christmastime 2016 s'mores cooking over a fire

Christmastime Cooking over a Fire

Classic Winter Recipes

Seasonal Flavors

To me Christmastime is peppermint, eggnog, chestnuts and pecan pie. But what I really look forward to is cooking in the fireplace with my family. From the first time we did it, it was an instant tradition. While I can't have all the desserts I want (and still be able to face the Spring!), I can get away with one or two, now and then, especially when they make such great memories. Let me share with you some of my favorites to enjoy next to my fireplace in a cozy chair.

Eggnog and Peppermint Ice Cream Shake

My favorite winter recipe milk shake is two parts peppermint ice cream to one part eggnog. You can mix in other flavors too, such as white chocolate or crushed peppermint. After blending, refreeze for that perfect winter treat in your warm blanket, next to a roaring fire.

Roasting Chestnuts

This is the most classic winter recipe to make in your fireplace at home. You need a clean, seasoned (but not oiled) cast iron skillet.

Rinse, pat chestnuts dry with a towel and then carve scores on the flat part of the chestnuts in a X shape. Place them in the skillet X up. Put the skillet on hot embers. When the edges of the X start to rise and curl away from the meat, they are done.

Usually takes 25 minutes. Let cool for a little bit, but remember, you have to peel them while they are still super warm.

Try them brushed or dipped in a butter and cinnamon mixture.

Have Fun Cooking over a Fire

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies

This winter fireplace dessert recipe is perfect for a special small sweet something shared between you and someone else, as the night winds down. For cooking over a fire, set up a sturdy rack over the center of the logs. Light and wait until wood is glowing and flames are more steady. Mix together pre-made cookie dough with crushed peppermint candy. Use a large cast iron skillet. Line it with foil, treated side up. Place each cookie dough ball an inch or two from the rest in the pan. Make a foil tee-pee over the cookies. Dome the foil to be well above them. Place on the rack above the fire. In 10 minutes you have the perfect amount of warm cookie to satisfy you. Super easy clean up.

Banana Boats

While many summer campers enjoy this during the warm weather, I think this is much better as a winter recipe. Get some nice embers glowing steadily. Put a banana (still in the peel) in foil. Split it down the middle and stuff with pieces of a Hersey's bar and mini marshmallows for a gooey dessert. Close foil around the banana, with a good seal to keep everything in and the ash out. While cooking over a fire (or in glowing embers) rotate often for 5 to 10 minutes.

Cinnamon Bun on a Stick

I love bread and sugar so much, I don't mind the few extra steps to prepare this fireside favorite.  Combine 1/4 cup of sugar with 1 tbsp of cinnamon. Use 1 can of crescent rolls, separate each one. Wrap some foil around a stick long enough for cooking with open flame. Put 1 crescent roll around the end of the stick. Roll it in the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Cook it by holding it over the fire and rotating frequently. In 5 minutes you have delicious cinnamon bun on a stick.