Showstopping Holiday Desserts
There’s no stopping the endless amount of sweets that will fill your life as soon as late November rolls around. So don’t fight it. Give in to these fattening and indulging treats, if only for a little while. That’s why we’ve put together this list of some of our favorite holiday treat—the kinds you look forward to stuffing in your face month after month until it’s time again.
Plus, enjoy the exclusive recipe we’ve included at the bottom. Here’s two hints: eggnog and cheesecake.
A word made even more famous from that fateful scene in A Christmas Story, we can’t help but think about this gooey sweet around the holidays. Their bite size pieces make it easy to “accidentally” lose count of just how much you’ve had and their ability to be made in large batches makes them great for holiday parties and holiday party favors. But perhaps the most fun thing about fudge is just how inventive you can get with your own concoctions. Pumpkin spice, gingerbread, eggnog—it’s so easy to let loose and have some fun in the kitchen while playing Dr. Frankenstein to your pastry treats. One of our holiday favorites is an easy chocolate fudge made all the more magical with a couple drops of peppermint extract and topped with some crushed candy cane for an added bit of color and crunch. Whatever your objective, go fudge crazy this Christmas!
We look forward to this time of year for one main reason—lots and lots and lots of pie absolutely everywhere. Anywhere you turn there’s a slice of pie (or two) that is calling your name to come and devour it. It’s blasphemy to ever turn down a good slice of the good stuff. But one of the other reason pies happen to be super common this year is because they’re pretty darn easy to make. Whether or not you make your own doughs, all it can take is combining a couple ingredients, throwing it in a pie crust and popping it in the oven. Personally, we love store-bought crusts in a pinch but, as with most things in life, homemade is best. That, of course, is not counting Aunt Nancy’s scarves. The other plus of pie is that there’s so much you can do with it. You can do fruit, chocolate, mousse, pudding, or our favorite, a combination of all of the above. This holiday we’re trying out one of our Midwest favorites, sugar cream pie. This custard creation is all anyone needs in life. And watch out before you go grabbing a huge slice. Just one little sliver will knock you on your feet.
Santa’s absolutely favorite snack weren’t gonna go unnoticed. Similar to pie, it seems as soon as Thanksgiving hits that there are cookies beckoning your call at every corner. Plus the recent uptick in baking enthusiasts and online cooking school students have left tons of new creations to entice you into breaking your diet momentarily. Red velvet, eggnog, chocolate covered cookie dough balls and every possible way you can think of incorporating peppermint. And hey, the classics like gingerbread and sugar cookies are always welcome warmly nestled in our tummies. So no matter your affliction, there’s a cookie recipe out there for you. And hey, I’m sure Santa wouldn’t scoff if you baked him a dozen or two to help with his Christmas night trips.
Perhaps the ultimate sinful indulgence, cake is like a food group all on its own. Just think for a second about how much cake you’ve had in your life. At every birthday party since you were a child, at most family gatherings, work parties, friendly get togethers and barbecues. I bet you’re thinking exactly what we are–that is an ungodly amount of cake. Some of it was homemade, box made, store bought, bakery made or even patisserie made. And I bet all of it was absolutely delicious. To date, I can honestly say I have yet to have a really bad piece of cake. Frosting, unfortunately. But cake is pretty hard to screw up. Now for holiday cakes, there are so many fun flavors you can play off of. Peppermint, ginger, cinnamon, chocolate, orange, almond and pretty much anything else that constitute a family tradition are some of our favorites. We know how it goes—families have their weird quirks. But for those that just need a staple go-to, this eggnog cheesecake recipe should do the trick. With just the right amount of sugar and spice and something else nice, this rich and creamy dessert will have them begging for salads only for the next week. What better compliment is there than that?
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
4 tbsp butter, melted
3 packages cream cheese (8 oz), room temperature and softened
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brandy
1 tsp nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 300F.
2. Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter together in medium mixing bowl. In a 9” springform pan, press butter and graham cracker mixture into bottom and about ½ inch up side of pan.
3. In a standing mixer, beat cream cheese and ¾ cup sugar until smooth. Then add one egg at a time, beating well before adding another. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
4. Once all eggs are in, beat in flour, brandy and 1 tsp of the nutmeg just until incorporated. Pour into spring form pan with crust and place in oven. Let cake bake for 45-60 minutes or until small cracks are visible and center still jiggles when shaken.
5. Once down, run a spatula between the cake and the pan rim. Place on rack and let cool completely until ready for refrigeration. Chill for a minimum of 3 hours.
6. Once ready to serve, remove pan rim and cut. Remember, with cheesecake you’re going to want to wash knife with warm water in between each cut.
7. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle more of nutmeg and serve!