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I am lucky enough to come from a family that 110% embraces holidays. All holidays. But especially Christmas. As a Christmas baby I could easily resent having to share my birthday with the holiday celebrations, but as it is my favorite time of year, and my family went all out, I find myself feeling so lucky that I get to celebrate my birthday in December (plus a half birthday always helps spread the joy!). Holiday baking really encompasses the spirit of the holidays for me. Generations of women in my family baking for friends, family, coworkers, teachers, anyone who made their year that much better. Recipes are handed down and added to traditions carried on each year. In these pages, I hope you find a holiday treat that helps you and yours celebrate the season! Cheers to a wonderful, festive end to 2015 and the start of 2016!

FORGOTTEN KI S S E S These are my brother’s favorite cookies, well as far as I know. If it has changed, he has yet to inform me. So I try to make them every chance I get for him. As we gather at my house for Christmas dinner, you can bet that these will be a feature dessert on the table! INGREDIENTS 48 Hershey kisses 1/2 C butter 3/4 C peanut butter 1/3 cup sugar 1/3 C packed brown sugar 1 egg 2 T milk 1 t vanilla 1-1/2 C flour 1 t baking soda 1/2 t salt 1/3 C additional sugar for rolling(optional)

INSTRUCTIONS 1. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates. 2. Beat butter and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. 3. Add sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. 4. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. 5. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture. 6. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar, if desired; place on ungreased cookie sheet. 7. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. 8. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. 9. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. Combine the chex, pretzels, cheez-its, and pepitas in a large bowl. 3. Heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat and add butter. Whisk constantly until the butter is sizzling and brown bits appear on the bottom of the pan, about 5 to 6 minutes. 4. Remove the butter from the heat and pour it into a bowl. Whisk in the brown sugar and seasonings until well combined. 5. Pour the seasoned butter over the chex mixture and toss well for at least 5 minutes until everything is moistened and covered. 6. Spread the mixture out on the baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, tossing every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. 7. To make the popcorn, heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the bacon grease and once it’s melted, add in 2-3 corn kernels, cover. 8. Once you hear the kernels pop, pour in the rest of the kernels and cover. Shake the once in a while, once you hear the kernels stop popping, removed from the heat. Remove from the heat. 9. Sprinkle with a dash of garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, + pepper. Stir well (these seasonings are just dashes, not part of the measurements in the ingredient list) 10. When the chex mix comes out of the oven, stir the popcorn into the mix in. Toss well. 11. Store in an air tight container, for up to a week.

o n c a f B

Ingredients: 6 C rice chex cereal 4 C pretzel twists 4 C cheez-it crackers 1/3 C pepitas 1/2 C unsalted butter 1 T brown sugar 2 t garlic powder + 2 t smoked paprika + 1 t salt + 1/2 t black pepper + 3 T bacon fat 1/3 C corn kernels


fa t


x i m n r o c

INGREDIENTS 3 t olive oil • 1/2 c popcorn kernels • 1 1/2 stick butter • 1 c brown sugar • 2 t molasses • 1 teaspoon vanilla • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda


1. Pop your popcorn however you like. I add 3 t olive oil to a pot and 1/2 c kernels and let them pop. 2. Dump the popcorn in to a large bowl 3. Preheat oven to 250. Line a baking sheet.. 4. In a medium pan, melt the butter. 5. add sugar and molasses, once combined, i 6. Increase the heat and let boil for 3-4 minuets. stir constantly. 7. add vanilla, salt, and baking soda. 8. working quickly, pour caramel over popcorn and stir to coat. 9. transfer popcorn to baking sheet and put in oven for 30 minutes to 1 hour. 10. Stir popcorn every 15 minutes.

gingerbread madelines with eggnog glaze Ingredients

For the madelines: 9 T butter, browned and cooled to room temperature 2 large eggs, room temperature 2/3 C sugar 1 pinch kosher salt 1 t vanilla 1 C + 1 T flour 1 t ground ginger 1 t cinnamon 1/8 t cloves 1/8 t ground nutmeg 1 t baking powder

For the glaze: 1 1/4 C powdered sugar 3 T eggnog Dash of nutmeg


1. Brush the madeleine mold with butter and dust with flour, tap off any excess. 2. In the bowl of a standing mixer beat the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla for 5 minutes until pale and thickened. 3. Whisk together the flour, spices, and baking powder. 4. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture. 5. Fold in the brown until just mixed. 6. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Batter can be chilled for up to 1 week. 7. To bake the madeleines, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Add about 1 1/2 T of batter in the center of each mold. Do not spread it. 8. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes or until the cakes just feel set, (press the cakes lightly with your finger and if it bounces back they’re done. If it stays indented, give it another minute in the oven). 9. While the madelines are baking, make the glaze by whisking the powder sugar and eggnog until smooth. 10. Drizzle glaze over madelines and sprinkle with nutmeg

g o Besides chocolate chip cookies, these were my moms go-to baked goods when we were growing up. My mom has a strict 24 hour cookie rule, meaning cookies are meant to be eaten within 24 hours of baking. Bars have a longer shelf life and tend to ship better, so if she was baking ahead, or sending them to friends and family across the country, or world, she always picked these as they hold up so well. I have so many memories of these bars that I love being remind of each time I bake them. My grandmother sent me a batch every few weeks when I was studying abroad in Chile, their baked goods are basically nothing compared to Americans. I use to make these bars for the cookie contest every summer at Junior Lifeguards, and every summer I won. One year they came out a little “goopy” and people weren’t so sure what to do, I renamed them goop, got out some forks, and no one knew the wiser. We referred to them as goop from there on out, way before Gwyneth coined the word. I hadn’t made them in years. Honestly I can’t remember the last time I made them myself. So when I was working off the recipe in our family cookbook, there were so many things we had altered by memory that they took a couple batches to get just right. I am glad I finally have them written down here Not only will these bars be the hit of any holiday party, or baking contest, but they will be enjoyed by your loved ones far away just as if they were fresh out of the oven.

o p i n g r e d i e n t s

2 1/2 C flour 2/3 C firmly packed brown sugar 3/4 C butter 1 large egg, slightly beaten 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk 1 (8 oz.) package toffee baking bits, divided

i n s t r u c t i o n s

1. Heat oven to 350째F. Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan butter. 2. Mix together flour and brown sugar in large bowl. 3. Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. 4. Add egg, mixing well. Stir in 1 1/2 C chocolate chips. Reserve 1 1/2 C mixture. 5. Press remaining crumb mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. 6. Bake 10 minutes. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over partially baked crust. Reserve 1/4 C toffee bits. Sprinkle remaining toffee bits over layer in pan. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture and remaining 1/2 C chocolate chips over top. Top with remaining toffee bits. 7. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. 8. Cool completely. Cut into bars.

A couple years back my grandmother and I participated in a holiday boutique back in New York. Our table was set up in a room with 2 other vendors, we could not have asked for better weekend partners. I lucked out and walked away with the most wonderful holiday music box, and a new addiction to English toffee. The candy vendor sold what they called butter crunch, and gave out samples all weekend. I went home and spent days in the kitchen trying to replicate the gold they were selling, all my friends got it for Christmas that year. I have to pack it up right after making it, I can have it sitting around my house too long.

INGREDIENTS 1 C butter 1 C sugar 1 T corn syrup 2 T water 16 oz chocolate 1 C chopped nuts

INSTRUCTIONS 1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper 2. In a sauce pan, heat butter, sugar, syrup, and water over medium heat. Stir frequently. 3. Allow to simmer until it reaches 290, or until dark golden. 4. Remove from heat, spread in even layer on cookie sheet 5. Let cool and harden. 6. In a double boiler, melt chocolate, pour over room temperature buttercrunch. 7. Sprinkle with chopped nuts

jo ho bros

Trader JO’s HOliday BROwnies

INGREDIENTS 1 sleeve candy cane Joe-Joe’s 1/2 C chocolate chips 10 T butter 1 1/4 C sugar 3/4 C + 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder 1/4 t salt 1/2 t vanilla extract 2 cold large eggs 1/2 C flour

INSTRUCTIONS 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter 8 x 8 pan. 2. Crush the oreos by hand, or in a food processor, set aside. 3. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and combined with the sugar and coco. Set aside until cool. 4. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring well after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. 5. Spread half of the batter evenly in the lined pan. 6. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool, 5 minuets. 7. Evenly sprinkle the crushed Joe-Joe’s and chocolate chips. Pour the remaining batter over, and spread with spatula. R 8. Place back in oven for 20 minuets, until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and then cut.

optional eggnog frosting 1 1/2 C powder sugar 3 T butter, soften 3 T eggnog 1 t nutmeg

Mix/whip until smooth and spreadable

Gingerbread Cookies

GINGERBREAD COOKIES I don’t want to hype these cookies up too much, but they are hands down the best cookies I have ever had. Plus the stay soft for days. 1 ½ C butter, room temperature 2 C granulated sugar ½ C molasses 2 eggs 4 C all-purpose flour 4 t baking soda 2 t ground cinnamon 1 t ground cloves 1 t ground ginger 1 t salt

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. 2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt. Set aside. 3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar on medium speed for 1 minute until light and fluffy. 4. Add in the eggs and molasses, and beat on medium-low speed until combined. Gradually add in the dry ingredient mixture and beat until combined. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes, until it is chilled. 5. Roll the dough into small balls, about 1-inch. Place on cookie sheet at least 1 inch apart, then bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the cookies begin to slightly crack on top. 6. Remove from the oven and let cool for a minute or two. Then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. 7. Serve immediately or store in a sealed container for up to 1 week.

D E T O X S M O O T H I E Because one cannot live on cookies and sweets alone. Or at least, shouldn’t. Makes 1 smoothie

5 minuets

2 handfuls of kale 2 handfuls of spinach 1 banana 1/4 cup blueberries 1 cup ice A splash of water A splash of almond milk Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend till smooth. Drink, and feel better.

New Years Day Cinnamon R Last year on New Years Day morning, Andrew and I made a champagne brunch and spent the meal reflecting on the previous year, recording the highlights, and goal setting for the new year. The highlight of the meal was hands down the make-ahead cinnamon rolls. We vowed to repeat the event next year, which I cannot figure out how, is just days away! We have plans to recreate the meal, mainly the cinnamon rolls, and keep this tradition going for years! I N G R E D I E N T S DOUGH

1 C whole milk • 3 T butter • 3 1/2 C flour • 1/2 C sugar • 1 egg • 2 1/4 t rapid yeast • 1 t salt FILLING

3/4 C brown sugar • 2 T cinnamon • 1/4 C melted butter GLAZE

4 oz softened cream cheese • 1 C powder sugar • 1/2 C butter I N S T R U C T I O N S 1. Combine milk and butter in glass, microwave until melted, about 1 minute. 2. Pour into mixing bowl, add 1 C flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Mix with paddle attachment on low for 3 minutes. 3. Add 2 1/2 C flour. Beat on until well mixed and begins to form a ball. 4. Place dough on counter and kneed for 8 minuets, form into ball. 5. Place in buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and towel until doubled, about 2 hours. 6. Punch dough and roll out. 7. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle filling, roll and cut. 8. Place in pan, cover with plastic wrap and towel, and let rise. 45-60 minuets on counter, or overnight in refrigerator. 9. Preheat oven to 375. Allow cinnamon rolls and pan to come to room temperature if they sat in the fridge over night. 10. Bake for 20 minuets until golden. 11. While baking, whisk glaze ingredients. 12. Drizzle glaze onto hot cinnamon rolls, and enjoy!


have a holly jolly christmas! see you in


Holiday treats  
Holiday treats