Razzle Dazzle Recipes * Christmas Brunch Recipes
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Amaretto Ambrosia Recipe

8 C. of fresh fruit (grapes, strawberries, apples, oranges)
1 can pineapple chunks, don't drain
1 C. chopped pecans
1 small bag coconut
1 C. amaretto liqueur
1/2 C. honey
3 T. cinnamon

Mix fresh fruit, pineapple, pecans, coconut, amaretto liqueur, honey and cinnamon. Put mixture in a fancy dessert dish and serve.

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Layered Brunch Torte Recipe

1 (17 1/4-oz.) package Frozen Puff Pastry
1/3 C. grated Parmesan Cheese
1 (6-oz.) package Monterey Jack or Swiss Cheese Slices
3/4 lb. thinly sliced Cooked Ham
1/4 lb. Salami Slices
3 (10-oz.) packages Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 (16-oz.) container Ricotta Cheese
2 Eggs
2 Green Onions, chopped
1/2 t. Garlic Powder
1/2 t. Salt
1/4 t. Pepper
1 (7-oz.) jar Roasted Red Peppers, drained

Thaw pastry sheets 30 to 45 minutes and unfold. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one pastry sheet to a large circle that measures about 17 inches in diameter. Ease pastry into a 10-inch springform pan and gently press against bottom and sides, leaving a 1-inch overhang.

To assemble torte, sprinkle 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese over bottom of prepared pastry. Top with layers of 1/2 of the Jack cheese slices, 1/2 of ham slices, and 1/2 of salami slices.

Mix together spinach, ricotta cheese, 1 egg, green onions, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Spread spinach mixture evenly over salami layer. Top with all roasted peppers, opened flat. Top with remaining salami, followed by remaining ham and Jack cheese slices. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.

Roll remaining pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface into an 11-inch circle. Ease crust over filling in springform. Fold up edges of top crust and roll overhanging crust inward to seal, pinching to form a decorative border, if desired.

Beat remaining egg and brush over entire top of torte. With a sharp thin knife, make several small cuts in top pastry to allow steam to escape. Set pan on a piece of foil and wrap sides of foil up around pan to catch any leakage that may occur during baking.

Bake in preheated 425 F. oven 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 400 F. and continue baking 40 minutes longer, or until top is golden brown. Cool on wire rack at least 30 minutes before removing springform side. Serve torte warm or at room temperature. Keep any leftovers refrigerated.

Serves 10.

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Red and Green Crab Balls Recipe

1 1/2 C. Crabmeat
6 oz. Cream Cheese
Grated zest of 1 Lemon
1/2 t. Salt
1/2 t. Pepper
1/2 t. Celery Seeds
Unseasoned Bread Crumbs
Parsley, finely chopped
Thin Pretzel Sticks

In a bowl, combine crabmeat, cream cheese, lemon zest, salt, pepper, celery seeds and 1/4 t. paprika. Use a fork to combine all ingredients evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Combine 2 parts bread crumbs to 1 part paprika in a small, shallow bowl. Place parsley in another bowl. Form crab mixture into 1-inch balls and roll in either "red" or "green." Refrigerate until ready to serve, then spear each ball with a pretzel stick.

Makes about 2 dozen balls.

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Brie and Cranberry Pizza Recipe

1 (8-oz.) can Refrigerated Crescent Rolls
8 oz. cubed Brie Cheese
3/4 C. Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
1/2 C. chopped Pecans

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a 12-inch pizza pan or 9-by 13-inch baking dish.

Unroll the crescent rolls and separate into triangles. Arrange in the pan with tips toward the center and lightly press together to form one crust.

Bake 5 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with pieces of brie. Spoon the cranberry sauce over the cheese. Top with pecans.

Bake an additional 8 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown. Cool 5 minutes and cut into wedges or squares.

Serves 16.

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Creme Brulee French Toast Recipe

1/2 C. unsalted butter
1 C. packed brown sugar
2 T. corn syrup
1 loaf Challah
5 large eggs
1 1/2 C. half-and-half
1 t. vanilla
1 t. Grand Marnier
1/4 t. salt
Berries for garnish

In a small heavy saucepan, melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring until smooth. Pour into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Cut 1-inch-thick slices from center of bread, reserving ends for another use, and trim crusts. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, Grand Marnier and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bring bread to room temperature. Bake bread mixture, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 - 40 minutes.

To serve, invert on a large platter, dust with powdered sugar and garnish with strawberries or blueberries.

Serves 6.

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Salmon Quiche Recipe

Parmesan Crust
2 C. flour
3/4 t. salt
1/4 C. cold butter, cut into small bits
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. ice water

6 oz. smoked salmon or lox
4 oz. cream cheese
1 C. shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 C. grated Asiago cheese or Monterey Jack cheese
3 eggs
1 1/2 C. light cream or half and half
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 T. fresh dill, chopped or 1 t. dried dillweed

Heat oven to 425 F. To make crust, combine flour and salt in a food processor or mixing bowl. Add butter and process or combine with a fork until small particles are formed. Add Parmesan cheese and process briefly to combine. Add cold water and mix to form dough ball. Roll ball into 12-inch circle. Transfer to tart pan or quiche pan. Lay piece of foil and dried beans on top of crust to keep crust from puffing up when it bakes. Bake for eight minutes. Remove foil and beans and bake two to three minutes longer. Cool. Reduce oven to 350 F.

For filling, spread smoked salmon over crust. Cut cream cheese into bits and scatter over salmon. Sprinkle with Swiss cheese and Asiago cheese. Beat eggs in a mixing bowl, Add cream, salt, pepper and dill. Pour into crust. Bake the quiche until golden brown and puffed, 40 to 45 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Serves six to eight.

Note: Ready-made pie crust may be used. Follow baking instructions as listed. Asiago cheese may be omitted if making Parmesan crust.

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Chai Mix Recipe

5 T. cardamom pods
2 T. whole cloves
1 T. coriander seeds
8 cinnamon sticks, about 2 inches each, broken into pieces
1/4 t. whole black peppercorns
2 whole star anise
1 t. ground ginger

Combine all ingredients except the ginger in an ungreased heavy skillet. Stir over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant, to toast the spices.

Add the ginger and spoon the mixture into a mortar in manageable batches. Pound briefly, just enough to crush the spices coarsely. (You also could break them up with a rolling pin or pulse them briefly in a spice grinder.) Transfer to an airtight container for storage. Makes 3/4 C., enough for 24 servings.

To make chai for two, combine 1 C. milk, 2 rounded t. chai mix and 2 t. brown sugar in a small saucepan. Heat just until the mixture bubbles at the edges. Turn off the heat and cover the pot with a lid. Let steep for about 10 minutes while you make the tea. Brew a pot of Assam or Darjeeling tea. Reheat the spiced milk if necessary and strain it into 2 large teacups. Pour in the hot tea and enjoy.

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