• Gingerbread Doughnut Waffles with Maple Glaze

    How to make Gingerbread Doughnut Waffles with Maple Glaze

    Yield: 18 doughnut waffles

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the doughnut waffles:

    1/3 cup dark brown sugar sugar
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    3/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/4 teapsoon ground nutmeg
    1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    1/2 cup milk
    1/4 cup molasses
    1 1/2 cups (6.8 ounces) all-purpose flour

    For the maple glaze:

    4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
    3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
    8 tablespoons pure maple syrup

    Directions

    To make the waffles:

    In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg together. Add the egg and yolk, melted butter, milk, and molasses until just combined. The batter will be thick.

    Preheat your waffle iron. Place a tablespoon of batter in each waffle cavity and cook for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack and repeat for the remaining batter.

    To glaze:

    In a small bowl whisk together all the glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle or dunk the slightly cool doughnut into the glaze. Let sit until set. Doughnut waffles are best served the day they are made.

  • Easy Cookie Icing

    How to make Easy Cookie Icing

    Yield: enough icing for 1 batch of cut out cookies

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 1 day 20 minutes

    The iced cookies will need to dry for 24 hours before they can be safely moved or packaged.

    Ingredients

    For the border icing:

    1 cup (4.4 ounces) powdered sugar, sifted
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 tablespoons water or milk
    Food coloring, if desired

    For the flood icing:

    1 cup (4.4 ounces) powdered sugar, sifted
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3 tablespoons water or milk
    Food coloring, if desired

    Directions

    For the border icing:

    In a small bowl, use a fork to beat together all the ingredients except the food coloring. Beat in the food coloring, a few drops at a time, until colored to your liking. The mixture should be very thick but still pourable.

    Transfer the border icing to a squeeze bottle using a funnel. You can also scoop into a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip. Before you begin icing any cookies, take a few moments to practice on a piece of parchment paper to get the feel of the icing.

    Holding the bottle or bag tip directly over one corner of a cookie, begin tracing an outline of the cookie, squeezing gently and using both hands if needed to maintain consistent pressure. I prefer to allow a little slack in my icing line as I go. If you mess up, simply wipe the icing off and start again. Allow the icing to dry slightly before continuing with the flood icing.

    For the flood icing:

    In a small bowl, use a fork to beat together all the ingredients except the food coloring. Beat in the food coloring, a few drops at a time, until colored to your liking. The mixture should still be pretty thick, but will drizzle more freely than the border icing. If needed, add additional water or milk to loosen until the consistency is pourable. Pour the flood icing into a squeeze bottle or into a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip.

    Prepare as many batches and colors of flood icing as you need to decorate your cookies.

    Begin filling the interior of the border drawn on each cookie with the flood icing, being careful not to add too much that it overflows the border icing. Use either the nose of the bottle or a small toothpick to push the icing evenly over the cookie and up against the corners.

    Leave the iced cookie to dry for 24 hours. The cookies are dry when the surface is completely smooth, dry, and resists smudging when touched. Store the dried cookies between sheets of parchment paper in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 10 days.

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  • Chocolate Covered Cheesecake Bites

    How to make Chocolate Covered Cheesecake Bites

    Yield: 36 bites

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 4 hours 10 minutes

    The key to beautiful, easy-to-dip bites is to make sure they’re as cold as possible. If they warm up too much pop them back in the freezer until they’re firm and frozen again.

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    9 whole graham crackers
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

    For the filling:

    2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup sour cream
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

    For the chocolate coating:

    16 ounces semisweet chocolate
    4 tablespoons coconut oil

    Directions

    To make crust:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 by 8-inch square baking dish with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

    In a small bowl combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until light golden and fragrant. Reduce heat to 325°F.

    To make filling:

    Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. On low speed, add in the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, flour, and salt and beat until just combined. Be careful not to overmix. Pour the batter over the crust and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cheesecake is slightly puffed and center is set. If the center is slightly jiggly, that’s fine.

    Let cool completely on a wire rack. Freeze for 3 hours, or until very cold and firm, or overnight.

    To coat in chocolate:

    Once frozen, lift cheesecake out of pan and gently peel away foil. Using a sharp knife, cut cheesecake into 36 bite-size squares. If squares become too soft, freeze until chilled again.

    Place the chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth. Place parchment paper or a silicone baking mat on a baking sheet. Dip cheesecake squares, one at a time, in the melted chocolate. Let the excess drip off and place on prepared sheet. Repeat for all the squares then refrigerate until the chocolate is set. Serve or store the squares in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

    Adapted from Taste of Home

  • Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

    How to make Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

    Yield: 12 cinnamon rolls

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour

    To ensure these cinnamon rolls really are quick and easy, stick with the instant yeast (or sometimes called rapid-rise yeast) called for in the recipe.

    Ingredients

    For the dough:

    1 cup lukewarm milk
    1/3 cup lukewarm water
    1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
    3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    3 1/2 cups (15.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon fine salt

    For the filling:

    3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon fine salt
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

    For the icing:

    3 tablespoons heavy cream
    1 cup powdered sugar

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    For the dough:

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine all the dough ingredients and stir until combined. Turn the mixer on medium speed and knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth. Remove the dough to a floured work surface, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes.

    For the filling:

    In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

    After the dough has rested, use a floured rolling pin to roll it out into about a 9 by 15-inch rectangle. Brush all over with melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the far edge. Roll the dough up, pinching with your fingers to keep it tightly rolled. Press the seam to seal before positioning the log seam side down.

    Use a very sharp knife to cut off the ends then cut the dough into 11 to 12 equal pieces. Place in greased pie pan or 9 by 13-inch baking pan. At this point you could cover and refrigerate the rolls overnight then let them come back to room temperature for 1 hour before baking. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes.

    For the icing:

    While the rolls cool, whisk together the icing ingredients until smooth. Drizzle all over the warm rolls and serve.

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  • Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake

    How to make Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake

    Yield: about 8 to 10 servings

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours

    Ingredients

    For the cake:

    1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
    3 tablespoons strong coffee (or water)
    6 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
    2/3 cup sugar
    1/4 teaspoon table salt
    2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, divided

    For the filling:

    1 cup heavy or whipping cream
    2 tablespoons powdered sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    For the ganache:

    4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup heavy cream

    Directions

    For the cake:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter or oil a 10-by-15-inch jellyroll pan or a 16-3/4 by 12-inch sheet pan. Line the bottom lengthwise with a piece of waxed or parchment paper.

    Combine the chocolate and coffee in a heat-safe bowl and microwave for 45 seconds. Stir, and continue to heat in 20-second bursts, until the chocolate is almost melted. Continue to stir until melted completely. Let cool.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks until pale and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until yolks are pale and ribbony. Gently stir the cooled chocolate into the yolk mixture.

    In a clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites with salt until they hold stiff peaks. Stir a quarter of egg white mixture into the chocolate-yolk mixture to lighten it. Gently fold the remaining whites into the cake batter in three additions. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth top. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes for a jelly roll pan and 12 minutes for a half sheet pan, or until cake layer feels dry (but very soft) to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. It will still seem a little underbaked.

    Transfer to a cooling rack and cover the top with a lightly damp towel for 10 minutes.Remove towels and run a knife around the edges of the cake. Sift one tablespoon of cocoa over the top of the cake and cover the cake with a thin tea or flour sack towel that is a little longer than the pan. Place the back of a baking sheet or a large flat tray over the towel and invert the cake onto it. Gently peel back the parchment paper. Sift the remaining tablespoon of cocoa powder over the top of the cake. Roll the cake up with the towel from short end to short end so the towel is inside. Let cool completely, seam side down.

    For the filling:

    Once cool, beat heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until it holds stiff peaks. Get your serving plate ready and place it near your cake roll. Gently unroll the chocolate cake. Spread the whipped cream filling evenly over cake, leaving a 1-inch border at the far edge. Gently use the tea towel once again to reroll cake and place on the serving plate. Wrap the log tightly in plastic to keep its shape and store in the fridge while preparing the ganache.

    For the ganache:

    In glass measuring cup, microwave the chocolate and cream for 45 seconds. Stir and continue to heat in 20-second bursts until melted and smooth. Chill until thickened, about 10 minutes.

    Remove the plastic from the cake and trim both end pieces. Spoon the ganache over the cake and smooth over the sides. Chill for 1 hour, or until set, before slicing and serving.

    The cake can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days, though the filling will deflate the longer it’s stored.

  • Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake

    How to make Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake

    Yield: about 12 servings

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours

    Ingredients

    For the cake:

    3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
    6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon espresso powder
    3/4 cup hot water
    1 3/4 cups (7.87 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
    1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    2 cups packed light brown sugar
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    5 large eggs, at room temperature

    For the glaze:

    1/2 cup heavy cream
    2 teaspoons corn syrup
    4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
    1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
    2 candy canes, crushed

    Directions

    Make the cake

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.

    Combine the cocoa, chocolate, and espresso in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water into the bowl and cover. Let stand for 5 minutes. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Whisk the chocolate mixture until it is smooth. Let cool to room temperature. When it has cooled, whisk in the sour cream.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla for about 4 minutes, or until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until combined. On low speed add the flour mixture and the melted chocolate mixture alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour, until the batter is smooth.

    Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cake out and let cool completely.

    Make the glaze

    In a small saucepan heat the cream and corn syrup over medium heat until hot. Remove from heat and add the chocolate, whisking until smooth. Add in the peppermint extract. Let cool slightly until thickened. Drizzle over the cake. Sprinkle with candy canes. Let the glaze set at room temperature, about 10 minutes, before serving.

    Adapted from this recipe

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