Crowd pleasers

The sights and sounds of the holidays are all around. Even better, so are the tastes.



 Our calendars are full of opportunities to share and taste the foods of the season. For many of us, it’s a busy time, but we don’t want to miss a minute of it. Our favorite, most decadent foods of the year are at the cookie exchanges, office potlucks, holiday happy hours, brunches and family get-togethers that make the holidays memorable.

Let this be your mini cookbook for the season. Sprinkle in these recipes with family favorites and kitchen experiments as you share a meal — or just a cookie — with those you love.

 

 

Christmas morning

Eggnog Pancakes

Start a new Christmas morning tradition with these spiced pancakes. The batter comes together in a wink, and you can’t beat hot pancakes with sides of bacon or sausage. Be sure to use your best maple syrup — it is Christmas, after all. 

Makes 1 dozen

2     cups all-purpose flour 

4     teaspoons baking powder 

½    teaspoon salt 

¼    teaspoon ground nutmeg 

½    teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

2     eggs 

1 ½ cups eggnog 

1     tablespoon sugar

2     tablespoons butter, melted

 

In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, eggnog, sugar and butter; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Do not overmix.

Preheat griddle over medium heat. Lightly grease griddle. Pour batter by ¼ cupfuls onto griddle, then cook until bottoms are golden brown. Turn, and cook until second side is golden brown.

 



 

Cookie exchange

Molten Lava Cookies

This is it: your ticket to the annual cookie exchange. A rich chocolate cookie filled with Nutella — the one everyone will be talking about. 

The first cookie exchange I went to was years ago at my friend Kim’s house, and I loved bringing home a collection of cookies — some of which I never would have thought to make myself. When it comes to a cookie exchange, it’s fun to step out of the box a little with a new recipe to share with friends. Trust me, they will love this one.

Makes about 18 cookies

1     cup unsalted butter, softened

1 ½ cup brown sugar, packed

2     large eggs

1     teaspoon vanilla extract

2     cups all-purpose flour 

½    cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½    teaspoon salt

1     teaspoon baking powder

1     cup granulated sugar

1     cup Nutella

¼    cup coarse sugar

 

In a mixing bowl, beat butter and brown sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stop to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each. Beat in vanilla.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture. Shape dough into a disk, cover with plastic and
refrigerate 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle board with granulated sugar. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie. Place on top of sugar on work surface, and roll into balls, then flatten into 4-inch rounds using a rolling pin. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

Place 1 tablespoon Nutella in middle of each cookie. Pull up edges of dough, pinching closed to surround filling. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet, pinched-side down. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until firm to touch. Remove from cookie sheets to cool.

 



 

Busy shopping day

Slow-Cooked White Chicken Chili

Turn on the crockpot as you head out the door for a day of shopping, and it will be ready when you are. Try it with a cheesy jalapeño cornbread.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

4      boneless, skinless chicken breasts

3 (15-ounce) cans white beans, drained

2 (15-ounce) cans corn, drained

2      cups chicken broth

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies

2      teaspoons ground cumin

½     teaspoon ground oregano

¼     teaspoon cayenne pepper

1      teaspoon kosher salt

½     teaspoon ground black pepper

Shredded cheese, sour cream and chopped cilantro, for garnish

 

Place all ingredients in slow cooker, and cook on low for 6 hours. 

Remove chicken, shred with a fork, and return to slow cooker. Serve soup with shredded cheese, sour cream and chopped cilantro.

 

 



 

Children's holiday party

Sprinkle Cookies

You might be in that life stage where you attend as many parties for kids as you do for adults. My children’s social calendars light up around the holidays, with class parties and get-togethers with friends. This is a great cookie to share with children because, well, sprinkles. Callebaut chocolate and browned butter may be wasted on 7-year-olds, but not sprinkles. 

Makes 2 dozen

1      cup unsalted butter, softened

1      cup sugar

1      egg

1      teaspoon almond or vanilla extract

2 ½  cups all-purpose flour

1      teaspoon kosher salt

½     cup colorful sprinkles or nonpareils

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, occasionally scraping sides of bowl. Beat in egg and extract.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, and roll each in sprinkles.

Place balls of dough 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass. Place in freezer, freezing until firm, about 15 minutes.

Bake 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool a minute before removing from cookie sheet and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

 

 



 

Hanukkah dinner

Wine-Braised Brisket

Make this brisket the day before your dinner to streamline your cooking. It’s perfect with potato latkes for Hanukkah or with creamy garlic mashed potatoes for a
Christmas Eve dinner.

Serves 6

2     tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped

2     teaspoons kosher salt

½    teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 (3-pound) beef brisket

1     tablespoon olive oil

1     large red onion, sliced

1 (14.5-ounce) can low-sodium beef broth

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1     cup dry red wine

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix thyme, salt and pepper, and rub over brisket.

Place a roasting pan on the stove, heating oil over medium-high heat. Depending on the size of your pan, you might need to place the pan over two burners. Brown brisket on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a rimmed plate or cutting board.

Cook onion in roasting pan juices, stirring for a couple of minutes until onion is softened. Stir in broth, tomato sauce and wine.

Place brisket back in roasting pan, along with pan juices, and cover with foil. Cook at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Remove from oven, flip brisket and baste with pan juices, recover with foil and cook another
1 ½ to 2 hours or until very tender. (You can serve the brisket at this point, though it’s best to skim the fat from the sauce first.)

To serve the next day, place brisket and juices in roasting pan overnight. Remove brisket, and thinly slice. Remove fat from sauce, then replace sliced brisket in pan. Reheat at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

 

 



 

Skating at Winterfest

Spiked Apple Cider

So many Tulsans have made a night of ice skating at Winterfest part of their holiday traditions. Bundling up and heading downtown to the ice rink is fun for the young and old. Keep the fun going at home with aprés-skating drinks and snacks. This cider is perfect for a cold night, and it stays warm in a slow cooker while you’re out.

Makes about 8 cups

1 (64-ounce) bottle apple cider   

2      tablespoons brown sugar   

1      orange, cut into wedges   

Dash ground nutmeg   

3 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks, plus more for garnish  

2      teaspoons whole cloves   

1      teaspoon whole allspice   

½     cup dark rum (optional)    

 

In a slow cooker, add cider, brown sugar, orange, nutmeg and cinnamon sticks. Place cloves and allspice in cheesecloth or a coffee filter, tie with twine, and add to slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 hours. Just before serving, add rum. Garnish with extra cinnamon sticks.

 

 



 

New Year’s Eve appetizer

Crostini with Pimento Cheese, Candied Bacon and Jalapeño

Finger foods are a good match for New Year’s Eve. A drink in one hand leaves you free to pick up a bite or two (or 10) with the other. The closer it gets to midnight, the hungrier your guests will be, so you might want to double the recipe.

Makes 2 dozen

1      baguette

1      pound sharp cheddar cheese

4-ounce jar pimentos

1      cup mayonnaise

½     teaspoon garlic powder

½     teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

¼     teaspoon cayenne pepper

½     pound candied bacon (or plain cooked, crisp bacon is fine), broken into pieces

½     cup sliced candied jalapeños

 

To make pimento cheese, grate cheese in food processor. Stir grated cheese with pimentos, mayonnaise, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne. This can be made a day or two ahead of time.

To assemble: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the baguette, drizzle each with olive oil and toast in oven for about 5 minutes.

Spread a thick layer of pimento cheese on each slice of toasted bread, and cook an additional 5 minutes. Once out of the oven, top with bacon and a jalapeño slice. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

 

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August 2019

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