Category: butterscotch

B-b-b-butterscotch pie.

Uhm. I’m not really great at pie. Seriously.

Butterscotch pie with toasted meringue!

Or at least thats what I always say. I might not be able to get away with that anymore, though. Between the apple bourbon brown butter whatever it was pie and the apple cranberry pie and now this… people are starting to think I’m just full of shit. They’re starting to think I pretend I’m not good at pie so that I can avoid making it.

But in the past I’ve had on and off love/hate relationship with pie. I’m notoriously bad at the crust because I lack patience. And I also never wait for them to cool before cutting so, yeah, they can look messy. Some come out perfect. Others don’t. This one. Meh.

Butterscotch pie with toasted meringue.

This butterscotch pie came out visually okay. Not great. I was a little tired and it was getting late and I rushed it a bit in my anticipation of eating it. But the taste? OH MAN.

The taste alone made everyone crazy.

But did I mention I’m tired? Yeah. This time of year is kicking my ass. Between working & baking & decorating & blogging & family & this annoying cold I’ve been fighting off… let’s stick with pie.

Butterscotch pie with toasted meringue.

Continue reading

Hot buttered rum cupcakes, for all your drunk relatives.

…Or your drunk friends. Or your drunken self.

Sorry I’ve been MIA on the recipe front. It’s been a busy time of year, as usual. There are trees to put up, lights to hang, gifts to buy, etc. And this year has been made slightly busier because Miss Yoyo came to town this week, and we (Jay & I) gave her a grand VIP tour of the Empire State Building/Rockefeller Center/St. Patrick’s Cathedral/Times Square Monday (with Miss Becky & Gene as well) and also because of my new blog venture, our dinner plans for our “celebration” of the completion of our first book last night at Franny’s in Brooklyn… and the possibility of having drinks with the author, which sadly didn’t happen- but we had a blast (you can read about all that here)! Anyway, since I took some pictures of the big tree in Rockefeller Center and stuff on Monday, I thought I’d share some with you all. Click them to view the pictures full-size.

The tree, left… & 30 Rock!

I’ll share some more pictures in other posts before Christmas. Okay back to the topic at hand… this time of year, there are a plethora (wow, SAT word!) of cake, cookie and dessert recipes to make. Being partial to cupcakes, I like to try something new every year, if it’s possible. I’ve made eggnog cupcakes, french toast cupcakes, red velvet cupcakes, candy cane cupcakes/mint chocolate cupcakes, and a variety of other cupcakes themed with Christmas-y, uh, themes… plus a bunch of my traditional cookies & such. I usually like to make a cupcake recipe a week up until Christmas, if possible. So here are my first Christmas cupcakes of 2009!

This year I had a few new ideas up my wool sweater sleeves. Actually I had an idea left over from last year that I knew I wanted to use and didn’t get around to, but I also got an idea/inspiration from the new Food Network magazine and Cupcake Jones. So tonight, a freezing cold night in New York, I made these Hot Buttered Rum cupcakes; and I had a set of gorgeous pink embossed foil cupcake liners for them to go in that reminded me of Victorian Christmases. Which is coincidentally what hot buttered rum reminds me of as well, despite most people referring to it as “Colonial” hot buttered rum. Well, WHATEVER! Colonial, Victorian, only a 100 years or so difference there!

I used some butterscotch schnapps too, because it added a bit more “buttery” ness to them. If you don’t have butterscotch schnapps, then use 1/3 cup dark rum. Thanks to My Own Sweet Thyme for the base recipe. I tweaked it, of course.



  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1/6 cup dark rum
  • 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon butterscotch schnapps
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 3 eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350° degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, rum and vanilla. Set aside.
  3. In medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, pepper, ginger and cinnamon. Whisk to thoroughly combine dry ingredients.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the brown sugar and molasses until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add the flour mixture slowly, beating just until combined.
  6. Add the butter mixture and beat until incorporated.
  7. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners. Bake at 350° degrees for approximately 15 minutes, or until done. (When done, the top will spring back when lightly touched.)
  8. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

For the frosting I used a brown butter frosting, with a little bit of butterscotch schnapps beat into it… but you could use some dark rum too. You can also make a rum butter glaze to drizzle on top of the cupcakes, or drizzle some dark rum on them and let it soak in before you frost them. I topped them with pearl nonpareils, ’cause they’re preeeetty. And those liners are the best liners I ever used. They don’t get gross from the batter, and they stay firm and look gorgeous right out of the oven. Highly recommended.

The white pepper? It’s just black pepper with the husk removed, so you can substitute black pepper in a recipe like this without a drastic flavor change. You can also just omit it altogether if you want.

Go on, get drunk on cupcakes. You deserve it after battling the crowds to do Christmas shopping for people you probably don’t even like, and tolerating irritating relatives stampeding in and out of your house.

Butterscotch pudding.

I haven’t had butterscotch pudding since I was a kid. It used to be my absolute favorite. I remember my mom making it and me being so eager to have some I’d take it out of the fridge too early and it’d still be warm and not very firm. But it was still so good. I was thrilled to find this recipe right on one of the opening pages of this month’s Gourmet magazine. It promptly sent me into a fit of nostalgia.

Pudding is so simple to make from scratch, its almost silly to buy instant pudding. This took me no time at all, and within an hour/hour and a half it was ready to eat. I know some people in other countries aren’t sure what “instant” pudding is, so I hope this link explains it. Anyway, pudding is awesome and its fun to say (and type). Pudding. Pudding. Pudding!



  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • lightly sweetened whipped cream (optional; for topping)


  1. Whisk together brown sugar, cornstarch and ¼ tsp salt in a heavy medium saucepan, then whisk in milk and cream.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently, then boil for an additional minute, still whisking.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla.
  4. Pour into a bowl. Cover surface with buttered wax paper and chill for at least 1 ½ hours.
  5. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

It was so good, so rich, and yet it took no time at all. The wax paper should prevent a “skin” from forming, but even if some does form, its easy to scrape off. Unless you like the skin. I most certainly don’t. And if you really want to impress people, or you have time to spare, use the leftover heavy cream to make some homemade whipped cream. Homemade is so much better than store bought. You can make this in one bowl, or pour it into custard cups or ramekins for easy serving.

And I know, I know… pudding is great, but where are the cupcakes!? Well, you’ll get a surprise this weekend. And next week there will definitely be some cupcakes as well. How could I let Valentine’s Day go by without cupcakes?

7-Layer Magic Cookies, aka Magic Bars

I’m fairly certain everyone, at some point has at least heard of these, if they haven’t actually eaten them. These are my favorite “cookies” to have at Christmas. I’ve had them every year since I was a wee tot. I do remember thinking as a child how complicated they seemed to be to make. I was definitely wrong. I literally made these at 3:00 a.m. It doesn’t get any simpler, except for Rice Krispie treats which is quite possibly the easiest thing to make ever. Anyway heres the recipe (for magic bars- not Rice Krispie treats). My additions have a * next to them.



  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.)
  • 1 pkg. semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 pkg. (6 oz.) butterscotch chips*
  • 1 1/3 c. flaked coconut
  • 1 c. chopped nuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for glass dish).
  2. In a 13 x 9 inch baking pan melt butter in oven. Sprinkle crumbs over it.
  3. Mix together and press into pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumbs. Top evenly with remaining ingredients. Press down firmly.
  4. Bake 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool before cutting.**


*I guess mine are actually 6 layer because I don’t like using the butterscotch chips. Its up to you, they’re just as good without them.

**I recommend HIGHLY cutting them very small, as they are super-rich.

I know from experience that Santa LOVES these, so if you want good gifts you might wanna leave him some tonight.