Going overboard is practically synonymous with the holidays. We always spend too much, drink too much and eat too much. And, of course, we buy too much, which is why there are so many leftovers. I hate wasting food, especially sweet, fresh baked treats, like candy, cookies, and pie. Even cheesecake and apple pie get boring after the fifth slice. So, we’ve come up with a few tips and tricks to put leftovers to good use.
1) The day after Christmas, I had batches of leftover sugar cookies in my kitchen. Instead of eating them or tossing them, I decided to grind them up and make crusts. I just substituted sugar cookies for graham crackers to make a great, uniquely caramelized base for chocolate cheesecake. But you can try this with virtually any holiday cookie, like gingersnaps, macaroons, or snowballs.
2) In our last recession baking tips post, we mentioned the versatility of chocolate bark. This holds true post-holiday season too. Take excess candy canes and break them into small pieces, and sprinkle over melted chocolate. Once it’s cooled and hardened, break the bark up. It’s a great New Year’s gift. No leftover candy canes, and sprinkles and baking dust work too.
3) I’m guilty of eating half an apple pie, a whole plate of chocolate chip cookies. But cheesecake is another story. It’s way too dense to plow through a cheesecake in one sitting, never mind in one week. So I’ve experimented and come up with a creamy, cheesy drink. Slice off a piece, and put it in a blender, crust and all. Then I add
some milk, vanilla extract, and a scoop of ice cream (optional) and
give it a whirl. The result is a thick, luscious drink that requires a spoon. It’s the perfect last meal before New
Year’s resolutions set in.
4) We can’t forget chocolate truffles. They’re perfect to give and to get, but I always have a few left, so I decorate with them. White, dark, or semi-sweet chocolate can all be used to create a design on a cake, pie or tart.