A Cozy New Year: Amaretto “Midnight Kiss” Parfaits, Plus A Few Hopes & A Prayer

A Cozy New Year: Amaretto “Midnight Kiss” Parfaits, Plus A Few Hopes & A Prayer post image

I feel like I’ve only just gotten used to writing “2013” in the blank line next to the word “date” on any given paper requiring one. Where has the year gone? I have a mixed bag of emotions on this, as on one hand, I look at the upcoming year as a completely blank slate, ready and willing to receive me and whatever new growth will accompany; yet on the other hand, if I’m to be honest, I feel like I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of where I was hoping to be, what I was hoping to be doing, etc., etc., in regards to this almost-over year at hand. Forgive me for sounding a little melancholy; I really don’t mean to be. While my heart is excited at the prospects that the upcoming year holds, it also mourns that the story is over for this one, and it’s taking a sweet second for the introspection to turn into optimistic wishes for the new year that is just about at hand. But the wishes are there. And though in a way I feel like I’m bidding adieu to those things that I had seemingly just gotten familiar with in 2013, as if some death has occurred, 2014 will be the perfect space in which to continue to cultivate my hunger for a continuously renewed life — a life that is conducive to gaining wisdom, a life full of vulnerability, and one of exploration of who I was meant to grow into one day. And that is the meaning of what it is to live, and so I open my eyes widely and look ahead.

"Midnight Kiss" Amaretto Parfait

"Midnight Kiss" Amaretto Parfait

Courage is the quality that I am most hopeful for in the new year. It is at the bases of everything that any of us do of any real meaning; it is the foundational core of any connection, or any display of compassion — of any sharing — that any of us chose to endeavor upon. I also long to be more vulnerable, more honest, to share what is happening in the moment, and to find a way to communicate that even more clearly. Another of my desires is to continue learning what it means to be a good “guest” at this table of life and let God be the host. Life is a banquet after all, isn’t it? We must take the bitter dishes with the sweet. And finally, I hope to continue to strive to become the person that I, myself, admire, and to be a contributor to the light that gives life. Those are my desires for this next year. A tall order that I suspect I’ll only begin to scratch the surface of in this upcoming year, once again, with some divine luck.

"Midnight Kiss" Amaretto Parfait

"Midnight Kiss" Amaretto Parfait

May you have a wonderful, reflective and growth-filled new year in 2014, dear reader. May you look inward to what you already have within you, and strengthen that before looking outward to what is fleeting and short-lived. May you enjoy being a receptive guest, yourself, and be brave enough to taste what is put on the plate in front of you — sweet, savory, bitter or even bland. And may we all have that quiet desire in our heart for the courage to be vulnerable, to share our stories with one another, and to care even when it is difficult to. For when we finally arrive at the realization that we actually can’t do any of those things on our own, then perhaps we’ll develop a prayer in our heart for help. And only then can we really begin.

See you in the New Year, friends… Hugs & kisses.

Taste what’s good and pass it on.


"Midnight Kiss" Amaretto Parfait

Tipsy New Year’s Eve Amaretto “Midnight Kiss” Parfait with Vanilla Pound Cake, Chocolate Ganache Sauce and Amaretto-Spiked Whipped Cream
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(Makes 4-6 parfaits, depending on the size of the “vessel”)


• Amaretto-Spiked Whipped Cream (recipe below)
• ½  loaf vanilla pound cake (about 8 ounces), cut into small cubes
• 4 tablespoons amaretto (almond liqueur)
• Chocolate Ganache Sauce (recipe below)
• Dark chocolate, for “curl” garnish
• Silver or gold edible sprinkles, for garnish (optional)


-Place the glass snifters in a row in front of you.

-To the bottom of each glass, pipe in about 2 tablespoons worth of the Amaretto-Spiked Whipped Cream as a base; next, add in about a heaping ¼ cup of the cubed pound cake, and drizzle over the cake about 1 ½ teaspoons worth of the amaretto.

-Next, drizzle in about 2-3 tablespoons worth of the Chocolate Ganache Sauce over the cake cubes, and then pipe in about 3 tablespoons worth of the Amaretto-Spiked Whipped Cream.

-Repeat the process with another layer of cubed cake, amaretto and Chocolate Ganache Sauce, and finish with a generous amount of the Amaretto-Spiked Whipped Cream; shave some chocolate over top for garnish, and lightly dust with silver or gold edible sprinkles; chill until ready to serve.

Chocolate Ganache Sauce ingredients:

• 6 ounces low-fat milk
• ½ cup sugar
• ½ cup cocoa powder
• ¼ cup agave nectar
• 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
• Pinch salt
• 2 tablespoons butter

-Place all ingredients through the semi-sweet chocolate into a saucepan or small pot, and stir to combine; set the saucepan/pot over medium heat, and stirring with a rubber spatula all the while to keep the chocolate from scorching to the bottom, bring the mixture to a gentle simmer until all the ingredients are melted and well-blended.

-Off the heat, add in the small pinch of salt and the butter, and stir to combine until the butter is completely melted and blended in.

-Strain the chocolate sauce into a measuring cup with a spout for more convenient pouring during assembly, and allow it to cool at room temperature until slightly thickened.*

(*If you are making this sauce ahead of time and plan on using it within a couple of days, you can store it, covered, at room temperature; but to keep any leftovers for an extended period of time, store in the fridge and gently re-heat the sauce just until it becomes pourable, as needed.)

Amaretto-Spiked Whipped Cream ingredients:

• 16 fluid oz whipping cream, cold
• 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
• ½ teaspoon almond extract
• 4 tablespoons amaretto liquor


-Add the whipping cream into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, and begin to whip the cream on medium-high.

-Once the cream begins to thicken, sprinkle in the powdered sugar, and continue to whip for another 15-30 seconds or so, until further thickened; next, add in the almond extract and the amaretto liquor, and finish whipping until stiff peaks form.

-Place the Amaretto-Spiked Whipped Cream into a piping bag fitted with a tip, or a large ziplock bag with the corner cut off, and keep in fridge until ready to use.

{ 13 comments… add one }

  • bobbi December 30, 2013, 8:43 am

    What a lovley post. I feel the same way about 2013 and am hopeful for 2014. :)
    this recipe sounds yumm-o

  • Dina December 30, 2013, 1:09 pm

    it looks wonderful!

  • Adrienne December 31, 2013, 9:11 am

    I understand how you feel. For me, this year was all about transitions, and as someone with very little patience, that was very difficult. Excruciatingly difficult. Things that I would normally prefer to do in a clean break, had to be slowly phased out. I also was not in the Christmas spirit this year and it’s usually the time I look forward to the most. We had a snowstorm in early December that halted everything for four days and after that I was just done, emotionally and physically. I wanted to put the decorations away after that. So I am looking forward to 2014 just to get 2013 over with and start fresh, even knowing that I fell far short of my goals in 2013. Cheers to you and yours in the New Year!

    • The Cozy Apron December 31, 2013, 9:58 am

      Adrienne, thank you so much for having the heart to share all of that – you answered my silent prayer that perhaps others will have something to add to what I wrote, so that I can get a feel for where people are right now. What you spoke of seems to be the “theme” for the holidays this year – interesting. I think we get brought to a place where we feel very uncomfortable and quite opposite to what we “should” be feeling, for the reason that it causes us to look at what we’re doing, or NOT doing, whatever the case may be; and it’s that discomfort that brings us to action. I’m hoping that 2014 will be both inspiring and surprising, in all of the ways that will keep us moving forward. May you continue to question and continue to search, because the answers will be there, as they are for each of us – we just need open eyes and ears, and willing spirits. Cheers to you in 2014!

  • Food to Fitness January 1, 2014, 9:00 pm

    So delicious! Thanks for the amazing recipe.

  • Maggie March 21, 2014, 10:30 pm

    This sounds delicious! For the chocolate ganache sauce can you tell me what measure to use for the cocoa powder? It says 1/2 but not sure if it’s a cup. Thanks.

  • The Cozy Apron March 23, 2014, 8:07 am

    Yes, that would be “cup” – sorry for that, Maggie!

  • Malka April 10, 2014, 7:08 am

    Hi this looks like a wonderful recipe. is there something I can use in place of agave nectar? also could i use a coffee or chocolate liquor instead of Amaretto?

    • The Cozy Apron April 11, 2014, 1:48 pm

      Hi Malka, great questions! You can use honey instead of the agave, but it will probably give you a little more of that “caramel-y” flavor, which should be just fine. And absolutely—use whatever type of sweet liqueur that you prefer—make to your taste! Enjoy!

  • carolyn December 14, 2014, 10:09 am

    Would a regular ganache recipe of chocolate and heavy cream work for this or too thick?

    • The Cozy Apron December 14, 2014, 11:18 am

      Hi Carolyn, thanks for your question! That was the exact line of thought I was on when thinking of the chocolate aspect of this dessert, as I didn’t want a thick sauce that wouldn’t be easily drizzle-able or pourable. Yes, I personally believe that a more tradition ganache would end up being much thicker than desired, so these extra ingredients in the ganache “sauce” kept it nice and silky. Hope you enjoy!

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