Every fall, Matt and I take a Saturday afternoon and carve a Halloween pumpkin. It’s a tradition (I’m not a big tradition person, but this is one of the few!). I have no pictures, but believe me when I tell you that we are NOT talented in the pumpkin carving arena. So you’re not missing much. We always have Buttered Spiked Cider to go with the pumpkin carving. It is so warm, comforting and perfect for the occasion. I would be remiss if I didn’t blog it. And even if you’re not carving a pumpkin, this is a wonderful drink to sip on a lazy, cold night. And, since you add the alcohol at the last minute, you can serve a version of this to kids. I find the recipe in an old (very old) issue of “Every Day with Rachael Ray” magazine – February/March 2006! Enjoy!
3 tbs unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground ginger
1 quart unpasteurized apple cider
4 ounces brandy
In a small bowl, mash the butter with the cinnamon and ginger.
Heat the apple cider in a medium saucepan over medium heat until hot but not boiling, about 4 minutes. Ladle the hot cider into 4 mugs. Add 1 ounce of brandy to each, and top each with a dollop of the spiced butter. The butter will melt into the hot drink, and it will smell and taste amazing!