TV host Sandra Lee shared recipes for some of her favorite holiday season treats.
Makes 1 drink
1/2 ounce Godiva® Milk Chocolate Liqueur
1/2 ounce Baileys® Original Irish Cream Liqueur
1 ounce Smirnoff® Vanilla Flavored Vodka
1 ounce whipping cream
Milk chocolate curls (optional)
1. For a milk chocolatini, combine in an ice-filled cocktail shaker 1/2 ounce Godiva® Milk Chocolate
Liqueur, 1/2 ounce Baileys® Original Irish Cream Liqueur, 1 ounce Smirnoff® Vanilla Flavored Vodka, and 1 ounce whipping cream. Shake drink until cold.
2. Place in a chilled martini glasses. Top with whipped cream and garnish with milk chocolate curls.
Christmas treats stay fresh under glass. Add a holiday-worthy flourish to a domed plate with a lovely piece of lace. Simply apply a layer of Mod Podge® to the outside of a dome, place lace on it, and apply a top coat of paste; let dry.
BLACK FOREST BROWNIE CUPS
Makes 18 cups
Nonstick cooking spray
1 package (10.25-ounce) fudge brownie mix
1/3 cup butter, cut into tiny pieces
3/4 cup cherry pie filling
3/4 cup frozen whipped dessert topping, thawed
Unsweetened cocoa powder
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat eighteen 1.-inch muffin cups with cooking spray; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, stir together brownie mix, butter pieces, and egg until well mixed. The mixture should be thick; chill in refrigerator if necessary.
3. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the mixture into a prepared muffin cup. Using the back of a measuring tablespoon, press mixture into bottom and up sides of each of the cups.
4. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven; chill in the refrigerator about 5 minutes or until centers of brownie cups sink. Fill each sunken center with 2 teaspoons of the cherry pie filling.
5. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into each brownie comes out almost clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack.
6. Carefully remove brownie cups from muffin cups. Top each brownie cup with 2 teaspoons of the whipped topping. Dust with cocoa powder.
Makes 22 medium cookies
1 package (14.5-ounce) gingerbread cake and cookie mix
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup hot brewed double-strength decaf coffee
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon molasses
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons frozen lemon juice, thawed
1/3 cup refrigerated liquid egg whites
Clear sanding sugar, colored decorating icings, colored decorating gels, and tiny candies, for decorating
1. In a large bowl, stir together cookie mix and flour. Add coffee, butter, molasses, and pepper, stirring until well mixed. Shape dough into a ball; flatten into a disk. Wrap disk in plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
2. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out chilled dough to be ¼ inch thick. Using holiday cookie cutters, shape into various forms. Reroll scrap dough and cut more shapes. Place cookies of same general size on each prepared cookie sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes (depending on their size) or just until set in centers. Cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely.
4. For Royal Icing, sift powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add lemon juice. Gradually add egg
whites, beating with electric mixer on medium until glossy. Beat in additional powdered sugar or egg whites to make desired consistency. If you like, dip one side of cooled cookies into Royal Icing or frost cookies with Royal Icing. Place cookies, iced sides up, on wire rack; let stand until icing hardens.
5. Spoon the remaining Royal Icing into a disposable piping bag; set aside. Snip a small piece off the end of the piping bag. Decorate cookies with piped icing, as well as sanding sugar, decorating icing, decorating gels, and tiny candies.
CHOCOLATE BUTTERMILK PIE
Makes 8 to 10 servings
1½ cups semisweet chocolate morsels
1½ cups sugar
¼ cup all-purpose fl our
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1½ tablespoons vanilla extract
1 premade deep-dish pie crust
Frozen whipped dessert topping, thawed
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Position a rack in center of oven.
2. Place the chocolate chips in a double boiler; melt over low heat, stirring constantly.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the sugar mixture and beat with an electric mixer or whisk vigorously until well combined. Stir the melted chocolate into batter.
4. Pour batter into pie crust. You will have about 1 cup of batter left over. Pour leftover batter into a 10- to 12-ounce buttered ramekin.
5. Bake pie for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 25 minutes (and ramekin for 40 to 50 minutes) or until the pie is crisp on top and a knife inserted into the center comes out with just a bit of moist chocolate.
6. Remove pie from oven and cool on a cooling rack. Refrigerate pie if it's not going to be eaten immediately. (Let refrigerated pie stand at least 1 hour at room temperature before serving.) Garnish with whipped topping just before serving.
MULLED MERLOT CHOCOLATE CAKE
Makes four layer cake
Nonstick spray for baking
2 boxes Swiss chocolate cake mix
2½ cups wine, Sterling Vineyard Vintner's Collection Merlot
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons orange extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¾ cup butter, softened
6 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
9 tablespoons milk
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray four 9-inch round baking pans with nonstick spray for baking. Set aside.
2. In a very large mixing bowl combine cake mix, wine, oil, eggs, orange extract, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and ginger. Beat at low speed for 30 seconds. Beat at medium speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes.
3. Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake for 28 to 31 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean. Cool cakes on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely. Trim layers with a long serrated knife to make flat.
4. For Almond Buttercream, in a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Beat in powdered sugar, almond extract, and enough milk to make a creamy consistency.
5. To assemble cake, place a cooled layer on a pedestal. Frost with Almond Buttercream. Top with a second layer and frost. Top with the third layer and frost. Top with the fourth layer and frost top and sides of cake with buttercream.
6. To decorate, arrange a ring of sugared Champagne grapes* around base and top cake with them as well.
*SUGARED CHAMPAGNE GRAPES:
4 egg whites
1. In a large bowl beat 4 egg whites using a fork or whisk. Using a clean brush, paint fruit with egg whites Immediately roll it in superfine sugar; gently shake off the excess.
2. Dry sugared fruit on waxed paper for at least an hour.