Emeril's Holiday Delights

Get into the season with classic cranberries and indulge yourself with rich chocolate sauce. These four recipes from Emeril Lagasse are sure to keep your family smiling through the holidays.

Click through each page to see all the recipes!



1½ cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1 cup finely ground Oreo cookies (cream filling removed)

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

¼ cup confectioners' sugar

2 tablespoons milk

4 ounces melted semisweet chocolate

2/3 cup smooth peanut butter

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup toasted chopped peanuts

Rich Chocolate Sauce, for serving, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, Oreo cookie crumbs, butter, and 4 tablespoons of the granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Stir to thoroughly combine. Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, let the crust cool completely, then wrap it with plastic wrap and place the pan in the freezer for at least 1 hour and for up to 2 weeks. Allow the crust to come to room temperature before filling.

Combine the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and milk in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until well blended and smooth, about 1 minute on medium speed. Add the melted chocolate and the peanut butter and continue to blend for another minute on medium speed. Combine the cream with the remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar in another medium bowl. Beat with a whisk or electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold the whipped cream into the chocolate and peanut butter mixture until thoroughly incorporated and smooth. Pour the filling into the pie crust. Smooth the top of the pie with a spatula, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

To serve, use a hot wet knife to slice the pie into 8 portions. Garnish with the peanuts and drizzle with the Rich Chocolate Sauce.

Yield one 9-inch pie, 8 servings

*Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, Emeril's Potluck, William Morrow Publishers, New York, 2004



¾ cup half-and-half

8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon unsalted butter


In a small heavy saucepan, bring the half-and-half to a bare simmer over medium-low heat. Remove from the heat. Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Whisk the half-and-half slowly into the chocolate. Add the vanilla and butter to the sauce and whisk until the butter is completely incorporated. The sauce can be kept refrigerated in an airtight container for several days, but it must be returned to room temperature before serving.

Yield: 1½ cups

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, Emeril's Potluck, William Morrow Publishers, New York, 2004



2 tablespoons butter

¾ pound fresh cranberries

1¾ cups granulated sugar

4 teaspoons lemon zest

¼ cup lemon juice

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons yellow cornmeal

2 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

2/3 cup milk

½ cup olive oil


Preheat the oven to 350° F. Set a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the cranberries, 1 cup of the sugar, 2 teaspoons of the lemon zest and the lemon juice. Stir and cook until the cranberries wilt and have released most of their juice, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cranberries from the pan and set aside as you continue to cook the cranberry juices. The juices should bubble and thicken as it cooks. Continue to cook for 2 minutes, then return the cranberries to the pan and, using a spoon, arrange the berries so that they cover the bottom of the pan in one even layer, patting them down with the back of a spoon to even them out. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside to cool for 20 to 30 minutes.

While the skillet cools, prepare the cake batter. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the cornmeal. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the eggs, egg yolk, milk, olive oil and the remaining 2 teaspoons of lemon zest until frothy. Add the remaining ¾ cup of sugar and mix to combine. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix just until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the cooled skillet over the cranberries and place in the oven to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Place a plate over the top of the skillet and, working quickly, invert the plate and the skillet and give the skillet a quick tap on a solid work surface to help dislodge the cake from the pan onto the plate. Allow to cool to warm before serving. Cake may be served either warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

*Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, Emeril's Food of Love Productions, copyright 2007



7 tablespoons butter

½ cup brown sugar

2 cups pecan pieces

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of cinnamon

1 pound semisweet chocolate, cut into pieces

1 pound milk chocolate, cut into pieces

1 pound white chocolate, cut into pieces (white bar chocolate melts better than morsels)

2 cups dried cherries, rehydrated and chopped


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large saute pan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the brown sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves and is bubbly. Add the pecans. Season the pecans with salt, cayenne, nutmeg, and cinnamon and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar starts to caramelize and coats the pecans evenly. Cook for about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and spread the pecans over a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the pan in the oven and roast the pecans until lightly toasted and fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and cool completely. Break the pecans into small pieces.

Fill three small saucepans half way up the pan with water. Place the pans over medium heat and bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Place the three types of chips in three separate mixing bowls. Place the bowls over the saucepans. After about 2 minutes over the heat the chocolate will start to melt. Stir each chocolate until totally melted; take care not to overheat the chocolate. Remove the chocolate from heat as soon as it's completely melted and stir 1 tablespoon of butter into each bowl of chocolate. Pour each type of chocolate over a large (10" by 15") parchment lined or lightly buttered baking sheet. Sprinkle the pecans and cherries over the chocolates. Using a metal spatula, spread the mixture, working back and forth to form a swirled design, to an even thickness of about 1/4-inch. Transfer to the refrigerator until set, at least 2 hours. Break the bark into medium pieces and serve, or transfer pieces to an airtight container and store in a cool place until ready to serve.

Yield: 4 pounds of bark

*Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, Emeril's Food Of Love Productions, copyright 2007