Friday, December 30, 2011

See you next year!

The boys are having so much fun giggling over the old "see you next year" thing with their friends.  Do you remember how funny that was in elementary school?  We're reliving it around here--daily, maybe hourly!  For the non-elementary school set, here is a different kind of New Year's treat; something delicious to sip as you ring in the New Year. (I promise this won't become a cooking blog.  Food just happens to be my favorite holiday activity.  My non-holiday favorite activity too if I'm being honest).

I have a few bottles of Ketle One sitting around, thanks to a goodie bag from a recent wedding (I know!  How awesome are my perks?), so I'm going to whip up some raspberry cosmos for tomorrow night.  A little 2000-late maybe on the cocktail trends, but nothing this yummy should ever go out of style.  AND, thanks to Tradewind Tiaras, a thoroughly modern take on cocktail garnishes.  EDIBLE rice paper butterflies to rest on the rim of your glass, though any other shape created with a paper punch is possible too, and easy!  Gorgeous, glamorous, and so 2012.

Emailing: butterflyricepaper.jpg

Raspberry Cosmopolitans
makes 1 pitcher, about 6 cocktails
  • 2 cups good quality vodka, such as Ketle One or Grey Goose
  • 1/2 cup Triple Sec
  • 1/2 cup Chambord
  • 2 cups cranberry-raspberry cocktail juice
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • fresh raspberries, sugar, rice paper garnish...all the pretty extras! 
Mix everything except raspberries in a pitcher.  Individual drinks should be poured and shaken in a cocktail shaker with ice before serving.  Garnish rim of each glass with sugar (wet rim first with vodka, dip in sugar) and a pretty edible paper garnish if desired.  Extra raspberries to float in your drink are a must! 

P.S.  I'm going to try making homemade raspberry vodka this summer. There is a restaurant in Seattle that has a huge glass container of vodka and raspberries, just sitting there on the bar muddling together and being heavenly in general.  It's the most delicious and dangerous concoction, and the reason I first fell in love with raspberry cosmos.

Ok, seriously.  Have a safe and delicious holiday.  And see you next year! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

A little Christmas gift for immediately!

Hi!  It's been such a long time, so I thought I'd pop in for a little holiday cheer.  I've been off decorating for other people's holiday parties, throwing a few holiday parties myself, wrapping, baking, tree-trimming, watching Love Actually, building gingerbread houses, visiting old friends...and finding out that it really is a magical season when you are sharing it with a four and six-year old.  Mine are literally glowing with excitement right now. 

Noah and I had such a good time baking this morning, preparing an old family favorite to ship off to my sweet sisters and brother.  Like so many grandmothers, ours used to bake for the whole family, and whether near or far, we always got a box of cream wafers from her.  (The "open immediately" package was always the one I was most excited about.  The "open later" was usually something to wear, and bless her heart, she was a much better baker than stylist!).  Grandma hasn't been able to bake or send cookies for several years, so Noah and I spent the morning channelling all of her baking talent into a little "open immediately" box for my sisters that miss getting one from Grandma.   

So these are our family favorite, now for a fourth generation. They don't sound like much when you read the recipe; just three ingredients after all!  But the wafers and the filling together are a magical combination...delicate, buttery, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth goodness!  Since I can't give every one of you an "open immediately" box for Christmas, a recipe instead. 

The Merriest Christmas to you!

Cream Wafers

  • 1 cup soft butter
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In bowl of electric mixer, cream butter for 2 minutes.  Add whipping cream, and beat on medium for 2 more minutes.  On low speed, slowly add flour just until incorporated.  Roll dough out to 1/4"-1/8" thick.  Cut with small cookie cutters, making sure to do an even number of each shape (they will be sandwiched together later).  Transfer cookies to a plate with sugar, and pat sugar into surface firmly, to coat.  Place on sheet of parchment on a cookie sheet, and lightly pierce all over with a fork to make tiny dots on surface to prevent bubbles.  Bake 7-9 minutes, watching carefully and removing at the slightest hint of browning.  Cool completely.

  • 1/4 cup soft butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • drizzle of whipping cream to make frosting a spreadable consistency if needed
Beat all ingredients together, adding just a tiny bit of whipping cream if needed to get a spreadable consistency.  Tint with pink or green food coloring if desired.  

Sandwich cream wafer cookies together with filling and enjoy!