The holiday season is officially in full swing now. I, for one, am beyond excited about this time of year. Not only do I get to spend more time at home with my family (baby it’s cold outside!), I am able to share that time around the table eating delicious food because let’s face it, isn’t that what the holiday season is all about?
I tend to make quick breakfasts most days but during December, I like to pull out all the stops and really enjoy comfort food leading up to Christmas. I first found the Spiced Eggnog Pancakes recipe on the BHG site and started getting excited like a kid in a candy store.
I am the biggest fan of eggnog. It is so comforting, decadent and just plain delicious. I pretty much throw a cup of it in everything I make during the holiday season. I knew these eggnog pancakes would be absolutely splendid for a family brunch or even Christmas morning.
I made no changes to the eggnog pancake recipe because I knew they would be perfect. The one thing that could jazz them up even further was the addition of cranberries. The color just screams holiday season so I love to add it to my recipes like this Eggnog Pancakes with Maple Cranberry Syrup recipe. I created the super simple syrup concoction by doing the following:
- I added 2 cups of fresh cranberries (you can also use frozen) to a pan along with 1 cup of pure maple syrup and 2 tablespoons of butter.
- I simmered the syrup until the cranberries began to burst a bit and soften and the syrup was warmed through. Once the syrup thickened and blended together, I poured the sauce over each stack of pancakes.
I loved the tartness of the cranberries mixed with the sweetness and woodsy taste of the pure maple syrup. It was such a great winter twist that I can’t wait to try again on Christmas morning.
For those still recovering from holiday baking fatigue, this New Year’s Eve dessert is a low-fuss, show-stopping dessert. To start, I used the white chocolate pot de crème recipe from here and topped it with the cranberry filling recipe from here. For a festive finish I rimmed the glasses with some gold disco dust.
Aside from being totally easy, the best part of this dessert—the creamy chocolate against the sweetness of cranberries will have you reaching for seconds between champagne sips.
Here’s to ringing in 2014! Cheers!
*Note: To rim the glass, chill the pot de crème, place a teaspoon of disco dust in the palm of your hand; turn and press the sides of the glass into the disco dust.
Hello! I’m Kate of Cookie and Kate, where I share simple, fresh vegetarian recipes. I hope you got your fill of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving because I have a delightfully different cold weather dessert to share. This Apple Cranberry Crisp is neither too sweet nor too heavy. If you get a hankering for a lighter dessert to tide you over until the decadent Christmas desserts arrive, this is it.
To tell you the truth, I’m not much of a baker. The sheer thought of attempting pie crust and layered cakes makes me whimper. I do, however, love crisps and crumbles, because they are genuinely foolproof and don’t require any special equipment. Although they may not be as beautiful as their pie cousins, the truth is that they taste just as good.
I couldn’t resist this crisp recipe in particular because it contains fresh cranberries. I adore cranberries for their tart yet sweet flavor, and because they add vibrant pops of color to otherwise drab dishes. Unlike summer berries, which are wonderful in their raw state, cranberries need to be cooked in order to develop their irresistible sweetness. I am always looking for an excuse to fire up the stove or oven during the winter, so I appreciate cranberries for obliging. I really have no desire for strawberries and blueberries in the winter; it’s all about the cranberries!
I made a few simple modifications to this recipe to enhance its flavor and nutrition profile. For starters, I sweetened the apple and cranberry mixture with honey instead of granulated sugar and added two tablespoons of chopped candied ginger for extra kick. I also used old-fashioned oats instead of quick-cooking oats (since that’s what I had on hand) and whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose flour.
I used real butter in place of margarine, but next time, I’ll add an extra tablespoon or two. The recipe calls for very little butter as it is and I probably just didn’t cut it in well enough, but I felt like the crisp would have benefitted from a bit more fat and moisture. Regardless, this crisp was absolutely delicious, especially for breakfast the next day! I served mine with Greek yogurt, but if I had had ice cream in the freezer, I would have reached for that instead. Some cold, creamy ice cream would balance out the tart cranberries nicely.
If you happen to have apples and cranberries on hand, you could enjoy this crisp in just under an hour. If you’re wondering how many apples yields 5 cups of chopped apples, you’ll only need 2 large to 3 medium. Here’s the recipe!