Caramel Apple Cider Cupcakes with RumChata Frosting

Happy Fall Y’all!!  I have turned my favorite fall cocktail into a cupcake and let me tell you – the result was delicious!

A group of my friends and I had a fall themed painting party at one of those wine and canvas places that have become so popular over the last few years (I highly recommend Canvas Mixers is you are in the South Jersey area!).  I wanted to bring a pitcher of my Caramel Apple Pie Cocktail but you can only bring wine or beer to the venue, so I decided to bake my booze into some cupcakes!

These cupcakes contain all the ingredients from one of my most popular recipes on the blog: apple cider, Pinnacle Caramel Apple vodka, and RumChata.  Everyone at the painting party loved them, and we all had a great time creating our masterpieces!

Now, on to the recipe.  As I tend to do, I started off with a boxed cake mix, doctored it up a bit and topped the whole thing off with a made from scratch frosting.

Caramel Apple Cider Cupcakes with RumChata Frosting

Cupcake Ingredients and Directions:

1 box of white or yellow cake mix
Eggs and oil as called for in directions on box
Pinnacle Caramel Apple vodka, or Caramel vodka
Apple Cider

Combine mix, eggs and oil.  Omit the water as called for on the box and substitute equal parts apple cider and caramel apple vodka.  My mix called for one cup of water, so I substituted 1/2 cup apple cider and 1/2 cup vodka.  Bake according to package directions and let cool.

RumChata Frosting Ingredients and Directions:
(adapted from Butter Cream Frosting II on allrecipes.com)

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon RumChata

Cream butter and shortening in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add all other ingredients and beat well.

Caramel Apple Cider Cupcakes with RumChata Frosting

I also added some orange gel color to some of the batter and decorated those one for Halloween. 🙂

Halloween Cupcakes

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Saturday Night Sips – Hot Buttered RumChata

A few Christmases ago I made a delicious Colonial Hot Buttered Rum recipe that I found on Allrecipes.com.  It was so simple (you make it in the slow cooker!) and SO delicious!  I served it at my family Christmas dinner and everyone raved about it.

I decided that I wanted to make it again today – it’s Saturday and it’s cold, why not? 😉  I changed it up just a bit though and I am in love with the results!  This recipe was awesome before but when you swap out half of the rum for RumChata…

Hot Buttered RumChata is the perfect drink to warm you up on a cold winter night! #cocktails #rum #slowcooker

This is FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!  I could sit and drink this all day.  It warms you up from the inside and the flavor stays on your lips (if you’re into buttered rum kisses).

Hot Buttered RumChata is the perfect drink to warm you up on a cold winter night! #cocktails #rum #rumchata #slowcooker

Hot Buttered RumChata (adapted from Colonial Hot Buttered Rum submitted to Allrecipes.com by Linda Correia)

Ingredients

2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup of butter
1 pinch of salt
8 cups of hot water
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
1 cup of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum
1 cup of RumChata
Whipped cream and ground nutmeg for garnish (if desired)

Directions

1. Combine the brown sugar, butter, salt and hot water in a 5 quart (or larger) slow cooker.  Add cinnamon sticks and cloves.
2. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.
3. Stir in the Spiced Rum and the RumChata.
4. Ladle into mugs (or awesome cups like the ones shown in the photo from SucreShop), top with whipped cream and ground nutmeg.

*** A note on RumChata curdling: Several commenters have said that they had trouble with the RumChata curdling when added to the hot butter/water mixture.  I did not encounter this issue but I have done a little research and think it may be due to temperature.  RumChata does contain dairy, which can curdle when added to very hot liquid.  My RumChata had not been in the refrigerator (once opened it can be stored at room temperature for six months) and my low setting on my slow cooker doesn’t get super hot.  If you are using RumChata that has been in the refrigerator I’d suggest measuring it out and letting it warm up to room temperature.  If your water/butter mixture is boiling hot, let it cool some before adding the RumChata.  You can also temper the RumChata first by measuring it into a bowl or cup, and then bit by bit pour some of the butter/water mixture into the RumChata, effectively bringing it up to the same temperature before adding it to the slow cooker.  A last note – if you have been storing your RumChata at room temperature and it is much older than 6 months it may just be on the verge of going bad. ***

Makes 8 servings.

Hot Buttered RumChata is the perfect drink to warm you up on a cold winter night! #cocktails #rum #rumchata #slowcooker

This recipe can easily be scaled down to make fewer servings.  I made half a batch tonight but I wish I had made more!  It takes just a few minutes to throw together and once it’s done you can just keep it warm in the slow cooker until every last drop is gone.  It’s a perfect drink for Christmas, a New Year’s Eve party or any random winter weekend!

This Hot Buttered RumChata is the perfect drink to warm you up on a cold winter's night! #rum #rumchata #slowcooker #drinkrecipe

Cheers folks!

Saturday Night Sips – Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cocktail

Given my obsession with pumpkin flavored booze (aka Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie vodka), I am kind of embarrassed to say I had never tried Fulton’s Harvest Pumpkin Pie liqueur.  Until a few weeks ago, when my life changed forever…

Ok, so maybe it wasn’t that dramatic but this stuff is DAMN TASTY!  Definitely good enough to drink on its own, right out of the bottle a shot glass.  Which I did.  But then you know me, I had to mix it with some other stuff too.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cocktail - a creamy, drinkable version of the classic cookie, with an autumn inspired twist!

The inspiration for this drink was a recipe I saw (where else?) on Pinterest – White Chocolate Pumpkin Snickerdoodles from Sally’s Baking Addiction.  All of Sally’s recipes are completely drool-worthy, you should definitely check out her blog!  Back to the drink though…

I had the pumpkin pie liqueur, I had the lovely cinnamon infused Rumchata AND I had white chocolate liqueur.  Those cookies were just begging to be turned into a cocktail.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cocktail - a creamy, drinkable version of the classic cookie, with an autumn inspired twist!

Ingredients

2 oz Fulton’s Harvest Pumpkin Pie liqueur
1 oz white chocolate liqueur (I used Drillaud’s Creme de Cacao Blanc)
.5 oz Rumchata
3 oz milk (I used almond milk and it was delicious! I wouldn’t use half & half though – it would be way too heavy combined with the super creamy pumpkin pie liqueur.)
ice

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker.  Shake until chilled, pour and serve!

 

This drink was every bit as delicious as I hoped it would be, and it is so easy to make.  The Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cocktail is definitely a drink to add to your rotation of fall cocktails.  I’m not the only one with a “rotation” of cocktails, right?  Just agree with me.  : )

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend and an extra special thanks to Krissie and Barbara for so generously giving me a bottle of Fulton’s Harvest Pumpkin Pie!  You guys are awesome!  Cheers!

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cocktail - a creamy, drinkable version of the classic cookie, with an autumn inspired twist!

 

 

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!

Drunken Irish Potato

I know St. Patrick’s Day is still a little over a week away but I had to share this with you now so you have time to go out and buy the ingredients to make this yourself.  You will thank me.

Every now and then I have a flash of semi-brilliance.  Why this occurs when I am staring at my collection of liquor bottles and not when I am facing down a Statistics exam, I will never know.  (Seriously, what crackhead made up statistics?)

Anyway, as I was waiting for the timer to go off on the cookies I am baking for Operation Cookie Takeover (more on that later) I stood staring at my booze shelf (okay, shelves) and thinking about how I wanted to make an Irish Potato cocktail.  All of the recipes I had found contained Baileys Irish Cream, coconut rum or vodka, and cinnamon schanpps or Goldschlager.  Meatloaf says two out of three ain’t bad, but my lack of the cinnamon booze was not going to make me an Irish Potato cocktail.

Then I saw my bottle of Rumchata.  I thought to myself, Not only does it have a lovely cinnamon flavor – it has the PERFECT cinnamon flavor!  Synapses firing, I got to work at mixing up this Irish beauty…

drunken irish potato 1

The Drunken Irish Potato

2 oz Rumchata
1 oz Parrot Bay Coconut Rum
2 oz Baileys Irish Cream
ice

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker, shake, drink, make another!

booze

If you are having a St. Patrick’s Day party you should definitely serve this, and if you are hitting the bars – tell the bartender how to make this (and feel free to direct them to my blog for more fabulous ideas!).  If you are going to drink nothing but beer, I don’t understand you, but have fun anyway.  All of you, take a cab home.

Drunken Irish Potato 2

Practically Perfect in Every Way – The Mary Poppins of Cocktails

If you read my last post you would know how excited I am about Pinnacle Vodka‘s newest flavor – Pumpkin Pie.  While everyone else was anxiously awaiting the iPhone 5, me and my old LG Optimus were waiting to wander into a liquor store and find that blue bottle with a slice of pumpkin pie floating enticingly on the label.

Find it I did, and it is soooooooooo good.  I’ve been ready for fall since the beginning of June, and now that it is finally near there is no better way to usher in the season than with my Caramel Pumpkin Pietini.  Not only is this one fabulous drink, it is also a tribute to these pumpkin cupcakes topped with caramel butter cream which I just learned today that I will NEVER be able to buy again because the bakery that makes them is closing.  Please pause for a moment of silence while you drool over the deliciousness…

Oh, Pumpkin Cupcakes. How I will miss you…

Sniffle, sniffle.

What better way to drown one’s sorrows than with a nice drink?

Like Mary Poppins, I pulled numerous goodies from my bag of tricks to make this martini.  Aside from the obvious Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie, I knew I was going to use RumChata in this recipe – it’s a rum cream with a nice cinnamon flavor (you have to have cinnamon in your pumpkin pie!).  Since I wanted to add some caramel flavor to the drink I had to look no further than my dwindling bottle of Baileys Caramel.  Lastly, I don’t know about you but I can’t have pumpkin pie without whipped cream on top, so added a splash of Pinnacle Whipped to the mix.  A little half & half to up the creaminess factor, a crushed graham pie crust rim and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice were the finishing touches.

Caramel Pumpkin Pietini

2 parts Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie
1 1/2 parts Baileys Caramel
1 part RumChata
1 part half & half
splash of Pinnacle Whipped
ice
crushed graham crackers/graham pie crust and pumpkin pie spice for garnish

Combine all the liquids and ice in a cocktail shaker and shaky shaky shaky!  Crush graham crackers/graham pie crust and rim glass.  Pour drink into glass and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice.  End up with this…

Just in case you are wondering, I used these little mini graham pie crusts from Keebler.  I like the taste better than a dry old graham cracker, and the size is perfect.  You get enough crumbs to rim a few glasses without having a ton left over.

We’ve got months of pumpkin weather ahead and I’ve got a pretty full bottle of Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie vodka.  Anyone have any suggestions for other things to mix it with?  I’d love to hear your ideas!!