Saturday, February 24, 2018

Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies: Wine, Beer, Bourbon & Scotch Pairings

In my 'real' life  (www.teambuilding-unlimited.com),  I facilitate chocolate pairings--with wine or with beer..and sometimes with Scotch and other spirits. So because it's the weekend, I thought I'd do a mini-round-up of Girl Scout Cookie alcohol pairings and drinks, focusing on my favorite Girl Scout Cookie - Thin Mints.

Vivino is a wine app that allows users (over 13 million members) to snap a shot of a wine label or list and receive ratings and reviews. They've also put together a guide to pairing wine with Girl Scout cookies. How awesome is this? Since my favorite Girl Scout Cookies are Thin Mints, so I immediately checked that out. Be sure and look at the entire list or get the app. Quite fun! One of the Napa wineries is doing a Girl Scout Cookie and Wine Pairing next week to the tune of $125 per person. I'm sure it will be fun, but you can do this for much less at home! Invite friends.

So maybe you're not a wine drinker. You're more of a stout or ale type of person? Beer & Brewing has a great pairing for you, with a 2018 update. Once again, there are several pairings, but I'm sticking with Thin Mints. Recommendation from Beer & Brewing consists of several stouts and ales.
Perennial Artisan Ales 17
Alesmith Speedway Stout
Shipyard Mint Chocolate Stout
Epic Big Bad Baptist
Hardywood Sidamo Coffee Stout
I would add Speakeasy Chocolate Stout, and be sure and put the Thin Mints in the Freezer before your pairing. I think it enhances the tasting flavors. Check out all the other Girl Scout Cookie pairings here.

O.K.  So maybe you're a Bourbon drinker?  The Bourbon Review suggests Thin Mints & Basil Hayden's Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Be sure and go to Bourbon Review if you're partial to another cookie.

ScotchLagavulin goes well with Thin Mints.

In case you just want your cookies and alcohol blended into a cocktail, here are two recipes for Thin Mint Cocktails. Yes!

Thin Mint Martini

1 tsp chocolate syrup
1 ounce peppermint schnapps
2 ounces chocolate liqueur
2 ounces half & half

Drizzle chocolate syrup around and inside edge of martini glass. Put glass in freezer
Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Pour peppermint schnapps, chocolate liqueur, and 1/2 and 1/2 into shaker. cover, shake, and strain martini into prepared glass.

Thin Mint Cocktail
(recipe from Drinking in America)
In cocktail shaker, put 2 chopped springs of fresh mint and 1.5 ounces vodka. Add 1-12 ounces Baileys, 1 Tbsp chocolate syrup, and ice. Shake. Add more chocolate if needed. Add some chocolate syrup at bottom of cocktail glass.

Friday, February 23, 2018

CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD: National Banana Bread Day

Today is National Banana Bread Day! I adore Chocolate and Bananas, so any recipe with these ingredients works for me. This is an easy delicious recipe for Chocolate Banana Bread. Since this recipe is from Godiva, I suggest using Godiva Dark Chocolate.

CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD

Ingredients
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup alkalized unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
Pinch of salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
4 bars (1.5 ounces each) Godiva Dark Chocolate, finely chopped

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter bottom and sides of 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.
In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
Beat butter and sugar in mixing bowl 2 minutes or until light, using electric mixer at medium-high speed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Add bananas and vanilla extract at low speed, mixing until combined.
Add flour mixture alternately with sour cream. Add chopped chocolate and blend just for a few seconds.
Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake 55-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of bread comes out clean.
Cool in pan set on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on rack.

Cartoon of the Day: Banana Bread

From Rhymes with Orange:


Thursday, February 22, 2018

MARGARITA TRUFFLES: National Margarita Day!

Happy National Margarita Day -- a great day to celebrate! Of course you can make a Chocolate Margarita... or... you can eat your Margarita! Try this easy recipe for Margarita Truffles! As with all recipes, use the very best ingredients -- the best white chocolate, the best Tequila, the best cream


MARGARITA TRUFFLES

Ingredients
1 cup heavy cream
12 ounces white chocolate, chopped  (I use Guittard white chocolate)
3 Tbsp Lime juice
1-1/2 Tbsp Tequila
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Coating
13 ounces White Chocolate, chopped
3 Tbsp Vegetable Shortening
Sea salt

Directions
In saucepan over medium heat, warm cream until small bubbles appear along edges.
Put white chocolate in food processor. Pour hot cream over white chocolate and allow to sit for 15 seconds. Process until smooth. Add Tequila and lime juice and mix briefly.
Pour mixture into shallow pan lined with plastic wrap, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until very firm, about 3 hours.
Put powdered sugar in shallow bowl.
Using plastic wrap, lift ganache mixture from pan.
With small melon baller or spoon take about an inch and roll into ball. Then roll ball in powdered sugar and place on wax paper lined cookie sheet. Freeze about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile melt white chocolate and shortening in top of double boiler (or sauce an over second saucepan over simmering water).
Remove truffles from freezer.
Dip each truffle in white chocolate and place on waxed paper lined cookie sheet.
Chill about 15 minutes.
Dip each truffle a second time in white chocolate.
Sprinkle top of each with tiny bit of sea salt. 
Chill until firm.
Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.