Holiday Recipes, From Our Families To Yours!
Happy holidays, from our families to yours. Here are 5 of our favorite family recipes that mean so much to us this time of year. Hope you have a sweet tooth! Here's to holiday cheer and fun moments with your families and loved ones!
1. Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls - Liz Thompson
My father-in-law has been making these mini cinnamon rolls for over 30 years. When he was a Social Studies high school teacher at Clear Lake HS in Houston, TX, he would make them for the teachers the week before holiday break. My family makes them for my kids school & dance teachers. The big tradition is eat them on Christmas morning before opening the stocking gifts from Santa. So my kids are in a hurry to eat the rolls and then get to opening presents - but it’s a good reminder to pause and be thankful. - Liz
(1) 8oz whipped cream cheese
(1) teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cup granulated sugar, divided
(2) Tablespoons ground cinnamon
(1) loaf sandwich bread, crusts trimmed
(2) sticks of butter, melted
Cream together the cream cheese, egg, vanilla and ½ c of the sugar.
Mix the remaining 1c sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
Spread the creamed mixture on the sandwich bread. Roll up tightly.
Dip in butter and then roll in the sugar/ cinnamon mixture.
Place on a cookie sheet and freeze 2-3 hours 6. Slice into bite-size pieces. Freeze and store or bake at 350* for 15 minutes.
1 batch makes 20 rolls.
2. Vegan Reese's Trees - Jessica Klein
Veganize an old favorite! - Jessica
Ingredients - Filling:
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1/2 cup unsalted vegan butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 cup organic sugar
Ingredients - Chocolate Coating
1 cup non dairy chocolate chips
1/2 cup coconut oil
Combine, press filling flat into a parchment lined pan and freeze until firm. Once firm, use shaped cookie cutter or cut into squares/roll into balls. Melt chocolate chips & coconut oil together, coat each tree, freeze on tray for 1-2 hrs.
3. Baklava - Jamie Griffin
These are both from my fiance's grandma/great grandma. I never knew his great grandma but we call his grandma "Yia Yia" (Greek for grandma) and she is a smart, fiery little lady. My fiance's family is Greek (his dad's side is 100% Greek, it's really cool and they make YUMMY food!). One of their best holiday family recipes is for Baklava. - Jamie G.
Ingredients (serves 10-12):
1lb walnuts, coarsely chopped
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1lb packet fyllo pastry
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (melted)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups water
1 large cinnamon stick
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp clear honey
Defrost pastry, if needed, and keep it covered with a damp cloth as it dries quickly. Mix all the filling ingredients in a bowl. Butter the base of a large oblong roasting pan (approx. 15 in x 10 in) and cover it neatly with 5-6 sheets of pastry, brushing each layer with melted butter before lifting it from the stack. Fold in excess length of each sheet at alternative ends. Spread half of the filling evenly over the pastry and cover with 3 more layers of buttered pastry. Spread over remaining filling and then fold over all the edges enclosing the filling neatly. Butter each sheet of remaining pastry and cover the top neatly. Cut away excess pastry all around the edges. Cut the top layers of the baklava into small oblong or diamond portions in order to facilitate serving once it has been cooked. Sprinkle on a little cold water with the tips of your fingers to prevent the edges from curling up and cook in a pre-heated over at 350F for 25-30 minutes. Turn heat up to 375F and cook for another 10-15 minutes until light golden. Let it cool before adding the syrup. Mix the syrup ingredients except for honey and boil for 8-10 minutes. Add honey and simmer for another 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Discard cinnamon and cloves and pour the syrup slowly over the baklava. Let it stand for 10 minutes until all the syrup has been absorbed and it looks glossy on top. If covered to prevent drying, it will keep well at room temperature for 2-3 days.
4. MJ's Australian Hazelnut Cookies - Heather Truhan
MJ was married to the love of her life for over 70 years. They had a wonderful life. Cheers to remembering what is important, no matter where your home is. Cooking can be done anywhere. We always believe that home is where the heart is. When you are happy in your home, we hope you'll have a long and happy life! Just be sure to eat some homemade cookies. Heather's grandmother would also have suggested the following "Nanny Cocktail" while you bake. - Heather
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup ground hazelnuts (toasted)
1/2 cup soft butter
1/4 tsp almond extract
Sift flour & sugar into bowl. Stir in nuts. Blend in butter. Sprinkle with ice water until dough folds together. Form into balls. Flatten & bake 7-10 minutes until golden. 375 degrees F. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Triple recipe for 50 cookies.
5. "Nanny" Cocktail - Heather
Here's a photo of my grandmother, or MJ "Nanny" with the love of her life. - Heather
6. Kourabiethes - Jamie Griffin
Another Greek recipe very specifically for the holiday season: Kourabiethes (Shortbread Christmas Cookies/Cakes). - Jamie G.
1 lb unsalted butter
1 cup super fine sugar
3 egg yolks
4 tbsp brandy
4-5 drops pure vanilla essence
8 oz shelled almonds (slightly toasted and coarsely chopped)
2 lb self-rising flour
3 tbsp rosewater
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Cream butter, add sugar and beat together. Beat in the egg yolks and then brandy and vanilla. Add the sifted flour and the almonds and mix well. Knead quickly. It should be quite a stiff dough. If it feels sticky, add a little more flour. Roll out the pastry on a cool surface to 1/4" thickness and using pastry cutters, cut half moon, round, or star shapes (about 24-26 pieces). Place cakes on a greased baking sheet and cook in pre-heated oven at 375 F for 20 minutes until creamy color. Do not let them brown. Cool and sprinkle with a little rosewater. Put on platter that has been dusted with some powdered sugar and sprinkle the remaining powdered sugar over them.
7. Peanut Blossoms - Heather Truhan
Another MJ "Nanny" specialty, my favorite! - Heather
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
48 milk chocolate kisses
Mix together cookie dough. Roll into balls. Dip into sugar. Bake on un-greased sheet 10-12 minutes. Place candy kiss on top as soon as cookies are out of the oven. Press down firmly so cookie cracks edges.
8. Sort-of-Healthy No-Bake Cookies - Jamie Nagode
My mom and I have made these since I was a kid. I always eat so many that I feel like taking a nap, so maybe just eat like 5 or 6 of them in one sitting and then call it quits. I added the chia seeds so that its extra healthy. - Jamie N.
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
3 tbs cocoa
3 cups quick oats
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup chia seeds - soooooo healthy!
Combine sugar, butter, milk, and cocoa in pan. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and beat in rest of ingredients quickly. Drop by the spoonful onto waxed paper and let cool in the refrigerator.