// 10 min Read

Our Favorite Holiday Recipes

Written by Palmetto Bluff

Dec 21, 2022

Tis the season for….baking! The holidays are fast approaching, and we don’t know about you, but when we have a delicious array of festive treats in front of us, it’s impossible not to be in good spirits.

This year, you can enjoy the holidays without having to worry about what you’re going to feed hungry guests. Savory to sweet, we’re sharing some festive holiday recipes from some of the Bluff’s favorite chefs—recipes that have become holiday traditions in their homes and ones that we hope become part of your holiday memories this season.

Cracker Candy

Courtesy of Brandon Carter, Co-Executive Chef & Partner of FARM and Common Thread

Ingredients

  • Saltines, Ritz Crackers, or Pretzel Crisps (you will need just enough to place a single layer in the bottom of your greased pan)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cups semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 15x10x1-inch jelly roll pan by lining it with aluminum foil. Spread a thin layer of butter over the top of the foil to grease and then place a single layer of the crackers of your choice on the prepared pan.

2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and whisk until incorporated. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved, about 3-4 minutes. Pour over the layer of crackers and spread out as thinly and evenly as possible.

3. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until the sugar mixture is bubbling. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips.

4. Let sit for 5 minutes, then spread the melted chocolate chips over the candy in a thin layer. Top with toasted pecans.

5. Refrigerate the candy for up to one hour, uncovered. Remove and break into desired size pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days…if it lasts that long!


Fruitcake

Courtesy of Sharon & Allan Benton, Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams

Ingredients

  • 4 cups flour

  • 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg

  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder

  • 24 oz. whole pecan halves

  • 3/4 lb. cherries

  • 3/4 lb. pineapple

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2-1/4 cups sugar

  • 6 eggs

  • 3 tbsp. rum

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

2. Sift flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking powder.

3. Using the flour mixture, coat the pecans, cherries, and pineapple.

4. Cream the butter, sugar, and eggs.

5. Coat the nuts and fruit.

6. Line the bottom of a pan with 2 layers of brown paper. (A grocery bag will work just fine).

7. Grease and flour pan.

8. Bake in a tube pan at 275 degrees for 2 hours and 15 minutes – 2 hours and 30 minutes.

9. Take cake out of the oven 15 minutes before it’s done and decorate the top. Brush the top with light corn syrup. Return cake to the oven for last 15 minutes.

10. Leave cake in pan until it cools.

11. Wrap cake in rum-soaked towel until you’re ready to serve.


    Coffee Chocolate Yule Log

    Courtesy of Anne White, Executive Pastry Chef, Oak Steakhouse Highlands at Skyline Lodge

    Chocolate Sponge Ingredients

    • 1-1/3 cup cake flour
    • 3 tbsp. cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting

    • 1 tsp. baking powder

    • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

    • 1 tsp. ground coffee

    • 6 eggs, separated

    • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided

    • 2 tbsp. canola oil

    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    2. Line a half sheet tray with parchment paper. Spray with non-stick baking spray and set aside.

    3. Sift flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Add salt and ground coffee. Set aside.

    4. Whisk egg whites until frothy. Add ½ cup of the sugar and continue to whip on high until stiff peaks form. Transfer meringue to another bowl and set aside.

    5. Place egg yolks in a mixer with the remaining sugar (½ cup), oil, and vanilla. Paddle on high until mixture has thickened and is light in color.

    6. Fold half the meringue into the yolk mixture. Fold the dry ingredients into the mixture. Fold in the remaining meringue mixture.

    7. Pour immediately into the prepared sheet tray and spread evenly with an offset spatula.

    8. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes or until cake springs back when touched.

    9. Place a clean kitchen towel on your table and sift extra cocoa powder all over the towel.

    10. When you take the cake out of the oven, turn the cake over onto the towel and peel Thea parchment paper off the bottom. Roll the cake, lengthwise, with the towel wrapped in in while hot.

    11. Let cake cool completely in the towel.

      Coffee Cream Filling Ingredients

      • 1 cup mascarpone

      • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

      • 1 cup heavy cream

      • 2 tbsp. coffee extract

      Coffee Cream Filling Instructions


      1. Whip mascarpone until smooth.

      2. Add sugar and whip just until incorporated.

      3. Add heavy cream and coffee extract and whip until stiff peaks form.

        Ganache Ingredients

        • 1 cup heavy cream

        • 2 cups dark chocolate

        Ganache Instructions

        1. Heat heavy cream until lightly boiling.

        2. Pour over chocolate and stir to combine and melt.

        3. Let sit in the fridge until spreadable consistency.

        Assembly Instructions

        1. Gently unroll cake onto a piece of parchment paper. Remove towel.

        2. Evenly spread coffee filling all over the cake.

        3. Use the parchment paper to roll the cake back up, lengthwise.

        4. Place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.

        5. Remove from fridge and cut 1/3 of the log off on a diagonal. Place the larger log in the center of a cake board. Place the cut 1/3 flush against the other log to look like a branch.

        6. Spread ganache all over the cake with a spatula to create texture.

        7. Let sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.



        Sausage Pinwheels

        Courtesy of Rob McDaniel, Owner and Executive Chef, Helen

        Ingredients

        • 1 lb. of your favorite breakfast sausage

          3 cups White Lilly self-rising flour (plus extra for rolling out)

        • 1-1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter

        • 1-1/2 cups cold whole fat buttermilk

        • 1 tsp. kosher salt

        • Parchment paper

        • Non-stick spray

        Instructions

        1. Mix the flour and salt together in a medium bowl, using a box grater grate the cold butter into the flour.

        2. Using your hands, carefully toss the butter in the flour to coat the outside of the butter slivers. This should be done rather quickly, then form a well in the center of the flour and pour in the cold buttermilk.

        3. Using a floured hand and turning the bowl with the other, carefully fold the flour into the center of the buttermilk. Once the flour and buttermilk comes together, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

        4. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and lightly flour the top of the dough, then roll out the dough into even squares that are about 1/4-inch thick.

        5. Cut two pieces of parchment paper slightly larger than your square of dough. Remove the sausage from the wrapper and place between the two pieces of parchment paper that have been lightly sprayed with non-stick spray.

        6. Using a rolling pin, roll sausage out into a sheet that’s slightly smaller than your sheet of dough. Remove the top sheet of parchment and place the sausage onto the dough then remove the remaining sheet of parchment.

        7. Starting with the edges of the dough closest to you, roll the dough and sausage forming a log. Trim the edges off the log then cut in half. Wrap each piece separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or freeze for up to 2 days.

        8. For cooking, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the log into ½ inch round pinwheels and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until bottoms start to brown, about 15 minutes, then turn over to brown the other side 5-10 more minutes.


          I like to enjoy with yellow mustard or favorite preserves.

          Cheesecake

          Courtesy of Matt Wallace, Owner and Executive Chef, Blacksheep

          Crust Ingredients

          • 176g crushed graham crackers

          • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter

          • 1 tbsp. honey

          • Pinch of non iodized salt

          While the food processor is running from crushing those grahams, steam in the butter slowly, then the honey and a pinch of salt. Press into the bottom of an 8” spring form pan and bake in a preheated 300 oven for about ten minutes. Let cool to warm/room temp.

          Filling Ingredients

          • 8 oz. room temp cream cheese

          • 8 oz. room temp goat cheese (not crumbles)
          • 1/2 cup sugar

          • 2/3 cup heavy cream

          • 2 large eggs

          • 4 tbsp. lemon juice

          • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

          Instructions


          1. Add first three ingredients (cheeses and sugar) to a mixer with paddle and spin on medium-low for about five minutes. Don’t spin any faster as you’re not trying to add air into the mix. Should take about five minutes to get things where you want them.



          2. Then, at the same speed, add eggs one at a time. Don’t add the second until the first has been completely incorporated.



          3. Then add the heavy cream, followed by the lemon juice and vanilla.



          4. Assemble the springform pan around the prebaked crust and wrap the entire thing in one layer of aluminum foil. Try not to tear the foil on the bottom. Looking for something waterproof here—pretty important.



          5. Pour the batter into the springform pan. Add pan into a roasting dish or other deeper sided pan and add hot water to the pan around the springform until water reaches halfway to 2/3 up the sides of the springform.



          6. Bake at 300 for 15 minutes. Rotate once, then bake for another 15. Watch thereafter every five minutes or so until the cheesecake is firm and barely wobbly when you shake it—will take about 40 minutes or so.



          7. Remove from the water bath and let cool. I remove the foil right away just in case there’s water in there. You should also.

          I serve it with a raspberry sauce made from fresh berries but any will do. Cranberries, even. Enjoy.


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