The Mistletoe

Christmas is quickly approaching and this week we are happy to share with you an excellent Christmas cocktail.  Whether you are toasting on this Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, it is the perfect cocktail to top off your holiday celebrations.

This cocktail is quick and easy to make. There is no need for fussy ingredients.  It is light and a bit tart so it pairs nicely with a Christmas ham or delicious holiday sweets.

To make this delicious, festive cocktail you need your favorite gin, lemon juice, cranberry simple syrup and an egg white. There is a little bit of prep with creating your own cranberry simple syrup. It’s not very time consuming, but you will want this prepped before guests arrive.

We’ve made simple syrups in other recipes before, like in the Mojito and The Savannah Special.  Just follow the recipe or take a look back at our other posts.

Garnish this cocktail with some frozen cranberries and a sprig of rosemary and you have a holiday winner!

If you are viewing this post via email, visit us at www.theblindpig.blog for a complete recipe for The Mistletoe.

We have one more post that we are going to send your way this week, and then we are taking some time off to enjoy life with the piglets.  Look for a post Wednesday or Thursday for one more holiday recipe.  We are going to be busy this week completing shopping, baking and wrapping.  What are your plans for the countdown to Christmas?

Make sure to check out these  and other Blind Pig Blog holiday recipes.

Cranberry Rum Slush

Holiday Aperol Spritz

Holiday Margarita

Jingle Gin Punch

Merry Margarita

Pomegranate Paloma

Boozy Peanut Butter Blossoms

Borghetti Brownie Caramel Bites

Golden Mint Crinkles

Love You More Cookies

Menta Truffles

Menty Brownies

Thin Mentas

Yum Rum Balls

 

Disclaimer:  Beverages on this site are meant for adults 21 years of age and older. We do not condone underage drinking. Please drink responsibly.

The Blind Pig Holiday Goody Basket Ideas

Blind Pig Friends!  Let us apologize for our recent absence.  We made a mad dash trip to New York to visit Piglet #1 last weekend.  We thought we would have time to get things together to send out a post this past week, but as you noticed– it never happened!  We will fill you in on our New York trip later.  Today you are getting the low down on some super Christmas baking treats!

One of  The Blind Pig’s Family favorite holiday traditions is baking and putting together our holiday goody baskets for friends and family.  It is a big event that takes days of baking and decorating to pull together. Whether you are baking for an army of baskets to be delivered to family and friends or just want one special treat to take to Grandma’s house on Christmas day, The Blind Pig Blog has you covered with lots of special treats.  Who needs sugarplums dancing in your head, when you can try one of The Blind Pig’s confections instead?

Here are our ideas that work well in a basket or for a special gift of sweetness and love.

Borghetti  Brownie Caramel Bites

We shared this delicious easy recipe with you in the fall.  Even if you are not a pro baker, you can easily pull this recipe off without a hitch!

Golden Mint Crinkles

This gem of a recipe was our number one post for 2018 and when you taste these, you will see why!  This recipe is a little time intensive, so make sure you have a few hours of time blocked out to pull this off.

Love You More Cookies

This recipe was shared with you in our Valentine post last February.  However, we have been using this for our Christmas cookies for years.  You get excellent sugar cookies for decorating everytime. Don’t forget the Irish cream in the recipe, it gives the cookies a yummy hint of chocolate.

Menta Truffles

These easy to make truffles are so rich and yummy. Your friends and family will think you purchased them from an expensive chocolatier!

Salted Whiskey Caramel Corn

This treat is great around Halloween, but we make again around the holidays.  It is great for placing in a decorative bag and handing out as a special gift.

Spiked Pecan Bars

We shared this with you right before Thanksgiving.  It would make a wonderful addition to a dessert plate for guests to nibble on after a big holiday meal.

Spirited  Chocolate Orange Bars

These versatile bars are great any time of the year.  These would work well on a dessert plate passed around for guests to pick and choose.  The flavor of chocolate paired with a hint of zesty citrus makes the dessert feel light and refreshing.

Thin Mentas

These cookies are time intensive, but a wonderful combination of mint and chocolate for any holiday celebration.

Yum Rum Balls

Our rum balls are easy to make and are an eye catching addition to any goody basket.

Espresso Fudge

If your family likes coffee and chocolate, then this easy recipe is a must to try for your holiday giving.

Whiskey Spiced Pecans

We shared this recipe with you this fall.  We made the recipe again and placed the nuts in decorative baggies to share with our goody boxes.

Do you have your holiday baking complete?  What treats do you usually make for the holidays?  We would love to hear about your ideas and preferences!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of our Blind Pig Friends!  We wish you safe travels and the happiest of Christmas memories.

 

 

 

Christmas Morning Bread

Christmas Morning Bread

One of the best things about Christmas is jumping out of bed early in the morning in anticipation of unwrapping presents under the tree.  Since our family usually has a big meal planned for Christmas, we don’t tend to eat a huge breakfast.  If you have guests staying with you, it’s nice to put your best foot forward at breakfast — especially on Christmas morning.  We are sharing an easy, tasty and fresh recipe with you that will delight all of the members of your family on that joyous holiday morning.  Your house guests will think that you went all out just for them.  You can smile graciously.  No need to tell them how easy this delectable breakfast was to make.

This recipe was a combination of a few recipes that we had found over the years.  One recipe was from Taste of Home December 2017 issue and the other was from Southern Living December 2009, and then we added in a little twist of our own. This great recipe can be prepped a day ahead and baked fresh in the morning or warmed in the oven.  To make Christmas Morning Bread you will need, sugar, cinnamon, frozen bread roll dough, Kerrygold butter, chopped pecans, brown sugar, Templeton Rye whiskey and semisweet baking chocolate bar.

First we started to thaw out our frozen rolls.  They were not completely thawed by the time we started to work with the dough, but we think it helped to have the dough slightly thawed.  You can make your bread from scratch like Grandma Ruth likes to do, but we opted for the frozen dough which was easier.

Next we combined the sugar and cinnamon.  We melted our Kerrygold butter in the microwave.  We sprinkled a few of our chopped pecans in the bottom of a sprayed bunt pan.  Next we made our whiskey caramel sauce.  We placed brown sugar, butter, and whiskey in a small saucepan; brought it to a boil;  cooked and stirred for 3 minutes. Then removed from heat to cool.

After about 5 minutes,  we poured about 1/3 of caramel in the bottom of the bundt pan with the pecans.  This gave the top of our bread a nice sweet glaze.

We prepped our area by having the rolls handy, along with the butter, sugar cinnamon mixture and bundt pan.  Next we took a roll.  Dipped it in the butter, and then rolled the top 1/2 of the roll in the sugar-cinnamon mixture.  We placed the roll in the bottom of the pan.  We continued until we had a fairly even layer of rolls on the bottom of the pan.  We drizzled caramel mixture and pecans over the first layer of rolls.  Then we continued layering the rolls and adding pecans and caramel drizzle over each layer until we had 3-4 layers. Our package of rolls was 3 lbs.  We thought, “What the heck.  The more the merrier, right?”  Wrong.  It was too much dough and our rolls overflowed in the oven.  Stop at about 2 pounds of dough. (wink)

Next we covered with plastic wrap and placed in a warm toasty spot in our kitchen to rise for about 45 minutes.  If you want to bake these Christmas morning, you can cover and chill them in the fridge.  We would suggest taking them out and letting them rise slightly before placing in the oven.

When you are ready to bake, place them in an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees.  Make sure to place a baking sheet covered in foil on the bottom oven rack. (Believe us, you do not want to skip this part.  We saved ourselves from cleaning up a huge mess by doing this!) Bake bread for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes, and then invert on a serving plate.

To make the chocolate whiskey glaze you will need to melt the chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl.  We melted ours in small bursts of 30 seconds, so we didn’t over cook.  When chocolate is melted, stir in 1/4 cup of whiskey and stir until smooth.  Drizzle the chocolate whiskey glaze over the top of the bread.

If you are viewing this post in your email, visit us at http://www.theblindpig.blog for a full printable recipe of Christmas Morning Bread.

When we made our bread in our test kitchen, it did not last long.  Blind Piglets #2 and #3 and their friends finished it off pretty quickly.  We had a few left overs for the next day, and we think it tasted better on day 2.

Are you going to treat your family Christmas morning?  Do you need to impress your mother-in-law?  Whether you are staying in or headed out, Christmas Morning Bread will be sure to become one of your family’s holiday favs.  Let us know if you try it out.  We love hearing what you think!

   

Saucy Gift Ideas for the Holidays

We are so glad to see many of you sharing and commenting our latest posts: Golden Mint Crinkles and Yum Rum Balls.  ‘Tis the season to share and give, so keep on sharing.  This week we have another great idea for giving and sharing this season.  

If you are looking for an easy treat to share in a goody bag, with your child’s teacher, the mail man, or just a little something special to add to a gift, Kerrygold Hot Fudge Sauce is a great place to start.  

Kerrygold Hot Fudge Sauce is a great addition to a holiday gift basket.

This sauce is a great topping for a variety of treats and desserts.  Drizzle some over a sponge cake for a little extra pizzazz.  Serve over a bowl of fresh berries.  Use it for a yummy ice cream sundae.  Warm it up and place in a fondue pot with lots of fun fruit, brownies, marshmallows, or angel food cake dippers.  Drizzle some over a pile of pancakes or french toast on Christmas morning.  Get creative, and let us know how you used the sauce.

Getting organized took longer than actually making the sauce.  First decide how you want to package the sauce.  Rhonda went to Hobby Lobby and found a variety of cute little jars and bottles.  We have also seen bottles similar to this at World Market, or you can purchase small canning jars at the grocery store.  Make sure that the bottles are safe for food, and not just made for decoration.  Bring the bottles home and wash them thoroughly.  We put ours through the dishwasher on high heat to make sure they were well sanitized.  We (Rhonda) found some fun tags, bows and ribbons at Hobby Lobby to dress up the bottles and jars for a festive flair.

You can find a variety of jars and bottles at Hobby Lobby.  Make sure they have been thoroughly washed.

Next start the process of making the sauce.  You will need a package of unsweetened chocolate baking squares, butter, sugar, milk, vanilla, salt and Kerrygold Irish Cream. We have a variety of variations to this recipe that we will share with you below.

Place the chocolate and butter (We used Kerrygold butter, of course.) in a small saucepan over low heat stirring constantly.  Add the sugar and cook for an additional 30 seconds.  Add the milk stirring constantly and cook for an addition 3-5 minutes until the chocolate sauce is smooth and creamy.  You want to keep the heat on low and do not let the sauce boil.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, salt and Kerrygold Irish Cream.  Yes, it’s that quick and easy!

Kerrygold Hot Fudge Sauce

Ingredients:
1 -8 oz package of unsweetened chocolate baking squares
1/2 cup of Kerrygold butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1 ounce of Kerrygold Irish Cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt

Melt unsweetened chocolate baking squares and butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Add 2 cups of sugar and continue to stir for about 30 seconds. Add milk to saucepan and continue to stir until sauce is smooth and creamy. Make sure sugar is dissolved, but do not allow the sauce to boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla, salt and Kerrygold. Cool before placing in container.

Can be refrigerated for up to two weeks. Reheat sauce in microwave prior to serving.

Makes approximately 3 cups.

The sauce is good for up to two weeks when stored in the refrigerator.  It is  best served warm, so you will want to include that information on your instruction tags to your friends.  We made sure to remind our friends to place the sauce in a different container before placing in the microwave.  

We love choices and variety, and there are several variations you may choose from for your sauce depending on your taste.  For a coffee flavor with your chocolate sauce, substitute the Kerrygold Irish Cream with Cafe Bourghetti Espresso Liqueur.  Want a little mint and chocolate?  Add Branca Menta in place of the Kerrygold.  Caution:  Branca Menta is strong, so we would only include half as much Branca Menta as Kerrygold.  Feeling a little frisky and want some whiskey?  Replace the Kerrygold with Templeton Rye Whiskey.  Zaya Rum and chocolate complement each other nicely, as well. So now you have choices to satisfy the range of the taste buds in your rainbow of friends and family.  

Try it out this week and let us know if you will be in the spirit of giving some Kerrygold Hot Fudge Sauce this season!  It’s time for our December Bonus post this week, so be on the lookout for our Merry Margarita!

Yum Rum Balls

yumrumballs2

Cheers, Friends!  You know how we told you that if you get one of our holiday goody bags from us that you were going to get some Golden Mint Crinkles?  Well… we kind of ate all of them.  Rhonda made an effort.  She quickly scooped up extras and put them in the freezer for safe keeping.  Unfortunately, the Blind Piglets, and both of us kept sneaking one here and two there, so now there are none left.  We told you that was a winning recipe!  No worries.  We will make more and try to get them in the goody bags before we inhale all of them again.

Today we are sharing another great holiday goody bag treat.  Yum Rum Balls! (stop snickering)  We’ve made rum balls before, but this recipe seems to have more flavor and flair than other rum ball recipes we’ve tried.  We hope that you like it as much as we do.  This recipe requires some prep on collecting the ingredients, but is easy to pull together once you are ready to get started.

yumrumballs11

There are a couple tricky ingredients.  The first tricky ingredient is Nabisco Wafer Cookies.  We first introduced these to you with the Spirited Chocolate Orange Bars.  You don’t find these on the cookie aisle. They are usually placed with the ice cream toppings.  The second tricky ingredient is almond paste.  We had not used almond paste before, but the cashier at Whole Foods told us that it was baking’s best kept secret.  So apparently the secret is now out!  Use almond paste for cookies and pie crusts.  You can find it on the baking aisle. We bought ours from Whole Foods.  When we googled it, we noticed that other grocery stores carry it.

yumrumballs4

Other ingredients that you need for Yum Rum Balls are: dark chocolate chips, sour cream, vanilla wafer cookies, powdered sugar, cocoa, Zaya Rum, melted butter and lots of sprinkles!

Place chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl, and cook in short bursts of no more than 45 seconds at a time.  In between cooking stir until chips are melted with a creamy consistency.  It is better to be patient and take this step slow instead of overcooking the chips.

Place the whole box of vanilla wafers in a food processor or blender and blend until you have fine crumbs.  Do the same for the box of chocolate wafer cookies.

In a mixer combine the melted chocolate with sour cream and almond paste.  Mix on medium until well combined.

In a large bowl combine both cookie crumbs, powdered sugar, cocoa, rum and melted butter.  Stir with a large spoon until well combined.

Next add the crumb mixture to the chocolate chip mixture in the mixer.  Mix on medium until all ingredients are well blended.  The mixture will have a paste-like texture.

Refrigerate the dough for a minimum of an hour and up to 24 hours.

yumrumballs8 (1)

Place sprinkles in a bowl.  Using a small scoop, scoop balls of mixture.  Remember our trick from our Thin Mentas and Golden Mint Crinkles?  Spray your hands with cooking spray to make the handling of the dough easy.  Roll dough in your hands to smooth out edges.

Drop balls into the sprinkles.  Roll in sprinkles to cover completely.  Use hands to press sprinkles into dough and to make sure balls are coated.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Makes approximately 4 dozen.

If you want to get creative, you can coat the Yum Rum Balls in different colored sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles, Heath Bar Crumbs, nuts and more!

yumrumballs10

If you are viewing this post in email, visit us at http://www.theblindpig.blog for the full  printable recipe.

The flavor of the rum rings through in these rum balls that are sweet, but not overly rich.  They make a great addition to a holiday tray at a holiday party or added to a goody basket.  We promise to save some of these for our goody basket friends.  Christmas needs to come quick!

 

Share this recipe and more with your friends, by telling them about our blog and following us on Instagram and Pinterest!

We are just getting started with the holiday fun around here!  Check in with us next week for more great holiday and entertaining ideas.

YumRumBalls

Yum Rum Balls are a fun and festive way to kick off the holiday season.

   

Espresso Your Love

Espresso Fudge

Make this delicious treat with Caffe’ Borghetti Espresso Liqueur.

Hello, Lovebugs! This week we are sharing an easy and delicious treat you can make for any of the honeys in your life.  This recipe combines two delicious chocolates and the taste of espresso coffee with the only espresso liqueur made from real espresso coffee beans.  We first shared our love of Caffe Borghetti with you when we made Caffe Borghetti PBIF Pie. The hint of espresso coffee intertwined with two kinds of chocolate will have you looking for love in all kinds of places.

We found this recipe on Pinterest from http://www.insidebrucrewlife.com.  Of course, we put our own Blind Pig twist on it.  We promise, if your sweet ones like fudge they are in for a treat!

Place a layer of wax paper or aluminum foil in a 9×9 inch pan.

Next, place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for bursts of 15-30 seconds.  Remove from the microwave and stir.  Return to microwave again for a short burst. Remove and stir. Continue until the chocolate chips are melted and smooth.

Place a container of chocolate frosting in the microwave for 1 minute.  Pour into chocolate chips and stir until smooth and creamy.  Add 2 ounces of Caffe’ Borghetti Espresso Liqueur to the chocolate mixture.  Pour mixture into 9×9 inch pan.

We let our chocolate bottom layer cool and rest for about 15 minutes before starting the next layer.

Melt white chocolate chips with the same process as you melted the chocolate chips.  Heat and add white frosting to the white chips. Stir until smooth.  Pour over the top of the chocolate layer.  Let fudge set until firm.  We placed ours in the refrigerator to solidify overnight.

Prior to serving, cut into squares or thin slices.  Store in a sealed container.

Yes, it really is that easy!!

We hope that your Valentine’s Day is the best yet!  Give your loved ones a hug and kiss for us.  If you are not subscribing to our blog, yet.  What are you waiting for?

theblindpig.blog

Top Ten Posts for 2017

Happy New Year, friends.  Did you ring in the new year with family and friends or did you spend a cozy night in?  We had a get together at our casa and the Infused Pineapple Vodka did not disappoint.

As we look forward to the new year with optimism and enthusiasm, we also reflect on 2017.  We were surprised to see that we have already posted 33 times on our little blog.  Time flies when you are busy cooking and concocting.  We wanted to share with you our top ten posts that received the most buzz and views.

  1. Zaya Rum Mojito zayamojito5
  2. Tequila Fish Tacostequila fish tacos6
  3. Watermelon Warswatermelon wars 3
  4. Mary Ann or Gingermary ann or ginger
  5. Carpano Antica Sangriasangria 8
  6. Zaya Banana Breadzaya banana bread 1
  7. Zaya Rum Manhattanzaya manhattan 7
  8. Pumpkin Spice Martinipumpkin spice martini 4
  9. Kerrygold Ice Creamkerrygoldicecream
  10. Salted Whiskey Caramel Corncaramel corn 013

Next week we will bring you more recipes and ideas for entertaining and your delight, as well as some more low calorie alternatives for entertaining.

It is our resolution to double our followers in 2018.  Refer our blog to a friend and encourage him/her to select the “following” button in the lower right hand corner to receive our little blog to their inbox each week.  Look for us on Pinterest at theblindpigblog and repin our posts!

 

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.

It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas

Hello friends,  did you enjoy some Kerrygold French Toast for breakfast this weekend?  Our family had a busy weekend.  One half of the family went South for an out-of-town hockey tournament and the other half went North to move our daughter’s stuff out of her sorority house.  Although we were busy doing other things we still managed to put some finishing touches on our Christmas mantel and make some yummy treats!

christmas mantel

Along with holiday decorations, our family loves to bake and entertain during the holiday season.  Rhonda likes to try out new baking recipes and Craig likes to be the official taste-tester.  This week’s treat is an old recipe that Rhonda got from her friend, Kim, years ago when baking holiday treats — Menta Truffles.  These truffles are so easy and taste sooo good, that they have stayed a family holiday staple for years — with a few tweaks here and there, of course.  Rhonda always makes these and places a few into our holiday goody bags that she shares with friends and family.

menta truffles 010

When you see how easy these are, you will shout, “Get out!”  There are only 4 easy ingredients that you need.

menta truffles 001

First melt the chocolate chips.  We usually melt them in the microwave in 45-30 second bursts. Don’t overcook or you will have to start from the beginning.

menta truffles 003

When the chocolate chips have melted to a nice consistency, add a tub of chocolate frosting.  With both the chocolate chips and the frosting, choose whichever you like best.  Our family prefers milk chocolate, so that is what we usually use.  However, we have made it with semi-sweet before and it also tastes nice.

After mixing the frosting into the melted chips, add 1/4 cup of liqueur to the mix and incorporate fully. We used Branca Menta so our truffles will have a nice minty taste.  You can also use Kerrygold Irish Cream for a double chocolate taste or try Caffe Borghetti which gives the truffles a coffee flavor. Yummy!

Now, chill the dough for 1-2 hours. This is a very important step.  If you don’t chill the dough, it is nearly impossible to do the next step.

After chilling for 1-2 hours, scoop out about 1 spoonful of dough and roll into balls. (No snickering!)

menta truffles 004

Melt the almond bark using the same method that you used for the chips.  We melt half of the almond bark at a time.  It is easier to work with when it’s freshly melted.  Place about 2 balls into the melted bark and coat evenly.  Scoop out with a fork and let excess bark drip into the bowl.  Place on parchment or wax paper and let harden.  You can add extra sprinkles or crushed peppermints to the top for garnish.  An alternative to dipping in almond bark, is to roll the truffles in cocoa, crushed nuts, or coconut.

menta truffles 006

Menta Truffles

  • 1 can chocolate frosting
  • 1 package chocolate chips
  • 1/4 Branca Menta Liqueur
  • 1 package of almond bark

Melt chips.  Add frosting and liqueur.  Chill for 1-2 hours.  Roll into balls. Roll in cocoa, nuts, or coconut or cover in melted almond bark.

menta truffles 0132

Can you believe how easy this recipe is?  It is a huge hit in holiday baskets or served on holiday dessert trays. Let us know if you try it out!