Hot Buttered Rum and other Holiday Treats

Through out most of the year depending on the weather and temperature there are certain things I really enjoy drinking. In the hot summer months I love a good Whiskey sour, in the late part of summer early fall I love a Gin on the rocks. As it gets closer to the holidays and the temperature has dropped to below freezing I always feel like a Hot Buttered Rum. Of all the hot drinks you can have it is by far my favorite. I do like the Irish coffee but I prefer my Irish Whiskey's on the rocks. The Hot buttered Rum is a wonderful blend of flavors from the sweetness of the brown sugar to the bite of allspice and if you use the right Rum it is almost blissful. I have used just about every variety of Rum you can find and have found that Appleton Estates Reserve is the best I have used. The recipe is fairly simple,

Hot Buttered Rum Batter

2 Sticks of unsalted butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
dash of mace
1 pint vanilla ice cream

cream butter, spices and sugars, blend with softened ice cream and mix well
pack into covered container and store in freezer.

take a generous spoonful of the batter mix with 2 ounces of rum and 6 ounces of boiling water. serve hot and enjoy.

I usually make a batch right after Thanksgiving and it will last until Christmas. The weekend after thanksgiving is kind of a big deal at my mothers house. She and my sister and anyone else they can recruit will make cookies for everyone. My mother makes these sugar cookies that are the shape of a Santa face and they spend most of the time decorating the cookies. They are my favorite thing about the Holidays and go really well with a Hot Buttered Rum.

Something else I have been working on is butter toffee. It is something my Mother makes as well but I just couldn't get it right, or to taste the way I wanted it too until recently. I finally figured it out and got the right texture and flavor for what I wanted. I used

1 cup brown sugar
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Mini chocolate chips
chopped Hazelnuts

Heat the sugar, butter and vanilla in a medium sauce pan over medium heat stirring constantly. You will know when it is ready by dropping a little bit of the mixture into ice water. When it crackles it is ready, pour into a well greased pan, ( a 9x9 pan works or a 9 inch cake pan) let it cool for a minute or two then sprinkle the mini chocolate chips over the top. The chocolate will melt and then you can spread it evenly over the toffee. While the chocolate is still soft cover it with the chopped hazelnuts. Let it cool completely then break it up into whatever size pieces you want. It is fantastic and goes great with a Hot Buttered Rum.