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Beer Pizza Dough and a Foodbuzz/New Belgium Tastemaker Event

20 Apr

It’s no secret that I love cooking with beer, and ironically, one day while Rob and I were enjoying some beer cheddar risotto  I received an email, that I was able to check on my handy iPhone while eating, from Foodbuzz asking for submissions to be a Foodbuzz/New Belgium Brewing Company Tastemaker.  Yes please!  I didn’t expect to be selected as I’m sure numerous people submitted for the opportunity but lo and behold I was selected.

While debating what to make I couldn’t decide between a dessert or main course.  One day while craving pizza I had an inspiration that a pizza dough made with beer would be fantastic.   (But trust me, I have plenty of dessert ideas rattling in my brain to try out with beer!)  Knowing that I really wanted to take advantage of grilling season I chose a Spring seasonal beer (New Belgium Mighty Arrow Pale Ale) to complement and not overpower the pizza.  Plus, I wanted to grill the pizza (my favorite way to prepare pizza) and seasonal beers just go hand in hand with grilling, in my opinion.

Mother Nature finally decided to clear up enough to allow me to grill my pizza (though just barely as I was racing the clock trying to beat what turned in to a hail storm and tornado in the area).   The subtle flavor of the beer was fantastic, and though I didn’tget to enjoy a beer with the pizza (considering I’m almost 8 months pregnant) Rob did and he said the lighter beer really complemented the pizza, my exact expectation.

Considering I love to cook with beer I’m sure I’ll be trying this again with another beer (especially this summer when I can enjoy a beer to go with it) and I’m already thinking that Fat Tire Amber Ale would go great as well.   And, PS – Rob and I both agree that this dough would make great bread sticks!

Beer Pizza Dough

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 1/2  cups Semolina flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoon Parmesan Cheese
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups room-temperature New Belgium Mighty Arrow Pale Ale

Directions:

Mix and knead all ingredients until a smooth, soft dough ball is formed.

Cover the dough and allow to rise for 30 minutes –  2 hours.

Preheat grill to medium high heat.  Divide dough in to 2-4 equal sections, determined by how big you want your pizzas (I like grilling smaller pizzas so I divided in to 4 and froze 2!)
Shape each piece in to a thin round, size depending on how many pizzas you’re making.   Sprinkle a pizza peel or non-rimmed cookie sheet with Semolina flour and place each dough round on top.  Carefully place pizza dough on preheated grill and bake one side for 5 minutes or until lightly grilled.

Flip dough over and top grilled side with desired pizza toppings, such as sauce, cheese and meats/veggies.  Cover and finish grilling for about 8-10 minutes or until crust is cooked through and cheese is melted thoroughly.

Serve warm.
Source: adapted from King Arthur Flour

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program I will receive a stipened for participating in the New Belgium Brewing Company Tastemaker opportunity.  All opinions in this post are 100% mine and my husbands.

Homemade Peach Wine Coolers

25 Aug

I love the flavor of peaches, and recently I’ve switched up my grocery store due to better produce and I’ve been seeing amazing looking peaches.  My husband doesn’t like peaches so when I bought some I wasn’t sure what to do with them, aside from cutting and serving with some whipped cream or something.  I’ve been seeing some homemade wine cooler recipes recently that I’ve also been wanting to try but I needed an excuse.  Voila – dinner party with the family – perfect excuse, and I had some peaches!


These wine coolers were exactly what I was expecting.  Peachy, delicious wine and not a hint of nasty bottled wine cooler flavor, reminiscent of high school “rebellion”.  This is a perfectly delicious adult beverage that you can drink without any shame!

Peach Wine Coolers
Ingredients:
1 pound fresh peaches, peeled and chopped
2 ounces peach schnapps or favorite “plain liquor”
generous pinch of Kosher salt
2 750-mL bottles dry Reisling, Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
ice for serving

Directions:
Combine the peaches, liquor, salt and scant 2 cups of the wine in a blender.  Puree until smooth and frothy, about 1 minute.

Strain through a fine mesh sieve, or transfer directly to a pitcher or bowl.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

To serve, either fill a large wine goblet with ice, then fill about halfway with the peach mixture and top off with reserved wine OR add reserved wine to the pitcher or bowl, and serve in wine goblets over ice.

Source: adapted from Pink Parsley Catering


White Russian Cupcakes

8 Jul
In every group of friends, each person has their “thing”… in my group I’m coining myself “the Cupcaker”.  Ever since I took Guinness Cupcakes with Baily’s Irish Buttercream  to a friends party I’m continually asked for them again.  As much as I love them, I don’t want to be “the Guinness Cupcake Girl” – not that that’s a bad thing, but I’m not a one-hit wonder so to speak.  Wanting to play off of that I concocted a list of boozey cupcakes to try out and decided to take some to a 4th of July party.  After debating the list I decided to try White Russian Cupcakes because I’ve had those on my list for YEARS and the opportunity I wanted to try them at never came up.  For those not familiar with a White Russian – you must not have seen The Big Lebowski, and I urge you to do so immediately if you like cult-classic type movies!  A White Russian is made with Vodka, Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua) and cream (or milk like I make them) so you can see why they’d make a great cupcake! 
Now, I never actually had a specific recipe I wanted to try, just an idea.  In order to source a recipe I must admit that I am a fanfic addict – specifically, Twilight fan fiction.  One of the stories I was reading (which has been taken down so I can’t link) was based on Bella owning a cupcake shop where she would develop a recipe of the day based on a quote of the day Alice came up with.  The author of the story actually created a blog with most of the recipes and when I read the chapter with White Russian Cupcakes I immediately ran to the blog to check it out since they’ve been on my list for so long.  
These cupcakes were a HUGE hit!  They contained the flavors of a White Russian without being too overpowering, were moist and overall were fantastic.  
White Russian Cupcakes
Ingredients:
For the Cupcakes
1 18.25 oz. yellow cake mix
1 3.4 oz. instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk
4 large eggs
1/4 cup Vodka
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Kahlua, divided 
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 
For the Frosting
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tbsp. Kahlua
semi-sweet chocolate to shave or grate for garnish
Directions
Place rack in center of oven; heat to 350 degrees.  Line 24 muffin wells with liners and set aside.
In large mixing bowl combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil, milk, eggs, vodka, 1/4 cup Kahlua, and vanilla.  Blend on low speed for 30 seconds.  Scrape sides of bowl and increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, scrapping down sides if needed.  Spoon batter into liners, filling to 3/4 full to make between 22 and 24 cupcakes.  
Bake until golden and spring back when lightly pressed with fingers; 17-20 minutes.  Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool 5 minutes.
Brush tops with remaining Kahlua.  Remove cupcakes from pans and place directly on rack to cool completely before frosting.  
Meanwhile, prepare the frosting:
Place large, clean mixing bowl and beater in freezer to chill a few minutes.  Remove and assemble.  Beat cream on high speed until thickened – about 1-2 minutes. Stop the mixer and add sugar and Kahlua.  Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, 1-2 more minutes.
Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.  
The frosting recipe makes enough to spread cupcakes with frosting – if you want to pipe frosting on you will want to double the recipe.  


Source: adapted from Morning Boss (Take the Cake by SandyK199 fanfic blog)

Guinness Cupcakes and Baileys Irish Buttercream

16 Mar

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and I’m not gonna lie, I don’t really eat too many traditional Irish foods (Corned Beef and Cabbage – not a fan!) While I do have some Irish blood in me I like to celebrate somewhat, plus it’s a fun holiday to celebrate with some fun with friends and green beer, I figured the best way to celebrate was with baked goods!  I’ve seen a lot of blogs with Irish Car Bomb* Cupcake, which sounded fantastic, but just a little too rich for my taste since chocolate is not always my favorite, so I’m combined a few recipes I found to create my own.  I took this Guinness Cupcake recipe with the Bailey’s buttercream used in the Irish Car Bomb cupcakes and the comination of the two was fantastic.  I could have used the cupcake recipe that everyone else used from Smitten Kitchen and just not filled with the whiskey ganache, however to be honest I liked that the Nook & Pantry recipe used a full bottle of Guinness, rather than just a cup.  My husband however made sure to joke that he asked me to pick up a 6-pack of Guinness, not a 5-pack!  

* Disclaimer – I have nothing to do with the naming of the cupcakes, or the drink in which the cupcakes are named after. 

Guinness Cupakes
Printer-Friendly Recipe

Ingredients:
2 C unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 C Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 C granulated sugar
1/2 C light or dark brown sugar
4 oz./1/2 C unsalted softened butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 C sour cream
1 12 fl. oz. bottle/1 1/2 C Guinness or stout beer
2 oz. of Irish Whiskey (such as Jameson)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter or line with paper cups 2 12 count muffin tins.

In a large bowl briefly whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Add one egg and beat until evenly mixed and fluffy, make sure to scrape down the mixer bowl once in a while. Add the second egg and vanilla extract and beat again until light and fluffy.

Add the sour cream and beat in, then with the mixer running, slowly pour in the Guinness.

Sift the dry ingredients into the batter and slowly stir the batter until it is evenly mixed and there are no streaks of flour. Make sure to stop the mixer frequently to scrape down the sides and make sure to mix up any flour pockets hidden on the bottom of the bowl.

Divide 1/4 C of batter into each muffin cup, you’ll get about 20 – 24 cupcakes.

Bake at 350 degrees F on the middle rack for 20 – 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake in the middle of the pan should come out clean. Make sure to rotate the pans halfway through baking.

Brush the tops of the cupcakes with a little of the whiskey.  Set on a rack to cool to room temperature before frosting.

For layer cakes: baking 25 – 30 minutes, rotate the pans around halfway, a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes should come out clean.

Source: adapted from Nook & Pantry

Baileys Irish Buttercream Frosting
Ingredients:
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperatue
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)

Directions:
Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.
 
When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys (or milk) and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.
 
Source: Smitten Kitchen