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  • Hot Chocolate Pancakes

    How to make Hot Chocolate Pancakes

    Yield: 4 servings

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 10 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the fudge topping:

    3/4 cup (128 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup heavy cream

    For the pancakes:

    1 cup (127 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup (25 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 large egg
    1 1/4 cups buttermilk or whole milk
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    Mini marshmallows, for garnish

    Directions

    Make the topping:

    In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and cream until melted. Stir until smooth. Set aside.

    Make the pancakes:

    In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

    In a medium bowl whisk together the egg, buttermilk, and melted butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently stir until just combined. Do not overmix, it’s okay to have lumps. At this point the batter can rest, covered, for up to 30 minutes.

    Heat an electric griddle to 350°F, or a large nonstick pan to medium heat. Coat with butter. Pour batter by 1/4 cup onto the hot pan, spacing apart. Cook until the edges are set and bubbles have formed on the top, about 2 to 3 minutes. Gently flip and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until done.

    Keep cooked pancakes warm in the oven while you finish the batter and get ready to serve. Stack pancakes on plates and top with the fudge sauce and mini marshmallows.

  • How to Make Easy Snowflake Sugar Cookies

    How to make Easy Snowflake Sugar Cookies

    Yield: about 40 cookies

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 10 minutes

    If you don’t have almond extract, feel free to omit. It simply adds an extra element of sweet flavor to the recipe.

    Ingredients

    For the cookies:

    3 sticks (339 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
    2 large eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    4 1/2 cups (572 grams) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder

    For the icing:

    2 cups (250 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    4 tablespoons water or milk

    Directions

    Make the cookies:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until well-combined and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract and beat until combined. On low speed, slowly add in the flour and baking powder and beat until incorporated.

    Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Place one dough portion between two sheets of parchment and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Repeat with the remaining portion of dough. Place the two sheets of dough on a baking sheet and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day. You can also freeze for 30 minutes.

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

    Remove the dough from the fridge and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter, rerolling any scraps and cutting more shapes. Transfer the shapes to the prepared baking sheets.

    If the dough is warm, freeze for 15 minutes or until firmed again.

    Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are set and begin to brown. Be careful not to over-bake. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Baked un-iced sugar cookies can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

    Make the icing:

    In a small bowl, use a fork to beat together all the ingredients except the food coloring. The mixture should be very thick but still pourable.

    Transfer the icing to a squeeze bottle using a funnel. You can also scoop into a pastry bag fitted with a very 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, create lines and dots to enhance the snowflake shape as seen in the photos. If desired, garnish with edible dragees, glitter, or sprinkles. Let the icing set before serving.

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  • 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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