TORONTO, August 31st, 2021—Treats packed with sugar and spice and everything nice will be on the minds of Canadians looking to thank friends, neighbours or a special someone who helped them make it through the challenges of the pandemic. For many, cookies and cocktails are among the most popular holiday gifts to show appreciation. Everyone is looking forward to ushering in and celebrating the holidays and toasting to the new year. And let’s be honest, with the year we’ve had, everyone, jolly fellow included, deserves more than plain milk and cookies…
While cookie exchanges are an annual tradition for many, South African cream-based liqueur, Amarula, is hoping to take the joy of sharing our favourite recipes much further this year. Just in time to celebrate National Cookie Exchange Day on December 22nd, the brand, along with 16 of the country’s top mixologists and bakers, are kick-starting what they hope will become Canada’s largest virtual cookie exchange which will ensure no matter what, we can still come together over the holidays and pay it forward. forward. The Ontario experts include: Jeremy J Parsons (Culinary drinks / Cocktails Mobile), Rebecca J (Aka Miss Rebecca J), Rodney Alleguede (Goûter by RA), Eleni Bock (Ration Food Bar), Nadege Nourian (Nadège), Marlene Thorne (Famous Last Words). Amarula’s #NationalCookieExchange invites Canadians to share their family cookie recipes, and for each recipe shared Amarula will make a $5 donation* to Feed Ontario, Food Banks BC and Food Banks of Quebec. To provide inspiration, these experts have created cookie and cocktail pairings featuring Amarula to start the virtual chain and provide Santa with a little holiday cheer. These recipes are available for download on the campaign website at www.amarulacanada.ca/nationalcookieexhange
“Many holiday cookie recipes come with a special story. Baking them for someone is often one of the most time-honoured holiday traditions and heartfelt expressions of gratitude,” says Jamie Rendell, Brand Manager at PMA Canada, the distributor of Amarula in Canada. “Something as simple as sharing our cookie and Amarula recipes has the power to bring us all together. Not only will these recipes find new life in kitchens across the country but sharing them will allow us to do something great and pay it forward for Canadians facing food insecurity.”
*To a maximum of $10,000 total to the three provincial food bank organizations.
GET IN ON THE VIRTUAL EXCHANGE
From December 8th through to the date after the National Cookie Exchange Day on December 23rd, Canadians can share their recipes be they nut-free, vegan or richly indulgent, for all to enjoy on the Amarula Canada Facebook page or on their personal Instagram page using the #NationalCookieExchange hashtag. For each recipe shared, Amarula will donate $5 to Feed Ontario, Food Banks BC and Food Banks of Quebec. For more details on how to participate, Canadians can visit www.amarulacanada.ca/nationalcookieexhange
RECIPE DEVELOPED BY Rodney Alleguede
Goûter by RA
Yield: 16-24 biscotti
- 1/3 cup (50 g) dried apricots
- 1/3 cup (50 g) pitted dates
- 1 cup (140 g) almonds
- 6 Tbsp. (90 g) Amarula Cream Liqueur
- 1 2/3 cups (220 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup + 3 Tbsp. (70 g) fine almond powder
- 2 tsp. (10 g) baking powder
- 1 tsp. (5.7 g) salt
- 1/3 cup (85 g) room temperature butter
- 1 cup (200 g) sugar
- 2 large eggs
- Chop the apricots, dates and almonds. Mix and soak in the Amarula. Leave to rest for at least one hour.
- In a bowl mix the flour, almond powder, baking powder and salt. Stir until well combined and set aside.
- In a bowl mix the butter and sugar using a spatula until creamy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time making sure they’re well incorporated. Keep mixing until fluffy. Incorporate the flour-almond powder-baking powder-salt mixture one tablespoon at a time. Once evenly combined add the soaked almonds, apricots, dates and Amarula.
- Flour a work surface, pour the biscotti mix on the table, shaping it like a log (3” wide).
- Let it rest in the refrigerator overnight wrapped in saran wrap.
- The next day, preheat the oven to 325°F, then bake for 20 minutes (or until it starts to brown lightly).
- Take out of the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
- With a bread knife cut the log in slices of roughly 2 cm in width.
- Lay on its side on a parchment paper.
- Put back in the oven for another 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Once fully cooked take out of the oven and allow to cool down.
Melt some white chocolate and dip the biscotti halfway.
RECIPE DEVELOPED BY Jeremy J Parsons
Culinary drinks / Cocktails Mobile
- 2 oz. Amarula Cream Liqueur
- 3 oz. coffee, cooled
- 1 oz. chocolate milk
- 5 raspberries
- Green and red sugar, to taste, for garnish
- In a shaker half full of ice combine all ingredients. Shake until
raspberries are pulverized and frothy. Strain over top of fresh
- 1 oz. Amarula Cream Liqueur
- 1 oz. pisco
- 0.5 oz. orange oleo saccharum*
- A few drops, Islay scotch (optional)
- Crushed ice
- Dusted ground nutmeg, sugar and Allspice Berry Bouquet
mixture, for garnish
- Dehydrated orange slice, for garnish
- Mix Amarula Cream Liqueur, pisco, orange oleo saccharum and scotch. Pour over crushed ice.
- Top with more crushed ice and dust the nutmeg sugar over top. Garnish with orange slice and allspice.
AMARULA & CHOCOLATE MACARON
RECIPE DEVELOPED BY Nadege Nourian
FOR THE MACARON SHELL
- 3 cups (375 g) blanched almonds
- 3 cups (375 g) icing (confectioner’s) sugar
- 4.5 (135 g) egg whites (1)
- 4.5 (135 g) egg whites (2)
- 95 mL (95 g) water
- 1 cup + 6 oz. (375 g) caster (superfine) sugar
- Sift almond meal and icing (confectioner’s) sugar together.
- Add 4.5 egg whites (1). Mix until the texture becomes smooth, then reserve.
- Put 4.5 egg whites (2) into the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Put the water and the caster (superfine) sugar into a small pan and heat until it turns into syrup.
- When the syrup reaches 110°C (230°F), start to whisk egg whites (2).
- When the syrup reaches 118°C (244°F), pour it onto the fluffy egg whites.
- Keep mixing until the meringue holds and cools to 50° (122°F).
- Fold the first mix into the meringue until it is smooth and shiny.
- Pipe the resulting macaron mixture into 4 cm (1 5/8 in.) circles; this will make approximately 50 macaron shells.
- Allow to dry at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Bake at 130°C (266°F) for 10-12 minutes. Reserve.
FOR THE AMARULA & CHOCOLATE GANACHE
- 11 oz. (350 g) cream 35%
- 1.5 Tbsp. (15 g) ground coffee
- 7.9 oz. (225 g) milk chocolate
- 7.9 oz. (225 g) dark chocolate
- 1⁄2 cup (115 g) butter
- 2 oz. (70 g) Amarula Cream Liqueur
- Heat up the cream.
- Infuse the coffee inside the cream for 20 minutes.
- Sieve the cream to remove the coffee.
- Melt the milk and dark chocolate to 45°C (113°F).
- Pour the cream onto the chocolate.
- Add the butter and blend with a hand blender until the ganache becomes smooth.
- Add the Amarula and blend a little.
- Reserve in a cool place until set.
- Pipe the set ganache onto half the macaron shells (about 25). Cover with the remaining macaron shells. Put the filled macarons into a container in the fridge for a day before consuming to experience the best texture.
A GIFT FROM THE MARULA TREE: MADE FOR SHARING THE SEASON
Amarula is created from the marula fruit, grown only in Africa. The Marula tree bears this exotic fruit only once a year, at the height of summer. When the scent of ripe Marula fills the air, the elephants travel vast distances to get a taste. That is the cue to begin harvest which is done by hand by local communities.
The fruit is oval in shape and the size of a small plum. As it ripens, the colour changes to a rich yellow on the outside but reveals a white flesh which contains four times more vitamin C than the average orange. The fruit is succulent with a citrus tang and a creamy, nutty taste. To create Amarula, first the fruit is stoned, its flesh crushed, and the pulp fermented. The Marula “spirit” is then distilled and aged in French oak barrels for at least two years, during which wood spice characters of vanilla and toast are naturally imparted. Then, before being bottled, dairy cream is infused to give Amarula its rich, velvety texture.
Because elephants travel for miles to feast on the wild fruit, locals call it “the elephant tree.” African folklore also refers to it as “the marriage tree” as it is said to have aphrodisiac properties as well as fertility rites.
For more information and to set up interviews with the bartenders, mixologists and/or local bakeries, and to receive high resolution photographs: