3 Hot Chocolates with a Twist

Hello friends, how was your Thanksgiving?  Did you serve any of our delicious fall treats at your feast? Who tried the Templeton Pecan Pie?  Did you serve the Zaya Banana Bread? What about the Pumpkin Martini?

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As soon as Thanksgiving is over we start to get into the Christmas spirit around here.  We decorated the house with Christmas decorations, ordered our family Christmas cards, and started watching our holiday movie favorites.  Hands down our family loves Elf with Will Ferrell.  We can recite most of the lines from the movie. Do you know the four main food groups?  Along with the other Christmas festivities, we also enjoy our favorite holiday beverages and foods.  Although it was a balmy 70 degrees in Dallas today as we were hanging our holiday lights, we enjoyed some hot chocolate to get us in the holiday mood.

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This year we decided to kick things up a notch by trying some grown up hot chocolate. Lucky for you, in this post you will get 3 great ideas for the low price of 1. (We just had to partake in the Black Friday Hype!)

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We used a hot chocolate recipe from The Better Homes and Gardens cookbook for the base of our hot chocolate.  However, there are many different recipes out there, and we are not against using Swiss Miss if you must!

Hot Chocolate

  • 2 squares (2 ounces) unsweetened or semisweet chocolate coarsely chopped or 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 cups milk
  • Garnish:  Whipped cream, marshmallows, mint leaves

In a medium saucepan combine chocolate, sugar and 1/2 cup of milk.  Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture just comes to boiling.  Stir in remaining milk and heat through.

Remove from heat.  Beat milk with a rotary beater until frothy.  Serve hot in cups or mugs and garnish as desired.

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Our first try was Pumpkin Spice.  We know what you are saying, “Thanksgiving is over. Give up on the Pumpkin Spice, Rhonda!”  However, we think you will be pleasantly surprised with this one.  Here is another twist.  It incorporates Rye Whiskey!  We were skeptical, until we tried it.  This one ended up being Rhonda’s favorite. We topped it off with the Whiskey Whipped Cream from our pecan pie.

1.Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

Make hot chocolate as desired.  Add one ounce of Templeton Rye Whiskey.  Add a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice on top.

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Kerrygold Irish Cream is a very versatile liqueur, and brings a taste of extra chocolate decadence to almost any dessert or beverage.  Our Irish Hot Chocolate is easy.  Just add an ounce of Kerrygold for some extra chocolate indulgence.

2. Irish Hot Chocolate

Make hot chocolate as desired.  Add an ounce of Kerrygold Irish Cream.  Top off with marshmallows.

Branca Menta is a liqueur that we have referenced in the past in our “Who Needs Half-Price Shakes after 8?” post.  It has a smooth mint flavor that stands out in many recipes.  It is perfect for any mint-lover, and gives a refreshing boost to our hot chocolate.

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3. Menta Hot Chocolate

Make hot chocolate as desired.  Add an ounce of Branca Menta.  Top off with marshmallows or whipped cream with a mint sprig for garnish.

3 great hot chocolate drinks for sipping around the fire and watching your holiday favs.  Which one will you try first?  We would love to hear about it.

DISCLAIMER: THE BEVERAGES ON THIS SITE ARE MEANT FOR ADULTS 21 YEARS AND OLDER.  WE DO NOT SUPPORT OR ENCOURAGE UNDERAGE DRINKING.  ALWAYS DRINK RESPONSIBLY AND NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE.

 

 

 

 

The Pies Have It!

Hello, Friends, and Happy Thanksgiving!  We have so many things to be grateful this year, but one of the best things to be grateful is you, our wonderful followers.  Not following the blog yet?  Just click on the “following” button in the lower right hand corner of your screen.  Add your email.  You will get an email to confirm that you are not a robot and really want to follow our blog.  Then you are in!!  You will receive an email from us once a week with our latest post.  We promise not to bombard you with lots of emails to consume your in box through the week.  Ain’t nobody got time for that!!!

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In honor of Thanksgiving we have a wonderful pie recipe to share with you.  Rhonda ripped this pie recipe from her Southern Living Magazine.  Unfortunately, we don’t have the month or year she collected this recipe.  This pie not your ordinary Thanksgiving Pie.  This pie recipe will have your mouth watering and clamoring for more.  We test tasted this pie on not only our esteemed panel of teenagers judges, but also on Rhonda’s friend’s husband, Justin, who apparently is a pecan pie connoisseur!  Justin, the picky pecan pie snob, gave this recipe his full stamp of approval, so there you have it!  It’s a winner!

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So what is so great about this particular recipe?  The crust is tasty – not your ordinary bland pie crust.  The filling is rich with a twist of rye whiskey.  Oh yah!!!

First you need to prepare the crust.  When Rhonda was growing up and made pies with her mother, they always used a pastry blender to knead the crust.  This recipe calls for using the food processor – genius!  Our crust finally turned out perfect.  Another thing that makes this crust so delicious is adding a little bit of kosher salt and ¼ cup of finely chopped sautéed pecans. After the crust is prepared and while it is chilling, you can work on the rest of the pie.

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Saute’ the pecans

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Prep dough in food processor

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Form dough into a disc and refrigerate for an hour.

For the filling you will place corn syrup, sugar, brown sugar and Templeton Rye Whiskey in a saucepan and cook whisking constantly.  Remove this mixture from the heat.

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We use Kerrygold butter for most of our baking now.   We’ve noticed it makes a difference in taste.

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Whisk corn syrup, sugars and whiskey together.

In another bowl whisk together eggs, melted butter, cornmeal and vanilla.  Then add about ¼ of the syrup mixture to the eggs and whisk together.

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Add about 1/4 of syrup mixture to the egg mixture.

Next turn around and add the egg mixture to the syrup mixture whisking constantly.  Add in the toasted pecans.  Cool for about 30 minutes.

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Add toasted pecans and cool.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Unwrap the dough and roll into a circle on a lightly floured surface. We always find it is easier to put the pie crust into the pan if you roll it out on parchment paper or wax paper. Sprinkle the dough with sautéed pecans.  Place plastic over the dough and lightly roll the pecans into the dough.

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Roll sauteed pecans into crust.

 

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Add to the pie plate. Fold edges under and crimp.  Pour cooled filling into the crust.  Bake for 50-55 minutes.

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We add a pie shield to keep the crust from getting too brown in the oven.

Top with Whiskey Whipped Cream if desired. The recipe says that it makes a pie with 8 slices.  We found that the pie is very delicious, but rich.  Smaller servings are probably better.

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Don’t want to add whiskey to your Thanksgiving Pie?  You can always substitute the whiskey with apple juice.

Templeton Pecan Pie

Crust

  • ½ Tbsp. butter
  • ¼ cup finely chopped pecans
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup cold butter cubed
  • ¼ cup cold shortening cubed
  • 3-4 Tbsp. buttermilk

Filling

  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Templeton Rye Whiskey
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup butter melted
  • 2 tsp plain white cornmeal
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 ½ cups lightly toasted pecan halves

Whisky Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp Templeton Rye Whiskey
  • 3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
  1. Prepare crust:  Melt ½ Tbsp. butter in a small skillet over medium heat, swirling to coat sides of pan. Add ¼ cup finely chopped pecans and sauté 2 minutes or until fragrant and lightly toasted.  Sprinkle pecan mixture with a pinch of salt.  Remove from skillet, and cool completely.
  2. Pulse flour and next 2 ingredients in a food processor 3 or 4 times or until well combined. Add cubed cold butter and cold shortening: pulse until mixture is coarse.  Drizzle 1 Tbsp. of buttermilk at a time over flour mixture and pulse just until clumps form.  Shape dough into a flat disc and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.  Chill dough for an hour.
  3. To prepare filling, place corn syrup and next 3 ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Cook while whisking 2 minutes and remove from heat.  Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients in a bowl. Gradually whisk about ¼ of syrup mixture into egg mixture.  Gradually add egg mixture into syrup mixture whisking constantly.  Add lightly toasted pecan halves and cool for about 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Unwrap dough and roll into a 13-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle the dough with sautéed pecans.  Place a piece of plastic wrap over the dough and roll the pecans into the dough.  Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate greased lightly with cooking spray.  Fold edges under and crimp. Pour cooled filling into prepared crust.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until set; cool pie completely on a wire rack (about 2 hours) before slicing. Serve with Whiskey Whipped Cream, if desired.
  6. For the Whiskey Whipped Cream, beat 1 cup heavy cream and 1 tsp Templeton Rye Whiskey at medium high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add 3 Tbsp. powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form.

We can’t wait to hear if you make Templeton Pecan Pie for your Thanksgiving meal.  It will be on the table at our house.

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Count your blessings, hug those that you love and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Zaya Banana Bread

Hello friends!  We missed you.  Last week we took a weekend trip to Nashville to see our son play in a hockey tournament.  Although the hockey did not turn out like we had hoped, we had a lot of fun visiting Nashville.  We ate at a few cute little restaurants and ventured down to Broadway on Saturday night with our friends, Patrick and Molly, to take in a little live music and dancing at Tootsie’s and The Stage!  The live music was amazing and we had a blast.

This week we are sharing our Zaya Banana Bread recipe with you.  When the bananas in our fruit bowl start to turn brown, no one in the family will touch them.  Rhonda likes to save them for banana bread.  One day she was looking at the browned bananas and thinking about how well bananas and rum go together — like in our Zaya Bananas Foster!  She got the inspiration to add some rum to banana bread.  She was feeling pretty proud of herself for her creativity until she googled rum banana bread and realized that many others had beaten her to this wonderful idea.  Oh well… We decided on a recipe from pastryaffair.com.  The prose and photography on this blog definitely have us beat.  If you have time, go check it out.  After you make some Zaya Banana Bread, of course.

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Can’t you just smell the delicious hot banana bread looking at this picture?

Before we share the recipe with you there is one little thing that you might want to know about this bread.  Try to resist the temptation to eat all of it when you first bring it out of the oven.  We know.  It’s sooo hard, right?  Who can resist warm banana bread with just a pat of melting butter?  This bread actually gets better the longer it sits.  The flavor of the rum is more pronounced on the second and third days, and Zaya has the perfect rich flavor to pair with this recipe. Yummo!  (You can still warm in up in the microwave if you like it hot.)  Make sure to keep it in a sealed container if you have some leftover. We put ours in the refrigerator to keep it fresh.

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Zaya Banana Bread

  • 1/2 cup Kerrygold butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large ripe bananas mashed
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dark rum (We used Zaya Rum.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions.  Beat in the vanilla extract and mashed bananas until fully incorporated.  Mix in the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Stir in the rum.

Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool loaf pan for 10 minutes before removing and transferring to a cooling rack.

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This is a great recipe to package for holiday goody baskets, or to serve at a holiday brunch.  Are you having family in town for Thanksgiving?  Make some Zaya Banana Bread to have on hand to serve as a mid-morning or afternoon snack with a warm cup of coffee.

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Let us know if you try out our recipes.  We love to get feedback.  Thank you to all that have shared our blog with family and friends.  Blind Pig Nation continues to grow!  Haven’t shared yet? Follow us on Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/theblindpigblog/! Use the sharing buttons below.

 

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