Yummy holiday recipes to enjoy over Thanksgiving break

kristencoverdale

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Credit: Gold

Credit: Gold

Winter Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons from Bon Appétit

This colorful, velvety soup is perfect on a chilly winter afternoon and the Gruyere croutons add a nice, little crunch. Serves 8.

Soup

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 large garlic cloves, chopped

3 14 1/2-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth

4 cup 1-inch pieces peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)

4 cup 1-inch pieces peeled acorn squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1 1/4 tsp minced fresh thyme

1 1/4 tsp minced fresh sage

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/8 cup whipping cream

Croutons

2 tbsp (1/4 stick) butter

24 1/4-inch-thick baguette bread slices

1 cup grated Gruyere cheese

1 tsp minced fresh thyme

1 tsp minced fresh sage

For soup:

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream and sugar; bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made one day ahead. Chill. Re-warm over medium heat before serving.)

For croutons:

Preheat broiler. Butter one side of each bread slice. Arrange bread, buttered side up, on baking sheet. Broil until golden, about one minute. Turn over. Sprinkle cheese, then thyme and sage over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until cheese melts, about one minute. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with croutons and serve.

Bittersweet Chocolate and Pear Cake from Smitten Kitchen

A delicious combination of flavors baked into each other in a warm, custardy cake. Bring this dessert to a holiday party or gathering and it’s sure to be a big hit.

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3 eggs, at room-temperature

1 stick unsalted butter

¾ cup sugar

3 pears, peeled, in a small dice

3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and dust with breadcrumbs or flour.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs on high speed until pale and very thick, approximately 9 minutes.

While the eggs are whipping, brown the butter. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan (because it will foam a lot) and cook it until the butter browns and smells nutty (about six to eight minutes). It helps to frequently scrape the solids off the bottom of the pan in the last couple minutes to ensure even browning. Remove from the flame but keep in a warm spot.

Add the sugar to the eggs and whip a few minutes more.

Just as the egg-sugar mixture is starting to lose volume, turn the mixture down to stir and add the flour mixture and brown butter. Add one third of the flour mixture, then half of the butter, a third of the flour, the remaining butter and the rest of flour. Whisk until just barely combined: no more than a minute from when the flour is first added: and then use a spatula to gently fold the batter until the ingredients are combined. It is very important not to over-whisk or fold the batter or it will lose volume.

Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle the pear and chocolate chunks over the top and bake until the cake is golden brown and springs back to the touch, about 40 to 50 minutes, or a tester comes out clean.

Lemon-Chamomile Shortbread from Real Simple

Perfect with tea or at brunch, these tasty little cookies take very little prep time and come out of the oven looking and smelling beautiful.  Yields 18 cookies.

1  cup  (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1/2  cup  sugar

1/4  tsp  salt

Grated zest from 1 lemon

1  tsp  loose chamomile tea

2 1/4  cups  all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square cake pan.

In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar and salt. Beat until light and fluffy. Blend in the lemon zest, loose tea and flour until smooth. Press into pan.

Bake 30 minutes or just until the shortbread begins to turn golden. Cut into nine squares, then cut each square into two triangles.

Cool completely on a wire rack. Remove cookies from pan.