Tag Archives: bourbon

Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding

Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding | Pale YellowThis is the pudding that inspired my pity-party-for-one on the floor on my apartment.  I think my feelings were normal and not that weird; I was just feeling a little lonely living alone and I really wanted to share my pudding with someone.  And then I realized I hadn’t talked to any humans yet; so I felt sad inside.

Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding | Pale YellowI ate my pudding and felt better and went out with Jackie for dinner.  Later that week Dean came over for dinner so I could share my pudding.  No worries, I’m done feeling sorry for myself.  It helped to talk with Angela and Andrea about the highs and lows of living alone; I needed real talk from my ladies.

Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding | Pale YellowMaking this pudding reminded me how amazing homemade pudding tastes.  The pudding is silky smooth and creamy.  I love the texture of the butterscotch with the crunchy, sugar-coated pecans on top.  Pecan bourbon makes everything better, obviously!  There is clearly going to be more pudding in the future!Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding | Pale YellowPrint the Recipe!

Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding
Adapted from That Winsome Girl
Yield – 4 servings

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons pecan bourbon (regular would be fine)
1 teaspoon vanilla
candied pecans

  1. Pudding – Melt the butter in a medium saucepan.  Stir in the sugar and salt until the mixture is smooth.  Remove from the heat.
  2. Whisk together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of milk in a medium bowl until the mixture is smooth.  Whisk in the eggs.  Set aside.
  3. Whisk the remaining milk into the butter/sugar mixture.  Whisk in the cornstarch mix.
  4. Return to the pan to the stove and cook on medium heat until the pudding begins to boil and thicken.  Let the pudding bubble for one minute and then turn off the heat.
  5. Whisk in the bourbon and vanilla.
  6. Strain the pudding through a fine sieve and portion into individual serving bowls.  Place a piece of plastic on directly on top of the pudding.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving and garnish with candied pecans.
  7. Candied Pecans – Add 2/3 cup whole pecans, 1/3 cup sugar, and a generous pinch of salt to a dry saute pan.  Heat and stir until all the sugar is melted and it begins to caramelize.  Make sure all the pecans are covered with the melted sugar.
  8. Spread the pecans on wax paper.  When the sugar has hardened, but not cooled completely, break the pecans apart.Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding | Pale Yellow
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Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Cupcakes

chocolate bourbon pecan pie cupcakes | pale yellowHere are some cupcakes, some real cupcakes.  There is a delightful chocolate-bourbon base, a surprising pecan pie filling, and a perfect brown sugar Swiss meringue buttercream with a touch of cinnamon.  Yes, this is for real!  I wasn’t joking on Instagram when I stated this maybe the best cupcake I have ever made.

chocolate bourbon pecan pie cupcakes | pale yellowThis recipe has pecan bourbon in every component!  If you’ve never experienced pecan bourbon before, you need to try some ASAP.  Despite my love for bourbon, I have a hard time drinking it straight; there is just too much burn.  Not so with this bourbon from William Wolf.  It is smooth and delicious without burning; all you need is a glass and ice.  And no worries, it’s not too sweet!  If you don’t have access to pecan bourbon, I’m sure regular bourbon will work just as well.

chocolate bourbon pecan pie cupcakes | pale yellowI saw this recipe a few weeks ago on Pinterest and was instantly impressed.  So many favorite things in one recipe.  There were only two questions: when was I going to make these cupcakes and who was awesome enough to deserve them?  Thankfully Dean has a birthday in late-January.  I’ve written about my love for Dean here, here, and here!  Check out the Dean love!  Anyway, he (and everyone else at happy hour) enjoyed the cupcakes!

chocolate bourbon pecan pie cupcakes | pale yellowLet’s start with the frosting.  The original recipe called for a frosting with powdered sugar and caramelized pecans and a butter pecan type flavor.  The flavor sounded lovely but I’m not a fan of powdered sugar frosting.  A little bit of searching led me to a brown sugar version of Swiss meringue buttercream.  I ADORE Swiss meringue buttercream and this adaptation is delightful.  There is a whole host of ideas and usages I can see for this frosting.

chocolate bourbon pecan pie cupcakes | pale yellowI’ve never put a full cup of booze in a cupcake recipe before but this recipe can handle it.  The cake is super moist, tender, and flavorful; you can actually taste the delectable pecan bourbon.  The filling is creamy and pecan-y; fantastic textural contrast in the cupcakes.  And the frosting, I’ve already talked about the frosting, but it’s super!  Find a friend you love and bake them these amazing cupcakes!chocolate bourbon pecan pie cupcakes | pale yellowPrint the Recipe!

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Cupcakes
Adapted from Half Baked Harvest
Frosting adapted from Sweetapolita
Yield – 19 cupcakes

1 cup pecan bourbon
1 cup canola oil
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 large eggs
2/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons pecan bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla

5 egg whites
1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons pecan bourbon
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pecan halves for garnish

  1. Cupcakes – Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line your cupcake tin with liners
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the bourbon, oil, and cocoa powder until smooth.  Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment beat the eggs and yogurt together.  Slowly beat in the cocoa mixture.  Beat in the sugar; scrape the bowl as needed.
  4. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda; beat on low speed until just combined.
  5. Use a standard ice cream scoop to portion the batter in the cupcake liners.  The liners should be about 3/4 full.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours.
  7. Filling – Whisk together the water and cornstarch until smooth in a medium saucepan.  Whisk in the brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs, and salt.  Bring the mixture to a boil; whisk the entire time.
  8. While whisking, toast the chopped pecans in a dry skillet until they are warm and smell nutty.
  9. Remove the filling from the stove top and stir in the pecans, bourbon, and vanilla.
  10. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cool in the fridge for at least an hour.
  11. Frosting – Take a small pot and fill it with a small amount of water.  Place the bowl of a stand mixer on top.  Add the egg whites, sugar, and a pinch of salt.  Whisk and heat until the mixture is hot and the sugar is dissolved.  It should feel smooth.
  12. Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until the bowl is cool to the touch and the meringue has formed stiff peaks.  This takes about 10 minutes.
  13. Beat in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time; beat until well combined.  Mix in the bourbon, cinnamon, and vanilla.
  14. Assembly – Cut a cone out of each cupcake with a paring knife.  Cut the tip off the cone and set the top aside next to the cupcake.  Scoop about 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling in each cupcake; replace with the top.
  15. Add the frosting to a piping bag with a 1M tip and pipe a swirl on each cupcake.
  16. Toast the pecan halves until they are warm and then let cool.  Place one half on top of each cupcake.chocolate bourbon pecan pie cupcakes | pale yellow


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Boozy Eggnog

Boozy Eggnog | Pale YellowMerry Christmas!  I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!  Hard to believe it’s Christmas again, things always seem to sneak up on me and the years are flying by!  I don’t know how many people read blogs on Christmas, but I’m posting anyway.  My family has quieter, low key Christmases, so we’re usually back home and in our pj’s by 5; it’s a great time to be quiet and restful.

Boozy Eggnog | Pale YellowMy favorite part of Christmas is the Christmas Eve party at my grandparents’ house.  I swear, if there was video footage of Christmas Eve, every year would look exactly the same!  Some people come and go, and everyone has aged; but for as long as I can remember, Christmas Eve has been the most consistent thing in my life.  There will be all the food only eaten once a year; fried chicken, dumplings, stuffed cabbage, kielbasa and sauerkraut, green bean casserole, cucumber salad, jello salad, pickles & olives, rolls, and Slovak cookies.  This is the meal to end all meals.

Boozy Eggnog | Pale YellowI’ve tried to amp up the dessert portion of the evening with trays of Christmas cookies.  We’re not  a family of formal dessert eaters; so usually it’s individual desserts.  This year, I have not made as many cookies, so I made mini eggnog cheesecakes and hot cocoa cupcakes, recipes to follow!  I so rarely have the opportunity to bake for my family; it’s lovely to share with them!

Boozy Eggnog | Pale YellowIf you’re waking up this Christmas morning with nothing to bring to the family party, let me suggest this eggnog!  I’m sure this is the only gift you need.  Making homemade eggnog is much simpler than I anticipated and  tastes completely different than store bought.  It’s not weirdly yellow and tastes of fresh cream, nutmeg, and bourbon.  The rum/bourbon combo packs a kick and cuts through the decadence of the drink.  You only need a small serving to feel festive and joyous!  I can’t wait to come home to more!

Boozy Eggnog | Pale YellowOne Year Ago – Sugar Cookie Trees & Wreaths

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Boozy Eggnog
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Yield – 3 8-ounce servings

1 1/4 cups heavy cream
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons dark rum
1/4 teaspoon bourbon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream

  1. Warm the 1 1/4 cups of heavy cream in a medium saucepan until it simmers, but doesn’t boil.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, and salt until pale yellow.  Whisk in the simmering cream in a slow and steady stream.
  3. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat until the mixture reaches 170 ˚F.  Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a clean bowl.
  4. Mix in the rum, bourbon, vanilla, and about half of a freshly grated nutmeg.
  5. Cover and refrigerate.
  6. Before serving whip the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream into soft peaks.  Fold the whipped cream into the eggnog and serve with freshly grated nutmeg on top.Boozy Eggnog | Pale Yellow


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Chocolate Bourbon Pudding Shots

bourbon chocolate pudding shots | pale yellowIt is no secret that I adore bourbon; it’s sweet without being too sweet, it has chocolate and vanilla notes, it burns without being uncomfortable, and its flavor blends well with others.  Bonus – bourbon is straight up cool.  Walk into a bar and order a bourbon and feel the coolness glow around you.

bourbon chocolate pudding shots | pale yellowI’ve been buying different bourbons to try and find my favorite based on flavor nuisances, but haven’t found my favorite yet.  Bulleit is the bourbon I use most often at home, while I usually order Makers at the bar.  As you know, I listen to a lot of podcasts and one day the Alton Brown podcast was all about bourbon, extremely informative and helped me on my quest.  If anyone can get their hands on some 15 year Old Rip Van Winkle I’d be much obliged.

bourbon chocolate pudding shots | pale yellowThese pudding shots were one of two bourbon items at Fall Fest and like all pudding shots, they pack a punch!  Chocolate and bourbon go so nicely together, best of friends!  A salty pretzel spoon is the perfect companion and cuts through the sweetness.

bourbon chocolate pudding shots | pale yellowHere is a suggestion – make sure you look up a recipe before you try and make it because you have it “memorized.”  Also, coconut milk does not play well with pudding shots.  No worries; nothing a second trip to the grocery store couldn’t solve and an important lesson learned!

bourbon chocolate pudding shots | pale yellowWhen you go to the store pick up some pudding, milk, and cool whip to make these pudding shots.  Obviously I’m assuming you already have bourbon, but if not, get some of that too!  Make your guests smile with delightful when you welcome them into your home with pudding shots!

bourbon chocolate pudding shots | pale yellowOne Year Ago – Roasting a Pumpkin

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Chocolate Bourbon Pudding Shots
Adapted from Mudslide Pudding Shots
Yield – 25 (1 1/4-ounce) shots

1 4-ounce box instant chocolate pudding
1 1/3 cup 2% milk
2/3 cup bourbon
8 ounces light Cool Whip
25 pretzel sticks
sprinkles, optional

  1. Whisk together the pudding, milk, and bourbon until smooth.  Fold in most of the cool whip.
  2. Pour the mixture into 1.25-ounce shot glasses about 3/4 of the way fill.  Pipe a little dollop of the remaining cool whip on top.  Sprinkle with sprinkles if desired.
  3. Allow to set-up in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  4. Serve with a pretzel stick to be used as a spoon.

    The Fall Fest (second annual and final) spread!  Here are the recipes for brown butter, bourbon, bacon, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting, pumpkin spice snickerdoodles, and pumpkin dip.  All the other delights were made my roommates Ruth and Andrea!  We throw an awesome party!

    The Fall Fest (second annual and final) spread! Here are the recipes for brown butter, bourbon, bacon, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting, pumpkin spice snickerdoodles, and pumpkin dip. All the other delights were made my roommates Ruth and Andrea! We throw an awesome party!

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Brown butter, banana, bourbon, and bacon cupcakes with peanut butter frosting

Bourbon, bacon, brown butter, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting | Pale YellowYes, this happened; 48 mini cupcakes filled brown butter, banana, bacon, bourbon, and a peanut butter frosting.  All of your wildest dreams have come true in one tiny bite.  These little guys made a special appearance at our second annual (and final) Fall Fest!  Needless to say, they were a hit.

Bourbon, bacon, brown butter, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting | Pale YellowDo you want to know what I did yesterday?  Regardless of the answer, I’m going to you anyway.  I volunteered at the NYC marathon.  I have watched the marathon for several years and was scheduled to volunteer last year, but due to Super Storm Sandy, I was unable to do so.  Volunteering is 10x better than being a spectator, for real!

Bourbon, bacon, brown butter, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting | Pale YellowEven though I was up at 5:30 a.m. and hauling boxes of Gatorade by 6:30, I had a fantastic experience!  I mixed Gatorade, poured Gatorade, handed out Gatorade, cleaned up Gatorade, and absorbed all the spilled Gatorade.  While all this was going on I was able to cheer on the elite men, women, and wheelchair racers.  I was also able to cheer on all the regular runners from New York, the United States, and all over the world.  When I looked down 4th Avenue and saw the thousands of runners coming, I was in awe.  It’s one of those moments when you’re glad to be alive and glad to be apart of your community.

Bourbon, bacon, brown butter, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting | Pale YellowAs excited as I was to open a new chapter in my life and leave New York this summer, I’m glad I stayed and yesterday cemented that decision for me.  I was so proud to stand on the sidelines as New Yorker; I felt like a true representation of New York City!  It was a great day!

Bourbon, bacon, brown butter, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting | Pale YellowIt was also a great day when I ate the cupcakes.  The banana keeps the cake portion super moist and allows the brown butter flavor to shine.  Let me tell you a secret: I cooked the bacon on the stove and then added the butter to the same pan to brown, IN BACON GREASE!  Yep, brown butter bacon grease in cupcakes – it spectacular, make it happen!  Add in a peanut butter frosting, bourbon syrup reduction, and a piece of bacon and you’re golden.  Cupcakes out.

Bourbon, bacon, brown butter, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting | Pale YellowOne Year Ago – Apple Pie Cheesecakes

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Brown butter, banana, bourbon, and bacon cupcakes with peanut butter frosting
Adapted from How Sweet it is
Yield – 36 mini cupcakes

8 ounces bacon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/3 cup flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
3 large bananas, mashed

  1. Cook your bacon until crispy and set aside.
  2. Leave the bacon grease in the pan and add the butter.  Melt the butter and cook until it is browned.  Be sure to scrape off all the lovely bits at the bottom.  Measure out 1/2 cup of this mixture and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line your mini muffin tins with papers.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Set aside.
  5. In a larger bowl whisk together the egg and brown sugar.  Whisk in the vanilla, sour cream, and cooled brown butter.
  6. Stir in the the dry ingredients.
  7. Mash the bananas and stir into the batter.  The batter will be thick.
  8. Use a scant 2-tablespoon scoop of batter in each cupcake liner.  Bake for 11-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup peanut butter
4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
splash of bourbon
splash of cream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and peanut butter until well combined.
  2. Add the powdered sugar in small batches, thoroughly mixing between each.
  3. Beat in the vanilla and bourbon.
  4. Add the cream to reach the desired piping consistency.
  5. Use a large star tip to pipe a swirl on each cooled cupcake.

Bourbon drizzle
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 bourbon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
cooked bacon

  1. Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan and heat until all the sugar has been dissolved and you have a thick syrup.
  2. Allow to cool slightly before drizzling over each cupcake.
  3. Top each cupcake with a piece of cooked bacon.Bourbon, bacon, brown butter, banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting | Pale Yellow


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Ginger Orange Syrup

orange ginger syrup | pale yellow I’ve had a Soda Stream for about a year and a half now and I mostly use it for plain seltzer or to make soda with the pre-made syrups.  It has occurred to me on more than one occasion that I should be making my own syrups.  No artificial ingredients, the exact flavors I’m craving, and unique ingredients.  It’s fancy cocktail time!!!

orange ginger syrup | pale yellowClearly that has not happened until now.  All of this started with a quest to find square whiskey glasses with giant ice cubes.  A couple of months ago I went to Fort Reno, a fantastic little BBQ joint by my apartment and was blown away by their cocktail list.  I don’t remember exactly what was in my drink but I know it contained bourbon (obviously), root beer, and vanilla bitters.

orange ginger syrup | pale yellowI’m not quite ready to make vanilla bitters, so my first foray into syrup making is filled with familiar flavors – orange and ginger.  The syrup is fresh, bright, and tastes fully of orange and spicy ginger.  Keep the syrup in the fridge ready to add to seltzer or cocktails for whenever you want to add an orange-ginger twist.  I made you TWO drinks today!

orange ginger syrup | pale yellowDrink #1 – Orange Ginger Seltzer – Fill a pint glass with ice and add 1-2 tablespoons of syrup depending on your preference.  Add seltzer to fill the glass and stir with a straw.  Garnish with with an orange slice if desired.  This is a light and refreshing beverage for people of all ages.

orange ginger syrup | pale yellowDrink #2 – Orange Ginger Bourbon – Add one (awesome) giant ice cube to a whiskey glass.  Pour in a shot of your favorite bourbon.  Add 1/2-1 tablespoon of orange-ginger syrup.  Fill the glass with seltzer and use a straw to stir.  Garnish with an orange slice.  This is a delightful beverage for those 21 and over!

However you use your orange-ginger syrup, it’s going to be a good time.

orange ginger syrup | pale yellowOne Year Ago – Eggplant Pizza

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Ginger Orange Syrup
Yield – 6 ounces

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 orange
2 inch piece of ginger

  1. Add the water and sugar to a small saucepan.
  2. Peel just the orange part off the orange and add to the saucepan.  Squeeze the juice from the orange into the saucepan.
  3. Peel the ginger and cut into 4 pieces and add to the saucepan as well.  Cook until the mixture simmers and all the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Turn off the heat and let the syrup cool completely.  Pick out the orange peel and the ginger pieces.
  5. Place the syrup in a small bottle and store in the fridge until you are ready to use.orange ginger syrup | pale yellowIt’s Friday, it’s a holiday weekend.  Make this happen!

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Banana Bourbon Cupcakes

banana bourbon cupcakes // pale yellow

This is a recipe I really wanted to try.  As everyone knows, I’m in love with bourbon right now and the idea of a spiced banana cupcake with a bourbon buttercream and chocolate-bourbon drizzle sounds spectacular.  Unfortunately, I made these cupcakes towards the end of February, my vegan month, and was unable to taste any portion of the cupcakes.  However, there might be a cupcake in the freezer I’m saving for March, I hope it thaws well…

banana bourbon cupcakes // pale yellow

Jackie should really win an award for wife of the year.  For their first anniversary she ordered bacon cupcakes to give to her husband as a gift and for his birthday she ordered these cupcakes.  This woman knows the way to her man’s heart.

banana bourbon cupcakes // pale yellow

For those of you that are subscribers I’m sorry the mess up this morning.  I started the post but never finished because of a couple late nights and parent teacher conferences.  This morning in the post-parent teacher conference hang-over I jumped on the computer to take down the post.  Sometimes work really gets in the way of blogging.

banana bourbon cupcakes // pale yellow

So now on a lazy Friday night I have lots of time to write a complete post.  According to Ruth, my official taste-tester, these cupcakes were moist and flavorful.  The frosting was sweet and bourbon-y.  The bourbon-chocolate drizzle was a lovely accompaniment the sweet bourbon goodness.

banana bourbon cupcakes // pale yellow

Now that it’s March 1st, and I’m easing my way back to dairy, butter, eggs, and meat, I had a little taste of left over frosting; it’s sweet, really sweet.  The powdered sugar really comes through and the bourbon is present in a lovely way.  This is a bourbon cupcake my friends, and I can’t wait to make more.

banana bourbon cupcakes // pale yellow

One Year Ago: Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Blue Cheese

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banana bourbon cupcakes // pale yellow

Banana Bourbon Cupcakes
Adapted from How Sweet It Is
Yield – 14 cupcakes

Banana Spice Cupcakes
1 1/3 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg
3/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup mashed bananas (about 3 large)
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg onto parchment paper and set aside
  3. In a large bowl beat the egg and whisk in the brown sugar until smooth.  Whisk in the vanilla, sour cream, and melted butter until well combined.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  4. Stir in the the dry ingredients and then add the mashed bananas.
  5. Stir in the milk and chocolate chips and mix until well combined.
  6. Use a standard ice cream scoop to portion the batter into lined cupcake tins.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Bourbon Buttercream
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons bourbon (I used 3)

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until pale yellow.  Turn the mixer on low and gradually add the powdered sugar until it is fully incorporated.
  2. Add in the vanilla and bourbon on low speed and then switch to a high speed for 3-4 minutes or until the frosting is super fluffy.  Add more bourbon for a looser frosting if desired.
  3. Add the frosting to a piping bag with a round tip.

Bourbon Chocolate Ganache & Assembly
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon bourbon

  1. Heat the heavy cream until it is simmering and then pour over the chocolate; stir until all the chocolate is melted.
  2. Stir in the bourbon until smooth.  Allow the ganache to cool slightly.
  3. Smear a nice dollop of bourbon ganache on top of each cupcake and then pipe a blob on top.
  4. Drizzle with the remaining ganache.banana bourbon cupcakes // pale yellow


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Boozy Cupcakes

Boozy Cupcakes // Pale Yellow

I am no stranger to desserts with alcohol or even cupcakes with booze inside.  This isn’t even my first time making a bourbon pastry cream.  Why do I need so many boozy cupcake recipes?  Why not?  Boozy cupcakes are delicious, everyone loves them, and they signal the start of a party!

boozy cupcakes // pale yellow

These cupcakes were made for Ron’s birthday.  Last year Irene and I were jerks and we both forgot to bake for Ron’s birthday.  We bake for everyone’s birthday but sadly he was left out.  This year I made sure to remember, but I was still a week late, whoops.  Better luck next year I guess!

boozy cupcakes // pale yellow

For the past few years Ron has gotten a box of the chocolate bottles with liquor inside from one of his students.  Many afternoons we would go have a little “pick-me-up” during our preps.  Honestly, there is more sugar in those things than anything else.  Good times up on the fourth floor!

boozy cupcakes // pale yellow

I wanted to try to recreate that memory in cupcake form.  These aren’t the prettiest cupcakes but they sure do taste good!  I made the pastry cream a little thicker than usual and divided it among four bowls with a different liquor added to each bowl and mixed in.  You could use any liquor you want. I went through my liquor cupboard and thought about what sounded good with chocolate.  I came up with marshmallow vodka, amaretto (Disaronno), Godiva liqueur, and bourbon.  All excellent choices!

boozy cupcakes // pale yellow

The chocolate cupcake is moist and tender.  The pastry cream is delightfully creamy and has a strong boozy flavor.  The frosting is nice and chocolatey.  This cupcake may not be high on the cuteness factor, but it is high on the fun and delicious scale!

boozy cupcakes // pale yellow

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Boozy Cupcakes!
Yield – 16 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup whole milk
2/3 cup hot water

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Line the cupcake pan with liners, it’s easiest to use four different liners, one for each flavor.
  2. Add the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, soda, powder, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer.  Mix together on low with the paddle attachment.
  3. Beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and milk in a small bowl and add to the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix until just combined and then scrape down the sides.  Turn on the mixer and add the hot water slowly until well combined.
  5. Use a standard ice cream scoop to generously fill each liner
  6. Bake 15-18 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Boozy Pastry Cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 ounces sugar
1 ounce cornstarch
2 eggs
2 tablespoons each of Disaronno, marshmallow vodka, bourbon, Godiva liqueur, or liquors of your choice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  1. Heat the milk until it reaches scalding in a medium saucepan.
  2. Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and eggs in a medium bowl.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of the hot milk to the sugar mixture and whisk continually.  Add a little more hot milk while you keep whisking.
  4. Once the eggs are warmed add to the rest of the milk on the stove and heat until the mixture thickens to the consistency of pancake batter.  Stir the entire time.
  5. Once thicken, add in the butter and stir to combine.
  6. Push the pastry cream through a fine sieve into another bowl.
  7. Divide the pastry cream into 4 different bowls.  Add 2 tablespoons of liquor to each bowl and stir to combine.
  8. Cover each bowl with plastic wrap touching the cream.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Chocolate Whipped Frosting

Yield – Generously frosts 36-40 cupcakes (refrigerate or freeze for later use, just let thaw and then re-whip to piping consistency)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
7 1/2 tablespoons flour
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
generous pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk and flour.  Keep whisking until the mixture becomes smooth and thick resembling pancake batter.
  2. Remove from the heat and add in the chocolate chips.  Give them a few minutes to melt and then mix until well combined.
  3. Stir in the vanilla and salt and allow to cool completely.
  4. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy – beat for 8 minutes
  5. Add in the cooled flour/milk/chocolate mixture and beat until the entire frosting is light and fluffy, about another 5-8 minutes.  This is a softer frosting, don’t be discouraged!

Melted candy melts of a contrasting color

  1. Cut a deep cone out of each cupcake.  Cut off the pointy end of the cone so you just have a lid to put back on the cupcake after you fill it with pastry cream.
  2. Add a generous spoonful of pastry cream to each cupcake, make sure to coordinate fillings with liners.
  3. Place the lid on the cupcake.
  4. Pipe frosting over the top to cover up the lid.
  5. With melted candy melts or anything really, pipe a symbol so you know what flavor liquor is in each cupcake.
  6. Refrigerate to help the cupcake firm up and hold its shape.boozy cupcakes // pale yellow


Filed under Cupcakes

Pumpkin Pie Jello Shots

Yes, you can!  If you want to be the hostess-with-the-mostess, this is the recipe for you.  Nothing says holiday party like your favorite dessert turned into a miniaturized version that also happens to be a Jello shot!

Really, no Fall Fest is complete without pumpkin and no party is complete without Jello shots.  Ever since I saw the two combined I have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to show off.  Find all the fall fest recipes here:  Caramel Apple Crumb Bars, Apple Cider Sangria, and Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream.

My only compliant is too much of the pumpkin Jello seeped into the crust.  To solve this problem I would either make these Jello shots a few hours before serving (versus the night before) or add two layers of pumpkin Jello.  However, the bourbon whipped cream is a must!  There is nothing like bourbon goodness to make a perfect Jello shot.

The aborableness factor is high and the taste matches.  The crust is crispy and flaky and store-bought!  Shhhhhh, if you’re making fancy Jello shots, you can buy a store-bought crust, it’s a rule.  The Jello-pumpkin mixture tastes just like pie and has lots of spicy-goodnesss.  And obviously bourbon whipped cream is amazing!

Print the Recipe!

Pumpkin Pie Jello Shots
Adapted from That’s so Michelle
Inspired from Brit & Co
Yield – 40+

2 pre-made pie crust, two crusts come to a box, so in other words, one box)
cooking spray
1 envelope Knox gelatin
1 + 1/4 cup water
1/3 cup pureed pumpkin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of each nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and ginger
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup white rum
1 cup + 1/2 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F and liberally spray your mini-muffin tins with cooking spray.
  2. Roll out your pie dough with flour until it is about 11 inches in diameter.  Use a round cookie cutter or glass to cut circles larger than your little muffin tin.  I have two mini-muffin pans and the cups are very different in size.
  3. Carefully press the circles into the muffin tin and prick several times with a corn on the cob holder.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Remove from the muffin tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  1. Pour 1 cup of water in a cold sauce pan and sprinkle the gelatin on top.  Let this sit for about 2 minutes.  Turn on the heat and add the pumpkin, spices, and sugar.  Stir until everything is combined and the mixture is warm.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum, 1/4 cup water, and cream.
  3. Place your mini pie crusts on a foil lined cookie sheet.
  4. Carefully pour into your mini pie crusts.  I used a 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon and that worked well for me.  I place extra in little cups for more more traditional jello shots.
  5. Refrigerate overnight.
  1. Before serving whip the 1 cup of heavy cream until you reach soft peaks.  Add in the bourbon, vanilla and powdered sugar.  Whip again until stiff peaks form.
  2. Use a piping bag and a small star tip to pipe a dollop of whipped cream on each jello shot pie.
  3. Enjoy responsibly!


Filed under Beverages, Pie

Chocolate Bourbon Ice Cream

All the cool kids drink bourbon.  At least in my mind this is true.  I want to be a cool kid, so I’ve been drinking bourbon lately, a lot of bourbon!  Not only have I been drinking a lot of bourbon, but I’ve been baking with it.  The second bourbon recipe in less than a week, I’m doing well!  I’m obviously drinking bourbon as I write this post.

I wanted to make this ice cream months ago after I bought my ice cream maker because I knew new roommate Andrea was a bourbon and chocolate fan.  Well life got busy and now it’s mid-September.  The original recipe called for a cup of liquor, but I suspected that would be too much after my first attempt at Kahlua ice cream not freezing, so I reduced the amount of Bourbon to 1/2 cup.

Right decision!  The ice cream was perfectly rich and creamy and had a super intense chocolate flavor.  You could definitely taste the bourbon but not so much so that it would punch you in the face.  I adore the deep, dark chocolate color and flavor from the almost black cocoa powder!  Chocolate bourbon ice cream is an excellent thing to keep in your freezer.

Print the Recipe!

Chocolate Bourbon Ice Cream
Adapted from Calamity Jennie
Yield – 1 quart

3 cups whole milk
8 egg yolks
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup bourbon

  1. Make sure the bowl of your ice cream maker is in the freezer the night before.
  2. Add the milk to a medium saucepan and heat until warm.
  3. While the milk is heating, whisk the egg yolks and powdered sugar together.
  4. Add the hot milk into the eggs by laddlefills, whisking the egg yolks the entire time.  Once most of the milk is incorporated into the eggs and they are warm, add the mixture into the pot on the stove.
  5. Add the cocoa powder and whisk to combine.  Heat and stir the ice cream base until it thickens.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the bourbon and the vanilla.
  6. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve and refrigerate until cold, I refrigerated overnight.
  7. Churn the ice cream base according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  8. Spoon into a container and freeze until firm.


Filed under Ice Cream