Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Christmas Recipes

By: Shianna Pennington
Christmas parties, Christmas desserts, and gifts. All are a major item of this month. But sometimes you just can’t think of what to bring to that Christmas party that that friend has asked you to make a dessert for, so here are a couple of ideas!

  1. Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups- These would be good for a school party or something for children. I wouldn’t bring it to a top notch, fancy Christmas dinner or party, because they are simple and a tad childish. With a prep time of 20 minutes, and cook time of 14, this is a quick and easy dessert to make!
Things You’ll Need
  • 1 package (16.5 ounces) of Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough
  • ½ cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons hot cocoa mix
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
  • 12 mini pretzels
  • 1 cup Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits
  • Granulated sugar

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Roll tablespoon sized balls of cookie dough in granulated sugar to prevent from sticking, and place them into 24 mini muffin tins.
  3. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Then allow them to cool completely before removing them from the pan.
  4. Make a chocolate ganache by bringing the whipping cream to a boil, and then stirring in hot cocoa mix. Watch and stir continuously to prevent it from sticking to the bottom. Pour the hot cream over semi-sweet chocolate chips and let sit for 3 minutes. Then stir until the chocolate chips are melted and the ganache is smooth.
  5. Break off loops of pretzels to use as handles, and secure them with melted white chocolate chips to the cookie cups.
  6. Spoon the chocolate ganache into the cookie cups and top with mini marshmallows.
  7. For best results, store the cookie cups in the refrigerator.

2. Peppermint Bark Cheesecake- Nothing welcomes a celebration the way an over-the-top cheesecake does! You could never go wrong with a cheesecake for dessert, and adding a peppermint twist with candy canes or any other peppermint, makes it perfect for Christmas.

Things You’ll Need
Crust
20 cream filled chocolate wafers, such as Oreos, finely crushed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Cheesecake Filling
  6 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  ½ cup heavy cream
              3 ½ (8 ounce) packages Philadelphia Cream Cheese, well softened (28 total ounces)
  1 cup granulated sugar
  4 large eggs
  1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
   ½ cup sour cream
  5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped, plus about 3 more ounces for topping
  ⅓ cup peppermint bits or crushed candy canes or starlight mints, plus more for topping
Mousse
2 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
DIrections
Crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line outside of a 9-inch springform pan with an 18 by 18 inch sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil. In a mixing bowl, stir together crushed cream filled chocolate wafers with melted butter with fork until mixture is evenly moistened. Firmly press mixture into an even layer in bottom of springform pan. Bake in oven for 10 minutes then remove and allow to cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Cheesecake Filling
  1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot
  2. Add 6 ounces white chocolate and ½ cup of heavy cream to a medium microwave safe bowl and heat in microwave on 50% power in 20 second increments, stirring well between intervals, until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool
  3. Using an electric hand mixer in a mixing bowl whip together softened cream cheese and granulated sugar, just until smooth. The cream cheese can be softened by letting it sit out or removing it from the wrapper and putting it in the microwave for a few seconds. Mix in eggs one at a time then blend in peppermint extract, vanilla extract and sour cream. Mix in melted white chocolate mixture.
  4. Tap bowl forcefully against countertop about 30 times, to release large air pockets. Add in 5 ounces chopped chocolate and the peppermint bits and quickly fold several times. The peppermint bits will begin to die the batter so fold in quickly so it doesn’t tint all of it pink
  5. Spray the sides of springform pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray then pour mixture over crust layer in pan. Set cheesecake on large roasting pan and then set pan on rack in the center of the oven.
  6. Carefully pour in enough boiling water around springform pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake for 1 hour and 20-30 minutes.
  7. Carefully remove from oven and roasting pan and allow to cool on a wire rack for 45 minutes. Then cover with plastic wrap leaving a small opening on one side for heat to escape, and chill 8 hours, or overnight

Mousse
  1. Melt white chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl on 505 power in 20 second intervals, stirring well between each interval, until melted and smooth. Set aside and let cool until lukewarm
  2. In a mixing bowl, with an electric hand mixer, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form, then add sugar and whip until very stiff peaks form.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl whip cream cheese until smooth then mix in melted white chocolate and peppermint extract.
  4. Fold in whipped cream
  5. Spread into even layer over cooled cheesecake and return to refrigerator and chill for 1 ½ hour more.
  6. Garnish top edges with chopped chocolate and peppermint bits
  7. Run a knife around edges to ensure cheesecake is loosened then remove ring from springform pan and cut into slices.

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