Homemade Hot Chocolate + New Treats to Make with It

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 9th, 2015

Homemade Hot Chocolate 3 WaysSipping from a steamy mug of hot chocolate, complete with bobbing marshmallows, is the surest sign that it’s the holiday season. Though making your own at home can be as easy as tearing open a packet of hot cocoa powder, mixing it with milk or water and zapping it all in the microwave, a more hands-on approach means that your blend can be tailor-made to your preferences. Follow Food Network Kitchen’s lead for Homemade Hot Chocolate, and watch how they spike the base blend for three wintry hot chocolate cocktails.

If you’re not making your own hot cocoa powder from scratch, there’s no shame in buying the store-bought blend by the packet. That said, if you have more hot cocoa powder on your hands than you know what to do with, we’ve got ways to use it for treats that might be even better than the drink.

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Chopped Junior-Inspired Lunchboxes: Potato Pancake Sandwich

by in Recipes, Shows, December 9th, 2015

Potato Pancake SandwichThere was definitely a holiday vibe in the Chopped Junior kitchen, and our contestants were thrown some pretty tough curveballs, like gingerbread houses and snowmen made from doughnuts. But we were mostly interested in using potato pancakes, an ingredient in the entree basket, as a bun for an easy sandwich perfect for a boxed lunch.

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Jeff Mauro’s Pecan Crescent Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, December 9th, 2015

12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques from your favorite Food Network chefs for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep.

Jeff Mauro dresses up buttery pecan cookies for a holiday soiree by rolling them in snowy powdered sugar until they’re generously coated. Be careful not to overbake these delicate crescent moons — burnt dough compromises their delicate flavor and results in a firmer cookie than is intended. You can trust that the bake times have been thoroughly tested: The Mauro family has been serving these cookies every Christmas for over 30 years. Jeff’s one piece of sage advice? Don’t try to sneak one. “These tempting cookies were nearly impossible to sneak a pre-holiday nibble of, because even one bite would yield a trail of powdered sugar all over the kitchen, your shirt and your mouth!” says The Kitchen co-host.

Get Jeff’s Pecan Crescent Cookies recipe, and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

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A Helping of Holiday Leftovers — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, December 8th, 2015


Everyone has leftover holiday food in the fridge after all the celebrations are over, and that’s exactly what was in the mystery basket from the Holiday Cooking episode of Chopped. On an all-new Chopped After Hours, judges Scott Conant, Aarón Sánchez and Geoffrey Zakarian were tasked with creating an entree with beef tenderloin, gingersnap cocktail, potato latkes and tzimmes.

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Goodbye, Pumpkin Spice. Hello, Peppermint!

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 8th, 2015

peppermint hot chocolateGet ready for peppermint everything. With the pumpkin spice craze behind us, it’s time for a more festive flavor trend. And no food embodies the spirit of the winter holidays quite like a shiny red-striped candy cane. Here’s our list of top peppermint-flavored treats to make this season.

Slow-Cooker Peppermint Hot Chocolate (pictured above)

This easy homemade recipe is thicker and more indulgent than your average hot chocolate. Stick a ladle directly in the pot, set up an add-ins bar with mini marshmallows, crushed peppermint candies and peppermint schnapps, then let guests serve themselves.

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One Recipe, Two Meals: Crispy Baked Chicken

by in Family, Recipes, December 8th, 2015

One Recipe, Two Meals: Crispy Baked ChickenLately I’ve been getting more into breading things. Some to fry, some to bake, some to just bread and say, “I breaded this.” It feels good for my life.

But let’s get real for a second. I think it’s obvious we can all agree that the best food to bread is a good ol’ chicken nugget. How can it not be? It’s a childhood favorite, and it’s grabbable, poppable and dippable. You can’t not. But while the classic nugget will never go out of style, I wanted to upgrade our adult portions to have the same taste, but with a slightly more polished end result.

So I created a super-yummy, super-crunchy baked chicken nugget for the kids, and I used the same crunchy coating and applied it to a more adult-friendly paillard-style chicken dish! Even though technically a paillard has no coating, mine does. I like to get loco like that.

Since the coating is the exact same for all the chicken, it’s a definite timesaver on a weeknight. Holla. You’ll serve the nuggets with some ketchup and steamed broccoli for the kids. And then you’ll just drape your paillards over some super-quick lemony linguine for you. And all is right in the world.

Let’s do this already.

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12 Things to Make With a Jar of Peanut Butter

by in Recipes, December 8th, 2015

Chocolate Peanut Butter PieSmooth. Creamy. Chunky. No matter your favorite kind of peanut butter, there’s no doubting just how versatile a jar of peanut butter can be, or how far it can go. While you already know that you can eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon or pair it with jelly on bread for a classic PB&J sandwich, the options don’t stop there. Try these 12 delicious recipes, all of which put a jar of peanut butter to good use.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
Peanut butter and chocolate make a great combo in this no-bake pie from Ree Drummond. Pairing a creamy mixture of peanut butter, cream cheese and whipped topping with a crunchy chocolate cookie crust, this pie is sure to make the sweet lover in your life smile.

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White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bars — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, December 8th, 2015

I know that white chocolate isn’t for everyone. It’s taken me a long time to warm up to the stuff myself. But I’ve recently learned one important fact about white chocolate: To find the best stuff, you must read the label.

True white chocolate is made from cocoa butter. To make cocoa butter, roasted cacao beans are ground into a fine paste. That paste is then run through a special press, which separates the cocoa mass from the cocoa butter. To make white chocolate, cocoa butter is then mixed with sugar and milk. Different chocolate manufacturers make different blends. In the United States, to even be called white chocolate, it must contain at least 20 percent cocoa butter. But for better flavor, look for something with an even higher percentage of cocoa butter. More cocoa butter makes for a more delicious product. Avoid white chocolate with fillers like oil and artificial flavor.

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Fans Show Off Their Guilty Food Pleasures: Merry Holiday Eats

by in Community, Shows, December 8th, 2015

Fans Show Up Their Guilty Food Pleasures: Merry Holiday EatsThe holiday season is in full swing, and with that comes a seemingly endless buffet of sweet and savory bites up for grabs — at the office cocktail party, the cookie swap with your friends, the family feast and just about everywhere else you look. In honor of last night’s all-new episode of Guilty Pleasures, which showcased your favorite chefs’ picks of classic and creative holiday-worthy plates from restaurants across the country, Food Network asked you, the fans, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to show us some of your favorite seasonal bites. And in true superfan fashion, you responded with some drool-worthy creations. Keep on reading to see our favorites.

Let’s just say that we’re having a hard time picking which cookie on @cheftini‘s piled-high platter we want to sample first. (Though we’re leaning heavily toward those three-layer rainbow beauties in the middle.)

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Over-the-Top Festive Eats: The Best Holiday Dishes on Top 5 Restaurants — Vote for Your Favorite

by in Shows, December 8th, 2015

skirt steakGoing out to eat for the holidays may seem like an unusual custom, but when you see the list of Top 5 Restaurants, you’ll wonder, “Why haven’t we done this sooner?” If you have a hankering for a succulent suckling pig, a perfectly done prime rib or a traditional Italian Christmas Eve feast, look no further. On the special holiday episode, hosts Geoffrey Zakarian and Sunny Anderson revealed the best places to get a great holiday meal along with a festive atmosphere. Find out which places and dishes made the list.

Read on for the list and vote on your favorite dish