Heads up, folks! If you haven't already, you can start ruining your New Year goal to lose weight and invest in Girl Scout cookies.
If you haven't already been assaulted with cubicle-to-cubicle sales by eager mothers/fathers pimping out the cookies on behalf of their little scout, or persuaded into a case of Thin Mints by that clever gal at your doorstep, you can join the digital age, download an app, or yes, even search to see when cookies will be available at retail areas near you!
And if you're like me and you've decided you're ready for something a little more...grown up, then ditch the palm oil and indulge in something that, after a few of them, will make you forget you just blew your diet!
I present to you...HOLLOW LEG's first Girl Scout Cookie-Inspired Cocktail, the Liquid Cookie.
This gorgeous little number is inspired by my personal favourite, the Samoa, which, according to Wikipedia, are "Vanilla cookies coated in caramel, sprinkled with toasted coconut and laced with chocolate stripes."
I don't know about you, but when it comes to both cookies and cocktails, I'm no longer impressed by the fake stuff. Palm oil in my cookies? No thanks. Cheap coconut rum? Can't we do better?
At HOLLOW LEG, we're all about using the best products sourced from awesome folks, and this cocktail has none of the fake stuff. With the Liquid Cookie, you'll taste the difference because it's made with the best ingredients...some of which will surprise you!
Samoas are known for their coconutty goodness. Instead of using something filled with artificial flavours, I went with a base of Rhine Hall Oaked Grappa.
Grappa, for those of you who don't know, is liquor made from the leftovers of wine making, called pomace. All of the seeds, peels, pulp, and stems are fermented and distilled creating what I can only describe as a liquored up wine drink. Rhine Hall, based in Chicago, then ages their grappa in oak barrels, mellowing out the flavour, and, creating a grappa that is sweet, toasty, and has lovely coconut notes, which are enhanced by the other fabulous ingredients in this cocktail. It's really something.
Now that we've got our coconut base, it's time to add caramel to your cocktail. We won't be doing this through flavoured vodka or (gasp!) high fructose corn syrup filed sauces. Nope! We'll be adding homespun caramel into our cocktail, which really is a cinch and so much more delicious than the store-bought stuff.
I love Sally's Baking Addiction's recipe, which can be found here, except I don't add any salt and I use Kilgus Farmstead heavy cream. Oh, and I know y'all are gonna roll your eyes, but I also make my own butter from heavy cream and use that. I know, I know...
If you don't have time to make your own butter, then go for something organic and grass-fed. Local is better, but Kerrygold works, too. The most important part is that you start with ingredients that taste good!
Now we need chocolate. And I'm not talking a measly little drizzle. I'm not talking only a garnish. I'm talking chocolate.
Frozen hot chocolate.
Frozen hot chocolate is not difficult to make and the payoff is great. I usually take a really good hot cocoa mix, say Ghirardelli, make it to the specifications on the packaging + melt some extra dark chocolate into the mix, then let it cool by tossing it into a Ball Jar and then into the fridge.
Once cool, blend with ice in your blender. Remember, you want a little icy crunch so you feel like you're indulging in a cookie. In this drink, a little crunch is good!
You're almost there! Now you just need vanilla bitters to add that vanilla cookie flavour and add some complexity. Surprise, surprise...I make my own....but you can buy extraordinary bitters these days, my suggestion being these Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters from Bittercube based out of Wisconsin!
2 oz Rhine Hall Oaked Grappa
1 oz homespun caramel
2-3 dashes vanilla bitters (or more if desired)
2.5 oz frozen hot chocolate
Garnish: Chocolate curls and/or a cocoa/cinnamon/sprinkles heart
Shake together the oaked grappa, bitters, and caramel first. You want to make sure the caramel is incorporated into the alcohol BEFORE shaking in the frozen hot chocolate.
Then pour in the frozen hot chocolate and shake again, for about 5-7 seconds. Pour into a glass.
For a garnish, I cut a heart out of a piece of cardboard and then set it over my glass. In the picture below, I'm dashing a drink with pink sprinkles. On the Liquid Cookie I make the heart out of cinnamon, but you could also use bitter cocoa!
Enjoy your drink, darling!