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Delicious Holiday Recipes

Chandler Residents Share Their Favorite Holiday Dish

Hot Chocolate Cake

Courtesy of Denise McCreery at d’Vine Gourmet


1 cup of water

2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

2 eggs, room temperature

½ cup vegetable oil

2 ¼ cup sugar

4 oz. cocoa powder

½ tsp.salt

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. baking powder

1 ¼ cup all purpose flour

½ tsp. vanilla

1 cup buttermilk


Combine the water and semi-sweet chocolate. Microwave the mixture until the water is warm and the chocolate can be whisked smooth (about 30-40 seconds). In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the eggs until light and fluffy (1-2 minutes). Add the vegetable oil and continue whipping until just incorporated. Repeat with the granulated sugar. Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt), mixing on low until just incorporated. Add the water/chocolate, buttermilk and vanilla extract, and mix on low until just combined. Pour the batter into two greased 9” cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean; let cool in pan for 15 minutes, remove and cool completely.

Hot Cocoa Buttercream Frosting

1 ½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature

4 cups powdered sugar

¾ cup cocoa powder

3-4 Tbso. heavy cream or milk

Dash of salt

Dash of cinnamon

1 ½ tsp. vanilla

Various size marshmallows, broken candy canes, cookies, etc.

Whip butter in an electric mixer until white and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Sift in dry ingredients, vanilla and half the cream, mixing and scraping sides occasionally; add more cream as needed until desired frosting thickness. Frost cake and decorate with marshmallows and candy.

Papa Lloyd's Latkes

Recipe courtesy Mindy Jones Naverez at Amy Jones Group

3 large russet potatoes

1 medium-to-large yellow onion

1 egg, lightly beaten

Salt and pepper

Peanut oil to fry

A few spoons of white flower

Peel potatoes. Peel onion. Grate potatoes on box grater, fine to medium grate. Grate onion on fine grate. Squeeze water out of potato and onion mixture using a dish towel twisted to tighten around grated mixture. Add beaten egg, and salt and pepper to taste. Add a spoon or two of flour to thicken mix. Heat peanut oil in large skillet. Using a tablespoon, drop a heaping spoon of mix into hot oil in frying pan, and flatten into pancakes. When latkes start getting brown around the edges, turn them over with spatula. When brown on both sides, remove and drain on paper towels. Notes: Hand grated is best, but you can use a food processor (especially for large volume of potatoes). Also, it is important to work fast to avoid potatoes from discoloring after grated. Makes 12 to 24 latkes, depending on potato size.

Pan Seared Diver Scallops with Balsamic Pickled Mushrooms, Butternut Squash Puree, and Crispy Prosciutto

Recipe courtesy Ginger Monkey Gastropub

2 Tbsp. olive oil

5 each dry packed scallops, feet removed

2 Tbsp. butter

1 sprig thyme

4 oz. butternut squash puree

2 oz. balsamic pickled mushrooms

2 pieces crispy prosciutto

8 leaves baby arugula

In a large sauté pan, heat oil to the smoking point. Season scallops with salt and place in sauté pan. Let them sear until golden brown, approximately 3 minutes, then flip. Add butter and thyme. Use a spoon to baste the scallops with the brown butter, approximately 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel to rest. Heat butternut squash puree until warm, and then spread onto plate. Place scallops on top of puree. Garnish with pickled mushrooms, crispy prosciutto, and arugula.

Balsamic Pickled Mushrooms

1 lb. cleaned wild mushrooms (or whatever mushrooms you prefer)

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 

2 oz. fresh thyme

1 oz. olive oil

In a large sauté pan, heat oil to the smoking point. Add in mushrooms, sauté for 2 minutes. Add thyme and balsamic. Cook for 2 more minutes and place in a jar.

Butternut Squash Puree

1 each butternut squash

4 fl. oz. water

2 oz. heavy cream

1 Tbsp. butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Split and quarter butternut squash and remove seeds. Place in an oven-safe casserole dish. Add water, then wrap with plastic and aluminum. Roast for 1 hour, or until the flesh is soft. Remove flesh from skin and place in food processor. Add cream and butter, and puree until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste

Crispy Prosciutto

1 package sliced prosciutto

2 pieces parchment paper

2 cookie sheets

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a cookie sheet, line the tray with 1 piece of parchment paper. Lay out prosciutto evenly. Place another piece of parchment paper on top, followed by the other cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until prosciutto becomes crisp.

Pumpkin/Cheesecake Muffins

Recipe courtesy Nicole Herrera at BackFit Health + Spine


1 (8 oz.) package of whipped cream cheese

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 Tbsp. brown sugar

Streusel Topping

5 Tbsp. white sugar

4 1/2 Tbsp. all purpose flour 

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon 

3 Tbsp. butter

3 Tbsp. pecans (chopped)


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups white sugar 

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. ground cinnamon 

1/2 tsp. salt

2 eggs 

1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin 

1/3 cups olive oil 

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. For filling, lightly mix all ingredients in bowl, and set aside. For streusel topping, mix flour, white sugar, ground cinnamon, and chopped pecans in bowl. Add butter, and mix until "crumbly." Set bowl aside. For muffins, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the middle of these dry ingredients and add eggs, pumpkin, olive oil, and vanilla. Beat together until smooth. Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray or use liners. Fill muffin cups half-full. Then, use the back of a tablespoon to push a little divot into the center of the muffin batter. In the divot, add 1 Tbsp. of the filling (cream cheese mixture). Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the muffins and bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, and enjoy the taste of fall! Should make 24 muffins.

  • Photo by David Apeji
  • Photo by David Apeji
  • Photo by David Apeji
  • Photo by David Apeji
  • Photo by David Apeji