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Friday, February 22, 2013

Manhattan Cupcakes {with Tullamore D.E.W.}

Rich and moist, these Tullamore D.E.W. whiskey-infused cupcakes are topped with buttercream that tastes just like a Manhattan cocktail...A great after dinner treat on these cold, late winter nights.  Whether or not you're a lover of the cocktail, I can guarantee you will love these very "grown up" cupcakes!

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!

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Chocolate Heart Sandwich Cookies

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...

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Kahlua Lava Cakes

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!  

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