If you haven’t turning into some sort of sugar sprinkle cookie or a chocolate covered something or a candy cane this is a the perfect post for you! I’m sure we all do our fair share of baking this time of year as well as consuming some yummy desserts! Here are some of our all time favorite Christmas Desserts.
1 1/2 cups fine chocolate wafer crumbs (from Oreo cookies or chocolate wafers)
6 tablespoons melted butter
1 recipe Dark Chocolate Truffles, recipe follows, whipped but not shaped into balls
6 fresh raspberries, plus extra for serving
Use a fork to mix together the chocolate wafer crumbs and butter. Spray the cups of a 6-muffin tin with a vegetable spray. Line the cups with strips of parchment or waxed paper, cut so that they are as wide as the diameter of each cup and long enough to overhang the sides (you’ll need this overhang to remove the tarts). Use the bottom of a small glass to press the crumbs over the bottom and sides of the muffin cups, building the sides up to only about 1 1/2 inches. Place a raspberry in the center of each crust and with a pastry bag or small plastic bag with the corner snipped off, fill the tarts with the truffle mixture. Smooth the tops and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
Dark Chocolate Truffles:
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces good-quality (70 percent) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup cocoa powder, for dusting
In a saucepan, bring the cream just to a simmer over low heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate in a bowl and let stand about 10 minutes to melt the chocolate. Add the vanilla and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool for 1 hour at room temperature. Then beat the chocolate at medium speed until it gets thick and light colored. Spread over the bottom of a baking dish and smooth the top. Refrigerate about 2 hours, until firm.
Pour the cocoa powder onto a deep plate or shallow bowl. Use a melon baller or small ice cream scoop to scoop out balls of chocolate; place them on the plate with the cocoa powder and roll between 2 forks to completely coat with the cocoa powder. Then use the forks to carefully transfer them to a parchment or waxed lined baking sheet.
Crushed candy canes, to yield 1 cup
2 pounds white chocolate
Peppermint flavorings, optional
Place candy canes in a plastic bag and hammer into 1/4-inch chunks or smaller. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Combine candy cane chunks with chocolate (add peppermint flavoring at this point if desired.) Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet layered with parchment or waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or until firm. Remove from cookie sheet and break into pieces (like peanut brittle.)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Sanding sugar, in assorted colors
*Creamy Ginger Filling
Makes enough for 2 dozen cookies
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon honey
1.Beat all ingredients by hand or with an electric mixer on medium high speed until smooth.*
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until p
ale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down side of bowl as necessary. beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low; add flour, and mix just until combined. Shape into 3/4-inch balls (chill dough if too sticky). Place sanding sugar in shallow bowls. Roll each ball in sanding sugar, and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart.
2.Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are lightly golden, 15 to 18 minutes. let cookies cool completely on a wire rack. Spread 2 cookies with just enough filling to allow them to stick together.
2 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
1 large lemon, zested (about 2 teaspoons)
1/2 large orange, zested (about 2 teaspoons)
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temperature
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon white wine, such as pinot grigio
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Canola oil, for frying
1 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, toasted (see Cook’s Note)
Vegetable oil cooking spray
Sugar sprinkles, for decoration
Powdered sugar, for dusting, optional
For the dough: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together 2 cups of flour, lemon zest, orange zest, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the eggs, wine, and vanilla. Pulse until the mixture forms into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough into 4 equal-sized pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece of dough until 1/4-inch thick. Cut each piece of dough into 1/2-inch wide strips. Cut each strip of pastry into 1/2-inch pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a small ball about the size of a hazelnut. Lightly dredge the dough balls in flour, shaking off any excess. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour enough oil to fill the pan about a third of the way. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 375 degrees F. (If you don’t have a thermometer a cube of bread will brown in about 3 minutes.). In batches, fry the dough until lightly golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. (The rested and quartered dough can also be rolled on a floured work surface into 1/2-inch thick logs and cut into equal-sized 1/2-inch pieces. The dough pieces can then be rolled into small balls and fried as above).
In a large saucepan, combine the honey, sugar, and lemon juice over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the fried dough and hazelnuts and stir until coated in the honey mixture. Allow the mixture to cool in the pan for 2 minutes.
Spray the outside of a small, straight-sided water glass with vegetable oil cooking spray and place in the center of a round platter. Using a large spoon or damp hands, arrange the struffoli and hazelnuts around the glass to form a wreath shape. Drizzle any remaining honey mixture over the struffoli. Allow to set for 2 hours (can be made 1 day in advance). Decorate with sprinkles and dust with powdered sugar, if using. Remove the glass from the center of the platter and serve.
Cook’s Note: To toast the hazelnuts, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven until lightly toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely before using.
What’s your favorite Christmas Dessert??