Spike Your Side Dish

You might have noticed that Brian and I like to add a little splash of booze to some of our recipes from time to time, especially sweets like our Tipsy Blondies or the Bourbon-Apple Oatmeal Cookies. Recently, we tried to take our love of cocktails to a different dish—a side dish.

Bourbon-Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes by somethingwewhippedup.com

Bourbon-Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes by somethingwewhippedup.com

We served these Bourbon-Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes at brunch with some baked eggs, but the dish would work equally as well along side your dinner. It took less than 5 minutes to prep and then we were free to work on other things while the dish baked up. The end result is a roasted sweet potato that has an extra little touch of something that will make you smile as you eat it. And isn’t that what good food is all about?

Bourbon-Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Makes 2 servings

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes (1 large or 2 small), cut to a 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a medium bowl, add the sweet potatoes, olive oil, maple syrup, bourbon and cinnamon. Toss to coat and spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Season with salt and roast for 15 minutes, use a spatula to flip the sweet potatoes over, return to the oven and roast for 10 to 15 minutes more or until browned and cooked through.

SWWU Tip 1: It’s easy to double or triple this recipe and make enough for a crowd (or leftovers). 

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Tipsy Blondies

As you may have guessed from the lack of posts, Brian and I have been super busy for the past two weeks. Don’t worry, we’re still here. We enjoyed a beautiful weekend up at the farm for the 4th of July and have been working on a few side projects back at home. Luckily, this means we’ve got lots of new things to share with you over the next few weeks.

Yesterday we hosted a casual potluck picnic in Prospect Park. We grilled and shared lots of yummy bites with some friends we haven’t seen in quite some time. When planning the menu, I knew I wanted foods that were easy to transport and wouldn’t be too heavy eat on a hot, hot day. For dessert, I almost turned to my go-to s’mores brownies (stay tuned for that recipe soon) but decided instead to go with blondies. I have to admit, I’ve always had an unwarranted aversion to blondies. Boy, have I been missing out!

Rum and Toasted Coconut Blondies by somethingwewhippedup.com

Rum and Toasted Coconut Blondies by somethingwewhippedup.com

I jazzed up the classic by adding toasted coconut flakes and a bit of rum. And not to toot my own horn, but these blondies were pretty darn good. They may even be my new favorite.

Rum and Toasted Coconut Blondies

Makes about 24 pieces

  • 3/4 cup coconut flakes (such as Let’s Do Organic Unsweetened Coconut Flakes)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (check out our homemade vanilla extract recipe)
  • 1/3 cup dark rum
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chunks
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread the coconut flakes in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until toasted. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, grease a 9-by-13 baking dish. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl or in a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing completely between each, then add the vanilla extract and rum and mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients, in two batches, mixing completely after each. Gently fold in the toasted coconut, chocolate chunks and mini chocolate chips. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Bake for 25 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove from oven, let cool completely, then cut into squares.

SWWU Tip: You can definitely play around with this recipe a bit: Don’t like coconut? Use nuts instead. Don’t want to add any booze? Reduce the flour by 1/3 a cup and increase the vanilla extract to 1 tablespoon.

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Happy Hour Must-Have: Strawberry Gin and Tonic

The strawberries at our local farmers’ market are looking great and tasting sweet. You may remember that we whipped up a pretty (and delicious) all-natural strawberry simple syrup recently and I’ve enjoyed mixing it into fizzy drinks like soda water and champagne. But my favorite use (so far) has been using it as a way to jazz up a classic gin and tonic, my usual drink of choice.

Strawberry Gin and Tonic by somethingwewhippedup.com

Strawberry Gin and Tonic by somethingwewhippedup.com

The strawberry syrup adds a subtle fruity flavor and transforms the cocktail into a festive-looking pink sipper. I think I may have to go have another!

Strawberry Gin and Tonic

Makes 1 drink

  • ice
  • 3 ounces gin (I prefer Pylmouth)
  • 1 ounce all-natural strawberry simple syrup (get our recipe here)
  • tonic
  • 1 strawberry with a small, 1-inch slit cut into the bottom

1. Fill a glass with ice. Pour in the gin and strawberry simple syrup, then top with tonic water. Gently stir until combined. Taste and adjust flavors if necessary. Garnish glass with the strawberry.

SWWU Tip: Make your ice cubes out of tonic water for an extra special treat.

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Completely Stuffed – The BEST At-Home Brunch

In addition to pancakes, one of our go-to breakfasts (especially when we’re serving guests) is a version of our stuffed french toast.

Peach-Bourbon Stuffed French Toast by somethingwewhippedup.com

Peach-Bourbon Stuffed French Toast by somethingwewhippedup.com

We’ve got a good system down now and it’s a breakfast we can bring together pretty quickly. We often change up the filling to go with the season: fresh blueberries, strawberries or apples all work well. The recipe below uses a peach filling with a bourbon cream cheese frosting. The combination is quite decadent! In fact, it seems like a dish you might need to go to a fancy brunch spot to enjoy. But guess what, it’s super easy to make right in your own home. Here’s how:

Peach-Bourbon Stuffed French Toast

Makes 8 pieces

  • 4 peaches, diced
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract (check out our recipe for homemade extract), divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest, divided
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 16 pieces of thick-cut (about 3/4-inch each) challah
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • butter, as needed

1. Add the peaches, maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1 tablespoon each vanilla extract and orange zest to a medium pot and toss to combine. Heat over medium, stirring occasionally, until bubbly. Reduce heat to low and let cook down while you’re prepping the rest of the breakfast.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, bourbon and the remaining vanilla extract and orange zest. Whisk until smooth, then taste and adjust flavors as needed. Set aside.

3. Place the challah pieces in open pairs (like you would to make a sandwich) on a work surface. Make sure the bread pieces will line up when closed together (see below). Smear a bit of the cream cheese frosting on each piece and top half of them with a generous portion of the peach filling. Top with remaining bread to make a sandwich.

4. In a medium dish, whisk the eggs, milk and remaining ground cinnamon together. Place this bowl near your stove if you can and heat a large skillet over medium. Add about 1/2 tablespoon of butter to the hot skillet and let it melt. PIck up one of your french toast sandwiches and dip it into the egg mixture, making sure to coat all sides. Add to the pan and cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until brown, flip and cook until brown. Repeat with remaining french toast sandwiches. (*You may need to make additional egg mixture if your bread is soaking up a lot.)

5. Divide stuffed french toast among four plates and top each with a dusting of powdered sugar. Serve immediately with additional maple syrup and apple topping on the side if desired.

Prep for Stuffed French Toast (note there are apples in that pot, not peaches) by somethingwewhippedup.com

Prep for Stuffed French Toast (note there are apples in that pot, not peaches) by somethingwewhippedup.com

SWWU Tip 1: Making enough for a crowd? Keep prepared french toast in an oven heated to 200°F until you’re ready to serve them.

SWWU Tip 2: Extra bourbon cream cheese frosting can be stored covered in the fridge for up to a month. 

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Dessert from a Corner Store

Summer has officially arrived! The temperatures topped 90° and the sun was shining bright yesterday. We’re lucky enough to have friends who live in an apartment with a gorgeous rooftop we can enjoy on nice days and we finally got together with them last night. The lovely hosts were in charge of dinner, and Brian and I were on dessert duty. There was just on problem with this plan: It’s been a busy week and we didn’t have time to whip something up and I was unsatisfied with the desserts I checked out at a bakery during the day. We were running out of time and needed to act fast. I considered picking up some ice cream or gelato, but didn’t think that seemed special enough. And then the perfect idea hit me: boozy root beer floats! We were able to get all of the ingredients from a corner store near their place, making this a perfect grab-and-go option for a busy weekday. We may just have to put this idea on repeat.

Whisky Caramel Root Beer Float by somethingwewhippedup.com

Whisky Caramel Root Beer Float by somethingwewhippedup.com

Whisky Caramel Root Beer Float

Makes 1 float

1. Put a scoop or two of gelato into a tall glass. Top with a shot of whisky and serve with a bottle of root beer.

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