Irish Coffee Cookies

Irish Coffee Cookies and a Winter Giveaway!

Today, January 25th, is National Irish Coffee Day.  Who knew?  Well in honor or this grand distinction, I bring you a recipe for Irish Coffee Cookies and a Winter Giveaway!

As you probably know by now, in the kitchen I’m much more of a cook than a baker.  I think it has to do with the fact that when cooking it’s very easy to free-style measurements, and when baking you need to be precise.  I like the flexibility that cooking allows, changing ingredients in recipes when it suits me (or depending on what’s in my fridge) and free-handing the measurements, tasting as I go.

There are a few baking recipes from my childhood that I enjoy making that I somehow am able to make successfully.  One of which is a cake-like ginger and molasses cookie glazed with almond icing.  In the baking mood, I changed the flavoring of of this drop cookie to the warm and satisfying hot beverage, Irish Coffee. 

The dough for these cookies resembles a sticky cake batter more than a regular cookie dough and it won’t spread very much in the oven. The end result yields puffy pillows of cookie cakes. The whiskey and coffee blend gives them a little kick, both balanced nicely by the Irish cream.

For this recipe I used Jameson Irish Whiskey, Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur, Starbucks VIA Italian Roast instant coffee, and topped them with chocolate covered espresso beans.  If you like drinking Irish coffee, you will love this cookie!

Irish Coffee Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 12 (makes 24)
A cake-like, pillowy soft cookie with a kick of Irish Whiskey, Irish Cream, and coffee.
  • Cookies:
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee
  • 2 tablespoons Irish Cream liqueur
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup Irish Whiskey
  • 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground or fresh-grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Icing:
  • 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons Irish Cream liqueur
  1. For cookies, stir together hot water and instant coffee in a 1-cup measuring cup, stir until dissolved. Add Irish Cream liqueur, milk, and Irish Whiskey to the measuring cup; set aside until ready to use.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, beat until well combined. Add reserved liquid and beat until well combined.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt until well combined. By hand, stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until well combined. Cover and chill dough for an hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drop spoonfuls (about the size of a walnut) of dough onto cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown. Allow to cool completely before icing.
  5. For Icing, beat together butter, powdered sugar, and Irish Cream liqueur until smooth. Drizzle over cookies.

For this recipe I used Jameson Irish Whiskey, Baliey’s Irish Cream liqueur, and 1 packet of Starbucks VIA Italian Roast instant coffee.
The dough for these cookies resembles a sticky cake batter more than a regular cookie dough and it won’t spread very much in the oven.
Top cookies with chocolate covered espresso beans, if desired.

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Winter Giveaway – Starbucks Blonde Gift Pack

The Winter Giveaway is now closed and a winner has been selected.  Many thanks to everyone who entered.  Look for another giveaway soon!

In honor of National Irish Coffee Day, I’m giving away a Starbucks gift pack filled with their newest coffee, Starbucks Blonde Roast (thanks Starbucks!).  You can enter the drawing three ways: 

  1. Leave a comment below if you follow Corkscrews & Curls on Facebook.
  2. Retweet about this post on Twitter using @corkscrewscurls in your tweet.
  3. Leave a comment below about what your favorite coffee order is.

Each Like/Tweet/Coffee Comment equals One Entry into the Giveaway which will end on February 3, 2012 at 8:00am Pacific Time.  You are allowed one Tweet per day. I will randomly select a winner. Good Luck!

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Asian Smoked Salmon Spread

An Asian-inspired Twist to Salmon Dip.

You would think that being married to an avid fly fisherman I would always have a supply of fresh fish at home. Mr. Darcy, however, is catch and release man. He mainly fishes for steelhead and would never take a wild fish out of a Northwest river’s gene pool. And while he might consider keeping a hatchery fish (note hatchery, not farm-raised – ick), he never does as the steelhead meat is much more delicate in flavor than salmon, which we both prefer. And rarely (once or twice since we’ve been together?) will he keep a hatchery salmon.

So I must contend myself with store-bought or gifted fish.  This Christmas one of our relatives brought us a smoked salmon fillet and I used it to make a savory spread.  I love the regular dill-based salmon dip that is ubiquitously found in any grocery store here in the Seattle area (some better than others, of course).  But for this recipe I gave it more of an Asian bent.  The soy sauce enhances the natural umami of the salmon, and the chili paste and Chinese hot mustard compliment the smoky flavor nicely.

Of course this dip makes a fabulous make-ahead appetizer for entertaining as it can be made up to 4 or 5 days in advance.  Stir and taste before serving – the piquancy from chili paste may mellow.

It also works really well as the filling for finger sandwiches. Use soft, whole wheat bread lightly spread with mayonnaise, adding super thin slices of cucumber. Delish!

If you’re tired of the same old lemon-and-dill salmon dip, give this recipe a try.

Asian Smoked Salmon Spread
5.0 from 3 reviews
Recipe type: Appetizer
Author: lizzie@corscrewsandcurls
Prep time: 5 mins
Total time: 5 mins
Serves: 12
Tired of the same old dill and lemon smoked salmon dip? Try this Asian inspired smoked salmon spread for an updated and delicious twist.
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons chili paste
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese-style hot mustard
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • 8 ounces smoked salmon, flaked
  1. In a small bowl, stir together cream cheese, mayonnaise, soy sauce, chili paste, lemon juice, mustard, and garlic until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add scallions and salmon, stirring until just combined.

Serve with cucumber rounds or sesame crackers.
Can be made up to 5 days in advance. Great filling for finger sandwiches too!

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I didn’t have any sesame oil in the cupboard when I made this, but my guess is that a little bit (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon?) might work really well. Let me know if you make this with sesame oil. I’d be curious to see how it turned out….

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Wine Recommendation: 6th Sense Syrah 2009 – Lodi Appellation

Hints of Plums and Chocolate Cake.

I think I have a new house red wine.  I have fallen in love with Michael David Winery’s 2009 6th Sense Syrah.  The wine is made from grapes planted by brothers Michael and David Phillips in the Lodi region in 1982.  The Lodi appellation, east of San Francisco and south of Sacramento, has over 750 wineries.

I know that wine distribution to every state is different, so you might (or might not) know this winery for their popular Seven Deadly Zins wine – a great red with a huge following.  Their 6th Sense Syrah is sure to have a following too.  It’a a big wine with bold, round flavors and the perfect amount of tannins.  Made from Syrah and Petite Sirah grapes, the color is a deep, dark black cherry red. It’s gorgeous looking and smelling.  For me it had initial hints of smoke and leather, mellowing to plums and chocolate cake as it opened.

It could easily hold up to a thick steak, a juicy rosemary and garlic infused leg of lamb, or a Sunday evening pot roast.  But that didn’t stop me from drinking it on its own while folding laundry and watching Grease at 2:00 in the afternoon today.  Ahh, Sundays.

Tasting notes from the Michael David Winery website:

A big, blockbuster wine. The nose combines intense plum, mixed berry fruit with toasty oak aromas such as vanilla, chocolate, and coffee. The palate is not timid either; it’s full and lush in body, with just enough acid and tannins to provide structure and lots of very ripe black fruit and vanillin oak that linger on the finish.

And this from the back of the bottle:

I smell with one nose, an ancient black rose, a memory lingering, briefly exposed. I see with two eyes, through shadows and lies, a secret revealing, wrapped in disguise. I hear with my ears, three fallen tears, echoing softly, heightening my fears. I taste with my tongue, my panics begun, four sides enclosed, melding as one. I touch with my hands, a sinister plan, five fingers discerning where I do stand. I sense with my mind, a thought so unkind. I’m trapped six feet under in a bottle of wine.

Macabre poetry about red wine.  Like I said, I’m in love.

I purchased 6th Sense Syrah from my local grocery store on sale for $15.99 (marked down from $20.99), and next time I’m at the store I’ll buy at least six to get the 10% discount this store offers for purchasing half cases.  If you like hearty reds, try this one soon!

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Lemon-Sage Shortbread Cookies

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.

Back in October, somewhere on this World Wide Web I stumbled upon a link to The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and thought what a great idea it was.  I wasn’t the only one to think so as over 600+ food bloggers exchanged cookies this past week.  We were each assigned three other bloggers to whom we sent one dozen cookies.  That’s over 22,000 cookies travelling world-wide for this cookie swap alone!

I must admit after I signed up I wondered what I had gotten myself into.  As many of you know, I’m a cook not a baker.  I have a hard time making chocolate cookies turn out well following the recipe on the back of the Toll House bag.  Really.  Normally I just make the dough and then Mr. Darcy and I eat it raw in stolen spoonfuls from the fridge.  Could I make a decent cookie without totally embarrassing myself in front of three other food bloggers?  Could I pull this off?

I spent some time going through my family cookie recipes and decided on enhancing a tried-and-true shortbread recipe.  The original, plain shortbread recipe is from my godmother who lived next door to us growing up.  In her pantry there was always either a pan of shortbread or a pan of almond roca cookies, and I couldn’t get enough of either.  For this cookie swap I added sage, lemon and black pepper, as well as the iced walnut topping.  Don’t forget – shortbread gets better with age.  Store un-iced shortbread in an air-tight container for up to 4 weeks.  They’re great to bake now and serve at your holiday gatherings! 

Lightly sweet, I’d say these Lemon-Sage Shortbread are more of an adult cookie than a kid-pleaser.  Great with a warm cup of tea – or hot whiskey, according to Kate from Food Lust, one of the three bloggers who received my shortbread cookies.  Hot whiskey is one I will definitely have to test out!

In addition to Kate, my Lemon-Sage Shortbread cookies also went to Lacy from New York City Eats, and Kiera from Sweet Kiera.

Lemon-Sage Shortbread Cookies
5.0 from 1 reviews
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 65 mins
Total time: 1 hour 15 mins
Serves: 12
A not-so-sweet shortbread treat, with delicate flavors of lemon, sage, and black pepper. Perfect with a warm cup of tea.
  • Cookies
  • 14 ounces butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely minced sage leaves
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Icing
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Walnut quarters for decoration
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, cut together butter, flour, sugar, salt, and black pepper with a pastry knife. When ingredients are almost completely combined, add sage, lemon zest, and lemon juice; continue to combine. Work into a ball by hand and press into parchment-lined 9 inch by 13 inch metal baking pan. Using a knife, gently cut dough into small rectangles, 6 x 7 across the pan without tearing parchment. Using a fork, prick the dough all over.
  3. Bake for 55-65 minutes or just until shortbread begins to lightly golden, being careful not to brown. Recut rectangles and transfer immediately to a wire rack to cool.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl using a fork, mix together confectioner’s sugar, butter, cream, and lemon juice until no lumps remain. Cover until ready to use. When shortbread has cooled, transfer icing to a pastry bag with a small round tip, or to a large plastic bag with a tiny corner of the bag cut out. Place a small button of icing on each cookie, topping with a walnut quarter.

Un-iced shortbread will keep in an airtight container for 3 to 4 weeks.

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This being a cookie swap, I also received three dozen cookies – one dozen from three different food bloggers. 

The first cookies I received, Gee’s NutHorns, were from Kelly at Kelly’s Kitchen.  Her grandmother’s famous cookies did not disappoint.  They are a dense and buttery dough wrapped around a cinnamony nut paste.  Absolutely delicious.  I can’t wait to see the recipe.

The next batch cookies to grace my doorstep were from Julie of The Semi-Reformed Nerd.  Super thin, perfectly round, these incredibly moist and chewy Cinnamon Spice Brown Sugar Cookies were amazing.  I ate seven of them in one day and only held back on the last five so that I would have a few to photograph.

The third dozen cookies came from Lisa, the Authentic Subarban Gourmet.  These tasty gingerbread biscotti with one end dipped in chocolate have been my morning coffee staple this week.  I love gingerbread and these cookies were made with a delicate hand – the ginger is not overpowering, just a lovely balance of spices.

I really had a great experience with The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and look forward to signing up again next year.  For a full list of the bloggers who participated and their cookie recipes, check out the main Cookie Swap pages here or here which will be updated on Thursday.  The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap is the brain child of Julie from The Little Kitchen and Lindsay of Love & Olive Oil.

Are you interested in participating next year?  If yes, click here to sign up for notifications about next year’s event.

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Orange Wednesday: A Foodie’s Black Friday

Respect The Bird Who has time to think about holiday gift shopping when the best shopping day of all is here?  What I like to call Orange Wednesday.  Orange Wednesday is a foodie’s Black Friday.  I have my list, I … Continue reading

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Recipe Organization

For years I’ve been fascinated with cookbooks.  While I’ve moved to a Kindle for my everyday book reading , I prefer to have hard copy cookbooks and have been collecting them for years.  I love leafing through them as though … Continue reading

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My Take on Apricot Mazurka Bars

Buttery Oats & Brown Sugar Fruity Goodness at its Best! Earlier this year I visited my sister and her husband at their home in Eastern Washington and upon my departure they loaded my car up with some delicious bounty from … Continue reading

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