An Oven’s Week in Hell – Day Two

My poor oven. It will have been on almost non-stop from December 17 until Christmas Eve. Of course, the gas company is probably enjoying every 350 degree moment of it.

Day Two:

My mother-in-law LOVES Christmas. The highlight of her year is throwing her Annual Christmas Tree Decorating Party. The whole family, along with long-time friends, new friends, neighbors, co-workers and tenants are invited to come eat, drink, be merry and decorate the giant Christmas tree. This year’s tree was a mere 9 feet tall, which may be huge by 3rd floor walk-up Brooklyn apartment standards, but it is tiny when it comes to the amount of ornaments that must find space on it. You see, the catch to attending this party is that you must bring an ornament. Every year, every man, woman, child, and the occasional dog, must add another ornament to the pot. She’s been doing this party for about 15 years. Do the math. It adds up to eleventy million ornaments which all must go onto the tree.

It is a lot of work, but the guests don’t complain because at the end of this we are fed delicious food and a wonderful drink called Coquito. Many years ago, the Puerto Rican culture realized that it is not enough to put a dash of alcohol into the eggnog. They tropicalized it and threw a bottle of Bacardi in. Brilliant! As far as I am concerned, there is no better way to get through the holdiay season! Since I couldn’t really drink much coquito this year because of the pregnancy, I opted to infuse the rum and eggnog into a dessert that would give the flavor, but cook off a lot of the fetal-alcohol-syndrome-inducing alcohol.


Twas the Saturday before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring except me in the kitchen making:

Spiked Eggnog Brownie Bites (modified from the Mocha Rum Brownie Bites found in the book Booze Cakes)

For Brownies:

  • 1 box brownie mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsps vanilla
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Bacardi Select rum
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

For Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup eggnog
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 or 3 tsp Bacardi Select rum

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a mini muffin tin with baking spray.

Mix brownie ingredients together well. Pour just over 1 tablespoon of the batter into each muffin cup.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

To make the frosting, mix the flour, salt and eggnog together in a saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring almost constantly until it is very thick. **note: this does not work if you don’t turn the burner on like a certain blogger may have done and then started kvetching that the it was taking to long to heat up** Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to cool.

In a separate mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the cooled eggnog mixture until nice and fluffy. Blend in the rum. Add more rum if you want more rummy goodness but remember that this rum won’t be cooked off. Please don’t forget to continuously taste-test your rum to ensure quality in your final product.

Pipe a dollop of spiked frosting onto each spiked brownie bite. Decorate as you see fit. I used some red, white, and green nonpareils for a Christmas-y look.


Sorry, best photo I could get. They disappeared too fast.

Stay tuned for Day 3 – Peanut Butter Cookies and “S” Cookies


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