Posts Tagged ‘liqueur’

There were only two checkouts open at our local, monopoly of a liquor store and the lines felt as long as a Pioneer Woman book signing at the Mall of America. When I saw a rep giving out samples of Kringle Cream, there was no way I was stepping out of line to try his teeny cup of rum-based cream. But soon the guy had us passing samples to each other through the line as he was digging for his last bottles and we were begging for seconds. I added it to my ongoing liquor store shopping list and headed out.

butterscotch Kringle Cream cookies

I picked up a bottle of the sweet liqueur just a few weeks later because I wasn’t sure if it was just a Christmas holiday thingyou know, because it’s called Kringle.

Kringle Cream

As it turns out the Kringle name comes from a hand rolled Danish not Kris Kringle, which means we should be able to keep it stocked in our pantry all year long. (Store Kringle Cream in the refrigerator once you open the bottle. If there’s any left of course.) 

back of Kringle Cream bottle

A few days ago I was thinking about how much I like the cream cheese dough for minty cream cheese cookies and how easy it would be to add booze and switch out the mint chocolate chips for a complementary chip or candy. Nutty Kringle seemed like the perfect liquor to combine with butterscotch and chocolate covered toffee pieces so I took a shot (1/3 of a cup actually) and made cookies. They are a keeper!

Butterscotch Kringle Cream Cookies

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1 cup butter-flavor shortening

3/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup Kringle Cream, or any rum or butterscotch cream liqueur

2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1-1/2 cups butterscotch chips

3/4 cup chocolate toffee pieces

(There are not eggs in this recipe.)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium-high until smooth. Add shortening and beat until creamy.
  3. Add white sugar and brown sugar, beating until combined and smooth. Pour in Kringle Cream and beat on medium until incorporated.
  4. Starting with 1/4 cup flour, beat on medium-low and then add the rest of the flour in two batches, scraping down sides of bowl in between.
  5. Stir in by hand butterscotch chips and toffee pieces.
  6. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Press down slightly with the back of a spoon or your fingers. The cookies don’t spread as they bake so they are about the size that you place them on the pan.
  7. Bake 12-14 minutes or until just barely browned. Don’t over bake. The tops need to be baked not doughy, but when the tops are done, they are done. Remember the cookies have cream cheese and you want them to be soft.
  8. Cool 10 minutes in pan and then transfer to a cooling rack. Store at room temperature. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

If you like baking cookies with cream cheese, here’s my favorite White Velvet Cutouts.

Sweet boozy wishes,



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When summer saunters into fall, my sister Kalli is one of the first people in line for a pumpkin latte. And while pumpkin reigns as the season’s flavor royalty, gingerbread lingers nigh as we wait to shepherd in winter with a fluffy blanket of snow.

In comes the gingerbread latte and an even longer line. So put down that thermos and get out of line. Grab a fork and let the cozy flavors of molasses, gingerbread, and coffee percolate your holiday senses. Gingerbread KAHLÚA Cheesecake If you also want to skip the pumpkin latte line, enjoy one of my favorites, KAHLÚA Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake.

Gingerbread KAHLÚA Cheesecake


1 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake filling:

4 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 eggs, room temperature

1/4 cup unsulfured molasses

1/2 cup KAHLÚA (or any coffee-flavored liquor), OR 1 tablespoon coffee extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Make the crust: (If you don’t have a food processor, you can make crumbs in a blender.) In a bowl, combine gingersnap and graham cracker crumbs with powdered sugar and melted butter. Toss to combine. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom of greased 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Make the filling:

In a tiny bowl combine salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.

In a mixer bowl, beat room temperature cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add sugars and vanilla and beat until light. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, being careful not to overbeat.

Stir in molasses and KAHLÚA. Slowly beat just until combined. Sprinkle in the spices and stir gently to mix in.

Pour cheesecake filling into crust. Place in the oven and bake at 350° for 60-65 minutes or until center is barely jiggly anymore. Carefully run a knife between the springform pan and cheesecake. Cool on a wire rack for an hour or two.

Refrigerate at least 8 hours before removing from springform pan and serving. Sprinkle crust crumbs on top. Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks or in freezer up to 3 months.

Cozy fall wishes,

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Sometimes it’s what you do in the kitchen while you bake chunky, brownie-like mint cookies.

creme de menthe and cocoa cookies

The biggest tip I can give you for these cookies is do not overbake them. You want them to be crispy on the outside, and soft and brownie-like in the middle with a cool crunch from the cereal.

I saw mama drinking crème de menthe out of the bottle and eating cereal out of the box, cocoa mint cookies

Makes approximately 3 dozen large cookies (the size you bake 6 to a cookie sheet) or 6 dozen small cookies (12 to a cookie sheet)

1 cup (2 sticks) plus 5 tablespoons softened butter (21 tablespoons)

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon dripping with crème de menthe liqueur (or 1 teaspoon peppermint extract if you drank it all)

2 cups flour

1 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch cereal or crispy rice cereal

15 ounces semi sweet mint chocolate chips (1-1/2 bags of HERSHEY’S mint chocolate chips)

powdered sugar to sprinkle lightly on the tops

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Do not grease cookie sheets. Place parchment paper on cookie sheets if preferred.
  2. In a large bowl, beat all the softened butter with the sugar until creamy. Add the eggs, vanilla, and crème de menthe liqueur (or peppermint extract). Beat on medium high until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Slowly beat this dry mixture into the large bowl with butter mixture.
  4. Stir in the mint chocolate chips and the cereal.
  5. Drop dough by cookie scoop or spoonful onto the cookie sheet. Bake 8-9 minutes for smaller cookies and 9-10 minutes for larger cookies. Bake just until set – they may look a little soft in the center but they will set once cooled. Don’t overbake or they will get hard.
  6. Move to cooling racks. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar and cool. Store in airtight container.

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Pull up a bar stool. Or an office chair. Maybe even a reclining Adirondack chair by the pool. Because no matter where you indulge in these margarita cupcakes, you’ll be transported to a dreamy beach lined with sandy towels and sun-baked flip-flops.

Just hope no one steps on a pop-top and has to head on back home.

If you like margaritas, you’ll enjoy these light little cakes spiked with tequila and a twist of lime. Top them with a generous helping of the tart, salty frosting and it’s like licking the rim of your icy margarita.

The recipe is new to me. A fellow blogger from the Minneapolis area, Michelle Hals, shared it with me at Minnesota Blogger’s Conference. The recipe comes from her parents who got it from her dad’s cousin when he made the treats for a high school reunion. Michelle just started a new blog at http://www.michellehals.com so stop by and say hi. She also blogs at http://shelbellescraps.blogspot.com.

Thank you for sharing this family recipe with us, Michelle.

I lovingly call Minneapolis the big city because I live on an acreage in southwest Minnesota. I used to live in the Twin Cities and I love it there.

Margarita Cupcakes

Makes 18 regular-size cupcakes with generous frosting for each.

1 box white cake mix

7-1/2 ounces original margarita mix

2 ounces tequila (or triple sec if you prefer)

1/2 ounce orange juice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a medium bowl, add all ingredients and beat on medium-high until fluffy. If you prefer, use triple sec in place of the tequila. The important thing is to use a total of 10 ounces of liquid. Line a regular cupcake pan with papers or grease with non-stick spray. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack.

Simple Lime Syrup (optional)

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know that I am not a huge fan of cupcakes because they aren’t usually as moist as I like. I found these cupcakes to be a little drier than I like, but an easy solution is to add the following simple syrup:

1 cup fresh lime juice

1 cup sugar

Combine the lime juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar completely dissolves. Bring it to a boil and continue to boil for 3-5 minutes until it becomes a golden color. Cool. Poke holes in the cupcakes with a toothpick. Using a pastry brush, generously brush the syrup over the tops of the cupcakes. Let soak in for 10 minutes and then frost the cupcakes.

Salty Lime Frosting

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

5 cups powdered sugar

3-4 tablespoons lime juice (use 3 and add more if needed for spreading consistency)

1/2 teaspoon salt

couple dashes of green food coloring if desired

In a medium bowl, cream the butter. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the lime juice and salt, beating until desired spreading consistency. Add small amount of green food coloring if desired.

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Do you like your margarita rim salty or sweet?

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It was an honor to make desserts for the East Central Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Fire & Ice formal fundraising event this year.

It was tough to make a final choice for this year’s dessert. For the 2011 event, I made Raspberry White Chocolate Truffle Baby Cheesecakes and they were a crowd favorite. This year, event organizers, Darilyn and Julie, narrowed it down to Italian Tuxedo Parfaits and Andes Mint Baby Cheesecakes. Since the night’s theme colors were an elegant black and red damask pattern, the parfaits made the cut, and we moved the Andes Mint cheesecake babies to the 2013 short list.

It all starts with good-quality chocolate and my favorite amaretto liqueur, which appears not to have started the day as a full bottle. Sampling my friends, sampling.

Instagram photo from my kitchen

A tower of butter is needed to bake enough brownies for 240 guests.

Instagram photo from my kitchen

We served the light desserts in petite wine glasses.

Instagram photo from the Old Sanctuary kitchen

The recipe in today’s post makes one large triffle bowl full of deliciousness. Of course, it’s always fun to serve them as individual triffles.

(A special thank you to Mike, the Brookings Hy-Vee Produce Manager, who spent part of the morning picking out some of the best strawberries with me! …and for making sure I had enough Ghirardelli white chocolate.)

{Italian Tuxedo Trifle}

For the rich amaretto brownies:

1- 1/2 cups butter, melted

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3 cups sugar

4 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon almond extract or bakery emulsion

4 Tablespoons Italian amaretto liqueur (I use Disaronno)

1 cup 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate,  finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease 9×13-inch cake pan or line with parchment paper (This is the first time I used Reynolds Wrap® Pan Lining Paper and I will definitely use it have used it again and again!)

In a medium bowl, stir together melted butter and cocoa. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar and eggs on medium speed until fluffy, about five minutes. Slowly beat in the cocoa and butter mixture. Add flour, salt, almond extract and amaretto liqueur; beat just until combined. Spread half of the brownie mixture in the pan. Sprinkle with finely chopped chocolate. Carefully spread the remaining brownie batter over the chocolate all the way to the edges. Bake for 35-37 minutes. Cool completely. Cut into bite-size pieces.

For the silky white cream:

4 ounces white chocolate

4 Tablespoons milk

2 (8-ounces each) packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract or bakery emulsion

2 cups whipped topping, thawed

2 pounds fresh strawberries

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt white chocolate and milk. Stir until melted. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Beat in powdered sugar and almond extract. Slowly stir in melted white chocolate. Gently fold in whipped cream.

Slice most of the strawberries into bite-size pieces. You’ll want to save some whole strawberries for garnish on top.

In a large trifle bowl, layer brownies, cream and strawberries. Repeat layers until all the ingredients are gone. Refrigerate 3 hours before serving. Can be made one day ahead.

If you make this, snap a photo and share it with me on Twitter or Instagram @RandomSweets. They’ll all look so pretty!

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Liqueur is a staple at my house but that’s because I love to bake with it. I may be of the rare few who visit their local liquor store with a recipe for something sugary-sweet tucked away in my purse. Don’t get me wrong. I like to drink the stuff (the sweet girly drinks with paper umbrellas and fruit threaded onto mini swords are my favorite), but I guess I bake more often than I drink.  

I use amaretto liqueur in my baking quite often and a few people have asked me lately what it is. It’s an almond-tasting liqueur. Disaronno® is the brand I usually use.

This recipe has been modified from the Taste of Home Pistachio Bundt Cake recipe.

{Amaretto Pistachio Cakes}

For the cakes:

1 package yellow cake mix (13 x 9 cake pan size)

2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant pistachio pudding mix

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup amaretto liqueur

4 eggs

3/4 cup vegetable oil

For the white drizzle:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon butter, softened

2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur

1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios

Grease a cake pan. I used my Pampered Chef Stoneware Mini Fluted Pan which makes six mini bundt cakes but you could use any type of pan you wishmuffins, mini loaves, square muffins, regular bundt pan, etc. 

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mixes, water, amaretto liqueur, eggs and vegetable oil. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Pour into the greased pan(s). Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes, if you are baking small cakes, or until cake tester comes out clean. Just watch them closely so you can adjust your baking time to the pan size you are using. If you are baking one cake in a bundt pan or 13 x 9 pan, bake for 60-70 minutes.

Cool completely.

To make the amaretto drizzle, combine the powdered sugar, butter, milk and amaretto in a small bowl. Mix on low speed until combined. Add more milk to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over cake. Lightly sprinkle with chopped pistachios.

Do you have a favorite baking recipe that uses liqueur?

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I’ve been excited for this day to come since I signed up to post a recipe and a cancer awareness story at Frosting for the Cause. Although no one ever wants to see a friend struggle with cancer, I was honored to write my friend, Paulette’s story of hope; appropriately titled, “It’s Okay to be Freaked Out”.

Please take a few minutes to read Paulette’s story and learn about the project. The post also includes my recipe for Chocolate Mint Mascarpone Cupcakes.

You may also enjoy reading some of my favorites on the site from January and February: Doves of Hope by Frosting for the Cause’s founder and administrator, Paula Kelly-Bourque; sugar-rimmed  margarita cookies in Julie’s *Margarita* Sugar Cookies; lovely chocolate and peanut butter combo in Stephanie’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie! Pies; you will never forget these cigarette cookies in Callye’s *Nanny’s* Pecan Sandie Roll-Outs; a story that will touch your heart and make you cry in Amanda’s Chocolate Orange Sugar Cookies; a lot of detail in Robyn’s *Angry Birds* and *Thank You* Sugar Cookies; beautiful Nancy’s Ribbon Cookies with Butterfly Transfers; be inspired by this baker who is truly baking a difference in  Jen’s Black Forest Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting; and the coolest pink camouflaged cookies in Callye’s Camo Ribboned Cookies.

I hope this day finds you in good health, in good hands and in the hearts and minds of your family and friends. Go pink!


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