Don’t give in to fruitcakes, gingerbread and other boring, traditional treats this holiday season. You can do better. We’ve snagged three simple-yet-delicious recipes from some of Vegas’ sweetest treat makers, so your holiday goodies stand out from the rest. Enjoy!
Chocolate Covered Bacon
Recipe by Geno Bernardo of Nove Italiano, Palms, 942-6800.
12 oz. bag semisweet chocolate morsels
1 lb. uncooked bacon
Method: Heat large skillet on high and add bacon strips. Cook, turning as needed, until strips are reduced to about half their original size and crispy. Drain bacon on paper towels to remove grease. While the bacon is cooling, fill a double boiler or medium sauce pan with water and bring to medium heat. Add double boiler top pan or put a smaller sauce pan inside the medium one, and slowly add chocolate morsels, stirring to melt the chocolate and prevent burning. Carefully dip bacon strips into the chocolate. If necessary, spoon melted chocolate over bacon until evenly coated. Lay strips on cooling rack with something underneath to catch the drips, then cool in refrigerator for 15 minutes or until chocolate has set.
Peppermint Bark Cookies
Retro Bakery, 7785 N. Durango Drive #130, 586-3740.
1 cup softened butter
1½ cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. peppermint extract
2 cups flour
2/3 cup dark cocoa
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup crushed mini candy canes (about 35 mini canes)
Method: In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Beat in vanilla and peppermint extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to mixing bowl. Beat on low until combined. Add white chocolate and crushed candy canes and beat until combined (dough will be thick). Roll into 2-inch balls and press flat onto the non-stick cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool five minutes on the sheets and then move to a wire cooling rack and serve.
Joni’s Chocolate Shortbread Cookie Bars
Freed’s Bakery, 9815 S. Eastern Ave., 456-7762.
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla
½ lb. Hershey’s Kisses
1 cup chopped pecans (or substitute your favorite nut)
Method: In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the flour, egg yolk and vanilla and mix at a slow speed until the dough starts to come together. Pat down the dough into a 15-by-20-inch pan to form the cookie bottom. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. After the cookie bottom has cooled, melt down Hershey’s Kisses and spread the chocolate over the cookie. Garnish with chopped pecans and let cool. Cut into 2-by-2-inch squares and serve.