My husband and I traveled to Kentucky last fall for a family wedding. The bride and groom had stars in their eyes for each other, but I fell in love with bourbon. The process by which this spirit is made fascinates me and I enjoy its distinctive flavor. I still can’t drink it straight, but a bourbon-and-soda rocks my world.
I also enjoy cooking and baking with this American spirit. For my last birthday, I made myself a chocolate bourbon layer cake (yum) and I’ve also made Ranting Chef’s bourbon chicken (again, yum). I made Angel’s Share biscuits for Thanksgiving and went through at least four batches of bourbon balls before deciding on the “perfect” recipe.
If you’ve been reading foodforfun, you know that I recently got my ice-cream “soccer ball” out to whip up some homemade ice cream for my daughter’s birthday party. After the first batch, I refilled the ball for another, but we never got around to making it. Too many party games to play. Never one to let food spoil (also never one to waste potential for homemade ice cream), I took it upon myself to chase the ball around the backyard the other day. Half-an-hour of kicking a bright blue, plastic ball around trees, a sandbox, and a swing set must have set our neighbors wondering. I stuck it out, though. I go to great lengths for good food.
While refreshing the ice and rock salt, I considered that this was my chance to make the ice cream mine. What could I add to make it worth my solo effort? If you’ve been paying attention, you know that I added bourbon (just 2 or so tablespoons) to the nearly frozen cream mixture. Why not? In the end, I had myself a boozy frozen treat. The alcohol lowers the freezing point of the mixture, so the final ice cream was softer than it would’ve been without the booze. No complaints from me, though. Once the ice cream was transferred to a storage container, I stirred in a bit of sea salt and a few clumps of brown sugar. It was extremely pretty and also plenty tasty. And because I can’t feed it to my kids (no chance for the alcohol to bake or cook out), I only have to share it with my husband!
A batch of homemade ice cream wasn’t enough to satisfy the sweets craving in our house, so last night found me making chocolate chip cookies. After baking up three pans worth (about 3/4 of the dough), I saw a bourbon bottle on the counter. Again, why not? I added 2 teaspoons bourbon to what was left of the dough, which made it just a bit moister. The cookies baked up slightly browner than the others and had a definite hint of bourbon. I’d definitely add bourbon (2 tablespoons or so to a batch) to cookie dough again.
If you have bourbon baking or cooking stories, please pass them on. I’d love more recipes that use this bold spirit.