Arsip Tag: bourbon
Over a year ago, I made hand pies and declared them a delicious disaster. The pie dough wasn’t bendy enough to suit what I had in mind, and they too easily leaked and broke, but that had no effect on the final taste. Nevertheless, I promised to try them again soon, with one of three dough recipes I had in mind that would work better.
But that wasn’t the only reason. You see the hand pies? They GOT STOLEN before my friends got to eating them. I mean, who could blame the thieves, right? In fact, we knew exactly who they were and they have yet to be invited back. We take pie theft quite seriously, you see.
It was my friend Tim that had specifically requested pie, and I had the idea of hand pies to make them finger food, as there would be many people at the party and who wants to deal with plates and forks? Except, he was busy DJing so I stashed them downstairs in Jocelyn’s loft, away from prying eyes–or so I thought! When I got to retrieving them an hour later, both containers–more than 40 hand pies–were empty and crumbs-around-the-mouth guilty parties milling about were going on about how good they were.
Flash forward a year, and Tim has never forgotten his stolen hand pies. So, in the honor of a final barbecue for him this past weekend– he’s fleeing for Los Angeles, you see–I made some more. And although I technically have two more recipes I want to try before I call this a victorious recipe, well, it is. It’s perfect. The dough is stretchy and tender, never breaks or leaks in the oven. The end result is so puffy and flaky, it’s practically a laminated dough.
And it is exactly what you should make this weekend, portable pies with peaches or whichever stone fruit get you daydreaming of a place where summer never, ever ends. That’s what I’ll be doing at least, but from the North Carolina mountains. I can’t wait!
One year ago: White bean roasted red pepper dip
Peach Hand Pies
There’s a bit of fussing with this recipe–chill, then cut, then chill, then roll, then chill, then fill, then chill again–but trust me when I say it is worth it. There’s a reason this is one of my favorite pastry doughs, because it never fails. Sure, you might be able to skip a chill or two, but the dough will be more difficult to work with and is less likely to keep its lovely shape while baked.
The dough is adapted from my favorite galette dough in the entire world. The bourbon peach was purely inspired, if I do say so myself.
Makes 14 to 24 (depending on cutter size)
For the pastry:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into
1/2 cup sour cream
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup ice water
For the filling:
2 pounds of peaches
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon bourbon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
One egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons water (for egg wash)
Coarse sanding sugar, for decoration
1. To make the pastry, in a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Place the butter in another bowl. Place both bowls in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove the bowls from the freezer and make a well in the center of the flour. Add the butter to the well and, using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make another well in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add half of this mixture to the well. With your fingertips, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Remove the large lumps and repeat with the remaining liquid and flour-butter mixture. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. If preparing ahead of time, the dough can be stored at this point for up to one month in the freezer.
2. Divide the refrigerated dough in half. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one half of the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 4 1/2-inch-round biscuit cutter, cut seven circles out of the rolled dough. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes. Repeat the rolling, cutting, and chilling process with the remaining half of dough. (I used a 4-inch cutter–if you can call a “cutter” the tin edge of the container that holds my smaller round cutters–and managed to get 12 from each dough half, after rerolling the scraps.)
3. Make the filling: Peel and chop the peaches into small bits (approx. 1/2-inch dice), much smaller than you’d use for a regular-sized pie. Mix them with the flour, sugar and pinch of salt, and add the bourbon and vanilla, if you wish.
4. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature until just pliable, 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon about 1 to 2 tablespoons filling (use the smaller amount for a 4-inch circle) onto one half of each circle of dough. Quickly brush a little cold water around the circumference of the dough, and fold it in half so the other side comes down over the filling, creating a semicircle. Seal the hand pie, and make a decorative edge by pressing the edges of the dough together with the back of a fork. Repeat process with remaining dough. Place the hand pies back on the parchment-lined baking sheet, and return to the refrigerator to chill for another 30 minutes.
5. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the chilled hand pies from the refrigerator, cut a small slit in each and lightly brush with the egg yolk wash. Sprinkle sanding sugar generously over the pies, and place pies in the oven to bake. Bake until the hand pies are golden brown and just slightly cracked, about 20 minutes. Remove the pies from the oven, and let stand to cool slightly before serving.
Nothing to see here, guys.
Really, you wouldn’t like this. Who’d want to drink a half-frozen blend of strong tea, lemonade, orange juice and bourbon garnished with fresh mint on a sticky, hot summer day? It might give you a little brain freeze. It would probably feel like liquid air conditioning. It could improve your outlook to the point that you might forget to dread the next heat wave. Nothing good could come of this.
Trust me, I know from experience. My friends brought bags of this slush up to their roof last month and I had but a few crunchy sips before I turned to my husband and said, “I think I’m starting to like summer in the city.” He said, “Whoa. Slow down there!” And we both agreed that this was a very dangerous drink to have on hand and that we should only finish our glass and at most one more to be safe.
My friends got the recipe from a magazine, but it’s crazy sweet as printed. I ended up tweaking it, using freshly squeezed orange juice and lemonade instead of frozen concentrate and half the recommended sugar (less, even, given that I didn’t sweeten the equivalent homemade lemonade). The original recipe has you divide the mixture between two gallon-size freezer bags and freeze it until slushy, but my friends complained that this took forever, at least 12 hours in their freezer (your freezer may be colder), and that’s just way too much forethought about a cocktail for me. Plus, I had little doubt that I’d miss the “perfectly slushy” window and end up with a giant ice cube. So, when I make it, I use a base concentrate which is all of the ingredients except the water and you should keep this chilled until needed. And instead of adding water, we used the equivalent weight in ice, which you can blend in a large batch or individual size, as needed. Which might be often this weekend. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
One year ago: Banana, Nutella and Salt Pistachio Popsicles
Two years ago: Pink Lemonade Bars
Three years ago: Tomato Salad with Crushed Croutons
Four years ago: Raspberry Brown Sugar Gratin
Five years ago: Asparagus with Chorizo and Croutons and Sour Cherry Slab Pie
Six years ago: Herbed Potato and Summer Squash Torte
Seven years ago: Pearl Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes
Bourbon Slush Punch
Adapted from Garden & Gun
After significantly reducing the sugar and replacing frozen concentrate with fresh juice, I halved this recipe so that it serves 8 people (in 1-cup servings; your punch glasses may be smaller) from 4 cups concentrate and about 5 cups ice. The resulting punch is lightly sweet and very refreshing. And it crunches. You can definitely double it for a crowd. If you would rather make the slush the way originally recommended, after you make the punch base mixture, add 2 cups cold water to it. Pour mixture into a gallon-sized freezer bag. Freeze mixture until slushy (this might take several to many hours), and serve. If it freezes solid, place it in a punch bowl and let it thaw, breaking it up every 15 minutes or so. Blending ice cubes as directed below is definitely less work.
1 cup water
2 tea bags (whatever you like for iced tea)
1 cup bourbon
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups orange juice (about 3 well-squeezed oranges)
6 tablespoons lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
16 to 17 ounces (about 5 cups of small pieces of ice) ice cubes
Mint sprigs or lemon slices, for garnish
Boil 1 cup water for tea. Add the tea bags and let steep until cool. Discard the tea bags and set aside. Pour tea into a pitcher. Add bourbon, sugar, orange juice and lemon juice and refrigerate until needed. Don’t worry about stirring the sugar so that it dissolves; after 30 minutes in the fridge, it will have.
To serve: Shake or stir punch base to ensure ingredients are evenly distributed. To make two liters of punch, add base and full amount of ice cubes to your blender, blending until the ice is crushed and slushy. For each individual glass of punch, place 1/2 cup punch base and slightly heaped 1/2 cup small pieces of ice (mine were chipped off an ice block; don’t ask) and blend until slushy. Add an extra whole ice cube or two to glasses if desired. Garnish glass with a sprig of mint or slice of lemon.
I closed out 2014 somewhat exasperated (and quietly anxious and queasy because I was first trimester-ing this bunny) that I had so much I’d wanted to cook and tell you about that year but couldn’t fabricate the time. Then I added a new tiny wonderful human to the mix and needless to say, the song has not changed. So, I’m going retune it. It’s better to have too many ideas than too few, after all, I’m sure there will be a time when these kids don’t call (sob) and the apartment is finally clean and organized and there are no items left on my tumbling to-do list when I’ll maybe even miss the chaos the chaos of feeling like I was barely keeping afloat. Plus, seriously, this was such an unquestionably excellent year, from impending babies, actual babies, missing front teeth, a new weekly digest newsletter, and even crazy milestones, like the 1000th recipe on this site (my favorite cocktail, go make yourself one, I’ll wait). How could I want to change a thing?
Most Popular Smitten Kitchen Recipes of 2015: Savory
- mushroom marsala pasta bake
- my ultimate chicken noodle soup
- obsessively good avocado cucumber salad
- tomato and fried provolone sandwich
- baked chickpeas with pita chips and yogurt
- oat and wheat sandwich bread
- oven-braised beef with tomatoes and garlic
- broccoli cheddar soup
- perfect corn muffins
- zucchini rice and cheese gratin
- spaghetti pangrattato with crispy eggs
- cornmeal-fried pork chops + smashed potatoes
- caramelized onion and gruyère biscuits
- takeout-style sesame noodles with cucumber
- herbed summer squash pasta bake
- fake shack burger
Most Popular Smitten Kitchen Recipes of 2015: Sweet
- pecan pie
- salted chocolate chunk cookies
- the ‘i want chocolate cake’ cake
- key lime pie
- carrot graham layer cake
- butterscotch pudding
- salted peanut butter cookies
- liège waffles
- black bottom oatmeal pie
- pull-apart rugelach
- very blueberry scones
- cannoli pound cake
- crispy peach cobbler
- strawberry cornmeal griddle cakes
- the browniest cookies
- chocolate chunk granola bars
I’m excited about 2016. It’s the year (I’m writing it here, so you all better hold me to it), I’m going to start reading books again, and not just The New York Times, The New Yorker and every terrible thing anyone has ever linked to from Facebook. And it’s the I’m going to finally finish the next Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, the one that’s been bumping about in my head for way too long. What’s on your agenda? May I suggest you mull it over with some chocolate sprinkled pretties on hand?
My mother-in-law has often told me that her coworker makes the best rum balls for their holiday party. Yes, rum balls, that holiday party staple from the 1960s, things that we thought went the way of bellbottoms and turtlenecks under dinner jackets. I figured they were just a giddy little way for people who need their booze cloaked in layers of sugary dessert to hit the sauce, and thus were not my thing until she plopped one in my hand week and I had to hold myself back from eating three more. Guys, please let’s make these a thing again.
Of course, I ended up mashing her recipe up with one that had caught my eye from Melissa Clark. Clark uses chocolate cookie crumbs instead of the usual vanilla wafers and bourbon instead of rum, which I think we already knew I was going to. Her recipe uses honey instead of the usual corn syrup, but I couldn’t resist using molasses because the flavor is so grand against that chocolate and bourbon. As I’ve already sung the praises of black cocoa powder once this month, I’ll spare you, but I couldn’t resist slipping it in here because things are the pitch of Oreos are always more welcome than things that are not.
The result is like a sip of bourbon, a brownie and a chocolate truffle ran away together, and rolled in the shimmery sprinkly deep, are 100% more dressed up for a party that I’ll manage to be by 8 p.m. tonight. Plus, they’re no-bake and keep exceptionally well (and even get better with age, should they be ignored long enough to actually rest, i.e. I suspect this theory has never been tested); I’m so taken with the brilliance of these retro treats, I’m wondering what else we should be reconsidering from the 1960s in the new year. Pillbox hats, definitely.
More New Year’s Eve Party Snack Ideas: Over here.
More New Year’s Eve Cocktail Ideas: Over here.
Fudgy Bourbon Balls
Adapted from Melissa Clark
Makes about 42 with a 1 tablespoon scoop
2 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs or about 260 grams chocolate cookies
1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted and cooled
1/2 cup bourbon
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons honey or molasses
Sprinkles, sanding or coarse sugar, additional chopped nuts, extra cookie crumbs or coconut to roll balls in
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the cookies, whole or already in crumbs, and pecans until the nuts are finely ground. In small dish, whisk together the bourbon, powdered sugar, cocoa and honey until smooth. Add to the food processor bowl and pulse until just combined.
Set aside at room temperature, uncovered, for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or up to 4 hours, to give the crumbs a chance to absorb the liquid and become more fudgy and easier to roll.
Scoop dough into about 1-inch or 1 tablespoon-sized balls and roll them in toppings of your choice. The balls can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge. If at room temperature, you can leave them covered for more moisture or uncovered if you like them with more of a crust. Balls will keep for as long as you can hide them from people.
Notes: I’m going to do a little Q&A with the comment section that lives in my head. 🙂
- Can I make these with gluten-free cookies? Probably.
- Can I make these without nuts? There are many nut-free rum ball recipes on the web to get you started, or, I’m sure you can fudge these a bit with extra crumbs to balance the missing nuts.
- Can I make these without alcohol? Absolutely, in fact, I made 1/3 of these (the ones with colored sprinkles) with apple juice. Other liquids that might work, should you not have a 6 year-old who would be rather infuriated if sprinkle-covered balls of chocolate were given to everyone but him as your intended audience, coffee, strong black tea, a favorite juice, etc.
- Nabisco Chocolate Wafers are impossible to find! Yes, they are. There’s always Amazon, but those prices are insane. A bodega in my neighborhood sells these Leibniz chocolate cookies, which I used instead, but of course any plain chocolate cookie will do. This sound insane, but for a homemade option, the cookie portion of these Oreos is unbelievably easy to make in the food processor and you could have them going into the oven 15 minutes from now, with the bonus of have a surplus of excellent chocolate sugar cookies when you’re done.
- That’s a lot of booze, Deb! Yes, it is. My MIL’s uses more like 1/4 cup for a pleasant kick of spirits. This is more assertive, although my testers assured me, not unwelcome. Should you wish to halve it, you’ll want to hold back on the cookie crumbs to adjust. Start with half and add more until you get a good thick consistency.
- Where’d you get those sprinkles? I showed exactly zero restraint on my most recent trip to NY Cake and Baking on 22nd Street. This was the result.
- Can’t I just roll these in powdered sugar, as the original recipe suggests? In my opinion? No. The result was damp and slippery and would need to be re-rolled on the regular to keep a pretty finish. Go with something with more texture and it will hang on longer.
Most conversations about shrubs go like this.
“Wait, like the green bushy things that grow in the ground?”
“No, it’s a drink.”
“A leafy drink?”
“No, it’s actually just three ingredients — fruit, sugar, and vinegar…”
“Wait, you drink vinegar? Why would you drink vinegar?”
“Well, we love sour things like lemon and lime in drinks, they complement sweet flavors…”
“So there’s booze in this?”
“… Sometimes. Sometimes it’s just a soda.”
“Well, that sounds nice.”
[Note: They are being polite.]
Vinegar — basically what grapes turn into once they age past wine, see my fridge door at any time for an example — has been around since ancient times, as has the concept of drinking vinegars. Vinegar was used to sterilize unclean water, and was consumed in biblical times when wine was forbidden. Later in England, it was used to preserve fruit and Colonial Americans took the technique over with them. Pouring some of vinegar off the fruit and mixing it with things like soda, wine, or booze makes for some delicious drinks, far more complex than your average lemonade. But please don’t mistake me for an expert on shrubs, however; everything I know I learned from this fantastic book.
[If you like to make connections, the author, Michael Dietsch, is the husband of Jennifer Hess, whose tomato and provolone sandwiches got me back into the kitchen when I thought I’d never cook again after our second kid, and would be so good tonight, don’t you think?]
This drink isn’t really a true shrub, however, although it toys with the idea. It’s more of a Starter Shrub or a Shrub Lite, and I made it last summer as a way to make good use of the peaches I couldn’t resist that the market that would go soft after a day. Thinly sliced and macerating them with sugar and the tiniest bit of apple cider vinegar (instead of the lemon or lime I’d usually use) overnight (or at least a few hours) turned them into something complex and unforgettably delicious. From there — inspired by a delicious drink I’d had when staying at this charming B&B while I was in town for this wedding — I muddled them in the bottom of a glass with some mint and poured some bourbon and ginger beer [a non-alcoholic drink] over them and it was one of the most delicious cocktails I’ve ever had.
It’s been torture to wait this long before telling you about it, especially because many of the photos include my daughter stealing ice cubes in the background, cracking me up — we went on vacation the next week and when we came back, peach season was over and I didn’t want to torment you with something so much better with good peaches. Let’s make them every weekend for the rest of the summer to make up for lost time, okay?