Thank you everyone for your incredible comments on my Festive with Whine post. I don’t know how you do it but you continue to surprise me. I was in the midst of so many projects at work and all of that needed to get out of my head so I could focus better. I wrote it in five minutes and just expected a release, never did I expect a discussion to come out of it. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, I recommend it just so you can read the comments. You guys are awesome in so many ways.
The end of my craziness is in sight. I actually never thought I’d want Christmas to be over with already, but this year I’ve never been more ready for the day to actually get here so I can just stop for a moment. I’m exhausted.
The thing is, I’m not one of those people who can just go out and buy a gift. No, I have to make it difficult for myself and everyone around me by turning my surroundings into my own personal Santa’s Workshop. I’m crazy. But I like to think it’s all worth it.
I thought I’d share with you some of the treats I’ve been making. I wish I could send each and every one of you your own personal treat box filled with the goods you see here. But since I can’t at this time (I wouldn’t put it past me to do actually do that at some point), you’ll have to settle for a virtual treat box. Someone really needs to work on making scratch n’ taste digital photos.
In return for making you drool, I’ll even give you a recipe. But first, the sweets:
Vanilla Bean Marshmallows
(K thought they looked like tofu…but I can assure you, they taste nothing like bean curd and everything like pillowy bits of heaven in your mouth.)
Chocolate French Macarons with an Orange-Chocolate Ganache
(K thought these looked like mini hamburgers, and I really can’t argue with that. But these? These are bite-size chocolatey pieces of goodness. And as soon as I realized they had a 2-day shelf-life, I made sure they didn’t go to waste. And by that I mean I ate them. Almost all of them.)
Black Cherry Chocolate Bourbon Balls
And now to make up for teasing you like that, here’s the recipe for the Black Cherry Chocolate Bourbon Balls. They may not look like much, but they are fudgey and delicious, with quite a big kick of bourbon. I think you can get drunk just from the fumes that are released when opening the container you keep them in. Just how a bourbon ball should be.
This is adapted from a super-top-secret recipe given to me by a professor at the university I worked at before moving to California, one that was coveted by every employee in our building. Good thing I charmed him into giving it to me, because it really is the best bourbon ball you will ever have (too bad I’m not giving you that recipe). I feel comfortable posting my version of it here because I really changed it dramatically, and the main ingredient below is not at all what he has in his, so I think I’m safe. And a funny little tidbit before you get to the recipe – I had a new bottle of Maker’s Mark (my bourbon of choice) open and ready to be used here, but I just couldn’t waste it like this. Not that it would have been a complete waste, but Maker’s is meant to be sipped, not mixed with chocolate in my opinion. I’m glad I’m a bourbon snob, because the Black Cherry bourbon I’ve had on my shelf for almost a year really made the recipe a hit.
Now go forth and make ye’ some balls! (hehehe)
Black Cherry Chocolate Bourbon Balls
makes 40-50 balls
1 – 10 oz. pkg. Chocolate Teddy Grahams, crushed
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup of Jim Beam’s Red Stag Black Cherry bourbon (if you can’t find this, any ole’ bourbon will do…but this really takes it up a notch from your everyday bourbon ball, so I recommend trying to find it)
3 tbsp light corn syrup
1 cup chopped pecans (or any type nut)
In the top of a double-boiler, melt chocolate. Once smooth, remove from heat and stir in corn syrup and bourbon. In a large mixing bowl, combine crushed Teddy Grahams, confectioners’ sugar and chopped nuts. Add chocolate mixture and let stand for 30 minutes. Shape into 1-inch balls and roll in granulated sugar.
Enjoy with a highball of Maker’s Mark, spiked hot chocolate or hot-buttered rum (stay tuned for the recipe).
Let me know what you think if any of you make them. I’ll just be on the couch, drunk from the remaining ones I have at home.
Happy Christmas week, everyone!
(If you’re so inclined, check out the treats I made last year)