Best Christmas Recipes Courtesy of Elisabeth & Butter


December 14, 2018

Two words: Christmas goodies.

What could be better? The answer is “nothing,” and we are not complaining. We had the chance to sit down with baking blogger Elisabeth Farris of Elisabeth & Butter to get the scoop on her favorite Christmas recipes! Follow along to get the secrets behind these tasty treats and try them out for yourself!

Gingerbread Layer Cake

Elisabeth and other creatives such as Shelby Boston of Dixie Design Collective and photographer Brenna Kneiss collaborated to create this fun Christmas “bits and bubbly” photo shoot.

Yields an 8-inch, 3-layered cake

Ingredients

For the Cake:
3 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 & 1/2 cups hot water
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 sticks salted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup molasses

For the Frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened to room temperature
8 oz package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
4 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or more depending on how strong of cinnamon flavor you want)

For Decor:
Gingerbread cookies
Fresh rosemary
Star anise

Instructions

For the Cake:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 3, 8″ pans with parchment paper on the bottom. Grease the pans very well with non-stick baking spray (with flour) or with shortening/butter and flour. This cake is very sticky so the parchment paper prevents it from sticking to the pan.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt and whisk to combine. Set aside.

3. In another bowl, combine the hot water and baking soda. Set aside.

4. In a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment or with a handheld mixer, beat the butter and sugar together for 2-3 minutes at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and then add in the molasses and beat to combine. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer to low speed and begin alternating adding the flour mixture and hot water mixture, beating after each addition, starting and ending with the flour mixture until all combined.

5. Evenly divide the batter among the lined and greased pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out with moist crumbs. You can touch the cake and it shouldn’t sink in.

6. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes and then remove them and place the layers on a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Frosting:

1. In a clean mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the softened butter and cream cheese together for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add in the confections sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and beat on medium speed for 1 minute until the frosting is smooth and fluffy.

2. Frost the cake layers (I did a naked cake but this frosting recipe can easily be doubled if you want to add more frosting and piping). Decorate with gingerbread cookies and rosemary. Store in the refrigerator until a few hours before serving. Enjoy!

Notes:
This recipe makes 35-40 cupcakes and needs to be baked for 12-15 minutes. Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest.

To view the full blog post, click here.

Orange Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls are an all-time favorite! This recipe is simple enough for a beginning baker but will taste like you got them straight from a delicious bakery.

Yields 12 rolls

Ingredients

For the Dough:
1 cup warm milk
1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons salted butter, softened
1 large egg
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
1 teaspoon orange zest

For the Filling:
1/2 cup salted butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup fresh cranberries
Zest from 1 large orange

For the Glaze:
2 cup powdered sugar
2-4 tablespoons fresh orange juice

Instructions

1. Dough: In a mixing bowl fitted with a dough hook attachment, combine warm milk, yeast, sugar, salt, butter, and the egg. Add in flour and orange zest and turn the mixer to low speed. Once the flour is incorporated, turn the mixer to medium speed. Add in more flour if needed until the dough pulls away from the bowl. The dough will be soft but not stick to your fingers when you touch it.

2. Transfer the dough to a large lightly greased bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

3. Once the dough has risen, punch down the dough and roll it into a 12″x18″ rectangle on a lightly floured surface.

4. Filling: Brush the dough with the melted butter. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and orange zest. Sprinkle evenly over the buttered dough and then sprinkle fresh cranberries.

5. Tightly roll up dough, starting with the long side until you have a long log. Using a sharp knife or dental floss, cut the dough into 12, 1-inch slices. Place the rolls in a greased 9×13 pan and cover and let rise 45 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake the cinnamon rolls for 14-20 minutes or until golden brown on top and completely baked in the center. If the rolls are getting too browned on top but not baked fully in the center, cover with aluminum foil until completely done.

7. Remove the cinnamon rolls for the oven and begin the glaze.

8. Glaze: For the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of orange juice in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. If the glaze is too thick, add more orange juice. If it is too thin, add more confectioners sugar. Drizzle over warm rolls and enjoy!

Notes:
These cinnamon rolls are best kept covered at room temperature for up to 3 days.

To view the full blog post, click here.

Elisabeth & Butter
Photo courtesy of Elisabeth & Butter

Peppermint Bark Cookies

These peppermint bark cookies are the only cookie you’ll need this Christmas! As a regular contributor, Farris’s post on these mouthwatering cookies was a part of a recent collaboration she did with Reese Witherspoon’s lifestyle brand, Draper James. Click here to read it.

Yields 24–30 cookies

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, 4 ounces to be melted and 4 ounces to be stirred in
1 stick salted butter
1&1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 cup white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate
Crushed candy cane or peppermints
Sprinkles (optional)

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. Set Aside.

3. In a microwave-safe bowl OR over a double boiler, melt butter and 4 oz of chopped chocolate until completely melted (microwave 30 seconds at a time and then stir until all melted). Add the melted chocolate and butter mixture to a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, and then add sugar, eggs, vanilla and peppermint extract. Beat on medium speed for about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture until it is almost combined. Fold in the remaining 4 ounces of chocolate chips. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to a week. This prevents the cookies from spreading.

4. Once properly chilled, scoop batter using a medium-sized ice cream scoop onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper and place cookie dough 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until just starting to crack. The cookies may seem soft but they firm up as they cool. Cool on a drying rack.

5. Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler or carefully in the microwave, microwaving for 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each increment until completely melted. Dip half of the cooled cookie in the white chocolate and sprinkle with crushed peppermint and sprinkles is desired. Let set completely on a sheet of parchment paper or on a cooling rack. You can also place the cookies in the refrigerator to quickly let the white chocolate harden. Enjoy!

Notes:
You can make these ahead of time by freezing the scooped dough balls in a large ziplock bag. When ready to bake, take them out of the freezer and bake for 10 minutes. No need to thaw! Store these cookies covered at room temperature for up to 4 days.

To view the full blog post, click here.

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