Posts by tag: party

  • Sparkling Christmas Tree Cocktail

Sparkling Christmas Tree Cocktail

Posted on December 19, 2016
Category:

This post was originally published here on December 22, 2014. I’ve since updated the photos and text. Cheers!

I consider myself to be a bourbon kind of girl. More often than not, it’s my spirit of choice. And I love it in everything from Summer sips to cozy Fall libations.

But I’m also not one to discriminate. I want to be an equal opportunity maker and drinker of all kinds of cocktails. It just seems like the fair and right thing to do.

I’ve noticed lately that this blog has been seriously lacking in some good gin-based beverages. So I decided to fix that pesky little problem. And my timing couldn’t be any more perfect. Because gin, with it’s strong juniper berry taste and aroma, always reminds me of the Winter Holidays.

Sparkling Christmas Tree Cocktail | www.floatingkitchen.net

Since we’re getting REALLY close to Christmas at this point, I decided to shake up something super festive and easy. I know we’ve all got a long list of cookies to bake, decorate and eat. So I figured this wasn’t the time or place for an overly complicated cocktail with hard-to-find ingredients. Nope. This baby is real simple. And I bet you already have all of the ingredients on hand!

And I even gave it a stupidly cute name: Sparkling Christmas Tree Cocktail.

No actual Christmas trees were harmed in the making of this cocktail.

Sparkling Christmas Tree Cocktail | www.floatingkitchen.net

This initial inspiration for this cocktail started with a gin and tonic. I added a slash of cranberry juice for color. Then decided to swap out the tonic for club soda, so I could be more in control of the sweetness.

I had a really fun time making the sparkling “branches” for garnish (and it’s kind of how the name of this cocktail evolved). And while technically they aren’t really necessary for the actual imbibing of this beverage, I also don’t think you should skip out on them either. They are totally cute and make this Sparkling Christmas Tree Cocktail feel super special.

So I think I’m signing off until after the Christmas Holiday. I’ll be back with a new recipe in between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. And of course, I’ll be lurking around Instagram. So come and find me there if you want!

Cheers,

Liz

Sparkling Christmas Tree Cocktail

Yield: Makes 2 cocktails

Sparkling Christmas Tree Cocktail

Ingredients

  • For the Sparkling Branches
  • About 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs
  • Fresh cranberries

  • For the Cocktails
  • 1/2 cup gin
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup
  • Club soda
  • Sliced lime for garnish, if desired

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 1/2 cup of the sugar and the water, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the simple syrup cool slightly.
  2. While the simple syrup is cooling, assemble the sparkling branches. Trim your rosemary sprigs so they are about 1-inch longer than the width of your cocktail glasses. Remove and discard some of the lower leaves, leaving the main stem intact. Using a toothpick, poke a small hole all the way through the cranberries. Then thread two cranberries onto each rosemary stem. You'll want to make at least one sparkling branch for each cocktail.
  3. Pour the cooled simple syrup into a shallow bowl. Place the assembled branches in the simple syrup, turning them to coat. Then working with one branch at a time, remove it from the simple syrup and gently shake off any excess liquid. Hold the branch over your sink or a bowl and sprinkle it lightly with a small amount of the remaining sugar, turning the branch as you sprinkle the sugar so it coats all sides evenly. Place the sparkling branch on plate and set aside. Continue working until all the branches have been coated. Reserve some of the simple syrup for making the cocktails.
  4. To make the cocktails, add the gin, cranberry juice, lime juice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously to chill. Then strain into two glasses with fresh ice. Top with club soda, stirring gently to combine. Garnish with a slice of lime and a sparkling branch. Serve immediately.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/sparkling-christmas-tree-cocktail/
  • Hazelnut Linzer Cookies with Vanilla-Cranberry Jam

Hazelnut Linzer Cookies with Vanilla-Cranberry Jam

Posted on December 15, 2016
Category:

Disclosure: I am participating in the 2016 Cookie Campaign with Rodelle as part of their Brand Ambassador program. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands and companies that support Floating Kitchen!

There are so many Christmas cookie recipes on the internet right now. It’s kind of blowing my mind. And my waistline, too, if I’m being completely honest with myself.

But I’m not really complaining. Because I have a soft spot in my heart for Christmas cookies. And today, I’m even going to contribute one more recipe to the pile. Don’t be mad. We can all go back to exercising restraint (and just straight up exercising) in January.

Hazelnut Linzer Cookies with Vanilla-Cranberry Jam | www.floatingkitchen.net

There are some cookies that just seem destined to become Christmas cookies. One of which are Linzer cookies. They are a classic that always comes to my mind around the Holidays. There is just something really festive about their heavy dusting of powdered sugar, like a fresh morning snow fall. And that peak-a-boo window of jam in the center reminds me of the old fashioned jewel toned ornaments that used to hang heavy on my Grandmother’s Christmas tree.

Linzer cookies are most traditionally made with almond flour and filled with a raspberry jam. But went rogue and decided to switch things up a bit. I replaced the almond flour with hazelnut flour. And I made a quick and easy stovetop vanilla-scented cranberry jam for the centers. And you know what? I think I actually prefer these Hazelnut Linzer Cookies with Vanilla-Cranberry Jam over the more traditional version. It’s great to be able to use seasonal produce to create a homemade filling. And I think the hazelnut flour (have you tried my Chocolate Hazelnut Madeleines yet?) provides a stronger nutty flavor and aroma than the almond flour does.

Hazelnut Linzer Cookies with Vanilla-Cranberry Jam | www.floatingkitchen.net

It’s really important to sufficiently chill the dough before you roll it out. And then chill the cutouts before you bake them. This will make the dough easier to handle, and your cookies will bake up with cleaner edges and a more defined shape. I don’t usually have enough room in my refrigerator to fit two baking sheets, so I just place my baking sheets outside on my back patio. If the weather permits, this might be a great option for you too!

Admittedly, Linzer cookies do take a bit more time and care to prepare than some other cookies. But I love making and sharing them with my family and friends this time of year. They are worth every bit of extra effort.

As a Brand Ambassador for Rodelle, I created these Hazelnut Linzer Cookies with Vanilla-Cranberry Jam for their 2016 Holiday Cookie Campaign. Make sure you check out this link to see all the recipes that the other Brand Ambassadors made. Everyone really brought their A-game this year. It’s like cookie heaven!

Cheers,

Liz

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

Hazelnut Linzer Cookies with Vanilla-Cranberry Jam

Yield: Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Hazelnut Linzer Cookies with Vanilla-Cranberry Jam

Ingredients

  • For the Cookies
  • 3/4 cups (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. Rodelle Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups hazelnut flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

  • For the Jam
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cranberry juice (or water)
  • 1 Rodelle Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean

Instructions

  1. In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar and lemon zest on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then beat in the egg yolk and vanilla extract.
  2. With your mixer on low speed, add in the flours and salt and beat until just combined. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into two portions. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap, flattening it to form a disk, and then refrigerate the disks until well chilled, at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
  3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one of the dough disks to 1/4-inch thickness. The use a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Using a smaller cookie cutter, make a peak-a-boo cutout in the center of half of the rounds. Transfer the cookie cut-outs to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Re-roll the scrapes and continue to cut out cookies until the dough has been used up. Place the baking sheet in your refrigerator (or outside!) for 30 minutes to chill the cookie cut-outs.
  4. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Repeat the same process with the second dough disk.
  5. Bake the chilled cookie cut-outs in your pre-heat oven for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies rest on the sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to continue cooling.
  6. While the cookies are cooling, making the filling. Add the cranberries, sugar and cranberry juice to a saucepan over medium heat. Slice the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds. Add the scraped seeds and the expended pod to the saucepan. Cook the filling, stirring frequently, until almost all of the cranberries have burst open, about 5-6 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Using the back of a spoon, crush any cranberries that are still intact. Allow the filling to cool to room temperature, then remove and discard the vanilla bean pod.
  7. Place the cookies with the peak-a-boo cutouts on a cookie sheet and dust the tops generously with powdered sugar. Place a small dollop of filling in the center of the flat side of the remaining cookies, spreading it out slightly. Top with the powdered sugar-dusted cookies. Enjoy!
  8. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/hazelnut-linzer-cookies-with-vanilla-cranberry-jam/

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