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HOLIDAY 2017

12 Days of

Holiday Cookies Plus favorite styling tips & new Holiday Gift Guides!


Welcome

Hello, dear friends, old and new,

It seems that homemade cookies go hand-in-hand with the holidays – and I wouldn’t change that for the world. Whether you have the innate need to decorate them and hang them on the tree (like me), or nibble on them along with a big mug of hot cocoa (like me), the holidays wouldn’t feel or taste the same without that homemade batch, or two, or three, of holiday cookies. We’ve made this issue even more special by sharing my favorite holiday styling tips, and creating a feast for the senses with our new Get The Look pages. For so long, many of you have asked me where to find the wonderful things that end up in our photography. Since some things are lucky flea market, antiques show, or Home Goods finds, I searched out goodies that will give you the look and are available on-line. So grab an apron, roll up your sleeves, and let’s get into the holiday spirit! Happy Holidays my dear friends! Love,

NORA MURPHY Founder and Editor in Chief

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Contents

Snowflake Gingerbread Cookies 8 Merigue Cookies 12 Classic Linzer Cookies 16 Mama's Hungarian Kifli 24 Bernadette's Toffee Bars 30 Molasses Ginger Snaps 34 Orange Madeleines 38 Lemon Ice Box Cookies 42 Dana's Primitive Sugar Cookies 46 My Favorite Chewy Gooey Chocolate Chunk Cookies 52 Judy's Pressed Butter Cookies 58 Raspberry Crumble Bars 64 4


Nora Murphy Founder and Editor in Chief Carol Hubner Art and Features Director

Deborah Golden Copywriter/Copy Editor Criana Web Producer

Darryl Arbesman Nora Murphy Duanne Simon Contributing Photographers

All design, photography, and copy on NoraMurphyCountryHouse.com is original, produced year-round at Connecticut Country House and on location.

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Please direct all inquiries to: contact@noramurphycountryhouse.com.

Š 2017 Nora Murphy Country House, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Snowflake Gingerbread Cookies For the Cookie dough:

For the cookies:

½ cup brown sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat the brown sugar, butter, molasses, and water on medium speed until combined. Lightly beat in the rest of the ingredients. Shape dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes (room temperature) ½ cup robust molasses 1⁄3 cup cold water 3½ cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger ½ teaspoon ground allspice ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground cloves ¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously sprinkle your work surface with flour. Cut dough in half or quarters and using your rolling pin, roll out to ¼ inch thickness (be sure to keep unused dough in plastic until ready to use). With cookie cutters, cut as many as you can get out of “a roll” and place on cookie sheet lined with Silpat or parchment paper. For hanging, remember to cut a hole in cookies that have no cutouts. Keep the cookies at least 1 inch apart.

4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove cookies from pan and place onto cooling rack. When completely cooled (it’s time for a taste test), they’re ready to be decorated with the Royal Icing.

6 cups of confectioner’s sugar

For the icing:

For the Royal Icing: 4 large egg whites

In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with the lemon juice. Add the sugar and beat on low speed until smooth. If the consistency seems too thick, add a little water; if it seems thin, add a little sugar. Load into piping bag with an icing tip, or in a pinch, a ziptop bag with a corner snipped off.The icing dries very quickly, so use immediately or store in an airtight container. (You can also download this recipe here.) 8


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Tasty Ornaments

Poking a hole in cookies before baking allows them to be used as decorations on your tree when threaded with baker's twine.

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Meringue Cookies 3 large egg whites, room temperature* ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar Pinch of salt ¾ cup superfine sugar** ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, or the extract of your choice

Heat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In the squeaky clean, completely dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a grease-free whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy (about a minute). Add the cream of tartar and salt, and beat on medium speed, until soft peaks form—soft peaks have tips that don't stand up on their own. A little at a time, add the sugar, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. Increase the mixer speed and whip until stiff, shiny peaks form. Take a bit of the meringue and rub it between your fingers; it shouldn't feel grainy. If it does, continue beating until all of the sugar has dissolved and it’s silky smooth. Add vanilla extract and beat to incorporate. Scoop the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a large tip (I often use a Wilton #2D Drop Flower) or, using two spoons, place 2½" dollops of meringue onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. They won’t spread when they bake. (If you dot the underside of the parchment paper with a bit of the meringue, it will keep the paper from shifting while you work.) Bake for 1½ to 1¾ hours, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time. Check for doneness: Meringues should be pale, fairly crisp, and lift off the parchment without sticking. When they're done, turn off the oven. Return the pan of meringues to the oven and leave the door slightly ajar. Allow to cool and dry for a couple of hours or overnight. *Not a speck of yolk, please! Fat/oil and water are the enemy of meringues. Your whites will not beat properly. **If you don’t have superfine sugar, you can make your own by taking granulated sugar and whirring it around in your food processor until it is fine. (You can also download this recipe here.) NORAMURPHYCOUNTRYHOUSE.COM

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Classic Linzer Cookies 1¼ cups (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened

For the filling:

6 egg yolks

1½ cups raspberry or apricot jam

1½ cups confectioner’s sugar

Additional confectioner’s sugar for dusting

1 teaspoon baking powder 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 lemon, juiced

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set them aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and egg yolks at medium speed until well blended. Add the confectioner’s sugar and continue to beat until the mixture turns much lighter in color. Stir the baking powder into the flour, and then add flour to the batter. With the mixer on low speed, add the lemon juice. Continue to beat on low speed until well incorporated. Remove the dough from the mixer and, with a sturdy spatula, fold the dough together. Sprinkle with a little flour to make it less sticky. Form the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic, and refrigerate for one hour. Heat the oven to 300 degrees F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap, and knead it on a well-floured surface. Once it's workable, roll the dough out to ¼-inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the cookie tops and bottoms. If your cookies will have a decorative window cutout, you’ll need a smaller circle cutter for every other cookie. Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking sheets and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Cookies should be creamy in color, with just a tinge of golden color at the edges. If not, put them back in and keep checking every two minutes until they’re done. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool, keeping cutout ones (the tops) face up and together, solid ones on their own. Dust cutout cookies, the tops, with confectioner’s sugar. Spoon a small amount of jam on the "back" side of a solid cookie (the part that was against the cookie sheet), and top with a dusted cutout cookie to form a sandwich. These can be stored in a airtight container for up to three weeks. (You can also download this recipe here.) NORAMURPHYCOUNTRYHOUSE.COM

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Travel Companions A vintage picnic basket makes a wonderful gift when filled with homemade cookies!

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Let it Snow!

Elevate the look of baked goods with a generous dusting of powdered confectioner's sugar.

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a bit of Nature Tuck a bit of greenery into your napkin rings to add a festive and seasonal look to your holiday place settings. Sprigs of holly, boxwood, balsam, and white pine are all good choices.

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Mama's Hungarian Kifli 4 cups of flour

zest of 1 lemon

2 cups (1 bag) of walnuts

1 cup of sour cream, at room temperature

2 sticks of unsalted butter

1 cup milk

½ teaspoon sugar

2 packets of fast-rising yeast

6 egg yolks

Confectioner’s sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 egg whites

Dough: In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour and butter. Set aside. In a small saucepan, warm up milk (do not boil), add 2 packets of yeast and ½ teaspoon sugar. Stir in 1 cup of sour cream. Add saucepan mixture to flour/butter mixture, as well as 4 egg yolks and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Using your hands, mix well. Form dough into a long loaf shape, and, using a dough knife, cut into 8 even slices. Wrap each dough ball in plastic wrap and let chill in fridge for 2 hours. Filling: Coarsely chop walnuts in food processor and transfer to large bowl. Beat 4 egg whites in a mixer until stiff. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Gradually add 1 cup of sugar and the lemon zest. When well mixed, fold into the bowl of chopped walnuts. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove dough balls from fridge. Keep in plastic wrap until ready to roll out. Flour surface well, and roll out dough evenly into a circle of 1/8-inch thickness (very thin). Using a sharp knife cut the circle into 8 even triangles. (First cut in half, then quarters, and so forth.) Dollop a teaspoon of filling mixture onto the top half of each triangle. To fold: take 2 top corners of the triangle and fold in, pinch down, and roll. When finished rolling, gently bend. Line up kifli 1 inch apart in rows on a Silpat lined baking sheet. Beat 2 egg yolks, and, using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of each kifli. Bake kifli for approximately 15 minutes. Check the underside of a kifli after 10–12 minutes for doneness (should be a light golden brown color). When done, remove from oven and let cool. When completely cool, dust with confectioner’s sugar. (You can also download this recipe here.) NORAMURPHYCOUNTRYHOUSE.COM

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Family Ties Making a recipe with family members is a great way to reconnect and share memories during the holidays.

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Shop z

this look! 28


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Bernadette's Chewy Toffee Bars From the New York Times, originally adapted from Stir, Bake by Charlotte Druckman Makes about 2 dozen bars

1 cup soft-packed dark brown sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, cold, plus more for buttering the pan

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted, or 6 ounces chocolate chips or chunks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 350°F. Position a rack in the center, and place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet on it. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on low speed for about a minute, until softened. Scrape down the bowl and the paddle. With the mixer running at low speed, add the salt and vanilla. Add the brown sugar, then turn the speed up to medium and beat until mixture is fluffy and the color of peanut butter, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl again. With the mixer running at low speed, shake in flour, beating just until dough holds together. Mix in nuts or chocolate just until combined. Remove the hot skillet from the oven and place a small lump of butter in it. As butter melts, brush it onto the bottom and sides of the pan until evenly coated. Dump the dough into skillet and press it out evenly to fill the skillet. You can use your fingers (being careful to avoid touching the hot pan!), a potato masher, or the bottom of a measuring cup. Press dough down firmly to make a compact, even layer. Return the skillet to the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan. If necessary, run a butter knife around the sides of the pan to loosen. Cut bars into squares or diamonds. Let the bars cool completely before removing from the pan. Use a small offset spatula or butter knife to transfer them to paper towels to blot the buttery bottoms. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container, where they’ll keep well for up to 1 week.

(You can also download this recipe here.) NORAMURPHYCOUNTRYHOUSE.COM

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Free Goodies! Click here to go to the Goodies section of noramurphycountryhouse.com and download this holiday banner, placecards and more, today!

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Molasses Ginger Snaps 1 cup granulated sugar ž cup solid shortening 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 egg Ÿ cup molasses Ÿ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground cloves Additional granulated, Demerara, or sparkling sugar for decorating

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together until the dough forms. Roll pieces of dough into 1 inch balls. Roll the balls of dough in sparkling sugar, if desired. Place 12 balls of dough on an ungreased rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes, or until the underside begins to color. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool, and store them in an airtight container. Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.

(You can also download this recipe here.) 34


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Cookie Bar Displaying cookies in a variety of vessels: glass jars, platters, cake stands, and baskets, creates a visually inviting and multi-layered dessert table for your guests to enjoy!

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Orange Madeleines 2/3 cup all-purpose flour ¼ teaspoon baking powder ½ cup butter, melted and cooled 2 large eggs ½ teaspoon orange extract ½ teaspoon orange zest, freshly grated 1 cup powdered sugar, plus additional for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 2, 12-cavity madeleine pans with nonstick cooking spray. In a small bowl, sift together the flour and the baking powder. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs, orange extract, and orange zest on high speed for 5 minutes. Gradually add and beat in the powdered sugar for 5 minutes, or until thick. Gently fold in the flour mixture, then the melted butter. Mix until smooth. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans, filling the cavities about ¾ full. Bake approximately 8 minutes, or until the edges are light brown. Allow to cool in the pan for 1 to 2 minutes. Loosen cookies with a knife and invert pan on a wire cooling rack. Before serving, dust with powdered sugar. If they're not all gobbled up, these treats can be stored in an airtight container.

(You can also download this recipe here.) NORAMURPHYCOUNTRYHOUSE.COM

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All through the House

Shouldn't the room where everyone gathers showcase some holiday cheer? I love to keep it green, by draping branches of balsam on the chandelier, swagging white pine roping (with mixed greens) up onto my focal wall, and adding a variety of potted herbs to the mix.

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Lemon Ice Box Cookies Adapted from The Hay Day Cookbook

Makes about 4 dozen cookies. 3 cups unbleached flour ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon baking powder pinch of salt 1 cup of sugar ¾ cup butter (1½ sticks), softened 1 whole egg juice of 2 lemons 2 tablespoons grated lemon rind granulated sugar

Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together sugar and butter until light. Beat in egg. Add lemon juice and rind. Add the flour mixture. Form into a roll and wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate overnight. Unwrap dough and slice very thin. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Sprinkle the cookies with sugar and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 6 minutes. Cool on a rack.

(You can also download this recipe here.) NORAMURPHYCOUNTRYHOUSE.COM

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Make a Statement

One store bought bouquet of roses can make more of an impact on your holiday table than you might think. The trick is to cut the stems down, then separate and place them in smaller vessels down the center of the table. Easy!

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Dana's Primitive Sugar Cookies Dough Ingredients:

To make the dough:

7 cups unbleached flour

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 3 cups sugar 4 eggs 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon butter extract Icing Ingredients: 1 cup confectioners' sugar 2 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon corn syrup

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition, and the extracts. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients. Turn the dough out onto a length of plastic wrap. Wrap it tightly and refrigerate overnight. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out the dough to a thickness of about Âź inch and cut with your favorite cutters. Place on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove, and let cool on rack. To make the icing: Mix all ingredients well with a hand or stand mixer, then pipe or spread on completely cooled cookies. Optional: Add the extract or two of your choice to add a little flavor surprise.

(You can also download this recipe here.) 46


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TrueStyle

Whether displayed simply on a vintage cutting board, or elegantly layered onto an heirloom eighteenth century platter, cookies take on the personality of how they're served.

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a bit of Sparkle

To add more shimmer and shine to these iced sugar cookies, decorate them with Wilton's White Sparkling Sugar Sprinkles or White Pearl Sprinkles.

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My Favorite Chewy Gooey Chocolate Chunk Cookies Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's amazing recipe "My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies" 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt ž teaspoon baking soda 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature 1 cup sugar 2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 2 large eggs 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate (chopped/broken into chunks) 1 cup finely chopped walnuts

Center a rack in the oven and heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl and set aside. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for about 1 minute until smooth. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes or so until well blended. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute after each egg goes in. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in three portions, mixing only until each addition is incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the chocolate and nuts by hand. Spoon the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the cookie sheets, and space about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet in the oven midway. They're done with they're golden in the center and starting to brown at the edges. They may still be a little soft in the middle, but that's just fine. Let the cookies cool on the pan for two minutes before using a metal spatula to move them to the cooling rack.

(You can also download this recipe here.) NORAMURPHYCOUNTRYHOUSE.COM

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Loaded with Love

Don't skimp on the amount and quality of the chocolate for these cookies. Your recipients will thank you for it! (P.S. My favorite care package!) 54


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Warm Up! On a chilly afternoon, set up an inviting hot cocoa bar for your guests. All you need is a big pot of hot cocoa, self-serve mugs, garnishes including marshmallows, cinnamon sticks and candy canes, and of course, a variety of cookies and treats.

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Judy's Pressed Butter Cookies 1¼ cups (2½ sticks) unsalted butter 6 egg yolks 1½ cups confectioner’s sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 lemon, juiced

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set them aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and egg yolks at medium speed until well blended. Add the confectioner’s sugar and continue to beat until the mixture turns much lighter in color. Stir the baking powder into the flour, and then add flour to the batter. With the mixer on low speed, add the lemon juice. Continue to beat on low speed until well incorporated. Remove the dough from the mixer and, with a sturdy spatula, fold the dough together. Sprinkle with a little flour to make it less sticky. Form the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic, and refrigerate for one hour. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap, and knead it on a well-floured surface. Once it’s workable, roll the dough out to ¼-inch thickness. Place cookie mold, commonly used to make Springerle cookies and Dutch-style Speculaas, face down on rolled out dough and press down firmly. (Or if you are lucky enough to have a carved rolling pin, roll firmly across the dough.) Carefully pull up mold, leaving an imprint in the dough. Repeat if there’s room. Use cookie cutters to cut out the imprinted dough. Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking sheets and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Cookies should be creamy in color, with just a tinge of golden color at the edges. If not, put them back in and keep checking every two minutes until they’re done. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool.

(You can also download this recipe here.) NORAMURPHYCOUNTRYHOUSE.COM

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Make an Impression

Springerle molds stamp the best motifs. (I collect vintage Springerle molds I find at flea markets!)

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Shop z

this look!

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Raspberry Crumble Bars Adapted from myincrediblerecipes.com 2½ cups flour ¼ teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt ½ cup (packed) light brown sugar ½ cup unsalted butter (room temperature) 1 cup of raspberries ¼ cup sugar 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with baking spray. Using a large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking soda, salt and brown sugar whisk to combine. Use you fingertips as needed to break up the brown sugar. Add butter, and using your fingers and hands, blend the butter into mixture— it should resemble small crumbs. Prepare the jam by adding the raspberries to a bowl with the sugar and cornstarch. Mix, using an electric mixer on low, until combined. Place ¾ of the crumb mixture into the baking pan. Press the mixture evenly throughout the pan to create a crust. Spread raspberry mixture over the crust, leaving about a ¼-inch of all edges. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the raspberries and lightly press down. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top turns a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting into squares.

(You can also download this recipe here.) NORAMURPHYCOUNTRYHOUSE.COM

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Shop z

this look!

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Happy New Year!

FROM ALL OF US AT NORA MURPHY COUNTRY HOUSE

Set the Mood

To help create a cozy and intimate space I light the room only with candles and the light of the fire in the fireplace. What I love about my holiday table setting is that it has a rustic feel to it, as well as an opulence that comes with adding the most elegant bottle of Champagne Taittinger to a Simon Pearce hand blown glass ice bucket. Elegantly simple!

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“For it is in giving that we receive.� Francis of Assisi

N O R A M U R P H Y C O U N T RY H O U S E . C O M

Nora Murphy Country House Holiday Magazine 2017  

We’ve made this Holiday issue even more special by sharing my favorite holiday cookie recipes, styling tips, and creating a feast for the se...

Nora Murphy Country House Holiday Magazine 2017  

We’ve made this Holiday issue even more special by sharing my favorite holiday cookie recipes, styling tips, and creating a feast for the se...