I never used to be a bourbon drinker. Whiskey, bourbon, scotch – they always made me feel like my throat was on fire and my nose was being subjected to bad smells for no good reason. Fast forward to this holiday season, the only cocktails that sound any good are bourbon ones. Maybe it is the fact that this spirit family does tend to have that internal warming effect that makes them such lovely winter cocktail components. Regardless, this recipe is great, and I prefer it over ice. Some spice from a good ginger beer (try Reed’s), some sweetness from the apple cider and a touch of heat from the bourbon. Garnished with an apple slice, you could sip this spicy-sweet heat by the fire all night!
- 2 parts ginger beer
- 2 parts apple cider
- 1 part bourbon (we like Blanton’s)
- apple slice
Measure out and mix liquids in a cocktail shaker with ice to chill. Serve over a glass full of ice. Garnish with a slice of apple. Adjust your liquor depending on the kind of day you’ve had.
That’s what these ginger-carrot-oatmeal cookies are made of!
What can I say? I hadn’t baked in about a month and was starting to get that NEED.TO.USE.THE.KITCHENAID itch. Armed with ingredients already on hand, I began to scour recipes for carrot/oatmeal cookies and came across two that were inspiring, Martha’s Carrot Cake Cookies and Dorie Greenspan’s Gingered Carrot Cookies. I didn’t have pecans or walnuts or coconut and don’t particularly love raisins, so I used the base of Martha’s recipe and the gingery idea of Dorie’s, adding candied ginger to increase the ginger flavor and replicate the chew of the raisins. The result was a pretty delicious hybrid!
I might mention that this itch might of had to do with coming straight from the gym, where my treadmill faced a TV that was playing Food Network episodes. Hmmmmm. To make myself feel better, I subbed half the flour for almond meal, which since I was omitting walnuts, gave them a great nutty base. The cookies spread out quite a bit, probably in part due to the fact that almond meal doesn’t bind as well as flour, so this is definitely more of a thin, crispy cookie, as opposed to a chunky one. Crumbled, it would be great over vanilla bean ice cream, or if you live in a foodie friendly place, over some stracciatella gelato. Next time, in order to get them to hold together a little better, I think I will decrease the baking temp to 350 and chill the dough for at least an hour prior to baking. Still, pretty darn delicious.
Gingered Carrot Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from Martha Stewart. Makes 24.
- 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 cup finely grated carrots (about 3 small-medium carrots)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugars and butter; beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until just incorporated.
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, almond meal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; stir to combine.
Gradually add flour to butter mixture; mix on a low speed until just blended.
Mix in oats, carrots, and candied ginger.
- Using a 1/2-ounce ice-cream scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies.
- Transfer to oven, and bake until browned and crisped, rotating pan halfway through baking to ensure even color, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Need a crafty and inexpensive way to hold all that candy for the trick or treaters? Try this super easy project to add a little spook to your serving bowl.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- craft spider web
- wire fruit bowl (this one purchased from Target for the REGULAR price of $2.49!)
- lotsa candy!
Any type of basket that has natural catches would work well for this project. Even if your vessel doesn’t have ideal roughness, you can always use Zots to adhere the web to the bowl. Spread out your webbing, and starting on the bottom of the bowl, use Zots or photo mounting squares to tack down your starting point. Delicately thread the webbing through and around the wires of your bowl in a non-symmetrical, almost haphazard way, tacking to the bottom of the bowl as needed when you want to change direction. Finish by tacking to the bottom of the bowl where you started (this doesn’t have to be pretty – no one will ever see the bottom!).
Eh, voila! A cute, easy and festive way to pass out candy this Halloween, with a reusable bowl, to boot!
Cost: less than $4!