A Belated Baker’s (and Best) Dozen of Holiday Recipes

Happy Holidays from Bakers & Best!  Hopefully you have the chance to take a few days off work/stressing about the Michigan football coaching situation to relax.  I wanted to share a few recipes I’ve posted before that I think would be a fun way to spend some of your time the next few days.  Enjoy!

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1. Apple Cinnamon Stuffed French Toast – Not having to rush to work or school means you have more time to make breakfast!  This isn’t too time consuming but it is much more satisfying than a bowl of cereal (no disrespect to my usual bowl of Crispix and Kroger bran flakes).

2. Braided Challah – Two years ago during Hanukkah I made some challah.  Eventually, I used some for the apple cinnamon french toast!  This is a relatively straightforward dough if you haven’t done much bread baking before and you can get a little creative in how you want to braid it.

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3. Tartine Country Bread – Now that you’re up and enjoying a lazy morning, why not make yourself feel productive by making some sourdough bread!  If you’ve got some active starter on hand you can get going right away, if not you can be ready to make the dough by dinner time.  Impress your guests by telling them you spent all day making a loaf of bread, when really you only spent 10 minutes handling the dough!

4. Chocolate Cherry Sourdough – Perhaps you’ve been invited over somewhere and want to bring a nice gift.  Why not the gift of bread!  This is a great holiday twist on the Tartine country loaf.

5. Homemade Pasta – No plans?  If you’re feeling like spending the day at home but want to do something special, homemade pasta is a great way to go.  If you have kids it is a fun way to get them involved in the kitchen (that’s what my dad used to do with my sister and me).  If you don’t have a pasta maker don’t worry, try making cut out shapes into ravioli or tortellini!

6. Orange Toasted Almond Scones – But what if you’re having company over…like now!  These scones are super easy to whip up and have in the oven in no time.  When your guests arrive and smell them baking as they walk in they’ll be impressed with how well you timed everything!

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7. Chocolate Sourdough Muffins – Maybe you decided to refresh your sourdough starter to make one of the previously mentioned loaves.  Not wanting to let anything go to waste, why not put some of the unfed starter to use and make these muffins?  They are deliciously moist with a nice firm top and filled with warm chocolate chips.

8.  Pita Bread – So you made pasta with the kids and now they’re clamoring for more?  Why not make some pita bread to use for lunch?  The dough is easy to put together and they can work on kneading and shaping it themselves.  Cooking on a very hot surface means you should probably handle the baking, but it will be lots of fun to watch them puff up together.

9. Nutella Rose Bread – Maybe you’ve got a romantic evening in mind with a special someone.  Who could turn down a piece of this deliciously rich and chocolatey dessert.  A soft and chewy dough braided with streaks of nutella and baked, what more could you want?

10. Cider Baked Apples– Like the hazelnuts in nutella but prefer to stay away from chocolate?  Give these cider baked apples a try.  They get ultra warm and soft in the oven while the sugar and hazelnut mix on the inside gets gooey and caramelized.

11. Apple Crisp – If hazelnuts aren’t your thing but you do like apples this apple crisp is a quick dessert that you can put together right before dinner and bake while you eat.  You can change the amount of sugar and butter in the topping to influence how crispy and thick of an outer layer you end up with.

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12. Butter Croissants – Have none of these recipes seemed involved enough for you?  Do you have an inner pastry chef yearning to be free?  Then it’s time you make some croissants.  After dinner one night prepare the butter block and dough.  When you wake up in the morning you can begin the process of laminating the dough and by the early afternoon people will be filing into the kitchen to see your beautiful finished products!

13.  Neapolitan Pizza Dough – You’ve got a house full of people for the holidays and everybody wants something different for lunch.  Make some dough a few hours before, grab some sauce and cheese, and put everyone else in charge of their own lunch!

Happy Baking!

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