Thursday, January 19, 2012

Case Study 105: "The Winter Pecan Pie"

 By this point, it should be of no new surprise to you 
that I really really love whiskey...

...and that I love to bake with it. Specifically, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Even more specifically, Maker's Mark, which is my go-to in the kitchen. And if we're being honest here, nothing pairs better with this good old spirit than pecans. So in an effort to update my standard combination on a snowy winter's evening, I decided I might improve my recipe and go all in.

So I chopped some pecans, and tossed them over the stove with brown sugar, corn starch, egg yolks, bourbon whiskey, sea salt, vanilla and butter. A little stirring and reducing later, I had a damn good pecan pie filling, and it was like Thanksgiving in my kitchen all over again.

Except it's January, so I had to hide the goods.

Brown sugar cupcakes with a bourbon pecan filling topped with a whiskey vanilla bean buttercream. The cake is light and fluffy against the sweet and nutty filling. And that buttercream? It finishes with a boozy kick in the pants every damn time. 

Bake these suckers up and combine them with straight up Manhattans, your lov-ah and a good dose of the bluesy jazz.  What you'll get is romance, shaken or stirred, on a cold winter's night.      

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