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Sandra Lee's Crowd-Pleasing Holiday Recipes

Food Network star and cookbook author Sandra Lee serves up elegant Sparking Spritzers and Sweet Rolls with Honey Drizzle for the holidays.

By Jonna Gallo Weppler

Sandra Lee's Crowd-Pleasing Holiday Recipes
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Lisa Shin

When she's not busy starring on multiple Food Network shows (hello, Emmy!) or writing cookbooks—her 25th, Every Dish Delivers, comes out this spring—Sandra Lee throws a heck of a party. Come the holidays, inviting family and friends to the Westchester County home she shares with New York State governor Andrew Cuomo and his three daughters takes special priority. "To me, it's all about creating new memories and remembering lovely past ones," says Sandra. When company's coming, she sets up an easy, elegant DIY bar. Here's to stealing her idea.

Sandra Lee's Sparkling Spritzers

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients
1 orange (zested in strips, then sliced)
8 sprigs fresh mint
1 lime (zested in strips, then sliced)
1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
1 cup frozen raspberries, divided
3 cups sugar
4 bottles chilled sparkling water
2 bottles prosecco
1 bottle flavored vodka
Extra slices of orange and lime, for garnish

Directions

1. Place orange zest and 4 sprigs of the mint in a bowl. Place lime zest and ginger in a second bowl. Place 3/4 cup of the raspberries in a third bowl.

2. In a saucepan, mix sugar and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then evenly divide liquid among the 3 bowls. Stir each gently to mix. Let cool to room temperature. Pour each into a jar or syrup pitcher and refrigerate until ready to use. (Will keep for up to 2 weeks.)

Sandra says...
Just Before Guests Arrive: Set out champagne flutes or wineglasses. Attractively arrange sparkling water, prosecco, vodka and all three syrups nearby. Add reserved mint sprigs, raspberries and orange and lime slices for garnish. Encourage each person to create a spritzer by mixing about 3 tablespoons of fruity syrup with sparkling water and, if desired, a shot of prosecco or vodka. Cheers!

Did you Know?
Sandra Lee has received both the president's Volunteer Service award and the Ellis Island Medal of honor for her commitment to giving back.

Sandra Lee's Sweet Rolls with Honey Drizzle

Makes 12 servings
Prep: 35 minutes
Rise: 30 minutes
Bake: 20 minutes
Cool: 31 minutes

Ingredients

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 16-ounce box hot roll mix, such as Pillsbury
1 cup hot water (120° to 130°)
1/4 cup butter, softened and divided
2 tablespoons brown sugar, such as Domino
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg
All-purpose flour
1/4 cup honey, divided
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted, such as Domino
4 to 5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a small nonstick skillet, heat walnuts over medium-low heat, stirring often, for 4 to 5 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.

2. In a large bowl, stir together roll mix and yeast packet until well combined. Stir in 1 cup hot water, 2 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and egg until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With floured hands or hands coated with nonstick cooking spray, shape dough into a ball. Knead dough for 5 minutes or until smooth. Sprinkle additional flour over work surface to reduce stickiness, if necessary. Cover dough with large bowl; let rest for 5 minutes.

3. In a small bowl, stir together remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons honey. Roll dough into a 15x10-inch rectangle. Spread honey mixture evenly over dough; sprinkle with walnuts. Starting at 1 short side, roll up dough, jelly-roll fashion, and pinch seam to seal. Using a serrated knife, cut dough into 12 rolls. Place rolls, cut side down, in prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, for 20 to 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.

4. Uncover rolls, and bake for 17 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool in pan for 1 minute. Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack over parchment paper (about 30 minutes).

5. In a medium bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons honey, and 2 to 3 tablespoons whipping cream until smooth. Add enough of remaining whipping cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle over rolls.

Originally published in the January 2013 issue of Family Circle magazine.

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