Tag Archives: holidays

The Top 10 Beer Holidays

Nielsen, the data group which counts everything from web page views, to how many people watch American Idol, have determined the top 10 beer holidays in the United States in 2009, based on sales of cases of beer in the two weeks prior to the Holiday. The results may surprise you a bit.

10. St. Patrick’s Day – Sales: 48.7 million cases

9. Easter – Sales: 50.7 million cases

8. Halloween – Sales: 50.9 million cases

7. Christmas – Sales: 52.8 million cases

6. Thanksgiving – Sales: 52.9 million cases

5. Cinco de Mayo -Sales: 54 million cases

4. Father’s Day – Sales: 57.7 million cases

3. Labor Day – Sales: 60.2 million cases

2. Memorial Day – Sales: 61.0 million cases

1. Fourth of July – Sales: 63.5 million cases

For the record, they don’t count Super Bowl Sunday as a Holiday, but if we were, it would end up in between St. Patrick’s Day and Easter, with 49.2 million cases sold.

Happy New Year!

May the year bring you love and luck in all of their iterations.

12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Divinity

12 days of Christmas Cookies: Day 12

This is the last holiday recipe of the year. Can I get a “Hallelujah?”

Amen, Brothers and Sisters!

I bring this recipe forth today, as it has been said by others that it is Divine, that it is the Divinity. Can I get a “Hallelujah”?


The moral of the recipe is that one can find the Divine in anything – a child’s smile, the song of a bird, and yes, even a recipe thats primarily egg whites, granulated sugar and corn syrup. Can I get yet one more “Hallelujah”?

Amen, Sisters and Brothers.

Alas, the recipe I used resulted in really thin divinity, so I’ve altered the recipe so as to provide the congregation with thicker, more sinful, cuts of the white fudge.

‘Cause that, my friends, is the true meaning of Divine – Something so wonderful that it seems that it seems wicked.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Note the sorry state of the divinity in the picture. The recipe instructions below tell us where I went wrong.

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a medium saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, and hot water. Cook and stir till sugar dissolves and mixture comes to boil. Stop stirring and let the sugar come to temperature.

Cook, without stirring until 250 degrees F is reached.

In a large, steel or glass mixing bowl, beat 2 egg whites with salt until stiff and forms peaks. Pour a constant stream of the syrup slowly over the egg whites.

Beat on high for about 5 minutes or when soft peaks form. Make sure the divinity loses it’s gloss and holds its shape. This is where I failed, and you can see the results in the picture.

Finally, mix in the walnuts.

Spread in a lightly greased 8″x8″ pan, and cool before cutting.

Makes 9-16 pieces of divinity

tags technorati : Recipes Candy Divinity

12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Elfin Shortbread

12 days of Christmas Cookies: Day 11

Ooof. Out of all of the cookies I’ve made so far, these have impressed me the least.

I was looking for another ‘novelty’ type cookie, and found these little treats. Teeny tiny cookies appeal to some base instinct within me that I yet to figure out.

But after making them, they ended up being nothing more than tiny pieces of shortbread. The novelty of the idea of the recipe did not match up with the reality of the results. Alas, this happens from time to time.

And yes, when we’re referring to Santa’s workshop helpers the word is ‘elfin’. When we’re referring to the pointy-eared snobs of Middle Earth, it’s ‘elvin’. And when we’re referring to the peanut-butter and banana sandwhich afficianado, it’s ‘Elvis’.

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons red+green colored sprinkles

In a mixing bowl, whip together the butter and sugar. Add the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until you get a doughy consistency. Stir in the sprinkles. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least one hour.

To bake, preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.

Take the dough and place it one parchment paper. Roll it into 1/2″ thickness. Then cut into 1/2″ by 1/2″ squares. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet into the oven and bake between 14 to 16 minutes. Remove and allow to cool on the sheet.

Makes a lot

Technorati Tags: Recipe, Cookies, Holiday+Cookies, Shortbread

12 days of Christmas Cookies: Almond Coconut Drops

12 days of Christmas Cookies: Day 10

Here we are, heading into the homestretch of this cookie marathon. Let me state, for the record, that I have hit the figurative “Cookie Wall”, where I’m not sure I can bear to face another recipe and another load of cookies to make. I just thank goodness that Tara’s coworkers have taken on the task of eating a fair majority of the items I have baked thus far.

Which comes to what I believe to be a new law – Let’s call it “Kate’s Law of Christmas Cookie Baking”. This law states that “Unless one is a professional baker, one should make no more than five different cookie recipes for any Holiday season.”

Meanwhile, to answer a question posed to me by the ever lovely Tara – These are not macaroons, for a variety of reasons. The primary reason is that macaroons need egg whites, which this recipe lacks.

  • 2 2/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 Tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract (Amaretto will also work)
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds

Preheat yoru oven to 325 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine the coconut and the corn starch. Stir in the condensed milk and the almond extract and mix well. Lastly, mix in the slivered almonds.

Drop the coconut dough, one teaspoon at a time, onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, spreading the drops at least one inch apart from one another.

Place the cookie sheet into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet.

Makes 2 dozen cookies, give or take

Technorati Tags: Recipes, Cookies, Holiday Cookies, Coconut Drops

12 days of Christmas Cookies: Kris Kringles

12 Days of Christmas: Day 9

I remember these cookies from my childhood, but did not know that they were called Kris Kringles until recently. It’s one of those names that make little sense to me, as the dominating ingredients (various citrus zests) seem to be the antithesis of the traditional Christmas giftbringer of Germany.

But they are fine looking cookies, that is for sure.

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup AP Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest
  • pinch o’ salt
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 12 candied cherries, halved

In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until the butter becomes slightly whipped. Then beat in the egg yolk, lemon zest and lemon juice. Once combined, add the flour, orange zest and the pinch o’ salt. Mix until the dough forms and the flour is thoroughly incorporated. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and place inthe refrigerator for at least one hour.

Immediately prior to taking the dough out to use, pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in the beaten egg whites and then roll in the chopped nuts. Place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Top each cookie with a cherry half.

Put the cookies into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately place on a wire rack to cool.

Makes 2 dozen +/-

Technorati Tags: Recipes, Cookie Recipes, Holiday Cookies, Kris Kringles

12 days of Christmas Cookies: Rum Balls

12 days of Christmas Cookies: Day 8

These little treats contain three of my favorite ingredients (sugar, cocoa and rum) and places them into a cookie. Rum? In Cookies? It’s like I’ve died and gone to liquor heaven. And since these are no-bake cookies, the alcohol doesn’t burn off. Can life get any better? I think not.

Since there’s still alcohol in the cookies, one might wish to avoid handing these out to kids. Not that I think that there’s enough alcohol to do any damage to the kids, but rather because I think the adults need their own cookies. Let the children have their sugar cookies and rice krispie treats. We have our rum balls.

One could easily replace the rum with any number of other alcoholic beverages. I’d recommend bourbon, vanilla vokda or cinnamon schnapps. However, I personally like the rum because it allows me to use my favorite brand of rum – Sailor Jerry’s (or as I refered to it recently, “The breakfast of Champions).

  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  • 1 1/4 cups (vanilla wafer cookies
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cardomom (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup spiced rum
  • Powdered sugar and sweetened cocoa powder, to garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the pecans on a baking sheet, place in the oven and toast for about 8 minutes.
After cooling, chop the pecans with either a knife or place in a food processor. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Gronud the vanilla wafers by either placing them in a plastic bag and smashing the bejesus out of them with a mallet, or place them a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Add the crumbs to the bowl with the chopped pecans. Add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, cardomom and cocoa powder and stir until combined. Add the corn syrup and rum and mix well.

Chill the dough for one hour and then shape into 1 inch balls. Place the remaining powdered sugar and the sweetened powdered cocoa into two seperate small bowls. Roll the rum balls in either the sugar or cocoa.

makes 3 dozen

Technorati Tags: recipes, cookies, rum balls