Salted Caramel and Chocolate Chip Cookie Adult Milkshake

img_4372Congratulations! It’s Friday and I think you deserve an extra special treat to get the weekend started. This recipe was created after a bottle of salted caramel Kahlua went untouched after it was used to make my grandma’s 90th birthday cake (yes, that’s right — Grammy rocked out her 90th with a Kahlua soaked chocolate cake. And it was deee-licious). What better way to use salted caramel Kahlua than in the most ridiculous (and by ridiculous I mean extremely tasty) adult milkshake ever. I even went the extra mile to include my chocolate chip cookie recipe. Alcohol, cookies, ice cream, and caramel… How could you not start your weekend without one of these!

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Salted Caramel and Chocolate Chip Cookie Adult Milkshake

Yields 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz vanilla vodka
  • 2 oz salted caramel Kahlua
  • ¾ cup chocolate ice cream
  • ½ cup ice
  • 3 tbsp. chocolate chips
  • caramel (optional, for garnish)
  • whipped cream (optional, for garnish)
  • chocolate chip cookie, for garnish
  • pinch of salt

Crunch up the chocolate chip cookie into fine crumbles. Dip the rim of a chilled glass in caramel then into the cookie crumbs. Blend the ice cream, ice, chocolate chips, vodka, and Kahlua until smooth. Pour into the cookie-rimmed glass and top with whipped cream, caramel, and a pinch of salt. Don’t forget a fun straw!

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The Beauregarde

I don’t know about you, but I was SUPER bummed to hear about the passing of Gene Wilder this week. My dad was a huge fan of his, so much of my childhood was spent either watching his movies or reciting his countless (genius) one-liners. And since I can only imagine my dad and Gene are having drinks together right now, I was inspired to create a drink in his honor: The Beauregarde.

Based on the movie that first introduced me to Wilder, my take on the classic Moscow Mule (my fav!) muddles fresh blueberries (remember that iconic Willy Wonka scene with Violet Beauregarde turning into a blueberry?) with mint, Meyer lemon juice, Pisco Porton (a Peruvian brandy), and finished with my homemade ginger beer. And to top it off, for Mr. “Candy Man” Willy Wonka: candied ginger.

The Beauregarde

Yields 1 cocktail

Ingredients:IMG_3530

  • ½ oz. Meyer lemon juice (tastes like a cross between a lemon and a mandarin)
  • 5-8 mint leaves
  • large handful of blueberries (about 30)
  • 2 oz. Pisco Porton
  • 6 oz. homemade ginger beer (or store bought)
  • 1 small piece candied ginger

Muddle blueberries, mint, and Meyer lemon juice (lemon or lime will work too) in a cocktail shaker. Add Pisco Porton to shaker with a few ice cubes. Shake vigorously. Pour over ice and top with ginger beer. Garnish with blueberries, mint, and candied ginger.

If you’re not a huge fan of vodka-based drinks, try Pisco Porton. It’s smooth enough to sip on its own and sweet enough to contrast the ginger beer.

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Cheers to you, Mr. Wilder.

Homemade Ginger Beer

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My fun drink of choice lately has been the Moscow Mule. They are way too delicious and go down way too easily. So, naturally, I had to learn how to make my own ginger beer. If only I could make my own vodka. Maybe my next culinary challenge… Just kidding. Well, maybe not… if I can get my hands on a distiller. But I digress…

Making ginger beer is surprisingly easy. The process does take a few weeks, but I assure you that the end result is well worth the wait.

Homemade Ginger Beer

Yields 2 ½ liters

Ingredients:

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Tip for peeling ginger: use the edge of a spoon to peel with thin outer skin with ease.

  • cups water, plus 2 liters
  • tsp. champagne yeast (I found mine on Amazon)
  • 3 lb. fresh ginger, finely grated
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, plus additional 4-5 cups
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ½ jalapeño, sliced
(Note: this recipe does produce an alcoholic ginger beer.)

Start by boiling and cooling 3 cups of water. This purifies the water, allowing the yeast to grow properly. To make your ginger beer “starter”, stir the yeast into the water until it dissolves. Stir in 1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger, 1 tbsp. of the granulated sugar, the lemon and lime juice, and sliced jalapeño. Pour the liquid into a non-reactive (e.g., glass) container or jar and cover with a cloth towel. Place the starter in a warm spot in your house — this will help to keep the yeast active. However, make sure the spot is not too hot (yeast will die) or too cold (yeast will go to sleep and slow your process).

Each day for the next week, mix 1 tbsp. ginger and 1 tbsp. sugar into the starter until the sugar dissolves.

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*Plastic bottles are essential in order to ensure the pressure that builds up does not break the bottle!

After one week, strain the starter through cheesecloth into a large, pourable pitcher. While the starter is draining, slowly heat to a low boil 2 liters of water with 4 cups of sugar in a large pot, stirring until dissolved.  Once sugar is dissolved, turn off stove, and cool water.  Using a funnel, pour the strained ginger starter equally into 3 empty plastic* 1 liter bottles.

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Add the sugar-water evenly to each bottle already containing the starter. Test the sweetness of the liquid: it should be sweeter than juice. Don’t worry about adding too much sugar. Over the next couple of weeks as the ginger beer ages, the yeast will eat the sugar and convert it to CO2 and alcohol. Tightly close up the bottles and place back in that warm spot of your house. After two days, slowly open each bottle and release any pressure, close the bottles back up, and store. Continue this step every day for 2 weeks.

 

Final step: ENJOY! It’s finally time to open the bottles and sample your homemade ginger beer. Add any additional sugar or citrus juice if needed.

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If you’re looking to try a new ginger beer-based drink, check out the recipe for my Moscow Mule-inspired cocktail: The Beauregarde!