Whip up a batch of homemade Gingerbread Cream Liqueur for a festive sip during the holidays . . . or anytime when there's a bit of winter chill in the air. You'll be feeling all warm and glowy (is that a word?) and full of gingerbread cheer. This liqueur is rich and creamy (but dairy free), spicy and not too sweet; the adult version of a gingerbread cookie. Yum. (Skip to recipe.)
As I write this I sit amidst a sea of wrapping paper and baskets of laundry to fold. In the kitchen doorway stand bags of stocking stuffers to sort, the table is covered in leftover tinsel and sparkles from the German kindergarten concert, handwashed sweaters adorn every chair back and couch as they dry, and a heap of dirty dishes taunts me from next to the sink. I've got cookie dough in the freezer that was supposed to be baked last week, I can't find the garland to wrap around the staircase rails, and I didn't get gifts for any of my nieces and nephews this year.
I know I still have to put clean sheets on all the beds, the tree needs to be brought in and put up tonight so it can be decorated tomorrow, school thank-you emails need to be sent, and there's still a lot of shopping to be done.
But I am soooo tired. It's been a week of BUSY that tops all weeks of busy. Hanging out in a grade one classroom the week before Christmas will do that to you. It'll put you more intensely into the Christmas spirit than anywhere else in the world could do. It'll give you moments that make your heart melt. There are big open smiles and spontaneous hugs; wonderful sticky-fingered hugs.
How many more sleeps until Santa comes, Mrs. Bose-Johnson?
How long until home time? (at 9:30 in the morning).
I think I saw him, Mrs. B-J!!! I really did. I heard his sleigh!!!
Johnny looked at me! He gave me the stink-eye!
Here, Mrs. B-J, you can have a piece of my candy cane; I didn't lick on this part.
Guess what the elf did in our house last night? He chewed up all the toilet paper!
No, I didn't eat the glue.
Here's a tree decoration I made for you, I coloured it myself. The cat just chewed off that little corner, but you still like it, don't you?
It'll also put you more behind in your Christmas preparations than you ever thought you could be. Hardly a stitch has been done in this household, and our four offspring are all arriving from the far flung corners of the globe within the next two days. The first of our crew, our youngest son, arrives at midnight tonight from extended travels in South America. Then tomorrow our two daughters and their boyfriends arrive, one couple flying in from Atlanta, Georgia, and the other driving in from Calgary. Then finally on Sunday night our oldest son and his new wife fly in from Bali, where they're currently traveling and working. It'll be a whirlwind of activity.
I know there'll be lots of love and laughter, but right now, all I can see is the mountains of stuff to do around me, and I'm feeling overwhelmed. I don't know where to start.
So I am very thankful that one of the small preparations I did get done is to make up a big quadruple batch of our family's favourite Gingerbread Cream liqueur. It's a necessary ingredient when we're decorating the tree. Since our plan is to get the tree up and then have a tree decorating party with the kids that have arrived home by tomorrow night, I knew it was the one Christmas tradition ingredient I had to get made up ahead. I've got enough bottles of Gingerbread Cream liqueur in the fridge downstairs to give our crew something to toast with and maybe even a couple bottles to give away to friends as gifts.
I think it'll be just the thing to help me get started on my mountain of things to do, and by the time our youngest arrives tonight, I may just be mellow and calm and in the best ho-ho-ho state of mind, no matter if I'm done my list or not.
I've been making this gingerbread cream liqueur for quite a few years now, tweaking the recipe a bit each year until it's juuuuuuust right. It's a gingerbread cookie in liquid form.
If the thought of biting the arm off a crispy, chewy gingerbread man puts you in the holiday mood, you'll love this liqueur, too. It's dark and spicy, rich and creamy, but without a drop of dairy in it. Coconut milk and almond milk add the silkiness, while the brown sugar and molasses add the gingerbread undertones. Dark rum weaves its sultry spell in the background. Then a slew of holiday spices gives it that final crank. Warm cinnamon and peppery ginger provide the base notes, and the aromatic hit of nutmeg, cloves, and allspice provide their Christmas cookie high notes.
I'm going to pour myself a creamy sip and go tackle my pile of wrapping. I'm feeling in a holiday mood already, just thinking of it.
Stress? What stress?
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ONE AND ALL!
Wishing you, all my dear readers, a very wonderful holiday season filled with an abundance of love, lots of laughter, some very special family times, and of course, much delicious feasting!
* * * * *
Kitchen Frau Notes: Use a full-fat, premium coconut milk here (I like Thai Kitchen brand) for the silky richness it adds to the liqueur (no lite coconut milk should be used here!)
Molasses comes in three strengths: fancy molasses is the lightest, next comes cooking molasses, and blackstrap molasses is the most dark and intense. If you like molasses, you can even double the amount to two tablespoons of blackstrap molasses for this recipe.
I use dark Navy Rum for the complex flavour it provides, but if you can't find it, I'm sure amber run would do in a pinch.
gluten free, dairy free
- 1 cup (210gms) brown sugar, firmly packed
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 can (14oz/398ml) full-fat, premium coconut milk
- 1 cup (240ml) almond milk
- 1 tablespoon blackstrap or cooking molasses (or 2 tablespoons fancy molasses)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups (480ml) dark rum
Mix brown sugar and all dry ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan. Add a couple tablespoons of the coconut milk and whisk until all smooth. Add the rest of the coconut milk, the almond milk, and the molasses.
Whisk and stir over medium heat just until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
Strain the mixture through a fine-meshed sieve into a container with a pouring spout or a bowl. I like to pour the rum through the sieve near the end to help wash the last of the syrup through.
If you didn't pour the rum through the sieve, add it to the syrup now. Add the vanilla. Whisk to combine everything, then pour the liqueur into empty bottles with lids (rinsed out screw-cap wine bottles or bottles with wire swingtop stoppers work well). Store in the refrigerator for up to several months. Shake the bottle each time before serving as the contents sometimes separate out (depending on the coconut milk used) and some of the spices may settle to the bottom.
Makes about 5 cups (1.2l) of Gingerbread Spice Liqueur.
Want to receive new Kitchen Frau recipes directly to your email? Sign up here and you’ll get a handy and useful kitchen tip along with each recipe, too. (No spam ever.)
Don’t forget to PIN IT to save the recipe:
You might also like: