Finding inspiration during the busy holiday season is hard.  Finding the time to prepare treats, along with shopping for gifts, decorating the house, and preparing for the end of the year is pretty much impossible.  In an effort to inspire those who are in the same situation as me, trying to get inspired as to what treats to make this holiday season, I’ve put together four incredibly easy recipes.  The best part about these recipes is that they use ingredients that are really accessible and often already in your homes.
This holiday season, create a show stopping sweet table using these simple and easy recipes:

  • Tiramisu Truffles with Hazelnuts
  • French Toast Panettone Bites with Spiced Mascarpone & Berries
  • Torrone Ice Cream Spoons
  • Loaded Pretzels

I hope you find inspiration in these simple recipes.  Happy entertaining!
With Love,
Hazelnut Tiramisu Truffles

Tiramisu Truffles with Hazelnuts
PREP & COOK TIME: 20 min + 1.5 hr chilling time
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup (250 mL) lady finger (savoiardi) cookies, crumbled
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) brewed espresso coffee
  • 8 oz (250 g) semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) 35% whipping/heavy cream
  • Finely chopped roasted hazelnuts
  1. To make the cookie mixture, combine crumbled cookies with espresso coffee in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a double broiler, melt chopped chocolate with mascarpone cheese and cream, stirring with a spatula. Don’t stir too much as you don’t want to add a lot of air to the mixture. Once the chocolate has melted, remove from heat and give it one soft stir to ensure the cheese is melted and incorporated.
  3. Mix the cookie and chocolate mixture together and refrigerate until firm enough to roll mixture into truffle balls, about 1 hour.
  4. Remove from refrigerator and use your hands to roll into 1-inch truffles. Roll the truffle balls in chopped hazelnuts until fully covered. Keep refrigerated. Remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving to allow truffles to become slightly soft. Can be stored in the freezer for up to 4 weeks.

Panettone French Toast Bites
French Toast Panettone Bites with Spiced Mascarpone & Berries
Transform your leftover panettone sweet bread into these perfect french toast bites. Top them with fruit, whipped cream, mascarpone cheese or your favourite french toast toppings.
Serves: 10-12
  • Butter
  • 1 panettone, preferably pandoro, cut into 1½-inch/4 cm cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • Pistachios, chopped
  • Honey
  • Bamboo forks
  1. Heat butter in a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Coat all sides of panettone cubes in egg and cook all sides until lightly golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. In a bowl, mix mascarpone with nutmeg and sugar until combined. Add a dollop of spiced mascarpone to each cube and secure raspberry with a bamboo fork. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and drizzle with honey just before serving.

Torrone Ice Cream Spoons
Torrone Ice Cream Spoons
use your torrone in a fun way with these torrone ice cream spoons. Use your favourite ice cream flavour or classic vanilla ice cream.
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Chocolate covered hard torrone, chopped
  • Dark chocolate, melted
  • Mint (optional)
  1. Scoop ice cream onto dessert spoons. Sprinkle with chopped torrone. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the spoons. Top with mint and serve immediately.

Loaded Pretzels
Loaded Pretzels
This fun, no-bake treat works great at a cookie exchange or as a last-minute dessert for unexpected guests. Makes 12 loaded pretzels.
  • Loaded Pretzels
  • 12 thick pretzel sticks
  • 1 cup (250 mL) chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch chips
  • ½ cup (125 mL) chopped peanuts and/or almonds, roasted
  • 1 cup (250 mL) store-bought caramel
  1. Mix the assortment of chocolate chips and chopped nuts in a bowl. Dip one end of pretzel into caramel and then dip into the bowl with the chocolate-nut mixture. Let cool on a parchment-lined baking sheet until hardened. Loaded pretzels can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Food Styling:  Julie Miguel
Photography: Michael Rao