Warm Welcomes This Holiday Season

We’ve pulled together some simple recipes that are full of warmth, spice and everything nice. The cozy flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger complement sweet fruits and salty nuts and turn them into magical combinations that conjure the fondest holiday memories – a welcome distraction to simpler times. These spice, fruit and nut combinations are like a hug from the inside out, which we could all use these days.

You can whip any of these up with little effort and take them to a party or a friend who could use a pick-me-up; or put them out for some company.

Read more recipes like these in City Social magazine and at www.citysocial.com.

Spiced Apple Punch
1 cup spiced rum
59 ounce bottle pure apple juice
1 liter ginger beer
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 orange, sliced

Stir all ingredients together in a large pitcher. Chill for at least two hours. Serve in a highball glass over ice with an orange slice. Yields at least 8 to 10 glasses.




Caramel Apple Brie
7 to 8-ounce brie
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup walnuts
1 Fuji or Gala apple
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla puree
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the rind off the brie and place the cheese in a small, oven-safe bowl. Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Toast walnuts in butter. Chop apple into small pieces. Add to the walnuts. Season with nutmeg.

In a small sauce pan, heat brown sugar over medium heat. Add cream, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, vanilla puree and salt. Cook stirring occasionally for 5 to 8 minutes or until the caramel thickens.

Stir the apples into the caramel. Spoon the caramel apple mixture over the brie. Place the brie dish in a rimmed baking sheet to prevent sauce from bubbling over onto the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve warm with extra apple slices, sturdy crackers or a baguette. Serves 4 to 8 people.

Hazelnut Cookies with Fig Preserves
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon hazelnut extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup fig jam or preserves

Cream shortening, sugar and egg. Add milk, vanilla and hazelnut extracts, mixing well. Gradually add flour, baking powder and salt. Cover dough tightly and chill for 8 hours to overnight.

Roll dough into a rectangle, about 1/4-inch thick. Gently spread the fig preserves evenly on the dough, leaving an inch of space all around. Roll up the dough like a jelly roll and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill or freeze until firm enough to cut.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a small baking sheet. Slice the chilled roll of dough into 1/4-inch rounds. Place on prepared baking pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cookies just start to brown. Cool on racks. Seal in an air-tight container or share with company. Yields 12 to 18 cookies.


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