Photos and recipes by Meghan YAGER
‘Tis the season for spending time with family, and one of the best places to make memories is the kitchen! This month, with mugs of slow cooker hot chocolate in hand, bring the gratitude and holiday feelings to life by baking classic gingerbread cookies and a seasonal eggnog pull apart loaf.
Pull Apart Eggnog Loaf
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a loaf pan with cooking spray. Roll out pizza dough on a lightly floured baking surface to make a 30”x 10” rectangle.
In a small bowl, combine butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar until it forms a soft paste. Spread the filling evenly over the entire surface of the dough, then use a knife to trim the edges of the dough so all sides are straight. Slice dough into 6 vertical strips. Stack the rectangles on top of each other, then slice the stacks into 6 stacks of squares.
Place all of the stacks into the bread pan vertically (edges up). Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Cover with foil and bake for another 20 minutes, until the center is no longer raw dough.
While the bread is baking, whisk powdered sugar, eggnog, and cream cheese together to make the glaze. The glaze should be pourable but still thick. Once the bread is finished baking, drizzle with icing. Serve immediately.
TIPS & TRICKS
Don’t like eggnog? You can make the loaf with heavy cream instead of eggnog for a cinnamon spiced loaf that is still just as tasty!
In a large slow cooker set to high, combine all of the ingredients. Stir regularly for 40 minutes to 1 hour until chocolate is fully melted and incorporated. Switch to low and let simmer. Help yourself!
TIPS & TRICKS
For a fun holiday party idea, host a hot chocolate bar with this slow cooker hot chocolate as the centerpiece! Serve with marshmallows, cookies, candy canes, sprinkles, and whipped cream.
Cream together butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth. Add molasses and egg, mixing until combined. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. After it’s mixed, add flour, baking soda, and spices to the bowl. Mix until everything is combined.
Dump the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap the dough up and shape into a disc. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 3 hours, or overnight. When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats, then roll dough out on a clean, floured work surface until it is ¼-inch thick.
Cut the dough into desired shapes and add cookies to the baking sheets. You don’t need to leave too much room between the cookies, but don’t let them touch. Bake for 10 minutes, until they set. Do not overbake so they stay nice and soft. Cool for 5 minutes on the pan, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
TIPS & TRICKS
You can easily decorate the chewy gingerbread cookies as desired with royal or store-bought icing as desired. For a more rustic, vintage look, leave them undecorated and give them as gifts in small bags.