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Best Holiday Recipe


Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies

Ingredients • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder • 1 teaspoon baking powder • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature • 1 cup suga • 2 eggs • 2 tablespoons buttermilk • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1 tablespoon red food coloring For the Cream Cheese Frosting • 1 pound cream cheese, softened • 2 sticks butter, softened • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 4 cups powdered sugar • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans, optional


Directions Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time. Then beat in the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla and red food coloring. Once combined, add the dry ingredients to wet. Mix until thoroughly combined. Onto a parchment lined sheet tray, drop batter using an ice cream scoop, forming 2-inch round circles. Bake for 10 minutes, until baked through. Cookies should be cake-like and light. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. For the Cream Cheese Frosting: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy. Spread the cream cheese frosting between 2 cooled cookies and roll the edges in finely chopped pecans, if desired.


Cake

Filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans.

Stir together sugar, sour cream, milk, and coconut in a bowl until well blended. Add first cake layer onto pedestal. Using the wrong end of a wooden spoon, poke holes approximately 1-inch apart until entire cake has been poked. Spread a third of filling mixture on cake layer. Top with second layer, repeat process. Top with last layer and repeat process again.

Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and coconut milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4-inches above counter, then dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Cool in pans 5 to 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto cooling racks.

Cook's Note: As each layer is stacked, stick them with toothpicks to prevent cake from shifting. Frosting Place sugar, cream of tartar or corn syrup, salt, water, and egg whites in the top of a double boiler. Beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1 minute. Place pan over boiling water, being sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. Beat constantly on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Frost the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle top and sides of cake with coconut. Garnish with artificial holly, if desired.


Jamie's Coconut Cake

Ingredients Basic 1-2-3-4 Cake with coconut milk: • 2 sticks butter, at room temperature • 2 cups sugar • 4 eggs • 3 cups sifted self-rising flour • 1 cup coconut milk • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Filling • • • •

3/4 cup sugar 1 cup sour cream 4 tablespoons milk 1/2 cup flaked, sweetened coconut

7-Minute Frosting • 1 1/2 cups sugar • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar • 1/8 teaspoon salt • 1/3 cup water • 2 egg whites • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract • 2 to 3 cups coconut, flaked • Artificial holly, optional garnish


Parma-Style Carrot Cake

Ingredients • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour • 1 tablespoon baking powder • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1 cup pine nuts (about 6 ounces) • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds • 1 lemon, zested and juiced • 2 cups peeled and chopped carrots • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened • 5 eggs • Powdered sugar, for garnish


Directions Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. Place the pine nuts, 1/2 cup sugar, and fennel seeds in a food processor and pulse to mince the nuts. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and the carrots. Pulse to mince the carrots. Add the mascarpone cheese and pulse until the cheese is incorporated. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, cream together the butter and remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, until well blended. Add the carrot mixture to the butter mixture and stir until combined. Add in the reserved dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated. Place the mixture in a lightly greased and floured 8 by 10 by-2-inch baking dish. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Let the cake cool for 1 hour, then dust with powdered sugar. Cut into squares and serve.


Directions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy. Garnish with chopped pecans and a fresh raspberry or strawberry. Cook's Note: Frost the cupcakes with a butter knife or pipe it on with a big star tip.


Red Velvet Cupcakes (with Cream Cheese Frosting)

Ingredients • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour • 1 1/2 cups sugar • 1 teaspoon baking soda • 1 teaspoon salt • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature • 2 large eggs, room temperature • 2 tablespoons red food coloring • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract For the Cream Cheese Frosting • 1 pound cream cheese, softened • 2 sticks butter, softened • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar • Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries


Gingerbread (with Spiced Creme Anglaise)

Ingredients • 1 stick unsalted butter • 1 cup turbinado sugar • 3 large eggs • 2 cups all-purpose flour • 2 teaspoons ground ginger • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda • 1 teaspoon cinnamon • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg • 1 cup molasses • 1 cup Guinness, or other dark beer • Spiced Creme Anglaise, recipe follows • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


Directions

Spiced Creme Anglaise

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9-inch cake pan and line with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper and set aside.

2 cups heavy cream 1/2 teaspoon orange zest 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger 3 large egg yolks 1/4 cup sugar Combine the cream, the zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves, and nutmeg. In a third bowl, combine the molasses and beer and stir to dissolve. Add the dry ingredients and beer mixture alternately to the egg mixture, beating after the addition of each. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until puffed and set, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Spoon the Creme Anglaise onto the middle of 12 dessert plates. Cut the gingerbread into 12 equal portions and place on plates. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale and frothy, about 2 minutes. Slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup of the hot cream, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to warm milk and stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until thick, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve warm. (Or, to serve chilled, place in an ice bath to cool, then cover with plastic wrap, pressing down against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours.) Yield: 2 cups Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 6 minutes Inactive Prep Time: if chilled, 2 hours


Directions Make the tartlets: Preheat the oven to 350. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat and cook until it browns and smells nutty, then let cool. Stir in the flour, both sugars and the salt with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon water, if necessary, to help the dough clump together. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead three or four times, or just until the dough comes together. Scoop 1/4 cup dough into each of 6 nonstick muffin-pan cups. Press the dough down in the middle and slightly up along the sides to make a cup shape. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes. Place 1 heaping tablespoon fig jam in the center of each tartlet and bake until golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool slightly, then remove from the pan. Meanwhile, make the topping: Heat the bourbon, sugar, 1/2 cup water and the vanilla pod and seeds in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the figs and poach until they are plump and the liquid is syrupy, about 15 minutes. Serve the tartlets with the figs, their sauce and a dollop of creme fraeche.


Brown Butter Fig Tartlets

Ingredients • For the Tartlets • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 3/4 cup fig jam • For the Topping • 1/2 cup bourbon • 1/2 cup granulated sugar • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out • 1 1/4 cups dried black figs, stems removed, halved • Creme fraeche, for serving


Cheesecake Flan

Ingredients • 2 cups sugar • 1/4 cup water • 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature • 3 large eggs, at room temperature • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk • 1 1/2 cups milk, at room temperature • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Directions Special equipment: 10 (3 1/2-inch) ramekins Set a large bowl of ice water next to your stovetop. Place the sugar and 1/4 cup of water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Using a pastry brush, stir the sugar occasionally, being careful not to get any grains stuck against the sides of the saucepan, until it has all dissolved. Swirl the saucepan every minute until the sugar becomes a golden reddish-brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Shock the bottom of the saucepan by placing the bottom in the ice water to stop the cooking, and then equally divide the caramel into 10 to 12 (3 1/2-inch) ramekins and set aside. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Using an electric mixer, beat the softened cream cheese with the eggs on low speed to combine. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until completely incorporated. Add the condensed milk, evaporated milk, whole milk and vanilla extract and continue to beat together until everything is well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Ladle the custard over the caramel into the ramekins filling them up to 1/2-inch from the rim. Place a kitchen towel in a deep baking dish or roasting pan and place the ramekins in 2 rows on top of the towel. Place the baking dish in the oven and using a pitcher, pour enough hot water into the baking dish to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins, taking care not to get water in the ramekins. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake until the flan is just set, about 30 minutes. When you tap the edge of the ramekin the flan should still wobble in the center. Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven, remove the foil and let the ramekins cool slightly. Using tongs remove the ramekins from the water and set on a towel to cool for at least 2 hours before serving. Once cooled completely, the flan can be refrigerated for up to 3 days before un-molding and serving. To serve, run a thin knife around the inside edge of the ramekin to loosen the flan, and then invert onto a plate.


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