Treat yourself! Giada’s favorite holiday desserts

With the holidays in full swing, if there’s ever a time to indulge in some sweet treats, that time is now. Why not start with Giada De Laurentiis’ delicious desserts, which are a hit at any festive get-together? Here, the Italian chef shares her recipes for truffle pops and roasted apple pies with whipped cream.

Truffle pops
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Rating:
( rated)
Servings:
Serves: 18 truffle pops; Prep time: 25 minutes; Inactive prep time: 3 hours and 30 minutes; Cook time: 10 minutes Servings

Ingredients

  • Ganache

    • 8 ounces (1 1/2 cups) bittersweet (60 percent cacao) chocolate chips (Recommended: Ghirardelli)
    • 3/4 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 2 cups (12 ounces) bittersweet (60 percent cacao) chocolate chips (Recommended: Ghirardelli)
  • Toppings

    • 8 ounces (1 1/2 cups) bittersweet (60 percent cacao) chocolate chips (Recommended: Ghirardelli)
    • 3/4 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 2 cups (12 ounces) bittersweet (60 percent cacao) chocolate chips (Recommended: Ghirardelli)
    • 1 cup finely chopped nuts, such as pistachios or walnuts
    • 1 cup mini-chocolate chips
    • 3 (1.4-ounce) milk chocolate-toffee candy bars, such as Heath or Skor, finely chopped

Preparation

Baking Directions:

For the ganacheLine a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium stainless-steel or glass bowl, combine the chocolate chips and heavy cream.Set the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water and stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth, about 6 minutes.Whisk in the cinnamon. Refrigerate the ganache until very firm, about 2 hours. Using a 1-ounce cookie scoop or a round tablespoon measure, scoop the ganache into 18 (1-inch) round pieces and arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Working quickly, with dry hands, roll the mixture into balls. Put a pop stick into each ball and freeze, stick side up, until firm, about 30 minutes.Add the 2 cups of chocolate chips to a medium stainless-steel or glass bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water and stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted, about 4 minutes. Put the chopped nuts, mini-chocolate chips and chopped candy bars in 3 small bowls.The popsDip the pops in the melted chocolate, allowing the excess chocolate to drip off, and then dip into the toppings until coated. Arrange the pops, stick side up, on the baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes until the chocolate has set. Let the pops stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving. Store the pops, refrigerated, in an airtight container.

Tips:

Cook’s note: If the scooped ganache is too sticky to roll into balls, put the pan in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to harden.Special equipment: 18 (4-inch) wooden pop sticks, a 1-ounce cookie scoop

print recipe
Rating:
( rated)
Servings:
4 servings; Prep time: 12 minutes; Inactive prep time: 25 minutes; Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

    • 1 (9-inch) refrigerated rolled pie crust (Recommended: Pillsbury)
    • 2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Baking the piesPlace an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper sprayed with vegetable cooking spray. Unroll the pie crust out on a work surface. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 8 disks of pastry. Arrange the pastry disks on the prepared baking sheet. Using the tines of a fork, prick the pastry all over. Bake until brown and crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely, about 10 minutes.Slice the bottom of the apples to create an even surface for cutting. Slice each apple into 6 (1/2-inch) slices. Cut each apple slice in half and remove any seeds or pieces of core. In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Add the apple slices and toss until coated. Shake off any excess mixture. Arrange the apple slices on the same baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until dark brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.In a medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the cream until thick, about 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until the cream is very thick.Assembling the piesPlace the pastry disks on a work surface. Divide the cooked apple slices among 4 of the disks. Dollop about 2 tablespoons of the cream on top of the apples and cover with the remaining disks. Transfer the apple pies to dessert plates, dust with cinnamon and serve immediately.

Tips:

Special equipment: A 3-inch round cookie cutter

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