In the kitchen for Christmas gifts

I’m back from vacation, so I’m in the kitchen today, making some quick gifts. I last posted this recipe in 2017, but it’s still just as quick, easy, and delicious.

DIY Irish Cream, adapted from Smitten Kitchen. This comes together in 5 minutes, and makes three of these cute 8 ounce bottles. (You get 30 oz of liquid, but I barely filled three of these 1/4 liter (8 oz) bottles the first time I made this. No worries; just adjust your expectations accordingly.)

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (235 ml) heavy cream
1 (14-ounce or 415 ml) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 oz Jameson’s Irish whiskey (original recipe calls for a cup, but 9 oz fills the bottles just a little better, and yum)

In a small bowl, whisk cocoa powder and a spoonful of cream into a paste. Add more cream a splash at a time until the paste is liquid enough that you can whisk in the rest of the cream. Transfer to a pitcher, and whisk in condensed milk, whiskey and vanilla. Bottle for gifts. Keep refrigerated for up to two weeks. Seriously, how long do you think this will last? Give it a good shake before using; the cocoa wants to sink, and the cream wants to rise to the top. Of course!

A little more work, but I’m also making Pear Vanilla Caramel Sauce, also from Smitten Kitchen. I made some last year, and it was fabulous. I’ll add a bit of bourbon to give it some warmth and depth. I like this recipe because it’s canned, so I can ship some back to my aunt and uncle! They send me a box of beautiful pears every Christmas, and I love finding new things to do with them. Previously, I’ve done cranberry pear jam, and lots of pear tarts with puff pastry.

I got brave and put up our tiny tree and menorah, but I hedged my bets with Calvin. I wasn’t sure if he could be trusted with decorations.

Apparently not. So the truly fragile ornaments will stay in their boxes!

Our Christmas stockings are up and waiting to be filled.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to you!

2 responses to “In the kitchen for Christmas gifts

  1. I’m busy imaging ‘Calvin’ now .. A Newfoundland ? A Jack Russell ? 😀
    Have a happy everything day with your family, you clever and musical person !

  2. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to you and yours! Thanks for sharing the recipes – they sound just delicious 🙂