Category: maple

Haulin’ oats.

Use steel-cut oats to make an easy 'overnight oats' recipe flavored with maple pumpkin butter.

Bad pun. Sorry. For those of you born after the early 90′s, I was making a pun referring to Hall & Oates, a 1970′s/1980′s duo who’s songs “Maneater”, “Kiss On My List” & “Private Eyes” are insanely well-known. But yeah. It was a bad pun.

On the plus side? This is a great idea.

I first saw it on This Homemade Life & I thought it was genius. Problem is, I don’t like oatmeal. I like oatmeal cookies… but not oatmeal. But I still wanted to try it anyway. Jay loves oatmeal, my parents love oatmeal, the whole world loves oatmeal. I was starting to feel like a leper. Truth be told, I’m not a breakfast person. If I’m away on vacation, I can maybe get in the mood for a breakfast or two. Especially on the road at an awesome Mom & Pop style diner. Otherwise, nope. I mean, I love breakfast foods. I’ve been known to have a bowl of cereal or two, & I do enjoy a good breakfast-for-dinner now & then. But I don’t want oatmeal when I’m having it- I want a big ol’ stack of buttermilk pancakes or waffles with butter & maple syrup. And don’t forget: lots of crispy bacon.

So to avoid the stigma of being the only person alive who doesn’t like oatmeal, I thought I’d do my own, more seasonal spin on the “overnight oats” in a jar: maple pumpkin oats.

An easy way to make maple pumpkin overnight oats using maple pumpkin butter.

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Maple apple walnut crisp, celebrating fall.

Autumn in NY: fall leaves

The word “crisp” always reminds me of fall. In all of it’s meanings, it applies to autumn: the weather is (usually) crisp, apples are crisp when you bite into them, the leaves are crisp- they crunch under your feet, and of course, you can bake things like crisps without your face melting off.

It’s nice to be able to put the oven on & have the windows open… instead of cranking the A/C higher to compensate.

Beautiful, shiny fall apples... just waiting to be baked!

Well, here in New York, anyway.

And it’s about time. I shouldn’t really complain: we didn’t have ONE day over 90° in August this year, and September was relatively pleasant. A bit humid & muggy at times, but all in all it was mostly very cool, sunny days & nice breezes (and some positively cold evenings). October started off HORRIBLE with 86° weather & humidity like crazy, but it evened out into nicer “fall like” temperatures. And lately it’s been really nice… not too cold, sunny, and… wait for it… crisp. I have to say it always dismays me when the weather skips past fall & goes right from sweltering to freezing. Ya gotta give me a little crisp fall weather, Mama Nature!

I say that knowing tonight it’s supposed to dip down to 37 degrees.

A delicious maple apple walnut crisp recipe!

Anyway, can we talk about “crisps”? No, not the U.K. version of a crisp. The baked, dessert-y, fruity, sugary cobbler-like version.

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Maple-whiskey pickles; version 2.0.

The Pickle Sisters, c. 1920′s, image courtesy of Retronaut

A safe assumption here would be that you’re a new reader who doesn’t remember the previous version of these I created. That would be not only the safest assumption, but the most logical, seeing as how I’m sure the majority of people who are googling “whiskey maple pickles” or some variation of that haven’t been reading my blog (although THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN). Because let’s face it, if they were, they’d have known about the previous incarnation of this recipe & they wouldn’t need to be Googling it. But I am not naive nor conceited enough to think everyone in the world knows about/reads my blog.

So here’s a little recap: last year I made pickles. In those pickles, there was not only the usual suspects: dill, pickling spices, salt, vinegar, etc… but also maple syrup & bourbon.

Seriously.

They were pretty awesome, and I don’t even like pickles (!). I do, however, make them for other people’s enjoyment. And Jay loves him some pickles.

Maple Whiskey pickles made with Cabin Fever whiskey!

If you’re too lazy to click a link, then here’s a little more in-depth copy + paste for ya from the original post:

… Maple-bourbon pickles. Inspired by the Brooklyn Brine Company’s Whiskey Sour pickles, which I first saw in Williams-Sonoma. I decided to make a jar or two of these for Jay. I’m not cheap, far from it, but paying $12.95 for 24 oz. of pickles seemed a bit… over-indulgent. Especially when I figured I could make them myself. At first he wasn’t sure how he’d feel about them, but then he had one of their pickles when he played a show at the St. Vitus Bar & raved about it, so I thought “Why not make one teensy jar of them & see?” It seemed unique enough. How bad could it be? It’s pickles + whiskey. That’s a pretty rock star pickle.

In case you’re wondering, [a Pickleback] is an actual thing you can order in some bars. That name for it originated at The Bushwick Country Club in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 2007. It’s a shot of whiskey (from what I’ve read, it’s usually Jameson, but at The Bushwick Country Club they use Old Crow) with a pickle juice, or brine, chaser (they use McClure’s [pickles]). The brine neutralizes the burn of the alcohol & the taste of the whiskey. Once I learned that, through a NYT article from almost 2 years ago, I thought the whiskey pickle idea was even more interesting.

I had high hopes back then that my versions of these two insanely genius pickles would be pretty awesome, if not perfectly awesome. And Jay confirmed that they were, noting that his favorite of the two (between the plain bourbon pickles & the maple-bourbon) was indeed the batch with maple syrup.

Jay is a big pickle guy, but he said those were probably his favorites of all the ones I made (until he had the hop pickles- but that’s another story). Anyway, he had a bunch of pickles open in the fridge and then Superstorm Sandy hit & knocked out the power FOR YEARS & YEARS. Or a few weeks. Whatever. And then after weeks of sitting in a refrigerator that wasn’t on, all those pickle jars had to be thrown away, whether they were almost empty or practically full. It was very sad to see all that work tossed in the garbage- especially since I only had a few unopened jars of pickles left and none of them were the bourbon pickles. *insert long sigh*

Maple whiskey pickle prep

But alas… the story continues. You see, a friend of Jay’s owns a bar in Brooklyn called The Monro Pub. And through him Jay discovered this whiskey called Cabin Fever, which is essentially Grade B dark maple syrup blended with 80 proof whiskey.

For real. This is a thing.

Cabin Fever maple whiskey pickles

And upon hearing of such a wondrous thing, and then tasting such a wondrous thing, I decided that the only thing left to do would be to remake those maple-whiskey pickles using this delectable & convenient whiskey product. Not to mention the fact that now I have a better camera, so I can take nicer pictures of these lovely little pickles.

I know, it’s not really pickling season yet. But like I said last week about those strawberry jam cakes… sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

MARILLA’S SUPER AWESOME MAPLE-WHISKEY PICKLES WITH CABIN FEVER WHISKEY

Makes about 2 pints, recipe can be doubled or tripled

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 small pickling cucumbers (about 1- 1 1/2 pounds), or regular cucumbers if you’re going to slice them into chips… I usually use Kirby’s myself (just don’t use the large waxed ones! Persian cucumbers are okay, not perfect but they’ll work)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons Cabin Fever maple whiskey
  • 1 tablespoon pickling salt
  • 2 heads fresh dill, or 2 sprigs of fresh dill PLUS 1/2 heaping teaspoon dill seeds, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pickling spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seed
  • a dash of freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of hot pepper flakes or one half of a small Serrano chili pepper, finely diced
  • dash of chili powder- OPTIONAL
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • a few slices of onions (“rings”)- OPTIONAL

Directions:

  1. Cut a thin slice from the ends of each cucumber. This prevents a “mushy” pickle, as the ends of cucumbers contain an enzyme that makes them mushy. Then slice cucumbers as you like- slices, spears or sandwich-size; or leave them whole. Place jars in canner to sterilize them and place lids in hot water to soften seal.
  2. Meanwhile, combine vinegar, water, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove hot jars from canner. Pour 3 tablespoons Cabin Fever maple whiskey in each jar. Place 1 head fresh dill or 1 heaping teaspoon dill seeds, onion (if using), 1/4 teaspoon pickling spice, the mustard seed, black pepper, onions, hot pepper flakes and 1 minced clove of garlic into each jar; pack in cucumbers tightly.
  3. Pour boiling vinegar/water mixture over cucumbers to within ½ inch of rim (head space). Place lids & bands. Process 10 minutes for pint jars and 15 minutes for quart jars.
  4. Allow jars to sit for at least one week before opening for optimal flavor, but no one will kill you if you crack one open early.

Maple whiskey pickle jar... ready for cucumbers & brine!

Cabin Fever is definitely the whiskey to use for this. It makes it easier, kills two birds with one stone, whatever cliche you want to use. It takes the guesswork out of finding both a good quality maple syrup & a good whiskey (especially if you’re whiskey-stupid like I am). I usually depend on Jay to tell me what’s whiskey, what’s bourbon, what’s rye & what just plain sucks. But then there’s always the problem of making sure you’ve got a nice maple syrup that isn’t just 90% high-fructose corn syrup colored brown. This way, I know I can use this and it’ll work out just fine and not taste like gasoline pickles.

If you’re interested in the original recipe (using bourbon & maple syrup), then follow your nose here. Included in that post is also a recipe for plain bourbon pickles, and whiskey can definitely be substituted as you see fit.

Speaking of whiskey- I found a new favorite blog: Pork & Whisk(e)y.

Maple whiskey pickles!

Note: please follow all the appropriate canning procedures when creating your pickles. I will not be held responsible for your botulism related medical issues and/or death. Make sure you know what you’re doing before attempting to jar any shelf-stable food products. Alternately, make them according to the recipe and as soon as the jars are cooled, place them in the refrigerator.

Pickles made with Cabin Fever maple whiskey! on Punk Domestics

A four-day weekend: it’s like buttah.

So this is what I do two days after Thanksgiving: I make maple-pumpkin butter. Thanks Marisa.

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It’s been a maple-y kinda holiday for me I guess, between these little things & this sauce, and now this recipe. But when you’ve got a lot of delicious, quality maple syrup and you’re taunted with amazing recipes and you’ve got all this pumpkin…! I can’t really resist. Plus, this time of year is when there’s more pumpkin than you can ever eat at once- whether it’s canned pumpkin, or it’s whole pumpkins. So why not make something like this that’s freezable. That way you can enjoy a little taste of fall in the winter, or even spring.

If it lasts that long.

Are you Americans enjoying your 4-day weekend (if you get one, unlike Jay)? Did you have any “projects” this weekend, like my pumpkin butter?

Maple + pumpkin + bourbon = happiness!

Yeah, you read that right. Motherjumpin’ MAPLE PUMPKIN. And do you know what the maple & pumpkin have done with themselves in this particular instance? They’ve put themselves into little maple pumpkin pastries, or pasties. And yes- it looks as good as it sounds. And it’s all really easy!

See, it all started like this: I had a load of pumpkin in my freezer that I had to use up before Christmas kicks in & everything becomes peppermint-y and not so much pumpkin-y. But I was stumped. Cupcakes, been there done that. Bread? That, too. However, randomly, while looking for something else, I found something that gave me an idea: orange ramekins. I know, you’re thinking, “What do ramekins have to do with anything?” Well, see, I had forgotten all about them. I bought them last year and never used them. I shoved them in a cabinet and forgot all about ‘em. But when I saw them this year I immediately thought of pumpkins… and I was originally going to come up with a pumpkin spice pudding, or a pumpkin-y bread pudding. But then… to add to my excitement over having ideas again… I saw this.

How the hell was I supposed to ignore a recipe that has both pumpkin and maple in the title?

However, while custard tastes delicious, it doesn’t look all that delicious, especially pumpkin custard. Pumpkin custard resembles something wonky that babies do when sick. It tastes amazing, but does not photograph well; unless of course, you’re working for Bon Appétit & have professional lighting & backdrops & such at your disposal. I do not. I live in a house, not a photography studio. My life is not ruled by food photography. I do not have professional lights & reflectors set up just so my custard photographs well. So I made the custard, and it was eaten up super quickly, but the photos left a lot to be desired. And that’s when I decided to hell with it. I’m going back to an old standby- mini pies.

Or pasties.

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Are they an “old standby” at this point? I don’t know, but somewhere between my Nutella pop-tarts and my mini-apple pies, I came to love the portable pie. And it became a fall-back for me when regular pies hate me, or, apparently, when custard doesn’t look appetizing. I had all this pumpkin left & I didn’t want to do a pumpkin pie, ’cause that’s boring. So I made little pies. This time, though, they look more like pastries, or pasties, more so than miniature pies… so I’ll just dub them maple pumpkin pasties (Harry Potter, anyone?). You can call them mini pies, or pumpkin pop-tarts, or pumpkin littles, or whatever cutesy name you like. They’re pie crust, cut into circles, filled with a maple pumpkin filling, folded over, brushed with egg… and then baked. When done, they’re a hand-held heavenly little cluster of amazeballsness. Or a pasty.

And before you go off thinking I’m talking about those little items strippers use, get your minds out of the gutter:

A pasty (play /ˈpæsti/, Cornish: Hogen; Pasti), (sometimes known as a pastie or British pasty in the United States)[1] is a baked pastry associated in particular with Cornwall in Great Britain. It is made by placing uncooked filling on a flat pastry circle and folding it to wrap the filling, crimping the edge to form a seal. After baking, the result is a raised semicircular end-product.

The traditional Cornish pasty, which has Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status in Europe,[2] is filled with beef, sliced or diced potato, swede (also known as a yellow turnip or rutabaga – referred to in Cornwall as turnip) and onion, seasoned with salt and pepper, and is baked. Today, the pasty is the food most associated with Cornwall, it is regarded as the national dish, and it accounts for 6% of the Cornish food economy. Pasties with many different fillings are made; some shops specialise in selling all sorts of pasties.

The origins of the pasty are unclear, though there are many references to them throughout historical documents and fiction. The pasty is now popular world-wide due to the spread of Cornish miners, and variations can be found in Australia, the United States, Mexico and elsewhere.

-Wikipedia

So a pasty is just like a hand-held pie. Cute, easy, convenient,  and so much better than a regular ol’ pumpkin pie, especially with the addition of maple. But you might be wondering where the bourbon comes in. That part is the perfect example of how I can’t leave well enough alone. I thought some bourbon whipped cream (thanks for the excellent idea, Tanglewood Baked Goods) would be amazing with this. And I was right. As usual (kidding). But seriously, the bourbon whipped cream really gives it something. It elevates it, makes it more grown-up.

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 MAPLE PUMPKIN PASTIES (adapted extremely generously from a recipe by Joy the Baker & from these)

Ingredients:

  • 1 double pie crust recipe of your choice; made, chilled, rolled out to 1/4″ thickness & ready to cut
  • 3/4 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • cinnamon sugar (just mix together 2 parts sugar to 1 part cinnamon in a little bowl), optional (I didn’t do it)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F.
  2. Prepare the filling: whisk together in a small saucepan the pumpkin puree, maple syrup and spices, then, on medium-low heat, heat the mixture just until it’s fragrant. Remove from the heat. Add the egg & flour, whisking quickly. Set aside in the fridge to cool.
  3. Cut your pie crust into whatever shapes you want. I used fairly large circles that I then folded over in half to create half moons/crescents. You can also do rectangles, or do squares and fold them over in half to make little triangles, or make smaller circles and use two to mimic a teeny pie (like thus). Do as thou wilt, just know the bigger the shape, the less pasties you’ll get.
  4. Make sure you poke holes or slice little cuts in the top half of the dough; meaning whether it’s folded over or it’s a separate piece of dough, it has to have airholes to release moisture, gases & heat. You don’t want these little ones bursting open in your oven after all your hard work. Assemble your pasties by spooning the filling in, sealing them, and creating a crust with a floured fork. DON’T OVER-FILL THEM! They most definitely will burst open if you do. I definitely got a little over-zealous & had a few messes to clean up.
  5.  Place them on the baking sheet, leaving some space in between. Let them breathe! If this takes you a while and you notice that the dough is getting super soft, chill the pasties you already have made until it’s time to bake them. It’ll help them keep their shape.
  6. Brush the pasties with either a whole egg beaten, or just egg white, to create a nice brown crust. sprinkle with some cinnamon sugar, if desired. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with bourbon whipped cream.

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 I know, they’re so messy. I don’t even know why none of my mini-pies ever come out even. I just can’t do anything 100% perfect, it always looks a little off and uneven. As a matter of fact, I gave up measuring my dough with rulers & shit, because it just never works out! But whatever they look like, I don’t care, they taste good. Isn’t that what’s important, anyway? It isn’t important how perfect they look, or how beautifully they’re shaped. What matters is if they’re edible, delicious, and if people love eating them.

And that, my friends, is exactly the case with these.

You can use any size cookie cutter you want, or you can make a larger calzone-sized pasty by using a cereal bowl as your shape. It all depends on what you plan on doing with them or how you want to serve ‘em.

BOURBON WHIPPED CREAM

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons good quality bourbon

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the three ingredients together with the whisk attachment until they’re thickened. Check the taste, add more sugar or bourbon as needed, by the 1/4 teaspoon.
  2. Continue beating until the whipped cream is the proper thickness, but don’t whip too much… you’ll get bourbon butter!

You can also save the whipped cream overnight, but you’ll definitely have to re-whip it before you eat it again. It kind of re-softens and loses it’s whipped character the longer it sits. Remember- this is fresh whipped cream, not store-bought. There are no preservatives! It has to be re-whipped after it sits for any lengthy period of time. Also, just as an FYI- this would work with any liquor of the following: brandy, bourbon, whiskey, and vodka. Which wouldn’t really give it much of a flavor, unless you used flavored vodka. Which might be interesting.

Major thanks to both my orange ramekins & that maple pumpkin custard recipe (which really is delicious, and I highly recommend it) for inspiring me to create these. Maple & pumpkin, & bourbon. Nom nom. Although… I do think it might be time for me to make a full-size pie again. Soon.

And I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving! I can’t believe it’s only 3 days away. Time is flying…

Historical berries.

American Cranberry, Thomas Meehan, 1870′s

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The cranberry has been an American institution since the 1500′s, when it was first written that the Native Americans used them for dying clothes, making pemmican, and wound care. So we know they’ve been around a long time. But in case you think it’s a modern concept, “cranberry juice” was actually first mentioned in Englishwoman Hannah Woolley’s “The Compleat Cook’s Guide” in 1683. I assume the cranberry became popular in England after the 1660′s when settlers sent King Charles II barrels full of them.

Beyond that, if I can bore you with a little history to further prove the cranberry’s decidedly American roots: A Pilgrim cookbook dated 1663 has a recipe for cranberry sauce! Cranberries were also served at the 1703 Harvard Commencement dinner, and were famous among the likes of James Madison and Thomas Jefferson around 80 years later. A Scottish botanist named William Aiton included an entry for the cranberry in volume II of his 1789 work, Hortus Kewensis. He noted that the Vaccinium macrocarpon (American cranberry) was cultivated by James Gordon in 1760. In 1796, cranberries were served at the first celebration of the landing of the Pilgrims, and Amelia Simmons wrote in her book entitled “American Cookery” (which I have a copy of!) a recipe for cranberry tarts. In 1816, Henry Hall first commercially grew cranberries in East Dennis, Massachusetts on Cape Cod and in 1843, Eli Howes planted his own crop of cranberries on Cape Cod, using the “Howes” variety. In 1847, Cyrus Cahoon planted a crop of “Early Black” variety near Pleasant Lake, Harwich, Massachusetts. In 1860, Edward Watson, a friend of Henry David Thoreau wrote a poem called “The Cranberry Tart.” Cranberries are a major commercial crop in the U.S. states of Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin, which is the leading producer of cranberries, with over half of U.S. production. Massachusetts is the second largest U.S. producer. Naturally, it makes sense that cranberries are so closely aligned with America & American history. However, surprisingly, 95% of the cranberries harvested are used in juice, drinks, sauces and dried. Only the remaining 5% are sold fresh. That really makes you think, doesn’t it? Next time you buy fresh cranberries, I guarantee you’ll think of that statistic.

(Honestly- I do! Every freakin’ time I see fresh cranberries I think, “5% of ALL the cranberries harvested…”)

Anyway, like I said when I made the cranberry orange loaf, this time of year is cranberry season. While October is pumpkin time (for me anyway), November to December is cranberry time. Between now & Christmas, cranberries are all over the place. Every Thanksgiving & Christmas day meal include cranberry sauce of some kind. And since cranberries are one of the main things that just scream “America” & “Thanksgiving,” what would Thanksgiving be without cranberry sauce? Nothing, that’s what.

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It’s no surprise then, that the November issue of Better Homes & Gardens features a recipe for a very interesting cranberry orange compote by the creators of Stonewall Kitchen. The compote specifically intrigued me because it had orange rind, candied ginger, maple syrup & “your choice of nuts”; i.e. pecans, walnuts, etc. It sounded unique, so as soon as I got my power back & restocked my fridge & freezer, I thought I’d give it a go and see if it was worth making for turkey day.

Consensus: it is.

Labels & tags are from Sur la Table

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NEW ENGLAND CRANBERRY ORANGE COMPOTE (by Jonathan King & Jim Stott of Stonewall Kitchen, from Nov. 2012 issue of BHG)

Makes about 4 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup orange rind, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped candied ginger
  • 1 cup walnuts, pecans, or your favorite nut, coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Place sugar and 1 1/4 cups water in large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook about 15 minutes, or until it thickens and turns amber-colored.
  2. Add the maple syrup and cranberries to the sugar mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries begin to pop. Add orange juice, rind and zest (keeping a few thin strips of rind to the side). Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
  3. Remove from heat. Add ginger and nuts, stirring well. Cool completely. Add to a clean glass jar and cover; refrigerate up to a week, or freeze 6 months.

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Cranberry sauce is one of those brainless things that anyone can make, even if you aren’t a good cook. It takes 5 minutes and basically makes itself. You can make this and bring it to wherever you go for Thanksgiving very easily. I made one large jar, and one 8-ounce jar to give to someone I knew would enjoy it. This recipe is NOT canning-safe. I only put some of it in a canning jar for transport; yes, it sealed (because the compote was hot when I put the lid on), but the recipe itself is not acidic enough for long-term shelf-stable canning. Of course transporting it in one of these hinged jars would’ve been fine too, but they’re much larger than the amount I had left to give, so it would have looked a little skimpy. Plus I didn’t want the possibility of any cranberry leakage in anyone’s vehicle.

But seriously. This is a crazy easy recipe. Definitely a new favorite around here, and maybe a new favorite at your house too?

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Also, please remember, this Thanksgiving in addition to the many poor and/or homeless families already in the area, the hurricane in October left thousands more homeless & without food & clothes. If you can find it in your heart to donate something, there are many places accepting donations. I can give you the address of a church on Staten Island that is accepting donations of everything from non-perishable food to blankets & coats to pet food. You can send it by mail or drop it off if you’re in the area. Alternately, you can just donate to the Red Cross, either text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10.00 via your phone bill, or donate online at redcross.org. You can also send a monetary donation to the New York Police Disaster Relief Fund: 233 Broadway, Suite 1801, NY, 10279. There are also other places you can donate money, supplies and/or clothing/food: Island Harvest, City Harvest, Occupy Sandy, The Bowery Mission, & Faith Community Church. It’s very cold here in New York/New Jersey, & people are hungry. Show your thanks for everything you have by giving to those who don’t have.

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My new favorite thing: Snackle Mouth!

A few weeks ago, my friend & fellow blogger Xenia told me about Snackle Mouth. I had seen the pictures of it on her blog, and read her reviews of it, and I was intrigued. First off, I loved the packaging. Coolest granola packaging ever, for sure. And anytime you have bacon in anything, you win me over. So the fact they make a Bacon Maple granola? Insane. In a good way.

Snackle Mouth is a brand spankin’ new company:

Snackle Mouth® was given wings by one of the Founder’s, John Raptis. “Rapits” (his call name by virtue of the fact that there are 3 guys named “John” in the business) was really the main man. As a reformed real estate developer, he crafted a healthy, tasty, and simple granola nut snack with a high degree of clumpability. We define clumpability like so: a phenomenal flavor cluster, embodying superior taste, and made from the most simple natural and organic ingredients on the planet.

Raptis hit the lab to produce a snack with those basic snack components in mind. From his own kitchen he watched his son and friends constantly forage for food and he developed a recipe to make a snack that Moms would approve of for their children, thus, Snackle Mouth® was born.

So they may be new, but they’re pretty awesome, and they’ve got a lot going for them:

  • Combine All Natural and Organic Ingredients
  • Mix in the Best Nuts We Could Find
  • NO Refined Sugar, NO Trans-Fats, Low Glycemic
  • Cool new name, Snackle Mouth®
  • Most Fun Package Design on the Planet
  • End Result, Great Tasting Granola Nut Clusters

They’re made with naturally yummy things like fruit juice, organic dried fruit & nuts, brown rice syrup, oat bran and organic blue agave. So when James from Snackle Mouth offered to send me these goodies… you can imagine how excited I was. And am. I received a box with three varieties: the almond pecan maple, the almond berry and the peanut cranberry. See, I wasn’t lying about the awesome packaging.

After sampling each kind, I knew what I’d do first. It was really warm and kind of sticky out, so I decided to wait for a slightly cooler day to make something really awesome. In the meantime, I continued sampling.

But really… I wanted more than to just snack on it. I wanted a unique Snackle Mouth creation. So on a slightly cooler, much more overcast day, I came up with this.


And this, my friends is the pièce de résistance: a granola nut coffee cake- it’s the same principle as a coffee cake with a streusel crumb on top, except in my version there’s no streusel, just granola nut clusters. To be precise, Snackle Mouth Almond Pecan Maple granola nut clusters. Genius, right? I thought so. Except it was a little too dark. The inside stayed very moist and delicious, but the granola got a bit too caramelized. Which might have been a nice effect, especially had I been using the Bacon Maple granola. But I wasn’t, and I wanted something a little lighter and more… summery?

And it was good, trust me. Like I said, the first time the top did get a little dark, meaning the granola got a little dark too, but it didn’t deter anyone from eating it. It was still quite delicious nonetheless, and it was all gobbled up (pretty damn fast actually). But I went back to the drawing board, being the perfectionist that I am, & I came up with a revamped & better version. And that version used Almond Berry Snackle Mouth as the topping, and a cup of fresh blueberries were added into the batter before baking. It paired excellently with the berry variety of Snackle Mouth, since it’s made with blueberry juice. I made that for my father for Father’s Day (he’s a blueberry freak) and talk about a huge hit! He seriously loved it. On this one, I also smashed the granola with a hammer before using it for the topping. It came out much better, since it was in smaller pieces, obviously. You live, you learn. I had never made a coffee cake with a granola nut topping before!

So the first version was just an experiment. But the second version? Ohhh, the second version… it came out fantastical.

And now you get to reap the benefits of my trials & tribulations. Here’s the recipe for the best coffee cake ever.

BLUEBERRY COFFEE CAKE WITH ALMOND BERRY SNACKLE MOUTH GRANOLA NUT “STREUSEL”

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus two tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup plus two tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (or the berry of your choice)
  • 1 box Almond Berry Snackle Mouth granola nut clusters (or the flavor of your choice)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300° F and grease an 8″-inch square baking pan. Smash the granola with a hammer until it breaks into slightly smaller pieces. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a larger bowl, cream butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add egg, and beat until combined. Add vanilla extract to the milk in a glass measuring cup and alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the creamed butter mixture three times, starting with and ending with the flour.
  3. Mix the berries in gently, until thoroughly combined.
  4. Spread batter into prepared baking pan. Smooth it as evenly as possible, tapping the pan on the counter a few times if necessary. Sprinkle the granola on top, until the cake is pretty well covered.
  5. Bake 50-70 minutes (depending on your oven and what kind of pan you use: glass or metal), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool. Serve while slightly warm or at room temperature.


Perfection. My mother pronounced it the best coffee cake she ever had, and said it reminded her of one she used to eat as a child.

If you’re more health-conscious, try it using whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour). You could also use an agave sweetener instead of sugar, or applesauce instead of the egg. There’s tons of room to mess around with this recipe. Not to mention that if you use the Peanut Cranberry Snackle Mouth, you can use a cup of fresh cranberries in the batter, and it’d be absolutely amazing. 100% adaptable to any combination. The cake is baked at a lower temperature in a very slow oven to keep the granola in good shape; it’ll start to burn long before the cake is done, otherwise. And burnt granola isn’t what you want. If you aren’t using the granola, if you’re using regular streusel or making it plain, you could bake it at 350° F for 35-40 minutes with no problem. And I have to say, this is a really unique way to do a streusel without the hassle of making a streusel. Especially if you’re like me & your streusel-making is hit or miss. It’s fail proof and delicious, and it travels well. Great for picnics or to bring somewhere for a party or cook-out.

It’s very moist, with a perfect crumb… but it’s also a very dense cake; so just be aware that if you think you can eat that big slice, you probably can’t.

Trust me. I could barely get through one normal sized slice!


This isn’t the last you’ll see of Snackle Mouth around here. That’s all I’m sayin’… just keep your eyes peeled, if you catch my drift.

Thank you, Snackle Mouth, for letting me play with your food! Now everybody go buy some. You won’t be sorry. And of course, let’s not forget social media! Follow @SnackleMouth on Twitter and become a Snackle Mouth fan on Facebook, too!

“Bartender, I’ll have a pickleback.”

**ATTENTION! ATTENTION! In April 2013, I did a redo of the maple-bourbon pickles in this post, version 2.0 if you will, made with Cabin Fever maple blended whiskey. This wonderful recipe can be found here: maple-whiskey pickles, version 2.0, so check it out!**

I haven’t made pickles since September. Probably because cucumbers are no longer “in season”; meaning I can still get them, but they’re far from the best quality. They’re somewhat wonky-looking for the most part. But of course, I can pick a pickle pretty good, so I decided instead of waiting for cucumber season I just went for it & picked the best damn cucumbers I could out of the offerings at the store. Why? Because I wanted to make some of these.

Bourbon pickles & maple-bourbon pickles. Inspired by the Brooklyn Brine Company’s Whiskey Sour pickles, which I first saw in Williams-Sonoma. I decided to make a jar or two of these for Jay. I’m not cheap, far from it, but paying $12.95 for 24 oz. of pickles seemed a bit… over-indulgent. Especially when I figured I could make them myself. At first he wasn’t sure how he’d feel about them, but then he had one of their pickles when he played a show at the St. Vitus Bar & raved about it, so I thought “Why not make one teensy jar of them & see?” It seemed unique enough. How bad could it be? It’s pickles + whiskey. That’s a pretty rock star pickle.

That is not actually Brooklyn, it’s San Antonio. Whatever.

I mean, dude up there just got back from the Netherlands where he performed with Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth, Napalm Death & a ton of other famous metal bands. Crazy, right?

So yeah. I had to make him something special, & this is something special. Like I said, its one rock star pickle. Not to mention the fact that it includes whiskey makes it appropriate for St. Patty’s Day too. I mean, pickles are green, whiskey reminds me of being Irish (Irish whiskey, Irish coffee, hello?) and that’s enough for me. In case you’re wondering, a Pickleback is an actual thing you can order in some bars. That name for it originated at The Bushwick Country Club in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 2007. It’s a shot of whiskey (from what I’ve read, it’s usually Jameson, but at The Bushwick Country Club they use Old Crow) with a pickle juice, or brine, chaser (they use McClure’s). The brine neutralizes the burn of the alcohol & the taste of the whiskey. Once I learned that, through a NYT article from almost 2 years ago, I thought the whiskey pickle idea was even more interesting. See, I’m not a whiskey girl. All I know about it is that if I’m forced to drink it in any capacity & I’m given a choice… I’ll take Jameson over Jack any damn day of the week. But other than that forget it. I’m lost. Whiskey, Rye, Bourbon, it’s all Greek to me. So I asked Jay what to use in these & he gave me a bottle of Blanton’s to use. It’s not a super high-end bourbon, yet it’s not the cheapest, so the flavor is decent. You don’t want to use cheap stuff for this, it might sounds obvious but really… the flavor is going to dictate the pickles so please don’t use gasoline-tasting whiskey just to save money. Use one that actually can be enjoyed on it’s own.

New York & pickles are synonymous it seems, especially to New Yorkers. So therefore Brooklyn has quite a history with pickles. I love Brooklyn. I spend some of my spare time looking at gorgeous pre-war apartments (that I’ll probably never actually move into) with exposed brick in Brooklyn (along with many other places like the Upper & Lower East Side, etc). I think Brooklyn is amazing (for the most part, there are a lot of shitty things about it too). I love the Brooklyn Bowl, I love the Brooklyn Brewery & I love Radegast Hall. I’ve never been to the St. Vitus Bar but from what I heard it’s sweet, I have been to Duff’s though (not impressed- seeing that “metal” chick from Fuse dancing on tables in a corset isn’t my idea of fun). And now there’s Brooklyn Brine Co. And the thing I like about Brooklyn Brine Co. is that they’re making interesting things like this & lavender asparagus, chipotle carrots & fennel beets. Not to mention their maple bourbon bread & butter pickles. Yeah, I know. Needless to say those were on Jay’s list too, so I had to make them as well (keep reading for that). So yes, I dig what they’re doing over there. But I’m confident enough that I can do it too; and not have to buy theirs.

MARILLA’S “PICKLEBACK” WHISKEY-BRINE PICKLES

Makes about 4 pints

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 small pickling cucumbers (about 3 pounds), or regular cucumbers if you’re going to slice them into chips… I usually use Kirby’s myself (just don’t use the large waxed ones!)
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup whiskey
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 4 heads fresh dill or 4 heaping teaspoons dill seeds
  • 2 teaspoons pickling spice
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seed
  • a dash of freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon hot pepper flakes or one Serrano chili pepper, finely diced
  • dash of chili powder (optional)
  • 4 small cloves garlic

Directions:

  1. Cut a thin slice from the ends of each cucumber. This prevents a “mushy” pickle, as the ends of cucumbers contain an enzyme that makes them mushy. Then slice cucumbers as you like- slices, spears or sandwich-size; or leave them whole. Place jars in canner to sterilize them and place lids in hot water to soften seal.
  2. Meanwhile, combine vinegar, water, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove hot jars from canner. Pour ⅛ cup whiskey or bourbon in each jar. Place 1 head fresh dill or 1 heaping teaspoon dill seeds, ½ teaspoon pickling spice, the mustard seed, black pepper, hot pepper flakes and 1 smashed clove of garlic into each jar; pack in cucumbers tightly.
  3. Pour boiling vinegar/water mixture over cucumbers to within ½ inch of rim (head space). Place lids & bands. Process 10 minutes for pint jars and 15 minutes for quart jars.
  4. Allow jars to sit for at least one week before opening for optimal flavor, but no one will kill you if you crack one open early.

The color changes after the processing in the water bath. Ever notice that about pickles? That they’re usually a darker army-green in the jar, whereas Kosher dills stay brighter? That all has to do with fermenting vs. processing, and the vinegar brine vs. a salty water brine. End of today’s lesson.

Because of the apple cider vinegar & whiskey, they should be a bit on the sweeter side, but not too sweet. The white vinegar, garlic, peppers & salt would make up for it. I made this recipe up based on the ingredients the Brooklyn Brine Co. lists as being in their Whiskey Sour pickles, so I am in no way saying it’s the same exact flavor or pickle- especially since I didn’t use the same type of peppers or the same brand of whiskey (they use Finger Lakes Distilling McKenzie Rye Whiskey). This is just my version of it. That said, they do sell a pickling kit, however I do not think it’s for their Whiskey pickles, unless they include a recipe for it in the recipe packet.

As far as the maple bourbon pickles, I just used the same recipe as above, but I added caramelized onions, ⅛ cup good quality maple syrup (added with the whiskey) and omitted the hot pepper. I also cut the cukes into “chips” with a crinkled cutter instead of making spears. I also couldn’t find decent Kirby’s so I used small “snacking” cucumbers, which are longer & thinner than Kirby’s, hence the tiny little chips I got. I also added some caramelized onions to the regular bourbon pickles, because I made more than I needed for just one jar.

As soon as these babies are opened & Jay gives me his expert opinion, I’ll come back & edit this with the reviews & results.

EDIT 3/15/12: Okay the results are in! Consensus is that they’re both “fucking awesome.” Jay favors the maple-bourbon but said they’re both equally amazing. The regular bourbon batch could’ve used a slightly bigger hit of heat, so keep that in mind. I’d go for doubling the amount of pepper flakes in the recipe above; if you’re using actual Serrano you might be fine, especially if you leave in the seeds. In the spirit of knowledge, I tried both & it’s amazing how true it is that the vinegary pickle brine & the bourbon interact in such a way that you end up without the intensity of the alcohol & without the super tang of the brine. Good luck & happy pickling!

Blanton's bourbon & (maple-bourbon) pickles. on Punk Domestics

C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me (+ a book giveaway)!

THE CONTEST IS OVER! Thanks so much to everyone who entered, I hope to have many more giveaways in the future, so make sure if/when I do, you enter. I wish I could give you all a book! But I can’t. So the comments are closed & I picked a number via random.orgANNNNND THE WINNER of The Cookiepedia IS…

POLLY PERRY!


Enjoy your new cookbook, Polly! I’ve sent your address to Quirk Books already!

****************************************************

I received this book, The Cookiepedia, a few months ago. Quirk Books sent me a copy & it’s pretty awesome. So awesome, in fact, I’m willing to ignore that little comment about how “trendy cupcakes may come & go”… *wink* Because you see, I love me some cupcakes, I do. Hell, I named my site after ‘em. But cookies are awesome. And they remind me of being a kid. Plus, cupcakes are portable cakes, yes, but cookies are the most portable of all! They’re the über-portable treat-type thing thats easiest to bring with you anywhere you go. You can ship ‘em to somewhere like Abu Dhabi with minimal damage (for the most part) & they’re eaten in less than three bites, no napkin needed. So yah, I dig cookies.

One of my favorite things about the book (aside from the pages & pages of delicious cookies, I mean) is this quote on one of the opening pages:

So true. I could use a nap right now.

So in the book, Stacy really goes into detail on defining popular baking terms such as sifting, dusting, creaming, piping, etc. She also gives helpful tips on how to get the best possible results, making this book really good for beginner bakers. I don’t consider myself a beginner per se, however I really enjoyed reading it cover to cover. You can never know everything, or remember everything, & everyone can use a book filled with a few refreshers on “the basics.” The book is also, and more importantly, full of crazy-good sounding cookie recipes, from really simple ones to more exotic ones. From cornmeal cookies with rosemary to alfajores with dulce de leche filling, to green tea cookies & back to pignoli cookies. Being that it’s fall, the first cookie that jumped out at me was the frosted maple pecan cookie.

I’m not gonna lie, any recipe that says ‘toast the nuts’ makes me giggle like a 13-year-old boy, and anything that makes me giggle is worth looking into further. Also, I might have mentioned before that Jay’s favorite cookie I ever made was the maple-iced fall leaf cookie. Well have I mentioned that he stalks me to make more of them? No? Well, he does. He drops hints, he talks about them all the time, etc, etc. If I make another kind of cookie, he gets almost offended. Same with the french toast cupcakes. If I make a chocolate cupcake, or lemon, or orange, or whatever… he pouts because it isn’t maple frosted French toast cupcake with crumbled bacon. So when I opened the book & saw these, I thought of him first. I knew he’d love them, & truth be told I haven’t baked anything for him in quite some time; rock star that he is will soon be off in Texas playing the Goregrowlers Ball so I might as well give him some homemade, home-baked goodness before he’s down there away from home, playing death metal with a bunch of sweaty men, eating (probably) fast food.

Anyway, making cookies is so much fun. I almost forgot how fun. It really is a totally different experience than cupcakes, or pie. My first attempt was a failure; I didn’t let the butter soften enough, then didn’t chill the dough enough either & so the cookies spread & were thin & crispy on the edges. Blah. My own fault, admittedly. Putting the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes on a night where it’s hot & humid isn’t smart, especially when it was supposed to have chilled for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. However they tasted amazing! Great maple flavor. So I knew I had to try again, this time the right way. Also on a drier, much cooler day (whereas my previous attempt at making them was on a day we were having a heat spell in October; an unheard of 84° degrees!) since the weather the first time didn’t help my non-chilled dough any.

Yeah, they came out amazing the second time around.

And whattaya know, the next time I made them, it was a very, very cool day (actually it was almost freezing out by the time I turned the oven on to bake), I followed all the directions exactly (including letting the dough chill for an hour), & they were a rollicking success. There’s a time & a place to be a baking rebel… cookies aren’t that time. There are some who’ll tell you there’s no room for rebellion in baking at all, but I don’t believe that. I’ve used all-purpose instead of cake flour like it’s nothing, substituted mayonnaise for eggs & made my own buttermilk like a champ. From now on though, I’ll keep the rebel yell for cupcakes. Cookies seem to be a bit more temperamental. But that’s okay, I love them anyway. And when done right… oh boy.

Like I said- the second time around, these babies were freakin’ AWESOMESAUCE. Instead of using Stacy’s exact vanilla frosting on them, I added a smidgen of maple extract to it (hence the mauve-y brownish color to the frosting). You could also add some maple syrup to it, or just keep it vanilla. I swear, this way it really was like eating pancakes!

Why does my handwriting always come out so bad on labels when I know they’ll be in pictures? Ugh.

Anyway, I was really pleased with these cookies, and the book, and it made more than I had anticipated. So packing some of ‘em up for Jay (he took them to band practice, and let me just say- HUGE HIT) & other lucky folk, I came across a great idea. I decided to use some of my jars to pack the cookies in. I used two of my flip-top lid jars (the ones I’ve used previously for pickles & blueberry jam) and for the third batch I used a 16 ounce wide-mouth Ball® jar. So cute. Imagine the lid covered with a square of plaid fabric, or even just the way I did it: a cute label (thanks to this post for that idea) & some twine… it’s just the cutest idea ever for sending someone home with a bunch of cookies. Way cuter than Tupperware, anyway.

So now that I’ve shared my cookies & cookie-packaging ideas with you, I’m going to share something else: I’m giving away an actual copy of The Cookiepedia, Stacy’s book, so you can make these cookies too!

Exciting, I know. What do you have to do to win? Easy. Leave me a comment telling me what your favorite cookie of all time is. Not only that, but tell me why. Do you love gingersnaps because your grandma taught you to make them? Do you adore chocolate chip cookies because you made the Toll House kind with your mom at Christmas? Or maybe you love oatmeal cookies because they remind you of a happy moment including wacky tobaccy & your college life. Whatever it is, tell me. I’ll choose the winner via random.org one week from today. U.S. residents only, please. I know, I suck. But I’m cute.

And for bonus entries (bonus entries are not mandatory):

  • Follow me on Twitter! After that, comment here telling me you’re a follower (I have to accept you, so give me some time, but you can comment after you make the request- you don’t have to wait until I accept!). Make sure you also tweet @ me telling me you commented here first.
  • Then, tweet about the giveaway! Copy & paste the following (or write up your own tweet, just make sure you link back to this post)!

    @CupcakeRehab is giving away @TheCookiepedia by Stacy Adimando thanks to @QuirkBooks! I entered to win, so can you: http://cupcakerehab.com/2011/11/c-is-for-cookie-thats-good-enough-for-me-a-book-giveaway/

  • Become a Facebook fan of Cupcake Rehab! Then come back here and comment again letting me know.
  • Share this post on your Facebook page (either personal or blog, whichever) and then comment telling me you did! (This one is honor system)
  • Follow Stacy herself at @TheCookiepedia… then come back here & let me know.
  • Follow @quirkbooks on Twitter, then guess what? That’s right, comment here again telling me you did.
  • Become a fan of Quirk Books on Facebook… and you know the drill.
And remember, if you’re already following me on Twitter or you’re already a Facebook fan, then you can still comment for each. Each one of those is an extra entry! So in total you can enter 8 times each. Eight times! That’s a lot of chances to win. And by commenting I mean HERE, not on Facebook! And at 12 a.m. (midnight) EST on November 18th I will close the comments & pick a winner. Just please make sure you leave a valid e-mail address! That is, after all, how I’ll be contacting the winner. I can’t promise you’ll have it by Thanksgiving, but remember Christmas is coming. I guarantee you’ll want to be makin’ up some of these delicious cookies for your Christmas baking (I definitely will be). So come on, get on it- ENTER! Everyone has a shot, it might be you.

Whiskey-a-Go-Go.

You may read that and think of the popular, or should I say “world-famous” venue in Los Angeles, California. I see it and think of whiskey buttercream. No, not just whiskey buttercream, Irish whiskey buttercream… actually make that maple Irish whiskey buttercream.


Say what?

Oh, yes.

I was inspired by Cupcake Royale, again. Last time they inspired me, my results were highly successful. So I took their popular ‘Bacon Whiskey Maple‘ cupcake (also seen on Cakespy) which is a vanilla cupcake topped with this delightful aforementioned Irish whiskey maple buttercream, and ran with the idea. Seeing as how it’s almost St. Patty’s Day I thought a cupcake with Irish whiskey was just a little appropriate. So I came up with my own version using Amy Sedaris‘ vanilla cupcake recipe and a delicious confectioner’s sugar buttercream made with maple extract and Jameson.

Jameson is the most famous Irish whiskey there is, Bushmills & Tullamore Dew come in a close second.

Jameson Irish whiskey is produced from a mixture of malted and unmalted or “green” Irish barley, all sourced from within a fifty mile radius around the distillery in Cork. The barley is dried in a closed kiln fired by clean-burning anthracite coal to preserve its flavour. Like most Irish whiskey, Jameson is triple distilled for optimum smoothness. The philosophy is balance, ensuring that no one flavour element overpowers another. The end result is a sweet-tasting whiskey.

By the early 19th century, the distillery was producing one million gallons (3,785,412 litres) of whiskey per year and had grown to be the largest in the world. The production has now moved to the Midleton distillery and the Bow Street site is currently a museum and visitors centre. Jameson is made following the original 1780 recipe that uses malted barley combined with unmalted barley and other grains. It is distilled three times in copper pot stills to create its famous smoothness and flavour. Jameson sells 30 million bottles a year around the world, making it by far the best selling Irish whiskey.

Let me be clear: I am not a whiskey drinker. However if given a choice between Jack Daniels and Jameson, I’d sure as shit pick Jameson. That said- I like my whiskey sweetened. You’re probably thinking, “What the hell does that mean?” What I mean is, I like the taste that whiskey can have when combined with sugar; in coffee, cakes, cupcakes, frostings. Alone, not so much. Like it says above, Jameson has a sweet(er) taste anyway, and it’s much smoother than most other popular whiskeys. I’d still rather have a Bailey’s… or an Irish Car Bomb. But I’ll sing the praises of Jameson forever because of this frosting.

AMY SEDARIS’ VANILLA CUPCAKES

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1 ¾ cups of sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 ½ cups of flour
  • 1 ¼ cups of milk

Directions:

  1. Beat butter and sugar well, then add the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Fill cups, and bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes. You should get 24. I get 18, ’cause I’m doing something wrong.

..

MAPLE IRISH WHISKEY BUTTERCREAM

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or extract (room temp. if you use syrup)
  • 2  tablespoons Jameson or other Irish whiskey
  • 4-6 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

  1. Combine butter, maple syrup, Jameson and 2 cups confectioners sugar in a large bowl and beat at medium-high speed until smooth.
  2. Add remaining sugar in gradually until frosting is thick enough to pipe easily. You may not use all the sugar. If icing is too dry, add additional milk until desired consistency is reached.

If you try only one icing with alcohol in it, ever, this is the one. The whiskey & the maple are so FUCKING amazing together. As a matter of fact… let’s say they’re “bi-winning.” Thanks, Charlie. Seriously, though, they’re awesome. Very delicious. The frosting would probably also be amazing on whiskey cupcakes, or Guinness/chocolate stout cupcakes.

I topped them using my brand-spankin’ new tip from Cupcake Social and some green sugar, gold crystal sugar and edible pearls. Keepin’ it classy.