Kentucky Bourbon Balls

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Photo Credit: Christin Marhling, 2018.

These boozy bite-sized treats—were developed in 1936 by Ruth Booe, co-founder of the Rebecca Ruth Candy Co. in Frankfort, Kentucky—can be rolled in powdered sugar or dipped in melted chocolate and topped with pecan halves; on the inside, the creamy center usually consists of some combination of bourbon, sugar, butter, chopped pecans, and semisweet chocolate. These trifles are chilled rather than cooked and do pack a tipsy punch, so you may wish to warn younger or teetotalling guests of their alcohol contents.

 

Makes 24

Ingredients:
1 cup finely chopped pecans nuts
5 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon
1/2 cup butter, softened
One 16-ounce  package confectioners’ sugar
8 ounces semisweet chocolate

Directions:
Place the nuts in a resealable jar. Pour the bourbon over the nuts. Cover and allow the nuts to soak overnight.

The following day, mix the butter and sugar; fold in the soaked nuts. Form into 3/4″ balls and place on a waxed paper lined baking sheet and  refrigerate overnight.

The next day, line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over just-barely simmering water, stirring frequently and scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula to avoid scorching. Roll the balls in the melted chocolate to coat. Place a pecan half on top of each ball and  arrange them on the prepared tray. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.


Upside Down Blood Orange and Kumquat Pineapple Cake

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Brightened up your winter diet with seasonal citrus fruit season, And nothing has more flair than a blood orange. The sweet, sour, tangy and unbelievably bright blood orange is bursting with juicy flavor that is reminiscent of an orange, tangerine and lemon, all they while drenched in its own crimson uniqueness. This cake definitely lets the orange’s ruby flesh shine. We also kumquats. And the hidden surprise of pineapple to the batter. The result is a festive fruit dessert guaranteed to lift even the worst winter doldrums.

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:
3 blood oranges, thinly sliced
1 dozen kumquats, thinly sliced
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup  water
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
Zest of one lemon, for garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C).

Liberally spray the cake pan and line the pan with parchment paper.

To make the candied citrus fruits by whisking together the sugar and water in a large sauce pan. Heat on medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Gently add the sliced oranges and kumquats and simmer on low heat for an additional 3 minutes and then remove from the heat.

Layer the cake pan with the slices covering the entire bottom of the pan and gently pour ½ cup of the remaining syrup over the slices.

To make the cake batter, prepare your wet and dry ingredients. In a large bowl,whisk the dry ingredients, the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cardamom together until well combined. in a second bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients, the butter, olive oil,eggs and pineapple until combined into a homogeneous mixture, about 2 minutes. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients only until just combine, do not over mix.

Pour the batter into pan over the citrus fruit. Transfer to oven and bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes, then run a knife along pan’s edges to loosen it; invert onto a platter, remove the parchment paper. Allow the cake to cool completely before serving. Sprinkle with lemon zest, if desired.

 

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Rosemary Grapefruit Spritzers

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Photo Credit:Laura Bolton, Fork Knife Swoon,  2018.

 

Tart and fizzy honey rosemary grapefruit sodas combine a sweet and herbaceous rosemary simple syrup with fresh grapefruit juice and pure honey for a flavorful, naturally-sweetened homemade spritzer you will want to sip on all Winter long and well into the Summer months.

Recipe Adapted from
Laura Bolton
Fork Knife Swoon
August 2018

Ingredients:
For simple syrup (makes about 1-1/2 cups):
1 cup water
3/4 cup organic cane sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice

Directions:
To make the simple syrup:
Heat the water, sugar, honey, and grapefruit juice in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.

Add the grapefruit zest and rosemary, and let gently simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and steep for up to an hour.

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass jar, and chill before serving. Can be made in advance, and stored in the refrigerator for about a week.

To serve, fill a highball glass with ice. Add the rosemary simple syrup and fresh grapefruit juice. Stir to combine. Top with soda/sparkling water.

Garnish with grapefruit slices and/or a sprig of rosemary. Serve and enjoy!

Bartender Notes:
The rosemary grapefruit syrup can be made in advance and keeps for about a week, which is ideal for doling out single servings, but can also be easily multiplied if feeding a crowd.

To make it alcoholic:
Add 1 shot of gin before topping with soda.

To make a rosemary Paloma Cocktail:
Add 1 shot of tequila and a big squeeze of lime to the rosemary simple and grapefruit juice.

To make it vegan:
Swap pure maple syrup or organic cane sugar for the honey.