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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Blogmas Day 3: Christmas Recipes

Welcome to day 3 of Blogmas!

Today I have a very exciting post for you guys... Christmas sweets recipes!
This post is a little different to what I normally write about, but in the spirit of Christmas,  I thought that it was fitting.
For those of you out there who really get into the Christmas Spirit by decorating your house with Christmas themed decorations, and listening to christmas carols, then this post is definitely for you (actually, all of Blogmas is for you)!. 
Christmas is my favourite holiday of the year and I really want to share my excitement with my lovely readers, so if you enjoy Christmas as much as I do, leave a comment below!


Candy Cane Popcorn




Ingredients


16 ounces vanilla almond bark (you can usually find this at the grocery store)
12 peppermint candy canes, crushed in a food processor to fine crumbs (or by hand)
8 cups popped popcorn

Directions

1.             Place popcorn in a very large bowl.
2.             Melt almond bark according to package directions.
3.             Stir 1/2 cup of the crushed candy canes into the melted bark and pour over the popcorn. Stir thoroughly coating popcorn while sprinkling with remaining crushed candy canes.
4.             Lay popcorn on a parchment lined cookie sheet to cool.
5.             Break into pieces and package up for gifts.




Jingle Bell Cookie Pizza




Ingredients

1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated chocolate chip cookies
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup red and green candy-coated chocolate candies
1/2 cup hot fudge topping, heated, if desired

Directions

Heat oven to 177degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grease 12-inch pizza pan with shortening, or spray with cooking spray.
In pan, break up cookie dough into pieces and press out dough evenly in bottom of pan to form crust.
Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until light golden brown.

Sprinkle marshmallows and candies evenly over crust.
Bake 2 to 3 minutes longer or until marshmallows are puffed.
Drizzle hot fudge topping over top. 
Cool completely, about 1 hour.
Cut into wedges to serve.

Notes
Mix in 1/4 cup of flour into the cookie dough to keep the cookies from spreading out and becoming too thin during baking.





White Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies



Yield: 2 1/2 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes

Cookies with White Chocolate Peppermint M&M's, candy canes, and white chocolate chips. These cookies are festive and perfect for the holiday season!
Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup crushed candy canes
1 cup White Chocolate Peppermint M&M's
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper and set aside.
2. Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugars together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients. Stir in the white chocolate chips, candy canes, and M&M's.
4. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough on prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack and cool completely.



Sparkly Vanilla Bean Macarons




90 grams aged egg whites

110 grams almond flour

200 grams powdered sugar

1 vanilla bean

25 grams white granulated sugar

1 tsp cocoa powder or powdered food coloring (optional)

Up to 5 days before making macarons, separate the egg whites, cover loosely with a paper towel, and store in the refrigerator. The night before making macarons, set them out on the counter to come to room temperature.

The next morning, place almond flour, powdered sugar, and the contents of a vanilla bean into a food processor and process until fully combined. Move to a large bowl and whisk in one teaspoon of cocoa powder for chocolate macarons, or one teaspoon of powdered food coloring for colored macarons. Leave plain for vanilla macarons. Whisk to combine, then sift and set aside.

With a mixer, whisk the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy. Add in granulated sugar and continue whisking until the the egg whites have stiff peaks. Add the egg whites to the flour and fold to incorporate until the mixture is just smooth, using no more than 50 strokes. Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip, and fill with macaron batter. Pipe approximately 1-inch circles onto a baking sheet lined parchment paper. Let the batter rest on the pan at least 30 minutes before baking, to form a strong skin to help keep the macarons from cracking in the oven.

Bake the macarons at 280 degrees F for 15-20 minutes directly in the middle of the oven. To test for doneness, gently touch the top of a macaron to make sure it’s dry. Then gently try to lift the macaron from the parchment paper. If it comes away pretty easily, they’re done. 

If it doesn’t come up and the top breaks away, they need to cook longer. Keep checking on them every two minutes until the bottom is dry. Once removed from the oven, allow the macarons to rest on the pan for 10 minutes to finish cooking before trying to remove. Cool completely before frosting.


White Chocolate Peppermint Buttercream

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

3 oz. good quality white chocolate (no chips), chopped, melted, and cooled to room temperature

1 tbsp milk

1 tsp Tahitian vanilla extract
1/4 cup crushed soft peppermint candies

Place the butter, sugar, melted white chocolate, milk and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Add crushed peppermint and beat until fully combined.


Image and recipe from: http://www.kevinandamanda.com/whatsnew/new-recipes/sparkly-vanilla-bean-macarons-with-three-christmas-inspired-frostings.html#ixzz2mOZq2jiO 


I hope you enjoy these recipes, and if you attempt any of them at home, please send me your pictures so I can have a look!




Thanks for reading,

Carissa




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