Winding down with indulgent homemade treats is a perfect way to cap off a long year. Four of our Fuse contributors: Vanessa Costa, Carrie Freele, Emily Stewart, and Sammy Orlowski have shared some of their holiday recipe favourites in the links and photos below!
Give these recipes a try, and if you are stepping out for ingredients, shop safely!
Vanessa’s Recipe: Brigadeiro
I come from a town known as “The Sweet City”, and it’s famous for producing and exporting a great variety of sweets, cakes and desserts. Although most of the traditional sweets in the region are made using eggs, I’ve always been a big fan of chocolate.
“Brigadeiro” is one of the most popular candies in my country. Every gathering is a good opportunity to enjoy this delicious chocolate dessert. I’ve been living apart from my family and friends for the past 10 years, so I don’t get to spend the holidays with them very often. For this reason, making “Brigadeiro” always brings back memories of precious times with my loved ones.
You can find Vanessa’s recipe here: LondonFuse – Home-Baked Holiday Recipes – Brigadeiros
Carrie’s Recipe: Mint Chocolate Truffles
When the snow starts falling, my cravings for mint chocolate become utterly unstoppable. Every year during the holiday season, I always try to make at least 1 new recipe – this year’s attempt being mint chocolate truffles. These truffles remind me of Rheo Thompson’s mint chocolate smoothies from Stratford. Personally, nothing can compare to the real thing but these make for a good substitution.
I am thrilled to have these in my roster now for whenever I have a mint chocolate craving. They have a mint chocolate ganache filling and are coated in chocolate. If you are a chocolate lover and like to make desserts then knowing how to make ganache is an absolute must! It’s incredibly easy and versatile in its uses.
The recipe called for semi-sweet chocolate, so I used dark chocolate for the ganache base then coated the truffles in either white or dark chocolate for some variety.
You can find the recipe Carrie used here.
Emily’s Recipe: Mrs. O’Shea’s English Toffee Bars
I’ve always had an interest in baking and cooking, and it grew quite a bit in my Grade Nine Family Studies class. I loved the food lab days where I learned tasty recipes, especially the two classes where we made Holiday treats. Our group made these toffee bars that are my teacher Mrs. Diane O’Shea’s recipe.
It’s become one of my favourite treats to make during the holidays. The toffee bars are easy to make, use few ingredients, and are a tasty combo of sweet and salty with a bit of toffee and chocolate.
Plus, it’s always fun to see how people react when I tell them they have soda crackers as the base. You don’t have to tell anyone the secret ingredient if you make these but I recommend it just for their reaction.
You can find Emily’s recipe here: LondonFuse – Home-Baked Holiday Recipes – Mrs. O’Shea’s English Toffee Bars
Sammy’s Recipe: Candy Cane Cookies
Like Emily, I also have fond memories of making cookies for class. Way back in Grade 8 Home Economics, our teacher Mrs. Englot ran a classic Christmas cookie swap. She divided the class into groups, and we each took on a different recipe. At the end of class, everyone received a little tupperware of cookies, featuring a few morsels from each recipe.
To this day, I couldn’t tell you which recipe my group made, because it was the Candy Cane cookies that left the strongest impression for me. I remember opening my little tupperware, selecting the cookie studded with candy cane pieces, biting into the indulgent combo of brown sugar, butter, vanilla and peppermint and knowing the recipe would enter my home rotation.
Whereas the canes were roughly smashed in the original recipe, I choose to blitz my candy canes into a powder before mixing them in with the dry ingredients. Producing a drop cookie subtly dotted with red and green from the candy canes, this variation is simple but festive. These cookies have been a staple of my Christmas cooking for the past fifteen years, and I still have the original recipe printout, grease stains and all. Thanks, Mrs. Englot!
You can find Sammy’s recipe here: LondonFuse – Home-Baked Holiday Recipes – Candy Cane Cookies
Feature photo by Carrie Freele.