Tag Archives: Christmas recipes

Cranberry Eggnog Scones

This scone is like taking a bite of Christmas, eggnog and bourbon soaked cranberries…. the perfect start to Christmas morning or perhaps your perfect morning for these scones are New Year’s weekend , when you still have the last of the eggnog left and you are wondering how to use it. I do think this recipe is worthy buying some eggnog for your holiday but if you don’t have any eggnog, please feel free to replace the 1 cup of eggnog with 1 cup of heavy cream.

From by the bay, wishing you sweet eggnog food memories!

Maryann

Cranberry Eggnog Scones

Makes approximately 8 sconces

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup bourbon or rum or apple juice depending on preference ( I use Bourbon)
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup chilled eggnog, plus more for brushing
  • Demerara or raw sugar (for sprinkling)

Directions

In a small sauce pan add bourbon and dried cranberries. Bring to a simmer and stir a few times. Turn off heat and  set aside for 15 minutes. There liquid should be soaked up by the cranberries , if not strain any remaining liquid and set the cranberries aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Sift flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and salt and whisk together. Add butter and blend with fingertips until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Mix in cranberries. Whisk eggnog and eggs in a small bowl and add to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined do not overwork. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and pat to 1 inch round. Cut out rounds using 3 inch cookie cutter. Gather dough to cut additional rounds. Transfer scones to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush dough with eggnog and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake scones for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking until golden brown approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature. Scones are best eaten same day.

Bourbon Sugar Chocolate Toffee

Getting ready for the holidays? Baking cookies? Looking for an easy , thoughtful and delicious gift to give friends and family? Look no further and try this recipe for bourbon sugar chocolate toffee.  This is easy candy making , simple just minutes to make. I love to wrap in plastic place in a craft box and share !

From by the bay , wishing you hard candy Christmas food memories!

Maryann

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Bourbon Sugar Chocolate Toffee

Ingredients
1 sleeve saltine cookies or favorite biscuit such as Biscoff wafers
6 ounces butter ( 1 1/2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
12 ounces milk chocolate buttons
2 tablespoon bourbon sugar, recipe follows
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt , such as Maldon

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with non stick cooking spray. Arrange the crackers or biscuits side by side in a single layer on the baking sheet. In a heavy medium size saucepan place the butter and brown sugar. Stir while the butter is melting and then bring to a rolling boil. Remove from the heat and carefully pour over the crackers on the baking sheet trying to cover all the crackers. Place in the oven for about 5 minutes, so the toffee bubbles and spreads across the crackers. Remove from the oven and cover with the chocolate buttons. Put back into the oven for 1 or 2 minutes so the chocolate softens. Remove from oven. Use an offset spatula to spread the melted chocolate evenly covering the entire surface of the toffee. Take 3-4 saltines and crush them into small pieces. Sprinkle on top of the chocolate while it’s still sticky and soft. Next sprinkle the bourbon sugar on top and finally the sea salt. Place the pan in the refrigerator for at least one hour, to cool and set. Once set, break into smaller uneven pieces and serve. Store in an air tight container for up to 10 days.

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Bourbon Sugar

Ingredients

  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 cup demerara sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon

Directions

Preheat oven on the lowest temperature or 275 degrees F. Scrape vanilla seeds into a small bowl; stir in demerara sugar and bourbon. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let dry out in oven overnight or minimum of five hours. Let cool. It should feel like sugar again. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.

 

Ginger Spice Cake

The taste and aroma of the holiday season is delivered with this easy and delicious spice cake, perfect to add to any menu during the holiday season!  It’s moist from buttermilk and the taste of gingerbread.

From by the bay wishing you ginger filled holiday food memories!

Maryann

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Ginger Spice Cake
From Tyler Florence’s Real Kitchen
(Makes one cake; serves 8)

Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk

 

1 cup whipped cream, for garnish
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the pan bottom and place it inside; then spray the paper. Set aside.

Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg, molasses, sugar, and melted butter until thick. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Beat for 1 minute after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the cake’s structure. Mix until the batter is smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth down the top of the batter until even. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool completely before removing it from the pan, and then slice it in wedges. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve with whipped cream.

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Hazelnut Crescent Cookies

This delicious cookie is one of those special family recipes shared and enjoyed from generation to generation. I remember my grandmother making this cookie and keeping it in her special tin, bought out whenever someone would visit for coffee. I couldn’t find the recipe and then not too long ago I was able to spend some time with my Tante Hetty, who was kind enough to send me the recipe. So happy to share with you to enjoy this holiday season!

From by the bay, wishing you soft and buttery cookie food memories!

Maryann

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Hazelnut Crescent Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus extra 1 cup to coat hot cookies
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup ground hazelnuts
  • 1 egg , plus 1 yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

Use an electric mixer to beat butter until fluffy. Add sugar and beat well until combined , add eggs one at a time , then vanilla. Gradually add flour and nuts and combine well. Put dough in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Set aside to silpat lined baking sheets. Remove dough from fridge and  shape into small half moon crescent shapes. Place back in the refrigerator another 10 minutes. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden on bottom. While hot toss gently with granulated sugar and cool. Store in an airtight container until ready to use. Will last for about 5 days.

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Dark Chocolate Bark with Pomergranate and Sea Salt

I enjoy gifting a homemade sweet during the holidays! Here is my holiday take on chocolate bark. The key to the recipe is the quality of your ingredients.  Using the best quality chocolate and sea salt will guarantee a delicious result. Happy Gifting!

From by the bay wishing you dark chocolate food memories!

Maryann

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Dark Chocolate Bark with Pomergranate and Sea Salt

Adapted from Ina Garten’s White Chocolate Bark from “Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?” published 2010

Ingredients

16 ounces very good dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup dried pomegranate arils or dried cranberries
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt ( or more to taste), such as Maldon

Directions

Place 3/4 of the chocolate in a microwave safe glass bowl. Place in microwave for 30 seconds, remove and stir with a rubber spatula. Repeat in 30 second intervals stirring in between each until chocolate is melted. Add remaining chocolate and stir until it melts. You may need to place back in microwave for another 10 seconds or so to melt the remaining chocolate.

Meanwhile, line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Using a ruler and a pencil, draw a 9 by 10-inch rectangle on the paper. Turn the paper facedown on the baking sheet.

Pour the melted chocolate over the paper and spread to form a rectangle, using the outline. Sprinkle the cashews, apricots and cranberries over the chocolate. Set aside for 2 hours until firm. Cut the bark in 1 by 3-inch pieces and serve at room temperature.

 

Gingerbread Muffins

 

Welcome your holiday with these easy and delicious gingerbread muffins. I can’ t think of a better way to wake up on Christmas morning then to the aroma of these muffins. It’s a special way to start the day. I suggest measuring out all your dry ingredients the night before or in advance and set aside in plastic storage bag until you are ready to make the muffins. It makes for an easy breakfast. The cinnamon and spices will make your home smell of Christmas!

From by the bay, wishing you special holiday food memories!

Maryann

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Gingerbread Muffins (Feast by Nigella Lawson)

Makes approximately 12 muffins

Ingredients

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 egg
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons vegetable or corn oil
4 tablespoons dark corn syrup (I used light corn syrup and it was still fine)
4 tablespoons molasses

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper muffin cups. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk the egg in another bowl, then add the brown sugars, making sure to break up any lumps.

Add the milk and vinegar to the egg-brown sugar mixture then measure in the oil with a tablespoon. Use the same oily spoon to add the corn syrup and molasses so they don’t stick to it. Whisk the mixture to combine and add to the flour and spices.

Stir until mixed but still fairly lumpy-the mixture may be more runny than you expect for muffins- but you need the dense stickiness of gingerbread, rather than a cakey crumb. Spoon or pour the mixture into the muffin cups and bake for about 20 minutes until the tops are dry.

Cranberry Pecan Tassies

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Cranberry Pecan Tassies
makes 24 cups
Crust:
1 3oz. package cream cheese, softened
½ cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Filling:
1 egg, lightly beaten
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon orange zest
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/3 cup fresh cranberries
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
Directions
Make the crust by blending cream cheese, butter and flour in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. To make filling mix together using a spoon beat together  egg, sugar , vanilla, zest and cinnamon. Add melted butter to the mixture slowly, stirring constantly. Stir in the cranberries and pecans. Preheat oven to 350F. Divide the dough for crust into 24 small balls, approximately the size of an acorn. Place each ball into a small muffin tin and press down to line bottom and side of the tin. Spoon filling into each cup. Make sure that there is cranberries in each cup. Be sure not to over fill the cups. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove pans from oven and cool on a rack for 20 minutes. Carefully, remove tassies from the pan using a knife or small spatula. Will last one week in an air tight container or four weeks in the freezer.

Very Cherry Chocolate Cake

 

When Neil Diamond released his Cherry Cherry Christmas song, I embraced that message with my cooking. I enhanced a recipe I had kept over the years from Bon Appetit Magazine. The recipe is for a dense Chocolate cake topped with a rich chocolate ganache, which I often  included during my holiday entertaining. This cake, though really became special  for that Cherry Cherry Christmas, by amping up the cherry flavors by using dried cherries and kirsch along with a little excessive decorating over the chocolate ganache. I think the desserts served at the end of your Christmas meal , should look spectacular and feel like magic. I have an arsenal of edible decorations I collect during the year to give that magic factor to my desserts. One of my favorites is edible glitter in multi colors. It’s so much fun to sprinkle this on top of your desserts. Why not try this terrific cake and create your own dessert magic this Christmas! 
From by the bay …………..
Just a very merry, cherry cherry Christmas.And if all of those who love you gather near,you’ll have a very merry, cherry cherry, holly holy,rock and rolly Christmas this year
Read more: NEIL DIAMOND – CHERRY CHERRY CHRISTMAS LYRICS http://www.metrolyrics.com/cherry-cherry-christmas-lyrics-neil-diamond.html#ixzz1guZA1SYr
Copied from MetroLyrics.com

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This recipe is adapted from a recipe by Rich Rodgers , originally printed in Bon Appetit  Magazine Dec 2003.   

Very Cherry Chocolate Cake

Serves 8-10

Cake

1 cup dried cherries

1/3 cup Kirsch ( cherry liquor)

1 cup ( sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

12 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 ½ cup sugar

6 eggs, room temperature

2/3 cup flour

½ teaspoon salt

Glaze

1 cup heavy cream

10 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped

¼ cup Kirsch

Decoration

Edible glitter

Edible sugar flowers

Silver dragees

Directions for cake

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 9 inch spring form pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper. In a small sauce pan add the dried cherries and kirsch. Bring to a low simmer for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool. Drain the cherries and keep the liquor  and cherries both in bowls separate to be used later. In another sauce pan melt the butter and then remove from heat. Add the chocolate pieces and let sit one minute. Whisk the chocolate until melted and smooth. Whisk in the sugar and then the eggs one at a time. Whisk in the reserved liquor.  Add the flour and salt and whisk again until blended. Stir in the dried cherries and then pour into the spring form pan. Place in the oven onto the center rack and bake for 1 hour. Use tester to make sure the center of the cake is done. Tester should come out moist but with no batter attached. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. ( Can be made one day ahead and kept covered at room temperature.)

Directions for glaze

Place cream in medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Whisk until chocolate is melted and smooth. Add Kirsch and whisk again until smooth. Allow glaze to cool and thicken for about two hours in saucepan stirring occasionally. At this point the glaze should be thick yet pourable. While glaze is thickening, turn cake out onto the wire rack and remove the bottom of the spring form pan as well as the parchment paper. Place cake with rack into a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. When glaze is ready, pour half of the glaze onto the cake and use a spatula to smooth over the top and the sides of the cake. Place into the freezer to set for about ten minutes. Remove from freezer and pour the remaining glaze over the cake and smooth evenly again with the spatula. Place again in the freezer for another 15 minutes . Remove from freezer and decorate with edible sugar and sugar flowers. Keep in the refrigerator until 1 hour before serving. Cut into wedges and serve.

 

 

Cranberry Glazed Ham

I started entertaining over the Christmas holidays, when I moved into my first apartment. I had moved from my parents home on Long Island and into a small apartment in Queens. That first year,  I had a small Christmas party so that my parents could come and pick up all the Christmas presents and drive them back to Long Island so I didn’t have to carry them home on the train. So I started in a very small way something that has become an elaborate tradition. I was not a very accomplished cook and I didn’t have alot of extra cash, so the menu was simple and economic – baked ham,deviled eggs, mimosas and cookies. It was an easy brunch and everyone had a great time and I’ve been entertaining for the holidays ever since. I still like to make  a baked ham, it’s easy , delicious and looks like alot more effort than it really is. This cranberry glazed ham is one of my favorites – whether it’s for Christmas Day, Christmas Eve or any other Holiday meal you have a lot of guests to feed. It’s great for get togethers with children accompanied with macaroni and cheese or for adults served with cornbread and cranberries, like the recipe below. I find that most guests are excited to see a festive holiday baked ham on the table. Start your own holiday traditions using this recipe, it’s a perfect one to prepare!
From by the bay wishing you the berriest Christmas memories!
Maryann
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Cranberry Glazed Ham

Serves 12 Dinner

Serves 18 Buffet

1 6-7 lbs fully cooked spiral-cut bone in half smoked ham

4 oz cranberry jelly

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup dijon mustard

¼ cup cranberry juice

1 tablespoon bourbon

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon allspice

Directions

Preheat over to 350F. Place ham in an aluminum foil lined baking pan. In a bowl combine remaining ingredients and whisk together, Brush on to the ham and between the slices. Bake for one hour, until the ham is fully heated. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Very Berry Cranberry Sauce

I know that cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving staple , but I love serving it through out the holiday season. I grew up eating canned cranberry sauce. In fact my Uncle Tom, owned a canning factory in Egg Harbor, New Jersey. This was the family’s source for most of our cranberry needs. We had cases of cranberry sauce and loved it!  When my Uncle Tom decided to close his plant and move onto other ventures we were ready to buy our sauce at the supermarket, but instead my Uncle Tom brought to the house some fresh cranberries and taught me how to make my own cranberry sauce. It tasted terrific and was so easy to make!  There was no going back and I’ve been making some version of his cranberry sauce ever since! This is a favorite of mine for Christmas celebrations, I love the mix of all the berries , as well as that little kick of kirsch. The kirsch, reminds me of  Christmases when I was a little girl watching my grandfather pour a shots of this wonderful cherry smelling liquid to celebrate with his friends and family!  The sauce is the perfect compliment to all your holiday foods –  smoked ham, pork loin, turkey or even beef! You are guaranteed to create some happy food memories with this very berry sauce!

From By the Bay wishing you the berriest food memories!
Maryann

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Very Berry Cranberry Sauce
Serves Six

 

½ cup cranberry juice cocktail

1 cup fine sugar

1 12oz, package whole fresh cranberries

½ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup dried cherries

¼ cup cherry brandy (Kirsch)

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

 

Directions

Combine cranberry juice, brandy and sugar in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add cranberries, dried cranberries, dried cherries and allspice. Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer approximately 10 minutes until the cranberries start to burst. Remove from heat. Cool completely and then chill in refrigerator. Cranberry sauce will thicken. Serve chilled.

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