Christmas Recipes

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Wed Aug 06, 2008 2:11 pm

Decadent Lemon Cake

Lemon Filling
3 1/2 cups cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar, divided
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
7 egg whites
White Chocolate Frosting

Prepare Lemon Filling. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add 1 3/4 cups sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add lemon rind, lemon juice, and vanilla; beat well. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.

Beat egg whites at medium speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold one-third of egg whites into batter. Gently fold in remaining beaten egg whites just until blended. (Do not overmix.) Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans.

Bake at 350° for 18 to 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Spread 3/4 cup White Chocolate Frosting between each cake layer; carefully spread 1/2 cup Lemon Filling over White Chocolate Frosting between each cake layer. Spread remaining White Chocolate Frosting on top and sides of cake. Chill until ready to serve. Store in refrigerator. Makes 12 to 15 servings

Lemon Filling

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten

Combine first 6 ingredients in top of a double boiler. Cook over simmering water, stirring constantly, until butter melts. Gradually stir about one-fourth of hot mixture into egg yolks; add to remaining hot mixture, stirring constantly. Cook over simmering water, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and coats back of a spoon (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat; cool. Cover and chill. Makes 1 cup

White Chocolate Frosting

2 1/2 (4-ounce) white chocolate baking bars
1 1/2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Melt chocolate in top of a double boiler over simmering water until melted. Remove from heat; let cool. Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Add juice and chocolate just until combined. Makes 4 3/4 cups

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Wed Aug 06, 2008 2:13 pm

Baked Ham with Maple-Mustard Glaze

1 cooked, bone-in half ham (about 7 to 8 lbs.)
15 whole cloves
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 325°. Cut off the tough, leatherlike skin from ham (if it has it; some hams will not), and score the fat in a crosshatch pattern. Stud ham all over with cloves, put in a large roasting pan, and loosely tent with foil. Bake until a thermometer inserted in center of thickest part (not touching the bone) registers 135°, about 20 minutes per lb. or 2 to 2 1/2 hours total, basting occasionally with any accumulated juices.

While ham is baking, make the glaze: In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, maple syrup, and mustard. Whisk until smooth. When ham has about 40 minutes left to bake (internal temperature will be 120° to 125°), brush generously on all sides with glaze. Continue baking until ham reaches 135° and glaze is well browned. Makes 8 to 10 servings

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Wed Aug 06, 2008 2:17 pm

Sun-Dried Tomato and Herb-Stuffed Leg of Lamb

1 cup boiling water
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil
Cooking spray
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
4 garlic cloves, minced and divided
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, divided
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 (1 1/2-ounce) slice sourdough bread
1 (2 1/2-pound) rolled boneless leg of lamb

Combine 1 cup boiling water and tomatoes in a bowl; let stand 30 minutes or until soft. Drain and chop.
Preheat oven to 425°.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shallots; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add tomatoes and 2 garlic cloves; sauté 1 minute. Stir in 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place bread in a food processor; pulse 25 times or until coarse crumbs measure 3/4 cup. Stir crumbs into shallot mixture.

Unroll roast; trim fat. Place roast between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 3/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle roast with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread breadcrumb mixture over roast. Reroll roast; secure at 1-inch intervals with twine. Combine remaining 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 2 minced garlic cloves; rub over roast.

Place roast on rack of a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes. Remove roast from oven; cover loosely with foil. Bake an additional 20 minutes or until a thermometer registers 145° (medium-rare) or until desired degree of doneness. Let roast stand 15 minutes before slicing. Makes 8 servings

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:09 pm

Roast Leg of Lamb with Balsamic Onions

4 onions (6 oz. each), peeled and quartered
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 leg of lamb (5 to 6 lb.)
3 cloves garlic, slivered
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves or dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Rosemary sprigs

In a bowl, mix onions with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Let stand at least 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, rinse lamb; trim off and discard excess surface fat. Cut 1/2-inch slits all over the leg and insert garlic slivers. Rub lamb with 1 tablespoon olive oil and the lemon juice, then pat rosemary leaves and oregano onto meat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set lamb in an 11- by 17-inch roasting pan. Spoon onions and marinade around lamb.

Roast in a 375° oven until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of leg to the bone registers 140° for medium-rare, 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 1/2 hours; or 150° for medium, 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1 hour and 40 minutes. If drippings begin to burn, add water 1/4 cup at a time as needed.

Transfer lamb to a board or platter and, keeping warm, let stand 10 to 15 minutes. Keep onions warm in pan while lamb rests. Spoon onions and drippings around lamb; garnish with rosemary sprigs. Slice meat and serve with onions and juices. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 8 to 10 servings

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:34 pm

Honey and Brown Sugar-Crusted Ham

1 (9- to 10-lb.) ready-to-cook, bone-in ham shank
3/4 cup honey
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves

Slice away hard outer skin from ham with a sharp knife, leaving a thin layer of fat. Place ham, fat side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Score top of ham in a diamond pattern; insert a meat thermometer into ham, making sure it does not touch fat or bone.

Bake ham on lowest oven rack at 325° for 1 1/2 hours. Remove ham from oven, leaving oven on. Brush ham with honey. Combine sugar and spices; pat over honey, coating ham well.

Return ham to oven, and continue to bake at 325° for 35 to 45 minutes or until thermometer registers 148°. (Cover ham with aluminum foil during the last 20 minutes, if necessary, to prevent excessive browning.) Let ham stand 15 minutes before carving. Makes 10 servings

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:08 pm

Brown Sugar and Spice-Crusted Ham

2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 (5-pound) bone-in 33%-less-sodium smoked, fully cooked ham half
Cooking spray
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine first 6 ingredients. Trim fat and rind from ham. Rub ham evenly with sugar mixture. Place ham on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Cover loosely with foil. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Combine honey and juice in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Remove foil from ham; brush honey mixture over ham. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes or until a thermometer registers 140°. Transfer ham to a platter; let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Makes 18 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces)

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:10 pm

Garlic-Studded Rosemary Roast Rack of Lamb

3 (1 1/2-pound) French-cut racks of lamb (8 ribs each)
Cooking spray
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (48 slices)
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Place lamb, meat side down, on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Cut a 1-inch-deep slit between each rib on the underside of each rack; stuff 2 garlic slices into each slit. Turn lamb, meat side up; coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle with pepper and rosemary, pressing gently to adhere. Cover and marinate in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 450°. Sprinkle lamb evenly with salt. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes or until a thermometer registers 145° (medium-rare) to 160° (medium). Cover with foil; let stand 10 minutes before slicing each rack into 8 pieces. Makes 12 servings (serving size: 2 chops)

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:15 pm

Banana-Split Cheesecake

Crust:
1 cup packaged chocolate cookie crumbs (such as Oreo)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine, melted
Cooking spray

Filling:
3 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Toppings:
1/3 cup canned crushed pineapple in juice, drained
1/3 cup strawberry sundae syrup
1/3 cup chocolate syrup
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
16 maraschino cherries, drained

Preheat oven to 325°. To prepare crust, combine first 3 ingredients in a bowl; toss with a fork until moist. Press into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray.

To prepare filling, beat cheeses and sour cream at high speed of a mixer until smooth. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar, banana, flour, and vanilla; beat well. Add eggs, 1 at a time; beat well after each addition.

Pour cheese mixture into prepared pan; bake at 325° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until almost set. Cheesecake is done when the center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove cheesecake from oven; run a knife around outside edge. Cool cheesecake to room temperature. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours. Top each serving with 1 teaspoon pineapple, 1 teaspoon strawberry syrup, 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup, 3/4 teaspoon pecans, and 1 cherry. Makes 16 servings

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:17 pm

Glazed Cornish Hens with Wild Rice-and-Apricot Stuffing

Stuffing:
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup uncooked wild rice
1 tablespoon stick margarine or butter
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped fennel bulb
1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricots
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Glazed hens:
2 (1 1/2-pound) Cornish hens
Cooking spray
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons apricot preserves

Sauce:
1/4 cup minced shallots
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup Madeira
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Fennel fronds (optional)

To prepare stuffing, bring 3 cups broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add wild rice; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 50 minutes or until tender. Drain, and set aside. Preheat oven to 400°.

Melt margarine in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and chopped fennel; sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in rice, chopped apricots, and next 4 ingredients (chopped apricots through pepper). Remove from heat.

To prepare glazed hens, remove and discard giblets and necks from hens. Rinse hens with cold water, and pat dry. Remove skin, and trim excess fat. Split hens in half lengthwise. Spoon 4 (1-cup) mounds of wild rice stuffing into a shallow roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Place hen halves, meaty sides up, on top of mounds. Combine 1/4 cup orange juice and apricot preserves in a small bowl. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice mixture over each hen half. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until juices run clear.

To prepare sauce, place a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until hot. Add shallots; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add 3/4 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup broth, and lemon juice; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook 5 minutes. Combine Madeira and cornstarch; add to skillet. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and cook 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Serve sauce over hens. Garnish with fennel fronds, if desired. Makes 4 servings

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:22 pm

Baked Ham with Bourbon Glaze

1 cup honey
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup bourbon
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 (6- to 8-pound) smoked ham half
Garnish: fresh herb sprigs

Microwave honey and molasses in a 1-quart microwave-safe dish at HIGH 1 minute; whisk to blend. Whisk in bourbon, orange juice, and mustard. Remove skin and excess fat from ham, and place ham in a roasting pan.

Bake at 325° on lower oven rack for 1 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 140°, basting occasionally with honey mixture.

Bring drippings and remaining glaze to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, and serve with sliced ham. Garnish, if desired. Makes 12 to 14 servings

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:10 am

Peppermint Bonbon Cookies

8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup finely crushed hard peppermint candies
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
Additional coarsely crushed hard peppermint candies, divided
1/2 cup powdered sugar (optional)
2 1/2 teaspoons milk (optional)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate morsels, melted (optional)

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large saucepan; cook over low heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and stir in 1/2 cup crushed peppermint and 6 Tbsp. sugar. Let cool 30 minutes. Add eggs to melted chocolate, 1 at a time, stirring well. Stir in extracts.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to chocolate mixture, stirring until combined. Stir in chocolate morsels. Cover and chill dough 2 hours or until firm enough to shape.

Shape dough into 1 1/2" balls; place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 325° for 12 to 13 minutes or until cookies are puffed and cracked on top. Sprinkle coarsely crushed peppermints onto cookies; press candy lightly into cookies. Let cookies cool 5 minutes on baking sheets. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Whisk together powdered sugar and milk; drizzle over cooled cookies, if desired. Drizzle with melted chocolate, if desired. Sprinkle cookies again with chopped peppermint, if desired. Let cookies stand until glaze and chocolate are firm. Makes 2 1/2 dozen

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:23 am

String-of-Lights Cookie Wreath

This thick, creamy vanilla frosting brightens our best-ever shortbread cookie. The dough works best using half butter and half margarine.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup margarine, softened
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Plastic drinking straw
Frosting
20 to 25 chocolate-flavored candy coating drops, melted
Small pastry brush or paintbrush
Red or black licorice, cut into 8" strips
Several 20" x 30" sheets of green tissue paper or Christmas fabric

Beat butter and margarine at low speed of an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture. Mix at low speed until blended. Roll dough to 3/8" thickness on a lightly floured surface.

Cut out cookies, using a 3" spade-shaped cookie cutter (or use template on page 149). Place on ungreased baking sheets. Make a hole in "socket end" of each cookie, using a straw.

Bake at 350° for 16 minutes. Let cookies cool on wire racks.

Spread Frosting on the "bulb end" of each cookie, using the back of a small spoon. Place frosted cookies on wire racks to dry. When frosting is dry, brush "socket end" of each cookie with melted chocolate, using a small brush. Let dry.

When cookies are completely dry, lace licorice strips through holes in cookies. Place tissue in a large flat box, if desired. Arrange cookies in a loose circle on tissue paper to resemble a string of Christmas lights.

Note: Use these cookies as tree ornaments or as edible place cards at a children's party. Write names on frosted cookies using tubes of decorating gel. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

Frosting

7 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
25 vanilla-flavored candy coating drops, melted
Paste food coloring

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large microwave-safe bowl; stir well. Gradually add melted vanilla-flavored drops, stirring slowly to avoid air bubbles. Microwave at HIGH 45 seconds or until thin enough to spread; stir well. Divide frosting equally among four shallow bowls. Tint frosting to desired colors, using paste food coloring. Makes 3 cups

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:28 am

Raspberry Linzer Windowpane Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup egg substitute
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
2 teaspoons powdered sugar

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, stirring well with a whisk.

Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until light and fluffy. Add egg substitute; beat until well blended. Beating at low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat just until a soft dough forms. Divide dough into 2 equal portions, and wrap each dough portion in plastic wrap. Chill at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375°. Roll each dough portion into a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; cut with a 2-inch square cookie cutter with fluted edges to form 32 cookies. Repeat procedure with remaining dough portion.

Place cookies 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Cut out centers of 32 cookies with a 1-inch square cookie cutter with fluted edges. Bake cookies at 375° for 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on pans 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Spread center of each whole cookie with about 1/2 teaspoon jam. Sprinkle cut-out cookies with powdered sugar. Place 1 cut-out cookie on top of each whole cookie. Makes 32 cookies (serving size: 1 cookie)

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:44 am

Maple-Walnut Spice Cookies

Store these frosted cookies between layers of parchment paper or wax paper to keep them from sticking together. You can bake and freeze the cookies up to a month in advance; bring the cookies to room temperature before frosting them.

Cookies:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 large egg

Frosting:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons butter, softened

Remaining ingredient:
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 350°. To prepare cookies, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through cloves) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

Place brown sugar and 1/4 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes). Add 2 tablespoons syrup and egg; beat until well blended. Beating at low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat just until combined.

Spoon batter evenly into 30 mounds (about 1 tablespoon) 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on pans 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

To prepare frosting, combine powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons syrup, milk, and 2 teaspoons butter, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Spread frosting evenly over cooled cookies. Working quickly, sprinkle cookies with nuts. Makes 30 cookies

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:03 am

Candy Cane Cake

1 cup sifted cake or pastry flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
12 egg whites, at room temperature
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
8 ounces peppermint candy canes
2 cups heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 325°. Sift together flour and 3/4 cup sugar. Sift again and set aside. In a large bowl or standing mixer, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt. Beat until soft peaks form. Add 3/4 cup sugar and the vanilla and almond extracts. Continue beating until egg whites are firm but not dry.

Sift one-third of the flour-sugar mixture onto the egg whites and, with a rubber or silicone spatula, gently fold the mixture into the egg whites. Add remaining flour in two batches, folding gently after each addition. Turn batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan and bake until browned and firm to the touch, 50 to 60 minutes.

Invert cake (in pan) on a cooling rack for at least an hour. When completely cool, run a long, thin, sharp knife between cake and pan to loosen, and remove cake.

Put candy canes in a large sealable plastic bag. Crush them into small pieces with a meat pounder, rolling pin, or the bottom of a small frying pan. Sift crushed candy with a fine-mesh strainer and reserve candy dust for another use (see Notes). Set crushed candy aside.

In a large bowl, beat cream with remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar until soft peaks form. Frost cake with whipped cream using a spatula to form swirls and peaks. Sprinkle frosted cake with crushed candy canes. (To get candy on the sides, hold your hand about 1 in. from the cake and gently toss crushed candy at the sides.) Serve immediately, using a serrated knife to cut slices. Makes 8 to 10 servings

Notes: For a shortcut version, start with a store-bought angel food cake. The very fine candy "dust" left over from crushing the candy canes is delicious sprinkled on vanilla ice cream or stirred into hot cocoa. To maximize the dramatic look of this cake, add the crushed candy just before serving; the moisture from the whipped cream makes the peppermint begin to "melt" after half an hour.

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:21 am

Holiday Fig Cake

1 3/4 cups fig preserves (a little less than 2 [11.5-ounce] jars)
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 cup finely chopped prunes
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary (optional)
Honey-Cheese Frosting
1 3/4 cups pecan pieces, toasted (optional)
Garnish: fresh rosemary sprigs

Chop large pieces of fig preserves; set aside.
Beat eggs, sugar, and oil at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients; add to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in fig preserves, 1 cup chopped pecans, prunes, and, if desired, chopped rosemary.

Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 8" round cakepans. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool on wire racks.

Spread Honey-Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Press pecan pieces onto sides of cake, if desired. Garnish, if desired. Store cake in refrigerator. Makes 1 (2-layer) cake

Honey-Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 cups sifted powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter, and honey at medium speed with an electric mixer just until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed just until blended. Makes 3 1/2 cups

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:26 am

Cheesecake Christmas Trees

1 to 2 big peppermint candy sticks
1 (30-oz.) frozen New York-style cheesecake
1 (7.25-oz.) bottle chocolate fudge shell coating
1 (6.4-oz.) tube green easy-flow decorator icing
12 red candy-coated chocolate pieces

Measure 1/2 to 3/4 inch from end of peppermint stick, and make a small cut using a sharp knife. Gently break peppermint stick at cut. Repeat procedure with remaining peppermint stick to make 12 pieces.

Remove cheesecake from box according to package directions. Let stand 5 minutes. (Do not thaw.) Carefully cut cheesecake into 12 wedges. Gently push 1 peppermint piece partially into curved edge of each cheesecake wedge to form tree trunks. Place wedges on a wire rack on a baking sheet, and freeze 10 minutes or until firm.

Remove pan from freezer; evenly coat tops of each cheesecake wedge with fudge shell coating, allowing excess to drip down sides and curved edge. Freeze 5 minutes.

Remove pan from freezer; squeeze icing on top of each wedge in a pattern using ribbon tip. Place 1 red candy piece at tip of each slice. Freeze at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Makes 12 servings

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:26 am

Macadamia Butter Cookies with Dried Cranberries

2/3 cup macadamia nuts
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375°. Place nuts in a food processor; process until smooth (about 2 minutes), scraping sides of bowl once. Combine macadamia butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed. Add vanilla and egg; beat well.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and ground nutmeg, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until combined (mixture will be very thick). Stir in chopped cranberries. Chill 10 minutes.

Divide chilled dough into 30 equal portions; roll each portion into a ball. Place 1 tablespoon granulated sugar in a small bowl. Lightly press each ball into sugar; place each ball, sugar side up, on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

Gently press the top of each cookie with a fork. Dip the fork in water; gently press the top of each cookie again to form a crisscross pattern. Place 15 cookies on each of 2 baking sheets.

Bake cookies, 1 baking sheet at a time, at 375° for 9 minutes or until golden. Remove cookies from pan; cool on a wire rack. Repeat procedure with remaining cookies. Makes 30 servings

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:57 am

Cranberry-Orange Bread with Grand Marnier Glaze

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened, plus more for buttering pan
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup orange juice
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
2 cups powdered sugar
7 to 8 tbsp. Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur

Preheat oven to 330°. Butter two 6-cup-capacity loaf pans (or, if making the mini loaves, butter six 2-cup-capacity pans). With an electric or standing mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Add orange juice, sour cream, orange zest, and vanilla; mix until blended.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture and cranberries to wet ingredients and mix just until dry ingredients are absorbed; do not overmix.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers of breads comes out clean, 70 to 75 minutes for large loaves and 60 minutes for mini loaves.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and 7 tbsp. Grand Marnier. Glaze should have consistency of thick maple syrup or corn syrup. If it is too thick, thin with an additional tbsp. of liqueur.

Let loaves cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a cooling rack set over a large baking sheet. With a thin skewer or long toothpick, poke deep holes in tops of loaves. Drizzle with Grand Marnier glaze so that it coats the top, runs down the sides, and seeps through the holes.

Let loaves cool completely, then slice and serve, or wrap and freeze. Makes 2 regular loaves or 6 mini loaves; 12 servings per large loaf

Notes: Loaves can be made up to 1 month ahead and frozen. Bake and glaze loaves and allow them to cool completely. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, put in zip-lock plastic bags, and freeze. When ready to serve, remove from freezer and defrost at room temperature.

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:01 pm

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

2 cups sugar
2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup vanilla pudding
4 large egg whites
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into 2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack, and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack. Makes 32 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:21 pm

Steamed Pudding with Lemon Sauce

Pudding:
Cooking spray
1/3 cup applesauce
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (11 1/4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Dash of salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon molasses
1 cup raisins

Sauce:
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
1 large egg yolk
Dash of salt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat a 2 1/2-quart oven-safe bowl with cooking spray; line with plastic wrap. Lightly coat the surface of wrap with cooking spray. Set aside.

Spoon applesauce onto several layers of paper towels; spread to 1/2-inch thickness. Cover with additional paper towels; let stand 5 minutes. Scrape into a small bowl using a rubber spatula.

Beat 3 tablespoons butter at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until fluffy. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture, 1 1/4 cups milk, and molasses to the butter, beating until blended. Stir in applesauce and raisins. Spoon mixture into prepared bowl; cover bowl with plastic wrap.

Place bowl in a deep roasting pan. Add hot water to pan until water is one-third way up the sides of bowl. Tightly cover bowl and pan with aluminum foil. Bake at 350° for 2 hours or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove bowl from roasting pan. Carefully invert bowl onto a serving plate; remove bowl. Remove and discard plastic wrap.

To prepare sauce, combine 3/4 cup sugar and next 6 ingredients (through salt) in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until smooth. Cook, stirring frequently, 4 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in rind and vanilla. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving. Makes 10 servings

Note - Golden raisins or dried cherries may be used instead of raisins. If available, you can use blackstrap molasses, a surprising source of iron, to add rich color and flavor. Coating both the dish and the plastic wrap with cooking spray helps you remove the pudding after it's cooked.

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:54 pm

Chocolate-Bourbon-Pecan Cake

Chocolate Velvet Cake Batter
Bourbon Buttercream Frosting
2 3/4 cups chopped pecans, toasted
1 (4-ounce) semisweet chocolate bar, chopped

Spoon batter evenly into 3 greased and floured 9-inch square pans. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire rack.

Spread Bourbon Buttercream Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake, sprinkling 1/4 cup pecans on top of frosting for each of the layers. Press remaining 2 cups pecans into sides of cake. Sprinkle chopped semisweet chocolate bar over top of cake. Makes 12 servings

Chocolate Velvet Cake Batter

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (16-ounce) package light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 cup hot water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Melt semisweet chocolate morsels in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH for 30-second intervals until melted (about 1 1/2 minutes total time). Stir until smooth.
Beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer, beating about 5 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate, beating just until blended.

Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to chocolate mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Gradually add 1 cup hot water in a slow, steady stream, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in vanilla. Use immediately, following directions for desired cake. Makes about 8 1/2 cups

Bourbon Buttercream Frosting

1 cup butter, softened
2 (16-ounce) packages powdered sugar
1/3 cup bourbon
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add powdered sugar alternately with bourbon and milk, beating at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract. Makes about 6 cups

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:11 pm

Christmas Wreaths

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 (4.25-ounce) tube green frosting
1 cup mini red cinnamon candies

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg and almond extract, beating until blended. Gradually add flour, beating at low speed until mixture is blended.
Use a cookie press with a star-shaped disc to shape dough into 2 1/2-inch circles on ungreased baking sheets, following manufacturer's instructions.

Bake at 350° for 8 to 12 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Immediately remove to racks to cool. Pipe 2 leaves over seam on each cookie with green frosting; press 3 red candies between leaves, resembling holly. Makes 2 dozen

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:16 pm

White Chocolate Cheesecake with Cranberry Currant Compote

2 cups crushed chocolate wafers (about 35 wafers)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
16 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 large eggs, at room temperature
Cranberry Currant Compote

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine crushed chocolate wafers, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 5 tablespoons melted butter in a medium bowl. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of a 10 1/2-inch springform pan, making sure crumbs are evenly distributed. Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on wire rack. Stir together white chocolate and cream in a heavy saucepan over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat.

Beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter, salt, and remaining 1 cup sugar in a large bowl at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended, stopping to scrape down sides. Add vanilla, beating until blended. Reduce speed to low, and add eggs, 2 at a time, beating just until blended and stopping to scrape down sides after each addition. (Do not overbeat.) Gradually add white chocolate mixture, beating just until blended. Pour mixture into springform pan; place springform pan on baking sheet.

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°, and bake 20 more minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250°, and bake 20 more minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 200°, and bake 30 to 40 minutes or until cake is set around sides and almost set in center.

Remove to a wire rack; run sharp knife around edge of pan to loosen. (This will help prevent cracking as cake cools.) Let cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill for 6 hours or up to 2 days. Serve with Cranberry Currant Compote. Makes 12 to 16 servings

Cranberry Currant Compote

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup currant jelly

Stir together sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Stir in cranberries, and cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries pop and are softened, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in currant jelly, and cook, stirring often, until jelly melts. Remove saucepan from heat, and place in an ice-water bath. Stir occasionally until mixture cools to room temperature. Makes about 2 1/2 cups

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Re: Christmas Recipes

Post  justmecookin on Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:24 pm

Blackberry-Raspberry Truffle Cake

2 (18.25-ounce) packages devil's food cake mix
6 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups water
1 1/4 cups light sour cream
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup seedless blackberry jam
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/4 cup water
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 (16-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 3 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
Garnish: 1/4 cup blackberry and raspberry candies

Beat first 5 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until blended. Grease 3 (9-inch) parchment or wax paper-lined round cakepans. Pour batter evenly into cakepans.

Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans, and remove paper. Cool completely on wire racks.

Combine chocolate morsels and whipping cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, 10 minutes or until mixture is smooth. Pour into a mixing bowl; cover and chill 1 1/2 hours or until mixture begins to thicken.

Cook jams and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until jam melts. Brush tops of cake layers with jam mixture.

Beat chocolate mixture at medium speed with an electric mixer about 20 seconds or until stiff peaks form. (Do not over beat.)

Place 1 layer, glazed side up, on a cake platter. Spread with half of chocolate mixture. Top with another cake layer, glazed side down; spread with remaining chocolate mixture. Top with remaining cake layer, glazed side down. Secure layers by inserting wooden skewers from the top layer down through the other two layers.

Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add whipped topping and vanilla, beating until smooth. Working quickly, frost top and sides of cake with cream cheese mixture. Press pecans around sides of cake. Garnish, if desired.

Note: Candies may be found at Cracker Barrel, in the bulk candy aisle of supermarkets. Makes 12 to 15 servings

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Re: Christmas Recipes

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