flour, all-purpose
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed, coarsely chopped
  • Candied orange peels (see below)

Cookie Games International Culinary Center


1. In a medium saucepan, heat the honey over medium heat until the color turns to deep, dark caramel and reaches a temperature of 330°F, measured with a candy thermometer.
2. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add butter, stirring until the butter is completely melted. Cool the mixture until the butter hardens again, stirring occasionally to make sure the honey doesn’t stick to the bottom.
3. In a tabletop mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the cooled butter until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until incorporated.
4. Add the flour and salt to the butter mixture in two batches, stirring to incorporate completely after each addition. Stir in the fennel seed and candied orange.
5. Turn out the dough onto parchment paper and roll into a log, 2 inches in diameter, and chill until firm, about 1 hour.
6. Preheat oven to 325°F. Slice log into rounds about ¼ inch thick and bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden.
7. Let sit 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store well wrapped for 3-4 days.

Ingredients for Candied Orange:

  • 2 oranges
  • 2 ½ teaspoon granulated sugar

1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest from each orange.
2. Remove any white pith with a paring knife and julienne the orange zest.
3. Put the zest in a small sauce pot and cover with water, bring to a boil and drain.
4. Put the orange peel back in the sauce pot and cover with water again, this time adding in the sugar.
5. Bring to a boil and reduce until all the water has evaporated.
6. Remove the candied orange onto a drying rack or parchment paper and allow to air dry for about 1 hour.


Mango Colada Thumbprint Cookies

By ICC Culinary Arts students Remy Albert and Caroline Verrone
First Place Winners of the ICC 2016 Cookie Games

Country of Inspiration: Bahamas
Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients for dough:

  • 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup coconut, shredded, unsweetened, toasted and cooled (plus additional for garnish)
  • 8 oz. butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Filling, recipe below
  • Sea salt, coarse (for garnish)


Procedures for dough:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and toasted coconut.
3. In a tabletop mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy.
4. Add the vanilla to the beaten butter and sugar, scraping the bowl well. Add the dry ingredients in one addition and combine until just mixed.
5. Portion the dough into 36 rounds and roll each piece in the additional toasted coconut.
6. Press the dough flat, while creating an indention for the filling and place on a cookie sheet.
7. Apply one teaspoon of the filling to the center of the cookie, top with a pinch of sea salt and bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
8. Allow the cookies to cool before transferring. Store well-wrapped cookies for 3-4 days.

Ingredients for filling:

  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 ½ cups mango, diced
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup light rum
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ lemon, zested
  • Pinch salt

Procedures for filling:

1. In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
3. Increase the heat slightly, stirring constantly until the mixture is reduced to a thick consistency.
4. Transfer immediately to another bowl to cool.
5. Filling can be made in advanced and stored in the refrigerator until needed.

Guinness Cake Recipe

Guinness Cake Recipe

By Chef Jansen Chan
ICC Director of Pastry Arts

Yields: 9” three layered cake

Guinness Cake


  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking powder
  • ½ tsp. Baking soda
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 4 oz. (1 stick) Butter, unsalted, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups Sugar
  • 3 Eggs, large
  • 10 oz. Guinness


  1. Prepare a 9” cake pan by greasing and flouring the sides. Place a parchment circle on the bottom, if desired. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add the eggs, scraping occasionally to prevent lumping.
  4. When thoroughly mixed, add the dry ingredients, alternating with the Guinness, in small batches. Mix until evenly combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake in a 350 F oven for 45-50 mins., or until springy to the touch. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 mins. before unmolding onto a cooling rack. Remove parchment circle, if used. Allow cake to fully cool.
  6. Before frosting, slice the cake into three even layers.

Light Chocolate Ganache


  • 2 cups Cream
  • 8 oz. Bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 oz. Guinness


  1. Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl. In a heavy pot, bring cream to a boil and pour immediately, over the chocolate. Let sit for 5 mins.
  2. With a whisk, starting in the center, quickly stir together, increasing the size of your stirring as the ganache forms. Add the Guinness and stir to combine.
  3. Place plastic wrap on the surface directly, to prevent a skin from forming. Chill overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. The next day, whip the ganache until it is thick and stiff.
  5. Divide the amount into three and spread the portions between the Guinness cake layers and on top.


Carrot Cake Diaries

Professional Pastry Arts student Meredith Adams-Spurrier on the history of carrot cake.

With spring right around the corner, some tasty confections that are most often thought of around this time are tart lemon meringue pies, cupcakes showered with pastel colored sprinkles and maybe a marshmallow bunny, and of course the incredibly flavorful carrot cake.

The carrot cake we enjoy today is lightly spiced, studded with walnuts, and covered with a thick layer of tangy cream cheese frosting; however, it dates back to Medieval times when carrot pudding was served at banquets for dessert. This was probably because carrots have a natural sweetness.

Around the same time carrots were imported to America by European settlers in the early 1900s, puddings and quick breads were starting to be baked in loaf pans. By the middle of the century, a businessman by the name George C. Page made carrot cake famous. Having a surplus of canned carrots after WWII, he hired bakers to turn canned carrots into a product he could sell; hence the carrot cake was born.

During the 1970s, carrot cake was extremely popular due to its “health conscious” ingredients. Since then it continues to be found on diner menus, restaurants and boutique bakeries.

Learn more about Professional Pastry Arts program.

pastry student New York

Carrot Cake

Yield: two 6-inch cakes

Estimated time to complete: 90 minutes


Ingredients for batter

  • 125 g cake flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 220 g sugar
  • 170 g vegetable oil
  • 165 g grated carrots
  • 60 g chopped walnuts


Ingredients for icing

  • 455 g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 180 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 350 g confectioners’ sugar
  • 20 g sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • For the finish
  • 50 g chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 12 marzipan carrots


1. Prepare your mise en place.

2. Butter and flour the cake pans. Set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 350˚F.

4. Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.

5. Fill a saucepan large enough to allow a heat-proof bowl to fit snugly into it without touching the water with about 3 inches of water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Immediately remove pan from the heat.

6. Combine eggs and sugar in the heat-proof bowl and, using a wire whisk, whisk to blend. Quickly place the bowl into the pan, checking to make sure that the bottom is not resting in the hot water. Immediately begin whisking and continue to do so for about 10 minutes, or until mixture registers 110˚F on an instant-read thermometer.

7. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to whisk vigorously for about another 10 minutes, or until the mixture has tripled in volume and forms a ribbon when lifted from the bowl.

8. Slowly pour oil in a steady stream and, using a rubber spatula, gently stir to combine. Work slowly and steadily or the mixture will separate.

9. Add the sifted dry ingredients and, using the spatula, mix slowly to just barely combine. Do not over mix.

10. Stir in the carrots and nuts just to incorporate, then, pour an equal portion of the batter into each of the prepared pans.

11. Bake the cakes for about 35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

12. Immediately invert each pan onto a wire rack. Unmold the cakes and let cool completely. While cakes are cooling, make the icing.

13. Combine cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low just to blend. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on a medium speed for about 4 minutes, or until very smooth.

14. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. When well blended, remove bowl from mixer and stir in the zest.

15. When cakes are completely cool, using a serrated knife, cut each one in half crosswise.

16. Place bottom layer, cut side up, on each of 2 cake plates. Using an offset spatula, lightly coat the surface of each bottom with an equal portion of the icing. Place a top layer over the icing, cut side down. Using the remaining icing, completely cover each cake with about 1/8 inch thick coating of icing. Note that the cake itself is quite sweet, so you don’t want to frost it too thickly.

17. Using your hands, apply chopped walnuts about ½ inch up the side of each cake.

18. Place six small marzipan carrots or candied carrots on top of each cake in a decorative pattern that will yield one carrot per slice when cakes are cut.

18. Serve immediately or within a few hours of being frosted.


Porcini Mushroom and Roasted Chestnut Soup

By Swarna Koneru
Professional Culinary Arts student

I am a forager by nature. Growing up, I used to get fruits, vegetables and herbs from the backyard. Nowadays, not having many options to forage in the wild I forage in the grocery stores.

Every time I see a gourmet store or an ethnic market I make sure I try to come in and learn about new ingredients and foods. Sometimes I first buy something frozen or precooked to taste, and if I like it I try to replicate it myself. I pick up unknown to me ingredients and learn more about them once I get home.

On one of my “foraging” expeditions I bumped into freshly roasted chestnuts being sold outside of the store. I immediately grabbed a bag of those. Later on a beach trip, I bought some dried porcini mushrooms from a roadside vegetable stand. I always prefer such ingredients to supermarket produce because they are minimally processed.

I combined roasted chestnuts’ delicate, sweet, and nutty flavor with the woodiness and earthiness of the porcini. This soup is a perfect winter dish!


  • 1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
  • 3 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of roasted chestnuts, peeled
  • 6 brown crimini mushrooms diced
  • 1 clove of roasted garlic (place in aluminum foil, coat in oil and roast in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes)
  • grated parmesan for garnish (optional)
  • crème fraîche for garnish (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste


1. Soak dried porcini in a cup of boiled water for 10 minutes. Strain and keep the liquid. Dice the porcini.
2. In a pan, melt the butter and sauté the crimini and the porcini until nicely browned.
3. Add the chestnuts and sauté a little more till they get light brown.
4. Transfer the ingredients to a blender, add garlic and make a smooth paste adding stock as needed.
5. Transfer the puree to the pan, add the stock and the reserved porcini liquid, and bring to a simmer. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with a sprinkle of grated parmesan and a drizzle of crème fraîche.
6. Serve with sourdough bread smeared with truffle oil and toasted in the oven at 400F for 10 minutes, then sprinkled with parmesan and roasted again till the cheese melts.

– Swarna
Blog // Facebook


Boneless Deep Fried Citrus Chicken Wings

By Chef Candy Argondizza
Vice President of Culinary and Pastry Arts.

When you’re throwing an awesome Super Bowl party, these crunchy wing bites are sure to please!


24 chicken wings- boned out by your butcher or follow the bone, with the tip of your boning knife, cut alongside both sides of the wing bone, then cut along the bottom of the bone, sever the bone from the joints and pull it away

2 cups of buttermilk

1 cup of flour/1 cup of cornstarch

2 tablespoons of Yuzu kosho- store bought condiment of Yuzu peel and ground chili peppers and salt

1 oz. white wine vinegar/1 oz. lime juice

1 teaspoon of honey

2 oz. evoo

Salt and pepper

Vegetable oil for frying

Makes 8 servings


  1. Marinate the boneless wings in the buttermilk for 1 hour.
  2. Mix together the Yuzu Kosho, vinegar, lime juice, and olive oil- set aside.
  3. Heat enough vegetable oil in a sauce pot, to deep fry the wings, in batches. Approx.2 quarts.
  4. Slowly bring the oil up to 350 degree temperature, on medium heat.
  5. Drain the wings and dredge in the flour/cornstarch mixture, shake off excess flour and cornstarch.
  6. Place some of the wings into the 350 degree hot oil, do not overcrowd the pot.
  7. Allow the wings to cook and become crisp and golden brown, approx. 6-8 minutes, drain on paper towels and proceed to cook the remaining wings.
  8. Once all are fried and drained, place the wings into a large bowl and toss with the Yuzu marinade.
  9. Season with salt and pepper and toss to cover the wings.
  10. Serve warm with limewedges and enjoy!

Deep fried citrus chicken wings recipe // International Culinary Center


Gift Idea: Infused Olive Oil

By Carmela Fiorica
ICC’s International Bread Baking student

I always wanted to attend culinary school. I remember walking down Broadway and passing the school back when it was The French Culinary Institute. I’d tell myself “One day I’ll get there!”. But, life takes over, things come up and I worked in Healthcare for 20 years. But the thought of attending the school was always in the back of my mind, until finally opportunity knocked, I opened, and my “some day” finally came, and here I am!

Now I’m making bread, not just any bread, but the best! I’m being taught by an incredible chef, chef Johnson, a true master at this beautiful craft. My weeks at ICC are going by so quickly – time flies when your having fun! However, what’s going by even quicker than this, is the year. I seriously cannot believe Christmas is in just a few days!

This holiday season I decided to make and gift something edible. I thought of the ultimate, most delicious ingredient that I respect second to my family – the king of the pantry, OLIVE OIL! I’m making infused olive oil. Oh my deliciousness, this is one of the best things in life!

I grew up in a very traditional, big, loud, nutty Italian household, where food always played a big role. From the moment the day begins, we’re trying to plan our dinner menu during breakfast. Our ways of eating where a little different than those of my American friends. While our neighbors ate pizza, hamburgers and hot dogs, my mom served snails in tomato sauce, Riso con patate e cozze (rice with potatoes and mussels), or spaghetti frittata. Today we still cook our traditional recipes, but most importantly, we make sure we bring everyone to the table. Every Sunday we gather with my parents, brothers, sisters, in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins and whoever else wants to eat over.


I was born in Bari, Italy. My mother is from an adorable city in Bari named Bitonto, and my father is from Catanzaro, Calabria. These two regions produce some of the most delectable foods. Every year when I go back, I feel like I enter the food heaven, as if I take my first breath all over again.

Bitonto is a very medieval city with a lot of history. Known for its focaccia with mortadella, fresh seafood (that we eat directly out of the ocean), and orecchiette with broccoli rabe, just to name a few of their specialities. It’s a city surrounded by almond trees, fig trees, and embraced with an abundance of beautiful large olive trees that are hundreds of years old. In fact, Bitonto have been given the nickname “La Citta’ delle Olive” – “The city of olives.” The aroma they give off is so ridiculously addicting, I just want to bottle it up as perfume. The smell alone indicates that this is going to be some good stuff. The color is of a beautiful dark green.

They say that the way to test if the oil is of good quality is to take a few sips of it, and if it goes down smoothly and leaves you with a tingling feeling in the back of your throat then it purely 100% olive oil.

Italy: Olive trees

Calabria is south of Bari, it’s one of the oldest regions in Italy. People of Calabria raise pigs and sheep in the mountains, catch fish along the coastline, and grow lemon trees, orange trees, prickly pears, and olive trees. This region is also known for its pepperoncino (hot pepper) soppressata (salumi), and Cippola Rossa (sweet red onions) from Tropea.

Italy almond trees

Calabria is also well-known for its olive oil which is distributed to America and all of Europe. Here in New York City, there is an Italian specialty store where my family and I have been shopping for years; they carry this delicious olive oil from Bitonto, and it’s the only one we use. My mother always says “Food is a way of life, and if you’re gonna cook, cook right, use the right olive oil and your food will sing”!

For my Christmas gifts, I purchase some cute, inexpensive glass bottles, and I fill them up with various herbs. This year I infused with rosemary, thyme, basil, and lemon zest. Then I cover the herbs with oil from Bitonto and I let the bottles rest for about 2-3 weeks. After that time, the oil has absorbed the aromatics of that particular herb and it’s ready for use. Put a bow on it, bag it up and you’re good to go!

Infused Olive Oil

Drizzle it over your salad, use for cooking with fish or meats. Sprinkle over baked potatoes, or even use as a dipping oil with some crunchy bread.

I would like to wish you all a Buon Natale, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! May they be filled with lots of love, laughs, good food, good wine and the best bread and olive oil you can get your hands on.

Thanks for reading,