Easter Cake Cocktail

You didn’t think I’d let Easter come and go without giving you at least one holiday-appropriate cocktail, did you?  Despite the fact that Mother Nature has obviously lost her flipping mind it is in the 80s today here in Jersey (after being cold enough for winter jackets last week) I am trying to stay in the Spring/Easter spirit.  This cocktail definitely put me in the right frame of mind!!

Easter Cake Cocktail | Shake Bake and Party

Cocont, lemon, white chocolate…. Hmmmmm.  Kind of sounds like a liquid version of my Lemon Coconut Magic Bars, doesn’t it?!  They were a hit, and I am sure this will be too!

Easter Cake Cocktail | Shake Bake and Party

Easter Cake Cocktail

Ingredients:

1.5 oz Malibu Coconut Rum
1 oz Drillaud White Cocoa Creme de Cacao (or any white chocolate liqueur)
.5 oz Limoncello
2 oz half & half/milk/coconut milk
2 tsp white cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
ice
Whipped cream and sprinkles for garnish (optional)

Directions:

In a cocktail shaker, combine rum, creme de cacao, limoncello, half & half and cake mix.  Stir to incorporate cake mix into the liquid before adding ice and shaking till cold.  Pour into glass and top with whipped cream and sprinkles.  You could also use coconut flakes as a garnish instead of sprinkles.

* Please note that for these photos I doubled the recipe to fill the mason jar.

Easter Cake Cocktail | Shake Bake and Party

Even though I have named this drink after the upcoming holiday, it would make a lovely summer drink as well.  You could even blend in some vanilla or coconut ice cream to make a Lemon Coconut Cake Shake!

Easter Cake Cocktail | Shake Bake and Party

Do you have a favorite Easter cocktail?  Leave a comment letting me know what it is!  I am always looking for holiday themed drink recipes!  Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

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Lemon Coconut Magic Bars

Hi all!  Is it finally starting at act like spring where you are?  I think the temperature here in NJ actually got above 60 degrees today!  Of course, it’s supposed to be all crappy and rainy today but that’s okay because I just baked a batch of sunshine last night.  🙂  Lemon cake, coconut flakes, Lemon Creme Oreos, pretty pastel White Chocolate M&M’s.  These Lemon Coconut Magic Bars look like spring and taste like summer!

Lemon Coconut Magic Bars | Shake Bake and Party

 

Lemon Coconut Magic Bars
Adapted from Samoa Magic Bars by The Domestic Rebel

Ingredients

1 box of lemon cake mix
1 egg
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup Easter White Chocolate M&M’s
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup coconut flakes
10 Lemon Creme Oreos
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil, spray the foil lightly with cooking spray and set aside.  (I used a metal, nonstick pan.  The baking times may vary if you use glass.)

2.  In a large bowl combine the cake mix, egg and butter until a soft dough forms.  Press the dough evenly in the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.

3.  While the dough is baking, roughly chop the Oreos into small pieces and measure out the M&M’s, white chocolate chips and coconut flakes.

4.  Remove the pan from the oven and pour about 3/4 of the sweetened condensed milk on top of the cake.  Next, evenly cover the cake with the chopped Oreos, white chocolate chips, coconut flakes and White Chocolate M&M’s.  Drizzle the remaining sweetened condensed milk on top.

5.  Return to the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes.

6.  Remove from the oven.  Allow the bars to set at room temperature until cool before cutting into bars.  I stored mine overnight in a covered container in the refrigerator before taking them in to work the next day, but according to the original recipe these will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for several days.

Lemon Coconut Magic Bars | Shake Bake and Party

I’ll be honest – this might be the best (non-alcoholic) thing I’ve made to date.  The house smelled wonderful while it was baking, the lightness of the lemon and the coconut flavors keep it from being TOO sweet and I just love the colors of the M&M’s.  This would be an easy treat to make for Easter, or for the weekend, or for Monday…  You really don’t need any reason to make these bars other than the fact that they are absolutely delicious!

Lemon Coconut Magic Bars | Shake Bake and Party

Happy Friday everyone!  Hope you all have a great weekend!

Mounds Cake Mix Cookies

It’s been a while since I shared any cake mix cookies with you, hasn’t it?  Never fear though, I whipped up a batch that is perfect for Easter!  I found Mounds flavored pudding at the store a few weeks ago; chocolate and coconut – one of my favorite flavor combinations!  I thought that cake mix cookies made with the Mounds pudding would go wonderfully with the Coconut M&M’s I couldn’t resist when I was at Target last week!

Mounds Cake Mix Cookies | Shake Bake and Party

 

Mounds Cake Mix Cookies
(adapted from Funfetti Cheesecake Cookies by Kitchen Meets Girl)

Ingredients

1 box white cake mix
1 box Mounds instant pudding mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/3 cup spring colored sprinkles
Coconut M&M’s

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2.  Combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil and eggs in a medium bowl until a dough forms.  Mix in the spring sprinkles.
3.  Roll dough into small balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.  Flatten the cookie balls slightly with your palm.
4.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately press two (or three) coconut M&M’s into the top of each cookie. Let cool for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Mounds Cake Mix Cookies | Shake Bake and Party

These are chewy and delicious, and perfect for those of us who still want some chocolate with our spring-time treats!

Mounds Cake Mix Cookies | Shake Bake and Party

Spiked Irish Potatoes

Hi everyone!  Sorry I have been MIA for the past two months!  In addition to this being the WORST winter weather-wise (seriously, 3rd snowiest winter in Philadelphia – I think I have spent half the past two months just shoveling my driveway!), this has also been a very bad start to 2014 on a personal level.  Hence, my disappearing act.  Things are better now though, and with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner I am hoping a bit of the Luck o’ the Irish will get everyone through the rest of this winter unscathed!  In order to facilitate said luck, I made some Irish Potatoes and added an extra special ingredient – booze (I know, no surprise there right?)!

If you aren’t from around here you may not be aware of these delightful confections. I am obviously not talking about those spuds that grow in the ground.  I am talking cream cheese, powdered sugar, coconut flakes and cinnamon.  They are a traditional Philadelphia candy that look like little potatoes, and are especially popular this time of year.  There is absolutely nothing Irish about them. 🙂

Until last year when I shared my Drunken Irish Potato cocktail recipe, I had no idea that people outside of the Philadelphia area may have never experienced the sweet perfection of these little treats.  So this year I am making it my mission to get everyone acquainted with my little spuddy buddy, the Irish Potato.

Spiked Irish Potatoes | Shake Bake and Party

These couldn’t be any easier to make and the taste payoff is beyond worth the minimal effort!  You just mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, roll the mixture into little balls or potato shapes and then cover them in cinnamon!  And then you spend the rest of the night sneaking into the fridge to grab “just one more” and furtively wiping the traces of cinnamon from your fingers.  Or maybe that’s just me…

Spiked Irish Potatoes (adapted from Irish Potato Candy submitted to Allrecipes.com by Saundra)

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 of an 8 oz. package of cream cheese
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon Malibu Coconut Rum OR 1 tablespoon RumChata OR 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flaked coconut
ground cinnamon

Directions

In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add the liquor of your choice (or vanilla extract if you don’t want to use alcohol) and confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, beating until smooth.  Mix in the coconut flakes – I used my hands! – and then chill the mixture for about 20 minutes in the refrigerator.  Pour a few tablespoons of ground cinnamon into a small bowl.  Once the mixture has chilled, roll into small balls or potato shapes and then coat in the cinnamon.  Place onto a cookie sheet and chill to set.

The addition of the coconut rum just enhances the coconut flavor in the Malibu potatoes, and the RumChata potatoes were slightly creamier with a hint of vanilla.  These aren’t overwhelmingly boozy the way rum balls at Christmastime can be.

Irish Potato Candy spiked with Malibu and RumChata | Shake Bake and Party

These are fun to make, and even more fun to eat!  If you leave out the booze these are definitely an easy St. Patty’s Day treat that kids can help whip up; their little hands are perfect for shaping these bite sized spuds!  If you have never had an Irish Potato before, give these a try and let me know what you think!  I’d love to hear from any first-timers out there!

Spiked Irish Potatoes | Shake Bake and Party

If you agree that the combination of creamy coconut and cinnamon is as awesome as I think it is, try out my liquid version – the Drunken Irish Potato!

Sundae Funday

Here we are folks, Monday AGAIN.  Another weekend has passed by all too quickly and another week looms long on the horizon.  Right now you are probably saying to yourself, Monday mornings are bad enough without this chick bringing me down.  What gives?

I give!  I give you this!

Boozy Banana Split in a glass!

That’s right – I am turning Mondays around!  Okay, well maybe just this Monday but it’s a start, right?

One day a few weeks ago, while perusing Malibu Rum’s Facebook page, I discovered the existence of Malibu Sundae.  Chocolate ice cream, coconut, rum… This sounded SO GOOD that I had to have it!  I hit my usual liquor store which has a huge selection of pretty much everything.  They did not have this.

Neither did any of the other liquor stores within a 15 mile radius of my house.  I know this because I called them all.

“Hi!  I was calling to find out if you carry Malibu Sundae?”

“Malibu Sunday?”

“Sundae like ice cream sundae.”

“Oh, no, we don’t have that.”

I finally found it on the website for a nearby liquor store.  They didn’t have it in-store but I could special order it through their site.

And then it arrived.  And it was good.

It’s delicious by itself, straight out of the bottle.  It’s awesome mixed with Baileys Caramel and half & half.  It’s AMAZING in my Tropical Sundae Cocktail!

Tropical Sundae

Tropical Sundae Cocktail

2 oz Malibu Sundae
1 oz Creme de Banana
2 oz half & half
1 oz pineapple juice
1 banana cut into chunks
ice
chocolate syrup, 1 maraschino cherry, 1 pineapple chunk for garnish (optional)

Combine all ingredients except the garnish ingredients in a blender and blend.  Swirl chocolate syrup inside the glass, pour and enjoy!  Adding a hokey cocktail umbrella ups the cheer factor – especially helpful after another soul-crushing Monday at work.

Malibu Sundae, Banana Liqueur, Pineapple Juice

Cheers!

Piña Colada and Sweet Tea Vodka

Don’t worry, I’m not making Sweet Tea Piña Coladas.  This post is a two-fer!  First off – Piña Colada cupcakes!!

There was another birthday in the office last week.  This time I went with Piña Colada cupcakes.  I recalled an at-home jewelry demonstration where the birthday girl consumed quite a few pineapple Jell-o shots made with coconut rum, so I knew she’d love the flavor combo.

At first I considered incorporating some coconut rum into my cupcake batter, but all I had was a bottle of 90 Proof Parrot Bay.  I’ve baked using a little bit of alcohol before (made cupcakes with some Caramel Bailey’s once) but for some reason the thought of sticking 90 proof booze in a hot oven filled my head with thoughts of cupcakes on fire so I decided to skip it.

Instead, I grabbed another boxed cake mix and in place of the water I used pineapple juice.  I also folded in some crushed pineapple.  I went with my basic buttercream recipe and put in a little coconut extract.  One of my favorite parts of a Piña Colada is the little plastic sword skewered through a cherry and a chunk of pineapple, so I mirrored that on my cupcakes using a dried pineapple bit instead of fresh fruit.

I seem to recall an episode of Cupcake Wars where the baker got bashed for putting a maraschino cherry on top of her cupcakes as decoration but the judges were obviously being idiots that day.  There’s a reason the phrase “cherry on top” exists!

The balance of pineapple and coconut was perfect, and I ended up helping myself to a second one of these before the work day was done.

Cupcake Wars style

In other news that actually does involve alcohol (time for all you underage kids to go back to looking up Justin Bieber or whatever it is you do these days)… A coworker was telling me about Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea Vodka on Friday afternoon.  I’ve heard of Sweet Tea vodka obviously, and I had seen this brand in the liquor stores but hadn’t tried it. She said that you can make a great boozy Arnold Palmer by mixing it with lemonade.

That night, I was out at a local bar/restaurant and what should be on the happy hour menu but a Jeremiah Weed Arnold Palmer for just $5?  Yup!  I had to try it and I’m glad I did!  It came out in a mason jar type glass garnished with a lemon wedge and tasted dangerously just like iced tea lemonade.  I’m not sure what the ratio of lemonade to sweet tea vodka was, so I can’t give you an exact recipe but I’m sure you won’t mind experimenting to figure it out on your own!

If I hadn’t been the chauffeur for the evening I would have doubled up on this drink the way I did on those Piña Colada cupcakes!

 

Pineapple Cupcakes

Ingredients:

White boxed cake mix and oil and eggs listed on box
8 oz can crushed pineapple
pineapple juice

Directions:

Prepare mix according to directions on box, subbing in pineapple juice for the amount of water called for.  In my case, I needed one cup of water.  I drained the juice from the crushed pineapples into a measuring cup and then used Dole pineapple juice to get the 1 cup needed.  Once you have beaten the batter for the requisite two minutes, gently fold in the crushed pineapple and bake according to the directions on the box.

For the coconut buttercream, use the same basic recipe from my Cherry Lemonade cupcakes but instead of the grenadine use 1 teaspoon of coconut extract.

 

 

A Taste of the Tropics

Yesterday my mom and I went to the Philadelphia International Flower Show.  The theme this year is Hawaii – Islands of Aloha.  Saw tons of cool stuff; the show runs all week and I would definitely recommend going if you are in the area!  Here are a few pictures…

 

Unfortunately, I have never been to Hawaii.  I was, however, lucky enough to take a trip to Costa Rica.  My parents go every year and are planning on retiring there.  In September they were going to be spending two weeks in Costa Rica and invited my boyfriend and me to fly down and join them for the second week of their trip.  I had only ever flown twice in my life, and both times I had panic attacks.  I was petrified at the thought of getting on another plane but I would have been a complete moron to turn down a mostly free trip to Costa Rica (we just had to pay for our plane tickets) so of course we accepted the invitation.

I spent the months leading up to the trip worrying.  What if I had a complete freak out in the air and they had to scramble fighter jets to escort the plane for emergency landing in Mexico?  What if I made it there and then got attacked by malaria carrying mosquitoes?  What if I was too scared to get on the plane for the return flight home and had to spend the rest of my life panhandling at the San Jose International Airport?!  AHHHHHH!  Instead of just being excited about getting about the fact that my boyfriend of seven years and I were getting to go on our first REAL VACATION together (an overnight stay at the shore just doesn’t count…), my brain was plagued with dozens of horrifying scenarios.  As I waited at Newark International in the early AM to board our flight I was quite sure that I was going to die.

Well, I obviously didn’t die.  In fact, about fifteen minutes after takeoff I realized that I was perfectly fine and that I wasn’t going to cause any international incidents.  We had a layover in Houston (they have a Bass Pro Shops store IN THE AIRPORT there – really?) and then flew in to Costa Rica.  My parents came and collected us from the airport and we began our adventure!

We got to see crocs…

…monkeys…

…one sloth (but only from behind!)…

…and glorious sunsets!

Plus we got to stay at the most beautiful resort…

…where my mom spent the afternoons drinking a most heavenly concoction made with this stuff –

This, my friends, is Cacique!  It is a hard liquor (kind of like vodka, I suppose) called Guaro made from sugar cane and manufactured only in Costa Rica.  Check out the second half of this clip from the show Three Sheets and watch Zane Lamprey do shots of Cacique, also called “The Gringo Killer” by locals!

I will agree – consumed by itself this stuff does taste like turpentine (or at least, I can imagine that it tastes like turpentine since I have never actually attempted to drink paint thinner…) BUT – when you blend it with cream of coconut and ice, and add a splash of grenadine you have tropical heaven in a glass!!  It’s amazing how good it is!  Lucky for me we brought home a few bottles from the duty-free shop at the airport.  Unlucky for you (unless you are reading this blog in Costa Rica) I don’t know of anywhere you can buy Cacique, at least not in the NJ/PA area.

Since I have now teased you with something most likely unattainable, I will give you a recipe for the next best thing – the Bikini Martini!  I found this recipe here, on Allrecipes.com.

Ingredients

  • 1 fluid ounce coconut rum
  • 3/4 fluid ounce vodka
  • 1 fluid ounce pineapple juice
  • 1 dash grenadine syrup

Directions

  1. Combine rum, vodka and pineapple juice in a drink shaker. Shake firmly until frothy. Pour in a martini glass, add a touch of grenadine in the middle. Garnish with an orange wheel.

Pretty simple to make, and it will definitely give you a taste of the tropics!!