10 Hacks to Free Up Oven Space for Christmas Dinner
Because hosting a holiday feast doesn’t have to be stressful.
Easy Blender Eggnog
Even if you have a traditional eggnog recipe you always follow, you’ll want to tuck this one away for more spontaneous cravings. Whip up frothy, creamy eggnog—without beating egg whites or letting the mixture sit in the fridge overnight. In fact, our straightforward method doesn’t even require a stand mixer. Instead, we brought out the trusty blender, and used it to blend a few eggs before pouring in a simmering mixture of heavy cream, sugar and nutmeg. You’ll blend the ingredients until frothy, add brandy (or Bourbon or cognac), if desired, and you’re ready to enjoy the classic cocktail, preferably under a warm blanket or next to a crackling fire.
Linzer Torte, the precursor to those jam-filled Linzer cookies everybody loves around the holidays, never grew to be as popular as its miniature adaptation in the U.S. But the classic Austrian dessert is every bit as delicious—and perhaps even more impressive in torte form. You’ll make torte crust, which can be prepped up to two days before you plan to serve the dessert, then coat it with raspberry jam and top it with more dough, rolled into cute little rounds. The finished product has a crisp, buttery almond crust and a slightly chewy, deliciously fruity interior. It’s the kind of simple, refined treat you’ll be dreaming of for days afterward.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
There are recipes for Whoopie Pies—and then, there’s this recipe. We took the New England classic to the next level by devising pumpkin cookies, bound together by a cream cheese frosting, that are spongy, doughy and moist. Is the finished product a cookie? A pie? A cake? You be the judge. Make sure to grab a can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin-pie filling) for delicious pumpkin flavor that tastes just sweet enough and not overly spiced. Thinking of whipping these up for a fall festival, or an outing to the pumpkin patch? These whoopee pies keep in the fridge, in an airtight container, for a day.
Caramelized Onion Tarts With Apples
These puff pastry bites combine tart apples with caramelized onions for a unique fall flavor that’s sure to please. Bake a few tarts for a dinner-party appetizer or a book club snack—or make one for a light meal served alongside a kale or perfectly fall mixed green salad. You’ll start by cooking sliced onions over the stovetop, then stirring in chopped-up apples and a bit of salt and pepper. That mixture then gets spread over puff pastry and crème fraiche, which all goes in the oven for roughly half an hour. Use a pizza cutter to cut the tart into small pieces and serve.
Bûche de Noël
The Yule-log dessert served around the holidays, Bûche de Noël is a distinctly French tradition. The sweet log-shaped treat would make a pretty impressive addition to your family’s roster of Christmastime desserts, if you don’t make it already. Inside that thick chocolate ganache lies a little twist of chocolate cake rolled around a layer of whipped cream icing. You actually start with a flat cake baked in a 9x13 jelly roll pan. Each bite is flavorful and festive, but a slice is actually pretty light (read: two slices is perfectly acceptable, as is enjoying a bit of this cake with a few cookies or candies on the side). ‘Tis the season, right?
Raspberry-Almond Linzer Cookies
A bakery descendant of a torte developed in Linz, Austria, linzer cookies are a holiday favorite. Our raspberry-almond treats are an homage to that classic cookie, and while baking the sweets requires quite a few steps, the end result is absolutely worth the work (and the wait). You’ll make a shortbread-like dough, half of which you’ll cut into the base cookie, and half of which receive an interior cut-out. After baking, you’ll connect the two halves with a dot of raspberry jam and dusty the top with a bit of confectioners’ sugar. The finished sandwiches are as delicious as they are gorgeous.
Four-Layer White Cake
Our recipe for a white cake goes way beyond the expected (and sometimes boring) dessert. Four layers! Homemade frosting, ready in seven minutes! Shredded coconut-coated exterior! This version’s deliciously moist, just sweet enough, and looks pretty darn impressive, if we do say so ourselves. Plus, no need to stock special pans: You’ll actually use a 11x17-inch rimmed baking sheet to create one low, thin cake, which bakes and cools quickly, before using a serrated knife to cut four equal-sized rounds from the pan and stacking them up. The finished product looks plain lovely on a cake stand—but even more stunning when you cut the first slice.