Home Recipes 5 easy recipes for the holidays

5 easy recipes for the holidays

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Juliana Goodwin, Special to the News-Leader
Published 6:33 p.m. CT Nov. 29, 2019 | Updated 6:40 p.m. CT Nov. 29, 2019

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The holiday season is officially here, which means it’s time to showcase some fabulous recipes. So many of us open our homes during the holidays or attend parties galore. If you’re on the hunt for easy recipes, you’ve come to the right place. These are all worthy of holiday entertaining and they are simple, too. A few only take 10 minutes to get on the table, so start sharing the cheer and the deliciousness!

Easy Black Forest Trifle

  • 1 store-bought chocolate cake
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1/3  cup brandy
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (8-ounce) container whipped topping
  • Mini chocolate chips or chocolate shavings (optional)

You can use a boxed chocolate cake or one from the grocery store.

Mix together cherry pie filling and brandy and set aside.

Heat the heavy cream over medium-low until bubbles start to form around the edges and then whisk in the chocolate chips. Whisk until smooth and then remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

These are directions for one large trifle, but you follow the same formula for shots (measurements depend on the size of your shot glass).

Place half the chocolate cake in the bottom of a bowl. Top with chocolate sauce. Add cherry filling on the next layer. Then add the rest of the cake and then top it with whipped topping. You can decorate the top with mini chocolate chips or chocolate shavings. Serve or refrigerate until time to serve.

Note: I bought plastic shot glasses and mini spoons from Dollar Tree for this recipe. It was easy and no fuss clean-up. The downside is it takes longer to assemble the shots.  You can make one large one with a trifle dish or bowl.

Peachy Brie

  • 1 wedge of brie
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped peaches
  • 2/3 cup walnut halves
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • Buttery crackers or French bread for serving

Note: The key is to buy your peaches 5 days in advance so they have time to ripen. If you’re a member, Sam’s Club has amazing peaches.

This delightful brie takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and it’s beautiful, too. Be sure to get all the elements in one bite.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Stir together the butter and sugar. Pour it over the brie and place the brie in the oven for 5-7 minutes, until the brie softens and butter melts.

Immediately top with chopped peaches, walnuts and blueberries and serve with crackers or French bread.

Bourbon Balls

Makes 24 balls

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (3-4 cups whole cookies)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons shredded sweet coconut
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup bourbon (you can substitute rum, but use a vanilla-flavored rum
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Coating:

  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup shredded coconut

First, place pecans in food processor and process until they are crumbs. Pour into a large bowl. Next measure 3 cups of vanilla wafers and put those into the food processor. Pulse into fine crumbs. In total, you need 2 cups of vanilla wafer crumbs which will be 3-4 cups of whole cookies.

Once you have 2 cups of crumbs, pour that into the bowl. Add 2 tablespoons shredded coconut, cocoa powder, and ½ cup powdered sugar. Whisk together to thoroughly combine.

On a plate, mix together remaining powdered sugar and coconut and set aside.

Next, melt 4 tablespoons of butter in the microwave and then stir together with the bourbon. Pour into the dry cookie mixture and stir until the mixture sticks together.  Shape into 1-inch balls and roll in powdered sugar/coconut mixture. Cover and chill. These can be made several days in advance so it’s one less thing to do on party day.

Pesto Christmas Tree

  • 1 (8-ounce) block of cream cheese
  • Pesto sauce
  • 1 pretzel rod
  • Pieces of roasted red peppers or cherry tomatoes.

Cut the block of cold cream cheese on a diagonal so it makes two right angle triangles. Then flip one of the triangles over to put the two together to make a tree shape. Generously cover the block of cream cheese with pesto sauce. Add a piece of a pretzel rod to make the base of the tree. Slice cherry tomatoes or pieces of roasted red peppers and use them to make ornaments on the tree. Serve with French bread or crackers.

Peach Mint Julep

Makes 4

  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 18 mint leaves
  • 1 cup good quality bourbon
  • 4  shots of peach juice
  • Crushed ice

Note: You can find peach juice in the refrigerated juice section. Warning, these are strong but delightful!

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, then add the sugar and 10 mint leaves. Once the sugar dissolves, remove and set aside to cool. Keep the mint in the water so the flavor penetrates.

To make a julep, pour ¼ cup bourbon in a glass and add 1 shot glass of simple syrup and 1 shot of peach juice.. Fill the glass with crushed ice (it’s important to use crushed ice because it melts faster and dilutes the drink). Top with two sprigs of mint and serve.

Juliana Goodwin is author of “Rotisserie Chicken Queen: 50 Fabulous Recipes That Start With Rotisserie Chicken.” If you have a question concerning a recipe, email [email protected]

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