Count Down To Christmas

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House

  • 2 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoon soft light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs

Decoration

  • 4 oz white chocolate
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate
  • Green and red food colorings
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with waxed paper. Put syrup, molasses, sugar and butter in a saucepan. Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until melted. Sift flour and ginger into a bowl. Stir the baking soda into melted mixture, add to flour with enough beaten egg to mix to form a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and free from cracks. Cut off 1/3 dough; wrap in plastic wrap. Roll out remaining 2/3 dough thinly and cut out thirty-two 1/1/2 in squares of dough and place, spaced apart, on a baking sheet. Roll out remaining 1/3 dough and cut out six-teen 2 ½ x 1 ½ inch oblongs. Cut an inverted “v” at one of the short ends of each oblong to create a ‘pitch’ for ‘roof’. Both equal sides of “v” should measure 1 inch. Place on baking sheet and bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Break up and place white and dark chocolate in separate bowls over hand hot water. Stir occasionally until melted. Divide white chocolate between 3 small bowls and color green and red with food colorings. Assemble each house using dark chocolate as glue. Glue 4 walls together by alternating 2 square and 2 “v” pieces. Place 2 other squares on top to form pitched roof. Leave to set. Spread remaining dark chocolate over waxed paper. When almost set, invert onto another piece of paper, peel off waxed paper and cut chocolate into ¼ in squares for roof tiles. Secure tiles onto roof with melted chocolate, working from base to top. Using colored chocolate, fill pastry bags, snip off points and pipe in doors, windows and colored beads down all the joins. Leave to set. Dust with powdered sugar. Makes 8

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

Count Down To Christmas

Chocolate Yule Log

Chocolate Yule Log

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 2/3 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoons cocoa

Filling and decoration

  • 1 ¼ cups thick whipping cream
  • 4 oz semi-semi sweet chocolate
  • marzipan toadstools

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a 12 in baking sheet (with edges) with waxed paper.  Place eggs and sugar in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk until thick and pale. Remove bowl from saucepan, continue whisking until mixture leaves a trail when the whisk is lifted.  Sift flour and cocoa onto surface of mixture and fold in carefully until mix is evenly blended.  Pour mixture onto baking sheet and spread out carefully to edges. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until it is firm to touch.  Cool slightly, turn out and remove paper, then trim edges and cut in half lengthwise.  Place ¼ cup cream in a bowl with chocolate.  Place over a pan of hot water,stir until melted.  Whip remaining cup of cream until almost thick.

When chocolate has cooled, fold it carefully into whipped cream. Using 1/3 chocolate cream, spread over each strip of sponge.  Roll each into a firm roll from the long edge. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm.  Cut each roll into 6 lengths, spread each with remaining chocolate cream, mark cream into lines.  Decorate with marzipan toadstools.  Keep the chocolate logs cool until ready to serve.

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

Christmas Cookies

Gingerbear Cookies

Gingerbear Cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup margarine or butter
  • 1/3 cup packed soft brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar to decorate

Sieve the dry ingredients together. In another bowl, cream the margarine or butter, sugar and syrup until soft and light in texture. Work in the dry ingredients and knead the mixture thoroughly. Roll out the dough to a ¼ in thickness. Make a template for the bear’s head using thin cardboard. Dust the surface of the rolled out dough with a little flour, lay the template in position and carefully cut around the outside with a sharp knife. Repeat until all the dough is used. Bake the cookies on greased baking sheets in the center of a preheated oven at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes. When the cookies are cool, pipe eyes, nose and mouth using the powdered sugar blended with a little warm water to give a flowing consistency. Makes 8-10 cookies.

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Tree Platter

Christmas Tree Platter

  • 1 package peanut butter cookie dough
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk or lemon juice
  • Assorted food colors, colored sugars and assorted small decors

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Divide dough one half. Reserve 1 half; refrigerate remaining dough. Roll reserved half of dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out tree shapes with cookie cutter.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Repeat with remaining half of dough. Reroll scraps; cut into small circles for ornaments, squares and rectangles for gift boxes and tree trunks. Bake 8 to 12 minutes depending on size of cookies. Mix sugar and milk for icing. Tint most of icing green and a smaller amount red or other colors for ornaments and boxes. Spread green icing on trees. Sprinkle ornaments and boxes with colored sugars and decorate as desired. Arrange cookies on flat platter to resemble tree. Makes about 1 dozen cookies.

Tip: Use this beautiful Christmas Tree Platter cookie as your centerpiece for this holiday’s family dinner.  It is sure to receive lots of “oohs” and ahs”!

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

Christmas In July

Malted Milk Chocolate Cupcakes

Malted Milk Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 cup malted milk powder
  • 5 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 ¾ cups whole milk, at room temperature
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Chocolate frosting
  • 24 malted milk balls for garnish

Center an oven rack and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl of a stand mixer, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the malted milk powder and whisk the mixture by hand to ensure that the ingredients are well mixed. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heat resistant bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Once both are melted, remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the oil until the mixture is uniform. Scrape the chocolate mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients, pour in 1 cup of the milk and blend with the paddle attachment on low speed until incorporated, scraping the bottom well to incorporate any dry ingredients patches. Once combined, kick up the mixer to medium-high speed for 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the paddle, sides and bottom of the bowl. Whisk together the remaining ¾ cup of milk, the eggs and the vanilla in a separate bowl and add half this mixture into the batter on low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the second half of the mixture, blending until well combined. Pour the thin batter into the paper-lined pans, filling the cups to just below the rim. Place the tins in the middle of the oven and bake until the cupcakes are perky and firm on the top, 24 to 26 minutes. Cool the cakes in their tins on a wire rack until they reach room temperature. Once cool, frost the cupcakes with the frosting and place a malted milk ball on top for decoration. These cupcakes are best the day they are made but keep for 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature.

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

Christmas In July

Frosted Butter CookiesFrosted Butter Cookies

Cookies:

  • 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 ½ sticks (1/2 pound plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoons almond extract
  • ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ¾ cups all- purpose flour

Frosting:

  • 4 large pasteurized egg whites
  • ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoons almond extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 to 6 teaspoons milk, if needed
  • Food coloring gel (optional)
  • Sprinkles, jimmies, sanding sugar (optional)

For the cookies: In a large bowl, with electric mixer at high speed, beat the powdered sugar, butter egg yolks, salt almond extract, and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the flour and beat on low speed until large clumps of dough form. The dough will look too dry at first, so be patient. Pour the dough clumps onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Gather into a ball & flatten into a disk. Cover with a second sheet of plastic wrap and roll to 1/8 inch thickness. It will be a very large piece of dough. Slide onto a rimmed baking sheet to keep the dough flat and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Discard the plastic wrap. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Stamp out cookies with cutters of your choice. Simple shapes with clean edges work best. Arrange the cookies on the lined baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden brown on the edges, 12-15 minutes, depending on size. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet.

For the frosting: In a large glass or metal bowl, with electric mixer at low speed, beat the egg whites until frothy. Beat in the vanilla and almond extract. With the mixer running, add the powder sugar 1 cup at a time. Beat on low speed until smooth Increase the speed to high and beat until still, shiny peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Decorate the cookies as desired.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies depending on size & shape

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

Christmas In July

Christmas Grasshopper PieChristmas Grasshopper Pie

Crust:

  • 3 cups Crushed chocolate wafer cookies
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips melted

Grasshopper Filling

  • 1 ¾ cups of whole milk
  • 12 ounces miniature marshmallows or 12 ounces marshmallow crème
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons crème de menthe liqueur
  • 3 tablespoons crème de cacao liqueur
  • 4-5 drops green food coloring

Holiday Marzipan Decorations:

  • ½ cup Marzipan
  • Green, Red and yellow food coloring
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar mixed with a 1 teaspoon water

Toppings:

  • 2 cups whipped cream
  • 8 maraschino cherries
  • Holiday Marzipan Decorations

Crust: Toss the cookies crumbs and the butter in a large bowl until well coated. Butter and flour a 10 inch pie pan. Using your hands, press the crumb mixture onto the bottom and sides of the pan. The bottom, sides and edge of the crust should be ¼ inch thick. Using your fingers, flatten the edge flush with the top of the pan. Freeze for 30 minutes. Spread the melted chocolate over the cold crust and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes to set before using.

Holiday Marzipan Decorations: Color about 1/3 cup marzipan with green food coloring. Pull off a piece of the remaining marzipan, roll it into a ½ inch ball and color it yellow. Color the remaining marzipan red. Divide the green marzipan into 6 equal pieces and roll them into balls. Roll out the red marzipan on a work surface covered with confectioners’ sugar to a thickness of 1/16 inches. Using a cookie cutter or working freehand with a knife, cut out ¾ inch flowers, curl up the edges of the petals. Roll out the yellow marzipan to a thickness of 1/15 inch. Using a plastic coffee stirrer, or working freehand with a knife, cut out 1/8 inch dots. Attach the dots to the flowers and the flowers to the balls with the confectioners’ sugar mixture

Method: Preheat the oven to 325 F. Bake the crust for 7-8 minutes or until the bottom feels crisp. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely. To make the filling, heat the milk in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water until bubbles appear. Do not allow the milk to boil. Add about one – fourth of the marshmallows and stir until melted. Add the sour cream and stir until thick and creamy. Remove from the heat and stir in the liqueurs and food coloring. Stir until fluffy integrated. Pour the filling into the crust, cover the plastic wrap, and freeze for 2-3 hours, or until firm. Remove from the freezer 30 minutes before serving. Spoon the whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a large star shaped tip. Pipe seven mounds of cream in a ring around the border of the pie, just inside the crust, and a large mound in the center. Top each mound with a maraschino cherry. Place the marzipan decorations in between the mounds of cream.

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

Christmas In July

Dark And Light FruitcakeDark And Light Fruitcake

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup shortening
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons cooking sherry
  • 1 cup candied pineapple, diced
  • 1 cup whole candied cherries
  • 1 cup whole pecan pieces, divided
  • 1 cup walnut pieces, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 cup fresh dates, quartered

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line large loaf pan with parchment paper. Cream shortening, butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Combine flour, salt and baking powder. Incorporate into creamed mixture alternately with sherry. Divide batter in half. Stir pineapple, cherries, ½ cup pecans and ½ cup walnuts into first portion. Pour into prepared pan. Blend cocoa with water and stir into remaining batter. Add remaining nuts and dates; spread in pan on top of light batter. Bake for 2 hours. Cool in pan. Store for several days before cutting. Yield: 12 to 15 servings.

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

Christmas In July

Chocolate Kiss Cookies

Chocolate Kiss Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (14 oz.) package chocolate kiss candies

Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; blend well. Stir in flour. Press dough from a cookie press 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets, using a star or other desired shaped cutter. Bake 375 degrees F for 10 minutes. Press a chocolate kiss in center of each warm cookie, point side up. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 6 dozen.

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

Getting Ready For Christmas

Mocha Chiffon Cake

 

Mocha Chiffon Cake

 Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee granules
  • 1 ¾ cups cake flour
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 8 large eggs, separated
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. cream of tartar
  • Chocolate-Coffee Buttercream filling
  • Chocolate Fudge Frosting
  • Garnish: chocolate-covered coffee beans

 Stir together first 3 ingredients until blended; cool.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add cocoa mixture, egg yolks, oil and vanilla, beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Fold into batter. Pour batter into 4 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.

Bake, 2 layers at a time, at 325 degrees F for 17 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool on wire racks covered with plastic wrap or wax paper to prevent layers from adhering to racks.

Spread about ½ cup chocolate-coffee buttercream filling between layers. Frost with chocolate fudge frosting. Garnish, if desired. Store in refrigerator. Yield: 1 (9 inch) layer cake.

 Chocolate-coffee buttercream filling:

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 2 tsp. instant coffee granules
  • 2 tsp. coffee liqueur

 Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy.

Microwave whipping cream at Medium until warm (do not boil). Stir together warm cream and coffee granules until dissolved, cool. Add whipping cream mixture and liqueur to butter mixture, beating until smooth. Yield: 1 ¾ cups.

 Chocolate fudge frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk

 Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add cocoa and remaining ingredients, beating until smooth. Yield: 3 ½ cups.

 Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

 THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com