Hard Apple Cider Drop Donut Recipe

It’s that time of year when everyone is going bonkers over apple cider donuts and I’m no exception. In fact I’ve been known to drive 2 hours away just for a delicious bag of mini donuts from my favorite orchard. I decided it would be a good idea to make my own apple cider donuts, but if you’ve been following along here for awhile you’ve probably noticed that I like to add booze into any dessert recipe possible. That’s why I made HARD cider in my donuts.

Hard Apple Cider Donut RecipeI used my champagne drop donut recipe, but replaced the champagne with hard apple cider. Mmmmm cakey, tasty, fried golden nuggets of fried dough.

Hard Apple Cider Drop Donut Recipe

Ingredients

1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup hard apple cider
1 cup sugar
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons fresh ground nutmeg

Directions

Heat oil to 375 degrees. Beat together the eggs, vanilla, sugar. Add hard apple cider. Sift the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Do not over mix. Use a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon to drop mixture into hot frying oil, and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup hard apple cider

In a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar and apple cider until smooth, adding the apple cider slowly, until the glaze is about the consistency of heavy cream.

While they’re still warm, dip the donuts into the glaze and then place on a cooling rack. Let cool and then serve.

Hard Apple Cider Donut Recipe

 

Elderflower Apple Cider Cocktail Recipe

Autumn is here and it’s time to start knocking back the ciders! I love apple cider in any way possible, especially with liquor. Since it’s still an inferno here in California we’ve been drinking more refreshing versions of my favorite autumnal beverage, like this cocktail made with elderflower liqueur, vodka, and sparkling water.

Refreshing Elderflower Apple Cider Cocktail

Elderflower Apple Cider Cocktail
Makes one cocktail

1.5 oz apple cider
1.5 oz vodka
.75 oz St. Germain
Sparkling water

Refreshing Elderflower Apple Cider CocktailShake cider, vodka, and St. Germain with ice. Strain into glass and top with sparkling water. Garnish with an apple slice.

Refreshing Elderflower Apple Cider Cocktail

Enjoyyyy!

Devil’s Booze Cake Recipe

If you’re in the mood for something super rich, chocolate-y, and boozy for your Halloween shindig, I’ve got the perfect cake for you. It’s a chocolate cake soaked in coffee flavored vodka, with gooey dulce de leche in between the layers and on top, and finished with black sea salt. It basically tastes like a boozy candy bar. In the words of Ina Garten, “How bad could that be?”. It’s perfect for Halloween! Or for when you’re generally feeling dark and want to eat your feelings, have PMS, etc. This cake has no limits, but it really is most perfect for Halloween.

Let’s bake.
Devil's Booze Cake Recipe via Melodrama
This recipe was adapted from Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup coffee or espresso flavored vodka
Black Hawaiian Sea Salt for finishing

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and dust the pans with cocoa powder. (I like to flour chocolate cake pans with cocoa powder. I think this gives it a nicer finish.)

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, make your dulce de leche. Place two cans of sweetened condensed milk to a pot of simmering water. Make sure the cans are completely submerged in water or they will explode. Simmer for 3-4 hours. Remove from water and let cool to the touch. Be cautious of opening cans. If they are still too hot they may splatter.

Once cakes are cooled, use a tooth pick to poke small holes around the layer. Brush the coffee flavored vodka onto each layer (about 1/2 cup each layer). Let the cake soak up the vodka.

Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. Pour a good amount of dulce de leche on and spread around. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and pour remaining dulce de leche on top and let it run down the sides.

Devil's Booze Cake Recipe via Melodrama

Top with a sprinkle of black sea salt. SO. GOOD.

Devil's Booze Cake Recipe via Melodrama

Pink Pearl Apple Galette Recipe

We all know that one of the most popular (and basic) autumn activities is to go apple picking. You’ve probably already noticed all the posts on Instagram with boots, scarves, cider, and apples galore. This is mostly known as a North Eastern tradition, but believe it or not we have orchards for apple picking in Southern California, too!

Last weekend the weather cooled down for a whole day and we finally got some rain, so my husband and I took the trip out to our favorite apple picking spot, Oak Glen, to take advantage of the cool, rainy, fall-like weather.

Oak Glen, CA Apple pickingOak Glen is a quaint little town about 2 hours outside of LA. There are lovely orchards where you’ll find all of the traditional autumn favorites, from apples to hayrides to hot cider donuts.

Oak Glen ApplesThe reason I like going to pick my own apples is because I can usually find varieties that aren’t found in our local markets. This time we came home with Pink Pearl apples. These apples are sweet and tart with a gorgeous pink color.

Pink Pearl Apple Galette Recipe via Melodrama

We had some left over pate brisee dough hanging out in the freezer, so I decided to make a galette with the apples and apple jelly we got from our trip. These apples are amazing for baking. They’re super juicy and I think the flavor gets even better when they’re cooked.

Plus, they’re really pretty.

Pink Pearl Apple Galette Recipe via Melodrama

Here’s a recipe to make your own apple galette. You can use any apples you want, but if you can get your hands on some Pink Pearl apples, I highly recommend you do.

Galette Dough
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
Apple Filling
1 lb apples, cored
1/4 cup apple jelly
3 tbsp sugar
whole milk

In a bowl combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and use a dough cutter or food processor to mix the butter in until the mixture until it reaches a course meal texture. Add ice water slowly (1 tbsp at a time) until the dough just holds together without being wet. Divide the dough in half and into balls. Flatten dough balls into discs and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for one hour.

Roll out chilled dough on parchment paper or a lightly floured surface into a 1/8 inch thick circle. Chill again for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile core and slice the apples. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Pink Pearl Apple Galette Recipe via Melodrama

Remove chilled dough round from refrigerator and spoon two tablespoons of jelly on to the dough, leaving at least a 1.5 inch boarder.

Pink Pearl Apple Galette Recipe via MelodramaPlace apple slices over the jelly in slightly overlapping concentric circles. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Pink Pearl Apple Galette Recipe via MelodramaFold the plain dough boarder over the apples. Brush with milk and sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Pink Pearl Apple Galette Recipe via MelodramaTransfer galette and parchment paper onto a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 375 degrees for another 15 minutes or until dough is golden brown. Heat remaining apple jelly and brush on top of cooked apples for a nice shiny finish. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve.

Pink Pearl Apple Galette Recipe via Melodrama

Homemade Peach Pie Custard Ice Cream

I love pie. I love pie with ice cream more. Sometimes I even like putting pie and ice cream in a blender and turning it into a milkshake. Well, this time I dumped pie into my ice cream maker and made PEACH PIE ICE CREAM. This is the perfect way to use left over pie, and you can experiment with different pie flavors, which I will be doing immediately. For the purpose of this demonstration, I will use peach pie.
Peach Pie Ice Cream Recipe via MelodramaI should note that this isn’t one of those “no churn” recipes, so you’ll need an ice cream maker. I use a small $60 Cuisinart machine and it works great.

What You’ll Need:
1/2 of a peach pie, refrigerated
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar, divided in half
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:
Beat the egg yolks and half of the sugar together until the mixture is pale and thick.

Meanwhile, over medium-low heat, whisk together milk, cream, the remaining half of the sugar, and salt in a saucepan until mixture to a slight boil.

Once the cream mixture reaches a slight boil, slowly pour and whisk in 1/3 of it into the egg mixture. Add the combined egg/cream mixture back into the saucepan and stir constantly over low heat until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Do not boil or the eggs will over cook and scramble. This should take about 3-4 minutes.

Once the mixture is thickened, pour through a fine mesh strainer and bring to room temperature. You can let it sit on the countertop, or you can use an ice bath to cool it down faster. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Peach Pie Ice Cream RecipeMeanwhile, rough chop your pie into pieces and refrigerate until the ice cream base is ready.

Once the mixture is cold, pour it into your ice cream maker and let it churn to a soft serve consistency, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a cold bowl and evenly fold in pie pieces. Transfer to an airtight ice cream container and freeze for about 2 hours.

YAY PEACH PIE ICE CREAM!

Peach Pie Ice Cream Recipe via Melodrama The chunks of peaches are my favorite.Peach Pie Ice Cream Recipe via Melodrama

No, just kidding, the chunks of pie crust are my favorite.Peach Pie Ice Cream Recipe via Melodama

Now grab yourself a pie, and all of the above mentioned dairy, and make yourself this ice cream immediately.

Boozy Cherry S’mores Brownie Bars

Today, the 10th of August, is apparently National S’mores Day. I had no idea until I woke up to social media rubbing gooey marshmallows and chocolate in my face. You bet your ass I jumped on that bandwagon immediately.

I didn’t want to just make basic s’mores though. I bounced some ideas off of my husband and we agreed on s’mores bars. I looked around at the ingredients I had around and spotted a jar of Moonshine Cherries. I love cherries and chocolate…and booze. This is how Boozy Cherry S’mores Brownie Bars were born.

What’s in them? Everything. Graham cracker crust, chocolate brownie filling, moonshine cherries, and roasted marshmallow topping.

Boozy Cherry Smores Brownie BarsYou can adapt the recipe to use your favorite graham cracker crust and brownie recipes, but here are the ones I used.

Graham Cracker Crust:

1 1/2 graham cracker crumbs, about 1 pack (12) graham crackers
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Crush crackers into crumbs and then combine with sugar, salt, and butter. Mix until it reaches a wet sand consistency and press into bottom of 8×8 pan. Bake for 6 minutes at 350 degrees.

Brownie Filling

3/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (about 14) Moonshine Cherries, halved 
1 package of jumbo marshmallows

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat melted butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Gradually blend into the egg mixture. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Press cherries into the batter in an even pattern. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. (Optional: Once brownies are done, brush top of brownies with moonshine cherry juice for an extra kick.)

Turn oven to broil, place jumbo marshmallows on top and broil until roasted.

Boozy Cherry S'mores Brownie Bars

Let cool to room temp before cutting.Boozy Cherry Smores Brownie Bars

Pineapple Lime Tequila Cooler Cocktail Recipe

Summer doesn’t officially start for a couple more weeks, but it sure feels like it’s here already. As I write this I am sweaty and parched because it’s currently 85 degrees and there’s not a cloud in the sky. With weather like this it’s very important to stay hydrated. I secretly hate water so I made a tropical and refreshing alcoholic drink instead. It’s low calorie too (if you care about that sort of thing).

Pineapple Lime Tequila Cooler

Here’s how to you make this quick and easy summer cocktail.

(Makes 1 cocktail)
2 slices of pineapple
Juice of half a lime
2 ounces Patròn Silver
Lime flavored sparkling water, like La Croix

Muddle pineapple in a tall glass. Add lime juice and tequila and mix. Add crushed ice. Fill glass with sparkling water. Garnish with lime, pineapple, and a cherry.

Pineapple Lime Tequila Cooler