FIVE REASONS WHY // Whiskey is Always a Good Idea

I know what you’re thinking. This post goes against everything you were raised to believe. It’s okay, just go with it. I felt the same hesitancy at first but, as soon as I began researching recipes with whiskey and saw that the recipes had all of my absolute number one favorite things (dark chocolate, caramel, sea salt, toffee), I knew it was meant to be.  My heart rate slowed, my nerves settled and, suddenly, all was right in the world.  Or was that the whiskey…

Either way, here are five reasons why whiskey is always a good idea, starting with a dish that I just finished making. I’ll let you know how it turned out tomorrow ;)

Dark Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
by Joy the Baker

If you know me at all, you know I will never pass up a chance to add dark chocolate to an already amazing dessert. This is why Joy Wilson is my spirit animal. I’ve been digging the southern influence her cooking has taken on ever since she ditched town and moved to N’awlins and I cannot WAIT to dig into this pie tomorrow.

Apple Galettes with Whiskey Salted Caramel Sauce
by Portuguese Girl Cooks

I thought my Mexican Salted Caramel was the  shit  bees knees but this one looks muito bom. To be honest, I never really had a chance with this one. I’m a sucker for fruit pies and I love the contrast of the smoky caramel atop the sweet, gooey apples.

Cheesecake Bars with Whiskey Salted Caramel
by Pairs Well With Food

R U SRS RN?! Here we go again with the whiskey caramel. I just couldn’t pass this one up, with the whiskey all dark and caramelized sitting perfectly on top of those sexy little cheesecake squares. And THE SEA SALT, omgggg the sea salt!

Gluten Free Bittersweet Whiskey Brownies
by The Bojon Gourmet

My crush on The Bojon Gourmet is getting seriouser and seriouser. She adds whiskey to these ultra dark chocolate fudgey brownies for a little “je ne sais quoi”. Umm… oui, s’il vous plait. 

English Toffee
by Tutti Dolci
 

True story: Engish Toffee is one my reasons for existence. It probably accounts for 12% of the fat cells in my body. Tutti Dolci uses whiskey in this recipe to intensify the toffee, adding a rich caramelized flavor. I am currently resisting the urge to make these and keep them under my pillow to eat on dark, stormy nights.

Do you think whiskey is always a good idea? Have you ever cooked with whiskey before? Will you try one of these recipes?

Gluten Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Just when you thought you were “over” pumpkin…

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Sorry dudes, pumpkin isn’t a trend; it’s a lifestyle. And when it’s mixed with homemade salted caramel, wrapped up in a thick, crispy, cinnamon-sugary dough and served hot & toasty right out of the oven, it’s practically a religion.

For months now I’ve been glaring at the unrelenting Los Angeles sun from the inside of my air conditioned kitchen, waiting for colder days to come so that I could make all of my favorite soul-warming foods. We’ve had a glimmer of hope this past week from the crisp chill that settles over the city late at night and lingers until early morning but by midday it still feels like the Fourth of Freaking July out here. I’ve decided to rebel by wearing scarves, making all the cozy food my heart desires and pretending like winter actually exists.

You see, “cozy” is my preferred state of being and these salted caramel pumpkin empanadas are just that. Biting into one of these is like biting into a warm slice of pumpkin pie, but with more flaky, buttery, sugar-coated crust per capita. Drooling yet? I edited my basic empanada dough recipe by adding a little extra sugar and, of course, a generous sprinkling of cinnamon & sugar before I popped these plump pockets of love into the oven. Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce for a truly decadent dessert.

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Mexican Salted Caramel

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

What are YOU making for Thanksgiving? Have you ever made sweet empanadas? Will you try these? Tag me on Instagram or Twitter if you do: @cocinadecella

Gluten Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Gluten Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Empanadas

Ingredients

    Dough:
  • 472 grams of gluten-free all-purpose flour (4 cups properly measured flour)
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp ginger, ½ tsp nutmeg)
  • 2 tbsp cold unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup or 12 tbs cold shortening
  • 2 egg yolks mixed with 1 cup water
  • Pumpkin Filling:
  • ½ cup Mexican Salted Caramel
  • 1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp ginger, ½ tsp nutmeg)

Instructions

  1. Add flour, xanthan gum, salt, sugar and pumpkin pie spice to a high-speed food processor. Pulse to combine.
  2. Add cold butter and shortening and pulse until just combined. Pour dough into a bowl.
  3. Add half of the egg/water combination to the bowl and mix until combined. Continue to add the egg/water mixture to the dough as needed (I used about ¾). Place in fridge to cool for an hour.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree, salted caramel and pumpkin pie spice and mix until combined. Let cool for 30 min in fridge before assembling empanadas.
  5. When it is time to start assembling the empanadas, prepare your station and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place saran wrap or a silpat baking mat on the counter to help you roll out the dough. Also, place wax paper or foil on your baking sheet so you are ready to go.
  6. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it into golf-ball sized balls. As you roll the dough into balls, knead it a little to soften it up. Let dough balls sit for five minutes.
  7. Use a rolling pin or your hands to roll out each dough ball out until it has reached about 6 inches in diameter. Be sure to flip it over at least once as you roll it out -- this gets the dough soft and makes it less likely to crack.
  8. Place 2-3 tablespoons of the filling in the center of each disc. Sometimes I put it in the center and sometimes I favor one side, to make it easier to flip the other side on top of it and encase all of the filling.
  9. Dip your finger in water and trace the edge of the one side of the disc to help the sides stick together.
  10. Flip one side over on top of the other and press firmly around the edges to make sure there aren’t any openings.
  11. At this point you can either braid the edges (which I’m still learning to do) or just press the prongs of a fork around them.
  12. In a separate dish, mix an egg yolk with a bit of water. Brush this over your empanadas before baking to give them a crispy, golden brown exterior. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar.
  13. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  14. Wait a few minutes to eat because will be hot! Serve with freshly whipped cream and the leftover Mexican Salted Caramel
  15. If they don’t get eaten immediately, store in the fridge and bake again to reheat.
http://www.cocinadecella.com/gluten-free-salted-caramel-pumpkin-empanadas/