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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Peppermint Mocha Kahlua Brownie Sandwich Cookies

December is nearly over, and we've almost made it to the end of the holiday season. I don't know about you, but I'm kind of glad. Spending time with family is awesome, and obviously I love to bake, but I'm no Martha Stewart. This baking blogger is enjoying leftovers and savoring my quiet weekend. So, about those leftovers. Everyone has leftover candy canes, right? I mean, I buy them every year because they're cute, but no one really eats them. Now that Christmas has passed, I thought I'd experiment and find something interesting to do with them. Also, I'd picked up some Peppermint Mocha Kahlua, per Ellen's recommendation, so obviously I had to do something fun with that! Still, I felt like keeping it simple and doing something easy.

Here's what I came up with: these Peppermint Mocha Kahlua Brownie Sandwich Cookies are VERY easy to make, they look deceptively impressive, and they're DELICIOUS. If you need something festive to bring to a New Year's Eve party, and don't have a lot of time, these would be great.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Aztec Hot Chocolate Whoopie Pies {Giveaway #2}

First, please let me start off with an admission: I don't drink Tequila.  Haven't in years...Tequila and I just don't get along.  Not the "sick" kind of not get along...Just the "can't sleep" kind of not get along.  I do have some fancy Tequila in the house for my friends who like it.  It's rarely, if ever, out of the cabinet. 

For today's treat, I just couldn't resist using Tequila in the filling, which is based on the Double Gold shooter: equal parts Tequila and Goldschlager.   And, to be honest, I wasn't so sure about this combination...Even after a few sips of the shooter!  But, given the occasional spirit of adventure (pardon the pun) on our blog, I just forged ahead! 

I've had my eye on a Mexican hot chocolate version of the whoopie pie ever since I started this blog...I like a more cakey whoopie pie and this version is my own, incorporating parts of many recipes into one that gives a great chocolate flavor and warmth from the cinnamon and chili powders.  And, yes, the booze doesn't hurt, either!  ;-)

One taste of the finished whoopie pie and I was swooning...Seriously, swooning.  The combination of the liquors and chocolate in concert with the spices made this whoopie pie truly in a class all its own.  Very close to a spiked version of an Aztec hot chocolate drink, replete with the subtle hit of heat and smoke at the end from the cayenne and ancho chili powders. 

I'm very sure you'll love these...And, we're so sure we're giving away Whoopie Pies by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell from which this recipe is adapted.  This truly is a wonderful whoopie pie book, full of great variations (traditional and not) on the classic whoopie pie with beautiful pictures!  I also found this blog which featured Whoopie Pie Wednesdays where you can peruse tasting notes on most of the recipes found in this book.  

To enter the Whoopie Pies giveaway, please leave a comment to this post telling us which whoopie pie you would make.  Please also include your contact information...Giveaway is open until January 5, 2013 at 9pm PST.  We'll draw names randomly and it's open to anyone on the planet!  Psst...Tell your friends!  

The giveaway is closed...Thanks to everyone who entered! 
Congratulations to our winner, Suburban Prep!

I'm sharing this recipe over at Cake of the Week's Baking with Spirit Challenge: Light Colored Spirit.  Head on over there for more creative recipes using spirits!  

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Spiked Eggnog Cupcakes

A great boozy treat for your holiday cocktail party!  Even if you can’t stand eggnog, you will love these cupcakes!  Not too sweet.  Moist.  Just the right amount of spices and bourbon.  Perfect for an easy to make, after-work dessert that is a true crowd pleaser.

I rarely, if ever, bake after work.  If you hadn’t noticed, we have “day jobs.”  So, our baking and creating time is limited, which is why you don’t see us posting multiple times in any given week.  But, we hope that we bring you delicious and consistently yummy treats that incorporate just that “right” amount of booze, without going overboard.  

For example: Ever had rum cake that was just TOO rummy?  I have, and it really soured me at a very young age to the wonders of booze and baking.  That’s really a large part of this journey on our blog--figuring out the right combinations of booze and other ingredients...It's not as easy as you might think...But a challenge (and adventure) we just couldn't pass up! 

Everyone at my holiday luncheon and white elephant gift exchange loved these…I even gave a lovely to an “eggnog skeptic.”  Her comment, “I was really skeptical, but it was great!”

Sharing this over at Cake of the Week, Baking with Spirit!
Sharing this over at Simple Living and Eating, Foodie Friday Linky!

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Grown up twinkies - with rum

My morning commute hasn't been quite the same since Hostess announced bankruptcy. I drive right past their bakery/factory in Sacramento on my way to work, and most mornings, you can smell fresh bread, even from inside the car, on the freeway. I remember my mom tucking many a Hostess Ho Ho inside my lunchbox when I was a kid. And who didn't grow up with Twinkies? *sigh*

Although I've heard a few stories about someone making quite a bit of money, buying out the last Hostess treats and selling them on Ebay, the rest of us have been suffering from Twinkie withdrawal. Well, Bake It With Booze came up with a grown up twist on the iconic Twinkie to cheer you up. Now, you can make your own!

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pistachio and Orange Liqueur Cake {Watergate Cake}

Okay, so raise your hand if you were alive when President Richard Nixon resigned?  How many of you watched his speech on TV?  Ah, even fewer...Okay, how many of you (or your parents) saved the newspaper announcing the resignation?  As I thought...Not a lot of you.

That's okay my friends, because we have the Watergate Cake to bring back that very pivotal time in political history.  And, just for the record: I can answer "yes" to each of those questions.  Yup, I'm that old.  :)  This single event in our history was my first real introduction into politics at a very young age.  We were living in Northern Virginia at the time of the Watergate Scandal and I was learning about U.S. History, so this had real meaning for me as a young history geek.  I'll never forget those times...

So, most of you don't know that I am a history geek.  Yeah, I read those really long and fairly dry presidential biographies and such.  The people on my commuter bus just roll their eyes when they see my books...I've received some flack for my geekness.  It could be worse...

This cake was developed by the folks at Jello when they introduced pistachio pudding.  The date coincided with the Watergate Scandal, so coming up with a name was pretty easy.  It's quite likely the only green cake widely known, but I think most folks have lost its original name.  So, pretty cool for me that this cake covers both my hobbies: the blog and reading history books...A true win-win for this geek.

Blog baking lore has it that this cake is so aptly named Watergate cake because Jello's pistachio cake was filled with nuts and covered in fluff much like the Nixon administration has been admonished.   Go ahead...Roll your eyes...
Watergate Complex, U.S. National Register on Historic Places
I really wanted to try a pistachio cake for a while, just sounded so good...This one is easy and the ingredients are simple.  I used salted pistachios which really added a huge pistachio flavor.  Very moist and holds up well to all that frosting. 

I used the ombre' frosting style that you see all over Pinterest.  I learned how to make the ombre' frosting from a video by Stephanie at 52 Kitchen Adventures (link below).  I highly recommend watching her video if you are a visual person, like me. 

You'll see this cake again sometime soon in its "scratch" version.  I bought myself a cookbook for my birthday this year: Vintage Cakes.  So, the cake is really "Part 1: Watergate Cake" with its "scratch" cousin coming soon. 

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