Snowman Marshmallows & Hot Cocoa
Hello everybody! :) Grab a blanket and get cozy under it, because you came to the right place for a Christmas/Winter feeling :)
*None of these pictures are mine unless otherwise stated*
Homemade Peppermint Whipped Cream! (recipe)
~Spiced Pumpkin Eggnog~
- 8 eggs, separated
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups dark rum or brandy
- Whipped cream (optional)
- Freshly grated nutmeg
Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on low speed until frothy, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and, watching carefully, beat until they are about the consistency of shaving cream, about 90 seconds. Reduce speed to medium. With mixer running, add half of sugar and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Transfer whites to a large bowl. Do not wash bowl.
- Add egg yolks and remaining sugar to now-empty stand mixer bowl and beat at medium-high speed until pale yellow and ribbony, shutting off machine and scraping down sides with a rubber spatula as necessary, about 2 minutes total. Add pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and allspice and mix on medium-low speed until homogenous, about 15 seconds. Add milk, cream, and alcohol and mix on low speed to combine.
- Using a rubber spatula or handheld whisk, fold the whipped whites into the egg yolk/milk mixture until completely incorporated. Serve by ladling into goblets and garnishing with whipped cream (if desired), grated nutmeg, and a cinnamon stick if desired.
From : Serious Eats
10 No-Cook Food Gift Ideas
- Gather up treasured family recipes and copy them into a colorful purchased journal. Or, print them on pretty recipe cards fitted into a categorized recipe box.
- Purchase candycanes or any interesting-flavored candy sticks. Dip them in melted semi-sweet chocolate and let harden. Wrap in cellophane with bows to be used as coffee or tea stirrers. These are nice tucked into a pretty coffee mug.
- Purchase several small herb plants and nestle them together in a pretty basket with a favorite recipe card for using each herb.
- A bottle of wine with an IOU for a home-cooked meal makes a terrific gift for that person constantly on the go.
- For a nice hostess gift, purchase a small Styrofoam cone. Using toothpicks to attach, cover with fresh cranberries. Use whole clove studs interspersed and leftover pine clippings or fresh herbs as a decorative base.
- Purchase a salt mill or pepper grinder and package with gourmet salt or peppercorns.
- Line a large, heavy oven mitt with colored cellophane, fill with gourmet jellybeans or nuts, and tie with a bright ribbon.
- For families with children, fill a cookie jar with cookie decorating accessories such as small bottles of neon food coloring, colored sugars, candy sprinkles, jimmies, and cookie cutters. Do not forget to include your favorite cookie recipe.
- Purchase a bundt cake with the hole in the center. Make a small nosegay of silk flowers in an inexpensive miniature bud vase and place in the center. Wrap with colored cellophane and a bow.
- Purchase a decorative ceramic loaf pan and fill with quick bread mixes.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
- 1-1/2 cups whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2-1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons baking soda
- 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1-1/3 cups light or dark molasses
- 9 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons water
- 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
- Line 12 x 15-inch rimless baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.
- In a small bowl, whip cream and vanilla until it holds soft peaks. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon. Beat in the molasses and whipped cream mixture until well-combined.
- With mixer running, gradually add flour, beating until completely mixed.
- Lightly flour a pastry board or mat. Roll out a portion of the dough until flat, but not so thin that you cannot pick it up without it tearing. Drape it over the rolling pin and move to the prepared baking sheet.
- Continue rolling the dough to an even thickness on the baking sheet. This is easily achieved by placing two equally thick wooden strips on either side of the baking sheet to support the rolling pin. An even thickness is important. Lower areas will bake darker in color and be more brittle. You will need about 2 cups of dough for each 1/8-inch thickness, about 4 cups for each 1/4-inch slab, and about 6 cups for each 3/8-inch slab.
- Bake two sheets of dough at a time. Bake until fairly firm in the center. The temperature and time will vary with the thickness of the slab. For 1/8-thick slabs, bake in preheated 300 F. oven for about 1 hour; for 1/4-inch slabs, bake at 275 F. about 1-3/4 hours; and for 3/8-inch slabs, bake at 275 F. about 2-1/4 hours.
- After 30 minutes, position your gingerbread house pattern cut-outs as close together as possible on the sheet of cookies. Cut around the pattern with a sharp knife, remove the pattern, and separate the scrap pieces (may be baked later to eat). Return house pieces to the oven, swapping their rack positions, and continue to bake.
- While the pieces are baking, any remaining dough may be rolled out for cookies or additional decorative gingerbread house pieces.
- When pieces are finished baking, loosen gently with a flat spatula and let them cool on the sheet another 5 to 10 minutes before moving to a rack to cool completely.
- At this point, you may wrap the gingerbread house pieces airtight in plastic wrap and store up to one month. Or proceed to assemble and decorate your house or cookies using icing cement (below).
- Yield: about 9 cups dough, or 4-1/2 slabs 1/8 inch thick, 2-1/2 slabs 1/4 inch thick, or 1-1/2 slabs 3/8 inch thick. Each full slab is 10 by 15 inches.
- Beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and water until frothy. Blend in sugar on high speed until stiff, 5 to 10 minutes. Use immediately or cover and use within 8 hours.
- Yield: about 1-1/2 cups icing
Peppermint Ice Cream
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 4 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup crushed peppermint candies
- In a heavy saucepan, whisk egg yolks, half-and-half, sugar and salt. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture reaches 160 degrees F and coats the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the heat. Place pan in a bowl of ice water; stir for 2 minutes. Stir in whipping cream and vanilla. Press plastic wrap onto surface of custard. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- Fill cylinder of ice cream freezer two-thirds full. (Refrigerate any remaining mixture until ready to freeze.) Freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Stir in peppermint candy. Allow to ripen in ice cream freezer or firm up in the refrigerator freeze for 2-4 hours before serving.
Candy Manor Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Adapted from Lora Brody’s “Chocolate American Style” via Ezra Poundcake
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 cup (8 ounces) heavy cream, chilled
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, grated (I used bittersweet)
1 quart (32 ounces) whole milk
1/3 cup (3 ounces) sugar
1/3 cup (3 ounces) boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract (recommended: Boyajian)
Crushed candy cane, garnish
Chocolate shavings, garnish
1. For the Whipped Cream: Place the cream, powdered sugar in a chilled mixing bowl, and beat on high speed until soft peaks form. Refrigerate the whipped cream.
2. For the Hot Chocolate: Place the chocolate in a 2 1/2-quart metal mixing bowl. Place the bowl over (but not touching) a pan of simmering water. (The bowl will seem large, but you need the space to mix in the milk.) Stir the chocolate occasionally with a rubber spatula.
3. In the meantime, pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan. Whisk in the sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the milk begins to simmer and bubbles form around the edge. Turn off the heat.
4. When the chocolate has melted, reduce the heat so the water under the pan barely simmers. Pour the 1/3 cup of boiling water into the melted chocolate, and whisk or beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Dribble in the hot milk mixture as you whisk. When the ingredients are well incorporated, remove the bowl from the water bath, and stir in the vanilla and peppermint.
5. To serve, ladle the hot chocolate into mugs, and top with a generous dollop of the whipped cream. Garnish with crushed candy canes and chocolate shavings.
Notes: The whipped cream can be infused with peppermint extract and crushed candy canes. Just include 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (recommended: Boyajian) with the other ingredients and fold in 2 tablespoons crushed peppermint candy at the end.
Homemade Peppermint Whipped Cream for your hot cocoa…Ingredients
6 red and white peppermint candy canes or 24 red and white mini peppermint candy canes
2 cups of whipping cream„,Directions
Unwrap your candy canes and place them in a blender or food processor.
Process the candy canes until they are a fairly fine powder.
In another bowl, whip cream until firm.
No need to add sugar. The sweetness will come from the candy canes.
Fold in the candy cane powder in the cream. Use immediately to top you cocoa if you like little pieces of crunchy candy cane in it (This is the way I like it). Or place in the refrigerator for 2 hours and allow the candy canes to completely dissolve.