|Jalapeno Popper Pastry Pinwheels...with tequila!|
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Just in case you have some last minute party plans pop up unexpectedly, you'll want to keep this recipe handy. I came up with this at the very last minute possible, when I needed to bring an appetizer to a BBQ. These disappeared FAST. This is a very quick & easy recipe, and the finished product is sure to please. Plus, you get to be the one that shows up at the party with "Jalapeno Popper Pastry Pinwheels". That sounds way more exciting than "I brought the green bean casserole".
Plus, it has tequila - and I find that always to be a selling point. The tequila adds just enough moisture so that the cream cheese yields and everything mixes together well, but due to the alcohol content, this extra moisture will evaporate pretty quickly in the oven. It will leave behind some tequila flavor, but it won't make your filling so runny that it melts and dribbles out of your beautiful little pastry rolls, and all over your oven. The salt provides all the seasoning you need (simple is good, in this case). If you're concerned about these being too spicey, you could use green chiles instead of jalapenos.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Ah, Spring...A time for renewal and new beginnings. I have always loved Fall, but Spring holds a very close second for me. I love how my backyard metamorphoses beginning, oh, around the first of February. My flowers and trees seem to bloom in sync with one another, providing me some new bloom with the each passing month. This month, it's my red bud tree, tulips and roses.
Spring also means the beginning of strawberry season in Northern California. Starting very soon, the local farmer's markets will have the first crops of strawberries. We're very lucky in the Sacramento area to have a great selection of farmer's markets and local strawberry stands. Nothing seems to say Spring to me like a great dessert made with strawberries.
And, although this cake uses frozen strawberries for the puree base (you could use fresh, of course), the flavor is spot-on and nicely sweet. I opted for using the rose frosting pattern for this cake, as I've done for my pistachio and orange almond cakes. Actually, it's a very easy pattern with great show appeal. Nicely ties into the roses blooming in my back yard, too. I love that...
I hope you're enjoying your Spring, wherever that may be...Even in those cooler climates where flowers are just coming up.
And, just think, you can wear all your white shoes now! *wink*
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Truly inspired by a fab artisan cocktail creation by Jason Poole at the Pour House in Sacramento. If you've been reading BIWB for a while, you may remember our first trip to Pour House. That's when we sampled for the very first time, Tullamore D.E.W. with Tim Herlihy the brand's ambassador.
We were so impressed with the offerings that we returned a few months later for Girls' Night. Our second visit included sampling the bar and dinner menus as well as a few more classic cocktail creations. Jason describes their approach as "quick craft" where top quality ingredients are used to create unique and fully flavored cocktails.
My first cocktail of choice: the Whiskey Fig. Duh. One sip: I was "in".
|Photograph courtesy of Sacramento Magazine.|
I knew that once I had the time I would be creating a BIWB treat to showcase Jason's creation of whiskey and fig preserves. Lucky for me, I had a good amount of Tullamore on hand as well as some fig preserves from my coworker. Score!
These cupcakes are moist. No, really, they are moist. They have a great spiced fig flavor with warm caramel from the Tullamore. On top, a nice sweet finish with the honey whiskey fig buttercream. And, as the true baker that I've become, I marveled at the rise of these lovelies. Please check out the pics showing how much these babies topped the pan...Truly a thing to behold.
They say that whiskey is enjoyed by more and more women today. I can attest to that as a fact...I'm not just baking with this stuff. No ma'am. I'm also enjoying a cocktail (or two)!
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Every guy I've ever met who had Irish in his blood loves chocolate. He loves all chocolate in its many varieties:cookie, cakes, mousse, pie, brownies, blondies, bars...The list is endless. This Irish version of a simple brownie bite is sure to please every Irish Man in your life. Trust me...I know these things.
I used the cocktail recipe, Lucky Irishman, as the inspiration for these little bits of heaven. It's a cocktail made with Baileys and Irish whiskey (duh...). So, in true cocktail fashion, these are a 50/50 mix of those two alcohols in both the brownie and the frosting. A winning Irish combination, as you've seen here with Jacqueline's Chocolate Stout Cupcakes (with stout and chocolate) and my Luck o' the Irish Cupcakes.
There is one sneaky secret here: I used canned frosting. Yes, I know...How could I do such a thing? Well, I had this canned frosting, not knowing what to do with it. I wanted something easy to make, with booze. And, I knew I could zuzz it up to taste better...And, I DID!
Last little addition: half a Lindor dark truffle. I know...You thought the booze and brownie were enough. Again, I needed to do something with these truffles. I don't eat dark chocolate, but love to bake with it.
So, truffle meets brownie meets canned frosting meets Lucky Irishman. So gooooood...
St. Patrick would be proud!
I am sharing this recipe over at Cake of the Week as part of this month's Baking with Spirit Challenge: Irish Cream. Yeah...
Friday, February 22, 2013
The Manhattan cocktail was first introduced in (where else?) Manhattan. Legend has the cocktail created around 1870, so it really is one of the very first cocktails, and a true American tradition. It was a cocktail that used the whiskey of its time, Rye (Canadian Whiskey), which is a blended whiskey with a large portion of corn spirits.
The "classic" Manhattan cocktail is a simple 2:1 ratio of whiskey to Italian vermouth, with a few dashes of Angostura bitters. These cupcakes are based on that classic ratio of whiskey to vermouth. Bitters were added as well. Why fiddle with a good thing...Right?
I used Tullamore D.E.W. in my cupcakes because it has become my whiskey of choice in all thing baked or "cocktailed." You will find Tullamore D.E.W. smooth and full of flavor -- a great addition to boozy baked things, with a finish of warm caramel. I'm not much of a straight up kind of cocktail girl, but I'm learning to enjoy a Manhattan every now and then. An easy cocktail to order, and very grown up, too!
Give these cupcakes a try...They are an easy slide into the classic Manhattan cocktail. And, you just might have found a new and uniquely American cocktail to enjoy at your next happy hour!
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Happy Valentine's Day! These little cookies are chocked full of deep chocolate flavor with just the right amount of fresh raspberry filling to melt your heart...And, the hearts of those you love.
Super easy dough. Super easy filling. You can make your own raspberry puree like I did when I made these cupcakes. Or, you can just use raspberry jam. You can do this!
I found this recipe in this month's issue of Martha Stewart Living. Not a magazine I really enjoy but am receiving because Martha canned my favorite food magazine, Everyday Food. That was the BEST food magazine ever created...Simple recipes...Recipes that worked every single time.
Alas...I am so grieving the loss of my Everyday Food mag...Almost bereft, even.
And, yes, chocolate heart sandwich cookies do help...
These cutie little cookies were a big hit at work this week. And, hey, who doesn't like heart cookies with sprinkles?
Enjoy a few of these with those you love...Or, with those you'd really, really like to love...
Friday, February 8, 2013
Valentine's Day is approaching and these mini lava cakes are simple and decadent...Sure to melt your honey's heart and set the right mood for the night! *Wink*
I've wanted to make lava cakes for a while, something simple and small. I think decadent and super rich chocolate has its place. I wanted to create something small, luscious and just the right amount of chocolate to compliment the subtle Kahlua flavor. Rockin' it next to some vanilla bean ice cream was also a must.
And, I'll be honest, I'm not a huge chocolate fan...Not even a great dark chocolate fan. Except with coconut, of course. I know...what happened to me at birth? Aren't all girls supposed to be in love with chocolate?
I also wanted to use heart shaped sprinkles and VDay seems to be the only holiday that I can use heart sprinkles. I got my sprinkles at Target...And, in true Target fashion these sprinkles were a deal...Let me show you why...
See?! Why on earth would they combine blue teal hearts with red, pink and white hearts I ask you? Good thing I had some time on my hands (home sick with bronchitis), plus I'm truly anal retentive when it comes to sprinkles. Yeah, you know me so well by now... :)
I can guarantee that these little lovelies are super easy, super full-proof and super delish. I'm not a chocolate fan, right? Well, these have just the right amount of "chocolaty-ness" for both the chocolate and the less-than-over-the-top chocolate lovers in your life.
A nice glass of champagne should seal this deal. *Wink*
I'm sharing this in the coffee liqueur challenge over at Baking With Spirit!