Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bourbon Brownies - Yum-O!

I made these tasty bourbon brownies for a party on Christmas Eve. It was a new recipe, which is always risky, but I was not disappointed! I am already thinking about making these again next year and making the recipe my own by making a few tweaks. I plan to soak the pecans in bourbon next year and it might be tasty to add a little bourbon to the icing. Also I plan to make a Maker's Mark version of this recipe with some red chocolate drizzle to represent the red wax dipped Maker's Mark bottles. I think this would make a great gift. Yeah, I agree, it's early to think about next year. They would be good for Derby parties too.

Kentucky Bourbon Brownies

1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoons bourbon
3 tablespoons softened butter
1 1/2 cups sifted powder sugar
2-3 tsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 oz semisweet chocolate, melted

1. Grease an 8x8x2" pan. In medium saucepan, combine 1/3 cup butter, the granulated sugar & water. Cook & stir over medium heat just until boiling. Remove from heat. Add 1 cup of chocolate chips, stir until chocolate is melted. Stir in eggs & vanilla, beating lightly with a spoon until combined. Stir in flour, baking soda & salt. Stir in pecans. Spread batter into prepared pan.

2. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

3. Using a fork, prick the warm brownies. Drizzle bourbon evenly over brownies. Cool brownies in pan on a wire rack.

4. For frosting, in a small mixing bowl, beat the 3 tablespoons of butter with a mixer (at med-high speed) for 30 seconds. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating well. Slowly beat in 2 teaspoons of milk and vanilla. If needed, add the rest of the milk to desired consistency. Spread over brownies. Drizzle melted chocolate over frosting.


I had to share this photo too. We received these last week at work as a gift from a vendor. They are pretzel rods, rolled in caramel, then rolled in heath toffee bits. The others are rolled in M&M's. They are then drizzled in chocolate. And I must say, they tasted as good as they looked. They came with a business card and I immediately emailed the creator of these treats, Debbie Friedman. Unfortunately, she does not have a website, but can be reached at Also, she can mail a brochure out upon request.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Custom Holiday Wreaths

Check out these gorgeous wreaths created by my friend Lisa Willman of Anne Todd Designs in Louisville, KY. It's not too soon to think about getting your order in for next year. Lisa can be reached at Most wreaths are about $48 and all can be customized with your color preferences. If you saw my earlier blog post (It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas) you saw her beautiful work on my front door. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What the Heck are Springerles?

Springerles are are love/hate kind of thing. Much like black jelly beans at Easter, which by the way, I love! I do like licorice, but the real stuff, not the cherry flavored Twizzlers.

Springerles are a german tradition and they are pretty labor intensive. That's why I buy mine from Heitzman's, a local bakery. But back in the day, my grandmother would make them and I would help her. She would roll out the dough and have a white tablecloth draped over a card table. The cookies were rolled with a special wooden rolling pin with a design carved into it. Then they would sit for 24 hours before baking. I love the texture of these cookies. They are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

If you love black jelly beans, give these a try!

This is a set of very old springerle molds that belonged to my grandmother. Somewhere in my house there is a springerle rolling pin that also was my grandmothers. I am going through boxes trying to find it!

Here is a recipe I found on the web if you are interested.

Springerle Cookies Recipe

4 large eggs
1 pound fine granulated sugar
4 drops pure anise oil
4½ cups sifted cake flour
1¼ tablespoons crushed anise seeds (optional)

Beat eggs until thick. Add sugar gradually, beating well between each addition until all is combined and then beat for about fifteen minutes. This will make for a light finished cookie.

Add anise oil and blend. Fold in the flour lightly.

Roll out dough about one-half inch thick. Flour Springerle mold or rolling pin (with each use) and press firmly into dough. Cut cookies along line of imprint.

Place on greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle anise seeds of the sheet, if desired, then place cookies on sheet. Let stand overnight in a cool place to dry.

In the morning, place in a moderate oven (375° F.) to set the shape, but reduce immediately to a slow 300° F. When done, in 12 to 15 minutes, cookies should be only lightly colored, with the appearance of being iced.

Keep cookies in a tight can for 2-3 weeks before consumption to develop best taste. To soften, place a cut apple in the can two days before using.