Classic Holiday Eggnog
Makes about 10 servings
- 4 eggs
- 1/3 cup + 1 Tbs. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3 cups milk
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup bourbon or rum
- ground nutmeg
- cinnamon sticks for garnish
- In medium saucepan with wire whisk, gently beat eggs, 1/3 cup sugar and salt. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture coats the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled.
- In large bowl, beat heavy cream and 1 Tbs. sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold into chilled custard, then stir in bourbon. Pour into large serving bowl or pitcher. Sprinkle with ground nutmeg. Serve with cinnamon sticks.
- When making the custard, be sure to cook over low heat, stirring constantly. Trying to speed it along by increasing the temperature will most likely curdle the custard.
- For an even richer eggnog, substitute half-and-half or light cream for some of the milk.
- For a non-alcoholic eggnog, substitute 1/4 tsp. rum extract for the bourbon.
- Recipe can be doubled.
Peppermint White Chocolate Truffles
- 8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 candy canes, 20 peppermint candies, or 1/2 cup precrushed peppermints
- Heat cream and corn syrup in a heat proof bowl over simmering water. Add chocolate, a little at a time, whisking to combine.
- Remove from heat. Add the peppermint extract and the butter, stir slowly until combined. Let the ganache sit until it reaches room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours. (Don’t skip the step of bringing the ganache to room temperature, or the butter may separate out - I speak from experience. Twice.)
- Put the candy canes in a plastic baggie and whisk them with a kitchen mallet until they are crushed. Or go the super-easy route and use purchased crushed peppermints. Place in a small Pyrex dish or a ramekin.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment. Using a melon baller or spoon, scoop small balls of ganache and roll in your hands to slightly warm the truffle. Dip in the crushed candy mixture and place on the baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about two hours.
- Store in a covered container in the refrigerator up to one week. Remove 30-60 minutes before serving.
- You can also freeze truffles for up to one month.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Candy Cane Buttercream Frosting
Yield: 2+ dozen cupcakes
For the Chocolate Cupcakes:
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 extra-large or jumbo eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons brewed coffee
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1 cup good cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcakes pans with paper liners. Set an oven rack to the middle position of the oven.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until combined. Increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed back to medium and add the eggs one at a time. Mix in the vanilla.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream and coffee; set aside. Using another medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Turn the mixer to low speed and alternately add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture to the creamed butter in thirds, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended, then use a rubber spatula to fold the batter and ensure no flour pockets remain.
- Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake pans. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes (20 minutes was perfect for me.) Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove and allow to completely cool before frosting.
For the Candy Cane Buttercream Frosting:
- 2 cups butter, at room temperature
- 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces white chocolate bar, melted and cooled to lukewarm
- 1 to 2 teaspoons peppermint extract (I used 1 1/2 teaspoons)
- Red food coloring (optional)
- Sprinkles (optional)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the powdered sugar, salt and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the white chocolate until combined. Stir in the peppermint flavoring to your taste. Whip until the frosting reaches your desired consistency (*see recipe note below)
- If desired, color with red food coloring. Scoop frosting into pastry bag fitted with a Wilton 1M star tip and pipe frosting onto the cupcakes. Optional: Decorate with candy cane sprinkles.
*Recipe Note: The original recipe calls for 3 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream in order to reach the desired frosting consistency. i didn’t need it, and therefore saved myself from having to open a package of whipping cream only to use up a tablespoon or two.
Source: Chocolate Cupcake recipe adapted from Ina Garten via the food network.
Candy Cane Buttercream Frosting adapted from Peanut butter and Julie
Caramel Marshmallow Treats Recipe
60 Servings / Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
- 5 cups crisp rice cereal, coarsely crushed
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 package (14 ounces) caramels
- 1 cup butter, cubed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Spice Island Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 package (16 ounces) large marshmallows
- Line two baking sheets with waxed paper; set aside. Place cereal in a shallow bowl. In a large saucepan, cook and stir the milk, caramels and butter over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat; stir in the cinnamon and vanilla.
- With a toothpick, dip each marshmallow into warm caramel mixture; turn to coat. Press marshmallow bottoms in cereal; place on prepared pans. Let stand until set. Yield: 5 dozen.
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (2 pieces) equals 106 calories, 4 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 11 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein.
White Chocolate Gingerbread Blondies
- 2 3/4 cups + tablespoon (395g) all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks/282g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups (218g) packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (124g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (80ml) unsulfured molasses
- 280g (10oz) white chocolate, coarsely chopped - I used chips
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F. Butter a 42x30cm (17x12in.) rimmed baking sheet, line with foil and butter the foil as well.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
- Beat butter and brown and granulated sugars with a mixer on medium high speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs and yolk, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
- Beat in vanilla and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Stir in white chocolate.
- Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake until edges are golden, about 25 minutes*. Let cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into 5cm (2in) squares or desired shape.
- The blondies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
* I needed to bake mine for 35 minutes, the mixture puffed while in the oven then flattened in the center after cooling.
Makes 4 dozen 5cm (2in) squares - I made 2/3 of the recipes above, used a 2-c (8in) sqaure pan and hot 16 squares.
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- 1 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Chocolate-covered mini pretzels
- Mini brown M&M’s
- Regular-sized red M&M’s
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Combine brown sugar, peanut butter, shortening, milk, and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Add egg; beat until just blended.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended.
- Form dough into 1/2-inch balls. To make reindeer-shaped cookies, Pinch the bottom of the ball slightly to form a point, then gently flatten with your hand. Space cookies about 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, until set or just beginning to brown.
- Remove from oven and immediately (and gently) press two mini pretzels into the tops of the cookies for the reindeer’s antlers. Press two mini brown M&M’s in for eyes and one red M&M for the nose (or any other color… some of mine ended up with green noses. They might be South Pole reindeer.).
- Allow to cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack or paper towel to cool completely.
Makes about 40 reindeer cookies.
Source: Peanut butter cookie recipe from Jif.
Cinnamon Sugar Sticks
Prep: 45 minutes / Bake: 8 minutes
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-3/4 cups slivered almonds, toasted and ground (about 7 oz).
- 3 oz. white chocolate, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. shortening
- 1/3 cup red cinnamon candies, crushed
- 1/3 cup coarse decorating sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- In mixing bowl beat butter on high 30 seconds. Add sugar; beat until combined. Beat in baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
- In medium bowl combine flour and almonds. Beat as much flour as you can into butter mixture. Stir in remaining flour mixture.
- On lightly floured surface roll or pat dough to 14x7-inch rectangle, about 1/2-inch thick. Cut in half, making two, 14x3 1/2-inch rectangles. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch wide sticks. Use a metal spatula to transfer to baking sheets, placing 1 inch apart. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until firm and edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Transfer cookies to rack to cool completely.
- In small heavy saucepan melt chocolate and shortening over low heat, stirring constantly. In wide shallow bowl combine crushed candies and sugar. Dip sticks in chocolate then in candy mixture. Place on waxed paper to set. Makes 56 sticks.
- To store: Place cookies, separated between waxed paper, in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.
Total Fat (g)4,
Saturated Fat (g)1,
Monounsaturated Fat (g)2,
Polyunsaturated Fat (g)1,
Total Sugar (g)5,
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
White Buche de Noel
Makes: 12 Servings / Prep: 15 minutes / Bake: at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- 6 egg whites
- 1/4 plus 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- Confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 box (1 ounce) sugar-free white-chocolate-flavored instant pudding mix
- Cocoa powder, for dusting (optional)
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Line with waxed paper. Coat paper.
- Cake. Sift flour, nutmeg and salt.
- Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl until frothy. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup granulated sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- With mixer on high, beat yolks in second bowl with 1/3 cup sugar until thick and lemon-colored, 5 minutes. Beat in extract. Fold flour mixture into yolks. Fold yolk mixture into whites. Spread evenly into pan.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 14 to 15 minutes, until center springs back when gently pressed. Sift confectioners’ sugar over kitchen towel. invert cake onto towel; remove pan and paper. Starting from long side, roll cake up inside towel. Cool, seam-side down, on wire rack.
- Prepare Filling and Frosting. Combine milk, heavy cream and instant pudding mix. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes, until thickened.
- Unroll cake. Spread with half of the frosting. Re-roll cake without towel. Cut ends off cake, using parallel diagonal cuts. Reserve ends to use as knots. Place cake, seam-side down, on serving plate. Place knot on each side of log. Spread remaining frosting over log and knots, leaving all ends exposed. Dust with a little cocoa powder, so long resembles a birch tree, if desired.
Cheerios Christmas Trees
Prep Time: 45 minutes / Total Time: 1 hr 45 minutes / Makes: Makes 18 trees
- 6 cups Honey Nut Cheerios cereal
- 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 4 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
- Green food color
- Red cinnamon candies or sliced gumdrops
- Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper.
- Pour the cereal into a 4-quart bowl. Set the bowl aside.
- Place the butter and marshmallows in a 3-quart saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Stir in the food color until the mixture is evenly colored. Pour the marshmallow mixture over the cereal and stir until the mixture is evenly colored. Pour the marshmallow mixture over the cereal and stir until the mixture is evenly coated.
- Lightly spray your hands with cooking spray. For each tree, shape about 1/4 cup of the cereal mixture into a Christmas tree shape on the cookie sheet.
- Press the candies into the trees to decorate. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store the trees in a loosely covered container.
Special Touch: Personalize the trees using Betty Crocker decorator icing (from 4.25-oz tube) and use as place cards. Use the icing to add a garland.
- Total Fat 4 1/2g
- (Saturated Fat 2g,
- Trans Fat 0g),
- Cholesterol 10mg;
- Sodium 120mg;
- Total Carbohydrate 20g
- (Dietary Fiber 0g,
- Sugars 12g),
- Protein 1g;
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
- 1/2 Starch;
- 0 Fruit;
- 1/2 Other Carbohydrate;
- 0 Skim Milk;
- 0 Low-Fat Milk;
- 0 Milk;
- 0 Vegetable;
- 0 Very Lean Meat;
- 0 Lean Meat;
- 0 High-Fat Meat;
- 1 Fat;