Tag: holidays

12 Days of Cookies: Eggnog Meltaway Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, View All Posts, December 10th, 2016


It’s that time again — Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap is here! Follow along over the next few days as we offer up a baker’s dozen new cookie recipes. The stars of The Kitchen and the chefs in Food Network Kitchen (our bustling test kitchen) have some ideas that are bound to make it into your annual rotation. Stock up on flour and sugar — you’re gonna need ‘em.

If you look forward to your annual cup of this comforting holiday drink, why not double down on the tradition this year? This puffball cookie mimics eggnog’s spicy flavors, thanks to rum extract, bourbon and nutmeg. And a mixture of confectioners’ sugar and almonds creates a crumbly texture that truly does melt in your mouth.

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Spike It: Boozy Peppermint-White Chocolate Iced Mocha

by in Drinks, Holidays, December 9th, 2016

Boozy Peppermint-White Chocolate Iced MochaPeppermint-white chocolate mochas ruined my life. But in the best way possible!

See, I never used to like coffee. I didn’t have any desire to try to drink it as a kid or through high school. When I went to college, I once got some sort of a sugary mocha frozen drink, which made me break into a cold caffeine sweat in the middle of class. I decided to never drink it again. The problem was, as I got older, I wanted to like coffee.  I wanted to be the cool kid who could meet friends at coffee shops and actually, well, drink coffee — not get hot chocolate.

So, one holiday season, I started getting a small peppermint-white chocolate mocha, and I actually enjoyed it. It became my gateway to what could now be considered a caffeine addiction. But, of course, it’s a good addiction. Right?

Back in the day, I wanted my coffee — especially iced coffee — to taste like ice cream. The thing is, I lean way more toward iced coffee than toward a hot cup. I don’t like my hot coffee sweet, but I do love my iced coffee sweet.

And this mocha that I made for you today — not only is it sweet, but it’s boozy, too! Win, win. This would be such a fun afternoon holiday treat while you finish trimming the tree. It would even be a delicious dessert if you use decaf espresso. And since it is the holiday season, it may even make a lovely Christmas morning treat. Just sayin’.

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Vegetarian Entrees Worthy of Your Holiday Table

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 9th, 2016

Let’s face it: Vegetarians are often overlooked at holiday dinners, left to cobble together meager, miscellaneous meals from the breadbasket and a couple of side dishes. But this year can be different. Whether you’re a vegetarian looking for a main dish to bring to a holiday party or a carnivore searching for a hearty vegetable dish to serve your guests, try these five veggie-friendly entrees that are sure to make everyone at the table drool.

Show your dinner guests some extra-special holiday love with Giada De Laurentiis’ Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Maple Cinnamon Sage Brown Butter (pictured above). The pillowy homemade pasta is made with fresh ricotta, sweet potatoes and a touch of cinnamon, and gets finished with a sweet-and-savory brown butter sauce that’s guaranteed to make diners swoon.  Read more

Chefs’ Picks: Feast of the Seven Fishes

by in Restaurants, December 7th, 2016

Michael's Genuine Fish Stew
Chefs’ Picks tracks down what the pros are eating and cooking from coast to coast.

Wander into an Italian-American household on Dec. 24 and there’s a good chance you will be dazzled by platter upon platter of delectable fishcentric dishes. This stunning array of seafood is served as part of a holiday vigil when many abstain from eating meat. Read more

Over-the-Top Cute Christmas Desserts

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 7th, 2016

Dial up the cute factor at your holiday table with these fun and creative holiday desserts, ranging from easy Santas crafted from strawberries to ambitious baking projects like a buche de Noel. Turn on some festive tunes, gather the whole family, and put even the littlest hands to work stirring batter and decorating with candies. The more the merrier!

Transform ordinary brownies into Prancer, Dancer and Vixen with our recipe for Christmas Reindeer Brownies (pictured above) decorated with mini marshmallows, wafer cookies and candies. Read more

The Holiday Cookies Food Network Staffers Can’t Wait to Make This Year

by in Community, Holidays, Recipes, December 6th, 2016

Eggnog MeltawaysHoliday baking season is upon us, and while we’re tempted daily by the prospect of putting together all manner of cakes, cinnamon rolls, gingerbread houses, cheesecake and tarts, it’s really all about the cookies for us. (You, too? It’s not too late to sign up to receive our 12 Days of Cookies newsletter, BTW.) Read on below to see which cookies we Food Network staffers will be baking up first this season, and get the recipes to try them at your home, too.

“Meltaways (aka polvorones, aka Mexican wedding cookies, aka butterballs) have always been my favorite Christmas cookie (my mom called them ‘snowball meltaways’ when I was growing up), but this year I’m making Food Network Kitchen’s new version: Eggnog Meltaways. They really do taste just like eggnog – there’s bourbon, rum extract and nutmeg in the dough — but they’re buttery and crumbly like a meltaway should be.”

— Michelle Buffardi, Director, Digital Programming

Butter Spritz Cookies“Oatmeal cookies, chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies — you name it, my Mama Hynes always has a truly fantastic batch of soft, perfectly baked cookies on her kitchen counter. But as much as I aspire to be just like my grandma, rolling sugar cookie dough is my nemesis; even though you might think having three helpers would make the job easier for me, eight hands are not better than two! But my kids really love to measure, pour and mix, and watching them sit impatiently on the kitchen floor staring through the oven door while something they’ve helped make bakes warms my heart. This year I’m looking forward to trying our hands at Butter Spritz Cookies. The kids can choose their own cookie-press shapes and have fun decorating their creations with sprinkles, and I can have dozens of homemade cookies on the counter without having to roll a single scrap of dough.”

— Meghan Cole, Content Administrator

Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies“Giada De Laurentiis’ Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies were the first Food Network recipe I ever made, and maybe the first thing I ever baked, full stop. Back in high school, I’d bake a batch on the Sunday before school let out for the holidays so I could give them out to friends and teachers. Honestly, I don’t know how I parted with them. Packed with chewy, finely chopped oats, toasted hazelnuts and English toffee, these buttery beauties would have me in a sugar coma until at least New Year’s.”

— Allison Milam, Associate Editor

Snickerdoodles“I know that baking is a science and that recipes for baked goods ought to be followed to the letter. But — confession time — when it comes to the cinnamon in things like cookies, pies and tarts, I usually double or even triple the amount called for in the recipe. That’s how much love that spicy, warm, fragrant flavor. (More is more, right?) So it’s a wonder that I’ve never made snickerdoodles before. Not only are these cookies easy to make, but they’re known for their over-the-top cinnamon taste: They’re rolled in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar, after all, which guarantees cozy, comforting cinnamon taste in each bite. This year I’ve got my eyes on Trisha Yearwood’s recipe for snickerdoodles — but there’s a good chance I may up the cinnamon there, too.”

— Maria Russo, Online Convergent Editor

Peanut Butter BlossomsPeanut Butter Blossoms are my holiday-season Achilles’ heel — my mother-in-law makes them by the boatload, and I eat just about as many. This year, I want to try Nancy Fuller’s take on the recipe, which incorporates peanut butter chips into the batter. She also suggests spreading a little jelly on the cookies before finishing them off with a chocolate candy. Sounds delicious!”

— Lauren Piro, Food Network Editor

Potato Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies“The best cookies on a holiday cookie spread often look the simplest. You might pass them over for the fancier-looking treats if you didn’t know better. That’s part of the allure of my grandmother’s famous Potato Chip Cookies. The golden rounds look like basic shortbread or sugar cookies, but then you bite into one and the hit of salt and crunch takes you by surprise (and keeps you reaching for seconds, then thirds). I once won a very prestigious interoffice cookie bake-off with these babies, and I’m admittedly not a baker. While Grandma’s recipe is a closely guarded family secret, Ree Drummond has a version that incorporates chocolate, and in my opinion that’s never a bad idea.”

— Sara Levine, Senior Managing Editor

Neapolitan Cookies“I went to school near this warm, low-ceilinged Hungarian pastry shop that always reminded me of the Three Broomsticks from the Harry Potter books — so, of course, every day after class I’d go sit in the corner and read by myself. I only ever got one thing: coffee with almond extract, cinnamon and a tall, dramatic swirl of whipped cream (the kind from a can). Such a good drink. Anyway, one year I was dating this nice Italian boy and brought him there after dinner. He asked if I had ever eaten a rainbow cookie. I hadn’t, of course. He explained how important they were for Italian-American families during Christmas, and how he could eat a dozen in one sitting. So we bought a handful and ate them with the coffee I just told you about. To this day I only ever get that coffee with those rainbow cookies. Some people call them “Italian flag cookies,” “Venetian bars” or even “seven-layer cakes” (after the three layers of almond sponge, the two of jam and the two of chocolate). Valerie Bertinelli calls them Neapolitan Cookies. Whatever they’re called, I like to make them around the holidays for my family because they’re like nothing we grew up with, and because they remind me of Greg.”

— Eric Kim, Programming Coordinator

Maple Stars“A few months ago, I purchased a bag of maple sugar, thinking, ‘I’ll definitely use this at some point.’ It took a while, but I’m finally cracking it open, thanks to this Maple Stars cookie recipe [from Food Network Magazine]. Festive maple-flavored sugar cookies are sandwiched with maple-spiked white chocolate for a breakfast-meets-dessert experience. Plus, who can resist a shimmery dusting of gold sugar for a finishing touch? These will definitely be the stars of my holiday cookie plate!”

— T.K. Brady, Online Editor, Food Network Magazine

Check out Food Network’s complete collection of Christmas cookies right here.

Chefs’ Picks: Cookie Swap

by in Restaurants, December 4th, 2016

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chefs’ Picks tracks down what the pros are eating and cooking from coast to coast.

Cookies can be enjoyed year-round, but let’s face it: The holidays provide the perfect excuse to indulge in this classic treat. And there’s no better tradition for doing so than the cookie swap, that sweet soiree where each invitee brings a batch to share. We’ve asked some of the country’s finest cookie aficionados — pastry chefs and bakers — to weigh in with their good-to-the-last-crumb creations. Read on to get their recipes that are sure to reign supreme at any party. Read more

How to Make the Ultimate Cheese-and-Cracker Platter (Into an Edible House)

by in Entertaining, Recipes, Shows, December 3rd, 2016

Cheese and Cracker HouseAt holiday parties big and small, cheese-and-cracker platters are practically required. You can keep them simple with just some slices of your favorite cheddar and kid-friendly crackers, or you can dress them up, offering an array of fresh and funky cheeses and various trimmings. You can even ditch the platter notion altogether and instead opt for home construction when building your cheese-and-cracker setup, like the co-hosts of The Kitchen did on this morning’s all-new episode. With four walls, a stable roof and even pepperoni shingles, their Cheese-and-Cracker House is the ultimate in party-ready edible entertainment, sure to keep your guests chatting as they pick away at its exterior and interior.

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Easy, Cheesy Appetizers Your Holiday Guests Will Hover Around

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 1st, 2016

Bacon Ranch Cream Cheese WellingtonSome people like receiving gifts. Others? They’d be quite pleased with one thing and one thing only: cheese — lots and lots of cheese. When family and friends converge at your place this holiday season, these are the cheesy appetizers you should greet them with.

Think of Melissa d’Arabian’s Bacon Ranch Cream Cheese Wellington (pictured above) as a cross between baked Brie en croute and a cream cheese log. After covering a bar of cream cheese in ranch dressing, chopped bacon and green onions, wrap it up in store-bought puff pastry and bake. It’s a flaky, oozing appetizer that’s elegant enough for entertaining, but the bacon and ranch flavors mean kids will love it too.

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A Cookie Baking Challenge for the Ages

by in Shows, November 28th, 2016

The Christmas Cookie Challenge, hosted by Alison Sweeney, is a furious but festive battle to determine the best cookie baker in the country with the winner taking home $10,000. Five bakers’ holiday delights were judged in three rounds of competition by chef and culinary entrepreneur Sharone Hakman, American Idol-winner and seasoned baker Jordin Sparks and Food Network Star Season 12 finalist Damiano Carrara.

Find out whose cookies took home the grand prize.

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