christmas dessert

Cheat on your diet this Christmas with these five desserts

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While I’m as health and weight conscious as the next woman, I’m also a realist. With Christmas coming up, I know that I’ll be indulging in food that I normally wouldn’t come within a country mile of. And my guess is that you’re going to be in the same boat. (If not, I salute your will power.) With that said, here are five irresistible Christmas dessert recipes to make your holiday even more enjoyable. Just think of it this way: the pound or two you gain as a result will give you extra motivation to stay active in 2020!

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies (Good House Keeping)

Ingredients

Butter, for skillets

2 large eggs

1 1/2 c. chocolate-hazelnut spread (such as Nutella)

1/2 c. flour

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Instructions

Heat oven to 350°F. Butter four 5-inch cast-iron skillets (or one 10-inch skillet). In bowl, whisk together eggs and chocolate-hazelnut spread, then stir in flour and salt until fully incorporated.

Transfer mixture to prepared pans and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with ice cream if desired.

White Chocolate Raspberry Blondies (Jane’s Patisserie)

Ingredients

Blondies

250 g Unsalted Butter

250 g Caster Sugar

3 Large Eggs

175 g Plain Flour

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

250 g White Chocolate Chips

200 g Raspberries

10-15 g Freeze Dried Raspberries (optional)

Decoration

75 g White Chocolate

Freeze Dried Raspberries

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan, and grease & line a 9x9inch Square Tin – leave to the side.

Melt the Butter carefully in the microwave, stir till smooth. Leave to the side for now!

Using an electric whisk/stand mixer, whisk together the Eggs, Caster Sugar and Vanilla together for a few minutes until the colour has turned pale, is very mousse like, and is double the original volume of the amount of eggs + sugar! You will know its done because when you lift the whisk up out of the mix it should leave a trail for a couple of seconds before disappearing!

Whilst whisking, beat in the melted butter a little at a time, making sure each spoonful of butter is fully mixed in before adding a bit more!

Once mixed in, sift in the Plain Flour, and fold the mixture together. Add in the Chocolate Chips, Raspberries and freeze dried Raspberries, and fold again.

Pour the mixture into the tin, and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or till baked through. I checked mine with a skewer and it came out clean when baked! Leave the Blondies to cool in the tin completely.

Drizzle over the melted chocolate, and sprinkle on the freeze dried raspberries (or some more fresh raspberries if you prefer) – leave the chocolate to set and then cut into your portions. I did 4×4 to get 16 decent sized pieces! Enjoy!

Cranberry Tart (Country Living)

Ingredients

For the Crust:

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 c. all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for work surface

1/3 c. semolina flour

1/4 c. sugar

2 tsp. lemon zest

1 tsp. kosher salt

6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

For the Filling:

1 (0.25-ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin

4 c. fresh cranberries

1 c. sugar

1/2 c. orange marmalade

1 tsp. orange zest

1 c. heavy cream

2 1/2 tbsp. pure honey

Candied orange zest (optional)

Instructions

Make crust: Whisk together oil and vanilla in a bowl. Combine all-purpose flour, semolina flour, sugar, lemon zest, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until combined, 2 to 4 times. Add butter and pulse until mixture is sandy, 10 to 12 times. Add oil mixture and pulse until well combined, 10 to 12 times. Press mixture on bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Refrigerate 2 hours. 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake crust until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. 

Make filling and assemble: Place 1/3 cup cold water in a bowl; sprinkle gelatin over top. Combine cranberries, sugar, marmalade, and orange zest in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens slightly and cranberries have softened and some have burst, 8 to 9 minutes. Stir in gelatin mixture; cool 2 hours. Spread in crust. Cover and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours. 

Whisk cream and honey with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Serve tart with whipped cream and orange zest, if desired.

Apple Pecan Spice Cake (The Recipe Critic)

Ingredients

4 cups Granny Smith Apples, chopped into small pieces

2 cups sugar

½ cup vegetable oil

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup milk

1 cup pecans roughly chopped

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese frosting, room temperature

¼ cup butter, softened

2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup golden brown sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine apples and sugar. Stir in oil, eggs, and vanilla.

In another mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add the flour mixture to the apple mixture. Add milk and stir until just combined. Add chopped pecans.

Pour into prepared 9×13 inch pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely.

To make the frosting: Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add butter and continue to beat until smooth scraping down sides when needed. Add vanilla and brown sugar. Beat for 5 minutes until it is light and fluffy and the sugar has dissolved. Spread evenly on top of the cake. Refrigerate after frosting.

M&M Cookie Dough Stuffed Fudge (Lemon Tree Dwelling)

Ingredients

24 oz. white chocolate I used Vanilla Candiquik

1 can 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk

2/3 c. butter at room temperature

3/4 c. sugar

2 Tbsp. milk

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 c. flour

1 1/2 c. mini m&m’s

Instructions

Combine 12 oz. white chocolate and 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk in a microwave-safe bowl.

Microwave 2-3 minutes or until completely melted, stirring after each minute.

Pour mixture into 9×13 inch pan lined with aluminum foil and refrigerate until set.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla and stir until smooth and creamy.

Add flour and stir until completely incorporated.

Stir in 1 c. m&m’s.

Press cookie dough evenly over fudge (once fudge is set).

Prepare top layer of fudge in the same way you prepared the bottom layer.

Pour over cookie dough layer; top with remaining m&m’s.

Refrigerate until set.