This holiday season wouldn’t be complete without a post from my dearest Amy and her darling Mr. B. I love them so! I for one have to say these recipes are soooooo yummy. Of course I had to sample everything! I’m especially super obsessed with the Gingerbread Caramel Sauce and that Nutella Fudge! All of them are so good I practically smeared them on my face and made a complete pig of myself! Take it away, Amy…
Here is my Christmastime truth: as I pondered what treats to make and share with you for this post, I kept coming back to the same premise for each recipe: it had to be easy. And quick. And if it was a little out-of-the-ordinary, so much the better, but only if it was still easy and quick. Because you know what? It’s Christmas, and that means joy, magic, gifts, family, food and, frankly, if you’re a woman and you’re reading this you are probably in charge of managing most of that list. You are the magic-makers, my friends. The thoughtful-gift-buyers, the neighbor’s-treat-preparers, and the fancy-package-wrappers. You don’t have time for a long, chatty recipe that details how I feel about the holidays (festive now that I have a child) or what my favorite Christmas album is (a Charlie Brown Christmas. Hands down) because you have cards to send and carols to sing, and probably some treats to make for someone, somewhere. I am here for you, friends, with three easy, quick, and frankly very delicious recipes that you can make and give (or keep, I’m not judging) for the holidays. Merry Christmas, everyone. I wish you peace and a long winter’s nap.
1 ½ sticks butter, melted
5 T. sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
¼ t. salt
1 ½ c. flour
½ t. ginger, or more to taste
½ t. cardamom, or more to taste
¼ t. allspice, or more to taste
1/8 t. black pepper, or more to taste
Sanding sugar or turbinado sugar, for finishing
Grease a tart pan with a removable bottom (I use a round one because that’s the only shape I have, but rectangular or square would work fine, as long as the bottom is removable). In a bowl, combine butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine flour and spices, and mix thoroughly.
Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix until just incorporated.
Pat and spread evenly in pan. Let rest for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 300°F. Bake shortbread in lower third of oven for 45 minutes, Remove from oven, lightly sprinkle with sugar, pressing gently to adhere, and let cool 10 minutes.
Carefully remove shortbread from pan and cut into pieces,
then place on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake an additional 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
Gingerbread Caramel Sauce (from Martha Stewart Living)
¾ c. molasses
3 c. sugar
2 c. heavy cream
1 ½ sticks cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 ½ t. kosher salt
1 ½ t. cinnamon
1 ½ t. ginger
Combine molasses, ½ c. water, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat over med-high heat, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil; cook until foaming reduces and bubbles begin to slow, around 5 minutes and 250°F.
Remove from heat and carefully whisk in cream, butter, salt, and spices, stirring until butter is melted and combined.
Let cool completely. Can be refrigerated up to two weeks.
Nutella Fudge (from TastyKitchen.com)
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 t. vanilla
8 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
1 c. Nutella
3 T. butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
Grease bottom and sides of 8×8” pan.
Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl.
Microwave in 30 second increments until smooth, stirring between each burst. Pour into pan, smooth top, and refrigerate until firm.