Believe it or not, ours actually turned out like the picture. Minus the wand. And casual-but-stylish staging. Image via Pinterest.
We’ve not big travelers in our family, for various reasons. Finances, schedules, unhealthy attachment to our own beds, etc. We enjoy being at home, watching movies or playing games. “Staycations,” if you will. I love them.
My brother and I decided to have a “Harry Potter Staycation” over spring break. Well, he said, “Let’s watch Harry Potter.” I’m the one who’s been slowly brainwashed by the Wizarding World of Harry Potter commercials and suggested we make butterbeer.
The Food Network recipe for “Aunt Sandy’s Butterbeer” seemed easy enough. Only four inexpensive ingredients, all in easy measurements, which my math-impaired-self appreciates:
¼ cup sweetened condensed milk (Don’t be deceived by the small can—you’ll have LOTS left over. I put our leftovers in a Ziploc container, running the risk that someone will accidentally eat it.)
¼ cup butterscotch topping (We liked the Smucker’s brand.)
2 tbsp. whipped butter, room temp (We thought we could whip our own. It’s possible, but only after Googling “How to whip butter,” and calculating that 4 tbsp. of butter with 1 tbsp. of milk is the correct proportion to whip with your sassy mix master. Next time, we’ll just buy it.)
1 ½ cups cream soda (We used A&W brand. I’m all giggly now.)
The steps are simple, too. While my brother graciously whipped the butter into a frenzy, I combined the sweetened condensed milk and butterscotch, then added the butter, and heated the mixture in the microwave for 1 minute. (Or, if your microwave is elderly like ours, 2+ minutes.) When you remove it (it’ll be foamy at first), stir thoroughly to make sure all that butter is friendly with the butterscotch and milk.
While the separate cream soda heats for 1 minute and 30 seconds (or so), divide the warm butterscotch mixture between two festive mugs. We used our Irish Coffee mugs, which have never hosted a drop of Irish Coffee, since this is a temperance household. However, the mugs looked quite svelte with the toasty golden liquid. Add the cream soda (don’t feel bad if it dribbles everywhere—stickiness is part of the experience, or so I told myself) and stir well.
Food Network suggests garnishing the mugs with old-fashioned butterscotch sticks, and I believe in Harry Potter the foam was sprinkled with cinnamon, but we chose guzzling over garnishing. Sweet and smooth, our butterbeer tasted like contentment and warmth and a dash of mischief. The recipe only made enough for two servings, which I thought wouldn’t stretch that far, but it’s actually the perfect amount—it is basically liquefied sugar, after all.
I won’t admit how many mugs and bowls and utensils we dirtied. Thank goodness for our faithful house elf—The Dishwasher.
Postscript: I know there are lots of fabulous butterbeer recipes out there. Which one is your favorite? And, while we’re on the subject, what wonderfully nerdy things have you done in honor of your favorite book?