Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Happy 2012 everyone! Here's hoping that it's a fabulous year!

I'm not sure what this may indicate about the new year, but I'm going to go ahead and start this year's posts off with one about delicious alcoholic beverages.

I pinned the recipe for a Snowtini on Pinterest a few weeks ago, hoping I would get a chance to try it out over the holidays. Well, I did try it out. In fact, I tried out a whole pitcher of it on New Year's Eve and it was delicious. Next to bacon jam, this may be my new obsession.

Here is the original recipe, and my adjustments.

Makes 2
1/3 cup coconut cream (should be settled at the top of a can of coconut milk) 
¼ cup marshmallow creme--I used about half a jar, so probably more like 1/2 cup
3 tablespoons vanilla vodka--I doubled this because I didn't use the other alcohol the recipe calls for
3 tablespoons white chocolate liqueur--I couldn't find this in time for my New Year's Eve test run, but have it on hand now and I can't wait to use it next time!
2 tablespoons half and half--I just used milk I had in the fridge
1 miniature bottle of Malibu rum--I didn't use this and probably wouldn't. Unless you have it or just love it, you get plenty of coconut flavor from the coconut and the coconut cream
¼ cup coconut
2-3 tablespoons sugar--I omitted this, it was sweet enough with the marshmallow creme and coconut cream
1/8 teaspoon salt--also omitted this
1 package of Hostess Snoballs to garnish--I couldn't find these (but will look again next time I go to the store), so I used a powdered doughnut hole

Add all ingredients to blender and blend, Baby, blend!!!  Keep adding ice until you get a nice, slushy, snow-like consistency.  Garnish with Snoballs!

This is the BEST snow cream you will ever have! I sprinkled a little coconut on top for fun. And then I drank it ALLLLLLLL!!!!

I guess to counter the Snowtini, now would be a good time to share my favorite hot chocolate recipe. I have been obsessed for a very long time with replicating the hot chocolate at City Bakery in NYC. I've tried all kinds of recipes that promised they were the real deal, but they weren't. Not even close to the smooth, rich, and thick chocolate heaven that is City Bakery's hot chocolate.  And I'm not the only one obsessed with drinking their insane chocolate "soup"...there are tons of others (and here, and here are just a few) out there on the interwebs who feel the same way.

Photo from the Gothamist.
I wasn't even looking for it (in fact, I'd given up) when I saw Paula Deen's Work-a-holic Hot Chocolate recipe in a cookbook I own. I knew the recipe stood a chance when I realized you make vanilla custard and add chocolate to it...and I was right!!!  I know the thickness may be too much for some people, so when I made it at the holiday brunch, I added a little more milk just to thin it down a little (just a me the charm is in its thickness). The night before the brunch (since I didn't want to be stuck at the stove making hot chocolate), I made three batches and put them in the fridge in air tight containers. Then, as guests wanted hot chocolate, I heated up half a batch at a time with a little milk so it wasn't quite as thick. I also had a little Godiva Chocolate Liqueur to add for those who were interested in kicking things up a notch!

Paula Deen's Work-a-holic's Hot Chocolate

Vanilla Custard:

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 cups milk, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Hot chocolate:

  • 7 ounces (2 chocolate bars) semisweet chocolate, chopped--I used semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup milk, boiled


Sprinkle the cornstarch over 1/2 cup of the milk in a small bowl and whisk to dissolve. Add the sugar and egg yolks and whisk well.
In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over low heat, bring the remaining 2 cups of the milk and the vanilla bean just to a simmer. Remove the bean, scrape the vanilla seeds into the milk, and discard the bean. Gradually whisk the egg yolk mixture into the milk.
Cook, whisking often, until the sauce comes to a full boil, about 3 minutes. If using vanilla extract, stir it in now. Strain through a wire sieve into a bowl. Serve warm.
Add to the vanilla cream the chopped chocolate chunks and a boiled cup of milk. Mix until smooth. Any flavor can be added- raspberry, cinnamon, holiday ginger spice, marshmallows. The semi-sweet chocolate can be substituted with milk or white chocolate

And I guess I should go ahead and warn everyone that I received 9 cookbooks for Christmas this year. NINE! Until I can come up with a new craft project or decide to redecorate a room, there's going to be lots of cooking. So for my co-workers who read've been warned. Start doing your extra sit-ups now!

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