Saturday Spirits: Lollipop Sparkling Cocktails

Wow! It has been a couple weeks since I’ve last shared a Saturday Spirits. I didn’t quite mean to go on a hiatus… but, it happened. Anywho, I’m bringing you one awesome cocktail today, so the wait will have been worth it. A few weeks ago I created these Lollipop Sparkling Cocktails for my “Hey Girl-Ryan Gosling Themed Birthday Party.

Sparkling Lollipop Cocktail // A Well Crafted Party

First I made lollipops using Raft Botanical Cocktail and Soda Syrups for the flavoring. This was my first successful time making candy… and, boy it is fun, easy and TASTY. I discovered that patience really was the key to making candy right. Well, that and a candy thermometer.

Once your lollipops are done the hard part of this cocktail is completed. All that is left is creating a tasty rimming sugar and pouring your favorite sparkling wine! These make for a really festive cocktail. There are quite a few recipes and how to’s below. Don’t let them intimidate you. The whole process is much easier than it sounds when you look at a huge blog post.

Sparkling Lollipop Cocktails // A Well Crafted Party

How to Make Lollipops

To make lollipops you just need a few essential tools. I made my lollipops with molds because I wanted to have a very precise look to them. However, you could use this powdered sugar method as well! For flavoring I really wanted to avoid using artificial or concentrated flavoring. I opted to test out creating the pops out of my Raft cocktail syrups and was thrilled with the way they turned out. (Affiliate Links Below)

Tools: 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Corn Syrup
  • 1 3/4 Cup Water
  • 3 Tablespoons Raft Botanical Cocktail Syrup (I used Lemon Ginger for one set & Hibiscus Lavender for another)
  • Extra sugar and syrup to create rimming sugar

Directions: 

  1. Prep your candy molds by spraying with vegetable oil (non flavored!) and placing the lollipop sticks.
  2. In a saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup and water over medium to medium-high heat. Stir to keep it from overheating or sticking. Burnt sugar will quickly make happy candy-making time into throwing out a pan and dealing with a stench time.
  3. Heat the sugar, stirring, until the candy thermometer reads just about 305 degrees. You don’t need to keep the candy thermometer in there the entire time, but once it starts to boil a bit it is a good idea to get that in there. You don’t want it to get past the hard-candy stage. Once the thermometer reads 305 go ahead and add in the Raft syrup. Stir into the mixture and watch the thermometer closely.
  4. Once the thermometer reads between 310-320 degrees remove the mixture from the heat. using a spoon pour the mixture into the molds. Be very careful… liquid candy burns are not a pretty thing. You’ll want to do this part while the mixture is hot, I recommend buying several lollipop molds. I ended up making about 24 lollipops per batch.
  5. Once the candy has cooled the lollipops are ready to eat! We stored ours on wax paper in a sealed container for about 2 weeks and they still tasted awesome. Though, try to keep them separated as they will stick together. You can also just buy some candy wraps and wrap them up nicely!

Sparkling Lollipop Cocktail // A Well Crafted Party

How to Make Rimming Sugar

A good sparkling cocktail needs some sugar to it. The lollipop will give the cocktail sugar and flavor… but, it won’t be immediate. The rimming sugar helps drive the flavor until the lollipop can do its magic. It also looks pretty too!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1- 2 teaspoons Raft Syrup
  • Lemon zest (use a microplane and it takes no time at all!)

Directions:

  1. Mix ingredients well… breaking up any clumps that might have formed from the liquid
  2. Lay out flat on a plate or baking sheet until mixture has totally dried. It can then be stored in an airtight container for about a week or so.

Sparkling Lollipop Cocktail // A Well Crafted Party

Lollipop Sparkling Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Use the lemon wedge to ring around the glass and dip onto a plate with rimming sugar.
  2. Drop a lollipop into the glass
  3. Pour in the sparkling wine!
  4. If you’d like a little more kick then add in 3/4 oz of Limoncello Liqueur

Saturday Spirits: Spiked Ice Cream Recipes (No Ice Cream Maker Needed!)

Spiked Ice Cream Recipes (without an icecream maker!) // A Well Crafted Party

 

Happy Saturday Spirits! It is getting HOT HOT HOT outside which makes this a very fun recipe for a hot summer evening. These Spiked Ice Cream recipes are easy to make at home without the use of any fancy ice cream makers or tools. I used a food processor for mine… but, they can just as easily be made with a hand blender or by mixing with big spoon.

These are fairly light on the alcohol over all. But, they should definitely be served to those legal to drink only.

These recipes aren’t super precise since they are not from scratch recipes, but rather are using some premade items. When I say a carton it may be slightly different than your size of carton. I do write how big of a carton I used. But, please get creative with these items and taste test along the way! (That is most the fun anyways!)

Mango & Bitters Cocktail Sorbet

Supplies: (Some of the below links are affiliate links. Purchases from affiliate links help suppport this blog)

  • Approximately 1 carton of your favorite Mango Sorbet (I used Trader Joes Mango Sorbet which is 33.81 oz)
  • 10 Shakes of Bitters
  • 3 oz Vodka
  • Mint (for Garnish)
  • Food Processor (or hand mixer or big wooden spoon with large mixing bowl)
  • Ice cream containers (you can use the original container if you’d like, or pretty containers for parties! Portland locals can pick up ones like those photographed at Fancy That Shop in Orenco Station! )

Directions:

  1. Let your mango sorbet soften on the counter for a bit. You should be able to easily scoop out the sorbet.
  2. Scoop the sorbet into your food processor or into a large mixing bowl
  3. Add in the 10 shakes of bitters and 3 oz vodka
  4. Mix like crazy. Make sure everything is incorporated.
  5. Fill your ice cream container with the sorbet and then place back into freezer. It should firm up after an hour or two and be ready to fill ice cream bowls!

Raspberries & Cream Spiked Ice Cream

Supplies: (Some of the below links are affiliate links. Purchases from affiliate links help suppport this blog)

  • 1 carton of your favorite Raspberry Sorbet or Gelato (I used the Raspberry Sorbet from Trader Joes which is 1 pint)
  • 1/2 carton of your favorite Vanilla Ice Cream (I used Trader Joes  French Vanilla which is 1/2 a gallon)
  • 3 oz Raspberry Vodka
  • Food Processor (or hand mixer or big wooden spoon with large mixing bowl)
  • Ice cream containers (you can use the original container if you’d like, or pretty containers for parties! Portland locals can pick up ones like those photographed at Fancy That Shop in Orenco Station! )

Directions:

  1. Let your Raspberry Sorbet (or gelato) and Vanilla Ice Cream soften up on the counter for a bit.
  2. Scoop the sorbet into your food processor or into a large mixing bowl
  3. Add in the 3 oz of Rasberry Vodka
  4. Mix like crazy. Make sure everything is incorporated.
  5. Fill your ice cream container half way with  the sorbet mixture. Then spoon in vanilla ice cream and swirl around with your spoon. You can mix everything together if you’d prefer, or you can leave it a little unincorporated for a swirl-like dessert.

Raspberries & Limoncella Sorbet

Supplies: (Some of the below links are affiliate links. Purchases from affiliate links help suppport this blog)

  • 1 carton of your favorite Raspberry Sorbet or Gelato (I used the Raspberry Sorbet from Trader Joes which is 1 pint)
  • 1 carton of your favorite Lemon Sorbet or Gelato (I used Cioa Bella Lemon Zest Sorbet 14 oz)
  • 3 oz Limoncello
  • Food Processor (or hand mixer or big wooden spoon with large mixing bowl)
  • Ice cream containers (you can use the original container if you’d like, or pretty containers for parties! Portland locals can pick up ones like those photographed at Fancy That Shop in Orenco Station! )

Directions:

  1. Let your Raspberry Sorbet (or gelato) and Lemon Sorbet soften up on the counter for a bit.
  2. Scoop the Lemon Sorbet into your food processor or into a large mixing bowl
  3. Add in the 3 oz Limoncello
  4. Mix like crazy. Make sure everything is incorporated.
  5. Fill your ice cream container half way with  the Limoncello & Lemon sorbet mixture. Then spoon in Raspberry Sorbet and swirl around with your spoon. You can mix everything together if you’d prefer, or you can leave it a little unincorporated for a swirl-like dessert.

 

What do you think? Will you be spiking some of your ice cream desserts?

 

Holiday Recipe: Baked Eggnog Custard with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Baked Eggnog Custard Holiday Recipe // A Well Crafted Party

There is nothing quite like a great holiday dessert.

This dessert recipe is perfect for a holiday dinner for two— or you can make a larger batch and serve it at a holiday bash! I love how the baked custard creaminess of this dish makes me want to sit in front of a fire and cuddle up close to someone special. The eggnog, cinnamon, and molasses cookie crumble makes it taste like the holidays. I created this eggnog custard from a seriously delicious eggnog I found at Whole Foods Market called Traderspoint Creamery Grassfed Eggnog.

Eggnog custards are by no means an original idea. A simple google search will yield several delicious recipes. My recipe breaks down the process down to the simplest, easiest recipe that still yielded a delicious result. I upped the difficultly and the taste just a little with the custard toppings. But, if you are looking for a quick, easy dessert to wow your loved ones then this eggnog custard is a great base!

Ingredients for the baked eggnog custard

 

Baked Eggnog Custard with Cinnamon Whipped Cream and a Ginger Molasses Cookie Crumble

Serves 2 — Approximately 1 hour (though, most of that is oven and cooling time)

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Traderspoint Creamery Grassfed Nog
  • Dash of Salt
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar (1 for the custard and 2 for the whipped cream)
  • 2 4oz ceramic oven-safe dishes
  • 1 ginger mollasses cookie crumbled
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • One baking dish with at least 1 inch sides

eggnog custard

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the egg, 1 tablespoon of sugar, a dash of salt, and eggnog. Pour the mixture in to the two ceramic dishes.
  3. Put the two ceramic dishes in the deep baking dish. Fill the baking dish with water so that the water comes up halfway along the sides of the ceramic dishes.
  4. Bake the dishes for approximately 40 minutes. The tops of the custards will puff and brown.
  5. While baking the dishes, make your cinnamon whipped cream. Using a handheld or table top mixer, whip the heavy cream until it begins to have stiff peaks. Add in the remaining sugar (2 tablespoons), cinnamon, and vanilla, and mix. Be careful to not over beat your whipped cream or it will begin to clump.
  6. After the custards are out of the oven, let cool, top with whipped cream and the cookie crumble.

Only top the custards with toppings right before serving. Serve at room temperature for a thinner custard. Or, chill in fridge for a few hours for a thicker custard. Both are delicious!

Check out these other great eggnog custard recipes that I’ve tried and liked:

  • Baked Eggnog Custards by The Kitchn — larger yield than my recipe and has alcohol in it! YUM.
  • Real Simple’s Eggnog Custard doesn’t have eggnog in it, but the flavor is amazing and rich.

 

{Recipes} Tips for the Perfect Pie Crust

When I make a pie, I focus a LOT on the crust of the pie. To me, the perfect pie crust is rich, flaky, buttery, and has a taste of saltiness. I’ve been “perfecting” my pie crust recipe for about a year now. I go into stages where I really want to get something done to my liking so I make them OVER and OVER again. This past year has been the year of pie crust in my home (maybe part of the reason for my expanding waist line…)

Continue Reading…

{Recipe} Sweet Potato Cake with Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Mmmm… birthday cake. Is there anything better?
I really enjoy making my friends birthday cakes or cupcakes. I like to play around with flavors and frostings. I like using things I have on hand or going to buy something special. I made this cake  (featured in the Rustic Birthday Party Post from yesterday) using some of the sweet potatoes that came in my weekly veggie box delivery.
And, boy oh boy was it a good use of vegetables!
The cake didn’t look perfect. My frosting job was a little wonky. But, it tasted pretty awesome.
The sweet potatoes made the cake moist. The marshmallow gave the frosting a fun kick.
Then, the crunch of the walnuts made me want another slice.
Sweet Potato Cake Recipe
Recipe loosely based on epicurious.com recipe
changes and additions made by me
INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 8-ounce red-skinned sweet potatoes(yams)
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:

  • Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting (see recipe below)
  • Walnuts (or pecans)
DIRECTIONS:
1. Poke yams with fork and bake until tender (about 1 hour at 375 degrees F). You can also do this in the microwave or used leftover mashed sweet potatoes ( approximately 2 cups worth). Peel yams and smash once done.
2. While yams are baking prepare a pan for cooking. You can use a muffin tin with liners for cupcakes. I used a springform pan and sprayed it with a little cooking spray and dusted it with a little bit of flour to prevent sticking. Preheat oven to 325 F.
3. In a medium bowl sift together (or put in bowl and stir around with a whisk or fork) flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. In a large bowl mix 2 cups of (cooled and mashed) yams with sugar, vegetable oil and syrup. Then mix in eggs 2 at a time. After mixing in eggs add in the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Add in vanilla extract and mix one last time. (I use a hand-held mixer, but if you are lucky enough to own a kitchen aid stand mixer then I’m sure that would work as well.)
5. Pour cake batter into prepared pan. Bake at 325 for about one hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
After the cake was done and cooled I sliced it in half, brushed the tops with a little bit of whiskey (a simple syrup would work as well) to keep it moist, and then frosted it. I put marshmallow icing and walnuts on the first layer before addign the top layer. I then frosted the entire cake with marshmallow icing and topped with walnuts.
Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting
I improvised this frosting recipe using my basic butter frosting as a base
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 sticks butter- room temperature
  • 1 8 oz jar of Marshmallow Cream
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • milk or cream if needed for consistency
DIRECTIONS:
1. Whip up two sticks of room temperature butter until fluffy. (I use my handheld mixer.)
2. Add in 1 8 oz jar of Marshmallow Cream- whip until incorporated. I spray my handheld mixer with a little bit of cooking spray to help keep the marshmallow cream from sticking to my mixer.
3. While mixing, slowly add in powdered sugar.
4. Add in vanilla and salt and mix.
5. If the frosting is too thick add in tsp of milk or cream. If it is too runny add in a little bit more powdered sugar. I found that I usually don’t need any additional milk or sugar.
Add candles and a song and then you’ve got yourself a birthday cake!
I’d love to know if you decide to make this cake.

{Recipe} Mocha Cupcakes

*I’m a big fan of cupcakes.*
They are the perfect ratio of cake to frosting for me. I really love collecting cupcake liners and creating fun cupcake combinations… So, today I’m going to give you recipes to two cupcakes I made this year for my husband’s birthday.
First up: Mocha Cupcakes!
*This post is a little picture light as I forgot to take step by steps of this recipe. But, it is easy and I’ve got some great links for you!*
Whenever I make a basic chocolate cake I look to Martha for a good recipe.
I tend to tweak things a little as I go to my tastes… but, the base recipe for this cupcake is Martha Stewart’s Devil’s Food Cake batter. Got to give Martha her props!
The following includes the changes I made to give them more of a Mocha flavoring.
Cupcake Ingredients: 
 —1 cup Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
—1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons brewed coffee
—3 3/4 Cake Flour (Martha calls for sifting but I rarely sift)
—1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
—3/4 teaspoon coarse salt (I used ground sea salt)
—3 3/4 sticks butter (softened)*
—2 3/4 cup sugar (I use baker’s sugar because it is a little more fine)
—1 Tablespoon + 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract (only the real stuff people!)
— 5 Large Eggs (Room Temp)*
—1 1/4 Cup Whole Milk flavored with coffee beans**
* I don’t do microwaves and like most people (I assume) leave my eggs in the fridge… so, when I start getting out ingredients and getting ready to put all these things together I always set my butter and eggs out on the counter first. Hey, while you are at it go ahead and set more butter out because you’ll need it for the yummy frosting.
** This is the secret to making these puppies taste like a good cup of Mocha rather than just a delicious choco cupcake. I learned how from the Cupcake Project.
(yep, an entire blog devoted to cupcakes. swoon.)
Image Source
Cupcake Directions: 
 
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Put liners in cupcake tin.
1. Mix cocoa and hot brewed coffee in a bowl until smooth. Let cool.
2. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.
3. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping bowl as needed.
3. Pour coffee flavored milk into cocoa mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking until smooth.
4. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with cocoa-milk mixture, starting and ending with flour mixture. Use immediately.
Pour into cupcake liners. I like to pour them in about 2/3 full to get a flat top to put yummy frosting on… but, I’m not great at this and sometimes I get a rounded top. Check out this awesome post by Kelly Neil regarding filling cupcake liners!
Bake approximately 22-25 minutes. This will depend on your oven and the weather most likely… I always check after about 20 minutes and see how they are doing. If in doubt at all stick a toothpick in them… if the toothpick comes out clean they are DONE!
Cream Cheese Vanilla Frosting:
I am LAZY with my frosting. I do make it from scratch…. but, I stay away from any frostings that call for cooking things or that deal with egg whites. Give me a good butter frosting. yum. This frosting is a basic butter frosting with the addition of cream cheese because I don’t like my frosting too sweet and it pairs really nicely with the mocha goodness of this cupcake. Well, and everything is better with cheese.
 Frosting Ingredients: 
—2 packages of cream cheese (8 oz each)
—1 stick of softened butter
—2 cups powdered sugar (the fresher the better)
—1 tsp vanilla extract*
—1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
*Another yummy way to do this is to substitute the vanilla extract for vanilla bean and 1 tsp. heavy cream. So tasty!
Frosting Directions:
  Mix all ingredients for what seems like forever, until it is a smooth, frosting-like consistency. 
Put in piping bag and pipe away! 
After putting on frosting I then shaved some milk chocolate onto the top for garnish. 
Another great garnish would be chocolate covered espresso beans.  
I’d love to know if you end up making these!! 
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