100 Hot Holiday Dishes
Blackberry-Raspberry Truffle Cake
Endive Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Walnuts
This elegant first course showcases a marvelous partnership between slightly bitter endive, creamy goat cheese, and sweet orange juice. From pretty presentation to fantastic flavor, you can't go wrong with this simple appetizer.
Mocha-Pecan Mud Pie
Baked Potato Soup
All the flavors of a loaded baked potato come together in this rich, creamy baked potato soup recipe. It's one of our all-time favorites.
These simple cookies give just the right amount of sweet to satisfy your craving. Make a few batches, and freeze some to enjoy throughout the season.
Old-Fashioned Mashed Potatoes
Nothing fancy here, just good, basic mashed potatoes that are great as is or topped with gravy. For extra flavor, sprinkle with chopped chives.
Pecan and Date Pie
This rich Southern favorite received our highest marks.
Chocolate Chunk Bread Puddings
Raspberry-Almond Torte with Chocolate Ganache
A torte is a cake enriched with nuts and often layered with jam. Almond paste is a mixture of ground almonds and sugar. Look for it in the baking aisle of most supermarkets.
Peanut Butter Pie
Treat yourself to a light version of peanut butter pie. It tastes like eating a peanut butter and chocolate candy bar, but lightened ingredients like reduced-fat peanut butter, fat-free condensed milk, and light cream cheese keep fat and calories in check without sacrificing any flavor.
Brûléed Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Borrowing from the classic dessert crème brûlée, this dish has a hard candy topping, a crisp contrast to the creamy sweet potatoes.
Hot Chocolate with Ginger
Ginger spices up the traditional snowy-night favorite. Serve it with marshmallows and a dusting of cocoa powder.
Roasted Cipollini Onions
Double-Chocolate Cream Pie
Chocoholics, unite! We have found the official dessert of our sweet-tooth cause. This indulgent pie starts with a simple pie crust recipe, then fills it with the rich goodness of semisweet chocolate, unsweetened cocoa, and a hint of vanilla extract. Serve with coffee, red wine, or, better yet, a tall glass of milk.
Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread
Give your standard banana bread recipe the boot and try this chocolate-swirled version. The presentation is stunning–toast and top with a spoonful of peanut butter, and this breakfast bread really shines.
Rich Chocolate Soufflé Cakes with Crème Anglaise
Unlike traditional soufflés, these don't need to be served immediately (although they can be). In fact, we loved their fudgy, dense texture when chilled. The crème anglaise is good warm or chilled, as well.
Instead of high-fat pralines, toffee, or brittle, give croquant (French for "crisp")--a cream- and butter-free combination of caramelized sugar and almonds. Package in a paper-lined confection box or pretty bowl with a note to crumble over ice cream, layer into parfaits, or simply eat like brittle. Be careful not to burn yourself when pouring the hot mixture onto the jelly roll pan. The color of the sugar mixture (rather than temperature) is the best cue for doneness. The darker the color, the more bitter the candy--aim for a golden honey color. If your pan is too dark to gauge the color of the caramel, very carefully lift a small amount of the mixture with a spoon and drop it onto a piece of white paper--the level of caramelization will be evident.
Freezer Cinnamon Rolls
These rolls are good for busy mornings--let them stand 30 minutes, then bake 20 minutes. Make in disposable foil pans for easy gift-giving, and present the glaze in a small jar or zip-top plastic bag with these instructions: Microwave at HIGH 15 to 30 seconds, stir or knead until smooth, and drizzle over warm rolls.
Ojai Roast Turkey with Rosemary, Lemon, and Garlic
This top-rated turkey recipe drew raves from our users, who proclaimed it "the best turkey ever". Fresh ingredients, including lemon, rosemary, and garlic, contribute to the mouthwatering flavor.
Chocolate-covered shortbread is the yummy end to a wonderful meal. You're likely to have all of the ingredients for this recipe stocked in the pantry.
Caramel-Cloaked Chocolate-Hazelnut Torte
Notes: Make chocolate ganache first; let it cool while you bake the cake. Prepare cake through step 5 before starting caramel cloak. An accurate candy or instant-read thermometer that registers high temperatures is crucial to making the caramel; to coat cake evenly, it must cool just enough to be thick but still pourable, about 150°. Assemble torte through step 5 up to 1 day ahead and chill filled cake airtight; pour caramel over cold cake. Or complete entire recipe up to 1 day ahead and chill airtight; bring cake to room temperature to serve, about 1 hour, and warm sauce as directed in step 7.
Smoked Salmon Crostini
Meringue and Streusel-Topped Sweet Potatoes
If you don't have a pastry bag, simply fill a zip-top plastic bag with the meringue, and snip a corner with kitchen shears. Personalize the meringue design any way you desire.
Molten Marshmallow-Chocolate Cakes
Thirteen-year-old Joe Kozal was impressed by a molten chocolate cake in a restaurant but thought he could do better. Instead of chocolate, Joe's cakes ooze melted marshmallow.
French Onion Soup
Once you try this French Onion Soup recipe, you'll never try another. Caramelized, melt-in-your-mouth onions, crusty bread, and melted cheese make for a hearty and rich soup that’s worth the wait. You’ll want to let it simmer the full two hours for the ultimate blending of flavors. Perfect for a cold day, this classic soup is comfort food at its best. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, this also works as a crock pot soup recipe! This recipe is perfect for lunch or dinner.
Simple Baked Ham
Cream Cheese-Coconut-Pecan Pound Cake
As if a cream cheese pound cake was not rich enough, this one goes over the top with the addition of shredded coconut and chopped pecans. And don’t forget the sugar glaze that’s drizzled over the top. For a special holiday occasion, garnish the cake plate with sugared rosemary sprigs and sugared cranberries.
Classic Dry Martini
Unlike James Bond's favorite cocktail, this version is stirred, not shaken. Chill vodka in the freezer so it's as cold as possible.
Grand Marnier Meringue Torte
This grown-up birthday cake blends delicately crisp meringues, orange-scented cream, a hint of chocolate, and fresh fruit. Superfine sugar dissolves quickly into the beaten egg whites; if you can't find superfine sugar in your grocery store, make your own by processing granulated sugar in a food processor for about a minute. If you can't find clear vanilla extract, use regular vanilla extract; your meringue will be a little darker but just as delicious. Prepare the meringues up to three days ahead, and store at room temperature in an airtight container. Top with filling and fruit shortly before serving.
Peppermint-Marshmallow Ice Cream Pie
Brushing melted ice cream into the pie plate "glues" the crust into place. Crushed chocolate wafers create the crust, while whole cookies define the edges of the pie.
Fennel, Parsley, and Radicchio Salad with Pine Nuts and Raisins
Pale fennel, dark green parsley, and magenta radicchio glisten with the citrusy vinaigrette. Serve this salad with Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Walnuts.
Dry-Cured Rosemary Turkey
Roasted Kabocha Squash Bowl with Autumn Vegetables
When Kristine Snyder saw kabocha squash on sale, she imagined a multicultural twist on the more common soup-in-a-squash bowl: She turned the kabocha into a sort of Moroccan tagine for fall vegetables and added an Asian-flavored sauce. The medley would also make a good vegetarian main course.
Spiked Pumpkin Soup
This silky, slightly sweet soup is a fitting starter for various holiday entrées, including roast turkey, ham, or pork tenderloin. Bourbon enhances the natural sweetness of the pumpkin.
Roasted Beet, Avocado, and Watercress Salad
This dish features holiday colors and a variety of textures, from crisp watercress and crunchy pecans to juicy oranges and buttery avocados. To make the most of the presentation, use a combination of red and yellow beets. You can prepare the beets and dressing in advance, then just assemble the salad before serving.
Garlic and Herb Standing Rib Roast
A standing rib roast makes a grand statement at the table. You do not need to ask your butcher for a frenched roast (one that has had the meat stripped from the bones); a regular standing rib roast will work just as well.
Sourdough Stuffing with Pears and Sausage
Sourdough bread gives the stuffing a tangier flavor than French bread, but you can use the latter in a pinch.
Oven-Roasted Green Beans
Roasted Cauliflower with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan
Use parmesan and any fresh herbs you have on hand for this roasted cauliflower dish. While parsley, tarragon, and thyme make a nice combination, you can also try sage, chives, and rosemary for this holiday recipe.
Allowing the dough to rise three times gives the yeast more time to develop, resulting in a rich, complex flavor. Although this bread is best eaten the day it's made, you can also bake it one day in advance. Cool the bread completely, wrap in plastic wrap, and then wrap in foil; store at room temperature. Leftovers make excellent bread pudding.
Flaky Dinner Rolls
Eggnog and Dried Fruit Bread Pudding
This recipe calls for eight ounces of country white bread. Buy a rustic loaf that weighs 16 ounces; once you remove the crust you will have eight ounces. Day-old bread works well for bread puddings because it has lost moisture and, thus, absorbs more liquid.