Mom: Do you have my buttercream recipe?
Mom: I can't find it. Are you sure you don't have it?
Me: No mom, I don't have it. But I know the recipe, do you want me to tell it to you?
Mom: I'm sure you have it.
Me: No, I don't. But listen, it's one box of powdered sugar, one-
Mom: No I want my recipe, you know, the one George Beechner wrote out.
Me: I know mom, I don't have it. It's probably in that cabinet of yours. But it's really easy, it's just...
Mom: I looked all through the cabinet, it's not there, and we have to have the bourbon buttercreams for Christmas...
Well, the original recipe was never found, but I've made these so many times I really know the recipe by heart. This makes about 40 buttercreams, and we almost always end up making a second batch. I brought some to my office last week and they were gone in under an hour.
An attempt by a less experienced buttercream maker- the buttercream balls should be rolled until smooth.
In my opinion, there are few things better than a bourbon buttercream. And I generally dislike bourbon (heresy for someone with a Tennessean mother). But you can also flavor them with lemon, orange, vanilla beans, and a myriad of other flavors. The mixture will seem dry at first but do not be tempted to add more butter- if you do they will be too soft at room temperature.
1 1/4 sticks (10 tbl) butter
1 box (1 lb) powdered sugar
3 tbl bourbon
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1. Cream the butter until smooth. Cream in the powdered sugar until the mixture is crumbly. Add the bourbon, then continue to cream the mixture until it comes together in a ball. It may seem like the mixture is too dry but don't worry, it will come together eventually. The mixture should be somewhat stiff and fluffy, you should be able to knead it with your hands. If it is too wet, add some more powdered sugar. Taste it to see if the bourbon is to you liking. I almost always add more :-)
2. Pinch off small pieces of the buttercream and roll into balls, about 1/2 tablespoon size (they are rich, so the size of about two small nibbles). Place on wax-paper lined baking sheets. Refrigerate the balls until firm and dry.
3. Meanwhile, prepare a double boiler. Place the chocolate in the top of the double boiler and melt, stirring until smooth. When the chocolate is melted, turn the heat to the lowest setting, so the chocolate just stays warm. Coat the chilled buttercreams in the chocolate. I use a spatula and a fork for this- drop a buttercream in the chocolate, use the spatula to turn the buttercream in the chocolate to coat, then lift the buttercream out with a fork and transfer to wax paper.
4. Transfer to the fridge to chill until firm. Buttercreams are best stored in the fridge and served chilled.