Brownies paired with whiskey. True Love.
Last summer we made a batch of cherry bounce – cherry-infused bourbon – from sweet summer cherries. We shoved them to the back of the refrigerator and promptly forgot about them – or at least tried to forget about them. It’s hard to forget about bourbon and ripe, deep red cherries even when they’re hidden behind the milk and eggs.
Remember this beautiful stuff? We made it again.
The results were ready for Christmas. We shared the wine-dark bourbon with family and friends. The burgundy liquor was festive: a good color for deep winter holidays.
But what of the cherries? The cherries were for us.
Red and delicious
The cherries lost the edge off their vibrant red, but retained their juicy flesh and took on the complex aromas and psycho-pharmacological qualities of Kentucky bourbon. Boozy cherries? Don’t mind if I do.
Big chocolate chunks for big chocolate ooze
The cherries had a different fate. Fortified by their alcohol content, they waited in the dark recesses of our fridge. Now it’s Valentine’s Day, another holiday for baking. It’s time for warm, gooey bars and cookies, eaten straight from the oven with your love. It’s time for brownies eaten in slow sensuous bites. So, the two were united in an act of love: boozy, drunken cherries and dark, bitter chocolate slowly heated side by side in a fudge-y brownie batter. The bourbon cooked off slowly in the oven, leaving a hint of fruity sour mash. A new beginning for a new love.
Warm brownies for a cold day
We recommend pairing the brownies on a romantic evening. Pair them after dinner with straight bourbon whiskey. Pair them at midnight with champagne. Pair them in the morning with Irish coffee.
Share some warm boozy brownies when you snuggle up on a cold Valentines' Day
This is a submission to the Kulinarya Cooking Club May 2011 challenge. The theme, “Flores de Mayo” was chosen by Sefie of Sefie Eats and Connie of Home Cooking Rocks. For more information, visit the Kulinarya Cooking Club blog.
While even my mom was unfamiliar with the Flores de Mayo fiesta (I guess it isn’t big in Zamboanga?), we did celebrate May Day in our house. My post focuses on May Day, as it is also celebrated with flowers.
Mochiko cake stacked up nice
Every day, on my way to work, I pass a small flower shop. I’ve never gone inside, but I always stare as I walk by. They have all the usual arrangements of roses and baby’s breath, daisies, lilies. They have little ceramic pots housing colorful delicate orchids. They have ferns and cactus. The only thing that ever tempts me to visit inside is a small basket of lavender that sits on a table outside the main door. I smell the perfume as I pass, always thinking “maybe I’ll pick some up on my way home.”
3 eggs, coconut milk, evaporated milk and half a stick of butter
May Day is an ancient European celebration of spring. It has its origins in pagan religious ceremony, but in modern times has become a secular celebration revolving around flowers and dancing observed on May 1st. My Irish great-grandmother taught me to make May Day baskets filled with flowers and candy. I was to drop them off on neighbors’ doorsteps, ring the door bell and hide from sight. They got the gifts, but I got the pleasure of giving.
It's a thick batter, but whisk-able the whole way through
One May Day when I was very young, I came home to a mochiko cake (bibingka) cooling on the counter. I made a basket with paper and tape and filled it will dandelions, lilacs and lily-of-the-valley. I wrapped a slice of warm cake in foil and place it in the center like a jewel. I dropped the basket on my favorite neighbor’s doorstep, rang the door bell and dashed back to my house.
Lavender flowers show through before adding the coconut flakes
I compromise. No fresh lavender, but I spring for dried lavender from the food co-op. The dried lavender blends into sugar and I beat the sugar into another May mochiko cake. The cake is chewy and dense, rich but not too sweet. The edges are pleasantly crisp straight from the oven. Lavender flower fragrance laces the cake underneath a crunchy coconut crust. A gift for all this May!