Eggnog Stuffed French Toast

One of the funniest Tweets I’ve seen in awhile came this week from MayChow. “Egg Nog (for me) is like that guy that you’re just not into.  You see each other every Xmas & at parties, you give it a try, but nada.”  I couldn’t agree more.  I get that eggnog is festive, but quite frankly it’s just kinda gross.

Feeling the need to include it in this holiday recipe line-up, and already having given you my Beer Nog recipe last year, coming across this Eggnog French Toast seemed the ideal compromise.

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Gingerbread Cake with Cinnamon Glaze

You didn’t think I could make it through a holiday extravaganza without beer making its way into the mix… did you?

From start to finish the smells this cake produces are insane.  The smell of stout and molasses getting together is reminiscent of Brew House smells, so you know I was diggin’ that!  The cake baking fills the house with smells that could not be more Christmasy.

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Bourbon Chipotle & Rosemary Spiced Nuts

Stumbling upon Ina whipping up these nuts one day, I knew I had to bring them to the holiday party.  My only complaint… where’s the booze girl?  I added bourbon to mine, and a few tablespoons of Vermont Maple Liquer Sapling.  If you can find this in your area… get it, it’s amazing!

This nuts pack some serious punch with the chipotle powder and an unexpected depth of flavor from rosemary and bourbon.  They’re super yummy… make two batches, they’d make a great present for anyone not allergic to nuts… and/or awesomeness!

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Bourbon Pumpkin Tart with Streusel Topping

If the idea of cramming a piece of pie or cake into your already overly stretched stirrup pants on Turkey Day isn’t your idea of fun – step into the light my friends.  This tart is just the amount of sweet to curb your sugar cravings, come next Thursday.

A buttery, silky, smooth tart crust provides the home for a sweet and delicious pumpkin filling, while a crunchy topping rounds it out.

A little sliver of this decadent treat is all you’ll need, but I won’t judge if you take a giant hunk and smother it in whipped cream and vanilla ice cream.

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Easy Cannoli

“Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”  This is not a post about the convergence of pastry, violence and classic cinematography, but that might be a good idea for later.  It should go without saying that the preceding quote is not only from The Godfather, but also one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies, You’ve Got Mail, a fantastic book by Sarah Vowell, and encompasses the love we feel towards this Sicilian pastry.

A crunchy shell.  A creamy center.  A rich chocolate punctuated with salty pistachios.  Cannoli is a fantastic portable dessert that fires on all cylinders.

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Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies with Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting

It remains to be seen if whoopie pies will take the crown from cupcakes as queen of the portable sugary snacking device, but these guys might give them a run for their money.

The cakes are dense and moist, and the filing, ohhh the filling!  Food trends are slightly different than clothing trends, in that most of them last longer than that Day-Glo outfit you couldn’t live without in the 80s, and most have legit reasons for finding their way into our cultural gastronomical stream of consciousness.  Bacon, food trucks, farm fresh, Sriracha, these things have staying power, because they are fantastic!  Nutella sits easily, and firmly on this list.

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Watermelon Beer Popsicles

How can I top a recipe for spreadable bacon? I probably can’t.  But lickable, frozen beer… comes pretty damn close!

This recipe is perfect for the impending super hot months and Memorial Day weekend.

These are definitely not those long plastic pops that we delighted in sucking the last bit of purple juice from, they’re a little more grown-up, a little more refined, a lot more yummy. Continue reading

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

I take for granted that growing up in the semi-south, I had the privilege of birthdays with red velvet cake.  In fact it was one of the best parts of having a birthday.  Red velvet lovin’ wasn’t relegated to my childhood, the red velvet I had on my 21st was from Magnolia Bakery in New York City, and it was so amazing that I froze it and would eat tiny slivers when the mood stuck me.

I’ve been pretty vocal about my lack of interest in sweets, but another New York City temptation was cheesecake.  Oh, Juniors and Roxy Delicatessen, why did you tempt me so?

Why the back story?  To set the stage for the ultimate combo – Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake!

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Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

As a home baker, I am always on the quest for the perfect vanilla cupcake recipe.  Seriously, why is it so hard to find a recipe that yields results like a silly little cupcake from the grocery store.

I found this particular recipe on the delightful site, I Heart Cuppycakes, and since it was from one of my fav local boys, Duff Goldman, I had to give it a whirl.

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