RECIPES: Holiday Crantini, Bourbon Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies & more

Serve up some holiday cheer with these recipes from Tim Laird, America's CEO

HOUSTON - Be the hostess with the mostess this holiday season with these festive recipes from Tim Laird, America's CEO - Chief Entertaining officer.

Holiday Crantini Martini 

Makes: 1 cocktail

In a shaker with ice, add:

1½ ounces Finlandia Vodka

2 ounces cranberry juice

1 ounce lemonade

Korbel Brut California Champagne.

Shake and strain into sugar-rimmed martini glasses. Garnish with a rosemary spear of fresh cranberries. Top with a splash of champagne.

To make by the pitcher:

Use the ratio of 1½ parts vodka, 2 parts cranberry juice and 1 part lemonade.  Combine in a pitcher, then shake with ice to make individual cocktails. Garnish with rosemary spears of fresh cranberries.

Alcohol-free:

For an alcohol-free version, omit the vodka and replace it with club soda. Stir and pour into a martini glass. Garnish with a rosemary spear of fresh cranberries.

 

Sweet and Spicy Nuts

Makes: 4 cups

1 egg white

1 tablespoon water

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 pound raw pecans

Preheat the oven to 200ºF.

In a large bowl, beat the egg white and water until frothy but not stiff. Stir in the sugar, salt, cinnamon and cayenne. Add nuts and stir until completely coated. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until the nuts are dry and toasty. Remove from the oven and let cool. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Reprinted with permission from The Bourbon Country Cookbook by David Danielson and Tim Laird, Agate Surrey, 2018.

 

Santa’s Helper

Makes: 1 cocktail

In a mug, add:

1½ ounces Woodford Reserve bourbon

4 ounces hot chocolate

½ ounce peppermint schnapps

Garnish with a candy cane.

 

Bourbon Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes: 5 dozen

1 pound thick-cut bacon

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking powder

⅔–1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (see Note)

¾ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons bourbon

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

10 ounces dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Place the bacon in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Pour the bacon grease from the baking sheet into a glass measuring cup and place it in the refrigerator to solidify, about 30 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a cutting board, cut into small dice, and set it aside.

Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder and set aside.

Once the bacon fat is solidified, add just enough of the unsalted butter to make 1 cup. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and bacon fat, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Beat on low speed until combined. Add the bourbon, vanilla, and eggs and beat on low speed until thoroughly mixed. With the machine still running on low speed, gradually add in the flour mixture until completely combined. Stir in the bacon and chocolate chips.

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, until the cookies are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat this process (you can reuse the parchment) until you have used up all the dough. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Note: It’s important to use a total of 1 cup of fat in this recipe. The amount of fat rendered from the bacon will tell you how much butter you need to use. For example, if you have ¼ cup bacon fat, you’ll use ¾ cup unsalted butter to equal 1 cup. Generally, 1 pound of bacon renders ⅓ cup fat, in which case you’d add ⅔ cup butter to equal 1 cup total fat. However, all bacon is not the same in terms of thickness, size, fat content, or quality.

Reprinted with permission from The Bourbon Country Cookbook by David Danielson and Tim Laird, Agate Surrey, 2018.

 

 

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