Ok my pretties (and I know you are bringing your A-game tonight), this is going to be a quick one. Quick because I left posting this until New Year’s Eve on an airplane and quick because you have places to go, things to do and fun people to see! So, go ahead and read this recipe tomorrow when you are reclined on the couch. But before you go, please do three things for me:
- Review this party trick just in case. Your A Game, remember?
- If you happen to find yourself with leftover champagne (imagine?), SAVE IT! Here are 16 uses for leftover champagne and one of them surely will sound good tomorrow, even if it’s the ice cubes for your oj. If you can only manage to pour it into a mason jar, then do that and you’ll have awesome vinegar by Valentines Day.
- Get fancy and celebrate New Years however the heck you want, whether that means ditching champagne entirely or crawling into your new flannel jammies at 9.
Now, go have fun and be safe out there! When you come back…
Slacker bakers unite for Round 2. We’re in the home stretch. You’ve got one more weekend of planned and spontaneous get-togethers, of late nights and chocolate for breakfast, of “how-long-does-that-stuff-in-the-foil-keep?” What you need here is something edible that is easy to throw together, widely appreciated, mostly homemade and somewhat more impressive than a regifted box of chocolates (not that there is one single thing wrong with that!)
You can get on your pomegranate game, and it never hurts to have fondue fixin’s at the ready, but if you’re still up for baking, here is a little slice of brilliance which involves boxed bread mixes. Now you’re with me, right? This comes from Sister B, who has made it more times than she can count in the past few weeks. The original version combines gingerbread with pumpkin bread, but she prefers it with banana bread (and includes a recipe for that below, so keep your scrolling skills up).
This Holiday Hybread is nothing gourmet, but it’s yummy, and it can say a lot about you. Like… “I’ve still got some holiday swagger in me,” or, “I know exactly what to get at Trader Joe’s,” or “See what I can do with all that cream cheese I never used for the shrimp dip?” My only note is that this recipe calls for half boxes of both breads. My suggestion is to double it, make two loaves and do away your need for higher math.
And now, I turn it entirely over to sister B, AKA Beatie the Artiste, who took the edible peppermint plate to an entirely new level. More on that later.
Holiday Hybread: Pumpkin Gingerbread with Cream Cheese Filling
Easy, yummy, and holiday-ish! A crowd pleaser.
Note: If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s Betty Crocker mixes work too, but TJ’s (or an upscale boxed version) is way better.
Makes one loaf
- ½ package Trader Joe’s pumpkin bread mix plus what the box asks for (egg, water, oil)
- ½ package Trader Joe’s gingerbread mix (plus, egg, water oil)
- 12-oz cream cheese (1 ½ 8 oz. packages)
- 3/8 cup sugar
- a few drops vanilla
Preheat oven to 350.
Grease the bottom of a 9” x 5” ish bread pan or spray with cooking spray.
Make your gingerbread and pumpkin bread batters, according to package directions.
Make cream cheese filling: place cream cheese in microwave safe bowl and zap for
40 seconds. Stir in sugar and few drops of vanilla until smooth. Set aside.
SCRAPE pumpkin bread mixture into loaf pan. Level it as best you can.
PLOP the cream cheese mixture all over the top of the pumpkin bread batter, covering it. It may be lumpy and uneven…that’s ok, so are some of the best of us. If you care, level it carefully with a knife…but try to let it go.
Now TOP that with your gingerbread batter.
Bake for about an hour…maybe a little more. Check it with a toothpick to know for sure. Cool on a wire rack and then remove from pan. Slice, impress and enjoy!
And now for Sister B’s sister recipe to the above. This was discovered by happy accident, some overripe bananas in the freezer and a WHAT IF inspiration. As in, WHAT IF I tried the same thing but with a layer or banana bread instead of pumpkin this time? Insane, right? And yet, banana/gingerbread bumped pumpkin/gingerbread off the top of the podium and into the silver medal position.
This recipe uses a proper (and awesome) banana bread recipe from Cooks Illustrated. It’s not out of a box, but it’s already halved for your convenience.
Banana Gingerbread with Cream Cheese Filling
Proceed exactly as above, but for the pumpkin bread part substitute this:
Banana Bread (this is the half recipe. Double it for two loaves of Holiday Hybread or one loaf of straight banana bread)
- 1 cup flour
- 3/8 cup sugar
- 3/8 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 very ripe bananas, mashed well (3/4 cup)
- 1/8 cup plain yogurt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ½ tsp vanilla
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
Mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, vanilla in a medium bowl.
Lightly fold banana mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined.