Giada makes treats for Santa and his reindeer

Many children leave milk and cookies for Santa. But what about his hard-working reindeer? Giada De Laurentiis, an Italian chef and show contributor, shares some of her recipes for Italian treats everyone can enjoy Christmas morning. (By the way, reindeer are partial to raisins.) Try these at home:

Panettone Bread Pudding with Amaretto Sauce
Servings:

8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

  • Sauce:

    • 1/2 cup whipping cream
    • 1/2 cup whole milk
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/4 cup amaretto liqueur
    • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Bread Pudding:

    • 1 (1-pound) loaf panettone bread, crusts trimmed, bread cut into 1-inch cubes
    • 8 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
    • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
    • 1 1/4 cups sugar

Preparation

Baking Directions:

To make the sauce:Bring the cream, milk, and sugar to a boil in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently. In a small bowl, mix the amaretto and cornstarch to blend, then whisk into the cream mixture. Simmer over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Set aside and keep warm. (The amaretto sauce can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before serving.) To make the bread pudding:Lightly butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Arrange the bread cubes in prepared dish. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, milk, and sugar to blend. Pour the custard over the bread cubes, and press the bread cubes gently to submerge. Let stand for 30 minutes, occasionally pressing the bread cubes into the custard mixture. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake until the pudding puffs and is set in the center, about 45 minutes. Cool slightly. Spoon the bread pudding into bowls, drizzle with the warm amaretto sauce, and serve.

Tips:

Preparation Time: 10 minutesCooking Time: 40 minutesInactive Time: 30 minutes

Pecorino Romano with Apples and Fig Jam
Servings:

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

    • 6 dried figs, halved
    • 1/2 cup Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
    • 2 tablespoons brandy
    • 1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
    • 24 baguette slices
    • Olive oil for drizzling
    • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
    • 1 large apple (Granny Smith or Braeburn), thinly sliced into 24 slices
    • 1/4 pound chunk of Pecorino Romano, for shaving 24 pieces
  • Simple Syrup:

    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 cup sugar

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.Place a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the figs, simple syrup, and brandy. Bring the mixture up to a simmer. Turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Place the fig mixture and the hazelnuts in a food processor and blend, pulsing a few times until pureed. Set aside.Place the baguette slices on a heavy baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Top each slice with 1 teaspoon grated Pecorino Romano. Bake until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted and golden, about 7 minutes.Top each slice of toast with 2 teaspoons of fig jam, a slice of apple and a piece of shaved Pecorino Romano. Transfer the toasts to a serving platter and serve.Simple Syrup:In a saucepan combine water and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Take pan off heat and cool the syrup. Any extra cooled syrup can be saved in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Tips:

Prep Time:        35 minutesCook Time:      15 minutes

Tuscan Mushrooms
Servings:

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  In a medium bowl mix together the roasted red bell peppers, olives, cheese, scallions, olive oil, salt, and pepper. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet place the mushrooms, cavity side up. Spoon the filling into the cavity of the mushrooms. Bake until the mushrooms are tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a serving platter, sprinkle with chopped basil, and serve.

Tips:

Prep Time: 10 minutesCook Time: 20 minutes

Spicy Mocha
Servings:

8 servings

Ingredients

    • 4 1/2 cups whole milk
    • 4 small dried red chilies (such as chilies de arbol)
    • 3 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
    • 3 cups espresso
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 cup whipping cream

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Combine the milk, chilies, and cinnamon sticks in a heavy large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Remove from the heat. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Whisk in the espresso, sugar, and 1 cup of cocoa powder. Bring the hot chocolate to a simmer, whisking often. Discard the chilies and cinnamon sticks.Meanwhile, whisk the powdered sugar and remaining 1/4 cup cocoa powder in a large bowl to blend. Add the cream and whisk until the mixture is thick.Ladle the hot chocolate into 8 mugs. Spoon the chocolate whipped cream atop and serve immediately.

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