Saturday, December 14, 2013

Bourbon Country - December 14, 2013

Kentucky is bourbon country and these days it feels like everyone is in to bourbon.  I love the taste, especially in sweets, but prefer not to drink it straight.  My husband has become a fan and has been given many bottles by family and friends which gives me an opportunity to try adding it to special recipes.  And, what's more special than Christmas treats!

I have been making cookies, cakes and candy for Christmas baskets.  I added a new cookie this year that I found in Southern Living magazine.  It's a bourbon pecan gingerbread cookie with molasses.  It seemed to have just the right Southern and holiday feel, but after making the first batch, I decided it needed some adaptation (I added more sugar and made it half walnut and half pecan to take advantage of a native Kentucky nut I already have put away in the freezer).

Bourbon-Pecan (and Walnut) Gingerbread Cookies
4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
4 c. toasted and ground nuts (I used half pecan and half walnut)
3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. bourbon
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 T. molasses
6 eggs, beaten
1 T. lemon zest
1 T. orange zest
2-3 c. toasted pecan halves
12 T. bourbon
5 c. powdered sugar

Stir together first 8 ingredients.  In separate bowl, stir together next 8 ingredients.  Combine the two and chill covered in fridge 12 hours.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Drop teaspoons of dough on parchment lined cookie sheets and press 2-3 pecans on top of each cookie.  Bake 14-16 minutes until browned.  Cool five minutes.  Mix bourbon and powdered sugar.  Add water as needed to make glaze.  Drizzle over cookies and cool.

I decided these cookies needed ice cream, but that would be even better with a bourbon sauce.  I just created a simple sauce that could be used for bread pudding, but it's great on ice cream too.

Bourbon Sauce
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. water
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1/4 c. bourbon (or more if you like)

Melt butter in heavy pan.  Add water and sugar and cook about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat. Beat egg and slowly add sugar mixture while beating to avoid cooking the egg.  Add bourbon and beating one last time to mix well.  Serve warm on ice cream.

If you think this is good, you should taste my mother-in-law's award winning chocolate bourbon sauce.  She's giving it away for Christmas gifts this year and maybe she'll share the recipe here if we're all really nice!

One Year Ago - Chocolate Toffee and Jam Cake

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