Winter Rum Balls

BY ALEX BIEMANN

Part libation part dessert, our adult friendly Winter Rum Balls are the perfect easy treat for parties and make a great conversation piece too. Add extra powdered sugar for a super snowy holiday look.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box (11oz) of Nabisco Nilla Wafers
  • 5 oz. ground almonds
  • 4 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp. Karo Light Corn Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Bacardi Select
  • powdered sugar

PREP

  1. In a blender, or food processor, crush the Nilla Wafers to a powder. Some lumps are OK.
  2. Place the first 5 ingredients in a bowl and quickly mix with hands. Don’t mix too long or the texture changes into a dense, stringy mix. You want it to feel like Marzipan as much as possible.
  3. Roll into balls (about 2 tsp.) and drench in powdered sugar
  4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days (ideal: 1 week) so that the texture can develop even more.
  5. Before serving, allow the balls to reach room temperature (whilst still in a container) for full flavor.

Perfect Pumpkin Cheesecake

BY DANIEL CLARK

We used fragrant favorite Fall flavors to create our Perfect Pumpkin Cheesecake. From cinnamon to cloves and allspice to pumpkin, this charming cheesecake will please any palate.

INGREDIENTS

CRUST

  • 2  1/4 cups of graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 3/4 cups of unsalted butter, melted

FILLING

  • 1  15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 1/2  tsp. salt
  • 1/4  tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4  tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4  tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2  tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 lbs. (3 packages) cream cheese, left to soften at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 5 large eggs, left at room temperature about 30 minutes
  • 1 cup heavy cream

PREP

CRUST

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Pour graham cracker crumbs into a medium-sized mixing bowl and add sugar.
  3. Add ginger.
  4. Add cinnamon.
  5. Add cloves.
  6. Mix together with a fork, until combined then add melted butter.
  7. Mix until butter is completely incorporated.
  8. Pour mixture into a greased 9″ spring form pan.
  9. Press crust down and slightly up the sides of the pan.
  10. Bake crust for 15 minutes, until edges are just slightly browned.
  11. Set on a cooling rack to cool.

 

FILLING

  1. Take a baking sheet and line it with three layers of paper towels.
  2. Scoop contents of 1-15 oz. can of pureed pumpkin onto the paper towels.
  3. Spread pumpkin evenly onto the towels using a spatula.
  4. Use a second triple layer of paper towels and press down on top of pumpkin to remove excess moisture.
  5. Peel away top layer of paper towels.
  6. Fold pumpkin onto itself.
  7. Fold pumpkin onto itself again, and slide onto the baking sheet.
  8. In a stand mixer, with the flat paddle attachment, mix cream cheese until smooth.
  9. Add the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and salt.
  10. Mix well then scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  11. Add the pumpkin, vanilla and lemon juice.
  12. Mix well and then again scrape sides with a spatula.
  13. Add the first three eggs, one at a time mix well, then scrape bowl again.
  14. Add the last two eggs, mix well then scrape the bowl yet again.
  15. Add the heavy whipping cream.
  16. Mix well and give the bowl a final scrape and stir by hand.
  17. Pour batter into waiting crust.
  18. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  19. Let cool for 1 hour, and then remove Springform pan.
  20. Let cool for an additional 2-3 hours, then wrap in plastic and refrigerate until time to serve. Chill for 4 hours, up to three days.

Hot Toddy

BY JENNIFFER PELAYO

The tantalizing Hot Toddy is simple, yet so satisfying to cozy up with after a long day.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 oz. Maker’s Mark
  • 1 oz. honey (more to taste)
  • Add hot water
  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar
  • Lemon

PREP

  1. Combine the lemon, honey, and water over the stove.
  2. Cover and heat, stirring occasionally, until the honey dissolves completely, 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Add the Maker’s Mark and stir to combine.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and serve warm with lemon slices and a cinnamon and sugar rim.

Oreo Peppermint Chocolate Cake

BY ANDREA DEAL

Re-energize and indulge in this Oreo Peppermint Chocolate Cake.

Secret: This amazing treat starts out as a cake from the box making it easy to create this chocolate peppermint perfection.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 chocolate cake mix, prepared and baked according to the directions on the box
  • 1 cup peppermint dairy creamer
  • 14.5 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 jar Smuckers hot fudge sundae sauce
  • 1/4 cup peppermint dairy creamer
  • 1 cup crushed Oreos
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip
  • Andes Peppermint Chips for topping
  • (approximately 1 1/2 cups)
  • Crushed Oreos for topping (approximately 1 cup)

PREP

  1. Once the cake has cooled, use the bottom of a wooden spoon to poke 20+ holes (the size of a pencil top eraser) in the cake.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and 1 cup of the peppermint dairy creamer. Pour over the cake, trying to fill in the holes.
  3. In the same bowl, whisk together the hot fudge sundae sauce and 1/4 cup peppermint dairy creamer. Mix in 1 cup crushed Oreos.
  4. Pour and spread the fudge mixture over the cake as evenly as possible.
  5. Spread the cool whip over the fudge. Sprinkle on the Andes candy bits and crushed Oreos (as much or as little as you want).
  6. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours, until the sweetened condensed mixture has soaked into the cake and it’s thoroughly chilled. Cut and enjoy.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Rice Krispy Treats

BY SHANNON CARTER

Say Happy Holidays with a tasty “Snap, Crackle, POP”.  Our Peanut Butter Pretzel Rice Krispies are picnic friendly and bring together all your favorite ingredients to make a lip-smacking statement.

Warning: your dad may be demanding these daily.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups pretzels
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 package marshmallows  (16oz.)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies
  • 1 package chocolate chips (16oz.)

PREP

  1. Grease a 13×9 inch pan using butter or cooking spray
  2. Crush the pretzels into bite-sized pieces
  3. Melt the butter in a large pot over low heat
  4. When butter is melted, add the marshmallows and stir constantly until melted
  5. Add the peanut butter and stir until well mixed
  6. Remove from heat
  7. Immediately add the crushed pretzels and Rice Krispies and stir until well mixed
  8. Transfer the mixture to the pan and press down into the shape of the pan
  9. In a saucepan, melt the chocolate chips over low heat
  10. When fully melted, drizzle the chocolate over the Rice Krispie Treats

Vanilla-spiced Caramel & Pear Tart

BY KRISTIN SPANTON

A classic pear is the  inspiration for our Vanilla-Spiced Caramel & Pear Tart. Once you taste the pear’s fruity notes paired perfectly with the vanilla and caramel spice, you’ll swear we took the Spring season and put it directly on your plate.

INGREDIENTS

CRUST

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-oz. package), thawed, or one 14- to 16-oz. package all-butter puff pastry (1 to 2 sheets, depending on brand), thawed 

PEARS

  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 3 whole cloves
  • Generous pinch of coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 6 medium firm but ripe Anjou pears, peeled, halved lengthwise, cored

FILLING

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise in half
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • Generous pinch of coarse kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 1 egg white, beaten to blend
  • Special equipment: 10-inch-diameter Springform pan

PREP

CRUST

  1. Roll out pastry to 12-inch square and trim off corners, forming slightly rounded crust. (If using all-butter puff pastry, roll out to 12-inch round.)
  2. Transfer pastry to 10-inch-diameter Springform pan, pressing pastry firmly onto bottom and 1 to 1 1/2 inches up sides of pan.
  3. Freeze crust until firm, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

PEARS

  1. Melt butter in heavy large skillet over low heat. Add sugar and next 4 ingredients. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring until sugar melts and turns brown (color of peanut butter), about 3 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to medium; add pears, rounded side down. Cook until pears are almost tender, turning and moving skillet around occasionally to ensure even cooking, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on ripeness of pears.
  4. Carefully turn pears over; continue to cook until pears are very tender, about 10 minutes longer.
  5. Remove skillet from heat; cool pears in skillet with spices (pears will release juice while cooling).

FILLING

  1. Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Add cinnamon, star anise, and cloves.
  2. Increase heat to medium; cook until butter is golden (watch to avoid burning), 3 to 4 minutes. Remove vanilla bean and spices from butter; discard.
  3. Whisk sugar, egg, and coarse salt in medium bowl. Whisk in flour. Gradually whisk browned butter into egg mixture.
  4. Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 400°F.
  5. Brush frozen crust with beaten egg white.
  6. Pour filling into crust; spread evenly over bottom of crust (filling will be very thin).
  7. Using slotted spatula, remove pears from skillet, allowing excess syrup to drain back into skillet; reserve syrup.
  8. Arrange pears, rounded side up, atop filling (about 9 around edge and 3 in center of pan).
  9. Bake tart until crust is deep golden and filling is set and brown at edges, about 1 hour.
  10. Run small knife around sides of pan to loosen tart. Release pan sides. Transfer tart to platter.
  11. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature to cool slightly until just warm.
  12. Just before serving, boil syrup in skillet until reduced to generous 1/3 cup, 1 to 2 minutes. Discard spices. Drizzle syrup over pears. Serve tart slightly warm.

TIPS:

  • All-butter puff pastry is available frozen at Whole Foods markets. One 14- to 16-oz. package contains two 11-inch rounds.
  • Whole star anise is available in the spice section of some supermarkets.
  • PREPARE AHEAD: Crust can be made  1 day ahead. Cover and keep frozen.
  • PREPARE AHEAD: Pears and filling can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover separately; let stand at room temperature. Whisk filling before using.

 

 

Caramelized Onion Dip

BY CHRISTINA ELSBERRY

Celebrate with some tasty Caramelized Onion Dip. This flavorful concoction is topped with fresh chives and paired with veggie chips for an appealing presentation to impress all your friends.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions
  • Thinly sliced kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1  8­-oz. bar cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
  • Thick­cut vegetable chips, for serving

PREP

  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium­-low heat.
  2. Add the onions and 1⁄2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the onions, cream cheese, sour cream, chives, 1⁄4 tsp. salt, and 1⁄8 tsp. pepper.
  5. Serve with the chips.­­

TIP:  The dip can be made up to 2 days in advance; refrigerate covered.

Divine Vegan Brownies

BY MARLA SCHIMKE

Heat things up with irresistible Divine Vegan Brownies. This rich chocolate baked goodie with a healthy flair is sure to win hearts.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (consider using apple sauce for a tasty alternative)
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 1 cup organic unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp. ground flax seed
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

PREP

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix wet ingredients in large bowl, then dump in all the dry and mix
  3. Bake for about 20-25 minutes

TIP:  If you really LOVE CHOCOLATE like most of us… enhance this with extra chocolate chips.

Cinnamon Cookie Cocktail and Cinnamon Cookies

BY KEVIN RAY JONES

Spice things up by dipping a flavorsome Cinnamon Cookie in a creamy smooth Cinnamon Cookie Cocktail. This duo has an adult twist that puts the standard cookies and milk to shame.

INGREDIENTS

CINNAMON COOKIE COCKTAIL

ADULTS ONLY

  • 1 oz. Cinnamon Whiskey (such as Fireball)
  • 1 oz. Irish cream liqueur (such as Baileys or Carolans)

CINNAMON COOKIES (SUITABLE FOR ALL!)

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup softened coconut oil (coconut oil is normally solid at room temperature)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Cinnamon sugar mix: 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon mixed thoroughly

PREP

CINNAMON COOKIES (SUITABLE FOR ALL!)

  1. Coat the rim of a tumbler with decorative sugar (optional).
  2. Fill a tumbler with ice.
  3. Add Cinnamon Whiskey and Cream Liqueur then mix well.

 CINNAMON COOKIE COCKTAIL

  1. In a mixer bowl, cream together sugar, butter, and coconut oil.
  2. Beat egg and vanilla together, add to the mixture then blend well.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or until dough is firm enough to roll into balls.
  4. Roll dough into 3/4-inch diameter balls.
  5. Roll balls in cinnamon-sugar mix then place on lightly greased cookie sheet 1-inch apart
  6. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned
  7. Let cool on baking sheet until firm enough to move to a cooling rack.
  8. Coat the rim of a tumbler with decorative sugar (optional).
  9. Fill a tumbler with ice.
  10. Add Cinnamon Whiskey and Cream Liqueur then mix well.

Rolled Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

Directions

  • Prep: 20 m

  • Cook: 8 m

  • Ready In: 3 h

  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

Cinnamon Stars

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Stir together the almonds, cinnamon, and lemon zest until combined.
  2. Beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Slowly sift in the confectioner’s sugar, continuing to beat until the mixture is stiff. Set aside 1/3 cup of the egg white mixture for the glaze. Fold in the almond mixture.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (170 degrees C). Line the cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness on a surface that has been sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar. Using a 2 1/2-inch star cookie cutter, cut out the cookies and place them on the cookie sheets.
  5. To make the glaze, add the lemon juice to the reserved egg white mixture, stirring until smooth. Brush the tops of the cookies lightly with the glaze. (If the glaze starts to thicken, add a few more drops of lemon juice.)
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. When done, they will be light brown and soft in the center. Remove and cool on wire racks.

Gingerbread Men

Ingredients

Directions

  • Prep: 25 m

  • Cook: 12 m

  • Ready In: 1 h 37 m

  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the dry butterscotch pudding mix, butter, and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the egg. Combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon; stir into the pudding mixture. Cover, and chill dough until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease baking sheets. On a floured board, roll dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness, and cut into man shapes using a cookie cutter. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until cookies are golden at the edges. Cool on wire racks.