All Posts In Holidays

How to Host a Holiday Cookie Swap

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 5th, 2015

Good friends, fresh baked goods and a few generous mugs of (possibly spiked) hot chocolate: That’s what a holiday cookie swap is all about. If you’re hosting this year, it’s time to choose your recipes, check your pantry (ditching old spices and other baking staples that have been collecting dust at the back of your shelves), and head to the store for missing ingredients. Remember to stock up on treat bags or roomy covered containers; that way, everyone can go home with a few edible mementos.

Guests are generally expected to bring one batch of cookies. (Or you might ask guests to bring two or three batches, depending on the size of the swap.) When hosting, it’s wise to bake two or three different varieties, and remember to take food allergies into account. Choose two familiar, tried-and-true recipes, like classic sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies. (That way you won’t stress over making errors and can focus on beverages and decor too.) The third cookie should be super-seasonal and more of a challenge. You can make one recipe the day of, but make the other recipes a day in advance — whatever works best with your schedule. Here are a few of our most sought-after holiday cookies to get you started.

Cookie #1: Classic Sugar
Food Network Kitchen’s Soft Sugar Cookies (pictured at top) are the classic sugar cookies you could roll out in your sleep — except they might be more tender than you’re used to, thanks to an extra egg in the dough. Before baking, roll the dough in red and green sanding sugar. The cookies will bake up in just 20 minutes. Check out more of our festive takes on sugar cookies here.

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No-Bake Sticky Toffee Balls — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, December 5th, 2015

12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques from your favorite Food Network chefs for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep.

Celebrate classic holiday fruits and nuts with Food Network Kitchen’s buttery toffee balls, in which dates, walnuts and orange zest find new expression. Inspired by the traditional British dessert sticky toffee pudding, these easy no-bake treats require just 15 minutes of preparation, and a little help from your food processor and refrigerator. Once they’re chilled, coat the toffee balls in red and green sanding sugar — or roll them in confectioners’ sugar combined with a large pinch of ground cinnamon for a more understated yet equally festive presentation.

Get Food Network Kitchen’s No-Bake Sticky Toffee Balls recipe, and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

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Food Network Chefs Share Their Favorite Christmas Cookies

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 4th, 2015

Giada De LaurentiisIf Valentine’s Day is for chocolate, Halloween for candy and Thanksgiving for turkey, then Christmas may be for cookies. Just as you likely wait all year to dig into Mom’s famous peppermint spritz or your own special recipe for chocolate-cherry chunkies, your favorite chefs, too, are indulging in their holiday cooking cravings come December. FN Dish checked in with stars like Giada De Laurentiis, Katie Lee and Michael Symon to find out which cookies are their favorites — click the photos above or below to hear what they had to say.

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5 Ways to School Your Kids’ Class Holiday Party

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 4th, 2015

Holiday Roll-UpsWhen you’re a kid and holiday break is on the horizon, December is a time of cheer no matter what holiday you celebrate. If your kids’ class is celebrating the end of 2015 with treats galore, here are some take-to-school ideas that will make their holiday party extra-festive this winter.

Add Some Cheer to Lunchtime

If your kids’ winter party takes place around lunchtime, use this midday meal as an unexpected way to celebrate the season. Ree Drummond’s easy-to-make, understated Holiday Roll-Ups (pictured above) don’t call for any ingredients you wouldn’t normally pack in your kids’ lunch. Filled with a blend of cream cheese, ranch dressing mix and black pepper, these tortilla pinwheels get their festive colors (and crunch) from diced red and green peppers. The best part? They can be made ahead and stored in the fridge until it’s time to eat.

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Spread Holiday Cheer with These 7 Edible Homemade Gifts

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 4th, 2015

Quick and Easy Peppermint FudgeWe’ve all been there: You can’t seem to track down the perfect gifts for those last few people on your holiday shopping list, so you do the inevitable and resort to a series of gift cards. Are they still thoughtful gifts? Absolutely. But perhaps they’re just not ideal for the holidays, right? This year, skip the hours spent combing the aisles for that just-right present and ditch the gift-card game once and for all; what your friends and family will surely appreciate is an edible homemade gift full of holiday cheer. No matter whom you’re shopping for — the chocoholics, the caramel mavens, the drink connoisseur — there’s indeed a treat for everyone on your “nice” list in this ultimate collection of edible delights.

Quick and Easy Peppermint Fudge
It takes only a few pantry ingredients to make The Pioneer Woman’s fuss-free fudge, which she sprinkles with crushed peppermint candies for flavor and seasonal flair.

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Marcela Valladolid’s White Chocolate-Apricot-Oatmeal Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, December 4th, 2015

12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques from your favorite Food Network chefs for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep.

Marcela Valladolid puts a seasonal twist on oatmeal cookies by swapping classic raisins for two ingredients you’ll find in abundance in the baking aisle at this time of year: white chocolate chips and dried apricots. “My mom loved white chocolate and apricots, so I decided to develop a recipe for the holidays that reminded me of her when she passed. It is one of those recipes that is very comforting,” says The Kitchen co-host. Laced with cinnamon and brown sugar, these cookies are sure to be a hit — especially with guests who prefer a subtle cookie to a heavily frosted concoction.

Get Marcela’s White Chocolate-Apricot-Oatmeal Cookies recipe, and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

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Have Yourself a Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie — Holiday Baking Championship [INFOGRAPHIC]

by in Holidays, Shows, December 3rd, 2015

Have Yourself a Perfect Chocolate Chip CookieCheck out this step-by-step guide to learn how to make the best chocolate chip cookies.

Spike It: Boozy Eggnog Sugar Cookie Shake

by in Drinks, Holidays, December 3rd, 2015

Spike It: Boozy Eggnog Sugar Cookie ShakeAny other eggnog fans out there? The creamy texture and interesting flavor tend to leave people either loving or loathing the holiday beverage. But! I happen to fall on the eggnog-lover side of things. Shocking, I know. My adoration for the drink goes so, so far back. Every Christmas my gram used to make her annual trip to our home with her infamous pumpkin rolls and loaves of fruitcake delicately bagged and tucked in her luggage. The day Gram came was one I looked forward to … basically from the day she boarded her flight back home.

According to my sweet gram, any and all desserts during the month of December could not be consumed without a glass of eggnog. My perfect equation was a thick slice of pumpkin roll and a cup of eggnog with a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg. This was quintessentially holiday season for me. Occasionally, I’d swap out one of her perfect sugar cookies and dip it in the nog.

Now here I am, many years later, continuing Gram’s tradition of enjoying my holiday treats with a glass of eggnog. What’s even better: making a boozy holiday dessert cocktail with it. Take your favorite eggnog, blend with some sugar cookies (I used this recipe, but feel free to use your favorite!) and bourbon. I think my gram would be awfully proud.

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5 One-Bite Wonders You Need at Your Holiday Party — Fall Fest

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 3rd, 2015

One-Bite Baked Brie with Grape-Pecan CompoteWhile decking the halls and tearing open gifts are one person’s way of spreading holiday cheer, serving friends and family festive food is another’s. But when guests are juggling their mulled cider in one hand and a loaded plate in the other as they’re schmoozing their way through a holiday party, who has room for a fork and knife? If you’re welcoming guests this season, stay away from unwieldy appetizers in favor of these one-bite, hand-held appetizers that are showstoppingly elegant.

Sure, you could bake a triangle of Brie until it oozes and melts after some time in the oven, but trust us when we say this recipe is an easier, smarter approach. Instead of wrapping the whole wedge in flaky phyllo dough, serve One-Bite Baked Brie with Grape-Pecan Compote in phyllo cups for a modern, mini presentation that’s easier for you to make and easier for your guests to eat.

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Brownie Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, December 3rd, 2015

12 Days of CookiesIt’s time for 12 Days of Cookies, Food Network’s annual virtual cookie swap. Each day, visit us here on FN Dish for a peek at new holiday cookies, party-planning tips and top techniques from your favorite Food Network chefs for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep.

With Food Network Kitchen’s Brownie Cookies, you get the best of both worlds: Each cookie has crunchy-chewy edges and a moist, fudgy center. For those of us who gravitate toward the edge pieces in a pan of brownies, this recipe is a dream come true. Here’s a pro tip: When preparing the batter, spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup, as scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods. Eat them fresh off the baking sheet — or for a twist on a brownie sundae, use them to build homemade ice cream sandwiches. Sea-salt caramel or peppermint ice cream would be particularly nice for the holidays.

Get Food Network Kitchen’s Brownie Cookies recipe, and check out 12 Days of Cookies for dozens more recipes and holiday baking inspiration. Then, join the conversation: Tell us what you’re baking this season and what your all-time favorite cookie is.

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