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Sifted: Holiday Goodies, Homemade Hot Chocolate + More

Orange Cranberry Scones by The Faux Martha

5 Hot Links We’re Loving:

  1. Throw on some Christmas music and bake up a batch of The Faux Martha’s cranberry orange scones.
  2. A Cozy Kitchen shows you how to make fancy shmancy hot chocolate. It’s easier than you think.
  3. Take a break from Christmas shopping and cookie dough to enjoy a bowl of Cookie and Kate’s curried cauliflower soup.
  4. We’re putting Love and Olive Oil’s gingerbread caramels in the running for the best holiday mashup this season.
  5. Eggnog in cupcake form is awesome — especially when spiked with rum. Sprinkle Bakes’ recipe features a rich and creamy white chocolate ganache.

Craving More?

  • Your holiday party needs more than just cookies. Go with savory small bites perfect for mingling.
  • Everyone loves candy. From lollipops to truffles, we have the best recipes to gift this Christmas.

Thirsty Thursday: Raise Your Glass to Alton’s Eggnog

To me, the hallmark of a good holiday party is eggnog. Sweet, rich, and indulgent — the Christmas season really wouldn’t be complete without a healthy portion of this requisite libation. If the cloyingly sweet and thick store-bought stuff, spiked with nothing but too much nutmeg, has left you jaded, Alton Brown’s homemade version will convert you to an eggnog believer.

This simple and traditional Christmastime concoction is made with milk, cream, egg yolks and sugar, and is spiked with smoky bourbon and dark rum. It’s enriched with whipped egg whites for a frothy texture, and has a a hint of freshly grated nutmeg for a warm undertone. It’ll leave you wondering why you ever settled for the store-bought alternative.

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Butter Cookies with Eggnog Cream Cheese Icing


Gear up for holiday baking with Cooking Channel. Your favorite chefs & Food People have opened their kitchens to share their best cookie recipes. From mini Red Velvet Whoopie Pies to Chuck’s Maple-Pecan Shortbread, we’ll keep you baking all season. Visit our All-Star Cookie Swap, then head over to FoodNetwork.com for great takes on holiday baking from Food Network chefs.

As we gear up for the holiday madness — visiting in-laws, parking-lot musical chairs, office parties, endless gift-buying, spending days (or weeks) making and packaging homemade gifts  — one thought continually rolls through our heads: “We need a drink.”

Since it’s rather frowned upon to be seen with flask in hand on a regular basis, it is best to devise incognito ways to sneak in a little nip here and there. (This keeps us calm and ensures that the holidays are, in fact, merry.) There are already several holiday classics intent on serving this purpose: rum balls, trifles, and of course, the ever-popular eggnog. Well, let’s add another treat to the list of holiday stress remedies: a delicate butter cookie with a brandy-laced eggnog icing.

Though innocent in appearance, these high-spirited cookies will bring a twinkle to your eyes (and some rose to your cheeks). You can always play around with your liquor of choice (dark rum, cognac, bourbon or Kahlua are some fun options) and then box up mixed batches as gifts. The holidays are happy once again!

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Coquitos, or Puerto Rican Eggnog

Coquito Recipe

While there are countless ways to celebrate the season, there seems to be a general consensus that sweetened milk, enriched by egg yolks, and spiked with spirit, preferably bottled, is a good idea.

Eggnog may have originated in England, but Mexican convents have perfected it as rompope, Cubans have their own sugary version called crema de vie, and Puerto Ricans took the usual blend and infused it with coconut to make coquitos. Though simple enough to make with canned or creamed coconut, there’s a unique satisfaction to cracking open your own coconut, grating the meat, blending in the rum and extracting the flavor directly from the source. Creamy and sweet, the coconut adds a smoothness that sets it apart from heavier custard-in-a-glass alternatives and brings a taste of island life to the holidays. In Puerto Rico, where the parties and observances start early and can continue well into January, there’s always an excuse for just one more.

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