Holiday Berry Meringue Wreath

Holiday Berry Meringue Wreath

This edible wreath is almost too pretty to eat (but seriously, you should dive in — it’s delicious.) Crisp and crunchy meringue lies beneath a ruby red cranberry, raspberry and pomegranate sauce.

Level: Easy

Total: 3 hr 45 min (includes cooling time)

Active: 45 min

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

Ingredients

Wreath:

8 large egg whites, at room temperature

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

 

Whipped Cream:

1 cup heavy cream

Cranberry Sauce:

One 10-ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed and drained if frozen

1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more to taste

Juice of 1/2 lemon

4 cups fresh raspberries

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Leaves from 1 bunch fresh mint

Directions

 

1. Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 225 degrees F. Line the back of a baking sheet with parchment. Use a 12-inch bowl as a stencil: Flip it upside down and trace a 12-inch circle onto the parchment. Use a 9-inch bowl to trace a circle inside the 12- inch one. This is the outline of your wreath.

2. For the wreath: Combine the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in the very clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until thick and opaque, about 1 minute more. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, and beat until stiff, shiny peaks form, 13 to 15 minutes. 

3. Build the wreath: Using the template on the parchment as your guide, drop dollops of meringue in a line along the inside of the 12-inch circle. Use a rubber spatula to help clean off your spoon between dollops. Following the 9-inch circle and slightly overlapping the outer ring of meringue, make an inner ring of meringue dollops to fill in the rest of the template. Flatten the meringue slightly with the back of the spoon, making sure to keep a lot of peaks. Bake the meringue until it is dry, crisp, and pearly white on the outside, about 2 hours. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely. 

4. Meanwhile, make the cranberry sauce: Bring the cranberries, sugar and lemon juice to a simmer in medium saucepan and cook until the cranberries are soft and just begin to burst and the sugar is completely dissolved, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely. Gently fold in the raspberries and pomegranate seeds. Whip the heavy cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form.  

5. Before serving, spread the whipped cream on the meringue. Spoon over the cranberry sauce and sprinkle with mint leaves.


Holiday Berry Meringue Wreath
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Holiday Berry Meringue Wreath
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One 10-ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed and drained if frozen
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Halloween Strawberry Shortcake Skull Cake

Halloween Strawberry Shortcake Skull Cake

We topped elegant strawberry shortcake with a ghoulish white chocolate skull in this spectacular Halloween dessert. Pour over the hot strawberry sauce to reveal the surprise inside!

Level: Intermediate

Total: 2 hr 45 min (includes chilling and cooling times)

Active: 1 hr 10 min

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

Chocolate Skull:

4 ounces white chocolate melting wafers

1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil

4 ounces strawberries, sliced

Cake and Filling:

Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (see Cook’s Note)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg, at room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream

8 ounces strawberries, sliced

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

2 cups sweetened whipped cream

Strawberry White Chocolate Sauce:

8 ounces strawberries, finely chopped

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 ounces red candy melting wafers

Directions

 

1. For the chocolate skull: Add the white chocolate melting wafers and coconut oil to a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each, until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes.

2. Pour the chocolate mixture into the front and back cavities of a 2-part medium plastic skull mold (3-by-4-by-4-inch) and tilt to swirl the chocolate around until coated entirely (you can also use your finger to swirl the chocolate around). Tap out any excess and freeze until the chocolate is set, about 5 minutes.  

3. Reheat the melted chocolate, if needed, and brush the sides of the mold cavities with a second layer. Freeze until set, about 5 minutes. 

4. Carefully unmold the skull halves and fill one with the sliced strawberries. Microwave the melted chocolate again until smooth, about 30 seconds. Use the melted chocolate as glue to carefully attach the skull halves. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

5. For the cake and filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 6-inch round cake pan with 3-inch sides with nonstick spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment and spray the paper. 

6. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.  

7. Beat the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low just to incorporate, then beat on high until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vanilla and egg, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and continue to beat until creamy, about 2 minutes (the mixture will look curdled, but will come back together after everything is combined). With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. 

8. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. 

9. Bake until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan, turn the cake out onto the rack, remove the parchment and cool completely.  

10. Meanwhile toss the sliced strawberries and granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside for at least 30 minutes to allow the strawberries to release their juices. 

11. Cut the cake into 3 layers with a long serrated knife. Place a cake layer on a cake stand and top with half of the strawberries. Spread 3/4 cup of the whipped cream on top. Repeat with another cake layer, the remaining strawberries and 3/4 cup whipped cream. Top with the final cake layer and remaining 1/2 cup whipped cream. Position the skull in the center of the whipped cream.

12. For the strawberry white chocolate sauce: Add the strawberries and granulated sugar to a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries have broken down and thickened slightly, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and vanilla. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and return the liquid to the saucepan (discard the solids). Add the cream and red candy melting wafers to the sauce and heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until melted and hot, 10 to 15 minutes. 

13. When ready to serve, pour the hot sauce over the center of the chocolate skull.

 

 

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)


Halloween Strawberry Shortcake Skull Cake
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Halloween Strawberry Shortcake Skull Cake
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Chocolate Skull:
Cake and Filling:
Strawberry White Chocolate Sauce:
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Mummy Hand Pies

Mummy Hand Pies

This easy, Halloween-inspired recipe can be made ahead and served later as a scary-good party dessert.

Level: Easy
Total: 55 min
Active: 25 min
Yield: 6 hand pies

Ingredients:

1/4 cup canned pumpkin

2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Kosher salt

 

2 refrigerated pie crusts, thawed if frozen

All-purpose flour, for dusting

1 large egg

12 raisins

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, optional

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

 

  • Add the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and a pinch of salt to a medium bowl and stir to combine.

 

  • Roll out 1 pie crust on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin to form a rectangle about 9 inches by 12 inches. Square off the crust with a knife, reserving the scraps for decorating. Cut the pie crust into 6 equal rectangles, each about 3 inches by 6 inches. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

 

  • Roll out the other pie crust to the same thickness as the first. Cut into thin strips about 1/4 inch wide and 7 inches long. Repeat with the reserved dough scraps. Transfer the strips to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

 

  • Add 1 heaping tablespoon of the filling to the center of each rectangular crust. Use the back of a spoon to spread out the filling, leaving about a 1/2-inch border around the edges. 

 

  • Lightly beat the egg with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to brush the edges of the pies with the egg wash. Layer the strips of dough, varying the angle of each strip to create a “mummy” look. Seal the edges with a fork and use a paring knife to trim the overhang. Lightly brush the tops of the hand pies with the egg wash. Add 2 raisins to each hand pie for the eyes. ‘

 

  • Bake, rotating the pan halfway through for even color, until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a baking rack slightly, about 5 minutes. 

 

  • Serve as is or decorate with a simple icing. Combine the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl with 1/2 teaspoon water. Stir until smooth and glossy. Transfer the icing to a resealable plastic bag and snip off the corner. Pipe the icing onto the hand pies using the stripes of pie crust as a guide. Serve.

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Pumpkin Torte

Pumpkin Torte

This beautiful layered cake has a creamy filling with a mild pumpkin flavor and a little spice. It’s quick and always turns out so well. The nuts and caramel topping add a nice finishing touch.

This is a great recipe. Very light and not too sweet with a great pumpkin flavor.

I did use more pumpkin spice than what the instructions states, a little less confectioners sugar, and used no nuts. I had lots of coworkers asking where the recipe came from.

 

Ingredients:

1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)

1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin, divided

4 large eggs

1/2 cup 2% milk

1/3 cup canola oil

1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, divided

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping

Pecan halves, toasted

 

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of two greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.
  • Combine cake mix, 1 cup pumpkin, eggs, milk, oil and 1 teaspoon pie spice; beat on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium 2 minutes. Transfer to prepared pans.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks; cool completely.
  • Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in confectioners’ sugar and the remaining pumpkin and pie spice until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.
  • Using a long serrated knife, cut each cake horizontally in half. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with a fourth of the filling. Repeat three times. Drizzle with caramel topping; sprinkle with pecans. Store in refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts

1 slice: 476 calories, 24g fat (12g saturated fat), 82mg cholesterol, 367mg sodium, 58g carbohydrate (41g sugars, 1g fiber), 6g protein.

 

 

Pumpkin Torte
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