Baking & Desserts

The simple holiday entertaining trick every host should know

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Easy holiday entertaining tips

Baking & Desserts

The simple holiday entertaining trick every host should know

By:

Hosting friends and family during the holidays doesn’t have to be a chore. Prepare treats—like our simple spin on chocolate éclairs—ahead of time so all you have to do is put on a pot of coffee when your guests arrive. 

Chocolate Ginger Fauxclairs

In large bowl, beat 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened, with 1 cup granulated sugar until fluffy; beat in 1 egg and 1/3 cup fancy molasses. In separate bowl, whisk together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp each baking soda and cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground cloves and pinch salt; stir into butter mixture until combined. Roll dough by 1 tbsp into balls; roll each into about 3-inch long log. Arrange, 2 inches apart, on parchment paper–lined rimless baking sheets. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in 350°F oven until firm to the touch, about 12 minutes. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes; transfer directly to racks to cool completely. Melt 225 g semisweet chocolate (about 8 oz), chopped; spread 1 tsp over top of each fauxclair. Let stand until set, about 1 hour. Makes about 48 pieces. 

Helpful hosting tips

- A thermal carafe is a great investment when you're serving coffee for a crowd. It will keep your coffee hot, prevent overcooking and preserve the flavour, guaranteeing that the last cup is just as nice as the first. 

- Before melting chocolate, chop it so that it will melt more quickly and evenly. 

- Chilled dough is easier to work with than room temperature. If it starts to become too sticky while you're working with it, pop it into the fridge. 

- To make ahead, layer finished treats between waxed paper in an airtight container; store for up to five days or freeze for up to two weeks.

For more coffee recipes and other sweets that pair well with a cup of java, visit canadianliving.com/coffee. 

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Baking & Desserts

The simple holiday entertaining trick every host should know

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