Here are some super cozy desserts to help get you through winter

Even though the holidays are technically over and we’ve settled into the new year, it doesn’t mean that deliciously festive treats have to come to a grinding halt. In fact, some might argue that tasty treats and comfort foods are now needed more than ever, since we have oh-so-many cold weather days ahead of us until Spring.

On that note, Claire Thomas from The Kitchy Kitchen has generously shared the recipes for several desserts that will definitely help get you through the winter.

Whether you’re a hardcore chocolate cake fan, or interested in something more refined like a rum hot toddy, she’s got you 100% covered. And note to self: You don’t need a party to make dessert. These can be equally good on a regular old Tuesday! Okay, are you ready to rock and roll?

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Box Cake


6 ounces semi sweet chocolate

4 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

2 tablespoons rum

3 1/2 cups heavy cream

6 tablespoons white sugar

3 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons peppermint extract (or 2 tablespoons peppermint schnapps)

2 boxes chocolate wafer cookies

2 candy canes, crushed

*Note: you’ll need 80 to 90 cookies. Claire used nabisco famous chocolate wafers.

First, gently melt the chocolate and cocoa powder, stir in the brown sugar and rum, and cool.

Then, in a medium bowl, beat the heavy cream until it gets thick, and add the sugar and vanilla. Continue beating until firm peaks hold.

Divide the whipped cream into two bowls. In one bowl, fold in the chocolate mixture. It won’t perfectly mix in, but that will give it a tiny bit of crunch that is so delicious. Take the other half of the whipped cream and whip in the peppermint schnapps.

On a large plate or serving platter, spread 1 tablespoon of chocolate whipped cream on the bottom to anchor cake to plate. Top with 14 wafer cookies in a circular pattern.

Using a spatula, cover wafers evenly with chocolate whipped cream, then top with wafer cookies. Top the next layer with peppermint cream. Repeat until you have 7 layers of wafers.

Refrigerate overnight. Garnish with crushed candy canes.

Rum Hot Toddy with Chai


1 ounce (2 tablespoons) dark rum

1 tablespoon mild honey

1/4 cup chai tea

Just put rum and honey in a 6-ounce mug. Top off with hot chai tea and stir until honey is dissolved.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Bundt Cake


Ingredients for Cake:

5 ounces dark chocolate (3/4 cups), plus 2 ounces finely chopped dark chocolate (about 1/3 cup)

4 ounces unsalted butter, plus enough to grease the pan

1/2 cup cocoa powder
*Note: Claire used Valrhona

1 3/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 3 large eggs

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup sour cream

Ingredients for Ganache Glaze:

3 ounces dark chocolate (about 1/2 cup) chopped

1/2 tablespoon corn syrup

1/3 cup heavy cream

First, preheat the oven to 325 and butter your pan.

Then, melt 5 ounces of chocolate and butter over a double boiler, add 1/2 cup water and the cocoa powder. Stir until cocoa is dissolved and set aside to cool.

Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs a few seconds to combine, add the sugar and whip until light and very thick (about 3-4 minutes). Add the vanilla and beat until the mixture forms a wide ribbon when the beater is lifted out.

Gently fold the chocolate mixture and sour cream into the eggs and sugar, and fold in the flour mixture in thirds. Pour half of the mixture into the pan and add the 2 ounces of finely chopped chocolate. Fill the pan, and bake for 50-60 minutes.

Cool about 30 minutes on a rack, and turn out of the pan.

In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. In a heatproof bowl, combine 3 ounces of chopped chocolate with the corn syrup. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand until melted, about 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Let the ganache glaze cool until thick but still pourable, about 5 minutes.

Pour the ganache over the cooled cake. Let the cake stand until the glaze is set, at least 30 minutes, before serving.

Gingerbread Meringue Kisses


*Note: For 3 dozen.

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch ground cloves

pinch ground nutmeg

pinch finely ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups superfine sugar

6 egg whites

pinch of salt

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon mollasses

Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with aluminum foil.

Stir together the spices and sugar.

Beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla and continue beating.

Add the sugar 1 teaspoon at a time, beating about 30 seconds between additions. When all the sugar has been added, beat an additional 6 minutes. Egg whites should be very stiff, glossy, and extremely smooth, but not dry.

Fold in the molasses so it’s marbled throughout – not fully mixed in.

Spoon the mixture into a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star tip and pipe out “kisses,” leaving 1-inch spaces.

Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the meringues are dry to the touch and can be lifted from the foil.

Cool completely before storing in a cool dry place.

via giphyWhether you’re cooking these special sweets for a group, or for your significant other, or bestie, or just for yourself, the most important thing to remember is HAVE FUN WITH IT.

Now, drift off into that winter wonderland — otherwise known as the kitchen — where yummy magic is made. Thank you for these gifts, Claire! Happy cooking, world!