Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cousin Diane's Brandy Butter Hard Sauce






Traditionally associated with the Christmas season, Brandy Butter has been around since the 1700s. This "hard sauce" is aptly named, for the butter and sugar only soften when they meet hot Christmas pudding, but it's also delicious with mince pie, bread pudding, fruitcake, gingerbread, as well as puddings, pies, cobblers and crisps. Not surprisingly, this decadent concoction is usually seen around the holidays for one important reason: it contains booze. My cousin Diane makes her sweet Brandy Butter Sauce by creaming butter and icing sugar with a good glug of brandy, but you could also use rum (rum butter), whiskey (whiskey butter) or sherry (sherry butter). She also adds vanilla and orange zest, but you could also add ground almonds and a pinch nutmeg or cinnamon for a more modern touch. Best of all, it’s incredibly easy to make and is absolutely delicious. And amazingly, no calories at all! 




Mom's Shrimp Cocktail

Whimsical Christmas crackers

Our outstanding Christmas turkey by Executive Chef Joseph Santangini,
from The Bird Key Yacht Club

Chef Joseph Santangini's Roast turkey, Mom's acorn squash & brussels sprouts, 
Guy's roast potatoes and Edward's bread sauce

Mom and Dad's Traditional Christmas Pudding and Diane's very yummy Hard Sauce


Diane’s Hard Sauce
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1/3 cup butter, creamed
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla
3 tsp brandy, to taste
1 orange, finely zested


Cream the butter in a standing mixer, then gradually add the icing sugar and beat until fluffy. Blend in the vanilla, brandy and orange zest. Cover and chill until needed. Conveniently, it keeps for months in the refrigerator.