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Archive for November 25, 2016

GIFT OF THE DAY: Spicy Brownies

Sea Salt Brownie

Sea Salt Brownie

We [heart] spicy Mayan brownies (photos courtesy The Grommet).

 

Salt Of The Earth Bakery is an artisanal baked goods company that re-imagines classic treats, by adding finishing salts and exotic spices.

These extras turn the cookies and brownies into decidedly adult fare.

We love brownies—great ones—and are always on the prowl for what’s different and delicious.

Salt Of The Earth Bakery makes five brownie flavors. The one that called out to us was the Mayan, “the brownie that bites you back.”

Seasoned as the original Mayan chocolate was, with cinnamon, and cayenne, it’s topped with Halen Môn (Anglesey), crunchy sea salt flakes.

In the Mayan and later Aztec cultures, chocolate* was only available to the nobility, wealthy merchants and honored warriors.

Unleash your inner warrior and try a few.

Other flavors include:

  • The Brownie, a classic with Halen Môn sea salt
  • The Kona, with espresso and Hawaiian Kona sea salt
  • The OMGCB, with caramel and French sel gris
  • The Nutty One, with peanut butter, and French sel gris
  •  
    ABOUT SALT OF THE EARTH PRODUCTS

    The line is all-natural and certified kosher by OK-D. The chocolate is 100% Fair Trade USA certified chocolate from Guittard.

    Salt Of The Earth Bakery is commited to the environment, from sustainable packaging, to recycling to maximizing eco-friendly power sources such as solar and hydro energy.
     
    GET YOUR BROWNIES

    Three boxes of 2 brownies each (1.6 ounces per brownie) are $15.00 at SaltOfTheEarthBakery.com.

    There are also gift packs of brownies and cookies.
     
    ________________
    *For the first few thousand years of its existence, chocolate was a beverage. Solid chocolate was first created in the 19th century, in Europe. Check out the Chocolate Timeline.

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Black Cocktails For Black Friday

    It’s Black Friday. When you get back from fighting the crowds, it’s time for a black cocktail.

    Trouble is, the well known “black” cocktails, like the Black Russian, actually brown.

    But there are options, including using the first three ingredients to color any clear spirit (clear liqueurs, gin, tequila, rum, etc.):

  • Black vodka
  • Black food color
  • Squid ink
  • Black sambuca
  •  
    1. BLACK VODKA

    In some parts of the world, people like black vodka, which is colored with black catechu, an extract made from the bark of a southeast Asian acacia tree.

    Some are flavored, some aren’t.

    The problem is, some brands like Blavod are actually dark brown, not black. Problem #2: You can find black vodkas in Europe and Asia, but not readily in the U.S., unless you’re lucky to track down Blavod, produced in the U.K., and add some black food color.

    We’ve seen a photo of a glass of Eristoff vodka, from Russia, which looks pitch black. We haven’t been able to find a photo of Znaps Black Jack.

    If you live in a state that is covered by BevMo.com, you can order the Eristoff.
     
    2. BLACK SAMBUCCA

    The good news is, we’ve found ample supplies of black sambuca in the U.S.

    Sambuca is an Italian anise-flavored liqueur. The flavor of anise is reminiscent of fennel and licorice.

    Fans of these flavors have lots of opportunities to make cocktails black with black sambuca. Try a combination of black vodka and black sambucca!
     
    3. BLACK FOOD COLOR.

    The best bet is to color your own vodka black.

    Before McCormick introduced black food color to consumers in 2007, black was approximated by combining 10 drops each of blue and red food coloring and 8 drops of green food (this is enough to color a 750 ml bottle of clear spirits).

    The problem with mixing the three colors in a clear liquid, as opposed to anchoring the color in frosting, is that the colors will precipitate out of the spirit, requiring shaking the bottle before pouring a drink.

    Best bet: McCormick black food color. It’s available in supermarkets nationwide, and online.

    You can also find professional black gels and pastes at baking supply stores, or online from companies like Wilton.
     
    4. SQUID INK

    If you have access to a fish market that sells squid ink or sepia ink (the latter from cuttlefish, a different species), you can use it in a Martini or other savory cocktail. Used in moderation, it has a slight salty tasted.

    Want to try it? Here’s how.
     
    5. BLACK RICE INFUSION

    According to an About.com reader, you can infuse black rice into a bottle of vodka and achieve a good black color, with no added taste. Infuse it in a cool dark place for three days or until it achieves the desired color, shaking the bottle once a day. Infuse in a large jar and strain the vodka into a clean bottle.
     
    WHEN TO MAKE BLACK COCKTAILS

    In addition to Black Friday, you can have fun with black drinks for for:

  • Black And White Parties
  • Black Monday*
  • Dia De Los Muertos
  • Goth Gathering
  • Halloween
  • ________________
    *If you’re looking for another occasion to drink, October 19, 1987 saw the collapse of stock prices on Wall Street. The original Black Monday in America was October 28, 1929, when the stock markets began to crash, engendering the Depression. In 1987, the crash began in Hong Kong and spread west to Europe, then to the U.S. There are several other Black Mondays that mark disasters around the world.

       

    Black Cocktail

    Znaps Black Jack Liquorice Vodka

    Eristoff Black Vodka

    Black Food Color

    Black Sugar Rim

    [1] This cocktail was made with squid ink. Here’s how from Honestly Yum. [2] Black Jack, a “shooter vodka” made by Znaps in Sweden. [3] Eristoff black vodka from Russia (photo courtesy Bev Mo). [4] McCormick black food color (photo courtesy Love From The Oven). [5] You can also use black sugar or black Hawaiian sea salt to make a rim (photo courtesy Martini Drizly).

     

    Black Sambuca

    Black Licorice Shoestrings

    Black Licorice Wheels

    Black Cocktail For Halloween

    [6] Black sambuca is raltively easy to find (photo courtesy Fine Wine House). [7] Great garnish for a black sambucca cocktail: licorice wheels (photo courtesy Smart Candy Shopper). [8] For a creepy garnish, use black licorice shoestrings (photo courtesy Candy Warehouse) as in this cocktail from Freutcake.

     

    RECIPE #1: BLACK MARTINI

    Use black vodka in your favorite Martini recipe. Unflavored brands include Blavod, from the U.K., Fruko-Schulz from Czechoslovakia.

    If you have a flavored vodka, like Znaps Black Jack, you get a licorice Martini.

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 2½ ounces black vodka (or color the gin black)
  • 1 vermouth (or to taste)
  • Ice
  • Optional garnish: cocktail onion, olives or a lemon twist
  • Optional rim: black lava salt†
     
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    †You don’t need to salt the entire rim. The fashion these days is covering only half the rim with the rimmer.
     
    RECIPE #2: COFFEE MILKSHAKE

    You can make any this and other recipes as a shot. Proportions provided are for a three-ounce cocktail.

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 2 ounces black vodka
  • 1 ounce coffee or espresso liqueur
  • Optional: ½ ounce vanilla vodka
  • Ice
  • Optional garnish: whipped cream and/or chocolate-covered espresso beans
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SHAKE or stir the vodka and liqueur and pour into a rocks glass over ice. Top with whipped cream and other garnishes as desired.
     
    RECIPE #3: HARVEST CINNAMON

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 2 ounces black vodka
  • 1 ounce cinnamon liqueur
  • Ice
  • Optional garnish: whipped cream cinnamon candies
  •  
    Preparation

    1. STIR the vodka and liqueur and pour into a rocks glass over ice. Top with whipped cream and other garnishes as desired.
     
    RECIPE #r: LICORICE MARTINI

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 2 ounces black vodka
  • 1 ounce black sambuca
  • Optional: black sugar rim
  • Ice
  •  
    Preparation

    1. CREATE a sugar rim on a Martini glass.

    2. COMBINE the alcohols in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into the glass.

     

    RECIPE #5: CHERRY MARTINI

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 2 ounces black vodka
  • 2 ounces cherry juice
  • Ice
  • Optional garnish: maraschino cherry or raspberry skewer
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the vodka and juice in a mixing glass with ice. Stir with ice and strain into the glass.

    2. GARNISH and serve.
     
    RECIPE #6: MIDNIGHT TUTTI FRUTTI

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 2 ounces black vodka
  • 1 ounce blue curaçao
  • 1/2 ounce black raspberry liqueur
  • Ice
  • Optional garnish: raspberry skewer
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the alcohol in a mixing glass with ice. Stir with ice and strain into the glass.

    2. GARNISH and serve.

     
    GREEN SCREWDRIVER

    When you mix black vodka with orange juice, the drink turns green. Consider it for Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day or the first day of spring.
     
    ARTY COCKTAILS

    Clever mixologogists layer black vodka with colored mixers for groovy effects. Try it!

      

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