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The holiday season is the perfect time to turn on your oven and warm up your home! From cranberries and oranges to nutmeg and cinnamon, the winter months offer an exciting assortment of seasonal flavors to sample.
Do you want to surprise your guests with a new treat this Christmas season? Make one of these simple and delicious recipes for your next holiday party!
YUMMY PEPPERMINT BISCOTTI
Mint lovers will adore this deliciously wintry biscotti recipe. A chocolate and crushed peppermint frosting make this snack a seasonal favorite.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Bake Time: 15 minutes per batch with addition time to cool
Makes: 42 Servings
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup of butter, softened
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of crushed peppermint candies
- 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract
- 3 and 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 12 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup of crushed peppermint candies
- 2 tablespoons of shortening
1.) Cream butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs one at a time; beat each egg well after adding it to the mixture. Add the peppermint extract and beat it into the mix.
2.) Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder together in another bowl. Slowly add the peppermint candy to this dry mixture. Slowly add the dry mixture to the liquid mixture. Beat the mixture until it is well-blended. The dough should be firm.
3.) Split the dough in half. Shape each half into a 12" x 2.5" rectangle on an ungreased baking sheet. Put the sheet in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350°F. The biscotti should be golden-brown when removed from the oven.
4.) Remove the biscotti and place it on wire racks. Allow it to cool for 15 minutes. Once it has cooled, transfer the biscotti to a cutting board. Cut the dough diagonally into half-inch slices. Place the pieces cut-side down on ungreased baking sheets. Bake the biscotti for 12-15 minutes or until the pieces are firm. Remove the biscotti from the oven and place it on wire racks to cool.
5.) Microwave the chocolate chips and shortening. Stir the mixture until it is smooth. Take the biscotti and dip one end of each piece into the melted chocolate. Allow the excess chocolate to drip off before sprinkling it with the crushed peppermint candy. Place the biscotti on wax paper. Leave the biscotti on the sheet until the chocolate has set. The biscotti can now be stored or eaten.
GLORIOUS GINGERBREAD COOKIES
Adapted from the classic cookbook "The Joy of Cooking," this gingerbread recipe has been delighting families for over 80 years. This spicy, aromatic dough can be used to make thick, soft gingerbread or thin, crisp cookies. Enjoy decorating these cookies with your family!
Prep Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes
Bake Time: 8 minutes
Makes: 24 5" cookies
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup of molasses
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of ground ginger
- 1 3/4 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest
1.) Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Whisk until the ingredients are well-blended.
2.) Using the medium setting on your whisk, beat the egg, butter, and brown sugar together in a large bowl. Add the vanilla, lemon zest, and molasses and mix until the ingredients are well-blended. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients until they are smoothly blended into the mixture.
3.) Separate the dough into two portions. Wrap each half of the dough in plastic wrap. Allow the dough to stand at room temperature for a minimum of two hours (up to eight hours).
4.) Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease your baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.
5.) Place a single portion of the dough on a lightly-floured surface; sprinkle more flour over the rolling pin and dough. Roll the dough to roughly 1/4" thick. Apply additional flour if sticking is occurring. Cut the cookies into your desired shape (such as gingerbread men or stars).
6.) Place the gingerbread cookies 1.5" apart on the baking sheet. Once a sheet is full, place it in the oven for approximately 8 minutes. Lower cooking times will yield softer cookies.
7.) Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Leave the cookies on the baking sheet until they are firm enough to transfer to a wire rack.
8.) If desired, decorate your cookies. A simple royal icing is often ideal for decorating gingerbread cookies. Your cookies are now complete.
ORANGE SPICED CHRISTMAS CAKE
This scrumptious cake contains the perfect blend of winter spices and fruity flavors. A touch of orange-flavored liqueur makes this cake ideal for adult parties and gatherings.
Prep Time: 15 minutes and overnight soaking
Bake Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
Makes: 16 slices
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 oz of all-purpose flour
- 2 oranges, juiced and with finely-grated zest
- 3.5 oz of Cointreau (orange liqueur)
- 11 oz of raisins and sultanas each
- 3.5 oz of dried figs, finely chopped
- 3.5 oz of dried apricots, finely chopped
- 6 oz of unsalted softened butter, with extra for greasing
- 6 oz of dark brown sugar (ideally muscovado)
- 2 tbsp of cocoa powder
- 2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice/mixed spice
- 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp of ground cloves
1.) Place the orange juice and zest, Cointreau, vanilla, and fruits into a large plastic bowl. Stir the ingredients together and cover the bowl with plastic cling wrap. Leave the ingredients to soak for 24-48 hours.
2.) Preheat the oven to 300°F. Grease and line the sides and bottom of an 8"-deep cake tin with parchment paper.
3.) Place the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat the ingredients together until they are light and fairly creamy (two to three minutes using an electric whisk). Whisk in the beaten eggs. Add a touch of flour if the mixture curdles. Fold in the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and cloves.
4.) Pour the fruit-liqueur mixture into the bowl. Mix well. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and level the surface.
5.) Place the cake in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until the cake passes the "toothpick test." Allow the cake to cool in the tin. Remove the cake from the tin. The cake may now be enjoyed or wrapped in foil and stored.
These delectable baked goods are guaranteed to make your holidays tastier than ever before. Turn on your oven and get baking today!
Photo: (c) lizabarbiza / Fotolia.de
Editor , 12/10/2015