Wednesday, January 12, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Cookies

{Breakfast at the North Pole}
December 2010
Emily & Jill
{The Invite}
The Gals were given an invite containing one gift for each '12 Days of Christmas Cookies'. Eight gifts were items to use for holiday baking and four gifts were fresh, homemade holiday cookies. The twelfth day, the gals opened their menu for the breakfast at the North Pole.
The invite was to the tune of the classic song. The gals were sung to as their '12 days' were delivered to them.

On the 12th day of christmas cookies
gourmet gals gave to me:

a copy of the nice list! (menu)
rudolph’s guilty pleasure (treat)
a platter for holiday goodies (serving platter)
cards for swapping favorites (recipe cards)
an alternative to leftover turkey (treat)
a server for christmas yummies (spatula)
padding for festive fingers (hot pad)
five . thousand . calories! (treat)
a project for hubby and kids (cookie cutters)
a bribe to avoid the naughty list (santa cookie plate)
treats to share with the mr. (treat)
and an invite to a north pole party! (invite)
{North Pole Decor}
{The Place Settings}
{The Menu}
. Iced Hot Cocoa .
serves 10-12

6 oz. Favorite Chocolate (can use more than one variety) (we used Symphony Bars)
4 t. Store-Bought Hot Chocolate Mix
3 T. Sugar
3 C. Milk
6 C. Ice
Whipped Cream
Chocolate Shavings
Crushed Peppermint Sticks

Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Place it in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted. Add the hot chocolate mix and sugar. Stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and slowly add 1 C. of milk until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
In a blender, place the remaining cups of milk, the room-temperature chocolate mixture and the ice. Blend on high speed until smooth and the consistency of a frozen daiquiri. Pour into pretty glasses and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

. Winter Waldorf Salad .

Fresh Whipped Cream
Celery, diced
Gala Apples, diced
Pineapple, diced
Clementines, diced
Dried Dates, chopped
Pecans, chopped
Pomegranate Seeds for sprinkling
Mix according to taste and texture preference. Serve cold and keep leftovers chilled.

. Ebelskivers .
makes 28

Scrumptious Cornmeal Batter for Ebelskivers or Pancakes:2 C. Flour
1 C. Corn meal
1 t. Salt
5 t. Baking Powder
1 T. Sugar
Mix these together in a large bowl. Add and mix well:
1 Egg
6 T. Oil
2 C. Milk (or more if batter is too thick)
Fill Ebelskiver pan with a scoop of batter. Place filling on top of batter and cover filling with more batter. Cook in Ebelskiver Pan over medium heat. Flip with wooden skewers when browned.(You can purchase an Ebelskiver pan at Williams-Sonoma or on EBay)

Luscious Lemon Soufflé Filling (Roll in Cinnamon Sugar when done):
In a saucepan, combine:1 C. Sugar
3 T. Cornstarch
1 T. Lemon Zest
1/4 C. Fresh Lemon Juice
3 Egg Yolks
1 C. Milk
1/4 C. Butter - cubed
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat and cool completely. Add:1 C. Sour Cream. Stir and serve as a filling in ebelskivers, pies, etc.

Monte Cristo Filling (sprinkle with powdered sugar):
Diced ham and Swiss Cheese (can use any combo of meat and cheese)
Raspberry Dipper:Use your favorite store bought jam or homemade jam
. Banana Crepes Brulee .
makes 10-12

Batter: 1 1/2 C. All-Purpose Flour
3 Eggs
1 1/2 C. Milk
1/4 t. Salt
3 T. Butter, melted
Place in bowl and whisk with wire whisk or beaters, first combining flour and eggs, adding liquid gradually. Beat until smooth; add other ingredients.

Cream Cheese Layer:
2 8-oz. Pkg. Cream Cheese, softened
4 C. Powdered Sugar
1 pint Whipping Cream, whipped
Whip cream cheese and powdered sugar together till fluffy. Add whipped cream at beat until thickened. Spread mixture onto crepe.

Bananas Brulee:
4 Bananas
4 T. Butter
1/3 - 1/2 C. Brown Sugar
Saute in pan until bananas are caramelized. Spread on top of cream cheese layer inside crepe. Can serve on top also.

Chocolate Layer:
Warm Nutella Hazelnut Chocolate, or favorite melting chocolate. Drizzle inside crepe or on top.Prepare crepes and top with cream cheese, bananas, and chocolate.Fold crepe in half and top with desired toppings. Drizzle with chocolate and sprinkle with powdered sugar for presentation.

. Veggie Frittata with Feta Crumbles .
serves 4
6 Eggs
1/3 C. Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 t. Garlic Powder
1/2 t. Dried Basil Leaves
1/4 t. Coarse Salt
1/4 t. Ground Pepper
1/8 t. Ground Nutmeg
2 t. Olive Oil
6 oz. Fresh Spinach, stems removed, torn into bite-sized pieces (about 6 Cups loosely packed)
8 Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
3-4 Cremini Mushrooms, sliced fine
1-2 T. Chopped Green Onions
Feta Cheese Crumbles
In a small bowl, beat eggs with whisk. Stir in cheese, green onions, garlic powder, basil, s&p, and nutmeg; set aside. In a 10 inch skillet (or omelet or crepe pan), heat oil over medium heat. Add spinach, cover and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring once or twice until spinach is slightly wilted. Reduce heat to low. Spread spinach evenly in skillet; top evenly with tomatoes and mushrooms.Pour egg mixture over top. Cover and cook 12-15 minutes or until bottom is lightly browned and top is set, lifting edges occasionally to allow uncooked egg mixture to flow to bottom of skillet. Cut into wedges. Sprinkle with Feta crumbles and green onions.

. Apple-Maple Sausage .
serves 12
1 T. Butter
1 Green Apple, finely chopped
1 Small Sweet Onion, finely chopped
1 t. Fennel Seed
1 1/2 lbs. Ground Pork
1 1/2 t. Poultry Seasoning
1 t. Allspice
1 t. Sweet Paprika
1 T. Maple Syrup
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add butter and melt. Add apples and onions and season with a little salt, pepper and fennel seeds. Gently sauté the mixture 5 minutes to soften and remove from heat to cool.
Heat a griddle pan or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Place pork in a bowl and season with salt and pepper, poultry seasoning, allspice, paprika and a healthy drizzle of EVOO. Add in the apples, onions and fennel and mix the sausage. Score meat into 4 sections and form 3 small, thin patties from each section, 2 1/2 inches across, 12 small patties total. Cook patties 4-5 minutes on each side and serve warm.

. Chilled Swiss Muesli .
serves 6

3 C. Old Fashioned Oats (not instant)
Blueberries (we used dried, but fresh would be delish!)
Pecans, toasted and chopped
Flax seed sprinkle
Brown Sugar and Cinnamon to taste
2-3 T. Vanilla Yogurt
The night before serving, place oats in a bowl. Cover oats just below the top with water. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning, drain the water if necessary. Combine ingredients into the oats—yogurt, pears, blueberries, pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flax seed. Stir.Serve room temperature or chilled.

. White Chocolate Fountain .
Use your favorite chocolate and follow fountain's directions.
Serve with fresh fruits, ginger thins, candies, cakes, etc.

Recipes from treats delivered to the Gals:

. Berry Bliss Bars .
makes 12 bars

1 C. Butter, softened
1 ¼ C. Light Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
1 ½ t. Vanilla
1 t. Ground Ginger
¼ t. Salt
1 ½ C. Flour
¾ C. Diced dried berries – A mix of craisins and dried blueberries is delish!
8 oz. White Baking Chocolate, cut into chunks

4 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
3 C. Powdered Sugar
4 t. Lemon Juice
½ t. Vanilla
¼ c. Diced Dried Berries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make cake by beating butter and brown sugar together with mixer until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger, and salt and beat well. Gradually mix in flour until smooth. Mix dried berries and chocolate into batter by hand. Spread batter into a well-greased 9 x 13 pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove and cool.
To make frosting, beat ingredients together and spread over the top of the cooled cake. Sprinkle ¼ c. diced dried berries over the top. Allow cake to sit for a few hours before slicing and serving.

. Pecan Praline Bars .
makes 12 bars

½ C. Butter (no substitutes), room temperature
¼ t. Salt
1 C. Packed Brown Sugar
2 C. Flour
2 ½ C. Large Pecan Halves
Prepare a 9 x 13 pan as follows: Cut a piece of aluminum foil large enough to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Turn the pan upside down. Center the foil over the pan shiny side down, and with your hands, press down on the sides and corners to shape the foil to fit the pan. Remove the foil. Run a little bit of tap water into the pan to wet it all over. Pour out all but about a tablespoon of the water (the water helps to hold the foil in place). Then place the foil in the pan and press it against the bottom and sides. Do not butter the foil.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until soft. Add salt, brown sugar and flour and beat for a minute or two, until the ingredients form tiny crumbs that will hold together when you press the mixture between your fingers. Turn the mixture into the prepared pan. Spread the mixture to form a level layer in the pan, and then press down firmly to form a compact layer. Let stand.
Place the pecan halves touching each other – flat sides down – all in the same direction, to cover the bottom layer. (For a time saver, you could also just chop the pecans and sprinkle them, but using half pecans gives a prettier presentation.) Let stand.

1 ½ Sticks Butter
1/3 C. Brown Sugar

Place ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir over high heat until mixture comes to a hard boil all over the surface. Continue to stir over the heat for 30 seconds longer. Remove the pan from heat and pour the hot mixture all over the pecans, trying to coat the entire surface. Bake for 22 minutes. Remove and cool. When cool, refrigerate for at least an hour. You can pull the entire pan of cookies out by the foil, peel the foil off, and cut into bars. Serve at room temperature.

. Apricot Snowballs .
Makes 15 balls
1 ½ C. Dried Apricots, finely chopped (6 oz. pkg.)
2 C. Moist Shredded Coconut
2/3 C. Sweetened Condensed Milk (Eagle Brand)
Powdered Sugar for rolling

Mix together first three ingredients, form into balls. Roll balls in powdered sugar. Place on waxed paper and let stand until dry. Best if refrigerated.

. Rudolph’s Guilty Pleasure .
Makes 9 Large or 12 small bars

1 1/4 C. Dried Cherries, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 C. Unsalted Butter (2 1/2 sticks), all but 2 T. cut into small pieces
1 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 t. Coarse Salt
3/4 C. Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 C. Unsweetened Shredded Coconut (3 oz.), lightly toasted
2 C. + 7 1/2 t. All-Purpose Flour
1 Large Egg
1/2 C. Semisweet Chocolate Chunks or Chips
Preheat oven to 325. Spray 9X9 square pan with Pam; line with parchment paper, allowing a 2 inch overhang. Coat with spray and set aside.Bring cherries, 2 T. butter, 1/4 C. Sugar, and 2/3 C. water to a simmer in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until almost all liquid has been absorbed (15 min.). Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 C. Sugar. Let cool, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and set aside.Whisk together cocoa powder, salt, brown sugar, toasted coconut, and 2 C. Flour in medium bowl. Blend in remaining 2 1/4 sticks butter with pastry blender or fingertips until mix resembles a course meal. Press 3 lightly packed cups cocoa mixture into lined pan. Bake until just set (about 20 min.)Put egg, remaining 1/2 C. Sugar in bowl and mix with electric mixer on medium-high speed for about 4 minutes. Fold in cherry mixture and remaining 7 1/2 t. Flour; stir in chocolate chunks. Spread mixture evenly over crust; top with remaining cocoa mixture.Bake about 50 minutes, until set. Let cool completely on wire rack. Run knife around sides; lift out of pan. Cut into 9 or 12 bars. Bars can be stored in airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days. They are also fabulous chilled in refrigerator.

{The Hostesses}
We had so much fun hosting this breakfast at the North Pole. It was so fun to lounge in our PJ's and enjoy a delicious breakfast. What a way to start the holidays!
We hoped you enjoyed your 12 days and all the yummy recipes! To those of you on the naughty list, try harder this year!
Ho! Ho! Ho!
{The Gals}