This seemed like the perfect moment to try making some coffee liqueur. I've never made this before, but love the flavor of coffee in chocolate desserts.
And hey, I've got all those empty jars, right? It had to be done.
I won't know for sure the success of this experiment until the liqueur has "mellowed" for two or three weeks. But based on a preliminary taste I'd say this will be a winner. It came from the book Homemade Christmas by Mary Harvey Gurley, the same book that gave me this yummy lemon curd recipe. Same exact page, by the way -- page 41. It's a good page.
One more note: I checked in my trusty Pyromaniac's Cookbook to see what dishes I could set aflame with this and, alas, I learned that while coffee liqueurs are acknowledged as tasty, author John. J. Poister says "their low proof does not make them suitable for flaming unless neutral spirits are added to bolster up the alcoholic content."
Sigh. I did so want to light my food on fire.
2 c. water
4 1/2 c. sugar
4 t. instant coffee
drop vanilla extract
1 c. brandy
1 c. rum
In saucepan, combine water, sugar, coffee, and vanilla. Heat over low-ish heat, stirring, until sugar and coffee powder are dissolved. Set aside for a minute or two to cool, then add the brandy and rum. Pour into clean jars and close 'em up good. Liqueur should be ready in two to three weeks.
NOTE: This seemed like it would be a whole lotta liqueur, so I cut these amounts in half and still ended up with two-plus small jars full. FYI.