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  • In The Kitchen - Cookies & Cocktails

In The Kitchen - Cookies & Cocktails



Superbowl Sunday is here…always a big day for parties, food, and friends (does it really matter which teams are playing??). We won’t be at home to watch the big game, so we decided to have some friends over to watch the playoff games a few weeks ago. As I was planning the menu, I wanted to make something special for the kiddos and step out of my comfort zone and do a cocktail for the adults – so I give you Ina’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Globs and Fresh Whiskey Sours.

This was my first time making the Chocolate Peanut Butter Globs. I had my kids help make them the night before. Turns out, the kids seemed to like baking the cookies more than eating them (fine by me!). The recipe calls for pecan and walnut halves, so if you (or your kids) don’t like the taste or texture of nuts in your baked goods, you won’t love this cookie as much as I do.

I LOVE them, and my friends loved them – I guess they are more of a ‘grown up’ cookie. More dense than a traditional cookie but the nuts and the chocolate and the peanut butter – so good! And a bit of a disclaimer, I used pecans that I had in the pantry – I’m not sure when I bought them or when I last used them. Not a good idea – you could tell they were a little stale when you tasted them in the cookie. And even with the less than perfect pecans, they were still delicious! I can’t wait to make them again. They’re special - great for a bake sale or to package up in a Glassine Bag for a Valentine’s Day treat. 

Now for the cocktails. We are usually beer and wine folk. I chose Fresh Whiskey Sours on a recommendation from my mom. I wanted something simple and not too fruity. The fresh lemons and limes make it refreshing without being too ‘summery’. In my opinion, you need a juicer for this – it calls for 3 lemons and 4 limes for every four drinks (I used my All Citrus Juicer). I guess you could juice them by hand, if you’re looking for an upper body workout. I had the simple syrup already made up – which I recommend, do as much ahead of time as possible find the recipe here.

I like the ratio of whiskey to juice; we used Jack Daniels (which Ina’s recipe recommends). I’m not a big whiskey drinker, but these Whiskey Sours were east to drink. I guess you could add more liquor, if you are so inclined – but I would start with the recommended amount, Ina’s recipe is right on. The ice shaker is another necessity. I cannot believe how cold my hands got while I was shaking up the drinks!! It gave them the perfect bit of suds and then we added two maraschino cherries. I was pleasantly surprised with how good they were – I even had a second drink! Cookies and cocktails; a perfect Sunday afternoon.

As 2017 begins, I’ve decided to try more of Ina’s ‘new to me’ recipes (I tend to find my favorites and stick with them!). Please let me know if have any special or unfamiliar Ina favorites that I must try!

Cassandra--

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Globs

Ingredients

6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder, such as Medaglia d’Oro
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup whole walnut halves (not chopped)
1 cup whole pecan halves (not chopped)
2/3 cup peanut butter chips, such as Reese’s

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a few sheet pans with parchment paper.

In a bowl set over simmering water, melt the butter, 6 ounces of the chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate, stirring occasionally, until just melted. Remove from the heat and cool for 15 minutes.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, espresso powder, and vanilla until combined. Add the sugar, raise the speed to medium-high, and beat for 2 minutes, until the batter is thick and falls back on itself in a ribbon. Set aside.

With the mixer on low, slowly add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture. Combine the 1/3 cup of flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and fold it into the chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. In another bowl, combine the walnuts, pecans, peanut butter chips, the remaining 6 ounces of chocolate chips, and the tablespoon of flour and fold it into the chocolate mixture. With 2 soup spoons, drop rounded mounds of batter 1 inch apart onto the prepared sheet pans. Bake for 15 minutes exactly. Cool on the baking sheets.

Copyright 2012, Barefoot Contessa Foolproof by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved

Fresh Whiskey Sours

Ingredients

¾ cup Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (4 limes)
2/3 cup sugar syrup (see below)
Maraschino cherries

Directions

Combine the whiskey, lemon juice, lime juice and syrup. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice and fill two-thirds full with the cocktail mixture. Shake for 30 seconds and pour into glasses. Add a maraschino cherry and serve ice cold.

Sugar syrup: Put 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Chill thoroughly before using.

Copyright 2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/ Random House Publishers, All Rights Reserved

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