Good Eating: Deck the Halls

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How do the stars deck their halls?

Celebrity chef Kate Manchester shows us how it's done!

Fruitcake Cookies


1/3 cup chopped figs

3/2 cup golden raisins

2/3 cup candied cherries

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons sherry

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 pinch salt

2 ½ cups chopped walnuts

1 cup soft butter

½ cup superfine sugar

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

2 2/3 cup all purpose flour

½ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon salt


1. In a large bowl, combine fruits, honey, lemon, slat and walnuts. Cover and let marinate overnight.

2. Cream the butter and sugars until creamy and smooth. Add egg and mix until incorporated. Blend flour, salt and cloves together, and slowly add to creamed butter until incorporated. Fold in the fruit mixture with a rubber spatula.

3. Flour a work surface and divide the dough in two. Butter your hands, and roll the dough into two logs. Wrap with plastic wrap and freeze. The dough can be frozen for up to one month.

4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place a piece of parchment on a cookie sheet. Cut the frozen logs into thin rounds using a sharp knife, and space them on the cookie sheet 1-inch apart. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies are golden. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Pumpkin Cheesecake



¾ cup ground gingersnaps

½ cup ground pecans

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

¼ cup melted butter


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.



¾ cup sugar

¾ cup canned pumpkin

3 egg yolks

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground mace

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon salt

3 8 ounce packages brick cream cheese (do not use whipped)

3/8 cup sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 tablespoon cornstarch

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon lemon extract

10 candied pecans


1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, beat the first seven ingredients with an electric mixer. (The sugar, pumpkin, yolks, spices and salt.) In another larger bowl, beat the cream cheese until it is light and fluffy. Add ¼ cup more of the remaining sugar, and mix well. Beat in first the whole egg, and then the egg yolks and the whipping cream, beating well after each addition. Add the cornstarch and both extracts, beat until the batter is smooth.

2. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, the center will be soft and a bit jiggly still.

3. Cool at room temperature for an hour or two, then refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to a month. Before serving, garnish with pecans. Serve cool.

Old Fashioned Marble Cake


1 ½ ounces usweetened chocolate

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 ¼ cups cake flour

¼ teaspoon salt

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon brandy or cognac

4 egg whites

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

2 tablespoons sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform or bundt pan. Melt the chocolate in a small bowl set over simmering water. Set aside and let cool.

2. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Sift the cake flour once with the salt and baking powder. Warm the milk to take the chill out of it, add the vanilla, and add to the butter mixture, alternating with the sifted four. Beat until just smooth after each addition.

4. Divide the batter into two bowls. Stir the cinnamon, baking soda, and melted chocolate into one portion of the divided batter, add the brandy or cognac.

5. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks are forming. Beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and continue beating until the whites hold stiff peaks. Divide the egg whites in half and fold each half into each of the two batters.

6. Use a large spoon to dot the chocolate batter in three dollops into the bottom of the prepared pan. Then do the same with the vanilla batter. Continue spooning each of the mixture into the pan, separately, until all the batters are in the pan. Swirl a table knife through the batter once around to marbelize.

7. Bake for one hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool and remove from pan.

8. Cake can be served plain or with chocolate glaze. Serve with whipped cream, or glaze with chocolate.

Chocolate Glaze:


¾ cup bittersweet chocolate

3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Melt and stir the ingredients in a small bowl set over simmering water. When mixture is melted, stir well to incorporate. Drizzle over the cake while still warm.