Monday, November 28, 2011

Planning my contribution

Christmas is less than one month away, and I need to get the spirit. I was looking forward to the holiday, then I let my personal crisis get me side tracked. I am going to try so hard to move forward, and live "as if."

One of the ways I hope to get in the spirit, is to contribute a dessert at our Christmas Eve dinner. Since I can't put up my tree, or hang my ornaments (first time EVER,) I need to add my own spin on the holidays.

I have been purusing the holiday dessert recipes, and I think I found a few that look tempting. I thought I would share them with you here, and maybe, as you plan your holiday feasts, you might want to try one of these out. As for the sources of the recipes - they are numerous. I found most on Pinterest, and just clicked to get the passed down recipe.


Peppermint Bark Cheesecake

Tall and Creamy Cheesecake: A Basic

makes 16 servings

From Baking From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan


For the crust:

1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons sugar

Pinch of salt

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:

2 pounds (four 8-ounce boxes) cream cheese, at room temperature

1 1/3 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/3 cups sour cream or heavy cream, or a combination of the two


To make the crust:
Butter a 9-inch springform pan—choose one that has sides that are 2 3/4 inches high (if the sides are lower, you will have cheesecake batter leftover)—and wrap the bottom of the pan in a double layer of aluminum foil; put the pan on a baking sheet.
Stir the crumbs, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour over the melted butter and stir until all of the dry ingredients are uniformly moist. (I do this with my fingers.) Turn the ingredients into the buttered springform pan and use your fingers to pat an even layer of crumbs along the bottom of the pan and about halfway up the sides. Don't worry if the sides are not perfectly even or if the crumbs reach above or below the midway mark on the sides—this doesn't have to be a precision job. Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven.

Center a rack in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F and place the springform on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Set the crust aside to cool on a rack while you make the cheesecake.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
To make the cheesecake:

Put a kettle of water on to boil.

Working in a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until it is soft and lives up to the creamy part of its name, about 4 minutes. With the mixer running, add the sugar and salt and continue to beat another 4 minutes or so, until the cream cheese is light. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one by one, beating for a full minute after each addition—you want a well-aerated batter. Reduce the mixer speed to low and stir in the sour cream and/or heavy cream.

Put the foil-wrapped springform pan in the roaster pan.

Give the batter a few stirs with a rubber spatula, just to make sure that nothing has been left unmixed at the bottom of the bowl, and scrape the batter into the springform pan. The batter will reach the brim of the pan. (If you have a pan with lower sides and have leftover batter, you can bake the batter in a buttered ramekin or small soufflé mold.) Put the roasting pan in the oven and pour enough boiling water into the roaster to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, at which point the top will be browned (and perhaps cracked) and may have risen just a little above the rim of the pan. Turn off the oven's heat and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Allow the cheesecake to luxuriate in its water bath for another hour.

After 1 hour, carefully pull the setup out of the oven, lift the springform pan out of the roaster—be careful, there may be some hot water in the aluminum foil—remove the foil. Let the cheesecake come to room temperature on a cooling rack.

When the cake is cool, cover the top lightly and chill the cake for at least 4 hours, although overnight would be better.

Remove the sides of the springform pan— I use a hairdryer to do this (use the dryer to warm the sides of the pan and ever so slightly melt the edges of the cake)—and set the cake, still on the pan's base, on a serving platter. The easiest way to cut cheesecake is to use a long, thin knife that has been run under hot water and lightly wiped. Keep warming the knife as you cut slices of the cake.


Wrapped well, the cake will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or for up to 2 months in the freezer. It's best to defrost the still-wrapped cheesecake overnight in the refrigerator.

Peppermint Bark Cheesecake

from Anne Strawberry

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 teaspoons peppermint extract

5 drops red food coloring

3 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled

1/4 cup Andes Peppermint chips

4 ounces Peppermint Bark, broken into large pieces

Prepare crust as directed and stir in cocoa powder. Bake as directed.
Prepare cheesecake batter as above and divide into thirds. Into one third, stir in white chocolate. Set aside.
In other two thirds, stir in peppermint extract (to taste) and add food coloring to achieve desired color.

Pour in pink batter, spoon over white batter, sprinkle with peppermint chips, and swirl together to form a marble pattern.
Bake and cool as directed and top with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and peppermint bark.

Reindeer Feed

•6 cups Rice Chex® or Chocolate Chex® cereal

•1 bag (12 oz) white vanilla baking chips (2 cups)

•1/3 cup coarsely crushed peppermint candy canes (14 miniature, unwrapped)

1. Line cookie sheet with foil or waxed paper.  Place cereal in large bowl.

2. In microwavable bowl, microwave white vanilla baking chips uncovered on high about 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until chips can be stirred smooth. Stir in half the crushed peppermint candy.

3. Pour over cereal; toss to evenly coat. Spread mixture in single layer on cookie sheet. Immediately sprinkle with remaining candy. Let stand until set, about 20 minutes. Gently break up coated cereal. Store in airtight container.

Eggnog Pudding Trifle

**found on

Makes about 4-5 - 8oz. trifles 

2 - 5.3oz. boxes of Walker's Shortbread Petticoat Tails

2 cups of commercially prepared eggnog

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup milk -cold

2 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tablespoons butter

Grated fresh nutmeg for sprinkling

Reserve 4 shortbread petticoat tails for garnish. In a large bowl, crush the remaining shortbread cookies with your hands until crumbs form. Place 2-3 tablespoons of crumbs in the bottom of 4 -5 8oz. glasses (or small canning jars).


Pour 2 cups eggnog, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, make a slurry with the cornstarch and cold milk, whisking vigorously until no lumps remain. Add the two egg yolks to the slurry and whisk again until combined.

When the eggnog mixture has come to a boil, remove from heat and slowly pour in the slurry while whisking constantly. Return to heat and cook again until the mixture thickens but is still pourable (this will only take 1 or 2 more minutes). Remove from heat and add vanilla extract and butter. Stir until combined then pour a layer of pudding over crumbs in each glass. Continue to layer cookie crumbs over pudding until glasses are filled.

Whipped topping:

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 tbsp extra-fine sugar

In a small bowl, whip heavy cream on medium high speed with an electric mixer. Gradually pour in extra fine sugar, 1 tbsp at a time. Increase speed to high and whip until thick and fluffy. Dollop whipped cream on top of trifles and sprinkle over freshly grated nutmeg. Embellish with reserved shortbread petticoat tails.




Yenta Mary said...

O ... M ... G!!! I was already smitten with the cheesecake, and then you threw in an eggnog trifle??? Oh, my word! Sugar coma without even tasting anything!

Bossy Betty said...

These look wonderful! YUM!


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