Hog Or Be Party Ready!
Christmas is nigh! And you know what that means: GOOD FOOD ALL ROUND! From mouth-watering rich chocolate goodies to creamy log cakes, the added pounds would be the least of our worries because there’s just so much to try and feast on. To commence our Christmas specials, we’ve collected an assortment of recipes that are easy to execute and it fits right in with the festive mood.
1) SANTA CRACKERS
Image & recipe credits: marthastewart.com
1. Spray some ricotta cheese on towards the bottom of the cracker in the form of a ‘V’. Next, add some of the cheese to the top quarter of the biscuit in a straight line forming the base of Santa Claus’ hat. (Refer to picture for direction)
2. Place the capers where the eyes and nose of Santa would be on your cracker.
3. Arrange two pieces of celery directly below the nose of the Santa cracker in a “W” formation.
4. Cut a pepperoni into a triangle shape, and then place it at the top of the cookie, close to the ricotta cheese.
2) OREO SNOWMAN
Cake pop sticks
Vanilla quick melt candy coating (available in Cold Storage or any baking store)
Orange tic tacs (cut in half)
1. Insert the cake pop sticks gently into the oreo fillings. Make sure the cookies do not break when inserting the sticks
2. Melt the vanilla candy coating and drizzle it all over the oreo. Make sure the oreo is fully covered in the candy coating. Do not dip the oreo into the coating as it might fall off from the stick
3. Place the candy coated oreos on a sheet of parchment to cool.
4. Add black frosting dots for eyes and mouth and the orange tic tac for the nose.
3) EDIBLE CHRISTMAS PRESENT
½ teaspoon dried dill
230 grams cream cheese (softened)
⅛ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Red bell pepper
1. Add into the softened cream cheese, garlic, salt and dried dill. Mix well.
2. Line a rectangular container with plastic wrap.
3. Pack the mixture into it.
4. Place it in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
5. Before serving it, take out the mixture and place it on a platter. Decorate with the scallion, red bell pepper for dots and the gift tag.
4) CHOCOLATE-ALMOND SALTINE TOFFEE
1 ½ cup sliced almonds
Roughly 60 saltine crackers or water crackers
1 ½ cups sugar
340 grams unsalted butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
230 grams bittersweet chocolate (chopped into 1cm pieces)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spread the almonds on a baking tray, and toast for 6 minutes or till golden.
3. Line a baking tray with buttered parchment paper. Arrange (saltine or water) crackers on a baking tray, patching any holes with cracker bits; slight gaps are fine.
4. In a saucepan over low heat: combine butter, corn syrup and sugar. Cook until all sugar is melted, and till syrup is golden brown around the edge (if candy thermometer is available, stir mixture till 300 degrees C).
5. Carefully pour the caramel over crackers, and spread it evenly. Cool for 3 minutes, then sprinkle chopped chocolate over the top, and let it stand till chocolate is melted.
6. Sprinkle almonds evenly over the chocolate, and freeze until toffee is set (which takes roughly 15 minutes).
7. Invert toffee onto work surface, and break into shards.
5) PITA TREES
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
4 plain or flavored pita folds or pita (pocket) breads (about 6 inches in diameter)
½ cup fat-free sour cream
16 thin pretzel sticks, halved
¼ cup very finely chopped red bell pepper
½ cup guacamole
¼ teaspoon garlic-pepper blend
1. Divide each pita fold into 8 wedges.
2. To create the tree trunk, insert a pretzel stick halfway into the center of bottom of each wedge.
3. Add sour cream, parsley, guacamole and garlic-pepper blend into a small bowl. Mix.
4. On each pita wedge, lightly place about 1 teaspoon of the sour cream mixture.
5. Dry the bell pepper by blotting it with a paper towel.
6. On each wedge, place about ¼ teaspoon of bell pepper in the form of a garland.
7. Optional step: Refrigerate for a maximum of 8 hours before serving.
6) BOURBON-GLAZED PORK BELLY CHUNKS
1 star anise
2 tablespoon pure honey
800g pork belly
200ml bourbon whiskey
2 tablespoon soy sauce
4 tablespoon tomato ketchup
Chives and soured cream, to serve
1. Heat the oven to 160C. Add 100ml of the bourbon as well as the star anise into a small, shallow roasting tin.
2. Season the pork belly, add it into the tin and cover tightly with foil.
3. After baking for 3 hours, remove it and let it cool for a minimum of 1 hour. At this stage, you can refrigerate the pork for up to 2 days.
4. Heat the oven to 200C. Remove the pork from the tin, and then pare away the rind from the meat with the use of a small, sharp knife, leaving a small layer of fat.
5. Dice the meat into 2cm chunks and place it back in the tin. Roast for 20 minutes till its crisp and golden-brown in colour, turning regularly.
6. Add the ketchup, soy sauce, honey and remaining bourbon into a small pan. Set over a high heat and bubble for 5 mins until thick and syrupy.
7. Throw in the chunks of pork pan and toss to coat. Roast for 10 minutes more until sticky.
8. Cut the chives into little bits and add it into the sour cream. Skewer the pork chunks, and serve it on the plate with the sour cream at the side.
7) CHOCOLATE FUDGE
2 ½ cup small marshmallows
4 cups sugar
370g Hershey chocolate bars, broken into pieces
½ cup butter
1 cup milk
57g unsweetened chocolate squares
340g chocolate chips
1) Melt butter and milk on the stovetop.
2) After adding in sugar, mix well.
3) Add in marshmallows and stir until you see vigorous bubbling.
4) Turn off the heat.
5) Add the remaining ingredients.
6) Pour into a butter jelly roll pan. Even out the mixture.
7) Place it in the fridge to harden.
8) CHOCOLATE-COATED PEANUT BUTTER BALLS
1 cup honey
1 ½ cups finely chopped walnuts or pecans
Chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet)
2 cups powdered milk
1 cup peanut butter
1. Add honey, milk and peanut butter together in a bowl and mix to form a thick mixture.
2. Roll mixture in small balls about the size of a walnut.
3. Roll the balls in the finely chopped nuts.
4. Place the balls on waxed paper and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
5. Melt the chocolate chips and dip the peanut butter balls in it.
6. Let it harden on a sheet of parchment paper.
9) BACON CHEESE WREATH
230g cream cheese (softened)
10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sliced green onions (optional)
⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Add cream cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese and onions(optional) into a small bowl.
2. Whisk it together.
3. Add in bacon.
4. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
5. In the center of a serving platter, place an inverted small bowl.
6. Around the edge of the bowl, drop cream cheese mixture using rounded tablespoons.
7. Remove bowl.
8. Smooth cream cheese mixture to form a wreath.
9. Serve with crackers.
10) CHOCOLATE DIPPED CANDY CANES
12 peppermint candy canes
1 cup chocolate chips(milk/semi-sweet)
5 tablespoons heavy cream
Vanilla candy wafers
1) Melt the chocolate chips and the cream in a small double boiler over boiler. Stir constantly until the chocolate chips are fully melted and smooth
2) While holding the candy cane directly over the pan, scoop a spoonful of chocolate and layer it over the chocolate. Shake the candy cane to remove excess chocolate
3) Lay the candy canes neatly spaced on a sheet of parchment paper to cool
4) Melt the candy wafers and drizzle them onto the candy canes that are cooling. Allows the chocolate and candy to completely cool and harden before your serve them.