Christmas Recipes

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Christmas Trifle

Post  justmecookin on Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:28 am

Christmas Trifle

1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple
3 medium firm bananas, sliced
1 jar (10 ounces) red maraschino cherries
1 jar (6 ounces) green maraschino cherries
3-1/2 cups eggnog, chilled
2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 prepared angel food cake (8 inches), cut into 1-inch cubes
1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Dip bananas in juice; drain and discard juice. Set aside pineapple, bananas, three red cherries and three green cherries. In a bowl, whisk the eggnog and pudding mixes for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Place half of the pudding in a 4-qt. serving or trifle bowl; layer with half of the bananas, pineapple. cherries, cake cubes and whipped topping. Repeat layers. Garnish with walnuts and reserved cherries. Makes 16-20 servings.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Gateau

Post  justmecookin on Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:35 am

Chocolate Hazelnut Gateau

2/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
2/3 cup ground hazelnuts, toasted

Glaze:
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon water
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
Toasted slivered almonds and fresh mint leaves

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, melted chocolate and vanilla. Combine the flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in the hazelnuts.

In a small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; carefully fold into batter. Spread into a greased 9-in. springform pan. Place pan on a baking sheet.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; remove sides of pan. Cool completely.

In a saucepan, bring the butter, corn syrup and water to a boil; stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature. Spread over top and sides of gateau. Garnish with almonds and mint. Makes 12 servings.

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Yuletide Pound Cake

Post  justmecookin on Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:38 am

Yuletide Pound Cake

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon rum extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

Glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons milk

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extracts. Combine flour and baking powder; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Beat just until combined.

Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 350 for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over cake. Makes 12-16 servings.

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Roast Christmas Goose

Post  justmecookin on Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:58 am

Roast Christmas Goose

1 domestic goose (10 to 12 pounds)
Salt and pepper
1 medium apple, peeled and quartered
1 medium navel orange, peeled and quartered
1 medium lemon, peeled and quartered
1 cup hot water

Sprinkle the goose cavity with salt and pepper. Place the apple, orange and lemon in the cavity. Place goose breast side up on a rack in a large shallow roasting pan. Prick skin well with a fork. Pour water into pan.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 2-1/4 to 3 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 185. If necessary, drain fat from pan as it accumulates. Cover goose with foil and let stand for 20 minutes before carving. Discard fruit. Makes 8 servings.

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Christmas Pork Pie

Post  justmecookin on Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:13 am

Christmas Pork Pie

2 cups beef broth
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
1/2 cup undrained crushed pineapple
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
3 cups cubed cooked pork
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)
Milk and sugar

In a large saucepan, combine the first eight ingredients. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into fruit mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in pork, pecans and salt.

Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom pastry; trim even with edge of plate. Fill with meat mixture. Roll out remaining pastry to fit the top of pie; make decorative cutouts in pastry. Set cutouts aside. Place top crust over filling; trim, seal and flute edges.

Brush pastry and cutouts with milk; place cutouts on top of pie. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before serving. Refrigerate leftovers. Makes 6 servings.

Double Crust Pastry

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
6 to 7 tablespoons cold water

In a bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in the shortening until crumbly. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Divide dough in half so that one ball is slightly larger than the other. Roll out larger ball to fit a 9-in. or 10-in. pie plate. Transfer pastry to pie plate. Trim pastry even with edge.

Pour desired filling into crust. Roll out second ball. Position over filling; cut slits in pastry. Trim pastry to 1 in. beyond edge of pie plate. Trim pastry to 1 in. beyond edge of pie plate. Fold top crust over bottom crust. Flute edges. Bake according to recipe directions. Makes pastry for double-crust pie (9 or 10 inches).

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Minty Snowmen

Post  justmecookin on Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:54 am

Minty Snowmen

1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 drop blue food coloring
1 drop yellow food coloring
1 drop red food coloring
Colored sprinkles and cake decorator candies

In a small bowl, combine the butter, corn syrup, extract and salt. Gradually stir in confectioners' sugar. Knead by hand for 1-2 minutes or until mixture becomes pliable.

To 1 tablespoon of dough, add blue food coloring; knead until blended. Add yellow food coloring to another tablespoon of dough and knead. Add red food coloring to another tablespoon of dough and knead. Leave remaining dough white.

Roll white dough into a log; remove one-fourth of the log and set aside. For the snowmen's bodies, divide the remaining log into 8 pieces and roll into balls. For the snowmen's heads, divide the reserved dough into 8 pieces and roll into balls.

Stack 1 smaller ball on top of each larger ball. Use the colored dough to form hats, scarves and earmuffs as desired. Use colored sprinkles and candies to make eyes, nose and buttons. Makes 8 snowmen.

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Peppermint Bonbon Cookies

Post  justmecookin on Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:40 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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Flaky Dinner Rolls

Post  justmecookin on Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:45 am

Flaky Dinner Rolls

3 tablespoons sugar
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 cup warm milk (100 to 110)
3 cups all-purpose flour (about 13 1/2 ounces), divided
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, softened
Cooking spray

Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm milk in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 2 3/4 cups flour and salt to yeast mixture; stir until a dough forms.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth (about 5 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly sticky). Cover dough with plastic wrap, and let rest for 10 minutes.

Roll dough into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle on a lightly floured baking sheet. Gently spread butter over dough. Working with a long side, fold up bottom third of dough. Fold top third of dough over the first fold to form a 12 x 3-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap; place in freezer for 10 minutes.

Remove dough from freezer; remove plastic wrap. Roll dough, still on baking sheet (sprinkle on a little more flour, if needed), into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle. Working with a long side, fold up bottom third of dough. Fold top third of dough over the first fold to form a 12 x 3-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap; place in freezer for 10 minutes.

Remove dough from freezer; remove plastic wrap. Roll dough, still on baking sheet, into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle. Beginning with a long side, roll up dough jelly-roll fashion; pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of roll).

Cut roll into 12 equal slices. Place slices, cut sides up, in muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat tops of dough slices with cooking spray. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375. Bake dough at 375 for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan, and cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack. Serve rolls warm. Makes 12 servings (serving size: 1 roll)

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Eggnog Cheese Pie with Bourbon

Post  justmecookin on Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:31 pm

Eggnog Cheese Pie with Bourbon

Crust:
32 low-fat graham crackers (8 cookie sheets)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large egg white
Cooking spray

Filling:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup (4-ounces) block-style cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (4-ounces) block-style cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup eggnog
2 large egg whites
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Bourbon cream:
3/4 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 tablespoons eggnog
1 teaspoon bourbon
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350. To prepare crust, place crackers in a food processor; process until crumbly. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, butter, and 1 egg white; pulse 5 times or just until moist. Press crumb mixture evenly into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes; cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325.

To prepare filling, spoon yogurt onto several layers of heavy-duty paper towels; spread yogurt to 1/2-inch thickness. Cover with additional paper towels; let stand 5 minutes. Scrape into a bowl using a rubber spatula.

Place cream cheeses and vanilla in a bowl; beat with mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine sugar, flour, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Add sugar mixture to cheese mixture; beat until combined. Add yogurt to cheese mixture; add eggnog. Beat at low speed just until combined.

Beat 2 egg whites with a mixer at medium speed until soft peaks form. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into the eggnog mixture. Pour filling into prepared crust. Bake at 325 for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely on wire rack. Chill overnight.

To prepare bourbon cream, place the whipped topping in bowl. Gently fold in 2 tablespoons eggnog and bourbon; chill. Top each pie slice with bourbon cream; sprinkle with nutmeg before serving. Makes 10 servings

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Easy Black Forest Cake

Post  justmecookin on Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:44 pm

Easy Black Forest Cake

Unsweetened cocoa
1 (18.25-oz.) package devil's food cake mix
1 (3.4-oz.) package chocolate instant pudding mix
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons chocolate extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 (1.55-oz.) milk chocolate bars, chopped
1 (24.3-oz.) container ready-to-eat cheesecake filling, divided
1 (21-oz.) can cherry pie filling, divided
2 (16-oz.) cans chocolate fudge frosting
Garnish: chocolate covered cherries, halved (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans, and dust with cocoa. Set aside. Beat cake mix and next 7 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute; beat at medium speed 2 minutes. Fold in chopped chocolate. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake at 350 for 30 to 32 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely on wire rack. Wrap and chill cake layers at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

Using a serrated knife, slice cake layers in half horizontally to make 4 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on cake plate. Spread one-third of cheesecake filling over cake; top with one-third of cherry pie filling.

Repeat procedure twice with remaining cheesecake filling and cherry filling. Place final cake layer on top of cake; cut side down. Spread chocolate fudge frosting on top and sides of cake. Cover and chill in refrigerator until ready to serve. Garnish, if desired. Store in refrigerator. Makes 12 servings

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Mile-High White Chocolate Hummingbird Cake

Post  justmecookin on Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:01 pm

Mile-High White Chocolate Hummingbird Cake

1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice
2 (18.25-oz.) packages white cake mix
2 (3.4-oz) packages vanilla instant pudding mix
6 large eggs
2 1/2 cups milk, divided
2 cups canola oil
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 (4-oz.) white chocolate baking bar, finely chopped
1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
2 cups chopped banana (about 3 medium)
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Garnish: toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Drain pineapple, reserving juice for another use. Squeeze pineapple well using several thicknesses of paper towels to remove excess moisture.

Combine cake mix and next 7 ingredients in an 8-qt. mixing bowl. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes; beat at medium speed 3 minutes. Fold in pineapple, white chocolate, and next 3 ingredients. Pour batter into 4 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.

Bake at 350 for 34 to 36 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely. Wrap and chill cake layers at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

Using a serrated knife, slice cake layers in half horizontally to make 8 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on cake plate. Spread with 1/2 cup White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting. Repeat procedure 6 times. Place final cake layer on top of cake, cut side down. Spread remaining frosting on top and sides of cake. Cover; chill in refrigerator overnight. Garnish, if desired. Store in refrigerator.

To prepare a 4-layer White Chocolate Hummingbird Cake instead, use half of all ingredients in both cake and frosting recipes. Follow cake recipe as directed in Steps 1 through 4, except use only 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.

Slice the 2 cake layers in half horizontally to make 4 layers. Follow White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting recipe as directed except microwave white chocolate morsels in for only 1 1/2 minutes. Assemble cake as directed. Both the 8 and 4-layer versions of this delicious cake slice best after they have chilled overnight.

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
3 cups white chocolate morsels
3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup butter, softened
7 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Microwave white chocolate morsels in a microwave-safe bowl at medium (50% power) 3 minutes; stir until smooth. Combine cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.

Add melted chocolate, beating well. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Beat at medium speed until mixture reaches desired spreading consistency. Makes 9 cups

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Dundee Cake

Post  justmecookin on Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:40 am

Dundee Cake

1 cup butter, softened
1-1/3 cups packed brown_sugar
4 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking_powder
1 cup each raisins
1 cup currants
3/4 cup mixed candied peel
1/2 cup chopped candied cherries
1 tbsp each grated orange rind
1 tbsp lemon rind
3/4 cup whole blanched almonds
2 tbsp corn syrup
1/2 cup scotch whisky

Line bottom and side of 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Set aside. In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until creamy; beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each.

In separate bowl, whisk flour with baking powder; stir in raisins, currants, peel, cherries and orange and lemon rinds until separated and coated. Gradually stir into butter mixture until combined. Scrape into prepared pan, smoothing top.

Starting at edge, arrange almonds, rounded ends out and with sides touching, in tight concentric circles over batter. Gently press into batter.

Place cake in centre of 300 oven; place loaf pan filled with very hot water beside cake on rack. Bake until deep golden and cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 2-1/4 hours. Let cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pan to rack; brush with corn syrup. Let cool completely.

Cut 24- x 15-inch piece of cheesecloth; soak in half of the whisky and wrap cake to enclose completely. Wrap in foil; refrigerate for 1 week. Makes 12 servings

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Gingersnap-Crusted Ham with Apricot-Mustard Sauce

Post  justmecookin on Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:20 am

Gingersnap-Crusted Ham with Apricot-Mustard Sauce

Ham:
1 (8-pound) smoked, fully cooked ham half
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup gingersnap crumbs (about 9 cookies, finely crushed)

Sauce:
1 1/2 cups apricot preserves
1/2 cup dry Marsala wine
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

Preheat oven to 325. To prepare ham, line a broiler pan with foil. Trim fat and rind from ham. Score outside of ham in a diamond pattern. Place ham on prepared pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour. Remove the ham from oven, and cool slightly. Increase oven temperature to 375.

Combine 2 tablespoons preserves and 2 tablespoons mustard, stirring with a whisk. Combine the sugar and crumbs. Brush preserves mixture over ham. Carefully press crumb mixture onto preserves mixture (some crumb mixture will fall onto pan). Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until a thermometer registers 145. Place ham on a platter; let stand 15 minutes before slicing.

To prepare sauce, combine 1 1/2 cups preserves and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook 5 minutes. Serve sauce with ham. Makes 24 servings

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Ham with Bourbon-Peach Glaze

Post  justmecookin on Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:27 am

Ham with Bourbon-Peach Glaze

2/3 cup peach preserves
1/4 cup bourbon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (7 1/2-pound) smoked, fully cooked ham half
20 whole cloves
Cooking spray
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 325. Combine preserves and bourbon in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Stir in cumin, ginger, coriander, and pepper. Cool slightly.

Trim fat and rind from ham. Score outside of ham in a diamond pattern; stud with cloves. Place ham on the rack of a broiler pan or roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Pour 1 cup water into pan; place rack in pan.

Brush ham with 1/4 cup preserves mixture. Bake at 325 for 2 hours or until a thermometer registers 140, basting ham with remaining preserves mixture every 30 minutes. Transfer ham to a platter; let stand 15 minutes. Discard cloves before serving. Makes 28 servings

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Apricot and Sherry-Glazed Ham

Post  justmecookin on Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:30 am

Apricot and Sherry-Glazed Ham

1 1/4 cups dry sherry
1/2 cup apricot preserves
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 (7 1/2-pound) smoked, fully cooked ham half
20 whole cloves
Cooking spray
1 cup water

Bring sherry and apricot preserves to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook until reduced to 1 1/4 cups (about 20 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and add ground coriander and paprika, stirring with a whisk.

Preheat oven to 325. Trim fat and rind from ham. Score outside of ham in a diamond pattern; stud with cloves. Place ham on the rack of a broiler pan or roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Pour 1 cup water into pan; place rack in pan.

Brush ham with 1/4 cup sherry mixture. Bake at 325 for 1 1/2 hours or until thermometer registers 140, basting with remaining sherry mixture every 30 minutes. Transfer ham to a platter; let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Makes 28 servings

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Candy Cane Snowballs

Post  justmecookin on Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:41 am

Candy Cane Snowballs

2 cups butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
8 ounces white candy coating
1/3 to 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy

In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add flour and mix well. Stir in pecans. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until easy to handle.

Roll into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. Apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. In a microwave, melt candy coating at 70% power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth. Dip the top of each cookie into the candy coating; allow excess to drip off. Dip into peppermint candy. Place on waxed paper; let stand until set. Makes 5 dozen.


Last edited by justmecookin on Mon May 31, 2010 12:35 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Cheese Balls Three Ways

Post  justmecookin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:15 am

Cheese Balls Three Ways

Base Recipe:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 packages cream cheese (8 ounces each)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
5 dashes hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

Cheddar and Cranberry:
8 ounces sharp orange cheddar cheese, finely shredded
2 tablespoons store-bought chutney
3/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
Water crackers, for serving

Roquefort and Walnut:
6 ounces Roquefort cheese
1 shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 teaspoons brandy (optional)
1 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
Vegetable chips (such as Terra Chips Sweets & Beets), for serving

Goat Cheese and Scallions:
8 ounces goat cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
1/3 cup fresh curly-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 English cucumber, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices, for serving

Put butter, cream cheese, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, and pepper into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until combined. Divide equally among 3 medium bowls.

Stir cheddar cheese and chutney with base mixture in the first bowl. Form into a ball. If not using immediately, refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Roll cheese ball in cranberries to coat before serving. Serve with crackers.

Stir blue cheese and shallot with base mixture in second bowl; add brandy, if desired. Form into a ball. If not using immediately, refrigerate up to 3 days; freeze up to 1 month. Roll in walnuts to coat before serving. Serve with chips.

Stir goat cheese and scallions with base mixture in remaining bowl. Form into a ball. If not using immediately, refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Roll in parsley to coat before serving. Serve with cucumber slices. Makes three 4-inch cheeseballs; serves 8 to 10

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Chocolate Mint Torte

Post  justmecookin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:25 am

Chocolate Mint Torte

Vegetable-oil cooking spray
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (8 tablespoons)
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
1 teaspoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, for dusting
18 fresh mint leaves, (preferably peppermint), for garnish
Freshly whipped cream, for serving (optional)
Chocolate Mint Leaves

Set a roasting pan on lowest rack of oven. Fill pan halfway with water. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-41/4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Cut parchment paper large enough to cover bottom and to hang over long sides of loaf pan. Place in loaf pan; coat with cooking spray.

Put chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Heat, stirring, until melted. Remove from heat; let cool slightly.

Put heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl; set aside.

Put eggs and sugar in the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on medium-high speed until tripled in volume, 3 to 4 minutes. Gently fold half of the chocolate mixture into egg mixture until almost incorporated; fold in remaining chocolate mixture. Fold in reserved whipped cream and the peppermint extract.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Set loaf pan in roasting pan. Bake until chocolate loses its sheen and appears set when loaf pan is jiggled, about 25 minutes.

Carefully transfer roasting pan to a heatproof surface. Remove loaf pan from water bath; let cool completely on a rack.
Pulling up on parchment, remove torte from pan; transfer to a baking sheet.

Refrigerate 30 minutes. Using an offset spatula, gently loosen torte from parchment and then invert onto a serving platter. Torte can be made up to two days in advance. Using a sieve, lightly dust torte with cocoa. Garnish with fresh and chocolate. Serves 6 to 8

Chocolate Mint Leaves
18 fresh mint leaves, 1/4 inch of each stem intact
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Using a small pastry brush, coat underside of each leaf with a thick layer of chocolate. (If chocolate drips onto top of leaf, gently wipe away with your finger.)

Drape leaves, chocolate sides up, over handle of a wooden spoon set on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes.

Gently grasp chocolate layer of each leaf with kitchen tweezers. Holding stem, peel off mint leaf. Store, refrigerated, in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Makes enough for one 9-inch layer cake.

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Bittersweet Chocolate Souffles

Post  justmecookin on Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:01 am

Bittersweet Chocolate Souffles

1/2 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 cups whole milk
6 large eggs, separated, plus 2 large egg whites, all at room temperature
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Salt
Caramel Anglaise

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. with the rack in lower third. Place six 10-ounce ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush inside ramekins with butter. Dust with sugar, and tap out excess. Using kitchen twine, secure a strip of parchment paper around each ramekin so that parchment extends 3 inches above rim. Chill in freezer 15 minutes (up to overnight). Bring milk almost to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat; set aside.

Put 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until pale, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low; beat in flour. Add about one-third of the hot milk in a slow, steady stream, beating until just combined.

Pour yolk mixture back into pan with the remaining milk. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until thick, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in chocolate, vanilla, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. The souffle base can be made a day ahead and refrigerated, covered, until ready to bake the souffles.

Put egg whites and a pinch of salt into a large copper bowl. Using a balloon whisk, beat until foamy. (Alternatively, beat egg whites and a pinch of cream of tartar instead of the salt in the bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.) Add 1 tablespoon sugar, and beat until soft peaks form. Add remaining tablespoon sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form.

Using a rubber spatula, fold one-third of the egg whites into chocolate mixture. Gradually fold in remaining egg whites.

Carefully pour batter into prepared ramekins on baking sheet, filling to just below rims. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees. Bake until set, about 15 minutes. Remove parchment. Poke a hole in top of each, and pour in caramel creme anglaise. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings

Caramel Anglaise
3 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Prepare an ice-water bath. Whisk together yolks and 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Bring milk and 1/2 cup cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Pour one-third of the hot milk mixture into yolk mixture, whisking until combined.

Pour yolk mixture back into pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture coats the back of a spoon, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer pan to ice-water bath, and let the creme anglaise cool completely.

Put 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, and the lemon juice into a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, without stirring, and cook until caramel turns dark amber. Remove from heat, and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup cream. Whisk together creme anglaise and caramel in a medium bowl, and serve. Makes 1 1/4 cups

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Mulled Wine

Post  justmecookin on Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:25 pm

Mulled Wine

1 bottle (750 milliliters) fruity red wine
1 cup brandy
1 medium orange, sliced
1 medium lemon, sliced
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
1/2 teaspoon aniseed
1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
3 whole cloves
Garnish: Cinnamon stick, star anise and orange twist

In a large saucepan, combine the wine, brandy, orange, lemon, sugar and nutmeg. Place remaining spices on a double thickness of cheesecloth; bring up corners of cloth and tie with string to form a bag. Add spice bag to wine mixture.

Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Cool; cover and refrigerate overnight. Strain; discard fruit and spice bag. Reheat wine; serve warm in mugs. Garnish as desired. Makes 5 servings.

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Christmas Black Cake

Post  justmecookin on Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:00 pm


Christmas Black Cake

1 pound raisins, chopped
1 pound prunes, or dates, chopped
1 pound dried currants, chopped
1 pound glace cherries, chopped
6 ounces candied lemon peel, chopped
6 ounces candied orange peel, chopped
3/4 liter any sweet red wine
3/4 liter dark rum
2 pounds dark brown sugar
4 1/4 cups cake flour (I use regular and just sift it twice)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups butter
10 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla

In a large bowl, mix all the fruits with the wine and rum. Cover and let sit at room temperature for two weeks.

In a heavy skillet, combine 1 pound brown sugar and 1 c water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg. Gently boil for several minutes, or until is it slightly "burnt" or dark brown, and thickened to about 1 3/4 c. Let cool.

Mix the flour and baking powder. with a mixer, cream the butter with the remaining sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in the vanilla, the flour mix, and 1 1/3 c of the burnt sugar syrup.

In another large bowl, mix the flour mixture and the fruit mixture. Divide the batter between two buttered and floured 10" springform pans (you can also use bread pans, but be sure not to fill them too full). Bake in the middle of a 350 degree preheated oven for two hours, or until a tooth pick comes out with some crumbs attached to it, and no dough. the centers will be very moist.

Let the cakes cool at room temperature. Remove the sides and bottoms of the pans and wrap in foil or wax paper. let the cakes set at room temperature for a week.

If you want to, you can roll out 3/4 c of almond paste for each cake and drape it over the top of each cake like icing or fondant.

If you want to ice it, mix 2 pounds of powdered sugar with 6 room temperature egg whites and 2 tablespoons lemon juice until stiff peaks form. Use a spatula to put the icing on the top and sides, then use a pastry bag to pipe designs on. Traditional decorations are dragees (pronounced Dra-Zays) and are colorful chocolate coated nuts and dried fruits or seeds. I don't do the icing or the candies.

To make glace cherries if you can't find them in the store: Wash, stem, and pit 1 pound of cherries. Combine 2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup water with a whisk over medium heat and bring to boil, stirring often. Add cherries and half of a lemon. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, or until the syrup is red and thickening. Put in a covered, airtight container and let stand overnight (or at least several hours). Strain the cherries, reserving the syrup. Discard the lemon half. Combine the syrup with 1 cup of unsweetened apple juice and bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes, then add the cherries. Reduce heat and cook over low until the syrup is thick, and around 220 degrees.

To make candied peels if you can't find them in the store: Take 6 large citrus fruits. Cut the tops and bottoms off the fruit, then use a knife to score into quarters and remove the peels. Cut the peels into 1/4 inch wide strips and put them in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Drain. Cover with cold water again and bring to a boil a second time. Repeat twice more (for a total of 4 cold water/boil sequences). In a new saucepan, combine 4 1/2 cups sugar and 1 1/2 cups water. Whisk over medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for 8 or 9 minutes - to 230 degrees. Reduce heat and add peel slices (can mix citrus peels). Simmer gently about 45 minutes, or until the peels turn clear-ish. Do not stir - you can swirl the pan by the handle like you are shaking popcorn if you absolutely have to. Drain and roll in sugar. Dry for 4 or 5 hours before storing or cooking.

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Butter Almond Stollen

Post  justmecookin on Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:30 pm

Butter Almond Stollen

1 cup golden raisins
1 cup candied lemon peel or mixed peel
1/3 cup rum or Marsala
2 packages (2 tablespoons) active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg plus 1 extra yolk, lightly beaten

About 5 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup chopped or slivered almonds
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup ground almonds
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, for topping
1/4 cup sugar, for topping
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar, for topping

In a small bowl, combine the raisins, candied peel, and the rum. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl (preferably the bowl of an electric mixer), stir the yeast into 1/3 cup of lukewarm water. Leave it for about 10 minutes, until it has softened and looks a little frothy at the edges. Now add the milk, sugar, egg and yolk, 2 cups of the flour, almond and vanilla extracts, and mace. Mix to combine. Cut 1 stick of the butter into 3 or 4 pieces and blend them into the mixture one at a time. When the mixture is smooth, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and leave in a draft-free spot for about 30 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly.

When ready, stir the mixture, then mix in the raisins and peel and any unabsorbed liquid, chopped almonds, salt, and about 1/2 cup of flour. Stir in the ground almonds. Gradually mix in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead on a work surface (or using the dough hook of an electric mixer) until the dough is smooth. Use 1 tablespoon of butter to grease a large bowl. Use another tablespoon of butter to grease your hands. Form the dough into a ball and place it in the buttered bowl. Turn it with your hands until the surface of the dough is well buttered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and set it in a draft-free spot until it has doubled in bulk, which will take about 1 1/2 hours.

Grease a cookie sheet and cover it with parchment or sift a dusting of flour on it. On a floured board, divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Knead each piece of dough for 3 or 4 minutes until it is elastic and smooth. Roll out each piece into an oval measuring about 12 inches by 8 inches. Press the rolling pin down firmly in the center of the dough to make a crease. Melt the remaining butter and brush it over the surface of the dough. Fold the dough over. (Traditionally, the top should not quite cover the bottom.) If the top surface of the dough has raisins or nuts sticking out, remove them and tuck them inside. Press the edges together to seal and shape the ends so they are round, not pointy. Place both loaves on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with a cloth. Let rise again for 1 hour.

Set the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the stollens for 25 to 30 minutes or until they sound hollow when rapped. They should be golden brown. Transfer them to a rack, then brush immediately with the melted butter. Sprinkle them with the sugar. When the stollens are completely cool, wrap in foil, seal tightly, and store for a week in an airtight container. For serving, sift the confectioners' sugar on top, using enough to thickly cover the stollens. Makes 2 loaves.

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Re: Christmas Recipes

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