Archive for Cookies and Cocktails

Jingle Juice

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

Sangria is great for entertaining large crowds and the perfect cocktail to serve at brunch or afternoon party.  It’s easy to make. guests can serve themselves without mixing and you can make it the night before to have more time mingling with your guests. Make 2 batches, one red and one white for guests to choose. And the orange and cranberry scone makes a perfect pairing for brunch or an afternoon get together.

Orange and Cranberry Scones

Orange Scones

Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick ( 8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips ( or white chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel (reserve rest for icing)
  • Juice of half an orange (reserve other half for icing)
  • ½ cup buttermilk or heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or orange extract

Egg wash

  • 1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon of milk

Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 2 Tablespoons of orange juice (use orange that was grated)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or 2 knifes until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in chocolate chips, dried cranberries, grated orange peel and juice.

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Add buttermilk or milk in a measuring cup and whisk in egg and vanilla into the same cup. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix just until dough is formed (do not overmix).

 

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Drop Tablespoon size on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush tops with egg wash mixture.

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Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and drizzle the tops with icing.

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Icing: In a bowl, mix together powdered sugar, grated orange peel and juice until smooth. Adjust icing to desired consistency by adding more powdered sugar or juice, as needed.

 

 

Jingle Juice (Sangria)

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Ingredients

  • 1 bottle of wine (red or white)
  • ¼ cup brandy or cognac
  • ¼ cup triple sec or cointreau
  • ¼ cup sugar (omit if using dessert wine)
  • Fruits desired: orange, apple, pear, pineapple, lemon, lime, honeydew, etc.
  • Club soda

Directions

In a pitcher. add in all ingredients except for club soda and mix well. Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight (If using strawberries or raspberries, add before serving as it will become soggy if left overnight).

Before serving, mix in some club soda and serve!

Oatmeal Chip Cookie Jar

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Today is another DIY treat idea perfect for hostess, holiday or teacher gifts. And the best part…there is no baking involved!

Another gift idea: add the assembled Cookie Jar with ingredients and recipe for the Oatmeal Cookie Cocktail in a basket for a cute Cookies and Cocktails themed gift!

Oatmeal Cookie Mix

Makes 24

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cups quick or old fashion oats
  • Optional: cranberries, raisin or nuts

Directions for cookie mix

In a bowl: mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Place mixture in 1 quart (32oz) jar.

Layer remaining ingredients in the order listed, pressing lightly after each layer, adding ½ cup of optional ingredients such as cranberries or nuts on top if desired.

Print out a label with the recipe below (or hand write on a small card) and attach to the jar with ribbons, bows,  etc.

Recipe to Attach:

Oatmeal Chip Cookies

In a large bowl, beat 1 stick (1/2 cup) of softened butter, 1 egg and 1 tsp of vanilla together until combined. Mix in cookie mixture. Drop by Tablespoons onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in preheated 350 degrees oven for 8-10 minutes. Cool and enjoy!  

 

Oatmeal Cookie Cocktail

Ingredients 

  • 1 part Bailey Irish Cream
  • 1 part Butterscotch Schnapps
  • 1 part Goldschager (cinnamon schnapps)

Mix all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and strain into martini glass or shot glass.

 

 

 

 

Limoncello

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

The next 2 days will highlight DIY treats you can whip up from the comfort of your kitchen, perfect for  hostess gifts or holiday gifts.

Today’s feature is for lemon lovers. Cute and delicious lemon cookies that are easy to make, package and transport. And the perfect pairing is Limoncello.

Limoncello is smooth and refreshing  with an intense lemon flavor. It can be sipped on its own or mixed into cocktails. You can adjust how sweet, citrus or tart you want by the amount of simple sugar added.

 

Lemon Cookies

Lemon Cookies

 

Makes 48 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ sticks (12 Tablespoons) of unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar  (or brown sugar)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2- 3 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Garnish: sugar

Directions

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and powdered sugar  together with an electric mixer until creamy.

Add in grated peel and  juice of lemons and vanilla and continue to mix. Slowly add in the flour mixture just until combined (do not over mix).

Divide dough in half. Shape each dough into a log shape, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (if the dough is sticky, roll the dough back and forth with your hands while in plastic wrap)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut log into ¼ inch thick slices and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle top with some sugar.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

 

Limoncello

Limoncello

Ingredients

  • 10-12 lemons
  • 1 (750ml) bottle of vodka
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups sugar

Directions

Remove the peels of lemons using a vegetable peeler.  Try to only remove the outer yellow skin and as little of the white pith as possible. If needed, you can trim away large pieces of white pith from peel using a small paring knife.

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Place lemon peels in a jar, pour in vodka and cover.  Leave the jar in a cool place (out of the sunlight) for a minimum of 4 days, up to a month.

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To make simple sugar: heat equal parts of water and sugar in a saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Let cool.

Strain vodka from lemon peels.  Stir in simple syrup, 1 cup at a time, tasting in between and adding more syrup as needed.

Transfer limoncello to bottles or jars and refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 month or freezer up to a year.

 

 

 

Tiramisu

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

All the flavors of tiramisu in one cookie bite. I made some adjustments  by adding almond meal in place of flour for a gluten free option and  added cocoa powder for chocolate flavor.   If you want to omit the cocoa powder, just replace  the amount with almond meal. Or you can replace the almond meal in the recipe for flour.

Gluten Free Tiramisu Bites

Tiramisu Bites

Makes 24

Ingredients 

Cookie cups

  • 2 cups almond flour (almond meal)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg

Filling

  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of rum, coffee liqueur or vanilla
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened ( or mascarpone cheese)
  • Garnish: cocoa powder and chocolate shavings

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a mini muffin pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, cocoa, sugar, coffee, baking powder and salt. Stir in melted butter and egg and mix just until dough comes together (do not over mix).

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Form into 1-inch balls and place into each muffin cup.  Press dough into the bottom and side of the cups.   Bake for 10 minutes.

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Remove pan from oven and use the end of wooden spoon to create a hole in the center of each cookie. Place back in the oven and bake for additional 2-3 minutes or until the cookie cup is set.

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Remove from oven and if needed, use the end of the wooden spoon again to create holes. Let cool.

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(If making ahead, bake cookies and keep in an airtight container until ready to assemble)

For Filling

Whip heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Add in liqueur and gently fold in cream cheese or mascarpone cheese Using a piping bag or spoon, fill each cookie cup with filling and refrigerate for about 15 minutes for filling to set.

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If desired, top with cocoa power and use a grater to shave chocolate on top of the cookies.

(If making ahead, make the filling and place in a piping bag in the refrigerator until ready assemble. Pipe filling into the cups, top with cocoa powder and chocolate and serve!)

 

Tiramisu Martini

Tiramisu Martini

Ingredients

  • 1 oz vanilla vodka
  • 1 oz Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
  • ½ oz Irish cream, heavy cream or milk
  • ½ oz coffee or espresso

Optional glass rim and garnish: cocoa powder, sugar, chocolate

Directions:

For glass rim: fill a plate with water (or liqueur above). Fill another plate with mixture of cocoa and sugar. Dip the rim of the martini glass in the water then dip the edges of the glass in the cocoa/sugar mixture.

Combine vodka, Frangelico and cream in shaker with ice. Strain into a martini glass and top with coffee. Garnish with shaved chocolate.

Pecan Pie

Monday, December 8th, 2014

The holidays are the perfect time of the year (and perfect excuse)  to indulge in our favorite desserts. With so many choices at holiday parties, these cute mini pies allow your guests to enjoy more than just one type of dessert without feeling guilty.  And for guests who may want to skip dessert?  Serve them this pecan pie martini……. this is what I refer to as  pure indulgence!!

 

Pecan Pie Bites

Pecan Pie Bites

Makes 30-36

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ sticks (12 Tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • ¼ cup ice water

Filling

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Optional garnish: pecan halves

 

Directions

For crust: In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar and salt. Add in cold butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

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Add water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, mixing in between until the dough forms into a ball.

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(To make crust by hand: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, kneading until dough forms into a ball)

Shape dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30-60 minutes.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray mini muffin cups with nonstick spray. On a work surface (adding flour if needed) roll out dough to ¼ inch thickness. Cut out 2 ½ inch circles and press into muffin cups.

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Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.

For filling: In a saucepan, combine powdered sugar, butter and corn syrup. Cook for a few minutes until mixture comes to a boil, stirring often. Turn off heat and add in chopped pecans.

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Spoon filling into baked crusts (top with pecan halves if desired) and bake for additional 5 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

 

Pecan Pie Martini

Pecan Pie Martini

 

 

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. vodka (or vanilla vodka)
  • 1 oz. Frangelico
  • 1 oz. butterscotch schnapps

Optional rim garnish:

  • Corn syrup
  • Turbinado sugar (or brown sugar)
  • Crushed pecans

Directions

To rim the glass: Stir together the corn syrup and sugar on small plate. Dip martini glass in the mixture then in the crushed pecans.

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add in all ingredients and shake well. Strain into the prepared martini glass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cookies and Cream

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

Rich, creamy and decadent  is today’s Cookies and Cocktails theme.  And the best part? No baking involved  ( yeah! ) and both require only 3 ingredients!

 

Oreo Cookie Truffles 

Oreo Truffles

 

Makes 32-36

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz.) package Oreo cookies (36 cookies)
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Using a rolling pin, crush cookies in a ziplog bag ( or use a food processor).

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Reserve about ¼ cup and place the rest in a large bowl. Add cream cheese and mix together until combined.

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Using a small cookie scoop (2 teaspoons) scoop / shape into balls and  place on a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes to help them firm up.

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Melt chocolate over a double boiler until smooth. Remove truffles from the refrigerator, reshaping into balls if needed.  Drop truffles in the melted chocolate, coating evenly using 2 forks.

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Place truffles back on the baking sheet and sprinkle reserved crushed cookies on top. Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. (Optional garnish: sprinkles or melted white chocolate)

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Can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

 

 

Cookies and Cream Martini

Cookies and Cream Martini

Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ oz vanilla vodka
  • 1 ½ oz creme de cacao
  • ¾ oz heavy cream (or milk)

Optional glass rim: crushed Oreos from truffle recipe

Directions

If desired, rim martini glass with creme de cacao and then with the crushed Oreos.

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In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, creme de cacao and heavy cream into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into martini glass.