December 13, 2012

Fire Side Cheer

Cocktails & Desserts

'tis the season for merriment, eh? make your next holiday party one to remember with these easy, yet classy, offerings sure to impress.

Old Fashioned Cocktail
{recipe from Esquire with expert commentary}

1 sugar cube
3 dashes Angostura bitters
club soda or water
2 oz rye whiskey (lately we have been sipping on Bulleit - look for the green label)

1. place the sugar cube (or 1/2 tsp loose sugar) in an old fashioned glass

2. wet down the sugar with 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters and a short splash of water or club soda.

3. crush the sugar with a wooden muddler, chopstick, strong spoon, lipstick, credit card, whatever. rotate the glass so that the sugar grains and bitters line the glass.

4. pour rye and garnish with a lemon rind.

note: rye can refer to either of two types of whiskey: 1) American rye whiskey, which must be distilled from at least 51% rye; 2) Canadian whiskey, which is often referred to and labelled as rye whiskey for historical reasons, although it may or may not actually include any rye in its production process. an old-fashioned can be made with bourbon, but expect a much sweeter drink, as bourbon is distilled from at least 51% corn, lending a telltale sweetness and fuller body. 

Ginger Snap Sandwich 
with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
{frosting recipe from Country Living}

8 oz cream cheese, room temp
1/4 cup pumpkin puree (if using canned, note not pumpkin pie)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tsp grated orange zest
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners sugar

1. blend cream cheese, pumpkin puree, orange juice, zest and vanilla in a large bowl using an electric mixer until smooth.

2. add the sugar and continue to beat until light and creamy -- about 5 more minutes.

3. assemble sandwiches and enjoy. use the leftover icing as a dunk-a-roo dip - it's that good.

note: we found the frosting recipe to be a bit orange forward and added 1/4 cup additional pumpkin. i use store bought ginger cookies - Safeway Select Ginger Spice cookies - they are crispy thin, allowing the flavors of the frosting to really shine through. feel free to use homemade ginger snaps.

Ginger Snap Sandwich 
with Orange Chocolate Squares & Roasted Marshmallows

1 box ginger snaps
1 bag marshmallows
1 Lindt Excellence Intense Orange Dark Chocolate bar
1 cracklin' fire
optional: old fashioned cocktails or better yet a flask of whiskey to pass around

1. gather sticks or the device of your choice to roast the marshmallows. gather enough firewood & kindling to keep the fire burning strong through the night. 

2. light the fire, roast the marshmallows, enjoy a s'more sandwich with a dark chocolate orange square & ginger snaps. 

3. drink some whiskey, eat another. drink some more whiskey.

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