Happily, kind of, I am currently so far behind on this blog that this has now completed the loop to this being back in season! Go me!

Egg nog. Dutch babies. This is pretty much an A+ combination on all fronts, especially as the cold finally starts to settle in over Chicago. So make this this weekend, and treat yourself. You’ve earned it.

Egg Nog Dutch Baby
Makes one dutch baby

Ingredients

  • 2 T butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c egg nog
  • 1 c flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 t vanilla
  • .5 t nutmeg
  • 1 T sugar

Preheat your oven to 400, place the butter in the cast iron skillet, and place the skillet in the oven to melt the butter (see what pic 3 looks like for what this will look like after the oven has preheated).

Combine all other ingredients in the blender (pic 1), and blend until combined (pic 2). Once the oven has preheated, swirl the skillet to coat it in butter, and then pour the batter into the hot skillet (pic 4).

Place back into the oven, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and puffed (pic 5), and then om nom it!

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I haven’t tried making a pie in a while, and frankly, I felt it was time to try again, especially with the strawberries and peaches at the height of their season. It didn’t exactly turn out amazing (fumbling around with thawing pie crusts and super juicy fillings translates into a sudden cobbler transformation), but it’s good for a first try. Plus, it’s generally an amazing flavor combination – warmed, honeyed peaches and strawberries, with just a dash of bourbon and vanilla. 

Honey Strawberry Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 frozen pie crusts (one for the bottom, and one for the lattice top or whatever you can manage) (if you want the recipe for the crust as in the original recipe, click the link above)
  • 5 fresh sliced and pitted peaches (roughly 5 c)
  • 2 c strawberries, halved and hulled
  • 1/3 c dark brown sugar
  • .5 c flour
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 T bourbon
  • 2 T butter, sliced thin
  • 1 beaten egg
  • sugar, to sprinkle

Line the bottom of your pie plate with the crust. Toss together your peaches, strawberries, dark brown sugar, flour, honey, vanilla extract, and bourbon, and then spoon the filling into the pie plate, being sure to get all the juices. Add the thin butter slices over the top. 

Place the top crust over the top of the pie – if you can make a lattice, go for it! Otherwise, just crimp the edges on, and be sure to cut vents in the crust. (I tried to lattice it. It didn’t go very well.)  Brush the crust with the beaten egg, and then sprinkle the sugar on top. 

Chill the pie in the fridge until it’s firm, usually about 1 hour, but up to several days in advance. 

When you’re ready to bake the pie, preheat the oven to 350. Once heated, place the chilled pie on a baking sheet, in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until the juices are bubbling and the crust is a good golden brown. Let the pie cool, and then om the nom out of it!

Churro. Waffles. That should really be all I need to say on this subject. Top with a bit of warmed dulce de leche, and you’ve got a perfect, quick weekend breakfast. (Seriously, this is ready to go in ten minutes, and your first waffle will be ready at about the twenty minute mark.) Plus, except for the buttermilk, you will probably have all of this in your pantry/fridge already! 

So what the hell are you wating for? CHURRO WAFFLES.

Churro Waffles
Makes ~8 waffles

Ingredients

  • 2 c buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 T butter, melted
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 1 T dark brown sugar
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • pinch sea salt
  • 4 T butter, melted
  • .5 c white sugar
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • warmed dulce de leche to top

Take your buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, vanilla, and dark brown sugar, and whisk together. Then, add in your flour, baking powder, and salt, and whisk until just barely combined (it’s cool if it looks lumpy!). Let the batter sit while you warm up your waffle iron. 

Cook your waffles according to instructions, and prepare two bowls: one with melted butter, and a brush, and the other with the sugar and cinnamon mixed. Once your first waffle is done, brush each side with melted butter, and then dunk each side into the cinnamon sugar mixture. 

Spoon a bit of warmed dulce de leche over the waffles, and enjoy your sweet, quick weekend breakfast!

Nutella is awesome. Alcohol is awesome. Combine the two, and you have one of the greatest combinations anyone has ever come up with. Really, I’m surprised Nutella hasn’t done something like this yet. But hey, means more awesomeness for me.

You can do this recipe up in a half hour, plus a bit of chilling time in the fridge. I had the small glass as a night cap last night, and let me tell you, it is pretty fantastic. This is going down to Chicago with me for my con time this year, and I’m quite looking forward to it. 

Nutella Cream Liquor
Makes 1 750 ml bottle, plus a little extra

Ingredients

  • .75 c Nutella
  • .5 c sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1.25 c heavy whipping cream
  • 2 c vodka

Take your Nutella, sugar, and vanilla extract, and heat over medium heat. Whisk the ingredients together, and slowly add your whipping cream in (at about a half a cup at a time I found gave me the best control over the mixture), whisking until smooth and creamy. Heat until it starts to simmer, and then remove from heat and cool to room temperature. 

Once cooled, whisk in your vodka, and stir until combined. Take a sip. See if you’d like to add more vodka or not. (Two cups is just enough to be nicely boozy, but not overwhelmingly so.)

And then, pour into a bottle using a funnel, and chill in your fridge!

This cake is my crowning glory. mithingthepoint​ originally made this back in the days of yore as a FFXII dessert for Balthier, and it pretty much had me from the initial list of ingredients. I’ve made it three times in my life, and none of them has been perfect, but this is pretty damn close. Time one, I didn’t have a springform and I’m 99% sure I screwed up the second layer pretty badly. Time two, I had the springform, but opened it too early, and it got all over everything.

And now, time 3. I got pretty much everything right this time around, except for the second layer – that still ended up a bit on the liquid side, likely because I didn’t beat the merengue/whipped cream bit of it for long enough.  The result is still amazing.  

This will take you several days to make. This has been sitting in my fridge for about a week now due to needing to pick up extra whipping cream and Kahlua for the final stage.  It is worth every minute you put into it.

Kahlua Mousse Cake
Lasts 2 weeks worth of desserts

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1.5 c flour
  • 1 c white sugar
  • .25 c special dark cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 c hot brewed coffee (I used a leftover Pumpkin Spice Via I had from last year’s batch, this year’s is shit)
  • 1/3 c hot melted butter
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • liberal amounts of Kahlua

Mousse Layer

  • 16 oz white baking chocolate
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • pinch salt
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 8 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
  • 4 T white sugar
  • 1.5 c heavy whipping cream

Kahlua Whipped Cream

  • 2 c heavy whipping cream
  • .75 c powdered sugar
  • .5 t vanilla extract
  • 2 T Kahlua

Kahlua Glaze

  • 1.5 c powdered sugar
  • 6 T Kahlua

Preheat your oven to 350. If your springform pan is not nonstick, grease and flour it, or put parchment paper in.  In a large bowl, mix together all your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt), and form a small well in the middle. Add the hot brewed coffee directly in the center of the well, followed by the melted butter, vanilla extract, and egg, like so:

image

 Mix together, and pour into your springform.  Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Then, take your Kahlua, and pour it all over the cake. Trust me. Just do it.  The amount in picture two was about a quarter of a 750 ml bottle.  Chill for at minimum an hour in the fridge.  Longer is better here.

To make the mousse layer, melt together your stick of butter and your white chocolate over medium heat.  (I started with the butter, and added the chocolate in small chunks, and that was honestly the best way to get it to the lovely smoothness in picture 3.)  Then stir in the salt and vanilla, and whisk in the egg yolks (see picture 4 for what that looks like), and remove from heat. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy (see picture five), and slowly add the sugar in, beating until you get stiff peaks and the sugar is disolved, giving you a nice merengue.  I probably didn’t do the eggs long enough here to get that.  Fold into the white chocolate mixture.  Then beat your heavy whipping cream until thick and firm, and then fold that into the mixture as well.  

Pour the resulting confection over the soaked cake, and let it sit for one to two days. Mine sat for about five. 

On the day you’re ready to serve the cake, make the Kahlua whipped cream and the glaze.  For the whipped cream, work with all ingredients except the sugar cold, and start by using an electric mixer to beat the cream.  Slowly add the sugar, followed by the vanilla, and finally the Kahlua, and beat until thick (see pictures 7 and 8 for what that should look like).  If you properly did the confection layer, you will be able to safely open the springform and pour the whipped cream over the cake. If not, no worries, you can still pour the whipped cream on top of the cake in the springform and it’ll still work well.

For the glaze, work with the Kahlua cold, and mix it together with the powdered sugar (see picture 9).  Pipe it over the edges of the cake and/or in an abstract fashion. If you’re like me and using this as an exercise in spite baking, you might, say write this:

image

Before glazing it over to be a bit more socially acceptable (see final picture).

Either way? Enjoy your ridiculously boozy decadent ass cake.  You deserve it. Yes, you.

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!

This was the first recipe I used the new oven (or at least the oven portion) on, and man, I cannot explain the joys of having an oven that doesn’t run constantly hot, cooks well, and also is not at risk of setting itself on fire every time it gets above 400. 

This sauce is perfect with farmer’s market blueberries, a splash of a good red wine (I used leftover Cupcake Winery Red Velvet from the Kahlua cherries), and some high quality vanilla extract. I’m gong to be making some vanilla custard to go with this, and this would also go great with ice cream, too, off the top of my head. Either way, it’s summer in a sauce. 

Roasted Red Wine Blueberry Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 c fresh blueberries
  • a splash of red wine (my red of choice is Cupcake Winery’s Red Velvet)
  • a splash of vanilla extract
  • 2 T sugar

Combine all ingredients in a baking dish, heat oven to 400 and then roast for twenty minutes. The original recipe recommends pulling it out halfway through and giving them a stir, but it worked just fine even when I didn’t. Once your sauce is done, you might want to smash the berries a bit with the back of your spoon, but otherwise, you’re going to have an amazing smelling sauce that you can use with just about everything.