(BPT) - Whether you prefer grandma's famous pumpkin pie, snowflake cookies or delicious eggnog custard, there are plenty of dessert options to choose from during the holiday season. We often associate holiday desserts with sugar, frosting and all things sweet. However, the most important ingredient is not one that satisfies our sweet tooth, but is rather much simpler, and extremely nutritious - eggs!
In addition to their nutritional value, eggs perform more than 20 different functions within baking. For instance, eggs provide structure for cakes, texture to custards and add richness, color and flavor to almost all our holiday favorites.
'I tell my clients to practice dessert in moderation and to make wise choices when it comes to the ingredients they bake with,' says Registered Dietitian, Lyssie Lakatos. 'One of my favorite holiday desserts to make is a pumpkin spice cake roll, which I bake using Eggland's Best (EB) eggs. With EB eggs I know I'm getting more than double the omega-3s, four times more vitamin D, 10 times more vitamin E and 25 percent less saturated fat compared to ordinary eggs.'
Since eggs are an essential ingredient for baked goods, it is important to bake with them properly to get the best results. Here are some egg tips to keep in mind this baking season:
Room temperature eggs
If your dessert recipe involves a mixture or batter, make sure your eggs are room temperature so they blend easier. To get your eggs to room temperature you will need to remove them from the refrigerator at least one hour before you get cracking on your recipe. If you don't have an hour to spare, speed up the process by placing the eggs in a bowl of warm water for 10-15 minutes.
Did you know most recipes are created using large eggs? Since the best bakers rely on precise measurements, using a different sized egg may affect the outcome of the recipe. If you need to reference an egg size conversion chart, you can find one on the Eggland's Best website (www.egglandsbest.com/news/get-results-cooking-baking-different-egg-sizes/).
If you want a denser cookie or one richer in flavor, add more egg yolks than egg whites to help with the binding process. Keep in mind the yolk is the part of the egg that hosts essential vitamins like D, E and B12, and that the yolks of Eggland's Best eggs contain more vitamins and nutrients than the yolks of ordinary eggs. Egg yolks are also great for setting mousses and custards.
For holiday recipe inspiration, including this Pumpkin Spice Cake Roll, visit www.egglandsbest.com.
Pumpkin Spice Cake Roll
Makes 12 servings
3 large Eggland's Best eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon lemon juice
6 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line the bottom of an 18x13 inch cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Stir in pumpkin, Eggland's Best eggs, and lemon juice. Pour the batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.
3. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Invert onto a damp kitchen towel dusted with confectioners' sugar. Gently peel off parchment paper. Roll up cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Place the cake on a baking sheet and let cool in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, make the filling: In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese, vanilla, lemon zest, and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Chill in the refrigerator while the cake is cooling.
5. Unroll cake; spread filling evenly over cake, leaving a 1/2 inch border all around. Carefully reroll. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour (or more) before serving. Slice and enjoy! Store leftovers in the refrigerator. Optional: sprinkle additional confectioners' sugar on top for garnish.