Eau Claire Eats

Three recipes to start the holiday baking season

It’s the beginning of December, which means it’s officially the holiday season. It also means it’s time to enjoy all of the treats that are the result of holiday baking.

I’m not much of a baker myself, but I definitely like to eat holiday treats and watch a lot of Food Network on TV. The three recipes below are delicious and will be sure to get you in the holiday spirit.

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkins are not really a Christmas food, but this pumpkin muffins recipe is worth eating in both the fall and winter months. This recipe is very easy to make, fairly healthy and can even include white chocolate chips — not to mention, they’re delicious.

I would recommend these three ingredients for the muffins that you can eat as dessert or breakfast — maybe even as a sidekick to your coffee in the morning.

  • One box of yellow cake mix
  • One can of pumpkin puree
  • White chocolate chips (optional)

First, preheat the oven to the temperature indicated on the cake mix box. In a large bowl, mix the dry cake mix with the can of pumpkin until combined. If desired, add as many white chocolate chips as you would like into the batter.

Separate the batter into lined muffin tins. If you don’t have muffin tins, you can also bake it in a cake mold.

Bake the muffins according to the box cake instructions and let them cool when done.

Pecan Pie

I watch “The Pioneer Woman” a ton and love pecan pie, so when I saw this recipe, I had to give it a try. This pecan pie is delicious and smells devine while it’s baking. If you’re bringing pecan pie to the holiday party this year, this recipe is for you.

  • One whole unbaked pie crust
  • One cup of white sugar
  • Three tablespoons of brown sugar
  • One-half teaspoon of salt
  • One cup of corn syrup
  • Three-quarter teaspoons of vanilla
  • One-third cup of melted salted butter
  • Three whole beaten eggs
  • One heaping cup of chopped pecans, or as desired

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. As the oven is coming to temperature, get a large bowl and mix the sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, eggs and vanilla together.

Next, chop the pecans and place them at the bottom of the unbaked pie crust and pour the mixture over the top.

Then comes the tricky part.

Cover the top of the pie and the edges of the crust with foil and bake it for 30 minutes. Then take off the foil and bake for 20 more minutes or until the middle is firm.

After letting the pie cool for a few hours, it is ready to be served.

Molasses Cookies

Gingerbread cookies are good, but this recipe is better. I like my cookies soft and chewy, and these cookies are basically a soft and chewy gingerbread cookie. They are so good and the recipe is made to be baked at Christmas time.

  • Two cups of all-purpose flour
  • One and one-fourth teaspoon of baking soda
  • One-half teaspoon of baking powder
  • One and one-half teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Two teaspoons of ground ginger
  • One-quarter teaspoon of ground cloves
  • One-half teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • One teaspoon of kosher salt
  • One and one-half sticks of softened butter
  • One-half cup of packed brown sugar 
  • One-third of ‘C’ molasses
  • One large egg
  • One teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • One tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
  • One-fourth cup of granulated sugar

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Take a bowl and whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.

In a separate bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, then add in molasses, egg, vanilla and ginger until combined. Finally, mix in the dry ingredients just until they are fully combined.

Cover and chill the dough for at least one hour.

When the dough is chilled, portion and form it into balls. Roll the balls in the sugar and space them two inches apart on your lined baking sheets.

Bake them for ten minutes so the cookies are fluffy and golden around the edges. 

Finally, enjoy your fresh baked goods.

Fanetti can be reached at [email protected]