A feast of festive flavours

Recovering from exams and reconnecting with family and friends has never been easier with these holiday treats

Photo: 
Photo: 
Photo: 

Most hardworking and underfed students would probably agree that there’s no better way to spread holiday cheer (or any cheer, for that matter) than through a well-prepared festive dish.

While the holiday season includes celebrations of Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza and so much more, these recipes can be served at any holiday gathering. If you’re unlike me and reasonably competent at following instructions, these recipes should be fairly easy to prepare.

Holidays are best for taking that necessary break from work and school, getting together with loved ones and enjoying these festive foods, so dig in, indulge and worry about the consequences of said consumption later—there’s always the New Year for weight loss resolutions! While food is essential for bringing people together during the holiday season, don’t forget to truly appreciate your family and friend’s company—and making them these mouth-watering foods won’t hurt.

Christmas Cookies

Simple yet tasty, these cookies aren’t your classic chocolate chip but their sugary deliciousness will quell your cravings nonetheless. In addition, if you’re into being creative this recipe will allow you to decorate your cookies any way you want.

Ingredients

3 cups (750 ml) flour
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) nutmeg
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) salt
1 cup (250 ml) butter
2/3 cup (150 ml) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) light corn syrup
2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt.
In another bowl beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the corn syrup and vanilla.
On low speed gradually add the flour mixture.
Roll out one piece about 1/4” (0.64 cm) thick. Cut out your shapes and decorate as desired.
Bake for about 8-10 minutes.

—Source: pillsbury.com

Eggnog

A liquid departure from other holiday treats, eggnog is usually served during the Christmas season and can be considered an acquired taste. While I count myself a previous sceptic of this holiday beverage, this recipe quickly changed my mind and I have no doubt it will help sway popular opinion. Is there really any better combination than sugar and alcohol?

Ingredients

16 egg yolks
1-1/3 cups (325 ml) icing sugar
3-3/4 cups (925 ml) milk
3 cups (750 ml) whipping cream
1/2 tsp (2 ml) vanilla
1-1/2 cups (375 ml) bourbon or dark rum or brandy
1/4 tsp (1 ml) nutmeg

Directions

In saucepan, whisk egg yolks with sugar until smooth. Whisk in milk and 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the cream; cook over medium heat, stirring and without boiling, until thick enough to coat spoon, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Stir in 3/4 cup (175 ml) of the remaining cream and vanilla; strain into bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
Whisk in bourbon; cover and chill for two hours. Transfer to punch bowl.
In bowl, lightly whip remaining cream; fold into eggnog. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

— Source: canadianliving.com

Hannukah Donuts

Hannukah has many fun foods to offer, like potato latkes, chocolate gelt and Israeli soufganiot. This is a take on the Israeli soufganiot, which is a powdered donut traditionally enjoyed during the eight nights of Hannukah.

Ingredients

1 pound (454 g) prepared pizza dough
3/4 cup (175 ml) sugar
1 1/2 (7.5 ml) teaspoons ground cinnamon or icing sugar
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Olive oil, for deep-frying

Directions

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/2-inch (1.27 cm) thickness. Using a floured 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out doughnut rounds. Using a floured 1-inch (2.54 cm)cookie cutter, cut out a hole in the center of each doughnut. Gather the dough scraps and reroll. Cut out more doughnuts.
Whisk the sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl to blend. Set the cinnamon-sugar aside.
Pour equal parts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches (5.08 cm). Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375 degrees F. Working in batches, fry the doughnuts until they puff but are still pale, about 45 seconds per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the doughnuts to paper towels to drain. Cool slightly. While the doughnuts are still warm, generously coat each two times with the cinnamon-sugar or icing sugar. Serve warm.

— Source: foodnetwork.com

Candy Cane Brownies

Who can say no to a brownie? Perfect for a holiday get together, there will be no complaints about this classic favourite.

Ingredients

2/3 cup (150 ml) butter
8 oz (227 g) semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 oz (113 g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1-1/2 cups (375 ml) granulated sugar
4 Eggs
2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla
1 cup (250 ml) all purpose flour
1 tsp (5 ml) salt

Topping

1/2 cup (125 ml) crushed candy canes
2/3 cup (150 ml) mini chocolate chips

Directions

Line 13- x 9-inch (3.5 L) metal cake pan with parchment paper; set aside.
In saucepan over medium-low heat, melt together butter and semisweet and unsweetened chocolates. Let cool for 10 minutes. Whisk in sugar, then eggs, 1 at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. Using wooden spoon, stir in flour and salt. Scrape into prepared pan.
Bake in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging, 25 to 30 minutes.

Topping: Sprinkle with candy canes, then chocolate chips; return to oven for 30 seconds (do not let topping melt). Let cool in pan on rack. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.

— Source: pillsbury.com

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.