Article and images from Family Features
For many families, spending special moments with loved ones feels more important than ever this year. Whether you’re spending the holidays with family or inviting them for a virtual call from afar, you can plan ahead to enjoy the same dishes even without being at the same table.
Tap into family favorites like these seasonal sweets that include California Walnuts for rich, holiday-worthy flavor. Overnight Walnut French Toast with Cranberry Walnut Ginger Compote offers a tart-sweet combination perfect for a holiday brunch and allows you to prep the night before and simply pop in the oven when you wake up.
Drizzled with a chocolate-peppermint glaze and finished with walnuts and crush peppermint candies, a Walnut Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake can provide the perfect finish to festivities. The soft cake and crunchy walnuts contrast for an ultimate texture combination.
Find more sweet holiday recipes at walnuts.org.
Overnight French Toast with Cranberry Walnut Ginger Compote
Total time: 1 hour
For the compote:
- 1/2 cup California Walnuts
- 2 cups cranberries
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 orange, for zesting
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place walnuts on baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes. Chop coarsely when cooled.
- In medium pot over medium heat, combine walnuts, cranberries, orange juice, syrup, ginger and orange zest. Bring to boil and stir frequently 12-15 minutes until cranberries pop and liquid starts to reduce.
- Transfer to container and refrigerate once cooled.
For the French toast:
- 8 slices Texas Toast or 1-inch thick slices of French bread
- 1/4 cup butter, melted, plus additional for baking dish, divided
- 2 1/2 cups of milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 eggs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place bread on baking sheet and bake 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted on outside, but still soft inside. Butter 13 x 9 baking dish.
- In a large bowl, whisk milk, sugar, 1/4 cup butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon and eggs. Dip each bread slice in mixture and let soak about 15 seconds on each side. Place in prepared baking dish, overlapping slices slightly, if necessary.
- Cover and refrigerate a few hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 50-60 minutes or until golden brown and somewhat firm to the touch. Serve immediately, topped with cranberry compote.
Holiday Walnut Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
For the cake:
- 1 cup butter, plus additional for greasing pan, divided
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus additional or dusting pan, divided
- 1 cup water
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 baking soda
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup California Walnut halves and pieces
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter bundt pan then dust with cocoa powder. Turn pan, tapping, to coat all sides; tap out excess.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, melt 1 cup butter, 1/2 cup cocoa powder and water, whisking until smooth; let cool.
- Transfer to bowl of mixer and lightly beat in sugar, peppermint extract and eggs.
- In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add about 1/3 of dry ingredients to chocolate mixture and beat on low speed to combine. Add 1/4 cup buttermilk and beat again. Repeat steps ending with flour mixture, mixing only until combined. Fold in walnuts.
- Spread in prepared pan and bake 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool then invert onto serving plate or platter.
For the glaze:
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- As cake bakes, melt chocolate chips, butter, milk and peppermint extract together until smooth. Let cool slightly to thicken then drizzle over cake. Top with walnuts and peppermint candies.
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped California Walnuts
- 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy