December 30, 2013

Christmas Eve Fondue

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Collective Bias®. I wrote this post, made the fondue, ate all the bananas (and most of the doughnuts) and washed off Ani's deliriously-happy chocolate face afterward. Consider yourself disclosed and also invited over for fondue as long as you promise to bring more bananas and doughnuts. 

Now that we're in the "stay-home-and-save-$1500-on-plane-tickets-for-Christmas" mode (last year was our first year to stay home), we're starting to develop our own traditions. Which mainly means stealing them from our parents, but, whatever. Our children don't know the difference.

HOWEVER! A Christmas Eve fondue party is our total own tradition, now on its whopping second year. We've got something good going (if you're looking for a fun and easy New Year's Eve holiday dessert, I highly recommend fondue, plus it's pretty much the best way to use up all the leftover cookies and goodies from neighbors and odds and ends in the produce drawer).

Last year was sort of an accident - we'd planned on doing fondue as a family, but then at the last minute, invited our downstairs neighbors up, and hey, instant party.



Also, I think fondue always feels like a party, because no one wanders off (what, are you going to eat some plain doughnuts holes on the couch over there? I think not), and there's something pretty delightful about everyone standing around, eating chocolate dipped food.

Actually, I find there to be something pretty delightful about standing around by MYSELF eating chocolate-dipped food. I don't even need a party. (Obviously, neither does Ani, who had never experienced fondue before, but quickly figured out the ropes).



Nevertheless, in the spirit of peace-on-earth-goodwill-toward-men, we invited two families with small children over. Afterward, they basically all looked like this.



I also really like that fondue requires almost no pre-party prep - I don't have time for holiday desserts that require many steps and planning ahead. In fact, Ella and I ran to Walmart the morning of Christmas Eve, picked up all the stuff and were back home in about 15 minutes (I was a bit terrified about braving a store on Christmas Eve, especially when we were on a tight timeline so as not to miss our movie, but it turned out to be totally painless).

A couple of years ago, Ralphie hosted a little fondue party and our friend Melissa told us that the secret to chocolate fondue is melting some marshmallows into the chocolate. It makes it stick better to your food (in the past, my chocolate was always sliding off whatever I dipped into it, especially semi-slippery foods like bananas and strawberries).

Two things to note:

First, I'm always tempted to make a giant batch of fondue and then I wonder why we have 2 cups of it leftover after everyone has gone home full to their eyeballs. I thought we'd have no where near enough because the pot didn't look very full, but we still ended up with a bit left after everyone had eaten their fill. Also, the more full the pot is, the more things end up falling off the forks when you try to dip them in.

Second, you don't really need a fondue pot. We couldn't find our extension cord and so we just mixed it up at the counter, then unplugged it and brought it over to the table and it was fine (after about 30 minutes, I plugged it back in and let it reheat for about 60 seconds). If you only have a regular pot, it'll work fine.

Chocolate Fondue

Serves about 8 people

1 Tablespoon butter
8 large Jet-Puffed marshmallows
8 ounces Baker's semi-sweet chocolate
2-4 Tablespoons half-and-half or whipping cream
(optional) 2 Tablespoons Planter's creamy peanut butter


Melt the butter and marshmallows over medium heat in your fondue pot.



Add the chocolate (if you're using a bar, break it up into small-ish pieces to make it melt more quickly and evenly).



Stir in the half-and-half or whipping cream until it's the consistency you want. If you'd like, add the peanut butter and mix to combine.



Things to dip in your fondue:

  • Banana slices (my favorite)
  • Donut holes (my. . .other favorite)
  • Strawberries
  • Dates
  • Cookies
  • Pretzels
  • Dried cranberries
  • Raspberries
  • Marshmallows
  • Coconut (dip another item in chocolate, then roll it in the coconut) 



 I'm sad to report that eating fondue will probably not give you gorgeous curls or long lashes like this little guy, but. . . hey, it can't hurt to test that theory out.


8 comments:

  1. I think you have come up with a good tradition, one that will stand the test of time. And I like the idea of New Year's fondue as well. Actually, I can think of many occasions for which chocolate fondue would be pretty much perfect, and of course healthy with all those bananas, strawberries, and what not :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. We just talked about fonduing next year...this year we tried a Mexican theme which worked great, but thought about fondue for next year. However, my past experiences with fondue has included a ton of prep for the meat- the marinating, cutting of raw meat (which totally disgusts me), and then preparing the dipping sauce. Plus it totally made my house stink. But despite all that, I still want to fondue next year because it is fun and it tastes great.

    ReplyDelete
  3. my family did 3-course fondue for their entire christmas eve dinner last year (i wasn't with them). this year, since i was cooking, i only did cheese fondue for the appetizer, but a chocolate fondue party sounds like a really fun idea.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love this idea. A few years ago I was dating someone who had a family Christmas Eve tradition of fondue. One pot for almost 30 people...it was a disaster. They did a broth for meats and veggies, the cheese and veggies, then chocolate and sweets. The kids were starving and nothing was cooking fast enough and it took hours and hours and there was nothing else to eat.

    This, however, sounds lovely.

    xox

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fondue always feels like such a wonderful idea - we have an excellent fondue pot ... but I have one child that hates anything hot (or warm or lukewarm) and doesn't like cheese. So for now we're screwed. But looks fun!

    ReplyDelete
  6. THanks for the addition of marshmallow tip. I'll have to try that. We love fondue.

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  7. We love fondue and I totally agree about making too much. We are usually fine with the amount of cheese fondue but I always make too much chocolate fondue. #client

    ReplyDelete
  8. We just talked about fonduing next year...this year we tried a Mexican theme which worked great, but thought about fondue for next year. However, my past experiences with fondue has included a ton of prep for the meat- the marinating, cutting of raw meat (which totally disgusts me), and then preparing the dipping sauce. Plus it totally made my house stink. But despite all that, I still want to fondue next year because it is fun and it tastes great.
    Charlotte

    ReplyDelete

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