This, right here? This is likely going to be my base cookie ball recipe going forward.  These are the perfect blend of cookie, booze, and softness, and they taste AMAZING. And again, it involves lots of bashing of rolling pins and cookies, and one of the perennial flavors of this time of year – pumpkin spice. I used Bacardi Superior rum in this, this would likely be even better with a dark rum like Kraken. 

Pumpkin Spice Rum Balls
Makes about 20 balls

Ingredients

  • 1 box vanilla wafers, crushed
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • .5 t nutmeg
  • .5 t ground ginger
  • .5 t ground cloves
  • .25 c rum (I used Bacardi Superior, Sailor Jerry’s was recommended)
  • 2 T pumpkin puree
  • .25 c white sugar for rolling

For the vanilla wafers, again, if you have a food processor to do the work for you, fantastic. Otherwise, take a box of vanilla wafers, put them in a bag, and then beat the shit out of them with a rolling pin. Enjoy the stress relief. You will likely need it around this time of year.

Mix together the crushed vanilla wafers, powdered sugar, and spices. In a separate, smaller bowl mix together the rum and pumpkin puree. Combine in the larger bowl until the batter’s just barely combined, as in pic 4. Take small chunks of your dough, roll them into small balls, and place them on a plate to rest as you roll them all up.

Take the balls, toss them in sugar to coat, and then chill in the fridge for an hour minimum. You can eat them either chilled or at room temp; just try not to eat all of them at once.

I made these… significantly earlier than I would care to admit, but things have been busy enough around here with the holidays and such that I haven’t gotten to posting these just yet.

I made these alcoholic cookie balls for the bosses this year (with a few leftover for me), and they also kind of served as tryouts for a good base ball recipe. This was definitely one of the more interesting ones, but not the one I’ll be ultimately using.  Very good recipe, though. And around this time of year, I’m all for alcoholic cookie balls.

This recipe isn’t quite perfect, as I ended up having to do some guessing on whether or not I had the right chocolate (long story short there was chocolate in my pantry but I didn’t know what kind it was as it had been taken out of the packaging and scattered all over the pantry), or enough of it. These ended up being a bit more moist following the base recipe, and I ended up adding powdered sugar to compensate. Not sure how much the Kahlua came through on this, but still a no bake, relative stress relieving assembly process.

Kahlua Balls
Makes appx 20 balls

  • 3 c crushed graham cracker crumbs (comes out to about two and a half of the small packages of graham crackers you find in a box)
  • .75 c powdered sugar
  • .25 c dark cocoa powder
  • 1.5 c semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 3 T corn syrup
  • .33 c Kahlua
  • 3 T brewed coffee
  • .5 c white sugar, for rolling

First, crush your graham crackers. If you have a food processor, you can do it that way. Alternatively, do what I did – take a large bag, add a package at a time, and beat it with a rolling pin until you have relatively uniform, fine crumbs. Trust me, it’s a pretty fantastic feeling. To chop your chocolate, use a large knife (such as the one in picture two above), and use it on the squares to kind of shave the chocolate off the squares, to a fine enough point that it will blend in the batter well eventually. 

Take your chocolate, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and graham cracker crumbs, and whisk them together until you have a relatively uniform mix. Add in the vanilla, Kahlua, corn syrup, and coffee, and stir with a rubber spatula until the dough just barely comes together.  If it ends up too moist, add more powdered sugar to firm. 

Take chunks of dough and roll them into 1" balls. Put them on a separate plate to rest while you roll them all out. Once rolled, put them in the white sugar, toss to coat, and then place in a container. Put them in the fridge to chill – two to three days to develop the flavor is best.  And then, when you decide to eat them (and it will be sooner rather than later), bring them up to room temp, and enjoy!

venneh:

justaweekendchef:

So, I went to the farmers market this morning, not in the least because my garden has been abjectly failing because of the heat – only the garlic, basil, ginger, and mint are holding on, and just barely at that.  And lo, one of the stalls a) took cards, and b) had strawberries at a pretty reasonable price – $4.50/qt.

So, entirely reasonably, I got three quarts of strawberries.

So, you must be wondering what the hell I’m going to be doing with that much strawberries, and how the hell they’re going to stay good long enough for me to be able to do anything with them.

Well, you’re gonna be seeing a hell of a lot of strawberry recipes in the near future, that much is for sure.  Including further down in this post.

But how they’ll stay good enough for me to be able to do anything with them for about a week ago is a little trick I learned last year.

What you do is combine one part apple cider, or white, vinegar, to 4 parts or so water.  In my case, what I did was fill up most of a storage container with water, and then top it off with apple cider and white vinegar (see the first pic).  The wash keeps the berries in the fridge for at LEAST a week, if not more.  I ran it on my tomatoes (cherry and full sized) that I picked up today, too, cause I want to see if it’ll work on them, too.  Odds are high it will.

And today began my strawberry odyssey – with strawberry infused vodka.  Which, in my experience, can only end in the best of ways.

Here’s how you make it – take two cups of strawberries, hulled and halved.  Put them in a quart jar (or in two smaller jars, whatever works best, just so long as it seals).  Pour two and a half cups vodka over them.   Put in a dark place to infuse.

And then check on them in a week, and drink.  😉

So, now you have your strawberry vodka.  Surely you’re wondering what to do with it next.  Well, here’s your answer:

Strawberry vodka lemonade with mint.

Doubt me? Here’s a testimonial from a friend about the awesomeness of this drink.  She’s not kidding about how deadly this is, though; me and some friends went through my first jar of vodka with this recipe in a night and we all had killer hangovers the next morning.

How do you make it? Muddle the mint at the bottom of the glass, pour about a third to a half of whatever cup you’re putting this in with the strawberry vodka, then fill it up with your lemonade.

Boozy. Baked. French toast.  This is utterly the perfect thing to do on a weekend, especially if you’re looking to do brunch.  Just do what I did – have it soak in the fridge Friday night, and then throw it in the oven Saturday morning.  And then, enjoy.

Boozy Baked French Toast
Lasts for at least a week’s worth of breakfasts

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf bread (I went with simple white, original recipe recommends challah; either way, try to have it be a bit on the stale side)
  • 3 c milk
  • 3 eggs
  • alcohol of choice; I went with a cocoa liquer/rumchata mix, a very generous pour of both)
  • 3 T sugar
  • dash salt
  • cinnamon and sugar to sprinkle

Take your loaf of bread and lay it out in shingles in your glass pan, like in picture 1.  Whisk together your milk, eggs, sugar, and booze, and pour it over your bread, making sure you cover all of it; what is left in the bottom will be soaked up by the bread.  Sprinkle the soaked bread with cinnamon and sugar.  Cover the pan and put in the fridge overnight to soak up the booze custard.

In the morning, heat your oven to 425 (mine went to 400), and take the cover off the pan and put it in for a half hour, until the bread is puffed up and golden, (see pic 3).  

And then, enjoy your delicious boozy breakfast. You deserve it.

Sometimes, you just need to make yourself a quick treat.  This definitely qualifies.  There are some shortcuts involved, and depending on what you keep in your pantry/fridge, you may not have it on hand right away, but the end result is fantastic.  Bailey’s and chocolate? Hell yeah.  Make it into a pie form, and really, there is literally no way you can go wrong with this.

Bailey’s Chocolate Pie
Lasts 6 lunches as a dessert

Ingredients

  • 6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c whipping cream
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 oz (aka .25 c) Bailey’s, any flavor
  • 1 pre-made chocolate pie crust (you can make your own, but honestly, some days you’re just lazy)

Melt your chocolate chips according to the directions on the package (typically, 1 minute for a 6 oz package, stop it halfway through to stir it to prevent burning).   Set them to the side.

Combine your whipped cream and sugar, and mix with an electric mixer for about five minutes on low, until it gets stiffer and peaks form.  Once that happens, mix in your melted chocolate and Bailey’s, until combined.  

Then, spoon the mixture into the pie crust and refrigerate overnight, until the chocolate Baileys’ mixture thickens.

And then, enjoy the chocolate boozy pie goodness.

I cannot explain the full depths of awesome that this drink is. Maybe it’s because it’s so cold out, and I need to keep warm. Maybe it’s because I like buttered rum way more than I thought it did. maybe because it has the words “pumpkin spice” in it. But either way, this is a fantastic drink for a late fall edging into winter night.

Pumpkin Spiced Hot Buttered Rum
Makes 1 small pot, or enough to get you drunk if consumed over the course of an evening

Ingredients

  • 2 c dark rum (I used Kraken rum)
  • 1.5 c apple cider (obtained from the farmer’s market)
  • .5 c water
  • 1 T pumpkin spice flavoring
  • 2 T butter
  • .5 t vanilla extract
  • 1 T honey

Boil your dark rum, cider, and water. As soon as it reaches the boiling point, add the pumpkin spice, butter, vanilla extract, and honey. Then, keep on low, and slowly but surely enjoy through the night.