The Tastes of Christmas

Christmas is not only a time for giving but is also the season of eating. The aromas of fresh-baked cookies and simmering ciders fill homes during the holiday season. Come and explore the Tastes of Christmas with us as we share some of our favorite recipes from The Spice & Tea Exchange and Whole Foods Market.

Luxury Cocoa

The Spice & Tea Exchange

Luxury Cocoa

There is nothing better than a scrumptious cup of hot chocolate. It is rich and decadent and overall perfection.

Ingredients

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepot.
  • Whisk on low heat until combined and heated through (don’t allow to simmer or boil).

Whole Foods Market

Chocolate Espresso Crinkle Cookies

These delicious cookies resemble a brownie in texture but the added kick of espresso takes these cookies to the next level.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions

  • Place oven rack in top third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, 1 cup granulated sugar, light brown sugar, vegetable oil and espresso powder. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, then stir in vanilla.
  • Add dry ingredients to cocoa mixture and use a wooden spoon to combine.
  • Place remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar and powdered sugar in two separate bowls. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and drop first in the granulated sugar for a light coating, then transfer to the powdered sugar and roll to coat (be generous). Place on prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 12–13 minutes (one sheet at a time), or until puffed and cracked with soft centers. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

The Spice & Tea Exchange

Amaretto Citron Sippper

Relax and enjoy the refreshing bright citrus notes paired with sweet lightly bitter Amaretto, and rum infused with the perfect flavor that complements Blood Orange Smoothie Herbal Tea.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 oz tea-infused rum
  • 3/4 oz amaretto
  • 3/4 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 oz saltwater (see note)
  • orange peel for garnish

Directions

  • Add rum, amaretto, orange juice, and saltwater to rocks glass.
  • Fill glass with large ice cubes; stir to combine and chill.
  • Express the oil of an orange peel over the glass, then insert.

Tea-Infused Rum

Combine ingredients; infuse at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours. Strain.

*Saltwater: In a dasher bottle or small resealable jar combine 3 ounces hot water and 4 to 5 pinches of kosher salt. Shake well until dissolved. Adding a dash or two to your cocktail will really brighten up and unite flavors.


gingerbread bundt cake

Whole Foods Market

Gingerbread Bundt Cake

Gingerbread pretty much defines the season. We think of decorating gingerbread houses and the comforting smells of ginger and gloves dancing in the background.

Ingredients

Cake
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cooled coffee
  • 1/2 cup cool water
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses
Sugared Cranberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
Vanilla Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  • Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly butter and flour a 10- to 12-cup Bundt pan.
  • Sift flour, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a medium bowl; set aside.
  • Combine coffee and water in a liquid measuring cup and set aside.
  • In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy. Slowly beat in granulated sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in brown sugar.
  • Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Beat in molasses.
  • With the mixer on its lowest speed, add flour mixture in three additions alternating with coffee mixture, starting and ending with flour. Mix until just combined.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until the top springs back when pressed lightly and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife gently around the edges of the pan, then invert the pan to release the cake. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Meanwhile, make the sugared cranberries and glaze: Combine 1/4 cup water and 4 tablespoons granulated sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat; lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and syrup is slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Add cranberries and stir until coated. Remove from heat and strain cranberries to remove excess syrup. Cool slightly. Place remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar on a plate; roll cranberries in sugar to coat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla. The glaze should be thick but still pourable; add a drop or two more milk if necessary. Spoon glaze over top of cake and decorate with sugared cranberries.

The Spice & Tea Exchange

Cranberry Orange Cheesecake

Take New York-style cheesecake to the next level with this Cranberry Orange version.

Ingredients

  • ¼ tsp. Chinese 5-Spice Seasoning
  • 2+ ½ tsp. Baker’s Spice Blend
  • ¼ cup Cinnamon Sugar
  • ¼ cup Ginger Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Brazilian Petite Sea Salt
  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided
  • ¾ cups water
  • ½ tsp. orange zest
  • ½ Tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup whole fresh cranberries (if using froz.en, thaw)
  • 1 small kumquat or clementine (we used Cuties ), sliced
  • 10 graham crackers, crushed
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 16 oz. regular cream cheese, softened
  • 3 large eggs & 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 16 oz. (full fat) sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. spiced rum (optional)

Directions

  • Heat1½ cups granulated sugar and water together. Stir until dissolved. Cool. Add to a bowl with Chinese 5-Spice Seasoning, ½ tsp. Baker’s Spice Blend, orange zest and juice, cranberries, and clementine slices.
  • Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 8-10 hrs, stirring occasionally. Strain (save liquid for a drink mixer if desired). Roll fruit pieces in Cinnamon Sugar and Ginger Sugar. Set on parchment paper and allow to dry for 2 hrs.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan. Mix graham crackers, brown sugar, and butter. Press into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 mins. or until crust is slightly golden. Set aside. Turn oven up to 400°F.
  • Beat cream cheese and 1 cup sugar on low for 2 mins. Add the eggs and yolk, continue beating for 2 mins. Add sour cream, rum, remaining Baker’s Spice Blend, and Brazilian Petite Sea Salt. Continue beating for 2 mins.
  • Wrapspringform pan in two layers of foil (waterproofs the outside) and set in a large roasting pan. Pour cheesecake filling in. Place in the oven. Carefully pour boiling water (about 3 cups) into the roasting pan until the water reaches about 1 cm up the cheesecake.
  • Bake15 mins. Turn temperature down to 250°F and bake another hr. Turn oven off and allow cheesecake to sit in the oven with the door open for another 30 mins. Remove from oven. Remove cheesecake from the water bath and allow to sit at room temperature for an hr. Wrap tightly in plastic and place in refrigerator to set (at least 2 hrs).
  • REMOVE springform pan. Cover with sugared fruits.

The Spice & Tea Exchange

Peppermint Patty Latte

Start your day in true cadence with this extra-special latte that includes notes of chocolate and peppermint.

Ingredients

3 Tbsp. Black Chocolate Tea
3 Tbsp. Peppermint Patty Sugar
1 tsp. Cocoa – Dutched (optional garnish)3 cups milk

Directions

  • Whisk milk, Black Chocolate Tea, and Peppermint Patty Sugar over low heat for five mins. (milk will foam and take on some chocolate color).
  • Usea fine mesh strainer to strain out the tea leaves.POUR into two warm mugs.
  • Top with a sprinkle of Cocoa – Dutched or whipped cream sprinkled with extra Peppermint Patty Sugar.

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