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Double-Chocolate
Hot Chocolate

  • Ingredients
  • 5 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 oz. milk chocolate
  • ½ c. boiling water
  • ¾ c. whole milk
  • ¼ c. heavy cream
  • marshmallows

In a medium bowl, combine the bittersweet chocolate with the milk chocolate. Add the boiling water and let stand for 1 minute. Whisk the chocolate mixture until it is smooth.

In a small saucepan, bring the milk and heavy cream just to a simmer. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk over moderate heat until hot. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Pour the hot chocolate into demitasse cups or small mugs, garnish with marshmallows, and serve.

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Eggnog
Hot Chocolate

  • Ingredients
  • 2½ c. milk
  • 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 4 c. eggnog
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • whipped cream
  • Cinnamon or peppermint sticks

In medium saucepan, bring milk and chocolate just to a simmer; remove from heat. Let stand 2 minutes. Whisk chocolate until melted and smooth.Stir in eggnog. Gently heat over low heat until very warm. Stir in vanilla. Pour into mugs. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon sticks, if desired.

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Hot TODDY

  • Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon mild honey
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup boiling-hot water

Put honey and lemon juice in a 6-ounce mug. Top off with hot water and stir until honey is dissolved.

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HOT SPICED CIDER

  • Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 large orange, quartered with peel
  • 2 quarts apple cider

Place filter in coffee basket, and fill with brown sugar, allspice, cloves, cinnamon stick, salt, nutmeg, and orange wedges. Pour apple cider into coffee pot where the water usually goes. Brew, and serve hot.

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CRANBERRY SPRITZER

  • Ingredients
  • 2 cups cranberry juice cocktail
  • 2 cups sparkling apple cider
  • 5 strawberries
  • 2 1/3-ounce packages strawberry
  • flavored Pop Rocks candy (optional)

In a large pitcher, combine the cranberry juice and cider.

Cut 1 strawberry in half, rub the rims of 4 glasses with the cut pieces, and dip the rims in the Pop Rocks to coat (if using).

Serve the juice mixture over ice in the prepared glasses. Garnish with the remaining whole strawberries.

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SANTA’S COOKIES

  • Ingredients
  • 12 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup red and green M&M candies

In a large bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and sugar for 1-2 minutes until fluffy. Add vanilla and egg and mix well.

In another bowl whisk together flour, vanilla pudding mix, baking soda, and salt.

Gradually mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until incorporated. Stir in most of the chocolate chips. (Reserve a few chocolate chips and the M&Ms for later) Cover and chill for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 350. Very lightly grease a baking sheet. (I lightly mist it with cooking spray, then wipe it off with a paper towel) Roll about 3 tablespoons of cookie dough into a ball (Should be about the size of a golf ball) and place on prepared baking sheet. Gently press remaining chocolate chips and the M&Ms into the cookie dough balls (this makes sure you can see the chips and the M&Ms after they bake!).

Bake for 9-12 minutes until cookies are set but still slightly underdone. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes on the baking sheet.

Transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

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Christmas Brownie Trees

  • Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Sixteen 1 1/2-inch pieces mini candy cane
  • White sprinkles

For the brownies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of two 8-inch round cake pans. Cut two 8-inch circles out of parchment and line the bottoms of the cake pans with the parchment. Stir together the butter, granulated sugar, vanilla and eggs in a medium bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and divide the batter between the prepared pans, smoothing the tops. Bake until the brownies begin to gain a crust around the edges, pull away from the edge and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let the brownies cool fully in the pans on cooling racks, about 1 hour. Cut each circle into 8 equal triangles with a knife. Use a small offset spatula or pie server to lift each triangle out of the pan. For the American buttercream frosting: Combine the confectioners' sugar, butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or in a large bowl if using a handheld electric mixer). Mix on low speed until mostly incorporated. Add the vanilla, increase the speed to medium-high and mix until smooth. Loosen the consistency with milk as desired. Add 24 drops green food coloring and 1 drop red food coloring and mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Set aside. To assemble: Using the tip of a paring knife or a skewer, poke a small hole along the bottom edge of each brownie. Insert a candy cane "trunk" into each hole. Fill the piping bag with the frosting and cut 1/4 inch off the tip. Using a zig-zag motion, pipe the frosting from the base to the tip of each tree. Decorate the trees with sprinkles and top each with a candy-covered chocolate as the star.

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CINNAMON ROLLS

  • Ingredients
  • 1 packet instant (or rapid rise) yeast* (2 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1/2 cup (112 g) butter divided
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups (408 g) unbleached all purpose flour*
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp (63 g) organic cane sugar

In a large sauce pan (or in a bowl in the microwave at 30 sec increments), heat the almond milk and 3 Tbsp Earth Balance until warm and melted, never reaching boiling. Remove from heat and let cool to 110 degrees F (43 C), or the temperature of bath water. It should be warm but not too hot or it will kill the yeast.

Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle on yeast. Let activate for 10 minutes, then add 1 Tbsp sugar and the salt and stir.

Next add in flour 1/2 cup (68 g) at a time, stirring as you go (you may not add it all). The dough will be sticky. When it is too thick to stir, transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or so until it forms a loose ball (be careful not to overmix). Rinse your mixing bowl out, coat it with canola or grapeseed oil, and add your dough ball back in. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size (see photo).

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a thin rectangle. Brush with 3 Tbsp melted Earth Balance and top with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 - 1 Tbsp cinnamon (to taste).

Starting at one end, tightly roll up the dough and situate seam side down. Then with a serrated knife or a string of floss, cut the dough into 1.5 - 2 inch sections and position in a well-buttered 8x8-inch square or comparable sized round pan (you should have about 10 rolls). Brush with remaining 2 Tbsp Earth Balance (melted) and cover with plastic wrap. Set on top of the oven to let rise again while you preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).

Once the oven is hot, bake rolls for 25-30 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes and then serve immediately.

Optional: Frost with dairy free cream cheese frosting or a simple mixture of 1 cup (112 g) organic powdered sugar and 1-2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) almond milk.

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GINGERBREAD COOKIES

  • Ingredients
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup shortening, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the shortening, molasses, brown sugar, water, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients, until they are completely absorbed. Divide dough into 3 pieces, pat down to 1 1/2 inch thickness, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 inch apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. When the cookies are done, they will look dry, but still be soft to the touch. Remove from the baking sheet to cool on wire racks. When cool, the cookies can be frosted with the icing of your choice.

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FRUITCAKE

  • Ingredients
  • 1/8 cup chopped dried cherries
  • 1/8 cup chopped dried mango
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons chopped candied citron
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup dark rum, divided

Soak cherries, mango, cranberries, currants, and citron in 1/4 cup rum for at least 24 hours. Cover tightly, and store at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Butter a 6x3-inch round pan or loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; mix into butter and sugar in three batches, alternating with molasses and milk. Stir in soaked fruit and chopped nuts. Scrape batter into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons rum.

Cut out one piece parchment paper and one piece cheesecloth, each large enough to wrap around the cake. Moisten cheesecloth with 1 tablespoon rum. Arrange cheesecloth on top of parchment paper, and unmold cake onto it. Sprinkle top and sides of cake with remaining rum. Wrap the cheesecloth closely to the surface of the cake, then wrap with paper. Place in an airtight tin, and age for at least 10 weeks. If storing longer, douse with additional rum for every 10 weeks of storage.