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Homemade Hot Mocha
* 1 1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate
* 1/4 c. sugar
* 2 tbs. instant coffee
* 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
* 3/4 c. water
* 2 c. milk
1. Grate chocolate, and mix together with other ingredients (except for milk). Heat in a saucepan and simmer while chocolate melts. Stir until everything is evenly blended together.
2. Continue to simmer and stir for about five minutes. Then add milk and heat through, but don't let your chocolate mixture boil.
3. Remove from heat, and whisk until frothy. Serve hot chocolate immediately with whipped cream or marshmallows, if desired.
* 1 c. golden raisins
* 1 c. currants
* 1/2 c. sun dried cranberries
* 1/2 c. sun dried cherries
* Zest of one lemon, chopped coarsely
* Zest of one orange, chopped coarsely
* 1/4 c. candied ginger, chopped
* 1 c. gold rum
* 1 c. sugar
* 5 oz. unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks)
* 1 c. unfiltered apple juice
* 4 whole cloves, ground
* 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
* 1 tsp. ground ginger
* 1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
* 1 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1 tsp. baking soda
* 1 tsp. baking powder
* 2 eggs
* 1/4 to 1/2 c. toasted pecans, broken
* Brandy for basting and/or spritzing
1. Combine dried fruits, candied ginger and both zests. Add rum and macerate overnight, or microwave for five minute to re-hydrate fruit.
2. Place fruit and liquid in a non-reactive pot with the sugar, butter, apple juice and spices. Bring mixture to a boil stirring often, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for at least 15 minutes. (Batter can be completed up to this point, then covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before completing cake.)
3. Heat oven to 325F.
4. Combine dry ingredients and sift into fruit mixture. Quickly bring batter together with a large wooden spoon, then stir in eggs one at a time until completely integrated, then fold in nuts. Spoon into a 10-inch non-stick loaf pan and bake for one hour. Check for doneness by inserting toothpick into the middle of the cake.
5. Remove cake from oven and place on cooling rack or trivet. Baste or spritz top with brandy and allow to cool completely before turning out from pan.
Sugar cut-out cookies
* 4 c. sifted all-purpose flour
* 2 tps. baking powder
* 1 1/2 c. sugar
* 2 eggs
* 3/4 c. butter (1 1/2 sticks)
* 2 tsps. vanilla extract
* Colored icing, recipe follows
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a bowl, stir together flour and baking powder.
3. In another bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy and light. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture, a third at a time to make a stiff dough.
4. Divide dough into four pieces. Roll out a portion of cookie dough to 1/4 inch thick.
5. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters. Place on lightly greased or nonstick cookie sheets. Bake until lightly golden, about 10 mintues, rotating baking sheet halfway through cooking time.
6. Cool completely on pans for about five minutes, transfer to cooling racks and cool completely before decorating.
* 1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
* 1 1/2 Tbs. water
* 3 to 4 drops food coloring, plus more as needed
* Colored sprinkles, optional
In a small bowl, mix sugar and water to form a thick, smooth icing. Stir in food coloring to reach desired shade. Drop icing onto cookies using a small teaspoon and smooth with the back of the spoon. Make additional bowls for additional colors. Additional multi-colored sprinkles can be added on top of icing before it dries for more decorative cookies, if desired.
Baked Brunch Omelet
* 1/2 (1 lb.) loaf white bread, cut into cubes
* 1 1/2 lb. cheddar cheese, shredded
* 1 c. cubed cooked ham
* 8 eggs
* 2 c. milk
* 1 pinch salt
* 1 dash hot pepper sauce, or to taste
* 1/4 c. chopped green onion
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
2. Place half of the bread cubes on bottom of baking pan. Sprinkle with half of the ham and then half of the cheese; repeat.
3. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, salt, hot sauce and green onions. Pour egg mixture into pan.
4. Place pan on top of a baking sheet with a rim and place in oven. Pour water into baking sheet and bake for 60 minutes, or until eggs have set.