Crock pot cocktail: Hot spiked apple cider

This little cocktail concoction is just in time to warm your hearts (and hands!) for Thanksgiving. You know we do a specialty Thanksgiving cocktail every year, like this apple spice libation. Or Lauren Conrad’s kick ass Pilgram Punch I made a couple of years ago. So this year, we’re coming in hot with a crock pot cocktail.

Typically, I’ve been making this drink for Halloween. We’re usually outside waiting for the trick or treaters, and October in the NE means you need more than just a fire to help stay warm. However, the volume this recipe produces is perfect for your large holiday gathering. Bonus, everyone can help themselves! No need to be bartender for the night.

  • 1 jug of apple cider
  • 1/2 bottle Fireball
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • 3-5 whole star anise
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg

Pour all of the ingredients into your crock pot and simmer on high for 2 hours. After 2 hours, turn down to low until finished.

Crockpot Cocktail_damndelish

Happy Eating, XO.

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Apple Cider Donuts

For a couple of years now, it’s been a tradition to go to Beardsley Cider Mill and get their hot-out-of-the-oven, mouth-watering, earth-shattering apple cider donuts. But I couldn’t stand the thought of eating them only once a year.  I need them in my life like I need another pair of shoes – and I always need another pair of shoes. So I bought a donut pan (shout out to HomeGoods – $9.99!) and tried to recreate them myself. I’m now sharing them with you because trust me, you need them your life too.

And I’m sure Santa wouldn’t mind these with milk instead of cookies this year either.

Donut batter

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp apple pie spice

Sugar coating

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease your donut pan. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, apple pie spice, and salt. Once blended mix in the apple cider, eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and butter. Fill each cup 3/4 full and bake them for roughly 15 minutes or until golden brown. Just like a cake or cupcakes, when they feel spongy, they’re done.

While the donuts are baking, mix together the brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon for the coating. Once the donuts are done and have had a chance to cool, very lightly brush on the butter and toss the donut in the coating. (Warning: do not use a ton of butter for the coating. It will make the donuts soggy.)

Apple cider donuts

Happy Eating, XO.

Apple Spice Cocktail

In the spirit of traditions, every Thanksgiving I make a new “signature” cocktail to kick off the meal. I don’t have an ounce of “mixology” in my body, so I take to Pinterest for inspiration. Last year I made Lauren Conrad’s Pilgram Punch (which was dangerously good). This year I made an apple spice recipe from Love and Lemons and it was delicious! I made a few tweaks based on ingredients I already had (waste not, want not) and let me tell you, it went down nice and easy. This is an easy drink to make for all of those upcoming holiday parties.

*Disclaimer – the “base” for this drink needs time to steep and chill, so be sure to make it the night before.

  • 18 ounces apple cider
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 star anise pods
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 18 ounces Stoli Premium Vodka
  • 6 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon
  • crushed ice
  • 12 oz. bottle of sparkling water (optional)
  • 1 red apple, sliced for garnish (they are sooo good to eat after you’ve finished the drink)

In a small saucepan simmer the apple juice with the cinnamon sticks and star anise. When it barely comes to a boil, remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes, then chill for a couple of hours (or overnight).

When your’e ready to start making cocktails, remove the cinnamon sticks and star anise and set aside for garnish.In a cocktail shaker, shake the spiced apple juice, vodka, lemon, and ice together (work in batches if you need to).

Pour into glasses, add a splash of sparking water, and garnish with apple slices, cinnamon sticks and star anise pods.

apple spice cocktail

Happy Eating Drinking, XO.