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Baking with Booze

Give your desserts a kick this holiday season and add a little alcohol! You will be amazed at the flavor it can bring!

Rum-Soaked Cakes. Bourbon Cupcakes. Spiked Apple Crisp. Everywhere you look, baked goods are getting tipsy! Before you decided to pour some kick into your next batch of cupcakes, here are some things to keep in mind or answer any question you might have about baking with alcohol.
  • When adding liquor to your baking, start with a little and work up to your taste level. Allow enough cooling time to remove the alcohol’s harsh taste.
  • You can substitute alcohol for extracts called for in recipes if you desire. In fact, this could open up a whole new world of flavors to try! Remember, it is ok to experiment in the kitchen.
  • A 2003 USDA study showed that 5 to 85 percent of alcohol will remain in a recipe depending on the cooking time. And since you wouldn’t want to cook that rum cake until it turned to stone, you can guess that there is still some alcohol content in your dessert.
Not sure about baking with booze? How about adding it to your dessert toppings? Start with a basic buttercream frosting recipe and add the following mix-ins to give your cakes or cupcakes a sassy kick.

Basic Buttercream Frosting

1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

Tipsy Frostings!

Mint Julep Frosting:  Reduce the milk to 1/4 cup and add 1/4 cup of bourbon. Garnish with fresh, chopped mint leaves.

Coconut Rum Frosting:  Reduce the milk to 1/4 cup and add 1/4 cup of coconut rum. Top with shredded, sweetened coconut.

Cosmo Frosting: Reduce the milk to 1/4 cup and add 1/4 cup of cranberry flavored vodka and a dash of red food coloring. Put a pinch of freshly-grated lime zest on top.

Lemon Drop Frosting: Reduce the milk to 1/4 cup and add 1/4 cup of limoncello or lemon-flavored vodka.

Sangria Frosting: Reduce the milk to 1/4 cup and add 2 tablespoons of brandy, 2 tablespoons of fruity red wine, and a dash of red food coloring. Garnish with half a wheel of thinly sliced orange.

Really want to try the recipe but want to skip the alcohol? Here are some ideas on substituting alcohol in recipes.

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