Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cherry & Bourbon Bites

These little candies are super easy to make and are perfect for the holidays
because you make them about a week or so ahead of time. 
I used Old Granddad's Kentucky Bourbon but you could easily substitute rum.

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. bourbon
1/4 c. corn syrup
3 c. finely chopped vanilla wafers (make it easy, do it in the blender)
1 1/2 c. ground pecans (same here - blender)
24 candied cherries, halved
1/2 c. confectioners' sugar

1. Melt chocolate chips, in microwave or over double boiler, stirring occasionally until smooth.

2. Remove from heat and stir in the bourbon and corn syrup.

3. In a medium bowl, toss together the vanilla wafers and nuts.

4. Pour the chocolate mixture over the crumbs in the bowl and blend well using your hands.

5. Shape into 1-inch balls and press a cherry half into the center of each one. Roll each cookie in confectioners' sugar to coat.

6. Store in an airtight container.

These are pretty tasty right away but the flavor improves
over a few days.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dirty Bedtime Story

There is supposed to be something
magically relaxing about warm milk.

Maybe it depends on what you add to it!  ;) 

1/2. milk
2 tsp. chocolate syrup
1 oz. amaretto liqueur
1 oz. Irish cream

1.  Combine all ingredients.

2.  Heat in microwave 30 seconds.
I just like to just take the chill off the milk but you could absolutely make it warmer.

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes -  just couldn't resist the name!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wine Cake

This cake was made with a chardonnay and it's delicious! 

As always, you should use a wine you will actually drink. 
However, because you're pouring 3/4c. of it into this batter, I say don't use the fancy stuff for this recipe. 
Go with your good El Cheapo!  ;)

You will need:

1 box, white cake mix
1 5oz. box, vanilla pudding mix
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4c. vegetable oil
3/4c. white wine
4 eggs

1.  Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl and mix with an electric mixer on Medium for 5 minutes.  Batter will be thick.

2.  Pour into a prepared bundt pan.

3.  Bake at 350* for approximately 50 minutes.  Your house will smell AMAZING!

4.  Allow to cool 10 minutes prior to inverting cake onto a rack.

5.  Cool completely and sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish with fresh fruit.

6.  Since you've already opened the white, go ahead a pour yourself a glass!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hot Cider for a Cold Night

It's getting chilly outside and this is the perfect time of year to cozy up with a mug of hot apple cider. Here's my version:

1. Rim a mug with cinnamon sugar.

2. Add 1-1/4 oz. spiced rum.

3. Pour 8oz. hot apple cider over rum.

4. Relax and enjoy!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Banana Muffins with Rum and Cognac

This is a good way to use up overripe bananas. The use of rum and cognac in this recipe gives the muffins an interesting flavor twist that makes it a little more complex than a standard banana bread. The muffins are dense like a coffee cake and would be good for brunch or even a casual dessert.

3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 TBSP honey
2 TBSP spiced rum
2 TBSP cognac

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 c. white sugar
2/3 c. brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
5 TBSP real butter, melted

1 TBSP + 1 1/2 tsp. real butter
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
2 TBSP all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375* and coat muffin cups with cooking spray.

2. In a large mixing bowl, mix bananas, 1/4c. brown sugar, honey, rum, and cognac with an electric mixer until well blended.

3. In another large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

4. In a small bowl, cream together 3/4 c. white sugar, 2/3 c. brown sugar, egg, and melted butter.

5. Add the flour mixture and the creamed mixture to the banana mixture and stir just until blended. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.

6. In a small bowl, mix topping ingredients until crumbly, adding more of either sugar as needed.

7. Bake approximately 20 min. and allow to cool on a rack.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

White Wine Parmesan Risotto

I have made this several times now and it always comes out perfect! The white wine adds an amazing aroma and wonderful depth to the flavor of this dish. It is delicious as is but could also be jazzed up further with mushrooms or maybe sun-dried tomatoes. The best part about this risotto is that it's ridiculously easy to make because you cook it in the microwave! Try it, you'll love it:

3 TBSP real butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 vegetable broth
1 c. Arborio rice, uncooked
3/4 c. white wine
1/4 c. fresh grated parmesan cheese

1. Combine butter, garlic, and onion in medium size casserole dish. Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

2. Heat broth separately until hot but not boiling; about 2 - 2 1/2 minutes.
* I just use a glass measuring cup for this step.

3. Add rice and broth to the butter, garlic, and onion. Cover and cook on high for 6 minutes.

4. Stir in white wine. Cover again and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

5. Stir in parmesan cheese, garnish with fresh, chopped parsley, and serve.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Chocolate Chip Pecan Blondies

The secret ingredient here is dark rum. I used Myer's Original Dark. It should be noted that these blondies would also be excellent without the rum but the purpose of its addition is to help bring out the flavor of the pecans. Here's the recipe:

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp.baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. real butter, softened
2 c. light brown sugar, firmly packed
3 large eggs, room temp.
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 TBSP dark rum
1 1/2 c. pecans, chopped
3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 c. white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350*. Line 9x13 pan with foil. Lightly grease foil.
2. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. In large bowl (or electric mixer), beat butter and brown sugar on medium for about 2 min., until light in color and texture. Scrape sides and add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Beat in vanilla extract and rum. At this point the batter will smell amazing!
5. On low speed, add dry ingredients, just until combined.
6. Stir in 3/4c pecans and all of the chocolate chips.
7. Pour batter into pan, top with remaining pecan pieces, and lick the spatula. Go ahead, it's good!
8. Bake 35-40 min. When testing, toothpick should be clean but not dry. Cool completely on wire rack.
9. Using a double boiler (or the microwave on defrost setting), melt white chocolate. Pour into a plastic bag, snip a little off the corner, and drizzle chocolate over the top.
* If your bag has a blowout (like mine did), you can always just spread the white chocolate across the bars (like I did). Maybe not as fancy as it could be but ... you know. ;)

Also, you could totally make these the day before you need them. They're good the first day but they are awesome the next!!! Enjoy!

**I've made some minor changes here to the original as printed in The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle.
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