into the Spirit by Cooking Up Something Sweet!
|“Christmas Hot Chocolate”
oz. of milk
- 1 ¼ oz.
of finely chopped white chocolate
oz. of crushed peppermint or candy canes
- Pinch of salt
the milk into a saucepan and bring to a simmer of medium
the heat to medium-low
the chocolate, half of the crushed candy canes, and a pinch
until smooth and creamy, then pour into a coffee mug
with whipped cream and the remaining crushed candy canes
|“Chocolate Almond Yule Log”
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided use
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
- 1 tablespoon almond or cherry-flavored liqueur, optional
- Chocolate frosting (about 2 cups)
- Sliced blanched almonds, optional
- Cinnamon candies, optional
- Sliced green glace cherries, optional
Lightly grease 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1-inch jelly roll pan. Line
bottom with waxed paper. Grease again. Set aside.
In small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup
sugar and water to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer 1 minute. Set
aside to cool.
In large mixing bowl, beat egg whites
with cream of tartar at high speed until foamy. Add 1/3 cup
of the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating constantly until
sugar is dissolved (rub just a bit of meringue between thumb
and forefinger to feel if sugar has dissolved) and whites are
glossy and stand in soft peaks.
In small mixing bowl, beat egg yolks
at high speed until thick and lemon-colored, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Gradually beat in remaining 1/3 cup of the sugar until blended.
Beat in vanilla, almond extract and salt. In small bowl, stir
together ground almonds and flour. Sprinkle over whites. Add
beaten yolk mixture. Gently, but thoroughly, fold yolk mixture
and almond mixture into whites. Pour into prepared pan. Gently
Bake in preheated 400°F oven until
top springs back when lightly touched with finger, about 10
to 12 minutes. Dust clean tea towel with confectioner’s sugar.
With spatula, loosen cake from sides of pan and invert onto
prepared towel. Carefully pull waxed paper off bottom of cake.
Trim all edges with serrated knife.
Stir liqueur, if desired, into cooled,
reserved sugar syrup. Spoon evenly over inside surface of hot
cake. Starting from short edge, roll up cake, rolling towel
with cake. Place wrapped roll seam-side down on wire rack until
cool, about 30 minutes.
Carefully unroll cake. Spread with about 1 cup chocolate
frosting. Reroll. Place seam-side
down on serving platter. Spread with about 1 cup additional
frosting, using small spatula to create tree-bark effect. Garnish
with sliced almonds, candies and cherries, if desired.
|“Cookie Cutter Sugar Cookies”
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add egg and vanilla, mix until just combined. Add flour and
baking powder in intervals. Dough will seem as if doesn't have
enough moisture but continue to mix with mixer until combined
(it will come together when chilled).
Divide the dough into four equal parts, shape into four disks,
wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate about an hour or until
Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease baking sheets or line
with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat.
Roll out dough between
2 sheets of waxed paper, about 1/4 inch thick
for crispier cookies and 1/3 inch thick for softer cookies.
Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and place on prepared baking
Bake for 7-8 minutes or until edges just start to turn a golden
color. For softer cookies, do not allow the cookies to take
Remove from oven, let cool for one minute and then transfer
to wire rack. Allow cookie sheet to cool thoroughly before
placing uncooked dough on it and decorate with frosting and