Christmas Baking Favourites!

Let’s face it, Christmas is the one time of year when you can bake an unnecessary amount of cookies, cupcakes, brownies, everything you can think of. So we figured we’d help inspire you and give you some new ideas for things to try this year.

Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes (two of Sarah’s favourite things Ferrero Rocher chocolates and cupcakes)
Ingredients
For Chocolate Cupcakes:
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup cocoa powder
¾ cups vegetable oil
½ cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 Ferrero Rocher
For Chocolate Nutella Frosting:
1 cup powdered sugar
½ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup cream cheese
⅓ cup Nutella
4 oz semisweet baking chocolate
2 Tablespoon cocoa powder
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
For Garnish:
12 Ferrero Rocher

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line standard cupcake pan with paper liners.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
With electric mixer beat together oil, egg, buttermilk and vanilla extract on medium speed until well combined.
Add dry ingredients and mix well to combine.
Cupcake liners should be about ⅔ full. First add about 1 tablespoon of the batter, then place unwrapped Ferrero Rocher in each cup and add remaining batter.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in cupcake comes out clean (it takes about 16-20 minutes)
Wait the cupcakes to cool completely before icing
To make the frosting melt 4 oz chocolate and let it cool to a room temperature.
Beat the butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy, then add cream cheese and mix well.
Add vanilla, salt, Nutella,cocoa and melted chocolate and mix it well to combine evenly.
Set the frosting in the fridge for 15 minutes to set, then frost the cupcakes and garnish with Ferrero Rocher.
Store in the fridge until serving.

Gingersnap Cookies
Ingredients
3/4 cup unsalted butter or vegetable shortening, room temperature
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses (regular or un-sulphured)*
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon**
1 teaspoon ground ginger**
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves**
1/4 teaspoon salt
Granulated sugar (for rolling cookies in)
* Lightly grease or spray (non-stick cooking spray) your measuring cup before adding the molasses. This prevents the molasses from sticking to the cup.
** Check your ground spices (cinnamon, ginger, and cloves) to determine if they are still fresh, as stale spices will make your gingersnaps flat tasting.

Preparation
1. In a large bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, egg, and molasses until light and fluffy. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt; stir or beat until well blended. Cover the dough and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
2.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease or spray with non-stick cooking spray your cookie sheets.
3. Place some granulated sugar in a bowl large enough to roll the cookie dough balls.
4. Using your hands, shape dough into 1-inch balls. Then roll the balls of dough into the granulated sugar, coating them thoroughly.
5. Place balls, 3 inches apart, onto prepared cookie sheets.
6. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown (cookies will puff slightly and then collapse slightly, and tops will be covered with little cracks). Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.

Yields 3 dozen cookies.

 

Chocolate Bark

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • Bittersweet, milk, or white chocolate, chopped
  • Toppings

Directions

  1. Coat a 9-by-12 1/2-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, and line with parchment, leaving an overhang on ends.
  2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring. Pour into baking sheet, and spread in an even layer.
  3. Immediately sprinkle toppings over chocolate. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Peel off parchment, and break bark into pieces.

Toppings: pretzels, peanuts, coconut, candy canes, marshmallows, dried fruit, orange peel… the possibilities are endless.

 

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