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.

Quick Ways to Spice Up Your Brunch

Brunch is the perfect time to relax and reflect on your past week. It’s not something that young people often enjoy, but as we get older and age like fine wine, it becomes more of a societal necessity. It’s that special time we don’t often get with our family and friends. It’s a time for laughter and smiles all around. All in all, brunch brings people together. But don’t be boring about your brunch plans. Think outside of the box for your next get together. If you’re trying to do brunch soon, try to plan ahead with this list of ways to spice up your brunch:

  • Try a New Cuisine – Maybe you’ve always wanted to have a Hawaiian-style breakfast but have never made one. Then, it’s time to breakout the spam, eggs and white rice. Or maybe you’ve never had a Mexican breakfast and want to try making some chilaquiles for size. Trying new foods makes us not only get out of our comfort zone, but it makes us appreciate something new at the same time. Testing out new eats for your brunch can spice things up quick.
  • Host Brunch at Home – Having a brunch isn’t like a having a party. It’s actually much better than that. Hosting a brunch is a simple thing that actually shows a lot of character in a person. It takes a lot of effort to put together a brunch and it should never go unnoticed. Try hosting a brunch in the comfort of your own home if you’re tired of going out. Nothing beats homemade brunch goodies like pancakes, eggs and french toast. Having brunch at home also means that you get to safely enjoy some champagne. You can always take a little nap before getting ready to clean later.
  • Have Brunch Outside – Thinking of preparing for a picnic? Sometimes eating outside can be a good thing. It definitely holds a cute factor, if anything. If the weather calls for it, hold a brunch in the great outdoors. Everyone will thank you later. Nothing beats spending a little bit of time outside, surrounded by beautiful nature.
  • Test Out a New Recipe – Always make the same thing at brunch? Do you always eat the same thing when you go out as well? It may be time for a change. Google holds all of life’s unanswered questions, complete with hoards of recipes that are just waiting to be tried out at your home.
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