It’s no secret that Christmas brings out the baker in many of us. And for those of us who like to make homemade gifts, the baking can get kind of intense. This year I cooked up all kinds of yummy things for gifts from Spicy Peanut Brittle to Dark Chocolate Salted Toffee to Handmade Body Butter. I did my fair share of sugar cooking making (and decorating), gingerbread cookie baking and house making, and dessert eating. We went with the old standby of using my Apple Pie Filling for our Christmas dinner, but New Year’s Eve required something a little more special.
You see, we are known for having a pretty special New Year’s Eve party. Brian is the cocktail-mixer extraordinaire. And in case you think I’m just boasting about nothing, let me go into detail concerning just ONE of the drinks that he made. Inspired by the Aviary and the Girl and the Goat, Brian came up with an Old Fashioned to be served INSIDE of an ice ball. He meticulously froze ice using a particular spherical mold, making sure that it was turned every hour so that the ice wouldn’t get too thick. Then once it was 1/2 inch thick, he drilled a hole, used a syringe to get rid of the rest of the water, then injected the ice ball with an Old Fashioned made from all sorts of ingredients, most of which were made from scratch. And that’s just the time and care he took for one set of drinks.
Needless to say, the dessert for our party needed to be on par with these heavenly drink combinations. So, why not Creme Brulee? I’ve had a torch since my birthday, but hadn’t gotten around to using it yet. I whipped up some Vanilla Creme Brulee using on of my favorite cookbooks (Baking at Home). I have to say, the torching is harder than it looks. It’s really tough to get a nice consistent melt without burning some of the sugar. It tastes wonderful no matter what you do to the sugar crust though! If its a little more burnt than you’d hoped for, it ends up tasting a bit like the burnt marshmallow on an overcooked s’more. Not the worst thing in the world, if you ask me! It was a wonderful addition to our fabulous, formal cocktail party. Maybe you can come next year!