Every holiday feast is not complete without the final course. Ice cream is great but we all look forward to December, one month of the year when simple desserts just don’t cut it. From simple to extravagant, here are 5 jaw-dropping desserts that will surely impress any guests this holiday season.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate Fudge
- 2 cups sugar
- ⅔ cups evaporated milk
- ½ cups butter
- ⅓ cups hot chocolate mix
- 12 oz semisweet chocolate
- 1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cups + 2 tbsp crushed peppermint candies
- ¼ cups + 2 tbsp marshmallow bits
- Line an 8×8 or 9×9 inch baking dish with aluminium foil and butter bottom/sides.
- In a large saucepan, combine sugar, evaporated milk, and butter. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
- Stirring constantly, bring to a boil and boil for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in hot chocolate mix, chocolate, and marshmallow cream until smooth. Stir in vanilla extract.
- Allow mixture to cool for 5 minutes. Stir in ¼ cup peppermint candies and ¼ cup marshmallow bits.
- Pour fudge into a prepared baking dish. Sprinkle remaining peppermint candies and marshmallow bits over the top. Gently press into fudge.
- Allow to cool and set before cutting into pieces and storing in an airtight container.
- 1 cup rich mascarpone cheese
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup Amaretto or Frangelico liqueur
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1 lb(s) package Kookie Kutter Ginger Snaps or other thin rectangular cookies
- 1 cup strong coffee or espresso
- 1 cup or so bittersweet dark chocolate, coarsely grated
- Spoon the mascarpone into a large bowl. Measure in the sugar and splash in the Amaretto. Whisk together evenly.
- Pour in the cream and whisk the works vigorously until firm, creamy peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes by hand, less with a mixer. Set aside.
- One by one, dip the gingersnaps into the coffee, immersing fully for a moment before evenly arranging in an 8-inch (2 L) square baking dish.
- Use half the gingersnaps, forming 2 thin layers. Evenly spread a thick layer of half the mascarpone mixture over the cookies. Top with half of the grated chocolate.
- Make 1 more layer in the same manner. Cover and chill until it is firm (at least 2 hours or overnight).
- Scoop, serve, share and take a bow!
Maple Eggnog Creme Brulee
- 2 cups 35% cream
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp rum extract or 1 tsp rum
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 egg yolks
- ¼ cup demerara sugar or granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 300ºF. Place 4 (4 oz.) ramekins in a baking dish.
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, heat cream, maple syrup, vanilla, rum and salt until steaming and small bubbles appear around the edges. Add egg yolks to a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in cream mixture to yolks. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher with a pour spout. Divide mixture between ramekins.
- Add ½ inch of hot water to the base of the baking dish so it surrounds the ramekins.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until mixture wobbles when tapped and is just set. Cool for 30 minutes at room temperature then for 3 hours in the refrigerator.
- To serve, evenly divide ¼ cup of sugar between the ramekins. Using a blowtorch or rotating under a medium-high broiler, caramelize the sugar. Rest for 5 minutes. Serve.
Peppermint Bark Brownies
- ½ cups butter
- ¾ cups sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- ½ cups unsweetened baking cocoa
- ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 10 oz white candy melts or high-quality white chocolate
- ¼ tsp peppermint extract, optional
- crushed peppermint candies
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray an 8×8 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add sugar and stir until sugar starts to dissolve. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
- Stir in cocoa powder until well blended. Add in flour, baking soda and salt. Stir until combined, Pour batter into prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted in the centre and come out clean.
- Remove to a wire rack to cool.
- While brownies are cooling, melt white candy melts according to package instructions. If you are adding the peppermint extract, work quickly by whisking in the extract and immediately spreading the melted candy over the cooled brownies. (Candy will thicken quickly but should still be spreadable) Sprinkle crushed peppermint candies over the top and gently press into the white candy. Once candy topping has hardened slightly, cut into pieces and allow to harden completely before serving.
Festive Cranberry-Orange Cheesecake
- 1-1/2 cups graham crumbs
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 3 pkg. (250 g each) Philadelphia Brick Cream Cheese (softened)
- 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
- 1 tbsp. zest and 1/4 cup juice from 1 navel orange, divided
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 pkg. (340 g) cranberries
Heat oven to 350ºF.
Combine graham crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan.
Beat cream cheese and 1 cup sugar in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add orange zest; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed until blended. Pour over crust.
Bake 50 min. or until centre is almost set. Run a knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate cheesecake for 4 hours.
Meanwhile, mix cornstarch and 1 Tbsp. of orange juice until blended. Cook cranberries, the remaining sugar and the remaining orange juice in a saucepan on medium heat for 8 min. or until cranberries soften and release their juices, stirring frequently. Add cornstarch mixture; cook and stir for 2 min. or until thickened. Cool. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Top cheesecake with cranberry mixture just before serving.
Recipies courtesy of Kraft Canada, A Kitchen Addiction and Food Network Canada.