Double Menta

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Have the girl scouts been out and about in your neighborhood?  They are in full force around the Dallas area selling their boxes of irresistible confections.  Thin mints are one of our favs, but this year we are making our own grown up thin mints. We shared one of our favorite mint liqueurs with you in other posts like,  3 Hot Chocolates With a Twist and Who Needs Half-Price Shakes After 8?Who Needs Half-Price Shakes After 8? Branca Menta is the perfect amount of mint to give these chocolate cookies a little zip. Not a cookie person?  No worries!  We have a thin mint in a glass for you, as well.

branca mentaWe found the cookie recipe last March on Liquor.com with a few minor adjustments we made it our own.  Start by whisking together the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

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Then beat the sugar and butter until creamy with a mixer.  Slowly add the eggs and the extracts.  Next add the flour mixture slowly to the mixer until combined. The dough is super sticky.  (We will talk about that more in a moment.)

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Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.  Do not skip this step or it will become very difficult to work with later.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  You will need to roll the dough into little 1 1/2″ balls.  To make this easier, wash your hands carefully.  Then spray your hands with cooking spray.  (You will be glad you did!) Scoop a spoonful of dough out of the bowl and into your hands. Roll the dough until a nice ball forms.  Since you chilled the dough and sprayed your hands with cooking spray, the balls form nicely and do not stick to your hands!

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After rolling the dough, flatten the balls with the bottom of a glass.  Remember how you sprayed your hands with cooking spray?  Spray the bottom of the glass before flattening the cookies.  It keeps the cookies from sticking to the bottom of the glass.  The recipe calls for making the discs about 1/4″ thick.  We couldn’t get ours quite that thin.

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Bake the cookies, and flip them to the other side to bake after about 4 minutes.  Bake for a total of 8 minutes.  Let the cookies cool slightly on the tray and then transfer to a cooling rack.

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Meanwhile, you can melt the chocolate chips.  Instead of using a double boiler, we usually melt our chips in the microwave.  We set the cook time for no more than 30 seconds each interval.  After 30 seconds is up, we remove the bowl, stir, and return to the microwave for 15-30 more seconds until the chips are melted and smooth.

Dip the cooled cookies into the chocolate one at a time to coat.  Shake off excess chocolate and place on parchment paper to set.

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Now you are ready for some delicious homemade Thin Mentas!  While these cookies do not taste exactly like the cookies the Girl Scouts sell,  they are still a delicious treat.

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Thin Mentas

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk brought to room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons of Branca Menta
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 12-18 ounces of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a larger bowl on a mixer stand beat together the sugar and butter on medium speed until creamy.  Reduce the speed and add first the egg and then the egg yolk, beating well after each addition. Beat in the extracts.  Slowly beat in the flour mixture until just combined.  The dough will be super sticky.

Shape the dough into a ball and chill for 30 minutes.  After chilling the dough, shape the dough into 1 1/2″ balls and place on cookie sheets.  Flatten with the bottom of a glass till about 1/4 inch thick.  Bake the cookies for about 4 minutes, remove flip and bake for another 4 minutes until dry and crisp and firm around the edges.  Let the cookies cool slightly on the cookie sheet and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Melt chocolate chips in the microwave at 15 second intervals stirring until smooth.  Dip cookies into the melted chocolate and turn to coat .  Shake off any excess chocolate and place on parchment paper to cool.

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 The Thin Mint

Add one part Branca Menta and one part Seagram’s Cookies and Cream Vodka in a rocks glass.  Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.  Then sit back and drink your girl scout cookies.

Which will you try first?  The drink or the cookies?  We would love to hear about what you think.

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.

Ice, Ice, Baby!

Baby, is it cold outside where you are?  It has been a little chilly in Texas this week, and as we look at the weather map, that is true about much of the country.  In fact, ice is even in the forecast for the Dallas/Fort Worth area tomorrow.  In honor of the cold weather, we are going to talk with you about ice.

You might think, “Ice?  What is there to talk to about with ice?”  Well, my friends, in the world of beverages, believe it or not, ice is a HOT trend.  We shared some information with you about ice back in August when we commemorated the eclipse.  This week we will look at ice and how it can change the taste and the look of your beverage.

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It’s got the look.  One reason that ice has become a hot trend in the cocktail world is that the size and shape of your ice portrays a certain image or attitude for a cocktail. It is an easy way to garnish your beverage and instantly amp up the appeal.

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Gin with sphere ice

Using a sphere of ice is a big trend in many restaurants and upscale bars. We showed you in August how you can join in on this trend by  purchasing some less expensive sphere molds, such as the Neptune Ice Ball tray  or going high-end and purchasing one from Sharper Image or Williams Sonoma!

Another trend is to use large cubes. We have a mold that is similar to the one that you can purchase at Target.  We’ve also seen similar molds at World Market and Home Goods.

The large cubes not only give your drink a clean and sophisticated look, they also have a practical purpose.  By containing less surface area, the larger cubes melt much more slowly. Thus keeping your drink cool without watering down the taste. The larger cubes are typically used with classic cocktails like a boulevardier or if you want to drink a spirit neet.  No one likes the taste of a watered down cocktail, right?

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Boulevardier with 2 inch cube ice

 

Crushed ice is great for beverages that you want to keep really cold.  Rhonda is a sucker for Sonic drinks, and all of the credit definitely goes to the ice.  The combination of the crushed Sonic ice with the styrofoam cup keeps the drink at a deliciously cold temperature.  The same is true for margaritas, pina coladas, and other summery, beachy drinks.  The crushed ice is the perfect garnish and temperature to keep those slushy drinks cool, calm, and collected.  Here’s a great tip: Purchase bags of Sonic ice from time to time when entertaining to give your frozen drinks a little something special.

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Sonic ice

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This drink was mixed in a blender to create slushy ice.

Corralejo Jalapeno Popper Margarita

A Margarita with Sonic Ice = Love

Want to add a little garnish and keep your drink stylishly cool?  Add mint leaves, rosemary, or even berries to your ice cube tray as you fill it up.  This look works well if you are serving a clear spirit, lemonade or sparkling water.

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Want your ice cubes to be clear?  Add boiling water to your mold.  The boiling temperature rids the water of gases that can cause that cloudy look.  Either way the ice is still cold has has the same taste– just a different look.

Regular freezer ice does have its place.  Freezer ice is great for adding to a shaker to cool down a concoction and works just as well as any other ice.

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Whether you are serving lemonade or a Manhattan, the ice you choose can make a difference in the appearance and taste of your drink.  The next time you entertain, don’t forget to think about the ice. What kind of mood you want to portray with your signature cocktail? If you try out one of our tips, we would love to hear about it.

Thank you bunches to everyone who is helping us with our challenge to double our number of followers.  We saw many new subscribers come across our feed this week and we are happy to have you join us.  Don’t forget to continue to share our blog with family and friends.

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.

Midnight Spice

We have almost made it to the end of 2017!  Was this an unusual year for you?  It was for us, so we are looking forward to counting down and moving toward 2018 with optimism and hope!  We will definitely toast to that!

Do you remember when we told you that we had brunch at Whiskey Cake a couple of weeks ago?  We sat at the bar and watched the bartenders do their thing.  One drink that was a popular order for brunch was the drink that we are sharing with you today.  Of course we added our own flair to it and changed an ingredient or two.  The Midnight Spice is easy to make and easy to drink.

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One ingredient in Midnight Spice is Frangelico.  Frangelico is an Italian Hazelnut liqueur that we have not mentioned on The Blind Pig Blog.  The liqueur has low alcohol content (20%), and produces a smooth hazelnut texture.  The bottle is made to look like an Italian monk. (Cute, right?)  You may have seen it on the back bar of one of your favorite establishments.

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There are only 3 simple ingredients needed for Midnight Spice: Frangelico, Kerrygold Irish Cream and simple syrup. We also added some cinnamon for a garnish.

You will need to make the simple syrup ahead of time.  We have directions for making simple syrup here.

Place 1 1/2 ounces of Kerrygold Irish Cream, 1 ounce of Frangelico, and 1/2 ounce of simple syrup.  Place in a shaker over ice.  Shake for 30 seconds.  Strain.  Pour in serving glass and top with freshly grated cinnamon for garnish.

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This drink is not too alcohol forward and makes for an excellent beverage late at night or early in the day.  Whether you are celebrating NYE with a large group of friends or a quiet night in with your sweetie, this drink will not disappoint.  It makes for a delicious nightcap or a lovely beverage for a brunch.

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We feel blessed that you have joined us on our blog, and we would love to hear from you in 2018. There are many more ideas and recipes we want to share with you. If you are ringing in the new year, be safe and don’t drink and drive.  Cheers to you and yours for a prosperous 2018!

 

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.

Merry Everything!

The Christmas season is upon us and our household is in full force.  It is amazing to us how much time Christmas takes –buying gifts, wrapping gifts, baking and making goody baskets and so much more!  We love every bit of it, but we are finding that there are so many things we still would like to do and Christmas Eve is only two days away!

One thing that we have been up to lately is planning for our New Year’s Eve Party.  We know. We know.  You can’t skip right over Christmas and go to New Year’s, but we do need to plan ahead.  We want to give you a little sneak peek of what we have in mind.

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We are working on Pineapple Infused Vodka.  This is the first time that we have infused vodka of on our own.  We talked with a few experts and it sounded easy, so what can go wrong?

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For our infused vodka we used Seagram’s Extra Smooth Vodka and fresh pineapple.  We have a large container, so we used about 2 and 1/4 liters of vodka and 2 fresh pineapples.  First chop up the pineapples and place them in the container.  Next pour in the vodka until the container is nearly full.  Wait for 2 weeks.  Yes, it is that simple!  Easy. Fresh. Tasty.

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Craig did notice that after the first day we were losing some of the liquid to angel’s share.  Angel’s share is distiller speak for evaporation.  Distillers of years past noticed that their alcohol was disappearing within the bottles and kegs. They came up with the term angel’s share to say that the angels must have taken a drink when no one was looking. In order to combat the angel’s share, Craig sealed up our container with a little extra packing tape.

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Weeks passed as we made final preparations for our NYE party, we taste tested our concoction that had been infusing for two weeks.  It was quite strong and not very sweet.  We made a few adjustments by adding a cup of sugar.  Kool aid has a cup of sugar and it tastes great, right?  The liquid was still a little overpowering, but easier to drink.  Over the next few days we tasted it again and again.  We will say that it did get much better with age. It turned out to be quite a satisfying drink with a hint of pineapple sweetness.  Yummo!

pineapple infused vodka

Here are a few tips if you are going to try this:

  • Think ahead!  As we stated above, you need to prep this at least two weeks in advance.  Ours needed more than two weeks to get to its prime.
  • Taste test it a day or two before your social event.  You want to have time to make some adjustments.
  • Make sure the fruit you are infusing is ripe and sweet. We think our pineapple may have been a little green, which caused our infusion not to be the sweetest it could be.

Now that we have tried this once, we would like to try it again with another fruit.  We will keep you posted!

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From our family to yours we wish each of you a grace filled Christmas.  Hug the ones you love and cherish your time together!

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.

Berry and Bright: Cranberry Rum Slush

Hi friends! We have been busy getting ready for Christmas and keeping up with our kids’ sports.  Our daughter is home from college and our house feels like grand central station, but we wouldn’t change a thing. We managed to squeeze in a fun brunch at Whiskey Cake on Sunday.  We sat at the bar and watched the bartenders make drinks.  We are easily entertained.

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Today we want to share a drink with you that we adapted from our cookbook, For Goodness Taste by the Junior League of Rochester. This is the same cookbook that we found the recipe for PBIF Pie, so you know this is going to be good!

The Cranberry Rum Slush is a great beverage to serve for a holiday get together or on Christmas Eve.  It might seem weird that we are recommending a slush drink for a winter holiday.  The flavor of the rum gives this sweet drink a warm finish, and the color makes for a festive appearance.

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The ingredient list is very simple.  You will need a can of frozen cranberry juice concentrate, rum, Rose’s lime juice, and fresh lime juice.  We had never purchased Rose’s lime juice before, but we easily found it at Kroger on the wine aisle near the Grenadine.  The original recipe also called for adding a little bit of sugar, but we think the drink is plenty sweet without it.  If you don’t like drinks that are too sweet or if you are just watching your calorie intake, you may be able to forgo Rose’s lime juice which is a lime flavored sweetener.  We find that when you use a high quality rum, such as Zaya Rum,  that you don’t need added sugars.

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Cranberry Rum Slush

  • 1 can twelve ounces of frozen cranberry juice concentrate
  • 6 ounces of Zaya Rum
  • 1 ounce Rose’s lime juice
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until very smooth.  Add ice and blend to a slush.

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We hope that you will enjoy serving this festive drink at your holiday gatherings.  We have more beverage and gift ideas that we want to share with you before the holidays.  You may be seeing some extra posts in your mailbox this week.  Enjoy your last week to shop before Christmas!

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.

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

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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.

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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!)

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

We’d Like to Propose a Toast!

Hey friends, so how is your holiday shopping going?  We haven’t really started yet, although Rhonda finally got our Christmas cards in the mail.  We are moving down that holiday checklist, which brings us to talk about holiday traditions.  What traditions do you hold dear during the holidays? We told you last week about how we like to drive around and look at lights and then end the night with some yummy hot chocolate.  Craig’s family always woke up early on Christmas morning to unwrap presents. Rhonda’s family attended midnight mass, so Santa always magically came while we were at mass.  We found our presents under the tree after getting home around 1:30 am.  We would oohhh and aaahhh and then sleep in on Christmas morning.  Funny how that happened, right?

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This week we are sharing an easy, tasty and fresh recipe for you to serve for breakfast Christmas morning or if you have holiday guests staying at your house.  This recipe is tastes complicated and delicious.  Whether you are trying to impress houseguests or just want to make a special breakfast for your honey, it is sure to delight.  The best thing is that it is soooo easy! You will feel a little guilty when your loved ones keep bragging about the delicious breakfast they had.

Rhonda found this recipe on the kerrygold usa site.    We know.  We know.  Another Kerrygold recipe?  It is just so hard to resist, because Kerrygold Irish Cream goes well with so many things!

You make this recipe much like most French toast recipes. The big difference is a tablespoon of Kerrygold in the egg mixture that the bread is soaked in and a Kerrygold sauce that you drizzle over the top when serving.

To start you will preheat your skillet over medium heat and add butter.  Of course we added Kerrygold butter, because once we started using it for baking and cooking none of the other butters can compare.

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Do you have a cast iron skillet?  We love ours.  Rhonda requested it for Christmas a couple of years ago.  We know it is not very romantic, but it has been one of her favorite gifts ever.  Yes, ever!  It is so easy to use when cooking and it helps food cook very evenly.

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While melting the butter, whisk together milk, eggs, sugar and Kerrygold.  Dunk each bread slice into the mixture for about 5 seconds and then place in the skillet.  We used some French bread that we had on hand.  The thicker the slice the more decadent your French toast will taste and look.

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Cook each slice of bread for about 3-4 minutes and until golden brown on each side.

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You can make the sauce while the toast is cooking.  Whisk together Kerrygold, powdered sugar and cornstarch.  That’s it.

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Serve your toast with a pat of Kerrygold butter on the top and drizzle the sauce. So easy!  Right?  Now do you see why you will blush when friends and family are bragging on your delicious breakfast or brunch Christmas morning?  You will make it all look so easy.

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Kerrygold French Toast

  • 2 tablespoons Kerrygold Unsalted Butter,  plus extra for serving
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur
  • 4 1″-thick slices french bread

Preheat large skillet over medium heat and add butter.  

Whisk together milk. eggs, sugar and Kerrygold.  Dunk each bread slice in mixture for about 5 second per side and place in skillet.  Cook each slice for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown on each side.

Irish Cream Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Kerrygold Irish Cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Whisk together until smooth.

Serve with two slices of French toast topped with a pat of butter and drizzled with sauce.

We hope you will try our French toast recipe.  Perhaps it will be a new tradition for your Christmas morning like waking up in new PJ’s or unwrapping loads of presents at the crack of dawn.  We can’t wait to share more holiday ideas with you next week!

 

 

 

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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