Monday, July 29, 2013

What's Baking? July: Bake Your Favorite Cocktail

This month's theme was chosen by Angela of The Tiny Tyrant's Kitchen, and she suggested baking something inspired by a favorite cocktail. This is perfect for me! It's obvious I haven't been cooking much, and the reason will be clear soon, but to go along with that, I haven't been drinking much, either. Having an excuse to revive a favorite cocktail by baking it is absolutely perfect timing!

Of course, I have many favorite cocktails. I work at a winery, so obviously I love wine, and I would love a glass of wine right now (but alas). I have a small number of favorite cocktails, simply because I prefer wine. But my favorites list include Dark n' Stormies, St Germaine cocktails (champagne and St Germaine, the simple version) and Vermontucky Lemonade. But what to bake? Fortunately, M posted a recipe on facebook for absinthe cookies- essentially those delicious Italian anise biscuit-cookies with anise glaze, only using an absinthe glaze. Ooh! I could work with that!

Surprisingly, I'm not a huge absinthe fan. I love licorice, but I like it sweetened, and the only time I've ever had absinthe, the cocktail was definitely NOT sweetened whatsoever. I also don't think absinthe is the right alcohol for me to have right now, even in a miniscule amount.

So I took this recipe and modified it to use St Germaine. And I love. My husband says he's pretty "meh" about St Germaine, but I did notice all but one of the 8 cookies we had left after taking some to my parents were gone by the time I got home from work yesterday. "Meh" indeed. I need to bake another batch asap!
St Germaine Cookies
inspired by Absinthe Cookies from A Fine Kettle of Fish

Cookie dough
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted, softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1T St Germaine (or vanilla, or anise, or another tasty alcohol)
3T milk
1/4t vinegar
2 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1T baking powder
pinch of salt

Glaze (note: I didn't have quite enough glaze for each cookie- this is fine if you can't wait long enough to sample before the cookies cool enough to glaze)
1-1.5cup powdered sugar
1T butter
1.5T St Germaine (or other tasty alcohol, or 1t vanilla, anise, almond, etc)
1T milk (possibly up to 2T)

To make the dough:
Preheat oven to 350F.
Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each. Whisk the flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl, and the St Germaine, vinegar and milk together in yet another separate bowl (and let that sit for a few minutes). Alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Beat til just barely combined. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and bake in the 350F oven for 12-14 minutes (original recipe said 10-12), til the edges are just barely starting to brown. Let cool.

To make the glaze:
Melt the butter and whisk in the St Germaine and 1T. Whisk in the powdered sugar (start with 1 cup) and add either more sugar or more milk to get the desired consistency- somewhat thick, like honey consistency. Thinner is fine, but it'll run off the cookies more. Drizzle the glaze over the cookies, however much or little you like (I did not have quite enough glaze for the entire batch) Let the glaze harden overnight or for a few hours, either uncovered or very loosely covered.

(I found these got a little sticky in tupperware on a humid July day, and the glaze never really hardened. This leads to sticky fingers, but that's the only bad thing)

YUM. The cookies have a very slight St Germaine taste to them (I wish I could have tried the dough)
but after frosting it's a serious St Germaine flavor. If you want to avoid alcohol, include the St Germaine in the cookies (it's a small amount anyway, and much would bake off) and use lemon juice or vanilla to flavor the glaze.

They're also quick and easy. I can't comment on how long they'll keep, since we ate them all in less than 3 days. ;)