We recently received a package from Thomas Henry, a culinary company based in Germany that makes sodas, tonics, and assorted gelées. One of the most intriguing items in this package was a jar of Horse’s Neck gelée. Since we don’t speak or read German, we couldn’t find very much information about this product (though their website provides an English version for their other products). What we do know is that Horse’s Neck is cocktail of bourbon and ginger ale, and that the Thomas Henry gelée is made with Maker’s Mark. That’s pretty much the only words we could read in the product information. Unsure of what to do with this product, we opened it up to sample it. Sure enough, it tastes remarkably like a perfectly mixed bourbon and ginger ale cocktail.
Pleased with the flavor, we did what any self-respecting bourbon lover would do: we put it on waffles. In case you weren’t aware, waffles that taste like bourbon are even more delicious than normal waffles. We highly recommend trying this gelée if you can get your hands on some. (It seems that all their products can be ordered via the worldwide interwebs.) Thomas Henry also makes gin & tonic and earl grey & vodka gelées, in case you want a whole spectrum of breakfast cocktail concoctions.
OK, now for a silly question: is gelée any different from jelly? We noticed at least one of the gelées is slightly more liquid than we’re used to seeing with jellies. Other than that, we didn’t see a difference. Is a gelée used differently from a jelly? Please advise!
Also, feel free to throw out any more ideas for how we might use this Horse’s Neck gelée.
Even though this weekend’s breakfast was on Thomas Henry’s dime, we will always review products honestly. Contrary to popular belief, free stuff doesn’t automatically taste better.
We burned out on cupcakes for a while, but when we received an email from a reader with this recipe, we were instantly back on the cupcake wagon. This recipe is originally from Modern Domestic, but we haven’t been able to find the source directly. If anyone has the source, please share it in the comments.
Bourbon Street Cupcakes
½ cup Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1 large egg + 2 Large egg yolks
1½ tsp. Vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. Bourbon
1½ cups Cake flour, sifted
1 cup Sugar
1½ tsp. Baking powder
½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Nutmeg
¼ tsp. Cinnamon
1 stick Unsalted butter, softened
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, egg, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and bourbon until blended. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon until blended. Add the butter and half of the sour cream mixture and beat on low until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise speed to medium and beat for one and a half minutes. Add the rest of the sour cream mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
4. Scoop batter into the cups with an ice cream scoop, filling two-thirds of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating halfway through, until cupcakes are light golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing cupcakes from pan and placing on a rack to cool completely. Frost with salted bourbon caramel buttercream. Sprinkle espresso sugar on top if desired.
These cupcakes are glorious. They are light and fluffy with little pockets of air throughout the cake so they’re springy. We used plain nonfat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream; it adds moisture and a very slight tang. The cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla enhance the bourbon flavor without adding any booziness, while the salted bourbon caramel buttercream adds decadence. We recommend having a light hand with the frosting, as it can get overwhelming if there is too much.
We cut the recipe shown above in half (so it made six instead of 12), so that’s why the ingredients in the top photo don’t match the recipe quantities.
We are very excited and grateful to be nominated once again for Best Cocktail Blog in Saveur’s 2013 Best Food Blog Awards. Voting is open from now until Friday, April 19. Of course we’d greatly appreciate your vote for us, but we also recommend checking out all the blogs. There are so many wonderful websites to read in all 12 categories. Finally, thank you for reading our words.
Sometimes you receive dinner invitations accompanied by a suggested bourbon-related item you can contribute to the festivities. These are the times when you remember how awesome your friends are. We recently brought this pudding over to a casual dinner party and everyone loved it.
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- ¾ cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 2½ cups heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp. bourbon
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 6 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- Crème fraîche and crushed gingersnap cookies (for serving; optional)
- Eight 6-ounce ramekins or bowls
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until butter begins to brown and smell nutty, about 3 minutes. Add brown sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is starting to dissolve, about 2 minutes. Add cream, milk, bourbon, and salt; bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.
Whisk egg yolks, cornstarch, and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Gradually add hot cream mixture, whisking constantly. Wipe out saucepan. Strain custard through a fine-mesh sieve back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until custard bubbles occasionally and starts to thicken, 5-6 minutes.
Remove saucepan from heat and transfer mixture to a blender. Blend briefly on low speed until smooth. Place ramekins or bowls on a rimmed baking sheet. Divide custard evenly among ramekins and chill until set, at least 3 hours. DO AHEAD: Puddings can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.
Top each pudding with crème fraîche and crushed gingersnaps, if desired.
I followed this recipe almost exactly, and it turned out great. I substituted arrowroot for corn starch because I didn’t have enough corn starch on hand. The substitution didn’t seem to make any difference to the flavor or consistency. I also doubled the amount of bourbon for obvious reasons. (This change is already incorporated into the recipe above.)
One of our friends commented that this tastes like a Werther’s Original, and we agreed. The crème fraîche adds a hint of sourness and thicker creaminess to the pudding. The gingersnaps spice it up while also adding a bit of crunchy texture.
Our love of homemade baked doughnuts has been well documented, so when we saw this recipe from Chasing Delicious, we were excited to try this slightly different take on the traditional doughnut. This recipe is like a pound cake baked into doughnut shapes.
Lemon Oat Bourbon Cake Doughnuts
3 egg yolks
1 Tbsp. bourbon
½ tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. butter, soft at room temp.
8 oz. sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
5 oz. all-purpose flour
3 oz. oat flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1. Preheat an oven to 350°F.
2. Mix the eggs, egg yolks, bourbon, and vanilla in a small bowl until everything is broken up. Take care not to beat any air into the mixture.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until broken up and soft, about 2 minutes on medium.
4. With the mixer running, slowly add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (nearly white in color), about 4-5 minutes.
5. Add the lemon zest and mix in well.
6. With the mixer running (medium-low), very slowly pour the egg mixture into the butter and sugar mixture. This step should take you about five minutes.
7. Sift the flours, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl. Slowly fold the flours into the egg mixture, ¼ at a time. This will form a stiff batter.
8. Place the batter in a large piping bag. Cut the end of the bag so the width matches the width of the rings on the doughnut pan.
9. Carefully pipe the batter into the doughnut pans, careful not to fill each form too high (the batter should only come up about ½-¾ to the top).
10. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden on top and the dough springs back when pressed lightly.
11. Let cool slightly before glazing and topping.
This is one of those rare recipes that we didn’t alter at all. We followed these directions to the T, and recommend you do the same to achieve the crumbly, light texture these doughnuts are intended to have. The bourbon taste was a little lost due to the strong lemon flavor, but make no mistake: these doughnuts taste really good.
We are not New England natives, and we don’t love everything about living in the area (e.g. snow storms in March), but one regional treat we can really get behind is the whoopie pie. Whoopie pies are made by sandwiching frosting in between two soft (usually chocolate) cookies. Our personal opinion is that this is a dessert crying out for some bourbon, so we adapted a recipe from the gorgeous blog Bakers Royale.
Bourbon Whoopie Pies with Salted Bourbon Caramel Buttercream
12 oz. chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. butter
⅔ cup sugar
1 tsp. bourbon
¼ cup all-purpose flour, sifted
½ tsp. baking powder, sifted
Salted Bourbon Caramel Buttercream Filling
1 cup butter
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
¼ cup salted bourbon caramel
To make cookies:
Place 7 ounces of the chocolate and the butter in a saucepan over low heat and gently stir until melted and smooth. Set aside.
Place the eggs, sugar, and bourbon in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat for 15 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add in flour, baking powder, melted chocolate mixture, remaining 5 ounces of chocolate and mix to combine. Set aside to chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Spoon one tablespoonful of the mixture onto parchment-lined bake sheet. Bake for about 8–10 minutes or until puffed and cracked. Allow to cool completely on trays.
To make salted bourbon caramel buttercream filling:
Place butter in a bowl and beat until creamed. Add in confectioner’s sugar beat until combined. Add in caramel and beat until combined.
Spread a teaspoon and a half of caramel buttercream on underside of one brownie cookie and place a second brownie cookie bottom side down on top of the frosting.
These cookies are decadent and amazing. The bourbon adds a touch of spice to the flavor profile that is otherwise mostly sugar and butter (not that this is a bad thing). We would have made our own caramel, but we happened to have some salted bourbon caramel leftover from our bourbon Knoshbox, which proved to be the perfect addition to the buttercream. It seemed appropriate to use Nor’Easter bourbon for this New England-themed dessert.
One important lesson learned from this experiment is never to bake these nearly flourless cookies on a Silpat mat. They will stick horribly to the Silpat, but slide easily off of parchment paper. Silpat: bad. Parchment: good. It is also important to chill the dough prior to baking because these cookies spread a lot.
We love Sazeracs. If you were a guest at our house, there’s a 98% chance we’d make you a Sazerac. Also, we love cookies, because we are humans. These Sazerac cookies from Tasting Table are pretty much perfect for us.
1¾ cups All-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. Corn starch
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
1½ sticks Unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup Confectioner’s sugar
2 Tbsp. Rye
½ tsp. Absinthe
½ tsp. Peychaud’s bitters
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300°.
Whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt in a mixing bowl then set aside.
In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until the mixture becomes light and fluffy, about five minutes. Add the rye, absinthe, bitters, and vanilla extract and mix. Add the flour and mix until the dough is a bit fluffy.
Roll the dough into tablespoon-size balls. Set each cookie about one inch apart on a parchment-lined baking ban. Flatten each cookie slightly, to the shape you desire (the cookies don’t change shape much while baking). Bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies are a light gold color. Remove from oven and let cool.
These cookies are tasty. They’re like shortbread cookies with a little extra kick. We topped ours with a light dusting of nutmeg-allspice sugar. We of course highly recommend serving these cookies with a Sazerac.
We love candy almost as much as we love bourbon, so when we saw this recipe at Mercury News to make candy with our favorite spirit, we knew it was only a matter of time before we made some. The timing is perfect, as a bundle of these makes a wonderful small holiday gift.
Black Pepper and Bourbon Caramel Chews:
(makes about 50 pieces)
2 cups sugar
2 cups heavy cream
6 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. bourbon
¼ tsp. sea salt
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tsp. black pepper
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray.
In a medium heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, combine sugar, cream, honey, bourbon, and salt. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot. Cook mixture, stirring frequently, until it reaches 245 degrees. Quickly stir in butter and pepper.
Pour mixture into baking pan. Let cool completely until it is set to a semi-firm consistency, about an hour. Cut into 50 rectangular pieces and wrap in parchment paper, cellophane, or other candy wrappers, twisting ends to seal.
These caramels are a wonderful combination of sweet and spicy. The pepper, honey, and bourbon all play off each other very well. Our batch actually made about 75 caramels. Grab a handful, toss them in a gift bag or bundle them in some wrapping paper, and they make a small gift for any occasion.
By now you’ve seen our Christmas Gift Guide, which included Wondermade Bourbon Marshmallows, and perhaps you’ve wondered what exactly you’re going to do with bourbon marshmallows. (Of course, you can put them in hot chocolate, make bourbon marshmallow rice krispies treats or amazing s’mores, or just eat the fluffy bourbon sugarpillows.) Here’s another option for how you can use your marshmallows. We found this recipe on Group Recipes and cut it in half.
Banana (Bourbon) Marshmallow Cake:
1¼ cups sugar
1 stick of butter
2 egg whites
1½ cups flour
3 Tbsp. buttermilk
1 cup mashed or pureed bananas (I used 3 small bananas)
Preheat oven to 350° and grease an 8x8 baking pan. Mix all ingredients except marshmallows together in order. Line the baking pan with marshmallows (since the bourbon marshmallows are large, slice them into ¼-inch strips). Pour the batter over the marshmallows, press gently down to make sure the batter settles around the marshmallows, and smooth the top. Bake for one hour.
This is a surprisingly fluffy and smooth cake. The marshmallows create both a little bit of a crust and a frosting. When the sugar melts, some of the marshmallows stay on the bottom and others rise up to the top of the cake and float there. Since the marshmallows don’t have the strongest bourbon flavor, there isn’t much whiskey flavor here. You could probably add a little bit of bourbon into the cake batter if you want, or you could just pour a glass of bourbon to accompany your cake.
We recently discovered Knoshbox, which is a company that curates a box of delicious things for you to knosh on. Knoshbox releases a box every month, and each box has a specific theme. November’s theme was, you guessed it: bourbon!
For $30, the bourbon Knoshbox included the following:
Bourbon sugar marshmallows from 240Sweet
Bourbon salted pecan pancake mix from Southern Culture Foods
Salted bourbon caramel from Fat Toad Farm
Bourbon pecan brownie from Cacao Bakery
It’s like a little bourbon-food care package! We’ll be sure to enjoy all of these treats, and some of them may find their way into future recipes and blog posts. We’re particularly excited to try the salted bourbon caramel on our bourbon pumpkin ice cream.
It doesn’t look like you can still buy the bourbon Knoshbox, but the individual items can be bought through the Knoshbox market and on each producer’s website. You can also subscribe to Knoshbox and get a new box every month.
Also, for those of you who follow us on Tumblr: Knoshbox has a Tumblr, too.