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Chef's Hat: Make your holidays festive with Baileys

It's time to start planning those holiday dishes to serve

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Pour Baileys Irish Cream over vanilla ice cream and add toppings for a sweet treat. Donna Evans / Echo Journal Correspondent

Like it or not, we are on the eve of the holiday season. If you have travel plans, family parties or other commitments, it's not too early to start planning those holiday dishes.

If you’re ready to branch out and try a recipe (or two) that has a bit of alcohol and a nice, creamy texture, then it's time to add Baileys Irish Cream to make your holiday dishes festive.

Baileys is an Irish rich cream liquor that can be used in much more than just fun and imaginative cocktails. It adds a rich, creamy texture to desserts, and if you want an unusual start to the day, try Baileys French Toast for a mouthwatering experience.

An Irish cream liquor can be made from scratch. Doing a little online research leads to numerous recipes that require anywhere from five to seven ingredients to make an Irish cream liquor. But with all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, this might not be the time to start experimenting with making your own Irish cream liquor.

Baileys is perhaps the best-known Irish cream liquor on the market, but there are several other brand varieties on the market today. Baileys has been around since the 1970s and has a shelf life of two years! An interesting tidbit: Baileys has more than 40,000 cows on 1,500 farms to produce the cream for their liquor.

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There has been a TV commercial running that shows how to make a simple, yet elegant dessert by pouring Baileys over ice cream. It is as easy to make as the commercial boasts: Place ice cream in a bowl, pour an ample amount of Baileys over the ice cream and top it off with anything you have on hand - cookies, sprinkles or pretzels.

This is a perfect dessert for any holiday meal and takes less than a minute to prepare. How can you beat that!

For those holiday breakfasts when a crowd is around, try making French toast with a splash of Baileys instead of part of the milk. If you have a free morning, try the Baileys French Toast recipe. There is just a minimal amount of liquor in the recipe, so it is appropriate for kids as well as adults.

Make the holidays a bit more festive with flavorful dishes. A dash of Irish cream adds richness to everything from your morning coffee to the evening dessert. Experiment by adding a dash to your favorite dishes, or start your Baileys adventure by trying out one of these recipes. You won’t regret it.

Happy Eating!

Baileys French Toast

Adapted from Baileys.com
(Double the recipe for additional servings)

For the whipped topping:

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  • 1⁄2 ounce of Baileys Irish Cream (or your favorite variety)
  • 4 ounces whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

For the French Toast:

  • 2 1/2 ounces of Irish Cream
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 1/2 ounces whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • Dash of salt
  • 4 thick slices of bakery-style bread or French bread (or day old bread of any kind)
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons milk chocolate or dark chocolate chips (melted)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine

For the whipped topping: Whisk together the ½ ounce Baileys Original Irish Cream, the 4 ounces of whipping cream and the 2 tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar. Keep chilled until the toast is done.
To melt the chocolate: Place in a small bowl and put into a microwave. Cook for 15 seconds, remove and stir. Cook 10 additional seconds at a time until the chocolate is melted.

For the toast: Combine the 2 1/2 ounces of Irish cream, the milk, 2 1/2 ounces of whipping cream, vanilla, eggs and salt in a medium sized bowl. Mix well.

Place a medium sized frying pan on the stove. Warm to medium. Add the butter or margarine to the pan.

Dip the bread into the egg mixture and then place into the prepared pan. Fry 4 to 5 minutes and then turn the bread over. Fry an additional 5 to 6 minutes until the toast is golden brown. Remove and place on plates. Top with the whipped cream and then drizzle the melted chocolate over the whipped cream.

If cooking large batch, turn on the oven to low heat, place browned toast on a cookie sheet or large pan and place in the oven to keep warm as the additional toast is cooking.

Baileys Brownies

Adapted from delish.com

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  • 1 box brownie mix (plus additional ingredients called for on the box)
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup Irish cream liquor
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Prepare the brownies according to package instructions. Spray an 8-inch by 8-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the brownie mix into the prepared pan. Bake according to package instructions.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly. While the brownies are cooling prepare the frosting.

In a medium bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, Irish cream, vanilla and salt. Place bowl over a pot of a barely simmering pan of water to create a double boiler and stir constantly until the chocolate is melted.

Pour the frosting mixture over cooled brownies. Refrigerate until set.

Slice into squares and serve.

Related Topics: FOODRECIPES
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