Happy New Year 2008

It’s a perfect deep, dark winter night here in New England – clear, cold and soundly blanketed in a half foot of newly fallen snow. The ball has dropped in Times Square ( and risen up the pole here in Northampton ) marking the beginning of the first day in our new year. As the New Year’s Eve celebrations winds down, we want to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy New Year.

For those of you looking for a way to wind down after a busy round of celebrations on New Year’s Day, we offer you the following recipe for a sweet and creamy nightcap.  It is the perfect drink to sip lazily in front of the fire, and it is from our book HOT DRINKS, courtesy of our publisher, Ten Speed Press.

TOASTED CARAMEL

One sip is all you need to succumb to the charms of this sweet and creamy nightcap. Its understated color gives it an innocent appearance and it slides down your throat with satiny ease, but be warned: this seductive libation is deceptively potent. Dulce de leche is a wonderfully thick and creamy caramel-type spread from South America. Scoop it right from the jar by the tablespoon and don’t worry if you use more than is called for.

serves 2

1/4 cup dulce de leche

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup light cream

2 tablespoons ( 1 ounce ) Frangelico hazelnut liqueur

1 tablespoon ( 1/2 ounce ) amaretto

Combine the dulce de leche, water, and cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and continue to cook at the losest possible simmer until just heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the Frangelico and amaretto and mix well.

Serve in teacups with saucers.

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