Top Three Popular Goods to Bake for The Season

‘Tis the season for epic baking and lots of hearty laughter. Nine-in-ten Americans across the nation celebrate Christmas, according to data from Pew Research Center. That means over 90 percent of America participates in one sole holiday. Christmas has become a holiday that is celebrated whether you have ties to a faith or not. And with the holidays, comes a whole lot of baked goods. This is the time that families and friends gather to share great food and fun times. If you’re trying to think of a halfway decent recipe to try out for your next holiday party, have no fear. This blog is going to help you dive into Christmas sweets. But it’s not just about Christmas–there’s Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice and Las Posadas, to name a few other other holidays. So what are you going to bake this year? With the these special days within grasp, it’s time to break down the best of the best. This is exactly what needs to be brewing in your kitchen. If you aren’t quite sure what should be on the roster as far as baked goods go, then this blog is for you. These are the most popular baked goods to bake for the season, courtesy of Genius Kitchen.

  • Chocolate Holiday Pretzels – Ready in 25 minutes, this recipe yields three plates and serves 30.

Ingredients:

One (17 ⅝ ounce) bag of holiday M&M’s chocolate candy (red and green).

Three (10 ounce) bags of checkerboard or windowpane shaped pretzels.

Three (13 ounce) bags of Hershey’s Hugs chocolates.

Three (13 ounce) bags of Hershey’s chocolate Kisses.

Directions: First, preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Open the pretzel bags and remove unbroken pretzels. Place pretzels on waxed paper-lined cookie sheets in a single layer. Unwrap Hugs and place one on each individual pretzel. Repeat for entire cookie sheet. When doing your Hugs, put them on ONE specific sheet. Don’t mix them up. These candies melt faster than the other. Repeat step using the Kisses. Next, place in a preheated oven. For the Hugs, bake four minutes. For the Kisses, bake five to six minutes. Once you remove the pretzels from the oven, place one M&M on each pretzel/chocolate. Finally, place cookie sheet in freezer for eight minutes minimum, 10 minutes max. This allows the chocolate time to set.
Original Recipe here.

  • Bacardi Rum Cake – Ready in an hour and a half, this recipe serves 10-12 individuals.

Ingredients:

One cup chopped pecans or one cup chopped walnuts
One (520 g) package yellow cake mix (just the mix, don’t add the other ingredients on the box)
One (92 g) package vanilla instant pudding mix
Four eggs
½ cup cold water
½ cup cooking oil
½ cup dark rum or rum
GLAZE
½ cup butter
¼ cup water
One cup sugar
½ cup dark rum or rum

One cup chopped pecans or one cup chopped walnuts
One (520 g) package yellow cake mix (just the mix, don’t add the other ingredients on the box)
One (92 g) package vanilla instant pudding mix
Four eggs
½ cup cold water
½ cup cooking oil
½ cup dark rum or rum
GLAZE
½ cup butter
¼ cup water
One cup sugar
½ cup dark rum or rum

Directions: First, stir together cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, oil and rum. Then, pour batter over nuts. Bake at 325 in oven for exactly one hour. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Then, invert onto serving plate and prick top. For the glaze, you want to melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in water and sugar. Boil for five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the rum. Once glaze is done, brush glaze evenly over top and sides of cake. Allow the cake to absorb the glaze. And repeat until the glaze is gone.
Original Recipe here.

  • Christmas Pudding –  Ready in just over six hours, this recipe serves 10-12 individuals.

Ingredients:

One and ½ cups raisins
One cup currants
½ cup chopped mixed peel
One lemon, juice and zest of
One orange, juice and zest of
½ cup brandy
¾ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup dark brown sugar
Two large eggs
One and ½ cups fresh breadcrumbs
One cup all-purpose flour
One teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
One teaspoon mixed spice

Directions: Blend dried fruits with the lemon and orange zest and juice in a large bowl. Leave for 10-12 hours to soak. In another large bowl, mix the butter and sugar together until smooth. Stir in the eggs until it’s properly mixed together. Add breadcrumbs, flour, baking powder, salt and mixed spice, stirring together until blended. Pour the contents of the dried fruit bowl into the batter and lightly mix to combine. Next, pour into a greased six-cup pudding basin, or a heat proof mixing bowl. Cover with a piece of baking paper and secure around the top with cooking twine. Then it’s got to be lowered into a large pot half-filled with simmering water. Cover the pot and leave on the stove to simmer, steaming the pudding for about five hours. Make sure you keep a watchful eye on the pudding while it’s steaming–putting in more water when needed. Then, leave to cool and store in a really cool part of the house for up to seven days. When ready to eat, steam again for one hour. Make sure the pudding is served warm with whipped cream.
Original Recipe here.

Pumpkin Recipes Perfect for the Fall Season

If you’re a pumpkin lover, then this blog is simply calling out to you. October and November begin the succession of holidays, and it’s the time where everyone wants a little pumpkin in their life. Even if you don’t like pumpkin, these dishes just might make you turn a new leaf. Pumpkin can be a delicious edition to your palate. Regardless of the meal, these recipes are sure to leave your taste buds wanting more. Here’s three of the best pumpkin recipes for 2018, courtesy of Closet Cooking:

 

     1. Pumpkin Butter Tarts with Pepitas and Cranberries

 

Completely exquisite, perfect for fall butter tarts mixed with toasted pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries. It’s a great finger food and delicate dessert. The amount of time you should spend on this dish is 40 minutes and the dish will serve 12 people. And to top it off, it’s vegetarian.

Ingredients

Produce–½ cup cranberries, dried | ½ cup pumpkin puree

Refrigerated– 1 egg

Condiments–½ cup maple syrup

Nuts & seeds–½ cup pepitas

Bread & baked goods–1 pie crust pastry

Dairy–¼ cup butter, unsalted

Baking & spices–1 tsp vanilla extract | ¼ tsp salt | ½ cup brown sugar, packed

Directions

  1. Roll the pastry out to ⅛ inch thick, cut into 12 four-five inch circles
  2. Mix the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, maple syrup, butter, egg, vanilla extract, salt, pepitas, and cranberries and divide the mixture between the tarts.
  3. Bake in a preheated oven at 350F/180C until set, about 15-20 minutes.

 

  1. Pumpkin Cheesecake Gingersnap Streusel Bars

Absolutely appetizing pumpkin and spice cheesecake bars with a gingersnap crust, complete with rolled oat streusel/crumble topping. It’s a great way to end dinner. The amount of time this one should take is about 30 minutes, serving up to nine people. The dish is also vegetarian-friendly.

Ingredients

Produce–½ tsp ginger, ground | ½ cup pumpkin puree

Refrigerated– 1 egg, large

Breakfast foods–¾ cup rolled oats, old-fashioned

Baking & spices–1 tsp vanilla extract | ¼ tsp salt | ½ cup brown sugar, packed

Snacks–1 ¼ cups gingersnap cookie crumbs

Dairy–8 oz cream cheese | ½ cup butter, unsalted

Directions

  1. For the gingersnap crust:
  • Mix everything, press into the bottom of an 8×8 inch baking pan and bake in a preheated oven at 350F/180C until lightly golden brown, about 12-14 minutes.
  1. For the pumpkin cheesecake:
    • Beat the cream cheese until smooth, beat in the sugar, followed by the egg, vanilla extract, pumpkin puree, and the spices.
    • Pour the mixture on top of the baked crust.
  1. For the streusel topping:
  • Cut the butter into the flour (a food processor is helpful) and mix in the remaining ingredients before grabbing a bunch and squeezing gently and crumbling in your hands over the cheesecake layer.
    • Bake in a preheated oven at 350F/180C until the cheesecake layer has set, which should take about 20-25 minutes. (Loosely cover the pan in foil if the crumbs start to brown.)
    • Let cool and chill in the fridge as desired.
  1.  Pumpkin Goat Cheese Fettuccine Alfredo with Crispy Fried Sage

While goat cheese might not seem like it’s good, it’s actually a great combo with pasta. Who knew pumpkin could go along with Alfredo? Both fast and simple, this is the creamy goat cheese pumpkin Fettuccine Alfredo with crispy fried sage. A vegetarian-friendly dish, it takes about 15 minutes to cook and serves about two people. Your taste buds are going to be delighted with this one.

Ingredients

Produce–1 clove garlic, ½ cup pumpkin puree | 1 tbsp of sage | 1 handful of sage, leaves

Pasta & grains–6 oz pasta

Dairy–2 tbsp butter | 4 oz goat cheese | 1 cup heavy cream or milk | ¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano

Baking & spices–1 salt and pepper | ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

  1. First things first–time to cook the pasta as directed on the package.
  2. Next, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat, and add garlic. Cook until it’s fragrant (about a minute).
  3. Add cream, pumpkin puree, goat cheese, parmesan, sage, and pumpkin pie spice and simmer until the cheese has melted.
  4. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat, let it turn a light brown, add the sage and fry until crispy.
  6. Serve hot over the pasta garnished with extra parmesan and crispy fried sage.
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