3 holiday dessert recipes from Sunny Anderson

Still not sure what should be on your dessert menu for your holiday shindig? Or perhaps undecided on what to bring to your relative’s house? Try out some of these recipes from the Food Network’s Sunny Anderson, host of “Cooking for Real.”

Baklava cups
Servings:

Yields 30 pieces

Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup pistachios
    • 1/2 cup walnuts
    • 1/2 cup almonds
    • 1 lemon, zested
    • 1/4 cup, plus 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 boxes mini filo shells, 15 shells each
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/4 cup honey

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Arrange pistachios, walnuts and almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden and fragrant, which takes about eight minutes. Let nuts cool slightly and add to a food processor along with the lemon zest, 3 tablespoons of sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt and vanilla and pulse to combine. Place mini fillo shells in wells of two mini cupcake pans. Add 1 teaspoon of the nut mixture into each shell. Bake until filling is hot, which takes about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat add the water, 1/4 cup sugar and honey and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until reduced and slightly thickened, which takes between eight and 10 minutes. Pour 1 teaspoon syrup into each cup and allow it to soak in, then repeat with another teaspoon. Refrigerate at least five hours, or overnight.

Grandma's red velvet cake
Servings:

Yields 10 to 12 servings

Ingredients

  • For the cake batter:

    • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
    • 1.5 cups sugar
    • 2 ounces red food coloring
    • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • Pinch of salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 1 teaspoon vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
    • Butter, for pan
  • For the frosting:

    • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 sticks butter
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1.5 cups chopped pecans

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar, until light and fluffy. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, make a paste out of the red food coloring, cocoa and salt. Remove bowl from stand mixer and mix in paste by hand to the creamed butter. In a measuring cup, stir eggs with buttermilk and add to batter. Mix in vinegar and vanilla, and then add flour and baking soda. Mix until combined but do not overmix. Butter a sheet pan. Lay parchment on top. Butter the parchment. Pour batter into pan and smooth the top to even the batter out, using an offset spatula. Bake cake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan. Meanwhile, make the frosting. Heat all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Whisk until sauce thickens, which takes about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before using. Invert cake onto a cutting board and slice into quarters from the longer side. To assemble cake, spread one of the quarters with some of the frosting to cover. Sprinkle with a quarter of the pecans. Add another layer of cake and repeat. Continue until last layer is added. Frost the top of that and sprinkle with remaining pecans.

Hazelnut pumpkin pie
Servings:

Yields 30 pieces

Ingredients

    • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 3 tablespoons hazelnut creamer, divided
    • 1/2 cup butter, melted
    • 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
    • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.To make crust, mix graham crackers, sugar, 1 tablespoon of hazelnut creamer and butter until combined. Press into a 9- to 10-inch springform pan or cake pan, making sure to press mixture up the sides and bottom as well; set aside. For filling, in a large bowl mix in order cream cheese, brown sugar, eggs 1 by 1 and pumpkin puree. In a small cup stir remaining 2 tablespoons of hazelnut creamer, allspice and salt into heavy cream. Pour heavy cream mixture into pumpkin mixture and blend until combined. Pour into crust and bake for 35 minutes or until the center sets. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

Hot spiced buttered rum
Servings:

Yields four servings

Ingredients

    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    • 3 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
    • 4 ounces dark rum
    • 4 long cinnamon sticks

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In a small bowl mix the butter with the sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice until thoroughly combined. Warm the pineapple juice in a medium saucepan until very hot, but not boiling. Remove from the heat and whisk in spiced butter until combined. Divide the rum among four mugs. Pour the pineapple juice into the mugs. Drop a cinnamon stick into each mug to use as a swizzle stick. Serve.

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