Celebrate New Year’s Eve with Dessert & Cocktails: Sparkling Pink Grapefruit Sorbet-Cocktail

SAM 5547 Edited Celebrate New Years Eve with Dessert & Cocktails: Sparkling Pink Grapefruit Sorbet Cocktail

Happy New Year’s Eve! After a wonderful week that included visiting with family, I have begun to look forward to the new year. I never questioned today’s Pink Grapefruit-Champagne Sorbet Cocktail recipe from David Lebowitz’s “Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes“, but I struggled with the best post to write to put 2011 to bed. Do I simply list the half-year’s most popular posts, or should I share my favorite tips learned over the past six months?  I decided on both.

SAM 5545 Edited e1325354875751 Celebrate New Years Eve with Dessert & Cocktails: Sparkling Pink Grapefruit Sorbet Cocktail

The top 11 posts for 2011 are:

11. New Mexico Christmas Biscochitos
10. Warm Cranberry Dip
9. Sans Rival Cake
8. Cupcake Tower DIY
7. Cake Balls
6. Middle Eastern Stuffed Peppers
5. Homemade Butter Mints
4. Homemade Egg Nog & Egg Nog Cookies
3. Long Island Iced Tea Cake
2. Hershey Kiss Acorns
1. Hershey Kiss & Cherry Mice

The top 3 tips I learned in 2011 are:

Gold: If you hesitate to bake on a whim because your butter is chilled in the refrigerator instead of resting at room temperature on the counter, simply rub a stick (or whatever amount is needed) of butter across a vegetable grater. You will end up with a bowl of what looks like mozzarella cheese and can start mixing immediately.

Silver: To avoid baking a dessert with a burnt bottom but gooey center, simply double stack your baking sheets. I have a very tiny oven that bakes foods quickly, and I often sacrificed the bottoms of breads until I doubled stacked a baking sheet under my bread pan. Voila, beautifully baked bread.

Bronze: To kick up the flavor in confectioner’s sugar frosting, substitute flavored coffee creamer for milk.

SAM 5555 Edited e1325354827801 Celebrate New Years Eve with Dessert & Cocktails: Sparkling Pink Grapefruit Sorbet Cocktail

As for what I plan to enjoy to ring in the new year, I turned to the dessert turned cocktail, Sparkling Pink Grapefruit Sorbet-Cocktail. To make the sorbet, I relied on Christmas gifts from both last year and this year. My sister and brother-in-law gave me an awesome Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker last year, so that took care of the sorbet. Then I used a melon baller Santa put in my stocking this year to scoop tiny balls of sorbet into my champagne flute (which is my senior year prom glass- classy!) before pouring in the sparkling wine. The sorbet is equally delicious on its own or served with sparkling wine.  Cheers to a happy, healthy new year!

SAM 5535 Edited Celebrate New Years Eve with Dessert & Cocktails: Sparkling Pink Grapefruit Sorbet Cocktail

Sparkling Pink Grapefruit Sorbet Cocktail
Recipe type: Dessert or Cocktail
  • 2 cups pink grapefruit juice
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Champagne or sparkling wine, plus additional for serving
  1. Place a small baking sheet in the freezer to chill.
  2. Combine ½ cup of the pink grapefruit juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Stir until the sugar is fully dissolved, remove from heat, and pour the mixture into a medium bowl.
  4. Add the remaining 1½ cups pink grapefruit juice and 1 cup of the Champagne or sparkling wine to the bowl.
  5. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, then freeze in an ice cream maker per the manufacturer's instructions.
  6. Scoop the sorbet into small balls and place on the baking sheet removed from the freezer. Return to the freezer until ready to serve.
  7. Place a few balls of the sorbet into a Champagne flute, then pour in the remaining Champagne or sparkling wine.

A Quick Bite: Peppermint Hot Fudge Sauce

SAM 5237 Edited A Quick Bite: Peppermint Hot Fudge Sauce

Peppermint stick ice cream is my must eat dessert at Christmas, so I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered pouring this peppermint hot fudge sauce on top of vanilla ice cream tasted exactly like the peppermint stick ice cream I love to eat.  It’s even better with a few crushed peppermints sprinkled on top to mimic the crunch of the peppermint sticks in the ice cream.

SAM 5260 Edited e1323739537601 A Quick Bite: Peppermint Hot Fudge Sauce

Today’s post is short and sweet so I can get back to enjoying the holidays with family. I have been in Ohio for a day and have already nearly run out of gasoline with dad, so who knows what else awaits. I wish you and yours a happy holiday season and am looking forward to ringing in a New Year with new recipes soon.

SAM 5270 Edited A Quick Bite: Peppermint Hot Fudge Sauce

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 12 ounce bag chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  1. Combine the heavy cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips and peppermint extract. Continue to stir until chocolate is fully melted.
If desired, adjust the consistency of the syrup by adding additional corn syrup once the chocolate is fully melted.

A Gift From The Kitchen: Salted Caramels

SAM 5308 Edited A Gift From The Kitchen: Salted Caramels

My first encounter with salty caramel was a scoop of ice cream at the Jeni’s (Splendid Ice Creams) in Grandview.  At the time, salty caramel was just beginning to approach the intersection of Trendy and Cool.  Now salty, or salted, caramel is a flavor I have seen used in almost every dessert imaginable. It’s popularity is exactly the reason I avoided making my own salted caramel dessert for as long as possible.  Why should I post something that every one else is posting?  Um, because it’s delicious, that’s why.

SAM 5297 Edited A Gift From The Kitchen: Salted Caramels

Making caramels fell under the “must do” portion of my blog list near the holidays. I remember many an afternoon during the school break holiday when I would sit at my grandma’s or my aunt’s kitchen table wrapping homemade caramels in squares of wax paper.  I loved the caramels. I tolerated the wrapping.

SAM 5309 Edited e1323740293746 A Gift From The Kitchen: Salted Caramels

A friend from work and I recently had a conversation about gift ideas for parents, or the people who have everything.  It went something like this:

Friend: “It’s so hard to buy gifts for my parents.”
Me: “No kidding. My sister and I are struggling to come up with ideas this year.”
Friend: “It’s like, hey Mom and Dad, how about I buy you a car for Christmas? Oh wait, that’s right, you bought me a car.”  
Me: [Unable to speak due to laughter.]

SAM 5307 Edited A Gift From The Kitchen: Salted Caramels

Perhaps our next conversation will go something like this:

Friend: “It’s so hard to buy gifts for my parents.”
Me: “Make them some salted caramels. They’re delicious.”


SAM 5291 Edited A Gift From The Kitchen: Salted Caramels

Salted Caramels
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter
  • 2¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • ½ cup water
  • 2¼ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1½ tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  1. Line an 8 x 8 inch pan with aluminum foil, then generously butter the sides and the bottom of the foil.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients except the vanilla extract in saucepan over medium-low heat.
  3. Stir frequently until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture turns golden brown and measured 250 degrees F on a candy thermometer. This will take approximately 18-25 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and very carefully stir in the vanilla extract. The mixture will bubble up very rapidly.
  6. Pour the caramel into the prepared, buttery foil-lined dish. Let stand at room temperature until the top is set, approximately 20 minutes.
  7. When the top is set, carefully transfer the dish to the refrigerator. Chill until the caramel is firm enough to cut, approximately 2 hours.
  8. Invert the firm caramels on a cutting board and peel back the foil.
  9. Use a sharp knife to cut the caramels into one-inch squares.
  10. Garnish with coarse sea salt if desired.
A disposable 8 x 8 inch aluminum pan can be used in place of an 8 x 8 baking dish lined with foil, but please recycle it when you finish making caramels! Please also be sure to set a disposable pan on a baking sheet to provide stability.