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Volume II
November 23, 2005

Holiday Insanity
by Amy Hunt

With the Holiday Season sneaking up on us at an alarming rate, it is time to get out your baking dishes and prepare for a dessert overload. After all what are the Holidays without a good dose of sugar? (Don’t worry, balance all those goodies with a lot of water and roughage like salads and go for the lower calorie desserts--  you’ll be just fine.)

holidayIt would be great if we only had desserts to worry about during the next 5 weeks, but then who would stuff the turkey, and mash the potatoes, and candy the yams, and season the stuffing, and bake the rolls, and cook the cranberries, and make the gravy …….. (the list is endless)? Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed—take a deep breath, really deep, hold it.. 1…2…3.. now let it slowly out.  The Holidays are a time for families—right!? So enlist some help, call out the troops, and enjoy your time in the kitchen together. This is my favorite part of the season.

When it comes to desserts you have the choice of sticking to your standard Pineapple Upside-Down Cake or the tastey, yet simple Pumpkin Dump Cake, or going for something a little more refined like Chocolate Pate with Cranberry Coulis. No matter what you choose, it really doesn’t matter; just enjoy your family and friends, and remember that it’s okay to eat that extra ginger spice cookie.

Pumpkin Dump Cake

1-15 ounce can pumpkin
1-12 ounce can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 tsp. nutmeg*
1/2 tsp. ginger*
1/2 tsp. cloves*
2 tsp. cinnamon*
* OR 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
1-18.25 ounce yellow cake mix
1 cup walnuts
3/4 cup or 1-1/2 sticks butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 9x13 pan. Completely combine 1st set of ingredients. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with cake mix. Gently pat down with spoon. Sprinkle with nuts. Drizzle with butter. Bake for 50 minutes. Cool and cut in squares.

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Chocolate Pate with Cranberry Coulis

1 1/2 cups Ocean Spray® Jellied Cranberry Sauce
3/4 cup Ocean Spray® Cranberry Juice Cocktail
1 teaspoon lime juice

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 large egg yolk
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/3 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped cream, garnish

Puree all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Chill. Makes 1 3/4 cups.
Line an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap. Combine 1/4 cup cream with egg yolk; set aside.
Combine chocolate, corn syrup and butter or margarine in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat until melted, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Add cream mixture to saucepan. Cook 1 minute over medium heat, stirring constantly. Let cool to room temperature.
Beat remaining cream with vanilla in a small mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Use a rubber scraper to gently mix the chocolate into the whipped cream. Pour into pan. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or freeze 3 hours.
Spoon some Cranberry Coulis on a dessert plate. Place a slice of Chocolate Pate on plate. Garnish with whipped cream.
Makes 10 servings.

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Ginger Spice Cookies

3/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add molasses and egg; beat well. In another bowl combine dry ingredients and mix with fork. Stir dry ingredients into creamed mixture, mixing well.

Chill cookie dough for 2 hours. Shape in 1-inch balls, then roll each ball in sugar.

Place ginger cookies on greased baking sheets and bake in preheated 375° oven for about 12 minutes.
Makes about 4 dozen crispy ginger cookies.

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Creamy Eggnog Cheesecake

1 cup Honey Maid Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided use
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 (1/4-ounce) envelope Knox Unflavored Gelatine
1/4 cup cold water
1 (8-ounce) package Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup eggnog
1 cup cold whipping cream, whipped

Mix cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup of the sugar, the butter and nutmeg; press firmly onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan.

Sprinkle gelatine over water in small saucepan; let stand 1 minute. Cook on low heat 3 minutes or until gelatine is completely dissolved; stirring occasionally.

Beat cream cheese and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gradually add gelatine, then eggnog, beating well after each addition. Refrigerate until slightly thickened.

Gently stir in whipped cream. Pour over crust. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.

Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake; remove rim. Cut cheesecake into 8 slices to serve.
Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator. Makes 8 servings.

**For a great look, garnish cheesecake with a light sprinkling of additional ground nutmeg just before serving.

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         * DVO welcomes your kitchen hints and cooking or nutrition questions! Email us and we'll post your hints and Q/A's in upcoming newsletters! *

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate
Freeze Ahead of Time Desserts
Smart Desserts
Granny Gets Revenge!
A Talking Tablecloth
Should Christmas be Outlawed?
HomeCook'n Cover Page

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