Monday, November 15, 2010

Fall is always such a festive time of year…it really kicks the Holiday season off with parties galore. One of the best ways to show your loved ones & friends how much they mean to you is hosting a party of appreciation! The Holidays are a time to celebrate and to give back to others in your life….& what better way to do that than throwing a fantastic dinner party! Here are some simple yet perfect accompaniments for any Holiday event this year:

{Maple Leaf Cocktail}
• 1 1/2 ounces bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark)
• 1/2 ounce pure maple syrup
• 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

{Pumpkin Pie Cocktail}
• 1 part kahlua
• 1 part spiced pumpkin pie filling
• 2 parts coconut rum
• 4 parts cold milk
• 6 ice cubes
• Garnish with cinnamon
Put everything but the cinnamon in a blender. Mix on high. Serve in graham cracker crust highball glasses and sprinkle the top with cinnamon.

{Mini Pumpkin Cakes}
• 3/4 cup butter, softened
• 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
• 2 cups sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• Vanilla Glaze
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in pumpkin and vanilla.
2. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Spoon batter into 2 lightly greased pumpkin-shaped muffin pans, filling three-fourths full.
3. Bake at 350° for 24 to 26 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 30 minutes).
4. Cut rounded tops off muffins to make them flat. Invert top muffins onto bottom muffins, forming pumpkins. Drizzle Caramel-Rum Glaze over pumpkins. Decorate with Caramel Stems, Leaves, and Vines, if desired.
We wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!