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Video: Delicious desserts for holiday dinner

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    >>> today's kitchen is brought to you by macy's.

    >> 8:52 and we're in today's kitchen. this morning, delicious holiday desserts. she is the author of bake it like you mean it and her recipes can be found in the december issue of better homes and gardens . nice to see you.

    >> nice to be back.

    >> it's a pleasure. these are delicious but they take a little work.

    >> these are actually incredibly easy.

    >> for you.

    >> but your favorite is coconut.

    >> you don't love coconut either but you need coconut to make the snowballs.

    >> what else is a snowball going to be but coconut.

    >> you start out with cakes.

    >> cakes. they are round. you can make them smaller and use muffin tins. looks just as well. you can hollow a little out or just enough. depending on how much filling you want.

    >> what do you need?

    >> you can use nutella or any other kind of jam you like. just enough to squeeze them together.

    >> that helps hold them together?

    >> it does. but you're going to put just a little more if you're not sure.

    >> okay.

    >> smear it around like you're buttering toast and you put it on toast. this is the messy part. this is why i have a towel here to wipe our fingers. get your kids and they're going to love this. they're going to smear it all over on the top first and then tip it in the coconut.

    >> get it all over your hands. that's fine.

    >> shredded coconut here.

    >> and when you're done it looks like that.

    >> it's fantastic. and it has the great raspberry and butter cream filling on the inside.

    >> and a little wet towel.

    >> that's one great classic dessert.

    >> as reading this last night i was thinking how is she going to do this? this is the hidden snow man.

    >> i'm a genius.

    >> it's magic. but not really. it's so easy. you take a cookie cutter, usually two inches or so and put the batter on the bottom.

    >> is this just chocolate cake batter?

    >> yes. but you can use any sturdy batter. contrasting colors are key.

    >> this is yellow cake .

    >> take your thingy and pull it out. it's not going to come out and then you just pop it out. if you have little things on the side like this that you spray it with nonstick cooking spray and dip it in. just head down.

    >> and people are looking at this saying why are we doing this? because now once you bake that, this is where the hidden part comes.

    >> you don't bake it all the way through. it will be about almost done. it's still a little soft so that when you bake the cake around it it is perfectly baked in the middle.

    >> it catches up to the rest of the cake. then you go around your snow man. implths it's fantastic. kids are going to love this.

    >> you put what kind of frosting on that?

    >> it's marshmallow frosting.

    >> perfect.

    >> here are the snowballs. for your easter egg mold you do it for the holidays. you put frosting on top and dip almonds in a little bit of glitter and start putting them on. it's easy. it looks so gorgeous. this is so easy.

    >> and she started each one of these on halloween.

    >> the best ever.

    >> use that 4th of july .

    >> and that is a little white

    announcer: from nbc new s, this is today's take with al roker , natalie morales , and willie geist . live from studio 1 -a in rockefeller plaza .

    >>> welcome to today on this

TODAY recipes
updated 12/4/2013 8:04:26 AM ET 2013-12-04T13:04:26

Recipe: Coconut Snowballs

Ingredients
  • Coconut milk cake
  • 4 eggs, separated, room temperature
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cups unrefined coconut oil, room temperature
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Double vanilla frosting
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1⁄2 cups unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes, softened
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 tsp. seedless raspberry or strawberry preserves (optional)
  • 3 cups sweetened flake coconut
Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour each 31⁄2-inch cup of two 6-cup mini ball pans* or 48 cake pop molds.

2. In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks, 1⁄2 cup of the sugar, and coconut oil. Add coconut milk; whisk until just combined. In another large bowl sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift flour mixture over egg mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold in flour mixture until smooth.

3. In a medium bowl beat egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on high speed until foamy. Slowly add remaining 1⁄4 cup sugar; beat until medium-soft peaks form.

4. Add one-third of the egg whites to batter; stir until no streaks of white remain. Gently fold in remaining egg whites and vanilla until completely combined.

5. Spoon about 1⁄3 cup batter into each prepared 31⁄2-inch ball cup, or a rounded tablespoon into each cake pop mold. Bake 31⁄2-inch balls 18 to 20 minutes or cake pops 10 to 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Cool 5 minutes on wire rack. Remove cakes from pans; cool completely on wire rack.

6. Double Vanilla Frosting: In a large stainless-steel bowl combine egg whites and sugar. Set bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water (bottom of bowl should not touch water). Whisk egg white mixture constantly until sugar melts and an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove bowl from saucepan. Using an electric mixer, beat mixture on high speed until it doubles in volume, holds a peak, and is cool, about 12 minutes more. Reduce speed to medium-low. Slowly beat in butter, a few pieces at a time. Using a rubber spatula, fold in vanilla bean paste and vanilla.

7. To assemble 31⁄2-inch balls, in a small bowl combine 1 cup of the frosting and raspberry preserves. Place filling in a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip. Insert tip of pastry bag into the center of the flat sides of cakes; squeeze to fill. Use frosting to attach two cakes, flat sides facing in. Using a small offset spatula, cover each snowball with remaining frosting. Press coconut flakes in an even layer to cover each snowball. Makes 6 large snowballs or 48 cake pop snowballs.

Tips

* We used Wilton's Mini Ball Pan ($13.99, wilton.com).

Don't have the pan? You can also use twenty 21⁄2-inch muffin cups or forty-eight 13⁄4-inch mini muffin cups. Grease and flour cups as above. For standard muffin size, spoon in 1⁄4 cup batter and bake 15 to 18 minutes. For mini muffin size, spoon in 1 rounded Tbsp. batter and bake 10 to 12 minutes. Pipe filling and frost as above.

Nutrional information: Each 1⁄2 snowball serving 507 cal, 34 g fat, 105 mg chol, 239 mg sodium, 48 g carb, 2 g fiber, 5 g pro. Each cake pop serving 148 cal, 10 g fat, 31 mg chol, 70 mg sodium, 14 g carb, 1 g fiber, 2 g pro.

Recipe: Hidden snowman cake

Ingredients
  • Vanilla cake
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk
  • Chocolate cake
  • 8 ounce bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped
  • 1 cup very hot brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened (3 sticks)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 6 eggs
  • Marshmallow frosting
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp light-color corn syrup
  • Pinch of salt
Preparation

1. For Vanilla Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13×9×2-inch baking pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment; grease paper and flour pan. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl stir together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down sides as necessary, about 3 minutes. Add oil; beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, beating on medium-low speed after each addition until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan; spread evenly. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Remove from oven. Transfer pan to wire rack; cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap. Freeze 30 minutes.

3. For Chocolate Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 10-inch tube pan with nonstick cooking spray for baking; set aside. Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour hot coffee over; do not stir. Let stand 2 minutes. Whisk chocolate and coffee mixture until smooth; cool. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla; set aside.

4. In a large bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda until combined, about 30 seconds; set aside.

5. In a very large bowl beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed, scraping down sides as necessary, about 2 minutes. Add oil; beat 2 minutes more. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and chocolate mixture, beating on medium-low speed after each addition until fully incorporated. Increase speed to medium high; beat 20 seconds more. Set chocolate batter aside.

6. Using a 3-inch snowman cookie cutter, cut 12 to 15 snowmen from vanilla cake; set snowmen aside.*

7. To assemble, spread half of the batter into prepared tube pan. Place snowmen cutouts, heads down, into batter, about 1⁄2 inch apart. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large open round tip with some of the remaining batter. Pipe (or spoon) batter around snowmen, keeping them evenly spaced. Spoon remaining batter over snowmen to within 1 inch of top of pan; carefully spread to cover. Transfer to a foil-lined baking sheet.

8. Bake cake 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a long skewer inserted near center of cake comes out clean. Loosely cover cake with foil during the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning. Remove; cool 15 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Using a table knife, loosen sides and around tube. Invert pan onto the rack; remove pan. Cool cake completely.

9. Meanwhile, for Marshmallow Frosting, in a large heatproof stainless-steel bowl combine egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Set bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water (bottom of bowl should not touch water). Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy and an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F, about 10 minutes. Remove bowl from saucepan. Continue beating until stiff peaks form; let cool. Using a small offset spatula, generously frost top and sides of cooled cake. Makes 24 servings.

Tips

Note: Use remaining chocolate batter for cupcakes, spooning 1⁄4 cup batter per cup into a pan lined with paper bake cups. Bake 18 to 20 minutes at 350ºF.

Each 1-inch-slice serving 477 cal, 24 g fat, 79 mg chol, 197 mg sodium, 64 g carb, 2 g fiber, 6 g pro.

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