I made these cookies because they sounded awesome on principle, and because back in December, the boy was finally okayed to have caffeine and sweets again, so this seemed like a nice way to combine the two. There’s an additional white chocolate dip with crushed candy canes for these, but these were ridiculously indulgent enough for now. I’ll try the dip another day. 

Peppermint Mocha Cookies
Makes appx 20 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (.5 c) butter, softened to room temperature
  • .5 c sugar
  • .5 c dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t peppermint extract
  • 1 c flour
  • .5 c plus 2 T extra dark cocoa powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 package Starbucks Via Peppermint Mocha (or 1 T espresso powder if you have it)
  • 1 c mini or semi sweet chocolate chips (I used a type that included mint chips because winter and it fit the cookies)
  • (8 oz white chocolate, coarsely chopped)
  • (3 candy canes, smashed)

In a large bowl, cream your butter with an electric mixer until smooth, and then add in your sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Then add your vanilla and peppermint extracts, and egg. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, Starbucks Via, and salt. Then, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the larger bowl, until you have a nice coherent dough. Then, add in the chocolate chips. The dough will be thick and sticky. Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap, and then chill it for three hours at minimum (up to 3 days, if you’re working real far ahead), to help the flavors develop and to make the dough easier to work with. 

Once you’re ready to make your cookies, preheat the oven to 375, and bring your cookies to room temperature to make them easier to work with (takes about 20 minutes if you left them in 3 hours, any longer and it’s closer to 30). Take bits of the dough and roll them into small balls, and place them on your baking sheet. Bake for 9 minutes, and then remove and let cool.

(If you decide to do the dip and candy cane coating, take your chopped white chocolate and put it in the microwave, melting in 30 second increments. Once your cookies are cooled, take your cookies, dip half them in the white chocolate, and then sprinkle the smashed candy canes on top of them. Let them sit on parchment paper of some kind to set, and place into the fridge to assist this. Once the white chocolate is set, remove and enjoy!)

What time is it? Catch up time!!

I’ve been cooking a fair bit at the new place, and I honestly just haven’t had time to post stuff lately. This is me attempting to play catchup for a good… three months or so. Whoops. 

I made these cookies back in December for the office cookie exchange. I wanted to try something simple, new, and unique. These sriracha candy canes fit the bill nicely. 😛 

Sriracha Candy Canes
Makes appx 12 cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 c flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2 sticks (1 c) unsalted butter
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 T sriracha
  • red food dye

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in one bowl, and in another bowl, cream together the butter and powdered sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla to the butter and powdered sugar, and then slowly stir in the dry ingredients and mix until you’ve got a nice combined dough.

At this point, split the dough into two pieces.  Wrap one half in plastic wrap, and put it into the fridge to chill.  Add the sriracha and red food dye to the other, and mix until you have an even red dough. Wrap and chill this one as well until you’re ready to make your cookies (one hour minimum). 

Take your doughs out from the fridge, and preheat to 350 degrees once you’re ready to use them. Take small balls off of the sriracha and plain doughs, and roll them into thin, several inch long ropes. Then, place the ropes next to each other, and then twist together (see picture 3), curving the top down to look like a candy cane. Repeat until you run out of dough. 

Bake your candy canes for 12 minutes, and enjoy!

So, as it turns out, butterscotch hot cocoa is pretty goddamn amazing, especially as the nights here are just starting to turn towards fall. Put this on the stove, get it boiling and then leave it on low throughout the evening and just enjoy the smell (but be sure to watch it when it boils, it can spill over real quick). 

Butterscotch Hot Cocoa

Ingredients

  • 3 c milk
  • 1 c heavy whipping cream
  • .75 c butterscotch chips
  • .25 c butterscotch sauce
  • 3 T cocoa powder (honestly I just used what was left of my Godiva milk hot chocolate mix)
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 t butter flavor (optional)

If you so choose, warm your milk and cream. If not, just put everything in a pot, and stir frequently as you bring it to a light boil medium high heat, so that everything melts together. Be sure you watch it closely; I stepped away for a few moments, and it boiled over. (Still tasted great, just something to be aware of.)  As soon as you’ve got it to that light boil, remove from heat, and pour out your cups. If you’re like me and you’re splitting it with your boyfriend, keep it on low heat to keep it warm throughout the evening and also make the place smell real nice. 

Looking for a neat topping to have that only takes five minutes tops to make? I highly suggest this butterscotch recipe (with actual whiskey in it). Makes enough that you’ll have a nice small jar left over, and plus, as the recipe coming immediately after this turns out, it’s REAL good in hot cocoa. 

Butterscotch Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1.5 c dark brown sugar
  • .5 c light corn syrup
  • .25 c cold water
  • 1 t sea salt
  • .75 c heavy whipping cream
  • 2 T whiskey
  • .5 t vanilla extract

Whisk together and heat everything except for the whiskey and vanilla for five minutes over medium low heat, until the sugar dissolves, and the sauce starts to thicken. Then, add your whiskey and vanilla, and simmer for another two minutes. Taste it to be sure you’ve got the balance you want, and then spoon it into a jar, and keep it in your fridge to put on whatever. 

Creme brulee.  One of the classic desserts to make, and always fun to see if you can make at home. This was my first try ever doing so, and honestly, I’d say these turned out really damn good. Creme brulee is awesome by itself, but add in a good swig of Kahlua, and it only gets even better. 

Don’t have a kitchen torch? Don’t trust your broiler to properly caramelize the crust? No problem!  Use the spoon method (which I will detail below!)

White Russian Creme Brulee
Makes 4 ramekins (mine were larger so it was 3)

Ingredients

  • 1.25 c heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 c whole milk
  • 1 t vanilla extract (or vanilla pod if you have it on hand)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • .25 c sugar
  • 1 T Kahlua (I used a bit more than this)

Preheat your oven to 325. Take your whipping cream, milk, and vanilla, and heat in a pan over medium low heat, whisking constantly. When the milk starts to steam and bubble, remove it from heat and cover it, letting it cool. 

Using an electric mixer, beat together your egg yolks and sugar until they’re well blended and light in color.  Slowly add the cooled scalded cream into the mixture, followed by the Kahlua. Once it’s well blended, strain it through a strainer. 

Fill your ramekins with the mixture, and put them in a cake pan. Boil a pot of water, and add it to the pan, so that it comes up to halfway up the dishes. Bake for 25 minutes – you’ll know when the custards are set by shaking them – if they jiggle, they’re done.  Place them in the refrigerator for a minimum of a day. 

Once you’re ready to serve them, bring them out of the fridge and bring to room temperature (usually takes about 20 minutes). Sprinkle 1-2 t of sugar on top.  Don’t have a torch?  This is where your stove comes in. Take a metal spoon, turn a flame on your gas stove to high, and heat the spoon over the flame for about 1 to 2 minutes. (Not pictured is the pot holder I had wrapped around the spoon so I didn’t burn myself.)  Take your heated spoon, and press down on the sugar for about 30 seconds so that you hear a sizzle, and maybe see a bit of smoke. 

And then behold, your awesome boozy creme brulee!

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.