Hey ya'll !
December is finally here! The holidays are always a crazy busy time with work and the end of the year rapidly approaching. I know every year I find myself counting down the days til the new year just waiting for that hypothetical reset button. Of course there are the great parts of the holiday season too like your family coming into town, nicer weather, and my favorite part: the food. I have many favorite holiday recipes but I todays post I am compiling my top rated holiday foods that will be perfect for any holiday get together.
1) Southern Coconut Cake
The cake is by far my number one favorite recipe to make for the holidays. Every year, my family and friends can not seem to get enough of it. The best part of this recipe is how easy it is to put together.
FOR THE CAKE:
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 cup (375 ml) unsweetened coconut milk, divided
- 1 tablespoon coconut flavoring
- 3 cups (340 grams) cake flour
- 2 1/3 (470 grams) cups sugar
- 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (226 grams) Challenge unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
FOR THE CREAM CHEESE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:
- 8 ounces (227 grams) Challenge cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) Challenge unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 4 cups (455 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
- 1-3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk or whole milk
- 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring
- 1 cup (85 grams) flaked or shredded coconut, toasted (see Notes)
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM CHEESE FILLING:
- 1 cup of the Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting (above)
- 1 cup (250 ml) heavy whipping cream
TO MAKE THE CAKE:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two or three 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper. (See Notes)
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites, 1/2 cup of the coconut milk, and coconut flavoring.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and remaining 1 cup coconut milk and combine on low speed until moistened. Increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the egg white mixture in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing just long enough to incorporate between additions.
- Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.
TO MAKE THE BUTTERCREAM:
- Beat together the butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar on medium high speed until light and creamy. Add the coconut flavoring and enough coconut milk (or regular milk) to reach a spreadable consistency. Mix until smooth.
- Spread the coconut on a sheet pan. Toast in a 350 degree oven until golden, checking every 2 minutes. Watch it carefully, the coconut will burn fast. Let it cool completely.
TO MAKE THE WHIPPED CREAM CHEESE FILLING:
- With a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream until it starts to thicken. Add 1 cup of the cream cheese buttercream a spoonful at a time while mixing on medium-high speed. Whip to soft peaks.
2) Chicken Cranberry Brie Tarts
These tarts are the perfect appetizer for the holidays and I guarantee you that your guests will eat them up instantly.
- 2 packages 17 oz. each puff pastry
- 1 Simple Truth chicken breast cooked and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 1/2 c. fresh cranberries
- 1/3 c. honey
- 3 Tbsp. water
- 1 tsp. mustard powder
- 4 oz. brie cheese cut into 48 pieces
- 1/4 c. finely chopped pecans
- 2 Tbsp. minced fresh sage
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Thaw puff pastry sheets according to package instructions. Once thawed, unfold into thirds.
Cut each third into 12 equal squares to make 48 squares. (*You will not use entire second package)
Grease 2 mini muffin tins; press each puff pastry square into a muffin cup.
Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes; remove from oven and press the center of each cup in with the end of a wooden spoon.
While puff pastry is baking, prepare cranberry sauce by combining fresh cranberries, honey, water, and mustard powder in a small saucepan.
Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Fill the center of each puff pastry cup with 1 piece of chicken, 1/2 tsp cranberry sauce, and 1 piece brie cheese.
Return to oven for 5-7 minutes, until brie is nicely melted.
Top with minced sage and chopped pecans.
3) Peppermint Oreo Truffles
Okay y'all, these are like actual bites of heaven. They are super easy to meet and just a waring, they are extremely addictive.
- 1 16 oz. package regular Oreo cookies
- 1 8 oz. package cream cheese
- 1 1/2 teas. peppermint extract
- 8 oz. melting chocolate, candy coat, OR almond bark (melted)
- Crush (whole) Oreos into fine crumbs; place in medium bowl.
- Add cream cheese and peppermint extract to the crushed Oreos; mix until well blended.
- Refrigerate mixture until firm, about one hour.
- Roll cookie mixture into balls, about 1-inch in diameter.
- Dip balls in chocolate/candy melt/almond bark; place on wax paper.
- Sprinkle with crushed candy canes immediately after placing on wax paper.
- Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
- Store truffles, covered, in refrigerator.
- Yields about 20-30 truffles.
- • Add 1/2 teas. to 1 teas. more peppermint extract for more peppermint flavor
- • If you want a drier consistency for the truffle filling, use 4 oz. of cream cheese. You can add more cream cheese, ounce by ounce, to get your desired consistency.
- • To help prevent the Oreo mixture from mixing into the white chocolate/candy coat, melt small batches of chocolate/candy coat at a time.
These recipes are simple, easy, and delicious. Comment below your favorite if you get the chance to make one of these yummy dishes! The holiday themed posts will continue and I think I will call it "blogmas" (hilarious I know). Be sure to check the calendar and facebook for the many upcoming shows.
Until next time