What better way to survive the 2020 quarantine than by eating delicious food and drinking fancy cocktails? Let’s celebrate the end of this — er, unforgettable? — year by enjoying some of Clear Cappers’ favorite holiday recipes.
Download “Eat, Drink, and Survive the 2020 Quarantine: A Cookbook” or click below for individual recipes!
Pies, and Cookies, and Treats… Oh My!
Cranberry Cinnamon Whiskey Sour
Makes 2 servings.
- ½ cup whiskey
- ½ cup cranberry simple syrup
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice
- ⅛ cup fresh lime juice
SIMPLE SYRUP INGREDIENTS
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
Step 1: Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
Step 2: Add ice. Shake for 30 seconds.
Step 3: Serve over ice. Garnish with cranberries and orange peel.
SIMPLE SYRUP INSTRUCTIONS
Step 1: In a medium-sized saucepan add cranberries, water, sugar, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Step 2: Reduce to a simmer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have burst open and can easily be stirred into the syrup, resulting in a smooth consistency. This will take about 10 minutes.
Step 3: Once done, remove syrup from heat.
Step 4: Using a large bowl with a fine mesh strainer, strain the simple syrup, leaving all of the large chunks and skin behind. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before using.
Source: Baker by Nature, with modifications
Holiday Spirits, Man
Equal parts, about 2 fl oz (slightly more than a standard size shot glass) each:
- Coffee liqueur (like Kahlua)
Step 1: Fill an old-fashioned glass with vodka and coffee liqueur, and then stir.
Step 2: Top with eggnog and stir well, until fully combined.
Step 3: Gently add ice cubes and serve.
Note: If you prefer a spirits-free version, simply adding iced coffee to cold eggnog is also delightful.
Source: Port and Fin, with modifications
Pine Old Fashioned
A Winter version of the class cocktail, the Old Fashioned. This one uses pine syrup for a winter flavor.
- 0.75 oz pine simple syrup
- Aromatic bitters
- 2 oz bourbon whiskey
PINE SIMPLE SYRUP INGREDIENTS
- ½ cup pine needles on stem (White Pine, Spruce, Balsam Fir, or Douglas Fir)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
PINE SIMPLE SYRUP INSTRUCTIONS
Step 1: Collect pine needles. (Make sure to use clean pine needles.)
Step 2: Add ingredients to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover with a lid and let steep for at least 2 hours. You can leave it overnight. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth and then refrigerate the syrup until you’re ready to use it. (Up to one month.)
Step 1: Combine simple syrup and bitters in the bottom of a rocks glass.
Step 2: Top with bourbon and a large ice cube.
Step 3: Garnish with pine branches. Cheers!
Makes 2 drinks. Serve “up” in a chilled martini glass or “over” in a tumbler.
- 2 oz rye
- 2 oz bourbon
- 1 oz Bénédictine
- 1 lemon twist
Step 1: Fill high ball or shaker with ice. Add rye, bourbon, and Bénédictine.
Step 2: Don’t pull a 007, we want this stirred and not shaken. Keep stirring.
Step 3: Nope, don’t stop yet. Keep going.
Step 4: Okay, now you can stop.
Step 5: Place strainer over cup and pour into your desired vessel.
Step 6: Take the lemon twist, squeeze slightly to release oils into the drink, run the twist around the rim of the glass, and then add to the drink.
Step 7: Enjoy!
Sources: Steve the Bartender, with modifications
Shortcut Spinach Dip
Makes 4 cups.
- 5 oz frozen chopped spinach (cooked, cooled, and squeezed dry)
- 8 oz sour cream
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ packet Knorr Vegetable recipe mix (shaken a few times for even distribution)
- 4 oz water chestnuts (drained and chopped)
- 2 green onions, chopped
Step 1: Add all ingredients except spinach to a large bowl.
Step 2: Give one cursory stir then add spinach. Stir well until fully combined.
Step 3: Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Step 4: Serve with your favorite dippers to your favorite people.
Pro Tips: Using the steamer version of frozen spinach means you can cook that baby in the microwave lightning quick. Subbing in the packet spice mix means you don’t have to mess with a million ingredients. And making this in a bowl that is both decorative and has a lid saves you from doing multiple dishes. #Winning
Source: Knorr, with modifications
Truly Deviled Eggs
- 7 large eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
- ¾ of an avocado
- 1 small lime
- 1 tsp sriracha
- 1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
Step 1: To hard boil the eggs, place in a large stock pot and cover fully with warm water. Be sure to leave plenty of room in the pot to account for the serious bubbles. Crank the heat up to high and let those babies boil for 5-6 minutes.
Step 2: When done, turn off the heat and carefully remove the pot from the burner. Let stand for 5 minutes then carefully move the pot to the sink. Fill with cold water until the outside of the pot is no longer hot. That will mean the eggs are cool enough to handle though they will still be warm. Take out each egg, dry it off, and find a gentle resting place for it to cool completely.
Step 3: Cut the hard-boiled eggs in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and place in a medium bowl. Set the whites directly on to your preferred serving dish.
Step 4: Add the avocado to the yolks and mash with the back of a fork until fairly smooth.
Step 5: Add the lime juice, sriracha, and salt (to taste) then stir until well combined. Add in the minced cilantro and stir one more time.
Step 6: Fill the egg white halves with the avocado/yolk mixture. Sprinkle with paprika and/or cayenne, devil’s choice. Serve and pray you grabbed a mild one.
Source: Real Food Real Deals, with modifications
Pies, and Cookies, and Treats... Oh My!
- 1 can (5 oz) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 graham cracker pie crust
- Whipped cream
- Chocolate shavings (optional)
Step 1: Boil can of condensed milk unopened for 3–4 hours. Make sure the can stays covered in water or it will burst.
Step 2: After the boiling time is complete, remove the can and let it cool for about an hour or so.
Step 3: Open the can and stir contents until smooth. (The condensed milk will have caramelized and should be a brownish/tan color.) Spread into the graham cracker pie crust.
Step 4: Slice bananas and cover the top of the pie.
Step 5: Put into the fridge and allow to cool for at least 2 hours.
Step 6: Spread whipped cream over the top. Sprinkle chocolate shavings on top (optional) and serve.
Source: Sally’s Baking Addiction, with modifications
Biscotti for Your Toddy
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup cornmeal
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tbsp grated lemon zest (from about 3 to 4 lemons)
- ¾ cup coarsely chopped whole almonds
- 18 oz white chocolate chips
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Step 2: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Step 3: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
Step 4: In another large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs with an electric mixture until pale yellow, about 3 minutes.
Step 5: Mix in the lemon zest and then the flour mixture, and beat until just blended. (The dough will be sticky).
Step 6: Stir in the almonds. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
Step 7: Divide the dough evenly into 2 equal mounds and place on the prepared baking sheet. With moist hands, space the dough evenly apart and form into 2 logs (9×3 in).
Step 8: Bake for 35 minutes until lightly browned. Cool for 5 minutes.
Step 9: Using a serrated knife, cut the logs crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick diagonal slices. Arrange the biscotti cut side down on the same baking sheet.
Step 10: Bake until the cookies are pale golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely.
Step 11: Place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the pan does not touch the water.
Step 12: Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
Step 13: Dip the end of each biscotti in the chocolate.
Step 14: Transfer the dipped biscotti to a wire rack (set over a baking sheet) until the chocolate has hardened. Store in an airtight container.
Source: Food Network
BlueMerry Muffins (Veganlicious)
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ½ cup sugar (mix of white & brown)
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ cup apple sauce
- ¼ cup coconut oil (any oil)
- 1 large mashed banana
- ½ cup non-dairy milk
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Step 2: Line muffin tins.
Step 3: Combine all dry ingredients.
Step 4: Combine all wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
Step 5: Pour wet mixture over dry and mix together.
Step 6: Fold in blueberries.
Step 7: Divide batter into muffin cups.
Step 8: Bake for 20 mins.
Source: Simple Veganista, with modifications
Chocolate Super Balls
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 package of Oreos (40 cookies)
- 16 oz semi-sweet chocolate
Step 1: Leave cream cheese at room temperature to soften it.
Step 2: Use a food processor (or put them all in a bowl and take out your angst with a rolling pin) to crumble all the cookies.
Step 3: Mix the cookie crumbs with the cream cheese. (Note: you’ll need to get your hands dirty for the best results.)
Step 4: Roll the batter into balls.
Step 5: Melt the chocolate and dip the balls into it.
Step 6: Refrigerate overnight.
Source: All Recipes, with modifications
Holiday Headstart Bread Pudding
- 5 cups sourdough bread cubes
- 3 cups milk
- 4 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup raisins
- ½ cup shredded coconut
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Step 2: Place bread cubes in a greased 2-quart glass baking dish.
Step 3: In a large bowl, beat together milk, eggs, yolks, sugar, almond extract, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
Step 4: Carefully pour over bread cubes.
Step 5: Sprinkle raisins and coconut over the top, being sure to spread things out as evenly as possible.
Step 6: Gently stir to ensure the bread is fully coated.
Step 7: Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Serve warm.
Peanut Butter Balls
- 1 stick butter
- 3 cups of crispy rice cereal
- 18 oz peanut butter
- 1 lb confectioners’ sugar
- 12 oz chocolate chips
Step 1: Soften butter and mix it together with the peanut butter.
Step 2: Add in the confectioners’ sugar and mix well.
Step 3: Slowly add the crispy rice cereal until all ingredients are mixed well.
Step 4: Form round balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
Step 5: In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips to a thin consistency.
Step 6: Dip the balls into the chocolate until completely covered. Place on a cookie sheet.
Step 7: Place the peanut butter balls in the refrigerator or freezer to set. It is recommended to store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Source: New York Times Cooking, with modifications