Tag Archives: Bourbon

Whole-Wheat Mint Julep Cake with Bourbon Whipped Cream

May 2014

Dogs are man’s best friend.
Bourbon is a girl’s best friend.
Ergo, I have an adorable, four-legged best friend named Julep!

Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey Uncorked

One day I hope to sip my puppy’s namesake cocktail while wearing an ostentatious hat and watching chiseled horses compete for floral wreaths.

One day.

Infused Bourbon

In the meantime…

Farm Fresh Eggs

In the meantime, I commemorated May’s classic cocktail and my little one in one minty, bourbony bundt cake…

Bundt Cake

It was one of the most scrumptious cakes I have ever made! It was so delicious my friends apprehended half of it to pacify their sweet teeth. You know what they say, cake stealing is one of the sincerest forms of flattery.

Bourbon Whipped Cream

While I was on this bourbon baking bender, I couldn’t help but top that delicious, mint-infused bourbon cake with boozy whipped cream.

Slice and Mint

A labor of bourbon-spiced, time management, this cake has four main components: a mint-infused bourbon (begins 1-2 days prior to baking), the bourbon cake batter, a buttery, bourbon glaze poured over the cake immediately after baking, and lastly, the boozy whipped cream. I rarely repeat recipes, but this cake will surely become part of a repertoire.

Minty Julep Slice

Whole-Wheat Mint Julep Cake
w/ Minty Bourbon Butter Glaze & Bourbon Whipped Cream

Mint-Infused Bourbon


1/2 cup Kentucky bourbon, such as Wild Turkey
15-20 fresh mint leaves


One or two days in advance, combine bourbon and mint leaves in a jar.

Cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Pour bourbon through a sieve into a small bowl or measuring cup, pressing the mint leaves against the sieve to get out any juices. Gently wring the mint leaves over the bourbon to release any remaining juices and the essential oils. Place the mint leaves back in the bourbon and return it to the jar to steep for at least 24 and up to 48 hours. When you are ready to make the cake, strain out the mint leaves, catching the bourbon in a liquid measuring cup.


Whole-Wheat Mint Julep Cake


3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 cup organic unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups Turbinado raw cane sugar
1/2 cup organic packed light brown sugar

4 large organic, cage-free eggs, at room temperature

1/3 cup mint-infused bourbon
1 cup organic heavy cream, at room temperature

For the Cake

Place your oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Brush the pan with melted butter and then flour it, tapping out the excess flour.

Sift cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Whisk to make sure all the ingredients are thoroughly combined, then set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until combined after each egg.

In a large measuring cup, whisk together mint-infused bourbon and cream.

Add the flour in three additions, alternating with the bourbon mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until just barely combined after each addition.

When the last of the flour has been incorporated, remove the bowl from the mixer and stir a few times by hand with a rubber spatula, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure everything is evenly mixed.

Pour batter into your prepared Bundt pan, distributing and smoothing out the top with a rubber spatula. Sharply tap the Bundt pan against the counter 2-3 times to make sure the batter gets into the crevices of the pan’s design (especially if you are using a more elaborately-designed pan).

Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the cake comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, start the glaze:

Glaze Ingredients

6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter
10-12 fresh mint leaves
3/4 cup Turbinado raw cane sugar
1/4 cup mint-infused bourbon

In a small saucepan, melt the butter.

Crush mint leaves to release their oils, and place them in the melted butter.

Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for the remainder of the time the cake is in the oven.

When the cake is finished baking, move it to a wire rack and finish making the glaze.

Remove mint leaves from the butter, wringing them out to get all the butter and flavor out of them.

Add the raw cane sugar and ¼ cup mint-infused bourbon to the butter and return to medium-high heat. Stir until granulated sugar has dissolved, 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a liquid measuring cup.

Poke holes all over what will become the bottom of the hot cake (the part that is exposed with the cake still in the pan) with a long wooden skewer.

Very slowly pour the glaze over the bottom of the cake, letting it seep into the holes.

Let the cake sit for 30 minutes.

Invert the Bundt onto a serving plate or cake stand, then lift the pan off of the cake.

Serve with bourbon whipped cream.


Bourbon Whipped Cream


1 cup organic heavy cream
1 Tablespoon wildflower honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
remaining mint-infused bourbon


Chill the cream in a mixing bowl in the freezer until the cream just starts to freeze. Remove from the freezer. Add the honey and vanilla.

Use a mixer, on medium speed, to beat until peaks begin to form.

Add the bourbon, and continue to mix until combined.

Keep chilled until ready to serve.


Bon Bourbon!

PS: This recipe was adapted from Sift & Whisk.

Peach ‘n Bourbon Pancakes: Goodbye Special One. Hello Little One!

June 2013

Email. Cell phones. Facebook. Twitter. Imagine disconnecting from all of it! A friend of mine just spent a month in rural Germany doing just that. With a fresh notebook in tow, her goal in travel was to work through the baggage of her past, but when she sat to write, her pen was heavy and stationary. Day after day, she tried, but no words would saturate the paper. She was surrounded by beautiful German farmlands, eating fresh food and engaging with kindred spirits. Why stir the waters and tarnish the placid lake?

Just the Pancakes

Feeling as though she had abandoned the intentions of her retreat, she spoke with a German therapist. “Of course the American therapists told you to analyze the past, but why? Why make yourself miserable?” she pushed. “Why not move forward? If those issues from the past arise, deal with them then, when you are healthier, happier and better equipped. Enjoy all the beauty surrounding you now!”

Pancakes and Bourbon

It was as though she had carried those words across the Atlantic just for me! Nearly one month ago, my Special One said the words I never thought I would hear him say, “I’m not ready for ‘this,'” and with that utterance, he left my life. “This” to me was the deepest of friendship and a wholehearted love, so I was devastated. I debated diving into what “this” meant with him, but then I heard the words from Germany, and I knew to move forward. Why dredge up muck and misery when I had truly given my all?

Peach Top

The transatlantic message wasn’t advising me to bury emotions. I will still feel heartbroken, and I will still cry on occasion. I can embrace those emotions, but I won’t seek more sadness. This blog is a collection of snapshots of my life. This isn’t meant to be a passive aggressive jab. This is but another snapshot, another segue. As is usually case, these experiences overlap with meals and memories. He was my batter flipper, but the time has come for me to hone my pancake skills myself. I’m improving because I am moving forward and focusing on joys like this one…


Though I said farewell to my Special One, I welcomed home my Little One at long last! My search for a puppy had felt endless and impossible, but she was exactly the one for me. My little Julep was born on an Amish farm on Earth Day, making us earthy kindred spirits born in conservative places. My precious Australian Shepherd/Lab is smart and loving. Her little puppy eyes could melt your heart, pushing me straight over the cusp from sanity to crazy dog lady. Bringing Julep into my life was one of my best decisions to date, and she is definitely helping me move forward. She is just helping me move in general! Puppies have lots of energy, but they also nap quite a bit. In one of those Julep naps, I managed to whip up these southern/Julep inspired pancakes for me, myself and I!

Boubony Whipped Cream

Peach ‘n Bourbon Buckwheat Pancakes w/ Minty Whipped Cream
Makes 7-8, 4-inch pancakes


Butter for coating the pan

3/4 cups buckwheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large, organic egg
1 cup Organic Valley French Vanilla Half & Half (I found this to be too sweet for my morning brew, but I love it in pancakes)
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

1 small peach, cut into small chunks
1/4 cup pecans, chopped


Whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda in a large bowl.

Pour the olive oil over the dry ingredients, and stir to combine.

Add the egg, half & half and almond extract. Stir only until everything is combined. Do not overmix. A few lumps are fine.

Fold in the peaches and pecans.

Heat a well-seasoned griddle or cast iron skillet on medium heat.

Put a small amount (a half teaspoon) of butter on the pan or griddle and spread it around to coat.

Ladle the batter onto the hot surface to the desired size, about 4-5 inches wide. (A 1/4 cup measure will ladle about a 4-inch pancake.) Reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow the pancake to cook for 2-3 minutes on this first side. Watch for bubbles on the surface of the pancake.

When air bubbles start to rise to the surface at the center of the pancake, flip the pancake. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until nicely browned.

Keep your pancakes warm on a rack in the oven set on “warm,” or stack them on a plate and cover with a towel as you make more.

Serve with fresh peach slices and a big dollop o’ minty whipped cream.

Minty Whipped Cream


1 cup local heavy whipping cream
2-3 Tablespoons mint simple syrup (made with pure cane sugar), to taste

2-3 Tablespoons bourbon, to taste


Combine whipping cream and simple syrup in a chilled bowl. Use an electric mixer (with chilled mixer attachments) to beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the bourbon, and continue to beat until stiffer peaks form. Do not overbeat, or you’ll end up with butter, which would be tasty, but not the idea here.

Bon Appétit!

Brown Butter Strawberry Bourbon Cake for a Birthday!

April 2013

My Special One’s mom gave him some good advice for a nutritious life- half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables, which it seems, is why dessert is usually served on a separate plate!

Cake Plus Bourbon Drizzle

April is the month of my health-conscious, Special One’s birthday. The more elaborate plans were slated for a birthday observed date, but I couldn’t let his actual day pass without a little token of birthday cake, and the least I could do was stir in a good portion of fruit! I also thought I owed him some bourbon!

Bourbon Drizzled Cake

I would recommend this denser, honey-sweetened cake as a breakfast slice, since it’s close to a sweet bread, but that idea depends on your a.m. bourbon habits. Either way, this is a slice best served warm with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream! For an extra bourbony drizzle, I whisked together a spoonful or two of Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel caramel sauce and a healthy drop of Wild Turkey bourbon.

Brown Butter Strawberry Bourbon Cake
makes one 8-inch round cake
Recipe adapted from Roost


4 Tablespoons butter

2/3 cup almond flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 Tablespoons local honey
3 organic eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract

1/2 cup organic strawberries, quartered (about 4-5 med/lg strawberries)
1/4-1/2 cup roasted, salted almonds, chopped

1/8 cup bourbon (Wild Turkey)


Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan.

Melt butter in a small pan over medium/low heat until browned and fragrant.

Set aside. Whisk together the flours, salt and baking soda until combined.

Add honey, eggs, vanilla, almond extract and brown butter.

Use a spatula or mixer to blend until smooth.

Pour mixture into a bowl and fold in quartered strawberries. Pour batter into prepared cake pan.

Top with chopped almonds. Add strawberry garnish.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the oven to a cooling rack.

Poke holes throughout the top of the cake with a skewer. Pour the bourbon over the cake.

Bourbon Blondies for Battles

March 2013

The world can be deliciously small if you make it so. This lesson was reiterated to me via the enormous scope of Twitter. My ever talented, tweeting pal, Johnny Battlesgraced my mailbox with his Sweeteeth chocolate wonders. Receiving snail mail is a welcomed surprise. Receiving a box full of chocolate makes you feel like this kid.

Dear Sir Battles

In a very poor display of promptness, I took my sweet time in putting together a return package of sweets. It may have taken a New Year’s resolution to send more snail mail and a week in between an old job and a new job, but I finally, finally, finally put the US Postal system to work!

Bourbon Blondies for Battles

Johnny Battles is a gentleman of the south, so a splash or bourbon was in order a la bourbon blondies.

Cut The Mustaches

Taking that southern gent idea one step further, and one or two dips in dark chocolate later…

Mustache Stacks

Bourbon blondie mustaches!

From WTG

I may have snagged one for my own antics…

Mustache Twins

So here’s to you, Johnny! For your creative chocolate titles and chocolate mail mastery, two thumbs up (with at least one of those thumbs holding up a ‘stache)!

This Side Up

To make your own mustaches, follow this recipe with the bourbon of your choice (1792 in this case), cut creatively and then dip in melted chocolate.

Homemade Whole-Wheat Maple & Apple Pop Tarts

March 2013

Why did I make my own poptarts?

a. I have a friend who likes all natural, maple pop tarts, and as a baker, I felt I owed her my own version.
b. I’m a control freak, and even the “natural” poptarts probably have some extra ingredients I could do without.
c. Leftovers are an excuse to eat pie for breakfast!
d. All of the above.

Maple Pop Tarts

All of the above indeed!

Pop Tarts Cooling

Maple & Apple-Cinnamon Pop Tarts
Makes 6 

Dough Ingredients

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 Tablespoon pure cane sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon fine salt

2 sticks (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Apple-Cinnamon Filling Ingredients

2 medium apples, such as Pink Lady or Gala, cored and peeled
4 Tablespoons packed organic dark brown sugar
3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (Meyer Lemon)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of ground nutmeg
2 pinches fine salt

Assembly Ingredients

Flour, for rolling the dough
1 large egg
1 teaspoon water

For the Dough

Whisk the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl until combined.

Add the butter and toss with your fingers until well coated in the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub the butter into the dry ingredients until reduced to pea-size pieces.

Whisk the egg yolks, milk and vanilla in a small bowl until combined.

Add the egg-milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix with your hands until large clumps form.

Turn the mixture out onto a work surface and knead briefly, smearing the butter into the dough with the heel of your palm until the dough completely comes together, about 1 minute.

Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and shape into 2 (6-by-5-inch) rectangles. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the filling.

For the Apple-Cinnamon Filling

Cut the apples into 1/4-inch-thick slices and again into 1/4-inch pieces.

Combine all the ingredients in a medium frying pan over medium heat.

Cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the apple juices begin to release, about 5 minutes.

Continue cooking until the apples just begin to soften, about 3 minutes more.

Remove the pan from heat.

Set a mesh strainer over a medium heatproof bowl and transfer the apples and all of the juices to the strainer; set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, roll out the dough.

To Assemble the Tarts

Heat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll 1 dough portion out into a rough 12-by-10-inch rectangle, rotating the dough and re-flouring the surface and rolling pin often to prevent the dough from sticking.

Using a pie dough cutter or a sharp knife, trim the dough to a 10-1/2-by-9-inch rectangle.

Cut that into 6 equal rectangles (each about 3 1/2 inches wide by 4 1/2 inches tall).

Using a flat spatula, transfer the rectangles to the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches of space between each.

Whisk the egg and water in a small bowl until evenly combined; set aside.

Roll out the second dough portion to the same dimensions as the first, trim, and cut into 6 rectangles. Using a fork, prick the dough all over.

Transfer 2 Tablespoons of the cooled apple juices to a medium bowl and set aside for the *glaze (recipe below); set the remaining juices aside.

Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and brush a thin coating of the egg wash over each dough rectangle.

Spoon about 1 heaping T ablespoon of the apple filling onto each rectangle and spread it into an even layer, leaving a 3/4-inch border.

Top each rectangle with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the remaining apple juices.

Place the pricked rectangles on top of the apple-covered rectangles.

Press on the edges to adhere, and push down gently on the filling to slightly flatten.

Using a fork dipped in flour, crimp the edges of the tarts.

Bake until golden brown, about 23 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before glazing.

Maple Bourbon Glaze


2 Tablespoons apple juice reserve
1 cup organic confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons water
2 Tablespoons Grade B Maple Syrup
2 Tablespoons Bourbon

Directions for Maple Bourbon Glaze

In a bowl add the sugar, vanilla, water, maple syrup and bourbon.

Whisk until there are no lumps. Set aside.

Citrus & Bourbon French Toast For A Brunch With Acadia

March 2013

We met over drafting boards, and we toiled over models. That was architecture school, and that was then.

Blood Orange Table Setting

This was now. This was brunch!


We still had plenty of creative scheming to do, but with the focus on French toast, this scheming was far less stressful than the good ol’ architecture days.

Recipe for individual egg bakes pictured above will follow in a subsequent post.

Orange Apricot French Toast

Citrus & Bourbon French Toast


4 Challah or brioche rolls (or 1 loaf) in 1-inch slices
orange honey butter (recipe below)
1 package (8oz) organic cream cheese
1/2 cup roasted, salted almonds, chopped
1 cup dried apricots, sliced

1/2 cup bourbon
3 cups organic whole milk
3 organic eggs
2 Tablespoons organic brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt


Generously grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with unsalted butter.

Arrange bread in a tightly-packed layer in the pan, using smaller chunks to fill in any gaps.

Spread the orange honey-butter over the bread. Follow with a layer of cream cheese.

Disperse the sliced apricots evenly over the cream cheese.

Add the final layer of bread slices, again filling in any gaps with smaller chunks.

Drizzle the bourbon over the top bread layer.

Whisk milk, eggs, sugar and salt and pour over the bread.

Sprinkle the chopped almonds over the surface.

Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight in order for the bread to absorb the liquid.

Bake at 425°F for 30-40 minutes, or until puffed and golden.

Cut into generous squares and serve with maple syrup and bourbon whipped cream.

Slice of Apricot Orange French Toast

Orange Honey Butter 


1/2 cup packed organic light brown sugar
3/4 cup orange zest (from about 4-5 oranges)

1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups honey
1 teaspoon pure orange extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Use a mixer to beat softened butter, brown sugar, and zest in a bowl.

Add salt, honey, and extracts; beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.


Bourbon Whipped Cream


1 cup organic heavy cream
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
3-4 Tablespoons Bourbon, to taste


In a chilled bowl, use chilled mixers to beat the heavy cream until soft peaks begin to form. Add the vanilla, maple syrup and bourbon and continue to beat just until incorporated. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

An Ode To A Cabin In Autumn: Cookie Cups & Cartwheels

September 2012

When is the last time you really went outside and played?

When is the last time you flew through the trees?

When is the last time you ran like a fool? When is the last time you did a cartwheel?

There’s something about being at the special cabin in the woods that simplifies fun. Maybe it’s because we’re removed from typical routines or because no one is watching, or maybe because we’re just plain weird [magical]? Whatever the impetus, there we were playing outside, laughing and seeing the world from all angles. It took me back to a time when fitness was just an afternoon spent outside with friends.

Perhaps it was all the play that incited my craving for cookies. Perhaps I was transported to the time when I’d run inside with numb fingers and find a kitchen table covered in warm, fresh, gooey, chocolate-chip cookies.

One of the advantages of being a baking adult is I can make cookies when the craving hits. This time I was inspired by the ol’ cupcake form. Another advantage of being a baking adult is I can also be inspired by bourbon!

Bourbon, Cranberry & Pecan Cookie Cups
Makes 20 cookie cups


3/4 cup raw cane sugar
3/4 cup organic packed brown sugar
dash of nutmeg
1 cup organic, unsalted butter, browned
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
3 Tablespoons bourbon
1 egg (local/free-range)

2 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped (leaving a handful whole for garnishing)
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
1/2 cup organic dried cranberries


Heat oven to 375ºF. Line a cupcake pan with natural parchment liners.

Mix sugars, nutmeg, butter, extracts, bourbon and egg in large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the dry mixture to the egg mixture.

Stir in nuts, cranberries and chocolate chips.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls into lined cupcake pan.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until light brown.

Cool on wire rack, and go play!