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Savor the Luck of the Irish Today with Homemade Irish Cream

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everybody out there today! While many people may have done their celebrating this past weekend or are making plans for the upcoming weekend, I am sure some people are having a traditional Irish meal today or are planning on going out and doing some celebrating of their own at a local restaurant, club or bar. While making your own corned beef and cabbage dinner is pretty traditional today, at least here in America, you may want to give some different recipes a try to branch out a little bit for this particular holiday. We did our St. Patrick’s Day meal this past Sunday since Michelle was leaving on business today and would not be around. We had our corned beef and cabbage of course and some boiled potatoes to go with it, but we also tried a few new recipes for a couple of different things along the way. One in particular that I gave a shot to was making some homemade Irish cream. Now people may be familiar with the Irish cream that you can buy at your local liquor store (I know Bailey’s is Michelle’s particular favorite), but I was surprised at just how easy it is to make your own right at home with just a few ingredients. The recipe is really simple and you can have it put together right away and be able to use it for your dinner tonight. I got this particular recipe from Saveur.

Homemade Irish Cream

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon instant coffee powder

1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder

3/4 cup Irish whiskey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

In a medium-size bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the heavy cream and the instant coffee and cocoa powders to make a smooth paste. Slowly add the remaining heavy cream, whisking the ingredients until they are smooth with. Add the Irish whiskey, vanilla extract, and the sweetened condensed milk. Stir all the ingredients together until they are well combined. Pour the mixture into a 24 ounce jar and keep it refrigerated until you are ready to serve, up to 2 weeks. To serve, pour the Irish cream into a tumbler filled with ice.

That is all there is to it and you can have Irish cream in an instant. I used Jameson’s Irish whiskey, which is my personal favorite, but you can use whatever Irish whiskey you like best. For me personally, Irish cream is not something I drink very often but I can appreciate it and the smell of Irish cream is very recognizable. You can certainly tell right away when you smell the mixture that it is exactly like what you would buy in the store. It makes an excellent drink all on its own with some ice or you can use it in any of the typical mixed drinks that you might use Irish cream for. It also makes a great addition to a nice cup of coffee, whether it is hot coffee or iced coffee. You could even pour some over your ice cream if you wanted a little bit of a different flavor to it or mix it in with a milkshake or even use it in some of your cake frosting to give a little bit of a sweeter flavor. I have to say I made the 24-ounce jar of Irish cream and we did not have any left by the end of the meal on Sunday night. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it and since it is so easy to make I could certainly see making it again, particularly because buying a bottle of Irish cream at the liquor store can run you anywhere from $25-$35 and up. It is definitely one worth trying for St. Patrick’s Day or for any time.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day, have a happy St. Patrick’s Day, and enjoy your meal!

homemadeirishcream

 

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Posted by on March 17, 2015 in Beverages, Holidays

 

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Cookies With a Kick – Irish Cream and Coffee Cookies

I am a fan of Irish cream and an even bigger fan of coffee,so something that can bring the two together is bound to be pretty tasty right? When we were on the lookout for Christmas cookies this year this is one of the recipes that we came across during our hunt and I knew we had to give them a try if for no other reason than I liked the way they sounded. A coffee flavored sugar cookie with and Irish cream butter cream meringue on top? Yes please! The recipe originally comes from the Cooking Channel and Nealey Dozier.

Irish Cream and Coffee Cookies

For the Coffee-Flavored Sugar Cookies:

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coffee extract
1 large egg
3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned in and leveled)
3 tablespoons finely ground coffee (not instant)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Irish Cream Italian Meringue Buttercream:

1 1/4 cups sugar
5 egg whites
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur, such as Bailey’s Irish Cream
1/2 teaspoon or more coffee extract
Chocolate-covered espresso beans, for garnish

For the coffee-flavored sugar cookies: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater blade (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter, sugar and cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Combine the vanilla, coffee extract and egg in a small bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low; add the egg mixture to the butter mixture and beat until combined.In another bowl, stir together the flour, ground coffee, baking powder and salt. On low-speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until completely incorporated and a soft dough has formed.

Place a rectangular sheet of parchment or wax paper on a clean surface. Pat the dough out into a rectangular shape on top of it. Cover with another sheet of parchment and roll the dough to 1/4- to 1/2-inch thickness. Remove the top sheet of parchment and transfer the dough to a baking sheet. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Cut the dough into rounds (or desired shape) using cookie or biscuit cutters. Transfer the cutouts to the baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Gather the scraps, roll again and cut out more rounds (refrigerate to chill the dough if it gets too soft).

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness and shape. Do not let the cookies brown; start checking for doneness early. The finished cookies will have slightly golden brown bottoms, but they will feel very soft and under-baked until they cool. Hold the cookies on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

For the Irish cream Italian meringue buttercream: In a small, heavy saucepan, stir together 1 cup of the sugar with 1/4 cup cold water to combine. Heat the mixture on medium-high heat. Dip a pastry brush in water and brush down the sides of the pan to remove any excess sugar, and then partially cover with a lid to prevent crystallization. Cook the sugar mixture until the temperature registers 245 degrees F on a candy thermometer.

While the sugar mixture is heating, make the meringue. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites on high-speed until medium peaks form. Slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes total.

With the mixer running, slowly pour the hot syrup into the meringue. Continue beating at high-speed for 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and beat until the meringue has cooled to room temperature and the bowl is cool to the touch, about 15 minutes.

Begin adding the butter two to three cubes at a time. Increase the mixer speed to high; add the Irish cream liqueur and coffee extract and beat until the butter and liquids are fully incorporated. (The buttercream can be held in the refrigerator for up to one week or frozen for one month.)

Transfer  the buttercream frosting to a disposable piping bag fitted with a star or round tip. Pipe a layer of frosting onto each cookie and top with a chocolate-covered espresso bean.

The recipe says it makes about 30 cookies, which we got. I have to tell you, this was a little tricky to do and we had some mishaps and restarts along the way, but the end results are pretty good. Coffee extract may not be easy to find in your area ( I know it isn’t easy in mine) and it took some hunting but we got it. The cookie itself can seem deceiving when you are making it because they are very soft even when they are done. They do harden up once they have cooled but you will keep checking yourself because you swear they aren’t finished. Trust me, when the time is done, they really are done! The meringue needs some careful watching too between making sugar syrup carefully to make sure it doesn’t get too hot and crystallize (which happened and I had to start again) to being convinced the meringue would never hold up because you are adding hot syrup to it (somehow it holds; I am no scientist, but I am glad it worked). The end results though is worth it. I think it is a great tasting cookie. You get great flavor from the cookie itself and the meringue is spectacular.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. There is still lots to come, and I do have some recipes I forgot to take pictures of (sorry about that) but I will still share them anyway, Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on January 6, 2014 in Cookies, Cooking, Dessert

 

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