Now that Halloween is over, people’s minds are shifting into holiday mode, which means more cooking and baking! If you’re known for your holiday treats, you may have already created your shopping list. But instead of the typical chocolate chip cookies, why not try something new this year?
Spices like cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and star anise are versatile ingredients that can transform any ordinary holiday baked goods into extraordinary treats. Unsure how you can incorporate these spices into your desserts? Here are a few ideas to get you started!
Cardamom and Orange Scones
Use freshly ground cardamom pods in your scone dough to add depth of flavor. Pairing this spice with the bright, citrusy notes of orange zest creates a delightful combination you and your family will love. All you have to do is combine the cardamom with the dry ingredients of your recipe, then add orange zest. You’ll be left with scones that are subtly spicy and tangy but utterly satisfying.
Nutmeg-Kissed Banana Bread
Everyone has their standard banana bread recipe. Take yours to the next level by adding freshly grated nutmeg to your batter before baking. The fragrant, earthy aroma of the spice complements the sweetness of the bananas, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.
Cinnamon Sugar Palmiers
Create delightful, flaky palmiers with a twist. Instead of the traditional sugar coating, add a pinch of ground cinnamon to transform the palmiers and infuse them with the warm, comforting flavor of cinnamon. The result is an elegant pastry that’s sweet, crispy, and perfectly spiced.
Cardamom and Nutmeg Apple Pie
Who doesn’t love apple pie this time of year? Enhance yours by combining cardamom and nutmeg. Sprinkle both spices over the apple slices before sealing the pie. The cardamom adds a hint of exotic spice while the nutmeg lends a deeper, nutty dimension that will leave your kitchen smelling like a warm hug.
Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese and Nutmeg Frosting
Looking for something you can gift to holiday hosts or bring to your office holiday party? Cinnamon rolls are always a hit. Take your classic recipe to new heights by incorporating nutmeg into the cream cheese. The result is a comforting, spiced indulgence perfect for breakfast, dessert, or both!
Cardamom and Pistachio Biscotti
If your family bakes biscotti for the holidays, try adding ground cardamom and crushed pistachios to the dough. The cardamom’s aromatic floral notes will complement the nuttiness of the pistachios to create a crunchy, flavorful biscotti that’s perfect for dipping in coffee or tea.
Nutmeg and Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Create a comforting, aromatic swirl bread by mixing freshly grated nutmeg and ground cinnamon into the dough. As you roll the bread dough, the spices add flavor and create a mesmerizing pattern throughout. The result is a visually stunning, delicious bread that is perfect as your dessert table centerpiece.
Star Anise-Scented Crème Brûlée
Say goodbye to traditional crème brûlée by infusing the custard mixture with star anise. Though it might seem like a complicated task to pull off, it’s actually quite simple. All you have to do is steep the star anise whole pods in your warm cream, then strain them out before baking the custard. The resulting dessert will have a subtle licorice undertone that pairs beautifully with the caramelized sugar on top.
These unique recipes and techniques showcase how cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and star anise can add depth and complexity to your baked goods. Experiment with these ideas to let your creativity shine in your holiday recipes!