Posts Tagged Christmas

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Chocolate desserts, cakes and cookies, cupcakes and…. Christmas spirit? You betcha! The arrival of the holiday season brings about a wealthy amount of Christmas desserts and other holiday recipes to be suggested for your holiday menu.

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Red velvet cake and cheesecake have both long been favorites among many millions of people who appreciate cookies and cakes. This holiday season you can have the best of both worlds with this delicious red velvet cheesecake complete with a burst of Christmas spirit. The unique snowflake pattern on the topping of this cake and passionate colors combined with the delicately sweet taste is certain to have you coming back for seconds. With that thought, you better make two!

Baking Notes
*Preparation: Approximately 45 minutes
*Bake Time: 1 hour
*Cooling Time: 1.5 hours
*Chill Time: 4 hours or more

Ingredients:
1 pound chopped milk chocolate
1/2 cup of butter
1 (9 ounce) package of chocolate wafer cookies (you will need about 40-45 wafer cookies)
1 cup semisweet milk chocolate pieces
1 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup of packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup of butter, melted
4 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (8 ounce) carton of sour cream
1/3 cup of fine granulated sugar
1/3 cup of buttermilk
1 (1 ounce) bottle of red food coloring (2 tablespoons)
4 large eggs
2 egg yolks
Chocolate leaves (optional)
Unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
Powdered sugar (optional)

Directions:

Step 1: In a medium sauce pan over a low heat setting, melt your 1/2 cup of butter and chopped chocolate. Once your mixture has completely melted, remove from heat and transfer to a separate bowl so that it can cool. Reserve for later use.

Step 2:In a large food processor, combine your chocolate wafer cookies, semisweet chocolate pieces, chopped almonds and light brown sugar. Cover the food processor tightly and process until all of the added ingredients are finely ground and mixed thoroughly. Once this is done, add your other 1/2 cup of butter and process the ingredients again. When this is done, transfer the crumb mixture to a 10×3-inch pan that has a removable bottom. Press the mixture firmly to the bottom and along the sides of the pan, leaving at least a half-inch of space at the top of your pan. Set this aside and reserve for later use.

Step 3: For the filling of your red velvet cheesecake, you will need to beat together your cream cheese, sour cream, buttermilk, sugar, red food coloring and the cooled chocolate mixture that you prepared earlier. The best way to achieve the desired result is to use an electric mixer on medium or high speed. Once thoroughly combined, add your 4 large eggs and 2 egg yolks simultaneously and continue to beat with an electric mixer on low speed until all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

Step 4: Pour all of your combined ingredients into the cake pan that you set aside earlier. Set the cake on a shallow baking pan and place in the oven for 1 hour at 350 degrees. When you can gently shake the cake and the outside edges appear to be set for at least 2 inches, your cake is ready to be removed from the oven.

Step 5:Remove your springform pan from the shallow baking pan and allow your cake to cool on a wire rack for approximately 15 minutes. When the appropriate amount of time has passed, gently loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan using a spatula. Cool for an additional thirty minutes before removing the sides of the pan completely and cooling for a remaining 1 hour. When your cake has cooled sufficiently, refrigerate it for at least 4 hours before serving.

Step 6:To garnish your red velvet cheesecake with the snowflake, place a paper doily in the shape of a snowflake on the top of your cake and sift powdered sugar over your cake. Remove the paper and voila! You have a beautiful holiday cake ready to complete the finishing touches on your holiday meal.


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Free Christmas Tree Wallpapers for iPhone, iPod, Android and iPad

You don’t have to look very far for a great Christmas tree wallpaper anymore thanks to the abundance of Christmas tree photos to be found throughout the holidays. Now you can have the best Christmas wallpapers for all of your favorite gadgets during the holiday season without having to search far and wide and pay high costs for mobile downloads.Christmas tree wallpapers are a great way to keep a burst of Christmas spirit at your fingertips.

How about a sushi Christmas tree? Sports fans this Christmas will love this Mets baseball Christmas tree wallpaper while those who enjoy baking cupcakes and other desserts will likely fall in love with a Christmas tree cupcake wallpaper.

If you’re a fan of the bokeh photo effect, you’ll love this pink Christmas tree that’s accented with white bokeh to give the appearance of Christmas lights. Are you a dinosaur fan? Check out this cute dinosaur that somehow found his way into a Christmas tree. But if you’re looking for a basic yet beautiful Christmas tree wallpaper, you can always download this Christmas wallpaper.

Again, all of these Christmas tree wallpaper downloads are completely free and make a beautiful decoration for your iPod, iPhone, psp, Android or computer. If you’re looking for even more Christmas wallpapers, check out these wallpapers for ipods and iphones.

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Perfume for Her: Romantic Gift Ideas

Christmas is coming up quickly and time is running out to get your hands on the best perfume for her this Christmas. In 2010, many new perfumes for women hit shelves and have been a huge success. One such perfume was Beyonce Heat by Beyonce. The commercial for Beyonce’s perfume may have been banned, but the success and love for her new fragrance has soared to new heights and has become a hit perfume for her.

This Christmas, show your love and treat her like a princess with the new Vera Wang Princess perfume gift for her. Combinations of vanilla orchid, cashmere wood, orange blossom and sugar marshmallow make this perfume for her a delicious holiday treat that she is sure to fall in love with.

The great thing about giving perfume for her this Christmas is that you are giving her something that says “I Love You” in a sexy scent that you can both enjoy this holiday season and for months to come. 212 Sexy Perfume by Carolina Herrera is a great choice if you’re looking for a sensual and warm perfume for her that will entice the romance this holiday season. Blends of cotton candy and florals make this perfume a great Christmas gift for her that could only be appropriate for a woman as sweet as she is.

 

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Christmas Cupcake Decorations for Kids and Adults

Christmas is coming up fast and bakers everywhere are in the kitchen creating all of the best Christmas desserts. One favorite Christmas dessert recipe is Christmas cupcakes. Of course, the best party about a Christmas cupcake is the Christmas decorations. When it comes to cupcakes, Christmas cupcakes are among the most highly loved because of their Christmas spirit. This is one of the many reasons that cupcakes make a great addition to any Christmas party and are always a huge hit.

The best Christmas cupcake ideas are of course those that express Christmas cheer and creativity. Cupcake decorating possibilities are endless when you allow your imagination to run free. No one says your cupcakes have to be boring. In fact, they don’t even have to resemble a traditional cupcake! Instead of using a traditional pan for baking your Christmas cupcakes, try using a giant cupcake pan. You’ll have more room for cupcake decorating and you’ll certainly have a unique cupcake.

Create a winter wonderland with your Christmas cupcakes by using a snowflake cake mold rather than traditional baking pans. Once you’ve finished baking the cupcakes, decorate the snowflake design using white icing and a decorative applicator tip. Finally, sprinkle edible glitter over the top of your Christmas cupcake.

Christmas cupcake decorations have no limits when it comes to possibilities. You can decorate them as simple or as extravagant as you’d like. In the end, the important thing is that you have fun as you’re baking cupcakes because you never know when you may be creating a life-long Christmas memory.

 

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Cheerful Christmas Photo


I had to share this wonderful Christmas photo that I found 🙂 What are you doing to get into the Christmas spirit?

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Best Gingerbread House Ideas: Gingerbread House Pictures

Gingerbread House Pictures and Ideas

One of the greatest things about Christmas is that it’s the perfect time to build a gingerbread house. And what makes a gingerbread house wonderful? The creativity, of course. The possibilities when making a homemade gingerbread house are absolutely endless, limited only by your creativity and ideas. Some gingerbread houses are small, some are large. Some are simple while others are elaborate and intricately detailed.  Because there are so many possibilities, sometimes just knowing where to start can seem overwhelming. For that reason, I’ve gathered up some of the best gingerbread houses pictures to give you a head start on some great ideas for your gingerbread house decorations.

I absolutely adore this gingerbread house cabin. With the red roof and the beautiful detail, just looking at this photo has me wishing for a winter getaway in a beautiful log cabin.

If you’re looking for gingerbread house ideas that have a little more Christmas spirit in them, this peppermint gingerbread house packs a lot of inspiration. With a candy cane walkway and peppermint roof tiles, this one sure is one minty holiday treat.

I love how creative this particular gingerbread house is. It provides a simple yet unique design idea that you could easily create at home on your own. Using your favorite cookies and starting with the largest, stack a few cookies on top of one another to create your tree. Then, drizzle white icing over the top of the cookies and let it run down the sides of your “Christmas tree”. Voila! You’ve got a unique gingerbread house idea that’s packed full of sweetness :o)

Having a Christmas wedding? This particular gingerbread house design is certainly fit for a princess and if you or someone that you know is going to be having a Christmas wedding, consider creating or custom ordering a gingerbread house centerpiece to accent the big day.

The great thing about gingerbread houses is that there are no limitations, leaving you free to create a unique, colorful gingerbread house like the one pictured here. With so many colors and interesting shapes, kids and adults can all enjoy creating a great gingerbread house.

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Gingerbread Apple Christmas Cocktail

Gingerbread Apple Alcoholic Christmas Drink

Apple cider and gingerbread cookies have long been holiday favorites and are especially common around the Christmas season. This year, you can have your favorite flavors with a kick and a splash of Christmas spirit with this Gingerbread Apple Christmas Cocktail.

You Will Need:
2 ounces of Domaine de Canton
1 ounce of Vanilla Vodka
2 1/2 ounces of Apple Cider
A Few Drops of Lemon Juice
Agave Syrup
Orange Zest

Coat the rim of your cocktail glass with the agave syrup and follow with spiced crushed graham cracker crumbs. Leaving the orange zest aside, vigorously shake your remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker for twenty seconds. Strain the mix into the prepared cocktail glass and garnish with the orange zest.

If you’re a fan of alcoholic Christmas drinks and are seeking a little inspiration from your favorite holiday flavors, this holiday beverage guide will leave you with beautiful Christmas cocktails that you can enjoy year after year.

What are some of your own favorite ingredients to use in your alcoholic Christmas drinks?


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Christmas Snowflake Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

Holiday Gingerbread Cookies for Santa

When the holidays roll around, gingerbread cookies tend to get a lot of recognition, and for good reason. A great gingerbread cookies recipe can go a long way in delivering some Christmas spirit. The spiced aroma and elegant appeal of these snowflake gingerbread cookies is certainly a recipe that will warm the soul during the Christmas season.

Snowflake Gingerbread Cookies

You Will Need:

6 tablespoons of golden maple syrup
2/3 cup of butter or margarine
2 tablespoons of water
3 teaspoons of ground ginger
2 tablespoons of all spice
2/3 cups of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of baking soda
3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
Edible Glitter

Directions:

For this specific gingerbread cookie recipe, the first thing that you will need to do is preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan over low-heat, combine your maple syrup, water, ginger, all spice and sugar. Stirring constantly, bring your ingredients to a low rolling boil. When you have reached the desired temperature, remove from the heat and add your butter and baking soda to the pan, mixing well. Add flour to your ingredients slowly until you have formed soft dough.

Dust some loose flour onto a cutting board and roll it out until it is approximately 1 cm in thickness. You can opt for rounded gingerbread cookies for this recipe or choose instead to use a snowflake cookie cutter. Once you have cut out the desired shape for your cookies, place them in the oven and allow to bake for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool before decorating.

To achieve the beautiful design of these cookies, fondant is the recommended ingredient. Although the picture here features pink fondant, you can choose any color of your choice. For the snowflakes, a snowflake fondant mold is likely your best option for achieving the desired look.

Finally, dust your gingerbread cookies with edible baking glitter and your cookies are ready to be served.


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Christmas Sugar Cookies Recipe for Santa

 

Decorative Sugar Cookie Holiday Hats Santa Will Love

The Christmas season is an excellent time for baking festive cookies, but this sugar cookies recipe certainly has an extra dose of holiday cheer. If you’re on the hunt for that perfect cookie recipe for Santa, he’ll love these Santa hat cookies just as much as you will love baking them. With vibrant red icing and coconut garnish for the fur, these Christmas cookies are as much fun to look at as they are to eat and may even earn you a little something special from Santa himself this year.

You Will Need:

1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp of salt
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 batch of your favorite frosting (recommended: buttercream)
red food coloring
coconut flakes
miniature marshmallows

Directions:

Using an electric mixer set on a medium-high heat setting, whip the butter until creamy and then gradually add the sugar. Beat in the large egg until your ingredients are thoroughly mixed, then add the pure vanilla extract and the salt. Using a wooden spoon, slowly stir your flour into the mixture until all of the ingredients are blended evenly and you have formed a soft dough.

Roll out your dough and, cutting into thirds, place each of the three portions onto a sheet of plastic wrap and allow them to chill for about two hours, until the dough has become firm and cold, yet not rock solid. One portion at a time, use a rolling pin on a floured surface to roll out your dough to measurements of about 1/4″ thick and 4.5″ in width. Place the dough onto a baking sheet and allow them to chill for about 15 minutes while you preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Remove your dough from the refrigerator and, trimming off the longer sides of the dough, cut out 4-inch tall triangles and pinch the corner to create a “fold” in Santa’s hat. Using one baking sheet at a time, bake your Santa hat cookies for approximately 10-13 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool before you begin decorating them.

Separate your icing into two small separate bowls and add a few drops of red food coloring to one until you have achieved the desired shade of red. Using a butter knife, spread the red icing onto the tops of your cookies, leaving the furry rim of the hat uncovered. Next, use your uncolored icing to decorate the white furry band of Santa’s hat. To finish this sugar cookies recipe for beautiful Santa hats, garnish the band with shaved coconut and press a miniature marshmallow to the tip of Santa’s hat.

If you’d like a little more pizazz to your sugar cookies, consider dusting them with edible baking glitter.


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Hot Christmas Gift for 2010: White Topaz Personalized Ring

When shopping for Christmas jewelry, one popular style that is adored among many is the the white topaz ring. Since it is the purest form of topaz, with no impurities, it is often used in the place of a diamond. Since it is so beautiful, yet much more affordable (usually within $100 – $400) than diamonds are, you may often find that white topaz is used as a common replacement for the birthstone of those who were born in the month of April. But it certainly isn’t the imitation factor that makes white topaz rings so desirable. In fact, it is instead the meaning behind the gem.

Two Hearts as One Personalized Garnet and White Topaz Reversible Ring

Whether it is for a birthday, Valentine’s Day, Christmas or just because, giving a white topaz ring is an excellent way to say “I love you” with genuine emotion. There is perhaps no other gem that is so capable of expressing trust, love, communication and warmth than with white topaz. In fact, there are even those who hold the belief that the gem itself has the power to protect against misfortune and calm the soul. For this reason, the popular gem has become a common placement in promise rings for those who wish to say something that will forever be remembered.

 

Another great feature of this type of topaz is that when there is a thin layer of titanium placed underneath the topaz, there is an ending result of “Mystic Topaz” which results in a shimmering burst of many colors when light strikes the gem in a particular way. In truth, it doesn’t matter what occasion calls for these beautiful rings or even if there is an occasion. When it comes right down to it, these particular gems make a wonderful gift that will ultimately be treasured for an entire lifetime to come. That’s the kind of gift that essentially becomes priceless.

 

 

 

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