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A Perfect Holiday Desert: Maple Bourbon Custard with Gingersnaps

December 11, 2010

If I said the words, “cookies & milk”, what would you say? Delicious, perfect pairing, nostalgic, satisfying, yummy, whoopee? Maybe you’d say all of them! It goes without saying, I think, that cookies and milk are a great combination. But I think I’ve got one better – cookies and custard!

Although this is certainly not an everyday dish, it’s a great one for the holidays. I first had this combination when I was in Las Vegas last year at Bradley Ogden in Caesar’s Palace. To be honest, I went there for the burger, which was rated as one of the best in Las Vegas. Naturally, I had to try it. But as I was there, this desert caught my eye – butterscotch pudding and snickerdoodle cookies. I love snickerdoodles…and I love butterscotch, so I had to try it! And I’m glad I did – a beautifully crisp cookie dipped in this velvety pudding was unbelievable. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever ate.

The other day, I really was craving some cookies. Looked through some of my books and found this recipe for maple custard and gingersnaps! I always like cookies with a little spice – black pepper, ginger, clove, and cinnamon are all reminiscent of holiday spices. The maple custard has some bourbon in it, but it could be left out if you are making it for kids. The custard is wonderfully creamy and luxurious and could be a desert by itself. But why wouldn’t you want to dip some cookies in it?! Keep these cookies on hand during the holidays and I’m sure all of your relatives will be very happy!

Maple Bourbon Custard and Gingersnap Cookies

(Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay Cooks American)

Gingersnap Ingredients:

1 stick of unsalted butter, cold

1 3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup molasses

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 1/2 cups bread flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon each of black pepper, cloves, allspice, and dry mustard

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lin 2 cookie sheets with parchment/wax paper. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition until incorporated. Add the molasses and maple syrup and mix until combined. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, allspice, and dry mustard. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.

Mix together the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with 1 teaspoon of ginger in a small bowl. Form the dough into 1/2 inch balls, roll in the ginger sugar, and place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set and tops being to crack. Remove to a baking rack and let cool for 10 minutes.

Custard Ingredients:

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup milk

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

2 whole eggs

3 egg yolks

1 cup maple syrup

1.5 teaspoons maple extract

1/4 cup bourbon

Pinch of salt

First, bring the cream, milk, and vanilla bean to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly

Whisk together the eggs, yolks, and maple syrup, bourbon, and maple extract in a bowl. Slowly add the warm milk mixture and combine. Strain through a fine mesh strainer in a clean bowl. Fill the custard into 6 ramekins.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Arrange the ramekins in a roasting pan and pour in hot tap water until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until just set, 30-40 minutes. Let cool at room temperature. Remove from water bath, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

I think you all will really enjoy this dish! What’s your favorite holiday cookie? Anyone ever had custard and cookies before?  If so, please share!



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