Prep time: 15 minutes,
plus time to chill
Put 10 oz of semi-sweet chocolate morsels (not quite one bag) in a bowl, and place in the microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Stir with a rubber spatula. Put the bowl back in the microwave for another 30 seconds and stir again. Continue until melted. Pour the melted chocolate onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or wax paper and spread it out into a large rectangle. Place baking sheet in fridge. Break candy canes into very small pieces. Melt entire bag of white chocolate chips using the same method as in step one. As soon as it is melted, spread white chocolate on top of semi-sweet chocolate. Sprinkle candy cane pieces on top of white chocolate and lightly press. Let cool in fridge for 30 to 45 minutes or until hard. Carefully break into pieces using a large, heavy knife. Makes 16 to 20 pieces.
Bourbon & Chocolate Pecan Mini-Tarts
Prep time: 30 minutes, plus 30 minutes chill time
Cook time: 30 minutes
Beat 3 oz cream cheese and ½ cup butter until smooth. Add 1 cup flour and beat on low until soft dough forms. Divide dough into 6 portions and press each into a 4½-in tart pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over pastry and chill for 30 minutes. You can also use store- bought mini pastry shells instead of the homemade tart shells.
For the filling: Beat 3 eggs, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, ¾ cup corn syrup, ¼ cup melted butter, 3 tablespoons bourbon, and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Pour filling over chips until tart shells are half full. Arrange pecan halves over filling. Drizzle with remaining filling. Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes or until set. Let cool. Serve topped with whipped cream. Serves 6.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 2 sticks salted butter. Whisk together butter and ½ cup sugar and 1 cup light brown sugar. Add 2 eggs and 1½ teaspoons vanilla and whisk. Add 2 cups flour and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Stir until moistened. Add a half bag (or about one cup) of holiday colored M&Ms. Pour in 8×8 pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle remaining M&Ms on top. Bake for 45 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Cool completely and cut into bars. Makes 16 bars.
Raspberry Tiramisu Trifle
Prep time: 30 minutes, plus time to chill
In a small bowl, stir together 1 cup seedless raspberry jam and 4 tablespoons of Grand Marnier. In another bowl, stir together a pound of mascarpone cheese (at room temperature) and additional 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier. Make some whipped cream by beating together 1 cup heavy whipping cream, ¼ cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold it into the mascarpone mixture a little at a time.
Begin assembling the trifle. Cover the bottom of the trifle dish (or any decorative glass serving dish) with a single layer of ladyfingers (you will have to break some, ouch!). Spread 1/3 of the jam mixture over the ladyfingers. Top with one third of the mascarpone mixture, then cover with about 1 cup of the thawed raspberries. Repeat layering two more times with remaining ladyfingers, jam, mascarpone mix, and raspberries (use fresh raspberries as the final layer of the trifle). Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. You can dust the top with sifted confectioners’ sugar right before serving. Serves 10 to 12.