Spiced Citrus Shrub+Cocktail

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Citrus season is in full effect and I am celebrating with some local citrus I received from one of my favorite shops in Downtown Mckinney. 

It’s only fitting I make one of my favorite things, a shrub! A refreshing concentrated syrup that contains your fruit of choice, sugar and vinegar. They are perfect mixed into cocktails and also with club soda. 

The great thing about shrubs and cooking in general is for the most part is it is about preference. Particularly for shrubs I love to use a mild vinegar to not overpower the shrub, so I usually go for a coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar. 

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For this citrus shrub I used bold spices such as star anise, cinnamon, clove and black peppercorns. Some warmth from vanilla beans and sugar. 

Ratios for shrubs really vary on preference. Usually you will find an 1:1 ratio. 

As far as methods go, I prefer the cold method, so I macerate my fruit of choice in sugar, any herbs and spices on the counter top and let it ferment overnight. After that, I add in my vinegar and taste until it has the zip I am looking for. 

Spiced Citrus Shrub    4 cloves, crushed  2 star anise, crush  1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed  1 cinnamon stick, crushed  3 cups of large oranges srubbed and rough chopped.  1 1/2 cups cane sugar  1 vanilla bean, seeded  1/4 cup to 1/2 cup coconut vinegar  In a skillet, toast the spices until fragrant. Add in a large bowl the toasted spices, oranges, sugar and vanilla. Combine really well, cover and place aside for up to a day on the countertop. Add in coconut vinegar, 1/4 cup at a time. Taste and see if it is to your liking. Cover and let it sit for up to a day on the counter. Strain into a container and store in the fridge. To serve add to some sparkling water or club soda—adjust to your liking and enjoy!    Spiced Old Fashioned    2oz rye whiskey  1/2oz shrub syrup  .25oz water  2 dashes Angostura bitters  1 dash orange bitters  Maraschino cherry  In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine all ingredients except the maraschino cherry. Shake until cold, strain into a glass and garnish with cherry.

Spiced Citrus Shrub

4 cloves, crushed

2 star anise, crush

1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed

1 cinnamon stick, crushed

3 cups of large oranges srubbed and rough chopped.

1 1/2 cups cane sugar

1 vanilla bean, seeded

1/4 cup to 1/2 cup coconut vinegar

In a skillet, toast the spices until fragrant. Add in a large bowl the toasted spices, oranges, sugar and vanilla. Combine really well, cover and place aside for up to a day on the countertop. Add in coconut vinegar, 1/4 cup at a time. Taste and see if it is to your liking. Cover and let it sit for up to a day on the counter. Strain into a container and store in the fridge. To serve add to some sparkling water or club soda—adjust to your liking and enjoy!

Spiced Old Fashioned

2oz rye whiskey

1/2oz shrub syrup

.25oz water

2 dashes Angostura bitters

1 dash orange bitters

Maraschino cherry

In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine all ingredients except the maraschino cherry. Shake until cold, strain into a glass and garnish with cherry.

Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookies

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Yes to these chocolate chip and peppermint cookies! I have been testing out different cookie recipes and these were a hit!

Y’all, I am not a baker but up until I made these cookies I have only made cookies from scratch  twice in my life! I really wish someone told me how easy it was.

On top of being quick to put together, they freeze well! Yes, you can have mountains of cookies in your freezer at you becoming. 

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Rich chocolate and minty peppermint is the perfect combo! I was at one of my local grocery stores here in Dallas and they have Valrhona chocolate on sale, so me being me, I had to get some!

Valrhona chocolate is a staple in professional kitchens across the world. Such great quaility, so when I saw them on sale, I had to grab some of their Guanaja 70%, which is the perfect balance. 

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When I first made cookies, I just used regular AP flour. But after some reading and studying of recipes, a lot of them called for a mixture of both AP flour and bread flour. Bread flour has more gluten which in turn will add more texture and a chew to your cookies. 

Also, if Christina Tosi from Momofuku Milk Bar fame recommends it, then it’s a no brainer. Here is a link from Food52 that talks a little bit more about using bread flour and also some more awesome tips and tools. 

Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookies

1/2 lb butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cup pastry flour

1 1/2  cup bread flour

2 teaspoons salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1 lb 70% chocolate chips, chopped

1 cup crushed peppermints

Instructions


1 In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle, cream butter and sugars.

2 Add eggs, one at a time.

3 Reduce speed to low, add flours, baking powder and soda, and vanilla. Mix until fully incorporated.

4 With the speed on low, add chocolate and stir until mixed.

5 Using an ice cream scoop, portion dough. Rest in refrigerator for at least 24 hours.

1 Preheat oven to 350°F.

2 Place dough evenly onto a lined baking sheet.

3 Sprinkle with sea salt and place directly into center of the oven.

4 Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes for larger cookies, 15 minutes for smaller cookies, turning entire tray 180° during baking.