hardsauceYesterday was a busy day, I prepared a beautiful vegetarian lunch of Shepherd’s Pie and a tossed salad and took it to friends in Potrerillos, about 30 minutes from Boquete.  The main dish was made from a recipe I found in my favorite cookbook, “The Ultimate Collection” by Alison Holst.

The menu was perfect, Shepherd’s Pie and fresh salad.  A salad is always a hit as I’m known for making salads a little differently than most recipes suggest.  I like to add something unexpected to each of my salads, this time I added half a finely chopped apple sprinkled with nutmeg.

But, I needed a dessert and there wasn’t time to make anything.  On the way to Portrerillos, we stopped at our local supermarket and picked up a sweet-smelling fruitcake, which was the best-looking holiday dessert available.  We arrived with a complete lunch, almost ready to eat.

The Shepherd’s Pie turned out lovely after Donna browned the grated cheese garnish.   I tossed and served the salad on side plates and we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon with good friends.  We enjoyed fine food and shared lots of fun, memorable conversation in one of the most beautiful homes in Panama.

When it was time for dessert, I had a moment of flashback!  I didn’t make any hard sauce to go with the fruitcake!   I didn’t even think of it until I started to slice the cake.  What is holiday fruitcake without hard sauce?  Or did I have hard sauce with Christmas Pudding when I was a child?  Or did I have hard sauce with Graham Cracker Roll?   Whichever it was, I missed adding a little dollop of hard sauce to the top of the lovely fruitcake we had for lunch. It was tasty, just not as special as I remember having when topped with hard sauce.

When I returned home, I quickly made some hard sauce, I had all the ingredients and it only took a few minutes.  It’s now ready to add to any Christmas dessert I serve over the holidays.  Here’s my recipe, you might like to keep some hard sauce handy to serve with your dessert during the next couple weeks.

1/2 cup softened butter (one stick)
1 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons rum, Abuelo is my favorite

Cream the butter and sugar.  Slowly add the rum and beat until light and fluffy.  Refrigerate in a covered container, it will keep for weeks.  It only takes a small dollop to make any dessert festive.   Now my only question is “What goes with hard sauce”?  Please let me know.