Christmas 2015: Sweeten the holiday palate by making these delectable desserts

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By: J.C. Lee
jclee@flavor574.com

It’s the holiday season again which means that we can all look forward to an endless variety of different Christmas treats. If you’re looking to really impress your friends and family at the next holiday gathering, then you might want to give one of these three recipes a try. They might be so good that you won’t want to leave any out for Santa Claus.

 

CRANBERRY PISTACHIO BISCOTTI

(Recipe originally published on allrecipes.)

 

What you’ll need:

— 1/4 cup of light olive oil

— 3/4 cup of white sugar

— 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

— 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract

— 2 eggs

— 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour

— 1/4 teaspoon of salt

— 1 teaspoon of baking powder

— 1/2 cup of dried cranberries

— 1 1/2 cups of pistachio nuts

 

What you’ll need to do:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Mix oil and sugar together in a large bowl until it’s all well blended.

3. Add vanilla and almond extracts into the mixture, and then beat in two eggs.

4. Combine flour, salt, baking and powder and stir it all into the mixture.

5. Add cranberries and nuts by hand into the mixture.

6. Divide the dough in half and form two logs, which should be about 2-by-12 inches big, on a cookie sheet that’s been lined with parchment paper.

7. Bake the dough for 35 minutes in the preheated oven or until the logs are light brown.

8. Remove the logs from the oven and set them aside for 10 minutes to cool.

9. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 275 degrees.

10. Cut the longs diagonally into 3/4-inch thick slices.

11. Lay the slices on their sides on the parchment-covered cookie sheet.

12. Bake the slices for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they’re dry. Let the slices cool.

 

PEPPERMINT PINWHEEL COOKIES

(Recipe originally published on myrecipes.com)

 

What you’ll need:

— 1/2 cup of butter, softened

— 1 cup of sugar

— 1 large egg

— 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

— 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour

— 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

— 1/4 teaspoon of salt

— 3/4 teaspoon of red food coloring paste

— Parchment paper

— Peppermint frosting

 

What you’ll need to do:

1. Beat butter at a medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until it’s creamy.

2. Gradually add sugar to the butter and continue beating the mixture until it’s light and fluffy.

3. Add egg and vanilla to the mixture and continue beating it until it all is blended together.

4. Combine flour, baking soda and salt, gradually add it to the mixture and continue beating it at low speed until it’s all blended together.

5. Divide the dough into two equal portions, and roll one portion of the dough into a 8-by-12-inch rectangle on a piece of lightly-floured plastic wrap.

6. Wear rubber gloves and knead food coloring paste into the other portion of the dough.

7. Roll tinted dough into a rectangle, much like step five.

8. Invert the uncolored dough onto the colored dough and peel off the plastic wrap.

9. Cut the dough in half lengthwise, which should form two 4-by-12-inch rectangles.

10. Roll up each rectangle like a jelly roll.

11. Wrap the roll in plastic wrap and freeze for four hours or up to a month.

12. Preheat your own to 350 degrees.

13. Cut the ends off each dough log.

14. Cut dough into 1/4-inch thick pieces and place them on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

15. Bake the pieces at 360 degrees for six to seven minutes or until they’re puffed and set.

16. Cool the cookies n a baking sheet for about five minutes.

17. Let the cookies then sit on wire racks to cool for another 30 minutes.

18. Place peppermint frosting in a heavy-duty plastic freezer bag and snip one of the corners, making a small hole.

19. Use it to pipe about two tablespoons of peppermint frosting onto half of the cookies.

20. Top with remaining cookies, gently pressing the pieces together to make a sandwich.

 

GINGERBREAD FUDGE

(Recipe originally published on delish)

 

What you’ll need:

— 12 ounces of white chocolate, melted

— 1 cup of sweetened condensed milk

— 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

— 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

— 1 teaspoon of ground ginger

— 1/2 tablespoon of red nonpareils

— 1/2 tablespoon of green nonpareils

 

What you’ll need to do:

1. Mix the melted white chocolate and the sweetened condensed milk together in a large bowl.

2. Add nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger to the mixture and stir until it is all combined.

3. Stir in most of the nonpareils until it’s all combined. Leave some of the nonpareils to sprinkle on the top of the fudge once it’s done.

4. Use a spatula to transfer the fudge onto a parchment-lined glass baking dish and smooth over the top.

5. Sprinkle the remaining nonpareils on the fudge and let it sit until it’s firm.

6. Cut the fudge into squares.

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