If you’re having friends over around the holidays for a get together or a party, there’s nothing like a tasty holiday treat to excite everyone’s senses. It can be hard to find the right recipes for the holiday season, so here are three recipes that smell of holiday spirit, courtesy of Food 52.
1. Peppermint Stick Ice Cream
1 quart vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup crushed candy canes or starlight mints
1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract, plus more to taste
1. Soften the ice cream at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Scoop it into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the ice cream on low speed for about 30 seconds, until it starts to become smooth. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a bowl and a wooden spoon– just be ready for a bit of a workout!)
2. Add the crushed candy canes and 1 teaspoon peppermint extract to the bowl and continue to beat on low speed just until these are combined with the ice cream. Taste and beat in more peppermint extract if the peppermint flavor is too faint. Quickly transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and return to the freezer for a couple of hours before serving so it can re-harden.
1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups finely chopped candied ginger
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the ground ginger and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Add the candied ginger and beat for a few more seconds to incorporate.
3. Divide the dough in half and gently roll into two slim cylinders about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the cylinders tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
4. When you are ready to bake the cookies, heat the oven to 350 degrees. At this point, if the cylinders have slumped or flattened at all, re-roll them a bit to make them perfectly round. Cut the cylinders into 1/2-inch slices and arrange the slices 1 inch apart on baking sheets (use parchment paper if your baking sheets are dark). Bake the cookies until they are golden around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets and then transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely. Dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
3. Hanukkah Churros
1 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 stick butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
about 3 cups Vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cup sugar for dusting the churros
2 teaspoons cinnamon for dusting
1. Put the water, 2 tablespoons of sugar and the butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reudce the heat, add the flour, and mix quickly and firmly with a whisk until a ball is formed.
2. Take off the heat and mix in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the vanilla extract.
3. Let the dough cool down a bit and then transfer to a pastry piping bag with a big star tip. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan (oil should be about 2 inches deep) until very hot, but not smoking. Squeeze the dough into the hot oil in sections of about 4 inches. Fry the churros for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until they puff up and are deep golden brown on the outside. Fry 4 to 5 churros at a time, without crowding the pan too much.
4. Spread the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar (and the cinnamon if you want) in a shallow dish. Take the churros out of the oil, drain them briefly on a paper towel-lined plane, then roll them in the sugar until covered well. Serve immediately.
Lovelies, what do you bake around the holidays? Do you have a favorite holiday recipe?