Santa’s Hat Christmas cocktail

…a long awaited visit with a friend
…on Christmas Eve Eve

We enjoyed a feast and sat by the fire remembering years of friendship, while listing to Christmas music on the radio.

Sausage balls from a friend

Homemade vegetable beef soup
Homemade cornbread

Homemade Cheese Biscuits
Homemade (shaken) Santa’s Hats (recipe at end of this post)

Homemade Sugar Cookies
Homemade Hot Chocolate

Buche de Noel (yule log) (chocolate filled chocolate glazed chocolate!!) (from Fresh Market)

Angel, watching the festivities

…after all that, it was time for a long winter’s nap!
Santa’s Hat Christmas Cocktail
(makes 1 cocktail)
Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 3 teaspoons sweetened flaked coconut
  • 3 oz cranberry juice
  • 1 oz Cruzan coconut rum
  • 1 T grenadine
Mixing:
  1. Combine powdered sugar and water; brush onto rim of glass
  2. Dip rim of brushed glass into coconut (spread on a saucer for easier dipping)
  3. Sit glasses aside to dry if you have time; otherwise, continue with recipe
  4. Combine cranberry juice, coconut rum, and grenadine in cocktail shaker with ice.
  5. Shake / Pour into coconut rimmed glasses
  6. Add a candy cane
Enjoy!!!!

Thank You to everyone who stopped by to read my blog during the past years.  I enjoy reading your  comments and I thank you all for taking a few precious moments of your time to visit bakingpictures.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

Merry Christmas!
Gale
iPhone photos and Camera + app
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gingerbread espresso latte

Don’t let the “stuff’ of the holidays get you down…

…follow the Star
(“for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him;” Matthew 2)

2 tablespoons gingerbread spice simple syrup

add 3 oz steaming espresso

and the best part…steamed, fluffy, light and airy whole milk

dusted with cinnamon
Gingerbread Spice Simple Syrup
(adapted from here)
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 thinly sliced pieces of fresh ginger 
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
Mixing:
  1. Mix all ingredients together in pan
  2. Heat slowly to melt sugar
  3. Bring to rolling boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, strain into container, and cool
  5. Store covered in refrigerator
Gingerbread Espresso Latte
  • 2 tablespoons gingerbread spice simple syrup
  • 3 oz espresso
  • 4 oz whole milk, heated and frothed
  • dusting of cinnamon
  • (add a drizzle of chocolate syrup if you need an extra ahhhhhh……)
MERRY CHRISTMAS

Cookie recipe can be found HERE.
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from www.coffeefacts.org
(maybe this recipe is cappuccino and not latte; it’s good by either name)

Cappuccino

This blend is basically a mixture of 1/3 of espresso, another 1/3 steamed milk and the rest of the ingredients are frothed or foamed milk. It is known because of its thick layer of milk foam which is its significant identifier. Compared to its latte counterpart, this blend is quite stronger in terms of its taste. You could actually order two sub-types of this blend which are the wet or dry. Dry blends have more foam mixture rather than the steamed milk while wet blends are those with more milk than froth.

Latte

There are different foreign term for this blend specifically in French, German and Spanish which means it is likewise known and loved worldwide. This coffee type is often a great breakfast beverage. The recipes on how to make this blend include double shots of espresso and garnished with steamed milk and NOT foam or froth.  This is actually a very filling drink due to the generous amount of milk in its serving. In some baristas or cafĂ©, you would see froth or foam on top of the coffee which is only used for presentation sake. The usual artistic toppings for latte are the leaf or heart shape.

adult Hot Chocolate

or…the Baked boy’s version of  Carette’s le chocolat chaud. I speak from experience and from my table at Carette Paris.

This hot chocolate is for the chocolate lover.  The red-brown color confirms that this is not the water-thin, pre-packaged powder we Americans know as hot chocolate. The velvet smooth texture, and the slow, molten flow of the liquid across the thin china cup and onto the taste buds assures one that this cup of hot chocolate was made with premium ingredients resulting in premium satisfaction.
The original recipe yield states two servings.  I divided the recipe in half, expecting to make one serving.  I suggest that half the original recipe is a ‘three-moderate serving portion’ or a ‘two extravagant serving portion.’  After storing the left-over hot chocolate in a glass jar in the refrigerator overnight,  I reheated it in the microwave stirring after 20 seconds; three 20 second cycles heated the hot chocolate nicely. 
Do not skimp on quality ingredients.  You will be rewarded.  Do not shy away after reading the ingredient list and amaretto.  Though not prominent in flavor, the amaretto seems to bind the overall flavor combination. 
Adult Hot Chocolate
(adapted from the Baked cookbook)
Ingredients:
  • 1 oz milk chocolate (I used 34% cacao)
  • 2 1/2 oz dark chocolate (I used 70% cacao)
  • 2 fl oz boiling water
  • 3 1/8 fl oz whole milk
  • 1 1/8 fl oz heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 T Amaretto liqueur
  • whipped cream and crushed amaretti cookies if desired
Mixing:
  1. Chop both chocolates and place in shallow bowl
  2. Pour boiling water over chocolate and let sit for 1 minute
  3. Gently stir chocolate/water until chocolate melts; sit aside
  4. Combine milk, cream, and syrup in pan and heat to simmer on top of stove.
  5. Add melted chocolate and whisk constantly until the mixture is almost ready to boil.  ( I didn’t allow my mixture to boil.)
  6. Remove from heat;  add amaretto and stir lightly to combine
  7. Pour into mugs or dainty tea cups or short mason jars
  8. Top with whipped cream and crushed amaretti cookies if desired
  9. ENJOY!!!!  Savor each sip…
…and don’t leave any chocolate in the cup!

fall spice coffee

Let me begin by saying I am not a coffee drinker.  Coffee, with it’s many roasts and blends can be as intoxicating (or confusing) as chocolate, wine or cheese.  They all offer varied colors, tastes, textures and aromas.

During a class at CIA, I did taste a wonderful French Press coffee along with a rich, buttery, chocolate croissant.  At that point, I decided that maybe I do like coffee…

Crisp morning air, cloudy days, and leaves falling – who could resist a drink named ‘fall spice coffee?’

I wasn’t sure about the coffee, but the spices and zest……yes!

stir dry ingredients and add zest

waiting for 200 degree water
dripping for 6 minutes

 waiting for the 6 minutes to pass
(The coffee mug belonged to my Grandfather; remembering him on Veteran’s day weekend.)

reflecting the morning sunlight

 cream or sugar?

cream

The spices added depth to the warm morning mug of fall spice coffee.  I think the water dripped to quickly, leaving behind some of the flavorful oils of the coffee bean.  Also, even though the water boiled in the tea kettle, it only registered about 170 degrees on the instant read thermometer.  And, since the mug is not heated, the coffee cooled somewhat quickly.

Thus…opportunities to improve upon the drink when I brew my next cup of fall spice coffee.

Fall Spice Coffee
(adapted from Dessert First)

Ingredients:
(yield: one 6 oz cup of coffee)

  • 2T ground coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 6 ounces boiling water
  • sugar and cream as desired (or sweetened whipped cream topped with a dusting of cinnamon and a spiral of orange rind-how festive that sounds!)

Mixing:

  1. I used the unscientific/’what I had in the kitchen’ method of brewing this cup of coffee.
  2. I doubled the coffee filter, hoping to slow the drip
  3. My antique funnel had too large of an opening; a smaller opening would have slowed the drip.
  4. Stir together all ingredients except water
  5. Pour into coffee filter
  6. Add boiling water and allow to drip brew.
  7. I added 1 teaspoon of cream and no sugar. (For variation/research, next time, I’ll skip the cream and add raw sugar-smokey, brown crystals of sweetness.)
I found a funnel with a smaller opening that I will use in the future.
The picture below is simply comparing the variety of funnels….really….

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pumpkin spice latte

First, make the pumpkin spice syrup —
While this is simmering, your house will smell WONDERFUL!!!!!

Pumpkin Spice Syrup
(adapted from here and here)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
Mixing:
  1. Combine all ingredients in small saucepan
  2. Heat and stir until sugar is completely dissolved
  3. Allow to cool, then store in airtight container in refrigerator
  4. Use within 3 weeks
Now, let’s mix the syrup with something rich and aromatic – -
Pumpkin Spice Latte
(makes one cup)
Ingredients:
  • 4 oz whole milk, heated and whipped to add air
  • 1 oz boiling water poured over 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (dissolve powder)
  • 2 tablespoons Pumpkin Spice Syrup, warmed
Mixing:
  1. Pour all ingredients together
  2. Whip to mix and add more air
  3. Pour into your favorite fall tea / coffee cup
  4. Top with Real whipped cream, sweetened with a dusting of powdered sugar and a few drops of vanilla
  5. Sprinkle all with cinnamon
even when the day is stressful…
….life is good…..
iPhone 4 & Camera +
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