Holiday Treats

These Recipes are courtesy of Chef Kelli Lewton of 2 Unique Caterers & Event Planners:

CULINARY INSPIRED GIFT BEVERAGES

Gifts given hot or cold can certainly add festive cheer as well as keep your gift budget in check.  Try different hot coco mixes with festive flavoring stick or spoons as well flavored teas or spirits!

MILK CHOCOLATE HOT COCOA

1 cup non-dairy powdered coffee creamer
1 cup nonfat dry powdered milk
1 cup milk or dark chocolate morsels
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup sugar
Miniature marshmallows

Combine all of the ingredients, except the marshmallows, in a large bowl. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Place in a sealed container or divide into individual servings. One serving is 1/3 cup cocoa mix plus milk. Garnish with mini marshmallows.

To prepare the hot cocoa, place 1/3 cup cocoa mix into a mug. Pour in warmed milk. Stir until well blended. Top with mini marshmallows.

WINTER WHITE HOT COCOA

1/2 cup non-dairy powdered coffee creamer
1/2 cup French vanilla non-dairy powdered coffee creamer
1 cup nonfat dry powdered milk
1 cup white chocolate morsels
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
¼ cup crumbled candy cane
Miniature marshmallows

Combine all of the ingredients, except the marshmallows, in a large bowl. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Place in a sealed container or divide into individual servings. One serving is 1/3 cup cocoa mix plus milk. Garnish with mini marshmallows.

To prepare the hot cocoa, place 1/3 cup cocoa mix into a mug. Pour in warmed milk. Stir until well blended. Top with mini marshmallows.

MEXICAN SPICED HOT COCOA

1 cup non-dairy powdered coffee creamer
1 cup nonfat dry powdered milk
1 cup milk chocolate morsels
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1&1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Miniature marshmallows

Combine all of the ingredients, except the marshmallows, in a large bowl. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Place in a sealed container or divide into individual servings. One serving is 1/3 cup cocoa mix plus milk. Garnish with mini marshmallows.

To prepare the hot cocoa, place 1/3 cup cocoa mix in a mug. Pour in warmed milk. Stir until well blended. Top with mini marshmallows.

Homemade Cappuccino Mix

1/2 cup Instant Coffee (Regular or Vanilla Ground Coffee for non-instant, I like the Starbucks Via straws)
1 cup Sugar (can be regular, raw, coconut, etc.)
1 1/4 cups Powdered Milk; Powdered Coconut Milk for dairy free
1/2 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together until well blended. Pour into a jar or some kind of pretty storage container. If giving as a gift you can decorate with ribbon or other full festive garland.

To mix up your homemade Cappuccino Mix, add a few spoonful's to a mug full of warm water. Stir until the mixture is dissolved. If using the non-instant ground coffee, add about 4 teaspoons into a reusable k-cup and brew as normal.

Hot Chocolate on a Stick
Makes: 15 1-ounce cubes

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsweetened hi quality cocoa powder, Dutch or natural
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 pinch sea salt
16 ounces high-quality chocolate (I used 61% bittersweet chocolate but feel free to use semi-sweet, milk, white, or any combination you like), chopped
Flavorings (optional):
1-2 teaspoons vanilla, almond, or hazelnut extract
1/2-1 teaspoon (or to taste) cinnamon, chili powder, or instant espresso
Toppings (optional):
4 mini or 1 large (per cube) marshmallows
3-4 pieces (per cube) candy canes, coarsely chopped
1 pinch (per cube) flaky sea salt (Materials:

Craft supplies
Silicone molds or ice cube trays
Sticks or stirrers (you can use coffee stirrers, wooden popsicle sticks, or rock candy
Skewers - avoid paper lollipop sticks as they will start to fall apart as they sit in the hot chocolate; I used plastic coffee stirrers)

1.    Directions:
Whisk cocoa powder, confectioners' sugar, and salt (plus any dried flavoring, if using) in a large bowl.
2.    Place the chopped chocolate (plus any extract, if using) in the top half of a double boiler set over barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until fully melted. Remove bowl from heat and wipe the bottom dry.
3.    Using a rubber spatula, scrape the melted chocolate into your dry ingredients. Fold in until mixture is smooth and ingredients are evenly incorporated.
4.    Transfer mixture to a heavy-duty Ziploc bag. Or pastry bag Snip one corner and pipe into your mold. Tap the mold on your countertop to evenly level the mixture. Working with one cube at a time, add your stick/stirrer (plus any topping, if using). Let sit until it has hardened, which will take 3-4 hours (you can place in the fridge to speed things up, which should harden the cubes within an hour).
5.    Remove cubes from your molds, wrap, and store at room temperature.
6.    To serve: heat up 4-6 ounces of milk, add a cube, and stir until dissolved (be sure to include directions if giving these as a gift).

Homemade Butterscotch Hot Cocoa Mix
YIELD: 8 cups

Ingredients:
3 cups Powdered Milk
2 cups Powdered Sugar
1 cup White Chocolate Chips
2 cups Butterscotch Chips
1 ½ cups Cocoa Powder
¼ tsp Salt

Directions:
1.    In a large bowl whisk together, milk powder, sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Stir in the white chocolate and butterscotch chips.
2.    In batches, add mixture to a food processor. Process until it becomes a powder. Repeat the process with remaining mixture. If the mixture is still coarse, sift the powder through a mesh strainer and reprocess the pieces until it becomes powdery.
3.    For making cocoa - stir in ⅓ cup of the mix into 1 cup steamed milk. Mix until dissolved and sip.



Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Gift Sticks
A wonderful gift for mixing in hot coco or fancy coffee

Base Marshmallow Recipe
 
Makes 1 9x13 pan of marshmallows

If you desire tall marshmallows pour the marshmallow into an 8x8 pan instead of a 9x13.
Serves: Makes 20-30 marshmallows

INGREDIENTS
Nonstick Cooking Spray
1 C. Cold Water, divided
3 -1/4 oz. packets Unflavored Gelatin (3/4 oz. total or 3 packages at .25 oz. each)
2 C. Sugar
⅔ C. Light Corn Syrup
¼ t. Salt
2 t. Vanilla Extract
½ C. Powdered Sugar
½ C. Cornstarch

Directions
1.    Line 13x9x2-inch or 8x8 inch metal baking pan with foil or parchment
2.    Coat foil lightly with nonstick spray.
3.    Pour ½ cup cold water into bowl of heavy-duty mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Sprinkle gelatin over water. Let stand until gelatin softens and absorbs water, at least 15 minutes.
4.    Combine 2 cups sugar, corn syrup, and salt and remaining ½ cup cold water in heavy medium saucepan.
5.    Stir over medium/low heat until sugar dissolves, brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush.
6.    Attach candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat and bring syrup to boil. Boil, without stirring, until syrup reaches 240°F, about 8 minutes.
7.    With mixer running at low speed, slowly pour hot syrup into gelatin mixture in thin stream down side of bowl (avoid pouring syrup onto whisk, as it may splash). Gradually increase speed to high and beat until mixture is very thick and stiff, about 15 minutes.
8.    Add vanilla and beat to blend, about 30 seconds longer.
9.    Scrape the marshmallow mixture into prepared pan.
10.    Smooth top with wet spatula. Let stand uncovered at room temperature until firm, about 4 hours.
11.    Stir cornstarch and powdered sugar in small bowl to blend. Sift generous dusting of starch-sugar mixture onto work surface, forming rectangle slightly larger than 13x9 inches.
12.    Turn marshmallow slab out onto starch-sugar mixture; peel off foil. Sift more starch-sugar mixture over marshmallow slab. Coat large sharp knife (or cookie cutters) with nonstick spray.
13.    Cut marshmallows into squares. I cut them into squares that are about 1½"x1½".
    Toss each in remaining starch-sugar mixture to coat. Transfer marshmallows to rack, shaking off excess mixture.
    Store the marshmallows in an air-tight container.

Making Sticks
1.    Dust your work surface with a mixture of 1/2 cornstarch 1/2 powdered sugar, as well as a sharp knife. Invert your pan of marshmallows out onto the surface. Slice the marshmallows into 1 1/2″ wide strips. Then slice the strips into squares.

2.    Skewer the marshmallows on wooden sticks so that about 1/2″ of the skewer sticks through the bottom of the marshmallow. Invert your pan of caramel onto a piece of parchment paper.

3.    Cut off the ends of your caramel so that the sides are straight up and down. Place a marshmallow on top of the caramel to gauge how wide to cut your strips of caramel. Cut the caramel into strips with a sharp knife.

4.    Cut the caramel strips into squares (they should be the same size as your marshmallows). Skewer the caramel onto the marshmallow stick. There should still be a small amount of stick poking through.

5.    Invert your pan of ganache onto a piece of parchment. Line up your marshmallow caramel skewers, pressing the tip of the skewer into the ganache. Slice of the ends of the ganache with a hot knife so that the sides are even. Still using a hot knife, slice down the sides of each skewer, separating each cube from the block. Pat coarse salt onto the caramel and keep refrigerated.


Candy Cane Hot Cocoa Pops

Candy Cane Hot Cocoa Pops are both a fun craft recipe, gift idea and a delicious way to make peppermint hot chocolate from scratch. Mini Dixie cups are filled with melted chocolate, itty bitty marshmallows all on a candy cane stem that when hardened is a stirring stick to turn plain hot milk into a magical winter treat!

Ingredients
Chocolate chips (1 cup for 3 hot cocoa pops)
Marshmallow Bits (1 tablespoon per hot cocoa pop)
3 ounce bathroom size Dixie cups (non-waxed); plan to use 2 per pop
Full size candy canes, unwrapped
Heavy duty tin foil, cut into pieces large enough to fit over the top of the Dixie but and drape over the sides

Lollipop plastic wrappers (or small treat bags) for wrapping pops if desired
String or twist ties if using wrappers


Instructions
1.    Determine the number of pops you will make and calculate the amount of chocolate chips, marshmallow bits, candy canes and Dixie cups needed. Nest two Dixie cups together for each pop.
2.    In a double boiler or in a metal mixing bowl over a pan of boiling water, place the amount of chocolate chips needed for the number of pops being made. Stir often until the chocolate has melted fully.
3.    Fill the inner Dixie cup to be half-full with melted chocolate.
4.    Pour desired amount of chocolate in the cup. Place foil over the cup, make a small slit in the middle of the foil only large enough for the candy cane, slide candy cane into the chocolate. Allow to harden.
5.    Place a piece of foil over the top of the Dixie cup (don't fold the sides down). Add a slit in the middle only large enough to insert the candy cane (any larger will not hold the candy cane in place). Slide the long end through the slit in the foil, into the middle of the chocolate until it touches the bottom of the cup. Hold in place with your hand while distributing one tablespoon of Marshmallow Bits around the top of the chocolate to cover. Push some into the chocolate to secure.

6.    Slide the foil down over the top of the cup and fold over on the sides to secure it around the cup and hold the candy cane upright in the middle of the cup. Please in the refrigerator to fully harden.
7.    Once the chocolate has hardened, approximately an hour, remove the outer Dixie cup and discard. Peel the inner cup away from the chocolate to release the pop. Wrap and attach a label for a gift if desired.
8.    To make Chocolate stripes: Pour desired amount of chocolate in the cup. Excess chocolate on the inside of the cup above the top of the first layer may be wiped off with a cotton swab (or it will be visible in the second layer of chocolate). Follow instructions for securing the candy cane with foil (do NOT add the marshmallows until the final layer of chocolate); allow to harden in the refrigerator fo r 30 minutes until set. Remove from the refrigerator, slide the foil up the candy cane, pour the next layer of chocolate and return to the refrigerator to set. Repeat until desired layers are complete to fill the Dixie cup half full. Add marshmallows and allow to fully set.
9.    To Use: Swirl the pop in a cup of 8 ounces hot milk to dissolve the chocolate to make Peppermint Hot Chocolate. Additional stirring with a spoon may be necessary if the candy cane melts before the chocolate is fully dissolved.

Holiday Irish Cream
Wonderful in coffee coco or on the rocks
 Cream will be fresh for 2 months if refrigerated.
Ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 2/3 cups Irish whiskey
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
In a blender, combine heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, Irish whiskey, instant coffee, chocolate syrup, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Blend on high for 20 to 30 seconds.  Pour into sanitized jars or bottles for gift giving.

Festive Orange Cranberry Vodka
Ingredients
1 pound fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean, split
2 oranges, peels cut into 2-inch strips
1 (750-ml) bottle vodka

Lime slices, for garnish

Directions
1. Place cranberries, sugar and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Place pan over medium heat and stir. Simmer cranberry mixture until the berries burst, about 5 to 6 minutes.

2. Place orange peels in a large glass container with an airtight lid, or large mason jars with lids. Pour vodka over the orange peels.

3. Allow the cranberry mixture to cool. Pour the cooled mixture into the glass container(s). Cover tightly and set aside for 1 week. After 1 week, strain out the cranberries sand orange peels and pour mixture into a clean bottle, using a funnel. Store vodka in the refrigerator.

Serve with tonic water and lime over ice

PURE FOOD 2 U ENCHANTED NOG
3 cups Whole Organic Milk
1 cup Heavy Organic Cream
8 Tablespoons raw organic sugar
1 cup Dark rum
1 cup heavy cream (whipped until soft peaks)
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick

Bring 2 cups (out of 3) milk and spices to a boil in medium sauce pan
1.    Mix egg yolk and sugar in bowl and Wisk
2.    Steam warm milk and Wisk into egg-sugar mixture, whisking constantly
3.    Pour back into sauce pan, heat on low an additional 2-3 minutes.
4.    Remove from heat and stir in remaining milk and cream.  Chill down quickly in ice bath in an open vessel in fridge.
5.    Add rum and fold in whip cream.
6.    Pour in glass, garnish with sprinkle of nutmeg.

***Non-Alcoholic:  Replace rum with 2 tsp. of rum extract.

Holiday Sugar, Sparkle and Sweet Treats!

Add little bling to your holiday dessert table

    Sparkle up your holidays with simmering sweets! Marshmallows of many flavors in tall glass vessels
    cupcakes with cotton candy puffs or Swiss meringue rolled in fun sparkling sugars
    fun holiday parfaits; layering different holiday mousses
    purchase small donuts; frost with royal icing and dust with bling sanding sugars
    Try the edible food sprays for cakes on your cupcakes, donuts, cookies or whatever you want to fancy up!


Base Marshmallow Recipe
 
Makes 1 9x13 pan of marshmallows

If you desire tall marshmallows pour the marshmallow into an 8x8 pan instead of a 9x13.
Serves: Makes 20-30 marshmallows

INGREDIENTS
Nonstick Cooking Spray
1 C. Cold Water, divided
3 -1/4 oz. packets Unflavored Gelatin (3/4 oz. total or 3 packages at .25 oz. each)
2 C. Sugar
⅔ C. Light Corn Syrup
¼ t. Salt
2 t. Vanilla Extract
½ C. Powdered Sugar
½ C. Cornstarch

Directions
1.    Line 13x9x2-inch or 8x8 inch metal baking pan with foil or parchment
2.    Coat foil lightly with nonstick spray.
3.    Pour ½ cup cold water into bowl of heavy-duty mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Sprinkle gelatin over water. Let stand until gelatin softens and absorbs water, at least 15 minutes.
4.    Combine 2 cups sugar, corn syrup, and salt and remaining ½ cup cold water in heavy medium saucepan.
5.    Stir over medium/low heat until sugar dissolves, brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush.
6.    Attach candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat and bring syrup to boil. Boil, without stirring, until syrup reaches 240°F, about 8 minutes.
7.    With mixer running at low speed, slowly pour hot syrup into gelatin mixture in thin stream down side of bowl (avoid pouring syrup onto whisk, as it may splash). Gradually increase speed to high and beat until mixture is very thick and stiff, about 15 minutes.
8.    Add vanilla and beat to blend, about 30 seconds longer.
9.    Scrape the marshmallow mixture into prepared pan.
10.    Smooth top with wet spatula. Let stand uncovered at room temperature until firm, about 4 hours.
11.    Stir cornstarch and powdered sugar in small bowl to blend. Sift generous dusting of starch-sugar mixture onto work surface, forming rectangle slightly larger than 13x9 inches.
12.    Turn marshmallow slab out onto starch-sugar mixture; peel off foil. Sift more starch-sugar mixture over marshmallow slab. Coat large sharp knife (or cookie cutters) with nonstick spray.
13.    Cut marshmallows into squares. I cut them into squares that are about 1½"x1½".
    Toss each in remaining starch-sugar mixture to coat. Transfer marshmallows to rack, shaking off excess mixture.
    Store the marshmallows in an air-tight container.
You can also add flavorings to your marshmallows. Here are some variations below:
For espresso, just add 2 Tablespoons of espresso powder to step 3.
For chocolate, add 1 ¼ cup sifted cocoa powder to step 11.
For strawberry, add ⅔ cup of seedless strawberry jam to step 4.

Swiss Meringue Butter Cream

5 large egg whites
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of almond extract (optional)

Directions
Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).

Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, about 10 minutes.

With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla and almond extract. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day.

Easy Royal Icing
3 ounces pasteurized egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 cups sifted powdered sugar

In large bowl of stand mixer combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until frothy. Add confectioners' sugar gradually and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny. Turn speed up to high and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add food coloring or flavorings such as lemon extract or almond extract, if desired. For immediate use, transfer icing to pastry bag or heavy duty storage bag and pipe as desired. If using storage bag, clip corner. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days

Peppermint Cake Cheeseball

16 oz (2 blocks). Cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 package (about 3 cups) funfetti cake mix
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 ½ cups crushed candy canes or holiday sprinkles

Directions
1.    Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment beat together the cream cheese and the butter until fully incorporated.
2.    Add the cake mix, sugar, and vanilla extract and beat until fully incorporated.
3.    Beat in ½ cup sprinkles until somewhat evenly distributed.
4.    Lay out a piece of plastic wrap and scoop the cream cheese mixture onto it.
5.    Do your best to form a ball, then wrap up the ball in the plastic wrap. Do an extra layer of plastic wrap to help it keep its shape.
6.    Freeze for about 2 hours.
7.    Take the ball out of the freezer and unwrap.
8.    Place the sprinkles in a low shallow baking dish or jelly roll pan (I find a plate too small).
9.    Roll the ball in the sprinkles making sure you cover as much of it as you can.
10.    Wrap the ball back up into some plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
11.    If not serving that day, place back in the freezer and then take out an hour before serving to come up to room temperature.
12.    Serve with assorted cookies.

Click here for more information about 2 Unique Caterers & Event Planners.


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories