From the CATE Center’s Holiday Baking Class below you will find four mouthwatering, holiday recipes.
Chocolate Almond Crinkle Cookies
Makes about 7 dozen cookies
- 2/3 cup almonds
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 6 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (no more than 60% cacao if marked), finely chopped
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
Toast almonds in a shallow baking pan in oven until skins split and nuts are pale golden, about 10 minutes. Cool nuts completely. Pulse nuts with granulated sugar in a food processor until finely chopped.
Melt chocolate in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water or in top of a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and set aside.
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
Beat together butter and brown sugar in another bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in melted chocolate until combined. Add milk and vanilla, beating to incorporate. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Stir in nut mixture. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill dough until firm, 2 to 3 hours.
Form and bake cookies:
Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift confectioners sugar into a bowl. Halve dough and chill 1 half, wrapped in plastic wrap. Roll remaining half into 1-inch balls, placing them on a sheet of wax paper as rolled. Roll balls, 3 or 4 at a time, in confectioners sugar to coat generously and arrange 2 inches apart on lined baking sheets.
Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are puffed and cracked and edges feel dry (but centers are still slightly soft), 12 to 18 minutes total. Transfer cookies (still on parchment) to racks to cool completely.
While first batch is baking, roll remaining dough into balls. Line cooled cookie sheets with fresh parchment, then coat balls with confectioners sugar and bake in same manner.
note: Cookies keep, layered between sheets of parchment or wax paper, in an airtight container at room temperature 5 days
Never-ever-fail chocolate fudge
Quantity: Approximately 8 dozen pieces
- 12 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 cups toasted walnut, pecan, macadamia, or other nuts, chopped, optional
- 10 tbsps unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 20 large marshmallows
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 5-oz cans evaporated milk
Combine the chocolate pieces, nuts (if using), butter, and vanilla in a large heatproof bowl. Set aside.
Place the marshmallows, sugar, and evaporated milk in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Continuing to stir, boil for exactly 6 minutes.
Remove from the heat and immediately pour the marshmallow mixture into the chocolate mixture; beat constantly until creamy. Quickly pour into the prepared pan or platter, pushing slightly with the back of a wooden spoon to spread the fudge evenly.
Cool for at least 1 hour before cutting into pieces. Serve at room temperature.
Hot Cocoa Cookies
- 4 oz unsalted butter
- 20 oz. Chocolate (12oz chopped)
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups (packed) light brown sugar
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 30 marshmallows
Method of Preparation:
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chopped chocolate, stirring frequently, over medium heat. Let cool for 15 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla at low speed until smooth, 2 minutes. Mix in the cooled chocolate mixture just until blended. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, mixing on low speed until just combined. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour. (If making the dough a day ahead, let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before shaping.)
- Position a rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat to 325 degrees . Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment. Using a tablespoon, scoop the dough and roll between your palms to form 1-inch balls. Arrange about 16 balls 2 inches apart on each cookie sheet, flattening slightly. Bake until the tops of the cookies crack, about 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, snip 8 marshmallows in half crosswise and stick 1 square of chocolate onto each of the cut sides.
- Remove the cookie sheets from the oven; gently press a marshmallow half, chocolate side down, into each cookie. Bake until the marshmallows are just softened, about 4 minutes. Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 5 minutes; grate the remaining chocolate over the hot cookies. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to the racks; let cool. Repeat the process with the remaining dough, marshmallows and chocolate. Bake each batch on a clean sheet of parchment.
Eggnog Bourbon Balls
- 1 cup crushed Vanilla wafer cookies (grind in food processor)
- 1 cup powdered confectioners sugar
- 1 cup ground pecans
- 1/4 cup Bourbon
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup (such as Karo)
- 10 ounces egg nog flavored candy melts such as Wilton Eggnog Candy Melts
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- In a medium bowl, add the ground wafer cookies, powdered sugar, pecans and cocoa powder. Stir to combine well. Add the bourbon and corn syrup and stir until the mixture comes together and is well incorporated. Using a small hinged scoop or a teaspoon, make balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mixture and place the baking sheet in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- Using a double boiler, add the egg nog candy melts to the top and melt slowly. Stir the candy melts just to combine. Drop one chilled bourbon ball in the candy and using a fork flip it over to coat. Tap the fork on the side of the double boiler to remove excess candy and place back on the parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the wet candy with a tiny pinch of ground nutmeg. Repeat with the remaining bourbon balls. Refrigerate or consume immediately.