To the pastry chefs, artisan bakers, country cookie mavens and other evil apron geniuses who work so hard to make this year sweeter and stickier than the last—you’re an inspiration. This weekend holiday-makers will be making and devouring our own holiday goodies, possibly inspired by the winning recipes below. (And come January 2nd, we'll be moving permanently into the fitness room at Tryp Hotel.)
New York Palace
We swoon for the cheesecake, but nobody can recreate that at home. Their Spiced Rum Anglaise, on the other hand, seems surprisingly easy: Milk, heavy cream, vanilla bean and rum extract in a pot. Some cinnamon. Bring to a boil, add egg yolks and a pound of sugar, which will thicken it right up of course…then throw it on ice quick-style, and voila, a Christmassy pudding. (Which we would prefer to be served swimming in actual spiced rum, bump the extract.)
If you feel like being naughty, the meltingly perfect handmade Maple Shortbread Cookies at this New Hampshire hideaway are just a hint of evening delights. As a matter of policy, dinner guests are allowed second helpings of dessert until it’s gone or they can’t handle anymore. People in the know often skip their veggies altogether, so as to save more room for sweets.
The Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel
Because thrice is nice, the decadent dessert masters at Boston's OAK Long Bar + Kitchen have created a triple-threat OAK Truffle Trio: dark chocolate and amaretto for the classicists; white chocolate and salted pistachio for folks who like a sweet/salty flavor combo; and citrus, white chocolate and macadamia to make you feel like a tropical flower.
As one of New Hampshire's Country Inns of the White Mountains, this New England charmer is responsible for fattening up people from about 10 states plus Canadians too, every year. It’s a host location for the annual Holiday Cookie & Candy Tour—every year creating original recipes like Citrus Cardamom Cranberry (sounds almost healthy!), Mud-Slide Logs that call for eight pounds of chocolate per batch (not so healthy), and handmade truffles too.
Fairmont Pittsburgh and Virginia's Clifton Inn are just two of many hotels to offer lessons in cookie-baking and dessert design leading up to the holidays. And if you’re still thinking, “Nope, not a baker, can’t even manage a Slice n' Bake,” just remember, these classes are for children, so (wo)man up and try 'em! Here's one you can do at home, the Fairmont's homemade gingerbread recipe. Ladies, like Glamour's famous "Engagement Chicken", we'll follow up in a few days to see what happened when you baked this thang.
[Photos: Lena Katz/JustLuxe]