Send 2012 out with a buzz

Celebrate the new year with desserts that come with a kick

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The holidays are winding down, but we still have one more opportunity to eat, drink and be merry. What better way to celebrate New Year’s Eve than by combining alcohol and sweet snacks?

We hear that boozy desserts will be one of the hot food trends of 2013. So, be a trendsetter. Your diet can wait another 24 hours.

Boozy S’mores Fondue

  • 2 cups chopped quality dark chocolate
  • 1/3 cup organic whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup whiskey
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • Large marshmallows, for toasting

Heat a double boiler over medium-low heat. Add the chocolate and cream, and stir until melted. Stir in the whiskey.

Pour the chocolate sauce into a bowl. Place the graham cracker crumbs in a small bowl. Place the cooking gel container into a cast-iron mini cocotte, light it and toast the marshmallows on sticks.

Dip the marshmallows into the chocolate sauce, and then into the graham cracker crumbs.


Boozy Peaches and Cream

Toss 3 sliced peaches with 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; set aside until juicy, about 30 minutes.

Whip 1 cup heavy cream until it thickens, then beat in 4 teaspoons brown sugar. Add 4 teaspoons bourbon and beat until soft peaks form.

Layer the peaches and cream in dessert glasses; top with toasted pecans.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine

Fizzy Sorbet Cocktail

Assorted sorbets (we used lemon, coconut, peach and hibiscus)

Chilled Champagne or sparkling wine

Place 6 martini or wine glasses in freezer for 30 minutes or until very cold. Fill chilled glasses with 5 or 6 mini-scoops of assorted sorbets, then top each with champagne.


Brownie Bourbon Balls

  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 16.7 ounce box of brownie mix
  • cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped walnut pieces, toasted

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 4 ingredients (including fudge packet from mix), stirring well. Spread into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near edge of pan comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Crumble brownies; place in a food processor. Add bourbon; process until mixture forms a ball (about 30 seconds).

Shape brownie mixture into 24 balls, about 1 1/2 tablespoons each. Place nuts in a shallow bowl. Roll balls in nuts, pressing gently to coat.

Note: Store balls in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.

Source: Cooking Light magazine, November 2005

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Martinis

  • 2/3 cup pineapple juice, chilled
  • ˝ cup vanilla-flavored vodka
  • 1 dash grenadine syrup
  • 2 pineapple wedges
  • 2 maraschino cherries

Pour the pineapple juice, vodka and grenadine into a shaker full of ice. Shake, then strain into two martini glasses. Garnish with a piece of pineapple and a cherry on a skewer.

Makes 2 martinis


Amaretto Pound Cake Recipe

For the cake:

  • 2 cups cake or all-purpose flour, plus more for coating the pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for coating the pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup amaretto
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon amaretto
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

For the cake:

Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with butter. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, coat the parchment with butter, then coat the entire pan with flour, tapping out the excess.

Combine the measured flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to break up any lumps; set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes more. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle with a rubber spatula. Return the mixer to medium speed and add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl and paddle.

Return the mixer to low speed and add half of the reserved flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Add the amaretto and vanilla and mix until just incorporated. Add the rest of the flour mixture and, again, mix until just incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, mix in any loose flour. (Do not overmix.) Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Bake until the cake is puffed and golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and let cool completely on the wire rack, about 30 to 40 minutes. While the cake cools, make the glaze.

For the glaze:

Combine the sugar and amaretto in a small bowl, stirring until smooth and incorporated. Drizzle over the cooled cake and sprinkle with almonds.


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