Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Christmas Round-Up & Winner!

Faith and I would like to send out a HUGE thank you to everyone who participated in our Christmas event.  There were so many delicious recipes. Faith and I had a hard time picking the winner….you are all so talented!

Faith and I also want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!!!

Rich Fruit Cake from Roti n Rice

Brown Butter Hazelnut Sugar Cookies from Nutmeg Nanny

Candied Grapefruit Peel from An Edible Mosaic

Swedish Chocolate Balls from Delishhh

Pumpkin Pomegranate Butter from Eats Well With Others

Peanut Butter Blossoms from Saffron & Semper Fi

Honey and Brown Sugar Crusted Ham from Megan’s Cookin’

Gingerbread Biscotti from Megan’s Cookin’

Spiced Eggnog Pound Cake from Megan’s Cookin’

Chocolate Peppermint Chip Cookies from Recipe Rhapsody

Gingerbread Cheesecake from Munchkin Munchies

Sugar Crispies from Munchkin Munchies

Christmas Sugar Cookies from Munchkin Munchies

Gingerbread Truffles from Munchkin Munchies

Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies from Munchkin Munchies

Finally onto our winner! Peppermint Lollipop Cupcakes from Munchkin Munchies! Faith and I found these so festive and adorable for the holiday season.  Please email us your address and we will get your prize out to you asap 🙂


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Hi everyone! Brandy here from Nutmeg NannyFaith and I hope you are all enjoying this lovely holiday season.  We are also super excited because it’s time to submit your Christmas recipes!!!

As a reminder this recipe can be anything that says Christmas to you. Also please feel free to submit as many recipes as you want. All we ask in return is that you link any post you submit back to All Through the Year Cheer.  You can submit your recipe by linking via the MckLinky (located at the bottom of the post) or by emailing us if that is easier. You have until Wednesday December 22nd 2010 at 9pm EST to submit your recipes. The recipe roundup and winner will be announced on December 23rd. The prize for our Christmas winner will be the The Great Christmas Cookie Swap Cookbook. Imagine all the delicious cookies you can make from that book…yum!

Now onto this delicious and VERY simple Christmas candy.  I have been making this little treat for years and is always a big hit on my cookie platter.  I usually use normal chocolate Hershey Kisses or Hugs but this year I tried using their special addition Candy Cane Kisses. Amazing! I love it. It’s a delicious bite of mint, chocolate, and salty crunchy pretzel. If you are looking for a little something to squeeze on your tray you should definitely give these buttons a try.

Candy Cane Pretzel Buttons:

1 bag square shaped pretzels
2 bags Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses – unwrapped (you can also use chocolate or hugs)
1 bag seasonal plain chocolate M&M’s

Preheat oven to 170 degrees.

Lay pretzels out onto baking sheet and top with unwrapped Hershey Kiss.  Put into oven for approximately 5 – 7 minutes. You want to soften the Kiss so the M&M will push smoothly into it but you do not want to melt the Kiss.

After the Kiss is soft remove from the oven and press the M&M into the kiss. Let cool and enjoy!!! (Who am I kidding….they are delicious warm 🙂 )


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Gingerbread Scones

Hi everyone, it’s Faith from An Edible MosaicBrandy and I hope you are all enjoying the lovely holiday season so far!  Have you noticed how many holiday-inspired tea flavors are on the market now?  You can find tea flavored as like from eggnog to gingerbread to candy cane, and some of them even have catchy names like “Christmas Eve” or “Winter Night”.  No matter whether you enjoy festive flavored teas or prefer a more traditional Earl Grey, scones are a wonderful accompaniment. 

I wanted to make a seasonal scone and I thought gingerbread was the perfect choice.  These scones are full of warm spices and as they bake their lovely fragrance fills the house.  And on a chilly afternoon, I can’t think of anything better than a cup of tea and a house full of the warm scent of gingerbread.Gingerbread Scones

(Yield:  8 scones)

Dry Ingredients:

2 1/4 c all-purpose flour

1 TB baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp dried ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 pod cardamom, seeds crushed and pod discarded

1/3 c brown sugar, lightly packed

Wet Ingredients:

6 TB (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

2 TB trans fat-free vegetable shortening (such as Crisco)

2 large eggs

1/2 c milk

2 TB molasses

Other Ingredients:

1 egg beaten with 1 TB water (for eggwash)

1 slightly heaping TB sugar in the raw

In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.  Use a fork to cut butter and shortening into dry ingredients until you have a crumby texture, with some pieces of dough the size of peas.  In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and molasses.  Use a wooden spoon to gradually stir wet ingredients into butter/flour mixture (the dough will be very sticky and you should still see some flecks of butter).  Transfer dough to a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper, then spread out to a disk shape and wrap it up.  Put it in a round shallow bowl (since dough will spread) and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Take dough out of the fridge, unwrap it, and turn it out onto a heavily floured surface.  Generously sprinkle four on top of dough; roll dough (or spread with your hands) out to a circle about 7 inches in diameter, about 3/4 to 1-inch thick.  Use a sharp knife dusted with flour to cut it into 8 wedges (or use a small ring to cut out circles, gather the dough scraps together, reroll, and cut out more circles as necessary). 

Put scones on prepared baking sheet about 3-4 inches apart (they spread a lot), brush on eggwash (you will have extra), and sprinkle on sugar in the raw.  Bake about 15 minutes, or until scones feel firm to the touch. After Cutting the Butter and Shortening into the Flour

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Hello, it’s Faith from An Edible MosaicBrandy and I are absolutely thrilled that our favorite time of the year is upon us again…and we can’t wait to see some of your favorite recipes for this time of year!  I love chocolate and mint together but for some reason I always think of it as a holiday combination, so I don’t really eat it any other time of the year (except in mint chocolate chip ice cream, which is of course delicious year round!). 

I usually make chocolate mint brownies at least once during the holiday season, but this year I decided to switch it up a little and make whoopie pies instead.  Whoopie pies are essentially cakes in cookie form, so to make mine I just adjusted my mom’s recipe for chocolate cake.  I had some Fluff in the pantry, which made a fast and delicious frosting.  (Just be warned that the frosting was quite sweet…if you prefer a less sweet frosting and you have the time to make a homemade mint flavored Swiss meringue buttercream, I think that would also be fantastic.)  I brought these to a holiday gathering and they were a huge hit with kids and adults alike.  They’re sure to satisfy your holiday sweet tooth!Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Fluffy Mint Frosting

(Yield:  13-14 whoopie pies)

Chocolate Whoopie Pies:

2 c all-purpose flour

1 c sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c cocoa powder

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp distilled white vinegar

1/2 c canola oil

1/2 c plus 2 TB cold water

Fluffy Mint Frosting:

6 TB unsalted butter, at room temperature

Pinch salt

1/2 to 1 tsp pure peppermint extract (depending on how strong you like it)

A few drops of green food coloring

6 oz powdered (confectioner’s) sugar (about 1 1/2 c)

1 1/2 c Marshmallow Fluff

Preheat oven to 350F; line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.  Make 3 wells in the mixture and to each separate well add the vanilla, vinegar, and oil.  Use a wooden spoon to stir together, then stir in the water.  (Batter will be thick and sticky.)  Drop slightly heaping tablespoonfuls of batter (this is easiest to do using a 1 1/2 TB ice cream scoop) onto prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie.  Bake 10-12 minutes (exactly 11 minutes was spot-on for my oven), rotating pans once about halfway through.  Let cookies cool slightly on the trays, then use a spatula to gently transfer them to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely. 

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and creamy; mix in salt, peppermint extract, and a few drops green food coloring (to reach your desired shade of green).  Gradually beat in powdered sugar, then beat in fluff. 

To make whoopie pies, once cookies are cool, pipe or spoon some frosting onto the bottom of half the cookies, then top with the remaining cookies to form sandwiches.

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Hello, it’s Brandy from Nutmeg NannyFaith and I are super excited for our Christmas event!  We have been talking about Christmas since August…no lie!  We love all sweet and savory holiday inspired treats and cannot wait to see what everyone submits.  Here is the posting schedule:

12/1:  Brandy Announces Christmas Event & Posts Recipe
12/5:  Faith Posts Recipe
12/12:  Faith Posts Recipe
12/19:  Brandy Posts Recipe & Announces MckLinky Opening & Recipe Submissions
12/22:  MckLinky Closes & Recipes Due by 9PM EST
12/23:  Brandy Posts Round-Up & Announces Winner

Faith and I will be posting more seasonal recipes on our own blogs to give you more inspiration.  As always, you don’t need to have a blog to participate.  Remember, your recipe can be for anything that says Christmas to you, and you can submit as many recipes as you want.  (For more information on how to participate, see our Rules.)

There is of course a prize for the winner! The prize this time around is the The Great Christmas Cookie Swap Cookbook.

Now onto the recipe! This is not exactly a sweet or a savory treat. It’s a liquor treat! On my personal blog I’m running an event called “The Twelve Boozy Days of Christmas” and I’m sharing that post on here today.

This Candy Cane Martini is delicious and super festive!  Not only does it taste great but it looks great too! Obviously it’s heavy on the mint flavor and packs a nice little punch by incorporating only two ingredients – vodka and peppermint schnapps.  So with an ingredient list so short and so full of alcohol I wouldn’t recommend drinking too many :)

Candy Cane Martini:

1 1/2 oz. Vodka
1 teaspoon peppermint schnapps

Mix all ingredients with ice in a shaker. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Option: Garnish with small candy cane or create a candy cane “rimmer” with crushed candy canes.

Source: That’s the Spirit!

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Brandy and I want to give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who participated.  Your recipes were all spectacular!  Everything was fabulous, festive, and looked delicious. 

A quick announcement for our All Through the Year Cheer New Year’s Event:  Due to the huge overlap between Christmas and New Year’s (wow, will it really be 2010 in less than 2 weeks?!), Brandy and I decided that instead of doing a recipe round-up, we’ll just be posting one (or two, if time permits!) New Year’s related recipes.  The next event that we’ll be doing a regular round-up for is Valentine’s Day.

Brandy and I wish you and your families a safe, happy, and very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Gingerbread Cookies Galore by Fuzzykoala’s Caketastic Adventures

Super Spicy Gingersnaps by 990 Square

Whole Wheat Almond & Raspberry Thumbprints by 990 Square

Chocolate Peppermint Chip Cookies by Recipe Rhapsody

Green Bean Casserole by Beantown Baker

Candy Cane Cookies by Mimi’s Kitchen

Best Gingerbread Muffins Ever by Muffin Fixation

Chocolate Mint Cookies with Dark Chocolate & Mint Chips by Nutmeg Nanny

Eggnog Cupcakes with Eggnog Buttercream by Thought 4 Food

Eggnog Cookies by The Garden Apartment

Last but not least, our winner, Sugared Cranberry Clafoutis by The Garden Apartment!

A big congrats goes out to Tiffany for her beautiful Sugared Cranberry Clafoutis!  Brandy and I chose this recipe as our winner because we felt like every aspect of it says Christmas…the cranberries themselves, plus the fact that they’re sugared (sugar plums, anyone?), as well as the lovely red and green from the cranberries and sage.  Tiffany will be receiving a one-year subscription to Cooking Light magazine…please email us your address and we’ll have that sent out!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

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Hi everyone, it’s Faith from Thought 4 Food!  It’s time for your Christmas recipe submissions!  (Can you believe that Christmas is less than a week away?!  Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess!  😉 )  Your recipes can be for anything that says Christmas to you, and you can submit as many recipes as you want.  To submit a recipe, just enter it in the MckLinky below (or email us if you prefer).  The deadline to submit is tomorrow (12/20) at 9PM EST, which is when the MckLinky list will close.  Don’t forget, the winner will get a one year subscription to Cooking Light magazine!  Brandy and I can’t wait to see what all of you came up with!

The Winner Gets a One-Year Subscription to Cooking Light Magazine!

Now onto the truffles!

I think one of the best things about homemade truffles is that they make such a lovely holiday gift all dressed up in a pretty tin.  Not to mention that they couldn’t be easier to make, and are really quite impressive.  (I think there’s just something about homemade candy that really shows someone how much you care!)  I like to roll these truffles in a mixture of powdered sugar and nutmeg since it looks like eggnog, but they’re equally delicious rolled in any topping you like.

Dark Chocolate Eggnog Truffles

(Yield:  40-50 truffles)

15 oz good quality dark chocolate chips

1/2 c plus 2 TB eggnog

1 TB salted butter, at room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch fresh grated nutmeg

Toppings of your choice, such as cocoa powder, chopped nuts, decorative sprinkles/jimmies, powdered sugar, etc. (I like to mix a little fresh grated nutmeg with powdered sugar for these truffles)

Place the chocolate in a non-reactive bowl (such as glass or stainless steel).  In a small pan, heat the eggnog over low heat until it just barely starts to boil (stirring constantly), then pour it over the chocolate.  Let it sit for about 3 minutes, then stir the eggnog/chocolate mixture.  Gently whisk in butter, vanilla, and nutmeg.  Refrigerate until the chocolate is chilled enough to hold its shape when you roll it.

Use a tablespoon to scoop out the truffles, then roll each truffle in the topping of your choice.  Keep refrigerated.   

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I know this time of year eggnog is available in the grocery store, but store-bought really doesn’t compare with homemade.  (Plus next time I get a craving for eggnog in the middle of summer, I won’t have to wait 6 months to have it!  😉 )  Check out Thought 4 Food for the full recipe!

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Salted Pretzel Toffee

Salty/sweet, buttery, and nutty…this toffee is insanely addictive!  Check out the full recipe on Thought 4 Food!

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Caramel Macchiato Thumbprints

Hi everyone! It’s Brandy from Nutmeg Nanny. I’m here again to give you a great Christmas recipe.  If you have missed the announcement the prize for this months winner will be a year subscription to Cooking Light. How awesome is that! The MckLinky will open on December 19th and Faith and I are looking forward to seeing what everyone makes 🙂 Remember your submission can be any recipe that reminds you of Christmas. Now onto the cookies!

Earlier this year the fine people at My Blog Spark asked me to answer a survey about a the cover of this season’s Betty Crocker Christmas Cookie book. For my participation in this even they sent me a copy of this great little cookie book. The first recipe that jumped out at me was delicious (and beautiful) caramel macchiato thumbprints. I finally got around to making these great cookies one day while I was at work. Not only where they simple they tasted amazing. I swear. Amazing! When my boss came home he said to me “Oh my gosh the house smells amazing!” Not only did my boss love these cookies, so did everyone who works for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. You see my boss plays the bass professionally and does a number of shows. Radio City Christmas Spectacular just being one. I have to say. It made me pretty happy that all those awesome people at Radio City tasted these delicious cookies….and enjoyed them! 🙂

Ok back to the cookies. This recipe used store bought bag mix sugar cookie dough and dresses it up with the flavors of coffee and vanilla. It’s then topped with melted caramel and drizzled with chocolate (my drizzling skills need work….) If I had to pick something to complain about with these cookies it’s this. I did the whole thumbprint thing before it went into the oven but then puffed up so much it didn’t seem to matter. I found that in the middle of cooking pushing down the center again seemed to help. I’m not sure if this is normal or not. I have never made thumbprint cookies before.

Alright everyone. Get in the kitchen and make these cookies because I know you and everyone in your household (or job) will totally love these 🙂 Enjoy!!!

Caramel Macchiato Thumbprint Cookies:

2 t. instant espresso coffee powder
1 T. hot water
1 pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1/4 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 C. butter – melted
2 t. vanilla
1 egg
18 caramels – unwrapped
2 T. milk
1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1 t. shortening (I left this out and just mixed milk with the chocolates before melting)

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, dissolve coffee powder in hot water. Stir in cookie mix, flour, butter, vanilla and egg until very soft dough forms.

Shape dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. On ungreased cookie sheets, place balls 2 inches apart. Using thumb or handle of wooden spoon, make indentation in center of each cookie.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave caramels and milk uncovered on High 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring once, until caramels are melted. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon caramel into indentation in each cookie. Cool 15 minutes.

In another small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and shortening uncovered on High 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds or until chips can be stirred smooth. Drizzle chocolate over cookies. Let stand about 30 minutes or until chocolate is set.

Source: Betty Crocker

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