"Love makes the world go round? Not at all. Whiskey makes it go round twice as fast."
- Compton MacKenzie
So your Netflix subscription is all paid for, you’ve bookmarked all the new shows you want to watch and found a neat little excuse to give work a miss. You’re the kind of person who believes in lazing around in PJs and chilling with your partner while the world goes crazy over red balloons and fancy dinners. True, nothing can match up to being lazy with each other, taking a break from all the hype and just being yourselves around each other. If that’s the kind of Valentine’s Day you’ve planned, why not jazz it up further with some delicious finger-food? And if you’re making the effort of taking to the kitchen, why not add a splash of whisky to your munchies?
Prosciutto Pear Blue Cheese Skewers with Whisky Glaze
Okay, let the name not fool you into thinking, “Whoa! That’s too fancy for a mid-week snack!” Well, while it does not require you to be a master chef, it is definitely fancy. Cutting to the chase, all you need to do is fold up a thin slice of prosciutto, skewer a piece of pear and follow it up with a chunk of blue cheese. Next up, make some easy whisky glaze. Take a heavy bottomed pan and pour in 1 cup pineapple juice, ½ cup whisky of your choice, 2 cups of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon each of garlic and onion powder, 1 tablespoon of Tabasco sauce, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. Whisk and let bubble until it turns a fetching, glossy brown. Pour out into a bowl, arrange your skewers around the glaze and you’re good to go!
Whiskey-Honey Toasted Walnuts
Who doesn’t like munching on some crunchy walnuts while watching a good old thriller or marathoning through a favourite romcom? This recipe is easy, effortless yet oh-so-delicious. It is, in fact, so simple that calling it a recipe may be a bit of a drag.
Just combine ½ cup of honey with 1/4th cup Irish whiskey (Jameson of course), 1/4th cup brown sugar, and ½ a teaspoon of sea salt. Whisk to combine. Let it bubble and form a rich sauce. Dunk your toasted walnuts in the mixture. Lay out on a piece of parchment paper and let dry. There, you have a perfect movie-time snack ready in a jiffy!
Whisky & Salted Caramel Candies
Sounds like a treat straight out of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory? Well, because it is. Only, this treat is spiked with a generous amount of the topaz-coloured tipple. All you need to do is combine 1/4th cup brown sugar with 2 and a ½ cups of regular white sugar in a heavy bottomed pan. Add ½ a cup of corn syrup, a splash of water, a teaspoon full of bourbon and let it caramelise. Do not stir. Just swirl your pan while the sugar slowly turns into a rich caramel. Now, turn off heat, add a pinch of sea salt and a good glug of bourbon. Pour into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let it cool and set. Once hardened, break it up into bite-sized chunks. Sneak a taste before putting out a tray full of these for your date. These little chunks of indulgence taste like heaven and possibly couldn’t be a better accompaniment for your date night.
Whisky & Clementine Choux au Craquelin
Only a French pastry can have a name as dainty as Choux au Craquelin. But, don’t back away thinking it might be too tough to whip up at home. All it needs is a little bit of preparation ahead of time.
For the choux pastry, boil water, milk, sugar, and butter in a pan. Add in the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to form a thick batter. Simmer while continuously stirring until all the water evaporates, leaving behind a smooth dough.
As for the craquelin, mix butter and sugar till pale and creamy. Follow it up with flour and salt. Roll into thin sheet, cut into small discs and place it in your freezer. Pipe some of the choux dough on a baking tray, top it off with a craquelin disc and bake it off until golden and crunchy. Meanwhile, prepare a whisky-clementine glaze by boiling whisky with brown sugar, juice and zest of a clementine, cinnamon stick and one star anise. Once golden and bubbly, dip your choux au craquelin and your V-Day adventure in the kitchen will come a full circle!