Island View Casino shares holiday recipe

GULFPORT (WLOX) - Island View Casino Resort's team of skilled chefs won eight medals at the recent Culinary Classic, an annual competition sponsored by the Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Culinary Federation. This holiday season, their award-winning chefs are sharing a sweet treat, perfect for Christmas gatherings.

Cran-Apple Buñelos with Vanilla Chantilly Cream

Buñelos (fried dough)

1 1/2 quarts vegetable shortening or fryer oil (Crisco shortening)
1 can (10 biscuits) jumbo refrigerated Biscuits or large frozen biscuit dough pucks
As needed: light brown sugar (for pressing) 
1 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
1 tbsp ground cinnamon


  • Using a high-sided heavy pan or cast iron Dutch oven, pre-heat shortening to 325 degrees.
  • Cut each biscuit in half, roll into ball, - and flatten to 1/2" thickness with fingers, slightly stretching dough. Press both sides of dough in brown sugar until well embedded.
  • Deep-fry each in hot oil, turning to brown evenly (1-2 minutes). Drain on paper towels lined up side by side (for even sugar dusting distribution).
  • Place powdered sugar and cinnamon in a sifter and dust both sides of fried dough while still hot. Set aside.

1/2 stick (2 oz) unsalted butter
4 medium size red apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup dried cranberries OR substitute: golden or regular raisins OR any dried fruit
2/3 cup apple juice or apple cider
1/3 cup Bourbon Whiskey 
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp orange marmalade
TOPPING: 1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts mixed with 3 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tsp ground cinnamon


  • In a heavy skillet, sauté apples in butter until golden brown. Add dried cranberries, apple juice, and bourbon whiskey. Cook out alcohol (2 minutes).
  • Add brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and orange marmalade. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved and is thick/syrupy. Remove from heat. Place dollop of mixture on fried dough rounds.
  • TOPPING: Sprinkle each with ground walnuts pre-tossed with brown sugar & cinnamon.
  • OPTIONAL: With star tipped piping bag, pipe Vanilla Chantilly Cream  (recipe below) on top of each.
Vanilla Chantilly Cream

3 cups (24 oz) heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)

  • With electric hand mixer (whips) or food processor, whip cream and vanilla together until it slightly thickens (soft peaks). Add in sifted powdered sugar and continue to beat until firm.
  • (Be careful not to over whip. Final product should be smooth and firm. Not lumpy.)