The Peppermint Martini is creamy and minty fresh: the ideal winter cocktail! Step it up and rim the glass in peppermint candies.
Here’s a delightful signature winter cocktail: try the Peppermint Martini! This drink is creamy and minty fresh, a delicious combination of peppermint schnapps and chocolate liqueur. In fact, you may want to drink this any time of year! Of course, it’s perfect for the holidays. Cozy up with one by the fire, or drink it as a fun Christmas cocktail with appetizers. Either way, with a flavor of liquid candy canes, this one’s a total crowd pleaser.
What’s in a Peppermint Martini?
The Peppermint Martini is a spin on a flavored vodka martini that’s made with peppermint schnapps. As you may know, the vodka martini is barely related to the classic Dry Martini. It’s more of an excuse to make a flavored drink with vodka served up in a martini glass! This one combines peppermint and chocolate flavors with a rich, creamy body. Here are the ingredients you’ll need for a Peppermint Martini:
Shake these ingredients up in a cocktail shaker, and it comes out minty and creamy! This Peppermint Martini is just sweet enough, in our opinion (and we’re not fans of overly sugary drinks). While it can be considered a dessert drink, it’s not over the top. The sweetness comes mainly from the schnapps and the Creme de Cacao, so there’s no added simple syrup.
Prepping the Peppermint Martini glass rim
This Peppermint Martini is great as is, but if you’re entertaining it’s perfect with a peppermint candy rim! Here’s how to do it:
Crush the peppermint candies and add them a plate. Place them in a plastic bag and use the bottom of a jar, can, or rolling pin to break them into pieces.
Add a pool of grenadine to another plate. It doesn’t have to be much! Grenadine syrup is the glue that will hold on the candy.Place the outer edge of the glass in the grenadine and rotate. Hold the position of the glass constant and just rotate the stem so you get an even coating.
Don’t have grenadine? You can use water, too. Simply use your finger to wet the edge of the glass rim. Grenadine does a better job of adhering the candy, but water works.
Place the rim in the crushed candies and rotate. Then, do the same thing in the crushed candy! The grenadine will glue the crumbs to the rim.
Make it dairy free or vegan
Want to make this a dairy free or vegan Peppermint Martini? All you have to do is substitute full-fat coconut milk for the heavy cream! It comes out with a slight coconut flavor, but it’s not overwhelming. The coconut fat works well as a substitute for the dairy fat. (Don’t use cream of coconut: the drink will come out much too too sweet!)
More about peppermint schnapps
Peppermint schnapps is what makes this Peppermint Martini! It’s a clear alcohol made by adding peppermint flavoring to a clear grain spirit. You can substitute white Creme de Menthe if you have it on hand. Here’s what to know about this type of schnapps:
What ABV is peppermint schnapps? Peppermint schnapps is sold in three different ABV levels: 15% ABV (30 proof), 30% ABV (60 proof), and 50% ABV (100 proof). Compare it to 40% ABV of hard alcohol like vodka.
What does peppermint schnapps taste like? The flavor is like a candy cane, with a spicy, boozy finish. The strength tastes almost like mouthwash!
How much does it cost? Peppermint schnapps is very inexpensive: a 750 ml bottle costs $8 to $10.
Are there any substitutes? White creme de menthe can work as a substitute: it has a gentler, more balanced mint flavor. Just make sure not to get the green Creme de Menthe (which makes the signature green color in a Grasshopper)!
Important: 100 proof schnapps
There are a few types of peppermint schnapps that you’ll find at stores and online: 30 proof (15% ABV), 60 proof (30% ABV), and 100 proof (50% ABV). As you might guess, 100 proof is very strong. If the bottle says 100 proof, skip the quantity in the recipe and add it to taste!
More peppermint drinks
The Peppermint Martini is one of our favorite minty cocktails! Here are a few more minty drinks that work as holiday cocktails and beyond:
Peppermint candies and grenadine, for the rim (optional)
Prepare the rim: Crush the peppermint candies and place them in an even layer on a plate. On another plate, add a small pool of grenadine, or simply wet the rim of the glass with water using your finger (grenadine is easiest and works best). Run the rim of a martini glass in the grenadine first, rotating the glass so the rim is evenly coated. Then roll the rim in the crushed candies until evenly coated.
Shake the drink: Place the peppermint schnapps, vodka, Creme de Cacao, and heavy cream in a cocktail shaker. Add a handful of ice and shake until cold. Strain the drink into the prepared martini glass.
*Check the bottle before you make this drink! If using 100 proof (50% ABV) schnapps, use half the quantity and customize to taste.
**To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons
Quiche got a peculiar rap back in the 1980s when eating it was described as something that was not masculine. I’m not sure where that came from, but in France, everybody eats quiche. As the French debate how to address gender pronouns, in a language where crème, baguette, and salade are feminine and pâté, vin, and quinoa are masculine (although quinoa is a plante céréalière, which…
Quiche got a peculiar rap back in the 1980s when eating it was described as something that was not masculine. I’m not sure where that came from, but in France, everybody eats quiche.
As the French debate how to address gender pronouns, in a language where crème, baguette, and salade are feminine and pâté, vin, and quinoa are masculine (although quinoa is a plante céréalière, which is feminine), for no reason other than to make the language more challenging for the rest of us to learn (whether tique, the word for tick, was masculine or feminine has been hotly debated), quiche is enjoyed by tous (or everyone, which is masculine) in France, without any blowback.
This lusciously creamy lemon pasta recipe is the ideal balance of richness and acidity! It’s a comforting meal or stellar side dish.
Here’s a lusciously creamy pasta that will become the meal of your dreams. Try this Lemon Pasta! It’s rich and silky, with just the right balance of sharp citrus from loads of lemon zest. Don’t consider this a health food or even a healthy spin: it’s here for when you need a properly indulgent bit of pasta. This one is modeled off of a favorite of ours at a fantastic local restaurant and let’s just say: it’ll be tough to put down your fork.
Ingredients in this lemon pasta recipe
This lemon pasta recipe is a mess of citrusy, creamy long noodles smothered in cream, Parmesan and lemon zest. While most of the recipes on this website fit under the umbrella of healthy, this one is all about being just plain amazing. If you prefer a healthy spin, go to Vegan Fettucine Alfredo! For this lemon pasta you’ll need:
Pasta: spaghetti or bucatini
Salt and pepper
Use any long noodle (bucatini is best)
You can use any type of long noodle for this lemon pasta recipe. If you have fresh pasta, this would be a great sauce for using it! Of course, it’s much more accessible to use dried long noodles. Here are some options:
Bucatini: It’s spaghetti with a hole in it! It lends a deliciously chewy texture to the pasta.
Spaghetti: The classic!
Linguine: A slightly wider noodle.
Fettucine: A flatter and wider noodle.
Of course, this sauce works well with a short noodle as well, if you’re looking for a short pasta! Some ideas: Rigatoni, Penne, Orecchiette and Cavatappi would be great contenders.
How to make lemon pasta: a few tips
This lemon pasta takes just a few minutes to whip up. Here are a few tips to keep in mind during the cooking process:
Consider cutting it in half! The recipe below makes 6 to 8 servings, so cut in half if you don’t want leftovers (though they do save well!).
Zest the lemons first. You’ll need zest from two lemons, which can take a while. We like using a microplane grater to make quick work.
Loosen the sauce with pasta water. Like with many Italian pasta recipes, save a bit of the pasta water after you’ve boiled it: you may need a few splashes to get the sauce to a creamy consistency.
Serves a crowd, or works as leftovers
This lemon pasta makes quite a big pot of noodles! You’ll use 1 pound of pasta here, which in our book makes enough for 6 to 8 servings. This might be less than you’re used to when it comes to pasta, but this one is so rich we recommend having smaller servings.
You may want to halve this recipe, or it works great as leftovers! The flavor is still fantastic after 3 days refrigerated. We even ate it cold! You can also reheat it in a skillet with a splash of milk to get it creamy again.
What to serve with lemon pasta
Here’s an important thing about this lemon pasta recipe: how to make it into a meal! The serving size is smaller than you might be used to, because it’s such a rich and fatty pasta. You’ll want to accessorize it with a crisp green salad or some vegetable sides. Here are some ideas:
Cook the pasta (and save the pasta water!): Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Set the timer for a few minutes less than the package instructions and then taste: the pasta should be just done, still with some firmness. The pasta should also taste salty from the salted water. Save out ½ cup pasta water using a glass measuring cup for the sauce, then quickly drain the pasta.
Make the sauce: In saucepan, add the milk and cream and bring to a simmer over medium heat. As it comes to a simmer, grate in the garlic. Add ½ teaspoon kosher salt, zest of 1 lemon, and 4 tablespoons butter and stir for 1 minute. Slowly sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese, stirring constantly until fully incorporated and the sauce thickens.
Serve: Add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. Allow to sit 3 minutes. Add the remaining zest of 1 lemon, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and 1 tablespoon butter. Add a few drizzles of pasta water as necessary until nicely coated. Serve with fresh ground black pepper. Store leftovers refrigerated for up to 3 days (reheats nicely in a skillet with a splash of milk).
*This quantity serves 6 to 8: make sure to cut in half if you’re serving less eaters! Pair with a green salad or veggie side to round it out as a meal.
Tortelloni could not be tastier paired with tomato cream sauce! The rich, tangy sauce pairs perfectly with chewy pasta pillows.
Got tortelloni? This delicious pasta is often mistaken for tortellini, but it’s easily the better of the cousin pasta shapes. The larger of the two is delightfully tender, with a generous gooey filling. Here’s our favorite way to serve them: with a tangy, garlicky tomato sauce, with a touch of richness from a hint of cream. It’s a great way to make them into a tasty vegetarian dinner or easy side dish. This one has been a huge hit with any friends and family we serve it to!
What is tortelloni?
What is tortelloni, anyway? It’s easy to grab a package and mistake it for the smaller pasta shape. What is tortelloni vs tortellini?
Tortelloni is a pasta shape that is larger than tortellini with a filled center. Tortellini has smaller and is ring shaped, with a hole in the middle. In traditional Italian cooking, tortelloni filling is vegetarian whereas tortellini often has meat. Tortellini is also often served in broth, whereas tortelloni is served with creamy sauces.
Where to find it? Tortelloni is easy to find the refrigerated section at your local grocery. It’s usually not available dried or frozen (though you can find tortellini dried and frozen).
How to tell the difference quickly? Tortellini has a hole in the middle, tortelloni has a solid center that encloses the filling.
Ways to serve tortelloni
Tortelloni is our preference over tortellini because it’s larger and more substantial. It’s great for serving with creamy sauces, whereas the smaller pasta shape can get lost. Here are some of the top ways to eat tortelloni:
Tomato sauce: Scroll down for the recipe for creamy tomato sauce
This tomato cream sauce is our favorite way to serve tortelloni. It’s similar to a Vodka Sauce, but instead of slow cooking it for hours you can whip it up in just 30 minutes. Here are a few notes on the process:
Find best quality canned tomatoes. The quality of tomatoes makes the sauce. Our top choice is fire roasted, if you can find them: the flavor is sweet and developed right out of the can. Or look for San Marzano, an Italian variety of tomato with a sweet flavor. If you can’t find either, just find the best quality canned tomatoes you can find.
The secret ingredient? Fennel seeds. The fennel adds add hearty, meaty flavor that can’t be replicated. Don’t leave it out!
Simmer until thickened. This should take between 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the brand of tomatoes. Longer is always better, if you have the time!
Make it a meal: sides for tortelloni
Whip up a pan of this tortelloni, and you’re on your way to a delicious meal! You can serve it as a meatless main, or a side dish in part of a larger spread. We’ve served it as a side dish for salmon in a meal al fresco, and all our guests raved! Here are some ideas for making it into a meal:
Make the sauce: Mince the garlic. Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and fennel seeds and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant and the garlic is golden (do not allow to brown). Turn the heat to medium low. Add the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, ¼ cup of the heavy cream, the half onion, and the salt. Simmer 20 to 30 minutes until the sauce is thickened. When thickened, remove the half onion and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons heavy cream.
Cook the pasta: Start a large pot of well-salted water to boil. Boil the pasta until al dente according to the package instructions (usually around 2 minutes).
Serve: When the sauce is done, add the pasta to the skillet. Top with Parmesan shavings and fresh basil, if desired.
The soft floral notes of honey mingle with sultry vanilla bean in this show-stopping baked custard that’s deceivingly easy to prepare. Honey and vanilla make for a perfect combination in these perfectly petite, and perfectly adorable, pots de crème. The silky smooth texture is achieved by gently baking in a bain-marie or water bath. Part […]
The soft floral notes of honey mingle with sultry vanilla bean in this show-stopping baked custard that’s deceivingly easy to prepare.
Honey and vanilla make for a perfect combination in these perfectly petite, and perfectly adorable, pots de crème. The silky smooth texture is achieved by gently baking in a bain-marie or water bath.
Part two of my edible flower obsession, this time featuring chamomile flowers. They are most commonly used as herbal tea, but the fresh flowers are a lovely edible garnish for any dish, sweet or savory.
I was unsuccessful growing my own chamomile flowers last summer, and this year my efforts to find a starter plant came up short. I filled my garden with other edibles, including dianthus and marigold, but had resigned myself to a chamomile-less existence.
Then I spotted fresh cut chamomile flowers at Trader Joe’s, and immediately stashed a bunch in my cart (to Taylor’s obvious confusion since I never buy fresh flowers… because, cats.)
I had been planning to revisit these lovely honey pots de creme for some time now, the recipe one we originally developed for a honey company years ago but never actually posted it here. I had a container of honey comb I’d been saving for just this reason as well, so it appeared the stars (and flowers) had finally aligned.
Celebrate summer with scoop of this fresh peach and goat cheese ice cream: it’s bright and peachy with vanilla and almond extracts and just a hint of tangy goat cheese flavor. Eggless ice creams are a breeze to make and even easier to eat: this one only requires a quick whir in the blender before […]
Celebrate summer with scoop of this fresh peach and goat cheese ice cream: it’s bright and peachy with vanilla and almond extracts and just a hint of tangy goat cheese flavor.
Eggless ice creams are a breeze to make and even easier to eat: this one only requires a quick whir in the blender before churning, no heat required.
I’ve been on an ice cream kick this summer, especially now that the summer heat has hit with a vengeance. From toast & jam ice cream to strawberry funfetti ice cream cake, my ice cream machine has gotten plenty of exercise these past few months (I’ve actually got another ice cream recipe in the chute as well, one with a very interesting flavor you might raise your eyebrow at first, but trust me, it’s a good one. Alas, in an effort to spread things out and alternate some savory recipes in there too, you may have to wait a few weeks for that one).
This recipe uses a similar ice cream base as the strawberry buttermilk ice cream I used in my funfetti ice cream cake, simply swapping peaches for strawberries and goat cheese instead of the buttermilk.
Best of all, this ice cream is easy as pie (so the saying goes but honestly, pie is anything but easy, easy as eggless ice cream is much more apt). Simply blend up all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and pour it right into your ice cream maker. No eggs, no tempering, no fuss.
Sometimes I opt to chill my base a bit more before churning (colder base = faster churn time = creamier ice cream), but if all your ingredients are pretty cold to begin with, you have permission to go straight from blender to ice cream maker.
The goat cheese is not an overpowering flavor, rather just a hint, enough to give it some body and tang without veering into funky territory (Taylor was worried about this when I first posed the idea, but trust me that he’s more than come around to it after tasting the final product). I do recommend using a mild goat cheese, we picked up a tub of fresh goat cheese at our local farmers market, and it was lovely. I feel like store bought cheeses, the kind in the plastic logs, are typically more pungent in flavor.
There are few things as perfect as a simple chocolate dipped strawberry, and these impressive little entremet cakes transform that classic pairing into a chocolate covered dome of delight, with a luscious strawberry mousse and rich chocolate brownie core. Featuring a cloud-like strawberry mousse and a square of fudgy chocolate brownie, all covered with a […]
There are few things as perfect as a simple chocolate dipped strawberry, and these impressive little entremet cakes transform that classic pairing into a chocolate covered dome of delight, with a luscious strawberry mousse and rich chocolate brownie core.
Featuring a cloud-like strawberry mousse and a square of fudgy chocolate brownie, all covered with a glossy chocolate ganache glaze, these little mousse cakes are as stunning as they are delicious. While entremet-style desserts do require a bit of effort and planning, the work is easily manageable when split over a few days.
My blueberry mousse cake recipe is surprisingly popular given its complexity; and I’m giddy with delight every time I’m tagged in a photo by someone who’s made them.
This recipe is a similar entremet-style dessert, but with different components: a rich chocolate brownie instead of the almond sponge, a light strawberry Bavarian mousse (distinctive in its use of egg yolks in the base), and then a chocolate ganache coating instead of the mirror glaze.
The summer fun has just begun! This colorful strawberry funfetti ice cream cake will have you smiling from ear to ear (or mouth to stomach, rather). If happiness could be frozen, sliced and eaten with a fork, it’d probably look something like this: a thick layer of freshly churned strawberry buttermilk ice cream sandwiched between […]
The summer fun has just begun! This colorful strawberry funfetti ice cream cake will have you smiling from ear to ear (or mouth to stomach, rather).
If happiness could be frozen, sliced and eaten with a fork, it’d probably look something like this: a thick layer of freshly churned strawberry buttermilk ice cream sandwiched between moist yellow cake freckled with colorful confetti sprinkles.
Strawberry season is just about over here in Tennessee, but we managed to make it out to the fields to pick some before the fragile berries are smothered by the summer heat.
The berries were much smaller this year, so it took us a bit longer to pick a full bucket of them, but boy are they delicious. Tiny and sweet and oh so fragrant, I had to consciously restrain myself from eating every other berry that I picked (I’ve given myself plenty of stomachaches from eating too many strawberries, but I never seem to remember this when I’ve got a bucket of ruby red beauties on my arm.)
Honestly I can think of no better way to spend a long weekend then making all the strawberry things, from ice cream and pie to shortcakes and (of course) jam.
This recipe combines two of my favorite things: funfetti cake and fresh strawberry ice cream. It’s bright, fun, and fruity and guaranteed to make you smile.
Serve it topped with freshly whipped cream, ripe local strawberries, and even more rainbow sprinkles for good measure (really, can you ever have too many sprinkles?)
Toast and raspberry jam, now in ice cream form. Or, to be more descriptive, toasted brioche ice cream with a swirl of hibiscus raspberry caramel (I mean, how good does that sound?!) How do you turn your favorite morning toast and jam into a delectable dessert? Start with a sweet custard ice cream base base, […]
Toast and raspberry jam, now in ice cream form. Or, to be more descriptive, toasted brioche ice cream with a swirl of hibiscus raspberry caramel (I mean, how good does that sound?!)
How do you turn your favorite morning toast and jam into a delectable dessert? Start with a sweet custard ice cream base base, infused with actual toasted bread (trust me, it sounds weird but it’s actually amazing), and then swirl with a jammy hibiscus raspberry caramel sauce.
My thought process for this recipe was pretty convoluted, over the course of a few weeks I somehow went from a black sesame ice cream to this final toast and jam-inspired flavor. There was a peanut butter iteration in there somewhere too (think fancy PB&J) but ultimately I ended up here, with this toasted brioche ice cream and raspberry caramel ripple.
Much like my Sourdough Ice Cream, the custard base of this unique flavor is infused with actual bread; toasted brioche, to be exact, though you can pretty much do this with any kind of bread (whatever your favorite bread is for toast? Use that).
It’s always surprising to me how much flavor the bread imparts on the cream after a short 30 minute steep. I really didn’t think it would work the first time I tried it, and was simply floored when I snuck a spoonful of the freshly churned ice cream.
Chocolate and peanut butter lovers: delight! This one’s for you, with a rich milk chocolate brownie topped with layers of creamy peanut butter frosting and a luxurious chocolate ganache. Given the choice between chocolate cake or brownies, I’ll choose the brownie every time, especially when it’s loaded and layered with more chocolate and sweet and […]
Chocolate and peanut butter lovers: delight! This one’s for you, with a rich milk chocolate brownie topped with layers of creamy peanut butter frosting and a luxurious chocolate ganache.
Given the choice between chocolate cake or brownies, I’ll choose the brownie every time, especially when it’s loaded and layered with more chocolate and sweet and salty peanut butter like this one.
I recently had the urge to re-make, re-test, and re-shoot my old Cream Egg brownie recipe from way back in 2012. It’s a great recipe that always sees a little bit of a boost this time of year, but the photos don’t really do it justice. They’re not horrible (I had almost 5 years of experience at that point, if you can believe it… man I’ve been doing this blogging thing for way longer than I realized), but they are definitely not quite the same caliber of images I’m able to capture now. I also wanted to play with the ratios of brownie-filling-topping, and explore swapping the milk chocolate topping with a silky smooth milk chocolate ganache (basically, I can’t leave well enough alone).
A combination of factors, including crummy light and less-than-clean cuts (as a result of my impatience to get it done undoubtedly) failed to please my perfectionist self, and I didn’t end up reshooting the recipe after all. But that’s not to say we didn’t enjoy the spoils of the endeavor nonetheless. As Taylor was shoving the results of my test batch into his mouth, he remarked that his idea of a perfect brownie would be that same fudgy brownie base, a layer of sweet and salty peanut butter in place of the fondant, and a rich ganache topping.
So I made it happen.
The peanut butter layer turned out a bit more buttercream-y than I envisioned (I was shooting for something Reese’s like), but we both decided that it was quite lovely, light and fluffy and perfectly peanut buttery. The hint of salt, in both the brownie layer and the peanut butter layer, cuts the richness of the chocolate beautifully and also amplifies the flavors.
The brownie itself is dense and fudgy (just how I like them), even more so if you let it chill overnight (as hard as that may be, trust me when I say you’ll get much cleaner looking cuts if you wait until the next day).
I used a mix of chocolates, both dark and milk chocolate in both the brownie and the ganache, since, while I love me an ultra-dark chocolate brownie, I couldn’t ignore the fact that milk chocolate pairs so well with peanut butter. I wanted the best of both worlds.