'Creating the Happiest of Holidays'
Excerpts from Leisure Arts' Holiday Craft and Recipe Book.
Irish Smoothie and Chocolate Cups
2 c. whipping cream • 1 c. sweetened condensed milk • ¾ c. Irish whiskey • ½ c. brandy • 2 tbs. chocolate syrup • 1 tbs. instant coffee granules • 1 tsp. vanilla extract • 1 tsp. almond extract
Combine whipping cream, condensed milk, whiskey, brandy, chocolate syrup, coffee granules and extracts in a blender until well mixed. Cover and store in refrigerator.
Yield: about 4 ¼ cups liqueur
4 squares (1 ounce each) semisweet baking chocolate • 1 tsp. butter • 8 foil muffin cup liners • Ice cream, Irish Smoothie, and fresh sweet cherries to serve
In a heavy, small saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring constantly (do not overheat). Cool until slightly thickened. Place 1 tablespoon chocolate mixture in a foil cup; spread over bottom and sides.
Place another foil cup on top of chocolate and press lightly. Repeat with remaining chocolate mixture. Refrigerate or freeze until firm.
To serve, carefully remove foil liners. Fill each chocolate cup with ice cream; drizzle with Irish Smoothie and top with a cherry.
Yield: 4 chocolate cups
Peaches and Cream Soufflés
8 egg yolks • 1 c. sugar • 1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen unsweetened peaches, thawed and puréed •
2 tsp. peach schnapps (optional) • ½ c. apricot nectar • 1 pkg. (3 oz.) peach-flavored gelatin • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin • 3 c. whipping cream
1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen unsweetened peaches, thawed and coarsely chopped • 1 c. sugar • ¼ c. peach schnapps (optional)
For soufflés, beat egg yolks and sugar until creamy in a medium bowl using an electric mixer. Stir in peaches. If desired, stir in schnapps.
In a large saucepan, combine apricot nectar and gelatins. Cook over low heat, stirring until gelatins dissolve. Stir peach mixture into gelatin mixture, mixing well. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Place a large bowl and beaters from an electric mixer in refrigerator until well chilled. In chilled bowl, whip cream until stiff. Fold whipped cream into peach mixture. Spoon into 4-ounce ramekins, filling each ¾ full. Cover and refrigerate until firm.
For topping, combine peaches and sugar in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook about 15 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat. If desired, stir in schnapps. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. To serve, spoon about 1 tablespoon topping over each soufflé.
Yield: about 18 soufflés.
Almond-Poppy Seed Angel Food Cake
1 pkg. (16 oz.) angel food cake mix and ingredients to prepare cake •
2 tbs. poppy seed • 1 ½ tps. almond
extract, divided • 1 ½ c. confectioners’ sugar • 2 tbs. water • ¼ c. sliced almonds
Prepare cake mix according to package directions, stirring in poppy seeds and 1 teaspoon almond extract. Pour into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Invert pan; cool completely.
Transfer cake to a serving plate.
Combine confectioners sugar, water, and remaining ½ teaspoon almond extract in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze over cake; sprinkle with almonds.
Yield: 16 servings
Bright Beaded Tree
2-inch square wooden block • drill and ³/8-inch bit • acrylic paint and paintbrushes • 11 ½-inch length of ³/8-inch diameter dowel • sandpaper • wood glue • cardboard • 8-foot length of ¹/16-inch diameter armature wire • wire cutters • assorted colors and
diameters of wire and beaded trim (we used 20-gauge gold wire, green-coated wire, purple and gold seed bead wires, and green beaded trim) • 22-gauge rust wire • assorted beads • needle-nose pliers • 2-inch rusty tin star
1. Drill a hole through the center of the block. Paint the block and dowel; then, sand the block edges. Dab glue on one end of the dowel, and insert it in the block.
2. Cut an 8-inch-tall simple triangular tree shape from cardboard. Leaving a 3-inch wire tail at the bottom of the tree, wrap the armature wire randomly around the tree, wrapping loosely to allow the wire tree to be rounded. Cut away the cardboard. Center the wire tree on the dowel and wrap the wire tail tightly around the dowel.
3. Wrap the tree with the gold, green and seed bead wires, and beaded trim. Cut a 20-inch length of rust wire and curl one end. Thread beads on the wire, using the pliers to coil the wire every so often. Curl the other end, and wrap the strand around the tree. Repeat to add several beaded rust wire strands to the tree, using different bead combinations.
4. Wrap the star with gold wire and wire it to the tree.
5. For ornament hangers, cut several 3-inch gold wire lengths. Curl one end of each, add a large bead, and hook the other end to the tree.
Pancake Mini Muffins
2 c. pancake mix • 1 c. milk • ¼ c. maple syrup • 1 egg, beaten • 1 tsp. maple flavoring • 2 tbs. sugar • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Whisk together first five ingredients until no lumps remain. Line mini muffin pans with paper baking cups; fill cups to half full. Combine sugar and cinnamon, mixing well. Sprinkle sugar mixture over muffin batter. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.
Yield: about 3 ½ dozen mini muffins
Creating the Happiest of Holidays, Book 2 (Item#15961, Leisure Arts, $19.95) offers 106 recipes and 90 gift ideas to share with family and friends. Available at www.leisurearts.com.