By: Celia Pope
All of us have picked up some new hobbies this year, whether that would be drawing, sewing, or an instrument like guitar. If you are like me, you probably picked up cooking or baking during all of the free time you’ve had, and this time of year is the perfect time to put those new skills to use with these delicious holiday recipes.
VANILLA ROLL CAKE:
This dessert is very similar to the French dessert called bûche de Noël, which you will be able to see through the taste of buttercream, vanilla and sweet glaze!
-3 egg yolks
-1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/3 cup (30 grams) sifted cake flour
-3 tablespoons (30 grams) cornstarch
-1/4 cup red & green Wilton batter bits or edible confetti
-2 egg whites
-1 tablespoon sugar
-1 cup butter, room temperature
-3 cups (360 grams) powdered sugar
-3-4 tbsp red & green sprinkles
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1-3 teaspoons heavy cream
- Heat the oven to 450F.
- Line a 17X12 jelly/sheet pan with parchment paper . Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl add the 2 eggs, 3 egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar. With the paddle attachment on, beat on medium to high speed around 5 minutes until pale in color and thickened. Add the vanilla extract and beat for a few more seconds.
- Sift the flour and the cornstarch over the egg yolks mixture and with a spatula gently fold it in.
- Fold in the batter bits as well.
- In a separate grease-free bowl, add the 2 egg whites and 1 tablespoon of sugar. With a whisk, whip until firm peaks form.
- With the spatula, fold the whipped egg whites into the egg yolks mixture.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan, spread it evenly and bake for 6-7 minutes until golden brown and, when touched, it springs back.
- As soon as you remove the cake from the oven sprinkle with powdered sugar and then invert the cake onto a clean dish towel. Remove the parchment paper, sprinkle with more powder sugar, and roll up the cake with the towel. Place on a wire rack to cool.
- In a clean bowl add the butter. With the whisk attached to the mixer, whip the butter for 2-3 minutes on medium to high speed.
- Lower the speed and slowly add the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.
- When all the sugar is incorporated increase the speed and whip for 2 more minutes.
- Add a few drops of heavy cream until it reaches the consistency you desire.
- With a spatula, fold in the sprinkles.
- Gently unroll the cake and spread the buttercream evenly all over it.
- Roll it again and place in the fridge for a couple of hours.
- To decorate, melt the white chocolate in a double boiler or microwave and pour it over the cake. Add more sprinkles (optional)
- Let the chocolate settle for few minutes and slice the cake
SNOWMAN CAKE POPS:
-1-¼ cup All-purpose Flour
-1 teaspoon Baking Powder
-1 teaspoon Baking Soda
-½ teaspoons Salt
-2 whole Large Eggs, Room Temperature
-1 cup Granulated Sugar
-½ cups Canola Oil
-2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
-½ cups Buttermilk, Room Temperature
-2 sticks Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
-2 cups Powdered Sugar
-2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
COATING AND DECORATION:
-1 bag (1 Lb. Size) White Candy Melts
-½ bags (1 Lb. Size) Red Candy Melts
-5 pieces Black Candy Melts
-3 pieces Orange Candy Melts
-20 lollipop Sticks
- To prepare the cake, preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease and line an 8-inch square cake pan.
- In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix eggs and sugar until well combined. Gradually add oil and half of the vanilla, mix until just blended. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the buttermilk, mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert it onto a greased rack. Let it cool completely.
- To prepare buttercream, beat butter for a few minutes in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add powdered sugar and turn your mixer on low, beat until the sugar incorporates with the butter. Add the remaining half of the vanilla and heavy cream, beat on medium speed for another 3 minutes, or until buttercream becomes light and fluffy.
- To assemble cake pops, prepare two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.
- Break the cooled cake into a few big chunks by hand, place them into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed until the big pieces turn into crumbs. Add frosting gradually into the cake crumbs and blend until the mixture becomes a dough. You’ll use about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of frosting.
- Scoop dough into 10 to 20 teaspoon-sized balls for the heads, and 10 to 20 tablespoon-sized balls for the bodies. Place them on the prepared cookie sheets. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Remove the small cake balls from the refrigerator. Gradually melt the white candy melts in the microwave, heating in 10 second intervals and stirring in-between. Dip one end of a lollipop stick in the candy melts and insert all the way through a small cake ball, leaving about one centimetre of the stick at the bottom. Repeat with all the small cake balls. Set aside for 30 seconds.
- Remove the large cake balls from the refrigerator. Dip each small cake ball in the white candy melts and gently tap off excess. Carefully but quickly insert the end of the stick into a large cake ball. Secure the head and body part and let it stand for 30 seconds. Repeat with the remaining cake balls.
- Dip each snowman body in the white candy melts and gently tap off excess. Place cake pop onto a piece of parchment paper. Let it dry completely.
- Place the red candy melts in a microwavable Ziploc bag. Microwave on high for 20 to 30 seconds to completely melt the candy melts. Push the melted candy toward one corner of the bag. With a pair of scissors, snip off a very small opening, and start piping the hat and scarf on each snowman cake pop.
- Repeat with the black candy melts for the eyes, mouths and buttons. Repeat with the orange candy melts for noses.
PEPPERMINT MOCHA CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES:
-3 tablespoons coconut oil OR canola oil
-1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
-3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
-3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
-1 cup granulated sugar
-1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
-1/2 cup full fat sour cream
-1/2 cup hot coffee
- Preheat the oven to 350° degrees (F). Line a 12-cup cupcake/muffin tin with cupcake liners and lightly spray the liners with non-stick spray (optional but it does help them peel right off). Set aside.
- In a large, microwave safe bowl, melt the oil, butter, and chocolate in the microwave, heating in 30 second increments, and stirring in between each increment, until completely melted. Whisk mixture until completely smooth and set aside to cool.
- In a medium-sized bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt; stir together until thoroughly combined and set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, yolk, sugar and peppermint extract; beat until smooth.
- Add the cooled oil/butter/chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Add half of the flour mixture, then half of the sour cream. Repeat the process until everything is added, and be sure to mix until JUST combined. Quickly stir in the hot coffee – it’s important not to over mix, here! Just stir until everything is evenly combined.
- Fill the prepared cupcake liners so that each mold is 3/4 of the way full (you’ll have some leftover batter). Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter.
-3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
-3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
-1 stick unsalted butter, very soft
-2 tablespoons sour cream
-3 to 4 tablespoons half and half (you can find this in the dairy aisle near the heavy cream)
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
For the Chocolate Drizzle:
-4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
-1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
-1 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1/2 cup crushed candy canes
- Sift together the confectioners sugar and cocoa powder, whisking well to ensure it’s bump and lump free!
- Using a handheld mixer OR a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy; about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the sifted sugar/cocoa powder, alternating with the sour cream and half and half, then add the peppermint extract and salt. Once all of the ingredients have been added, increase speed to medium-high and beat the frosting until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Frost cooled cupcakes and top with chocolate drizzle and crushed candy canes.
- Place chocolate in a medium-sized heat-proof bowl; set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the heavy cream until very hot, but not boiling. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and set it aside for 2-3 minutes. Whisk the cream and chocolate completely smooth; whisk in vanilla. Allow the chocolate to cool for about 5 minutes before spooning the on the top of each frosted cupcake. Sprinkle the wet chocolate with crushed candy canes.
I hope you are able to bring smiles to someones face with these desserts, whether it be from a neighbor, friend, or family member. Have fun and happy holidays!