Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Columns

December 23, 2013

Lee Ward: Betty Crocker observes, shares holiday food trends: 12/24/13

ASHLAND — Betty Crocker has been the cook’s friend for a long time. Today, the company offers a few insights about what the trends are during this holiday cooking season and beyond.

“Whether you’re having a party or just enjoying time with loved ones, our red-hot trends and recipes make it easy for you to create memorable holidays at home this year,” said Kristen Olson, senior food editor for Betty Crocker Kitchens.

Here are some of Betty Crocker’s top holiday trends and recipes:

‰Sweet and savory cookies

A biscuit-shortbread hybrid from France, sablés have been named the cookie of the year in our test kitchens. For a salty-sweet flavor contrast, we added an unusual savory element—Kalamata olives! — and dark chocolate chips. The result? Mind-blowing, melt-in-your mouth goodness.

CHOCOLATE-DIPPED OLIVE SABLES

Cookies

3⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened

1⁄4 cup sugar

2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour

1⁄2 cup finely chopped kalamata olives, drained, patted dry with a paper towel

1⁄2 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts

1⁄2 cup finely chopped dark chocolate chips

Topping

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1⁄2 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, stir 3⁄4 cup of the butter and the sugar until well mixed. Stir in flour (if dough is crumbly, mix in up to 2 additional tablespoons softened butter). Stir in remaining cookie ingredients.

On work surface lightly sprinkled with flour, roll dough 1⁄4 inch thick. Cut with 2-inch round cutter. On ungreased cookie sheets, place 1⁄2 inch apart.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until set. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave 1 cup chocolate chips and the oil uncovered on High 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate; wipe excess on edge of bowl. Sprinkle edge of dipped half with finely chopped pistachio nuts. Place on waxed paper to set, about 1 hour.

‰The new fruitcake

A modern take on a Christmastime classic, this luscious two-layer cake, studded with whiskey-soaked fruits and filled with sweetened mascarpone, will be the belle of any holiday ball.

UPSIDE-DOWN APPLE CAKE WITH

 WHISKEY-SOAKED FRUIT

1⁄2 cup sweetened dried cranberries

1⁄2 cup chopped dried apricots

2 teaspoons grated orange peel

3 tablespoons whiskey or bourbon

3 red apples, unpeeled, quartered, cored, very thinly (1⁄4 inch) sliced

1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix

1 cup water

3⁄4 cup slivered almonds, finely ground

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