Festive fare your guests will (ginger)snap up!

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From breakfast to entrée to dessert, Christmas entertaining is covered!

Pesto Goat Cheese Tree

Makes 5 servings.

  • 2 premade, thin, ready-to-bake pizza crusts
  • 1/2 cup prepared pesto sauce
  • 1 cup yellow and red cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 (4-ounce) package goat cheese crumbles

Cut a large triangle out of crust to make tree. Cut a small rectangle for tree trunk. Use star cookie cutter to cut star for top, and cut extra crust stars to decorate plate.

Spread pesto on tree crust. Place tomatoes with sliced side down on the tree to resemble ornaments. Top evenly with goat cheese. Repeat process with crust stars.

Bake according to crust package directions minus 1 minute (pesto tends to burn around edges if it goes full time). Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

 

Pumpkin Caramel Breakfast Casserole

Makes 6 servings.

  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup caramel dip (variety used for apples)
  • 10 slices brioche bread
  • 7 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • Whipped cream
  • Maple or pancake syrup (optional)

Spray a 13×9 casserole dish with cooking spray. Spread caramel dip on brioche, and put two slices together to make five caramel sandwiches. Place sandwiches in dish. Break up one sandwich to tuck into empty spots.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla extract and half-and-half until well-combined. Evenly pour on sandwiches. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake casserole for 30-35 minutes, until done (it will puff up and then collapse when you take it out of the oven). Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Top with whipped cream. Serve with syrup if desired, but it is perfectly sweet without.

Gingersnap Tiramisu

Makes 8-10 servings.

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup espresso or very strong coffee
  • 3 tablespoons rum or brandy (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
  • 16 ounces gingersnaps

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar until very pale yellow and about tripled in volume. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whip heavy cream and remaining sugar until medium peaks form. Add mascarpone and vanilla extract, and whip until it creates a spreadable mixture with medium peaks. Gently fold mascarpone mixture into egg yolks until combined.

In a separate shallow bowl, combine espresso and rum or brandy, and set aside.

Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder on bottom of 11×7 2-quart baking dish.

Individually dip gingersnaps in coffee mixture for about 5 seconds (they are dense and need time to soak up coffee). Lay them flat in baking dish, breaking up a few to fill in holes of bottom layer. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture on gingersnaps. Repeat layers. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder on top. Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.

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