Bourbon Balls

Yum! Etsy can do know wrong when it comes to their Eatsy recipes. This is another little wonder, simple and delicious! Enjoy! The following images and text are courtesy of Etsy.

Eatsy: Bourbon Balls

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goodsPhoto by Kimberley Hasselbrink

continentaldrift

My mother does not like it when I adapt her recipes, but I am a rule-breaker where recipes are concerned. So when I called to ask about bourbon balls, those funny-tasting holiday treats that I vaguely recalled her making when I was young, I warned her that I would undoubtedly fuss with her recipe.

They were, and are, more of a grown-up thing — that intensely boozy flavor wasn’t so appealing as a kid. But now? That strong aroma of bourbon, coupled with a hint of chocolate and the vaguely gingerbready flavors of gingersnaps — well, it tastes like the embodiment of Christmas festivity. They’re wonderfully nostalgic — the kind of thing you might expect at a Mad Men holiday party, but very of the moment now that bourbon is so well-loved again. Their simplicity makes them welcome in this busiest of months.

Bourbon Balls

1 1/2 cups crushed ginger snap or vanilla wafer cookies (tip: use Mi-Del ginger snaps to make it gluten free)
1 cup pecans (or walnuts)
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup bourbon (or rum)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons honey

Pulse the pecans in the bowl of a food processor until they are coarsely ground. Add the crushed ginger snaps, along with the confectioner’s sugar, bourbon, cocoa powder and honey. Pulse until the ingredients are combined. Place in a bowl.

Chill until thoroughly cooled in the refrigerator, about two hours. (You can expedite this by chilling in the freezer for about 45 minutes.)

Remove the dough from the fridge. Using a teaspoon as a measure, roll out small balls with your hands, about one inch in size. Toss to coat in a bowl of powdered sugar.

Store in the fridge for up to a week.

All photos by Kimberley Hasselbrink

Kimberley Hasselbrink is a food photographer and blogger based in San Francisco. She is the author of the blog The Year in Food, which is framed around a monthly seasonal food guide. Kimberley enjoys unusual produce, strong coffee, road trips and summer nights.

Spiced Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Etsy does it again! Another delicious and unique recipe from the bloggers at Etsy. All text and images are courtesy of Etsy. Enjoy! 

Eatsy: Spiced Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Photo by Kimberley Hasselbrink

continentaldrift

Two Octobers ago, I hosted a party centered around a theme: each guest would bring a dish that they prepared, and each dish had to include pumpkin. The only thing that wasn’t allowed was pumpkin pie. Savory was encouraged, but not mandatory. Nobody knew what to expect of the evening, including myself. Some guests worried that dishes would be repeated, some doubted their cooking abilities.

But you know what? It was one of the most amazing parties that I’ve ever hosted. Everybody rose to the challenge, everybody participated and nobody knew what the scope of the dishes would be. There was so much surprise: pumpkin arepas, pumpkin chutney, pumpkin curry, pumpkin arancini, pumpkin succotash. Not one dish disappointed.

One of my favorites from the evening was my friend Jacquelyn’s pumpkin seed brittle. It is the perfect homemade candy and its magic, addictive powers will carry you through any social event. You can employ any kind of nuts that you fancy and endless spice combinations. I love when a recipe’s power comes in the transformation of the simplest ingredients: melted butter, caramelized sugar and a handful of nuts join forces to create a crunchy, salty, sweet and spicy candy. Other than frequent stirring and a watchful eye on the candy thermometer, it’s remarkably simple.

Spiced Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Yield: About 6-8 servings

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup hulled pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas; feel free to use any tree nut you’d prefer)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Candy thermometer

(For the Pistachio Sesame brittle, use 2 tablespoons sesame seeds and 3/4 cup pistachios.)

Grease a 9×12 baking sheet with butter and set aside.

In a small, heavy-bottomed pot over a medium low flame, melt the butter with the cinnamon, chile powder, ginger and sea salt. Add the sugar and stir thoroughly. Continue to stir sugar almost constantly to prevent burning. When the temperature of the mixture reaches 280 degrees, add the nuts. Continue stirring almost constantly.

The sugar will slowly begin to clump and melt. Keep stirring! At 300 degrees, remove from heat and quicky stir in the baking powder.

Working quickly, pour the brittle onto the greased baking pan, spreading with a spatula. Let stand until thoroughly cooled and hardened. (You can expedite this by putting it into the fridge.)

Finished! Pumpkin seed brittle.

Kimberley Hasselbrink is a food photographer and blogger based in San Francisco. She is the author of the blog The Year in Food, which is framed around a monthly seasonal food guide. Kimberley enjoys unusual produce, strong coffee, road trips and summer nights.

Homemade Pie Crust

Pie crust is one of those things that seems simple, but to get that delicious flaky crust is surprisingly difficult. Often it comes out chewy and tough. Etsy posted a recipe for homemade pie crust that I tried out last night and it is amazing! I highly recommend this one!

Eatsy: How to Make Homemade Pie Crust

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

acozykitchen

I’ll admit, I’m not a huge summer-lover. I flourish wearing cozy sweaters, curling up with a cup of tea, and cuddling with my pup when it’s cold out. But seeing as seasons change with no regard to my preferences (how dare they!), I’ve decided to be super-excited about putting summer’s delicious fruit to good use and baking up my favorite pies.

If you’ve never made your own pie crust before, it does have its challenges, but the extra effort is definitely worth it. There is much debate as to what fat one should use: shortening, lard, butter or a combination. My personal preference is good quality butter; it yields a flaky crust with a delicious, well, buttery flavor that works ridiculously well when paired with tart, sweet fruit.

What you’ll need:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, frozen
3/4 cups very cold water, divided

Etsy_HowtoPie_1

Start by mixing all of the dry ingredients together: all-purpose flour, sugar and salt. If you’re making a savory pie (meat hand pies, anyone?), I’d recommend leaving out the sugar and upping the salt to 1 teaspoon.

Etsy_HowtoPie_2

Next — and this is my favorite part — use a box grater to shred in the frozen butter. The end goal is to get pea-sized pieces of butter. This helps get you there sooner without over-handling the butter and flour.

Etsy_HowtoPie_3

Using your hands, quickly break up the butter into smaller bits and be sure it’s thoroughly distributed throughout the flour mixture. Create a well in the center and pour in 1/2 cup of cold water (no ice cubes!).

Etsy_HowtoPie_4

Mix using your hands or a wooden spoon. You’ll notice at this point that the mixture will be shaggy; add a tablespoon of water at a time until the mixture comes together.

Etsy_HowtoPie_5

Liberally flour your work surface and knead the dough a few times just until it comes together. Be sure not to over-knead; that will result in a tough crust.

Etsy_HowtoPie_6

Form the dough into a disc and divide it in two.

Etsy_HowtoPie_7

Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and transfer it to the fridge for 1 hour or up to 1 week.

Etsy_HowtoPie_8

Chilling the dough in the refrigerator is important because it does three things:

  • It gives the gluten a chance to relax.
  • It allows moisture to evenly redistribute throughout the dough.
  • The buttery bits re-chill, making the little fat pockets which ultimately create a flakey crust.

Etsy_HowtoPie_9

When the dough is done chilling, liberally flour your work surface and your rolling pin. Using your rolling pin, press the dough down and move it from the center outward.

Etsy_HowtoPie_10

Next, lift the dough up off your work surface and rotate it a quarter-turn. Continue to roll, lift and rotate a few times, being sure to flour your work surface and rolling pin as needed.

Etsy_HowtoPie_11

Since most pie tins are 8″ or 9″ in diameter, roll the pie dough into a 12-inch circle. You could measure it if you have a trusty ruler handy, or you could just eye-ball it by flipping your pie tin and hovering it over the rolled out pie crust.

Etsy_HowtoPie_12

To transfer the pie crust, use your rolling pin to wrap it around and lay it over the pie tin.

Etsy_HowtoPie_13

Gently press it into the pan.

Etsy_HowtoPie_14

Use a sharp paring knife to trim any excess pie crust.

Etsy_HowtoPie_15

To crimp the edges, use your thumb as a place holder to keep the inner edge of the pie crust in place. Use your opposite hand’s thumb and index finger and form the crust around the thumb, creating the classic v-shaped crimped edge. Repeat this process until the entire pie crust has those pretty crimped edges all the way around.

Etsy_HowtoPie_16

If there are any holes or rough spots that need a little love, patch up any holes or rough looking areas in the pie crust with the scraps. Score the bottom of the pie crust using a fork and transfer to the freezer for 30 minutes. This will ensure the pie crust doesn’t shrink when it hits the hot oven. While the pie crust is in the freezer, preheat your oven to 400˚ Fahrenheit.

Etsy_HowtoPie_17

If your recipe calls for a par-baked pie crust, start by brushing the edges with egg wash. Line the pie crust with foil or parchment paper and then fill it with beans, rice or metal pie weights. If you’re making a pie with stone fruit or apples, usually you don’t need to par-bake the crust.

Roll out the second disc of dough and use it as a pie topping. Brush the entire pie with egg wash, sprinkle it with turbinado sugar and bake according to your recipe’s instructions.

Happy pie baking!

Etsy_HowtoPie_18

Homemade Pie Crust

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, frozen
3/4 cups very cold water, divided

1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Using a box grater, grate the cold butter atop the flour mixture. Working quickly, and using your hands, break the butter bits into the flour until they’re evenly distributed and resemble the size of small peas. Add 1/2 cup of water and mix. The mixture will be shaggy at this point. From here, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the dough comes together. I ended up adding about 5 more tablespoons of water, equaling to 3/4 cup. Flour your counter and dump the dough onto it. Knead a few times more until it comes together and divide the dough, forming two discs. Wrap both discs in plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour or overnight.

2. Remove one of the discs of dough from the refrigerator. Liberally flour your work surface and rolling pin. Begin to roll the dough, being sure to rotate it every so often to avoid sticking, to a 14-inch round. Wrap the dough around the rolling pin and unroll it over the pie tin. Gently fit the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pie tin. Trim the dough around the pie tin and using your thumb and forefinger, crimp the rim of the crust into a v-shape. Transfer the pie crust to the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Roll out the second disc of dough and use as you like, whether it’s as a top to your pie, decorated cut-outs or an elaborate pie trim.

All photos by Adrianna Adarme.

Adrianna Adarme is a recipe blogger and content producer living in Los Angeles. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, easy, everyday recipes from her kitchen.