Sunday, December 19, 2010

Yummm! Heavenly Holiday Desserts!!!

It's hard to believe that Christmas is less than a week away! This year has gone by so quickly, it's amazing to believe that 2011 is rapidly approaching! But until the ball drops, I admit that there are visions of sugar plums dancing in my head... BIG TIME! LOL So I have collected a drool-worthy assortment of decadent desserts that even Ebenezer Scrooge wouldn't say "Bah Humbug!" to... confections that would have a place of honor at anyone's Holiday table!

Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies

Recipe Courtesy of Paula Deen, Food Network

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon red food coloring
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time. Then beat in the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla and red food coloring. Once combined, add the dry ingredients to wet. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Onto a parchment lined sheet tray, drop batter using an ice cream scoop, forming 2-inch round circles.

Bake for 10 minutes, until baked through. Cookies should be cake-like and light. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Spread the cream cheese frosting between 2 cooled cookies and roll the edges in finely chopped pecans, if desired.

Butterscotch Bread Pudding

Recipe Courtesy of

4 cups 1/2-inch cubes white bread
1 quart half-and-half cream
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
6 large eggs
Vanilla ice cream as an accompaniment

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish and spread bread cubes evenly in dish.
In a small saucepan heat half-and-half, butter, salt, and vanilla over medium heat until hot.
In a bowl whisk together sugar, eggs. Slowly add half-and-half mixture while whisking.
Pour mixture over bread cubes and bake pudding in middle of oven until puffed and golden, about 30 minutes.
Serve pudding warm with ice cream.
Makes 8 servings.

Individual Tiramisu Trifles

Recipe Courtesy of

1 cup cold strong brewed coffee
3 tablespoons Marsala wine
1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (4 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
30 cakelike ladyfingers (2 1/2 [3-ounce] packages)
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa

Combine coffee and wine; set aside.

Place cheeses in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add sugar, beating until well blended.

Cut each ladyfinger crosswise into 3 pieces. Arrange 5 ladyfinger pieces into each of 9 wineglasses or small bowls; drizzle each serving with about 1 tablespoon coffee mixture. Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese mixture into each glass. Repeat layers once; sprinkle evenly with cocoa. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.

Mocha Truffle Cookies

Recipe Courtesy of Taste of Home

1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1-1/2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon Spice Island® Pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons baking cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup English toffee bits or almond brickle chips
1 ounce milk chocolate, melted

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt butter and chocolate; stir until smooth. Stir in coffee granules until dissolved; cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Add the sugars, egg and vanilla.
Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; add to chocolate mixture and mix well. Stir in toffee bits.
Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool for 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle with melted milk chocolate. Yield: 15 cookies.

Mocha Nog Punch

Recipe Courtesy of Marie Claire

10 parts Kahlúa Mocha
5 parts Absolut Vanilla
20 parts eggnog

Combine ingredients and serve in a punchbowl with a floating ice block.

Hint: Freeze ice with coffee beans for decoration.

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