Chocolate Kahlua Pudding with Kahlua Whipped Cream

I went on vacation. One whole glorious week of biking, zooing, reading, sight-seeing, visiting breweries and wineries, and drinking what was purchased at said establishments. And most importantly-relaxing on the beach in the beautiful sunshine. With friends! All while making sure a toddler didn’t run off into the ocean. It was fantastic.

pudding3We cooked at our rental house most nights–and by we, I mean our friend cooked for all of us. In my guilt about not stepping it up more in the chef department I offered up some Chocolate Kahlua Pudding. I don’t think it made up for all of the grilled pizza and chicken and swordfish and scallops, but we do what we can.

pudding7And since returning from that vacation we have literally been running around (seriously, I’m pretty sure I did some sprinting as soon as we pulled back into our driveway to get ready to pull back out of the driveway) and I’m ready for another. Though we’ll have to wait until next year…

pudding6Chocolate Kahlua Pudding

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

16 oz. chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup Kahlua

For whipped cream:

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup Kahlua

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler on the stove. Or, if you’re on vacation and can’t find the right tools to make a double boiler, heat in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between each time.

Heat the heavy cream and Kahlua in a medium pan until very hot, but not boiling. Pour the melted chocolate into the cream and stir, stir, stir, stir or whisk, whisk, whisk, whisk until completely combined.

Keep all the mixture in one bowl or pour into an attractive serving dish to be scooped out later, or pour into individual ramekins, dessert bowls, or cocktail glasses. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Using a hand or stand mixer, beat 1 cup of whipped cream with 1/4 cup of kahlua until it forms stiff peaks. Serve over the pudding and garnish with chocolate chips, cocoa powder, or fresh fruit.

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Margarita Cookies with Tequila Glaze

Saturday night, 7pm: “I have to run to the store to get tequila for the baptism tomorrow!” Totally legitimate thing to say.

margaritacookie1I wanted to make something special for a baptism I was attending and the mother loves margaritas. Apart from showing up at her parents with a blender, this seemed like the obvious next best thing.

margaritacookie3Now make sure you get as much lime zest as possible–I don’t think it could hurt to even up the zest to 3 limes. Also, I wouldn’t recommend substituting for the sea salt. If you have margarita salt, go for it! But regular iodized salt would not only give you a different visual on the “rim” of your cookie, the flavors would be off as well. And you don’t want that.

margaritacookie2See? I even made some without the tequila glaze in case there were children or weird people who didn’t want more tequila in their cookies. I try to be accommodating.

Margarita Cookies with Tequila Glaze

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

2/3 cup powdered sugar

2 limes

1 orange

2 sticks butter, room temperature

2 large egg yolks, room temperature

pinch of salt

1 tablespoon tequila

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup coarse sugar (I used sugar in the raw)

2 teaspoons sea salt (would not use table salt for this)

Glaze

1/3 cup powdered sugar

tequila

Cookies

Prep: Sift the powdered sugar and grate the orange and limes.

In the bowl of a mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter until fluffy and smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat again until fully incorporated. Mix in 1 of the egg yolks, then add the salt, tequila, juice of one lime, and orange and lime zests. With the mixer set to low, beat in the flour until just incorporated. [If the dough seems too sticky, add a small amount more of flour.] Gather the dough into a ball and divide it in half, wrapping each piece in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

Remove from the refrigerator and work each piece of dough into a log about 1 inch in diameter. Rewrap the logs in plastic wrap and place back in the fridge for 2 hours. [I left mine overnight!]

Position oven racks to divide into thirds and preheat to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk the second egg yolk in a bowl and set aside. On a large piece of wax or parchment paper, mix the coarse sugar and sea salt with your fingers. Spread it out on the paper. Remove the logs of dough from the fridge and brush them with the egg yolk. Roll the logs in the sugar mixture and press on the sugar to stick. Using a sharp knife, slice the log into cookies about 1/4 inch thick. Place on the lined baking sheets about 1/2 inch apart.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.

Glaze

While the cookies are cooling combine powdered sugar with just enough tequila to make the mixture spreadable. You can make more or less of the mixture depending on whether you want to glaze the whole batch or not.

Bourbon Pecan Caramel Corn

The other day as the toddler and I were heading out for the morning, we got stuck in the mud room. I couldn’t get the door open that goes into the house, and I couldn’t get the door open that goes outside, either. That’s just how awesome I am.

popcornSo I put my superhero cape on (not really though, cause it would have gotten in the way), climbed out the window, and went around to the front. A door I can easily open. And all was well.

popcorn2So my point is, if I had been stuck in the mudroom all day, Bourbon Pecan Caramel Corn would have been really nice to have….

Bourbon Pecan Caramel Corn

adapted from Simply Recipes

6 tablespoons of oil

2/3 cup unpopped corn kernels

2 cups brown sugar

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon molasses

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup bourbon

1 cup pecans

Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Throw in just a couple kernels of corn and wait for them to pop. Take the pot off the heat and add in the rest of the kernels. Count to 30, then place back on the heat again. Shake pan occasionally while kernels are popping. Once the popping has slowed down, take off the heat and set aside to cool. Chop pecans and combine with popcorn in a large roasting pan.

Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Stirring occasionally, bring brown sugar, butter, maple syrup, molasses, and salt to a boil in a medium sized pot. Continue to cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 250 degrees. Remove from the heat and stir in baking soda. Finally, stir in the bourbon.

Pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn in the roasting pan and use a wooden spoon to stir and evenly coat. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, then remove and stir again. Return the popcorn to the oven and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Immediately spread popcorn on parchment paper and let cool completely.

Black and Tan Brownies

Perhaps you’ve had a pint of Black and Tan: where Guinness is carefully poured over an upside down tablespoon to gently fall on an ale or lager with greater density (Yes! More dense than Guinness!) so as not to mix the two. Or perhaps you’ve had a mixed Black and Tan where the visual aspect isn’t important, such as Yuengling’s. There are many variations that have developed over the years: Black and Tan (Smithwick’s or Bass), Half and Half (Harp), Black and Blue (Blue moon), or even a Black Velvet (champagne).blacktan

Source: Flickr creative commons by parislemon

Same concept: brownie form.

We also need to address that the naming of such a thing isn’t necessarily the most politically correct-or sensitive. The Black and Tans were men from Great Britain, whose job it was to act as police in Ireland as part of the Royal Irish Constabulary and fight against the Irish Republican Army (IRA) during the Irish War of Independence. The nickname Black and Tans came from the color of their uniforms. They are historically known for oftentimes using brutal and savage methods, even against civilians.

And so we have brownies………the dark, chocolately brownie sitting on top of the lighter cookie-type blondie. With beer in them. I actually used Sam Adams Chocolate Bock in the brownie. Certainly a different flavor profile than Guinness, though extremely appropriate given that smooth chocolate flavor.

So perhaps I’m the only one who will eat my brownie while contemplating the brutality of war and lament the trials and tribulations of the Irish while I watch The Wind That Shakes the Barley crying yet again. Pass me the brownies.

blacktanbrownie

Come out, ye Black and Tans: Irish rebel song, here performed by the Wolfe Tones

The Wind That Shakes the Barley: a ballad written about the 1798 rebellion in Ireland. This is my favorite version by Solas.

Black and Tan Brownies

Adapted slightly from The Irish Spirit

Tan Brownies

4 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Black Brownies

5 oz. unsweetened chocolate

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

4 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup all purpose flour

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup stout

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter an 8×8 square pan.

Tan brownies

In the bowl of a mixer with paddle attachment beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy, then beat in egg and vanilla. Remove from mixer and stir in flour, baking powder and salt with a wooden spoon. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.

Black brownies

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler and stir until completely smooth.Stir in the sugar and salt and let cool slightly. Stir in the eggs, flour and vanilla. Whisk in the stout.

Pour the black brownie mixture over the tan brownies and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Baileys Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge

Fudge1

After almost two months without having a working computer, I’m finally back! And I triumphantly return to the blogging world with Baileys Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge! Wow that’s a mouth full. But it’s totally worth saying. An epically big title for small bites of sugary Irish creamy awesomeness.

And much more appetizing than “Bay Leaves Fudge,” which is what one person heard upon my presentation of the confection. I don’t think I’ll be making that flavor anytime soon.

And you know what? I totally ran out of flour and topped my 1/2 cup off with whole wheat flour. So I could say this is Whole Wheat Baileys Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge. But I don’t want to be ridiculous.

Fudge2

Baileys Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge

adapted from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook

In a mixer:

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons Irish Cream

1/2 cup all purpose flour

On the stove:

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

pinch of salt

1/3 cup Irish Cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

You want to line an 8×8 pan with foil or parchment paper so you can easily remove the fudgey goodness from the pan later. Nobody wants to waste fudge. Especially if it has Baileys in it.

In a mixer cream together the butter and sugars. Mix in the vanilla, salt and Irish Cream. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Set it aside and let it wait for you.

In a saucepan on the stove melt the butter, brown sugar, and pinch of salt. Take off the heat and add in the Irish Cream and vanilla. Stir in the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Now add this to the flour mixture and beat together until combined. Fold in those chocolate chips and then pour into your prepared pan. Pop in the fridge and try to forget it while it sets. I left mine overnight, but a few hours should do.

Sláinte!

Rum Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

Take your favorite oatmeal raisin cookie recipe. Only, hours before you intend to bake, take all the raisins and macerate them in some rum until they are rum soaked bites of wrinkly raisin awesomeness. Then, and only then, should you add them to your cookie dough.

The taste is subtle (I’d rather flavors to be in my face), but it’s there. And that can’t be a bad thing. Higher points for using rum that you got in Costa Rica.

If there is any rum leftover that has not been absorbed into the raisins, you must, MUST drink it. Not gonna lie, that was my favorite part of this baking and cookie eating experience. Rum flavored raisins was the goal, but the raisin flavored rum was a super sweet bonus.

I gots a new camera for Christmas. So hopefully, my pictures will soon look better than this. Stay tuned.

Rum Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

adapted from Joy of Cooking

1 cup raisins

1/2-3/4 cup rum (depending on how much time you plan to macerate and if you want anything leftover…)

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 lb butter (2 sticks)

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/2 cups rolled oats

Hours before baking, pour rum over raisins and let them sit. Every once in a while stir it around (and give it a good smell-you know you want to).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk to aerate and remove any clumps.

In a large bowl or bowl of a mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy. Add sugars and cream together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then the vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet sugar mixture.

(Without using a mixer) stir in the oats. Strain the raisins or add them using a slotted spoon and stir into the cookie dough.  Place on greased cookie sheets by heaping tablespoons about 3 inches apart. Press down to form 1/2 inch thick rounds. Bake for 6-9 minutes, rotating them halfway through. Cool on the sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

**Very important: If there is any rum leftover you must drink it.

Bourbon Pumpkin Cake

We bought a house! More importantly-we bought a beautiful kitchen! I no longer need to use the floor as vital counter space! I have an oven that lets you know when its preheated and a light turns on when you open it.  I have a dishwasher. I repeat. I have a dishwasher! Naturally, an occasion such as this merits a party. And naturally, a party needs a cake. A cake worthy of the celebration.

I kept the structure of the original recipe, but used apple sauce in place of some of the oil and toyed with the spices a little–and upped the amount of bourbon in the cream cheese glaze. (Of course.) Every type of cake I have made with whiskey turns out incredibly moist-this one even more so because of the applesauce. You could totally cut down on the amount of glaze (as you can see, it made a decent amount), but I see cake as merely a vehicle for frosting so I would never do such a thing.

It was definitely worthy of the celebration.

Bourbon Pumpkin Cake

Adapted from A communal table

3 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/2teaspoon ginger

3/4 teaspoon allspice

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup applesauce

1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree

5 eggs

1/3 cup bourbon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a cake pan. In a medium bowl combine all the dry ingredients and whisk until thoroughly incorporated and there are no remaining clumps. In a large bowl (I used a Kitchen Aid with the paddle attachment) combine the sugars, oil, applesauce, pumpkin. Once the wet ingredients are combined add the eggs one at a time. After, pour in bourbon. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet. Pour the batter in your cake pan and bake for 1 hour or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Bourbon Cream Cheese Glaze

6 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons bourbon

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a medium bowl beat the cream cheese together with the bourbon. Slowly add the powdered sugar. You can start out with less bourbon if you’d like a mellower taste and add more once you have incorporated the sugar. Pour the glaze over the cooled cake.

Chocolate Coconut Rum Cupcakes with Coconut Rum Frosting

“And the zookeeper is very fond of rum!”

At the Zoo is one of our two year old’s favorite books, and the original inspiration for his Simon & Garfunkel themed birthday party (read: excuse for me to incorporate Simon & Garfunkel into all that I do!). I love how the book cleverly deals with the mention of an alcoholic beverage by picturing the rhinoceros zookeeper outside of the beaver’s cage. The beaver, of course, is wearing a shirt with his name on it: Rum. I just knew I had to involve rum in some aspect of the party! Enter in a chocolate coconut rum cupcake, made even more sinful with coconut rum frosting.

Don’t worry–I also made yellow cupcakes topped with strawberries and whipped cream and the birthday boy was none the wiser on what he was missing! And, you know, I’m responsible like that.

Chocolate Coconut Rum Cupcakes

See The Cupcake Project. I didn’t really adapt anything so I will not take any credit for the recipe! Though I am one of those people who has a problem with the texture of coconut inside my desserts, so I left out the shredded coconut.  I did not, however, leave out the chocolate chips. Do with that information what you will.

I made a different frosting, only for the reason that I was already using 5 blocks of cream cheese in other dishes for the party and I felt like we could all use a cream cheese break. And why would I make a rum cupcake and not top it with a rum frosting? That would truly be ridiculous.

Coconut Rum Frosting

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups (or more) powdered sugar

4 tablespoons coconut rum

Whip the butter in a mixer (or by hand if you’re crazy) until it is light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar in small increments, thoroughly incorporating each addition before adding more. Feel free to use more than 3 cups if you need to, but it was the ideal amount for me. When it has reached your perfect consistency for frosting spreadability, mix in the rum. If the liquid has thinned out the frosting too much, you can add more powdered sugar to firm it up if needed.

Baileys Rice Krispie Treats

My poor, sad, neglected blog. It’s not for lack of cooking. At first, it was pure laziness. Though I made a few different dishes to share for St. Patrick’s Day, I didn’t share them in time. Then it became pure impossibility, due to the misplacement of our camera with all the beautiful pictures of intoxicating foods. Haven’t seen it since the holiday-perhaps that can be seen as a sign of a successful St. Patrick’s Day! But…I’d rather have my camera.

So I share with you the one recipe that happen to have had it’s picture taken with a phone camera: Baileys Rice Krispie Treats. I think this idea is pure genius if I do say so myself (and I did). Something so simple. So easy. So soft and chewy! I’m sure it would brighten up your Easter sunday just as easily as it did my St. Patrick’s Day. (Sans green food coloring).

Baileys Rice Krispie Treats

3 tablespoons butter

1 10 oz. package of marshmallows

1/4 – 1/3 cup of Baileys

6 cups rice krispies

Melt butter and marshmallows over low heat until completely melted. Add Baileys. Add rice krispies, mix well and quickly press mixture into a 13 x 9 pan. Smile at the pure genius.

Chocolate Cabernet Cookies

Obligatory wine and chocolate for Valentine’s Day.

But this time, they come in one package. One neat, gooey package.

Chocolate and wine are meant for each other. I think they’re in love.

Chocolate Cabernet Cookies

Only slightly adapted from Simply Scratch

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed down

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup cabernet sauvignon

10 ounces chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder in a bowl and stir with a whisk. Set aside. In a larger separate bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars. Be patient! Add the egg, vanilla, and wine. Slowly add the reserved flour mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips. Bake on greased cookie sheets for about 10 minutes.