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Get fancy with Downton Abbey themed treats

Dark Chocolate Truffles from “The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook Expanded Edition.” (Photo by Amy Phelps)

As the holidays draw near, some may start to think of holiday shopping for the foodie in their life. Here are two new cookbooks that might fit the bill.

For fans of the television show and now movie, “Downton Abbey” comes “The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook Expanded Edition” by Emily Ansara Baines.”

This book has more than 150 recipes based on British faire of the time period explored in the show.

The book is divided into two sections: Upstairs and Downstairs, in keeping with the show.

There are eight chapters in the Upstairs Section, divided as if having a fancy multiple-course meal: Hors d’Oeuvres Varies, First and Second Courses: Soups and Fish, Third Course: Elegant Entrees, Fourth and Fifth Courses: Juicy Joints and Succulent Steaks, Sixth Course: Resplendent Roasts, Gorgeous Game and Accompanying Salads, Seventh Course: The Necessary Vegetable, The Finishing Touch: Sweets and Desserts and finally, Tea at Downton Abbey.

There are four chapters in the Downstairs Section: Hearty Breakfasts to Start the Work Day, A Quick Lunch Between Business, Downstairs Supper and Desserts for the Servants’ Sweet Tooth.

There are all sorts of dishes to try throughout the chapters, such as Caviar Cucumber Canapes, Alfred’s Ritz-Approved Vichyssoise, Lobster Thermidor, Seven-Hour Leg of Lamb, Squab with Fig Foie Gras, Pommes de Terre Sarladaise, Traditional Bakewell Tart and Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches.

I tried The Dowager Countess’s Dark Chocolate Truffles. These are easy treats to make, made up of cream cheese, some cream and sugar and different chocolates. I thought they needed some sort of coating on the outside, though, and rolled them cocoa powder. My youngest thought that made them too bitter, but I thought it gave it extra flavor. Maybe they even needed just melted chocolate over them?

“The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook: Expanded Edition” is published by Adams Media. It is $24.99.

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For those who might want a pasta dish straight out of fine dining comes “Simple, Elegant Pasta Dinners” by Nikki Marie.

Marie, creator of the blog Chasing Seasons, has gathered 75 dishes, all arranged by season so that cooks can use seasonal produce and use her heirloom Italian methods at home.

Looking at the recipes for autumn and upcoming winter, home cooks can make dishes for their next dinner party like Pasta with Sausage and Roasted Red Grapes, Butternut Squash Pasta Bake with Whole Cranberries and Brie and Fresh Potato Gnocchi with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce now and Pasta with Maple-Caramelized Pears and Gorgonzola, Rigatoni with Dark Cocoa and Red Wine Short Rib Ragu and Tagliatelle with Vanilla-Champagne Butter Sauce.

These are dishes that make take a little more time than an average weeknight, but they are great for your holiday party with adult friends.

“Simple, Elegant Pasta Dinners” is published by Page Street Publishing. It is $21.99.

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Contact Amy Phelps at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com

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