OH MY GOODNESS YOU GUYS. This drink combines some of my favorite things in all of life. Bourbon! Caramel! That’s pretty much it!
Let me start out by saying, I take my old-fashioned game seriously. I recently went to a party at someone else’s house with bitters, sugar cubes, and a lemon in my purse. So if I’m saying that I found this an agreeable twist on the classic, I’m hoping you’ll believe me.
These are the basics of an Old Fashioned: Bourbon, bitters, a sugar of some sort and lemon. That’s it. In this rendition, a salted caramel triple sec syrup steps in as our sugar, and I used orange bitters instead of aromatic. If this was a traditional old fashioned (or if you’re drinking your bourbon neat) you could use a higher end bourbon. Because I’d like to avoid a slew of angry internet commenters shouting “you put WHAT in Pappy Van Winkle???” I used something a little less pricey.
The other unique thing about this drink is the golden, salted caramel ring around the edge of the glass. I used a pastry brush to lightly brush the caramel onto the rim but you could probably just dip it as well. We then dip the glass into a sugar/salt mixture. Another use for Salgar! (A million internet friend points if you know what I’m quoting)
Side note: When making my first batch I put waaaaay too much salt in the salt/sugar mixture. It tasted similar to what I would assume the candy land ocean tastes like. Adjust your salt. Don’t be like me.
Salted Caramel Old Fashioned
or, The Five Golden Rings (of glory)
2oz of your favorite Bourbon Whiskey
1/2 oz Salted Caramel sauce with Triple Sec
1 dash or 2 orange bitters
1 cup sugar
3 T Butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup triple sec or other citrus liquor
To make the Old Fashioned:
Using a pastry brush, brush a light amount of salted caramel sauce on the rim of an old fashioned glass. Dip the glass in the salgar mixture.
Pour the bourbon, salted caramel sauce, and bitters in a mixing glass. Stir to combine. Pour over ice. Peel a small lemon twist. Squeeze over drink to release oils and add to drink. Enjoy!
To make the salted caramel sauce:
Pour sugar into a heavy saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is melted. Once sugar has started to melt, keep cooking until sugar is dark amber. Watch it carefully! Sugar burns quickly so don’t walk away.
Remove from heat and whisk in butter. Whisk whisk whisk!
Add cream and salt — caramel will bubble up. Stir quickly to incorporate
Stir in Triple Sec (you could also use Grand Marnier if you have it.)
Use at room temperature. Sauce can be kept in a glass jar in the fridge.
I’m sure a lot of people had this problem growing up.
My mom made DELICIOUS Christmas treats. Where’s the problem you say? The problem is that she only made them at Christmas! The nerve. All year I would wait…for those little drops of heaven she would bake for everyone. The other problem was that most of these treats were designated for other people. My mom is a very organized woman and she would set a day aside and bake her tiny buns off, for treat giftings for the neighbors, friends, family, you name it…they got em. One of the many treats the rest of the fam bam and I were after were her “100” cookies. Which she says got the name because it makes 100 cookies (which I got about 50 from mine), but I think its because they have 100 billion ingredients and are 100 billion calories a cookie (those aren’t accurate numbers on my part, but it seemed like a lot when I was baking them).
Any-who, my mom would seal those cookies up in giant Tupperware, all lined up nice organized (and most likely counted). HA! Silly Mama. You think Tupperware can stop a bunch of hungry cookie bandits? Try again!
I can hear her voice even now in my head, “KATIE!? HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE COOKIES?” “No mom…never…well…maybe 1” (or 12). Ah Christmas nostalgia…
I whipped these bad boys up for the first time ever the other night and I immediately traveled back in time to my Tupperware breaking and entering days. The smell of them baking filled my home and I was 10 again, in my jammies, getting excited for Christmas with my family, and awaiting TREATS. It was oddly emotional, to be honest. I can’t wait for Penny to smell these smells through her years growing up. One day maybe she’ll call me and ask how to make Grandmas “100” cookies…Oh crap! Here they come again…the feels…
These cookies are so crumbly and fluffy and light. I highly recommend adding them to your Christmas baking list. Also, I am not a baker, and mine came out perfectly. So you know this isn’t a a difficult recipe. I leave the difficult stuff to Faith.
I thought it was necessary to show how incredibly messy I am when I bake…also this isn’t even the worst of it. Flour. Everywhere.
Now go bake up some cookies and brew a pot of coffee, because coffee is this cookie’s best friend and if it hears you’ve been hangin out with out it, its gonna be ticked. You may include wine as well, for similar reasons.
In one bowl add and mix until smooth:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1 cup crisco
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
In a seperate bowl add and mix:
- 1 cup rice crispies
- 1 cup angel flake coconut
- 1 cup oatmeal
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tar tar
Slowly mix dry ingredients into batter. I usually get in there and mix it meatloaf style, with my hands. it ends up being a pretty thick crumbly dough. Scoop table spoons and plop them on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
Let them sit for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet and then cool on a cooling rack. They are perfectly baked when there is a light golden brown on the bottom of the cookie.
Happy Holiday baking!
Four Calling Birds drinking ALL THE NOG!
To be honest, egg nog is generally the last thing I go for at a party. I drink maybe one glass a year and that really feels like enough.
BUT THEN! I found this recipe and I was intrigued. Bourbon, dark rum, AND cognac?? That seems like just enough alcohol to cook those raw eggs right up! I’m game!
If you’re weirded out by the raw eggs, you could cheat and buy the eggnog and just add the boozes. No one will judge you. And if they do, you probably shouldn’t invite them to the party next year. BUT it’s worth trying at least once for the experience of genuine egg nog.
This drink packs a mega punch so if you’re lacking in holiday cheer, this will fill you to the brim with it! Also, if you’re the DD for the evening…maybe steer clear.
Martha’s recipe makes enough for a party, so if that’s what you’re looking for, click here.
I cut the recipe down for two in case you’re like me and can’t fit a giant party in your house but still want to give this recipe a try.
1 egg, separated
2T superfine sugar
1/3 cup Whole Milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2oz dark rum
Beat egg yolk until thick and pale. Slowly beat in sugar. Whisk in milk and most of the cream. (reserve about 2 Tablespoons for later) Mix in bourbon, rum, and Cognac. Cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
Just before serving, beat egg white until stiff peaks form. Fold into eggnog. Whisk remaining cream until stiff peaks form, and fold into eggnog. (Alternatively, you can fold half the whipped cream into eggnog, and top with remaining half.) Sprinkle with nutmeg.
We have some definite go to’s this time of year and we thought we would compile a list of our Christmas faves!
1. Miracle on 34th Street (the original)
This was always the first Christmas movie we watched when I was growing up. It starts with the Thanksgiving Day Parade so it’s perfect post-feast, post-nap, during pie. It will make you believe!
2. The Bishop’s Wife
Ok, so I love black and white movies. The Bishop’s Wife includes Cary Grant being Cary Grant except that he’s an angel sent from heaven to go ice skating and SAVE CHRISTMAS! Well, for one little family anyway. It’s charming, heartwarming, and the old-timey special effects will just make you giggle.
3. The Santa Clause
Oh, 90s Tim Allen. I miss 90s Tim Allen. If you haven’t seen this movie, then I’m not sure what you were doing with your adolescence and teen years and adulthood but if you’ve somehow missed out on this national treasure, get on it!
4. It’s a Wonderful Life
If you don’t like this movie, you may have a robot heart and you should probably get that checked out. All the feels, all the time.
5. White Christmas
Katie’s about to mention this but I DO WHAT I WANT so I’m listing it, too. I have memories of my parents watching this long before I was allowed to stay up late. I remember one Christmas when I was very little hiding around the corner so I could listen to the music when I was supposed to be in bed. This year is the 60th anniversary and there are a bunch of theaters showing the film for a few days this December and I’m definitely planning to go.
Bonus! (Sorry Katie I’m cheating) Scrooged! This is a tradition on my mom’s side of the family and I’m gonna go ahead and be up front and say it’s kind of a weird one. But Bill Murry is wonderful as Scrooge and Carol Kane as the violent, but also sparkly, ghost of Christmas past is not to be missed.
Katie’s picks (in no particular order)
1. White Christmas
I said in no particular order…but I lied. This is the supreme Christmas movie forever and ever, amen. My family and I would watch it every Christmas eve and my favorite part of the movie is watching Bing sing “count your blessings”, I would keep my tired eyes open just to hear that song. As soon as he would sing the last line, BAM, out like a light. A tradition I have definitely carried into adulthood.
2. The Santa Clause
It was good then, it’s good now. I will always love this movie and it sort of goes hand in hand with my next pick.
3. I’ll be home for Christmas
Oh JTT. Tim Allen’s forever son and my forever sarcastic heart throb. You know how you love movies when you’re a kid and then you go to re-watch them as an adult and they are terrible. This is NOT one of those movies. Full to the brim with Christmas cheer and crazy antics. Good Christmas fun I say!
4. Muppets Christmas Carol
The Muppets, in general, are pretty big in our family. It’s tradition to watch this every year. I think my dad still has it on VHS at home, and that version includes “the love is gone” number. If you’ve watched it recently on netflix…that business is cut out. It’s sort of a little test of mine to see who was a die hard long ago and whose a newb : )
Still relatively new to the game, but sure to be a classic for Penny one day. This is Brett’s favorite movie, and I’m happy to throw it in the yearly rotation. To sit with him under a cozy blanket, drinking hot cocoa, by the tree whilst watching. Who doesnt love Christmas snuggles and Will Farrel?
Bonus! (haha Faith! I’ll cheat too) – National Lampoons Christmas Vacation – Because it’s hilarious. Always.
Bonus for both of us! – Faith and I are dedicated fans of the cheesy ABC Family/Hallmark Christmas movie. And the best in our opinion is “12 Dates of Christmas”. Zach Morris is in it you guys, so you know it’s quality!
What are some of your favorite Christmas movies?
The French 75 is a classic. And delicious. And dangerous when imbibed quickly.
This is a sparkly, slightly sweet drink perfect for Christmas Eve or just a cozy evening with your favorite Christmas sweetie. (yikes that was precious) It’s also classy as all get out so bust out your pretty glasses for this one. (“All get out” is bonafide classy person phrase. I checked. With a bonafide classy person.)
Hip background typewriter is optional.
The French 75 is typically garnished with a lemon spiral. I did not garnish with a lemon spiral because I’m so classy I don’t even need it! And by “so classy” I mean “I can’t cut a lemon spiral without hurting myself.” I’m hoping you’ll forgive me because it’s Christmas.
Quick-Why do we measure in ounces? It’s based on the typical measuring device for cocktails. That little silver guy is called a cocktail measure or a “jigger.” Let’s review!
If you have one, you should know the measurements for each side. The small side is generally 1 oz (sometimes called a “pony”) though can be as big as 1 1/2 oz (a “shot”). The larger side can be as large as 2oz. If a recipe calls for a “jigger” it’s asking for 1 1/2 oz, or a “shot.” In my measure the small side is 1 ounce and the larger is an ounce and a half. (Side note, jigger is a weird word and it’s definitely ok if you think so, too.)
75 French Hens: (That’s so many hens)
1 1/2 oz Gin
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
Dry sparkling wine (champagne) chilled.
lemon spiral for garnish, if desired.
While mixing your ingredients, pour a little fresh ice to glasses to chill. (You really need the fresh ice this time. It’s classy up in here.)
Add the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake shake shake.
Strain into a champagne glass and top with your chilled champagne.
Today we have a sweet treat for your eyes. You guys Jessie from Jessica Miriam Photography is legit. Her photos are so dreamy and she is just genuinely wonderful. Check her out!
I am a young, aspiring, Californian who teaches high school, takes pictures, and is obsessed with sunflowers.
I am a wedding and lifestyle photographer based out of Southern California. I am longing to capture the beauty of life through my lens.
I believe that dancing is good for the soul.
I love to paint and could sit at my easel for hours getting lost in the colors.
I married the love of my life January 2014.
I love to create. The rush of energy I get when I make something out of nothing is invigorating.
A camera lens is a blank canvas, full of opportunity to capture beauty.
I love meeting people and learning about who they truly are- what makes them tick, their quirks, their unique and vulnerable selves. Lifestyle and wedding photography is a way I capture this- the true beauty of every individual. It is also the reason I am a Special Education teacher. I believe in beauty of every individual. I believe that every student has a purpose, and I want to be that educator who empowers them and guides them to believe they are capable of greatness. So come stop by at Jessica Miriam Photography because I’d love to meet you and capture the real you.
If you want to see more of her beautiful work go HERE now! DO IT!
TWO BOOZY DOVES and some vodka in a pear treeeeee.
If you’re lucky, you’ll get both drinks today. If you’re lucky and also not planning to do anything productive that is.
It is day two of the twelve days of boozemas and I’m bringing you a drink I’ve dubbed the Two Boozy Doves.
The base is close to a classic white russian, a vodka/kahlua/cream concoct, except I subbed a mix of Creme de Cacao and Baileys for the Kahlua. For one, because I figured you needed some chocolate in your life and for two because I had those and I did not have Kahlua. (necessity is the mother of and what not)
This drink is dessert in a glass. It’s like cookies and cream cake you can drink…except not as weird as that sounds. I served mine over ice but you could also serve it in a martini glass (“up” as they say) with maybe a little whipped cream?? Because why not?
This is also a pretty easy drink to “water down” if you’re a bit of a light weight. (no shame in that! Just means your buzz is cheaper than mine) Just skimp on the vodka and go a bit heavier on the half and half if that’s the case.
Hope you’re surviving the holiday season, friends! Tomorrow, we GIN!
Two Boozy Doves:
1 oz creme de cacao
1 oz bailey’s
half and half
Add vodka, creme de cacao, and bailey’s to a shaker filled with fresh ice.
Shake shake shake.
Poor over ice or into a chilled martini glass. Top with Half and Half.
Every year I’m bombarded by the red and green shiny magazine covers that promise all the ways I can make this Christmas the best. New recipes! Gift Guides! The most popular cookies! The must have trends!
As much as I love new ideas…I like old things the best. I like the same, aging ornaments on my Christmas trees. I like traditions and rituals. I’m comforted by familiar food. As much as I diving into a good recipe book, Christmas only feels like Christmas when it tastes like the cookies I know.
We often visit my mother’s family in Ohio for Christmas. My aunt, a living Christmas Carol if ever there was one, goes a little crazy in December, filling the house with cookies, treats and cinnamon-y smells. There’s a ritual to this Christmas. There are the cookies and the decorating and the late night church on Chistmas eve. If there’s snow, there is sledding or at the very least a long Christmas day walk in the freezing cold. We eat treats and family recipes and, on Christmas Day, way too much punch, ham and gravy. They are simple habits, but they are ours and for that I love them.
The first time we made the Ohio trip I was still a little girl. That December came at the end of what had been the hardest year of my little life and that Christmas was just the right amount of magical and grand when little, sad, me really needed something to feel magical and grand. I can’t prove it, but I think they may have even arranged the snow.
I know, they’re just cookies. But as part of my Christmas memories, they’re a lot more than that for me.
Here at fox and bear, we make a lot of stuff. We’ve given you lots of tips and ideas and I hope, some inspiration. But I think there’s more to it all than just directions and ideas and prettiness. Memories are important because they are part of who we are. Making those memories beautiful is something that matters to us. If you’re reading this, it probably matters to you, too. What says Christmas to you? What are your favorite memories of favorite days? What were you eating? Drinking? Singing?
These cookies have been part of some of my best holidays. I hope you enjoy.
Chocolate Cherry Thumbprints
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (divided. 1 Cup will go in the batter, 1 cup is for drizzling)
1 3/4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Baking Cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup butter
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (two 10-oz. jars) maraschino cherries
Heat 1 cup Chocolate chips in microwave or stovetop, stirring occasionally, until melted.
Combine oats, flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.
Beat sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until smooth. Beat in melted chocolate. Stir in oat mixture. Cover and refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls; press thumb into tops to make deep depression. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Fill each depression with a maraschino cherry.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Melt remaining morsels; drizzle over cookies. (I think this is easiest in a ziploc bag. Spoon the melted Chocolate into a bag and cut off one of the corners for easy cookie decorating!)
I grew up in a home where stockings were a BIG deal. It was the only thing my brother and I were allowed to open with out our parents. We would sneak into the living room at around 3am, because…you know…CHRISTMAS! We would grab our stockings and put on a Disney movie and have a little bro/sis time before jumping on our parents bed in Christmas glee!
Those mornings, though probably not too epic for my brother, hold some of my most favorite memories. So stockings are actually quite special to me.
Growing up, my mom had these epic stocking hooks? stocking hangers? stocking paper weights? You know, the things your stockings go on, on the mantel. They were big ol’ bronze ones with our names etched on them. I imagine she spent a pretty penny on those bad boys, and as much as I loved them growing up…I’m a simple kind of gal. So we bought some basic no fuss ones at the wonderland that is target. I decided last year when we had Penny that we would need to step up our game and have some sort of way of saying whose stocking belongs to whom.
I decided on a simple salt dough ornament with our initials on it. Plus a bonus one with Penny’s teeny tiny 3 month old foot on it for our tree.
I made these last year as we were packing up Christmas, so I didn’t get to see them in use until now. I have to say, I sort of love them. And I’m pretty excited for Penny to learn the stocking love. Maybe one day we’ll give her a little sibling to sneak out and watch movies with Christmas morning…in 5 years.
Salt dough ornaments are super quick and easy. I made them during a Penny nap. There are tons of places that post recipes, but to save you the trouble, this is how I did it.
What cha need:
½ cup of salt
1 cup of flour
½ cup of water
What cha do:
Preheat oven to 325. Mix your ingredients. Roll the dough out. Cut into desired shape with cookie cutters (I used a cup for the circles). Use a toothpick to punch a hole in the top for your string. Place ornaments on an ungreased pan and bake for 1 hour.
Side-note: My daughter is a rip roarin 1 year old and it took her a matter of about 4 hours to pull one of these down and break it. Luckily salt dough is a priceless heirloom handed down from generation to generation. I glued that sucker right back together and you can’t even tell where it broke in half. I feel like this is helpful information to those of you with littles who are still grasping the concept of “no, don’t touch that!” Also, I’m happy to report that she only pulled down a stocking once! She has, however, not met a Christmas tree yet and we’re not confident that will go well. I’ll let you all know.
That is exactly how I sing after about 2-3 christmas cocktails. You should most definitely invite me to your holiday gatherings.
The Holidays are upon us! The Christmas shopping! The warm feels! The cider and cookies and so much soup!
I love Christmastime, I really do. However, sometimes, Christmastime is exhausting with a double haaaaaaaaaausting.
The shopping…the cookies…so many feels…it’s enough to make you want some…what’s that you say? Booze?? WE ARE SOULMATES.
I’d like to introduce Fox and Bear’s Twelve Days of Boozemas!
Take a breath. I can tell you’re excited.
Get out those cocktail shakers! Copy these here directions and images! Put your feet up and enjoy a drink, courtesy of yours truly or make a big ol’ batch and serve it to your favorite peeps at a party or 3!
On this, the First Day of Boozemas, I bring to thee:
A Partridge Vodka in a Pear Tree!
This little drink is deceptively smooth without being syrupy sweet. I dare you to drink this and not feel all sorts of cheery Christmas feels. I dare you!
Vodka, lemon juice, bitters and sugar are poured over ice and shake shake shaken! You should probably hum “Feliz Navidad” while you shake. It helps, I promise.
(it doesn’t but it’s fun)
Strain that beautiful mixture into a double old fashioned glass full of fresh ice.
(Psst! side note: recipes always call for “fresh ice.” Which one of you made a cocktail with “dirty/used ice” and necessitated that direction? Who was it?? Ihavetoknow.)
We top with cider and garnish with nutmeg. Fresh grated if you have it, a light sprinkle if not. I won’t judge.
Drink it up with visions of partridges and pears dancing lightly in your head.
Vodka in a Pear Tree:
1.5 oz Vanilla Vodka
4-5 dashes of bitters (I used orange bitters but angostura would work just as well)
3/4 oz simple syrup (a little less if you don’t like too much sweet. A sugar cube would work as well)
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
2.5 Oz Hard Pear Cider
1. Add Vodka, lemon juice, bitters, and sugar to a shaker filled with ice.
2. Shake and strain into double old fashioned glass w/fresh ice. (hehe.)
3. Top with cider, garnish with Nutmeg.
HAVE JOY AND MERRIMENT IN YOUR LITTLE BOOZEY HEARTS!