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Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

This year I participated in the first annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  Lindsay from Love & Olive Oil and Julie from A Little Kitchen organized this event, which brought together over 400 food bloggers who made and sent cookies all over the world.  I’m a huge fan of events like this that bring together our community, it was so nice to get to meet new people in such a delicious forum!

For my contribution to the swamp, I made Brown Butter Snickerdoodles.  Snickerdoodles are one of my all time favorite cookies, something about their subtly spiced flavor makes my heart warm.  I tweaked my usual recipe a bit to include brown butter and a sprinkle of sea salt, which gave them (I think) a delicious twist.  I just hope that the three dozen I sent out were eaten as quickly as the ones I made for Dan and I.

Easily the most fun part of this swap was getting cookies in the mail.  I love all packages, and seeing what my fellow food bloggers came up with COMPLETELY put me to shame.  All three of the packages I received were adorable, I have big shoes to fill next year.  It was such a pleasure, thank you to to Lindsay & Julie, and to the three ladies who sent me cookies, Vickie, Beth, and Mary!

Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

Makes 6 dozen cookies

5 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

4 sticks salted butter, room temperature

3 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 tbsp cream of tartar

2 tsps baking soda

Topping:

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp sea salt

2 tbsps cinnamon

In a small pan, heat two sticks of butter over low heat.  Stirring occasionally,  cook until browned.  Set aside.

Mix together flour, salt, sugar, cream of tartar, and baking soda.  In a mixer, cream the remaining butter and sugar.  Add browned butter, then add eggs, one at a time.  Slowly add in dry ingredients.  Mix until well incorporated.

Refrigerate dough for one hour.

Grease a baking sheet and heat the oven to 400*.  Mix together cinnamon, sugar, and salt.  Using a small spoon, scoop balls of dough, roll them in the sugar mixture, and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until firm/golden brown.  Let cool for a minute, then move to a rack.

As you’re baking, if they start to come out looking too brown around the edges, drop the temperature to 375.

 

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Corn & Oil

To continue our month of holiday cocktails, I’d like to share one of Dan’s favorites, a Corn & Oil.  He had this for the first time at Baltimore’s famous Woodberry Kitchen, a local restaurant that we love (we’ll be going there again for Dan’s birthday in January. 27!).  A Corn & Oil is a mixture of falernum, which is white rum that has soaked with almonds (or pecans), lime zest, and ginger, and black rum.  The end result is wonderful, spicy, sweet, and completely delicious.  And it doesn’t at all taste like alcohol, which is a very big plus in my book.

When I decided to do a month o’ cocktails, Dan suggested we try this one.  He searched around the internet for recipes, and then decided to go straight to the source- Woodberry Kitchen.  They graciously sent over their recipe and we’ve been working on it all week.  A big thanks to WK for being so generous and a toast to delicious holiday treats.  This drink is a wonderful addition to our growing list of holiday beverages!

Corn & Oil
Source: Woodberry Kitchen

Falernum:

6 oz Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum

4 limes, zested

1 cup toasted and crushed pecans (or almonds)

25 toasted cloves

Corn & Oil:

1 oz Dark Jamaican Rum

.5 oz Dark Solera Rum

1.5 oz Falernum

To make the falernum, combine all of the ingredients in a mason jar.  Seal, and let sit for 48 hours in the fridge.  Then, strain all of the ingredients through a cheese cloth to extract the rum.  Add two cups of water, two cups of sugar, and 6 oz of lime juice.  Shake until sugar dissolves and refrigerate.

To make the Corn & Oil, combine all the ingredients in a mixer with ice.  Shake, pour, and add a slice of lime.

Ed note: We couldn’t (for the life of us) find the overproof rum, so we substituted it for regular white rum.  Not as strong, but it worked fine.  We also used almonds instead of pecans (we had almonds in the house). Enjoy!

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Red Sangria

As I was thinking about my Christmas posting schedule it occurred to me that, when it comes to holiday food, I have a lot of the favorites covered.  Not to say I’ve posted them all (I’d be putting myself out of business), but I feel good about our holiday recipe list.  One area we are woefully short, however, is the land of cocktails.  Which is problematic as cocktails can be an important part of the holiday partying!  As such, I am excited to announce that this December we will toast the holidays with a month of cocktail recipes!

First up is one of my all time favorite mixed drinks, sangria.  Sangria is great all year round, but I especially love it in the fall and winter because the combination of red wine and brandy is warm and so lovely.  It is a great cocktail for both brunches and dinners, and the best part is that making it in advance and letting it hang in the fridge only makes it taste MORE delicious! It’s like it knows you’ll be busy making other things.  Enjoy, and check our holiday cocktails list (and watch it grow) this month!

Red Wine Sangria

1 bottle dry red wine
1 cup brandy
½ cup triple sec
1 orange
1 apple
1 pear
2 cups grapes, frozen
1 liter club soda (optional)

In a large pitcher, mix wine, brandy, and triple sec. Slice your oranges, dice your apples and pears, and add them to the wine. Allow mixture to sit in the fridge for at least an hour so that the fruit can soak and the liquid can mix.

I like to keep a bag of grapes in the freezer to use as “ice” for drinks without watering them down. When you’re ready to serve, add a few grapes to each glass. Either fill all the way with sangria, or for a lighter drink, fill ¾ way with sangria and top off with club soda.

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