The holidays are just around the corner, and there is no better way to celebrate than with a little cooking and baking. Get in the holiday spirit by trying one of these themed recipes. Consider making some of these recipes as a family to really get into the holiday spirit.
Stuffed Turkey Breast
Time Needed: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6
- 8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
- 5 ounces prosciutto, finely diced
- 1 cup chopped boiled chestnuts
- 1/2 cup diced green olives
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or 2 teaspoons dried
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (4-pound) boneless turkey breast
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- In a bowl, combine the sausage, prosciutto, chestnuts, olives and sage. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a small skillet and add a teaspoon of the stuffing. Sauté until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Give it a taste and adjust seasoning in the stuffing mix, if necessary.
- Place the turkey breast on the cutting board with skin side down. Flatten with your hands, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil to moisten. Spread stuffing on top and roll the turkey around the stuffing. Wrap kitchen twine around breast and tie tightly.
- Place turkey in a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until internal temperature of the turkey breast is 165° F, about 1 hour or 12 to 15 minutes per pound.
- Let rest for 10 minutes, then snip off kitchen twine. Slice the turkey and arrange decoratively on serving platter. Pour pan juices over the slices and serve.
Festive Guacamole Appetizers
Time Needed: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Servings: 40 appetizers
- 2 tubes (8 ounces each) of refrigerated, seamless crescent dough sheet
- 1-1/2 teaspoons taco seasoning, divided
- 20 pretzel sticks, broken in half
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup guacamole
- 2 medium sweet yellow peppers
- 1 medium sweet red pepper
- 1 medium green pepper
- Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375° F. On an ungreased baking sheet, unroll one tube of crescent dough and press into a 13×8-in. rectangle. Prick with a fork; sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon taco seasoning. Repeat with remaining dough and seasoning.
- Bake until golden brown, 10-12 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
- Cut each rectangle crosswise to make four strips (about 8×4-in.). To make trees, cut each strip into five triangles, reserving scraps at each end for another use. For trunks, insert a pretzel piece into the base of each triangle.
- Beat cream cheese and guacamole until smooth; spread over trees. Halve and seed peppers. Cut 40 stars from yellow peppers using a 3/4-in. star-shaped cookie cutter. Dice and julienne remaining peppers for tree decorations. Decorate trees with pepper pieces and, if desired, cilantro. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Cinnamon Roll Wreath
Time Needed: 3 hours, 35 minutes
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- One 1/4 ounce packet active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2-3/4 to 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg yolk
- Nonstick cooking spray, for spraying the bowl and plastic wrap
- 1-1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more if needed
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Candied cherries and fresh mint leaves, for serving
- For the dough: Warm 1/2 cup water and the milk in a small saucepan over low heat until a thermometer registers 100° to 110° F. Remove from the heat and sprinkle in the yeast, followed by a pinch of granulated sugar. Set aside undisturbed until foamy. This takes about 5 minutes.
- Whisk together the salt, nutmeg, 2-3/4 cups of the flour and the remaining granulated sugar in a large bowl.
- Beat together the melted butter, vanilla and egg yolk in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on medium high until combined. Add the yeast mixture and continue to mix on low until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix on low until a thick and slightly sticky dough forms. Once the dough comes together, switch to the dough hook and knead on medium speed, adding up to 1/4 cup more flour if needed, to make a soft, smooth ball that sticks to the hook, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Coat a large bowl generously with cooking spray. Add the dough, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour. (The dough can also be tightly wrapped and refrigerated overnight. Let it come to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe.)
- For the filling: Combine the butter, granulated sugar, flour and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Set aside.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a 10×18-inch rectangle. Sprinkle the butter mixture over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border along the top edge. Tightly roll the dough into an 18-inch log. Pinch to seal at the seam and then put on the counter seam-side down. Form the log into a circle, pinching the ends together. Squeeze and roll the dough if needed, so it is an even width throughout.
- Transfer the log to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cut 16 slits across the log, about 1 inch apart; each slit should go about three-quarters of the way through the log so that it is still completely intact. Bend about a quarter of the log by turning some of the newly cut “tabs” out so that the pinwheels of filling are facing up. Continue turning the “tabs” out and bending the log until you have a ring. Place the ends up against each other. Loosely cover the wreath with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray and let rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Bake until the wreath is golden brown and puffed, 20 to 25 minutes. Let it cool on a rack until just warm, about 10 minutes.
- For the glaze: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, milk and lemon juice in a medium bowl to make a thick but pourable glaze, adding a little more confectioners’ sugar if needed to get the right consistency. Drizzle over the wreath and let harden before serving. To serve, decorate with candied cherries and mint leaves to resemble holly sprigs.
Candy Cane Parfaits
Time Needed: 2 hours, 15 minutes
- boiling water, divided into 1 and 3/4 cups
- 1 package (3 oz.) of JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
- 1 envelope (1/4 oz.) of KNOX Unflavored Gelatin
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 3/4 cup canned sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
- 3/4 cup thawed Cool Whip whipped topping
- 6 mint starlight candies, coarsely crushed
- Add 1 cup of boiling water with the strawberry gelatin mix in a medium bowl; stir for 2 minutes until dissolved. Let it cool.
- Meanwhile, sprinkle unflavored gelatin over cold water in separate medium bowl; let it stand for 1 minute. Add the remaining boiling water; stir until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in milk and peppermint extract. Put 2 tablespoons of creamy gelatin mixture into 6 dessert glasses. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until gelatin is set, but not firm. Let remaining gelatin mixture stand at room temperature until it is ready to use.
- Spoon 1-1/2 tablespoons of strawberry gelatin over the creamy gelatin layer in each dessert glass. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until strawberry gelatin layers are set. Let remaining strawberry gelatin stand at room temperature until ready for use.
- Repeat layers, in alternating colors, to use remaining creamy gelatin and strawberry gelatin, refrigerating for 15 minutes after each strawberry layer. Refrigerate finished parfaits for 1 hour or until all layers are firm.
- Top with Cool Whip and crushed mints just before serving.
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