Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Spin Cycle--Holiday Baking

It's time for the Spin Cycle again and this week the assignment is to share our favorite holiday recipes. This is right up my alley, as I love to bake. I had a really difficult time narrowing it down to just one recipe. I wanted to share my kringle recipe (that is one recipe people request often, so check it out if you want a delicious, buttery, cinnamony treat), but since I have already done that, I thought I would share two new recipes that I have recently discovered and fallen in love with.

This first recipe (and picture) comes from the McCormick spice website and it is divine. Not only are these tarts easy to make, but they look so pretty and impressive. And they taste wonderful. I had run out of peppermint extract, so I used coconut extract instead and the combination of dark chocolate and coconut was addictive.

Peppermint Tarts

2 packages (15 shells each) frozen mini phyllo shells

1/3 cup plus 3/4 cup heavy cream

4 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet baking chocolate, cut into chunks

2 ounces (1/4 package) cream cheese, softened

4 tablespoons sugar, divided

1/2 teaspoon Peppermint Extract

1. Prepare phyllo shells as directed on package for crisp unfilled tarts. Cool completely.

2. Microwave 1/3 cup of the cream and chocolate in microwavable bowl on HIGH 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Cool 5 minutes or until chocolate ganache starts to thicken. Spoon a heaping teaspoon ganache into each tart shell. Cool completely.

3. Beat cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in large bowl until smooth. Beat remaining 3/4 cup cream, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and extract in medium bowl with electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Add 1/2 of the whipped cream to cream cheese mixture; stir until well blended. Gently stir in remaining whipped cream.

4. Spoon about 1 tablespoon Peppermint Crème into each tart. Garnish with chocolate shavings, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

This next recipe comes from the Penzey's spice website and is also very easy to make. I was intrigued with the combination of cranberries and a butter sauce, and it was delicious. Easy to make and really comforting, it is perfect for cold weather. The recipe advises eating it warm, and that is a good idea, in my opinion.

Cranberry Duff

2 Cups flour

1 Cup sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder


2 Cups whole raw cranberries

1 Cup milk

1/4 Cup melted butter (1/2 stick)


Butter Sauce:

1/2 Cup butter (1 stick)

1 Cup sugar

3/4 Cup cream (half & half or whipping cream)



Preheat oven to 350°. Sift together the dry ingredients. Add the cranberries, milk, melted butter and PURE VANILLA EXTRACT. Mix well. Pour into an 8-inch square buttered baking dish. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes. After the duff has been in the oven for 25 minutes, make the butter sauce by combining the butter, sugar and cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat. Stir in the VANILLA and CINNAMON and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve the duff warm drizzled with sauce, with extra sauce on the side


Sprite's Keeper said...

If you ever put chocolate and mint together, you will find me stalking that end of the table all night. I cannot resist it! Yum! I must make this. You're linked!

Mrsbear said...

Those tarts are so pretty! And I'm with Sprite Keeper's. Chocolate and mint are irresistible.

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Those both sound absolutely delicious!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that first recipe sounds SO good!!!