Archive for December, 2010

29 December 2010 by megan@spoon

Wordless Wednesday: Happy New Year!

28 December 2010 by megan@spoon

Fruit & Spice Holiday Cocktails

A few weeks ago, we shared a scene from our R&D kitchen and promised that cocktail recipes were coming soon.  Chris, our Culinary Director, is fond of a French ginger liqueur called Domaine de Canton, and we’d been experimenting with that in anticipation of holiday merriment.

We started with our luscious Ginger Pear Butter, mixed with Canton and a bit of white rum for an elegant gingery cocktail enhanced by the delicate sweetness of Leelanau Bartlett Pears.

But we didn’t want to leave you with just one delicious cocktail and a nearly full bottle of Canton, so we kept experimenting.  We muddled a few spoonfuls of our brandied Winter Compote with bourbon and the ginger liqueur, then strained the heady mixture into a martini glass.  The resulting cocktail is sweet and spiced and delightfully fruity, with the warm caramel notes of bourbon and a gentle kick of ginger.

Of course, champagne is often the drink of choice on New Year’s Eve, and its light effervescence melds beautifully with the ginger spice of Domaine de Canton and the intense sweet-tartness of our Red Raspberry Butter.

Any one of these fruit and spice cocktails would make a deliciously sophisticated and particularly pretty addition to your New Year’s celebration.  Or, better yet, try all three and let us know which is your favorite.  Cheers!

Ginger Pear Cocktail
printable recipe

2 ounce American Spoon® Ginger Pear Butter Add to Cart
2.5 ounces Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
3.5 ounces white rum

Combine ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously.  Strain through mesh kitchen strainer into martini glass. Serve up.

Gingered Winter Cocktail
printable recipe

3 ounces American Spoon® Winter Compote Add to Cart
3 ounces Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
2 ounces Bourbon

Place Winter Compote in bottom of cocktail shaker and muddle until whole fruit pieces are roughly broken.  Add Canton and bourbon with ice and shake vigorously.  Strain cocktail through mesh kitchen strainer into martini glass.  Serve up.

Gingered Raspberry Sparkler
printable recipe

1 ounce American Spoon® Red Raspberry Butter Add to Cart
4 ounces Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
6 ounces chilled sparkling wine

Combine Red Raspberry Butter and Canton into cocktail mixer with ice and shake vigorously.  Strain liqueur through mesh kitchen strainer and split between two champagne flutes.  Top each glass with three ounces of sparkling wine.

22 December 2010 by megan@spoon

Wordless Wednesday: Merry Christmas

21 December 2010 by megan@spoon

Winter Milk Caramel

Twenty years ago, there were eighteen family dairy farms in Northern Michigan’s Kalkaska County.  Today there is one.  Shetler Family Dairy is a tiny operation by modern standards, but the Shetlers produce milk the old fashioned way.  They tend to a small herd of about 35 dairy cows — Guernseys and Jerseys and big Brown Swiss — happy, healthy cows who spend the warm months lolling in grassy pastures and the colder months nibbling hay in the shelter of a large barn.  No herbicides, no pesticides, no antibiotics, no growth hormones;  just grass and hay and a bit of grain.

These cows produce the pure, creamy, full-flavored milk that inspired our decadently delicious Winter Milk Caramel.  We start with eight gallons of Shetler’s whole milk, then sweeten it with Michigan beet sugar.  As the milk reduces in the kettle, it’s steeped in mahlab, an exotic spice with a surprisingly familiar scent.  Mahlab is made from the seed kernels of wild black cherries, and their cherry-sweet aroma and almond-like flavor meld beautifully with the creamy richness of dairy.

The sweetened milk simmers in our kettles for hours until it’s shiny and silky and deeply caramelized and amazing, a thick, richly sweet sauce infused with the soft almond notes of cherry kernels.  Drizzle it in ribbons over ice cream or cookies or cakes, spread it on bread or toast, spoon it over pancakes and waffles, or really — who are we kidding here? — eat it straight from the jar, savoring it in small sensuous spoonfuls until it becomes necessary to lick the inside of the jar clean.  Because seriously, it’s that good.

15 December 2010 by megan@spoon

Wordless Wednesday: R&D for the Holidays