All Posts In Holidays

Ron Ben-Israel’s Holiday Favorites

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 15th, 2012

Ron Ben-Israel, host of Sweet GeniusWe caught up with Ron Ben-Israel, host of Sweet Genius and the mastermind behind Ron Ben-Israel Cakes in New York City, to chat with him about some of his holiday favorites. As he’s known for creating some of the country’s finest couture cakes, we weren’t surprised when we asked him about his favorite holiday dessert and he named an old-fashioned classic that, when finished, is a spectacular conversation piece.

What’s your favorite holiday dessert?
I love some of the old-fashioned desserts that have now disappeared from restaurants. Things you used to get at a tea parlor, like at the Plaza Hotel. Something that is elaborate and beautiful and nostalgic for me is baked Alaska. I’m also crazy about baked egg whites, which is really what meringue is. I used to be fascinated seeing my mother whip egg whites into a foam for baked Alaska or for mousse. Watching them gather up air and triple in volume to become white peaks was fascinating. You can mix dollops of egg whites with sugar and make the most amazing baked kisses. For an easy baked Alaska, take ready-made ice cream, shape it into a dome, cover it with swirls of meringue and brown it. The crunchiness on the outside and billowy soft layer underneath — it’s not hard to do. You can add a layer of cake for an interesting effect, or pour some liqueur around it and ignite the whole thing for flambe. Bring that to the holiday table and it’ll be spectacular.

More from Ron Ben-Israel

How to Build Your Own Gingerbread House

by in Holidays, December 14th, 2012

Gingerbread HouseWith the hustle and bustle of the holiday season in full swing, it can be tempting to take shortcuts for the sake of simplicity. This year, we’re all about doing whatever it takes to make this holiday your easiest, best one yet, but when it comes to building your own gingerbread house, you can skip the store-bought, pre-assembled kit and create your own one from scratch in flash. Believe it not, the gingerbread house pictured above comes together in just 1 hour and 30 minutes thanks to a fuss-free recipe with clear, step-by-step instructions. Learn the basics of making gingerbread houses below, assemble and decorate this simple, seasonal structure with your family, then post a picture of the finished product to Food Network’s Facebook timeline.

Chill Out
The beauty of this gingerbread dough in particular is that it can be made entirely in one bowl. After creating a stiff mixture of wet and dry ingredients, however, it’s important that the dough chill in the refrigerator for at least a half-hour. This will make it less tacky and far easier for you to roll out.

Measure twice, cut once

Rugelach — The Weekender

by in Holidays, December 14th, 2012

RugelachMy Great-Aunt Doris made the best rugelach. A nurse who preferred baking to hospital work, Aunt Doris never turned down an opportunity to help cater her charity functions, Temple’s holiday dinners and family gatherings.

Her instinct to feed continually vexed her sister, because no matter how clear my grandmother was that the dinner party menu was entirely handled, Doris would show up with a Saran-covered platter of freezer strudel or rugelach. At the end of the meal, my grandmother would be forced to watch as her guests gobbled up the party-crashing treat and ignored her own carefully selected pastries.

Because I grew up a country away from my Aunt Doris, I only got to see her once or twice a year. As soon as we landed in Philadelphia, however, she’d march me up to my grandmother’s apartment (they lived in the same building), slip an apron over my head and pull a stool over to the counter so that I could help her roll the dough. We’d make cinnamon twists, Mandelbrot and rugelach.

Before you start your dough, read these tips

Melissa d’Arabian’s 10 Holiday Favorites

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, December 14th, 2012

Melissa d'Arabian and Her FamilyWe caught up with Ten Dollar Dinners hostess, Melissa d’Arabian, to chat about her holiday plans. We asked her 10 rapid-fire questions to help us get to know her holiday personality.

For a holiday drink, eggnog, apple cider or hot chocolate?

Hot chocolate! I love to serve it with homemade flavored marshmallows.

Christmas breakfast or Christmas dinner?

Dinner. I love a long dinner at the holidays, relaxing and catching up with family while the kids are playing with their presents.

Ham, beef or lamb?

Beef. There’s nothing like a perfectly done beef roast. I’ve perfected the art of cooking even an inexpensive cut of roast (the recipe’s in my cookbook, Ten Dollar Dinners).

Find out if Melissa eats fruitcake

Fresh Pick: A New Gift Box Idea

by in Food Network Magazine, Holidays, December 13th, 2012

Gift Basket

Step up your usual wrapping job this year by presenting gifts in these farmer’s berry baskets ($2.50 for six, plus $8 shipping; bakeitpretty.com). They’re just like the ones from the market and they’re the perfect size for homemade truffles or small presents like these polka-dot napkins from Anthropologie ($24 for four; anthropologie.com). The baskets are available in both pint and half-pint sizes.

(Photograph by Kang Kim)

Ree Drummond’s Favorite Christmas Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 13th, 2012

Ree Drummond's Favorite Christmas Cookies
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 for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from your favorite Food Network chefs.

Kids — and kids at heart — will appreciate the bright color and seasonal whimsy of these decorated star-shaped bites. Although the Pioneer Woman’s recipe is similar to that of traditional sugar cookies, it boasts one secret ingredient: grated citrus zest, either orange or lemon. Just a half teaspoon of this refreshing flavor is all it takes to transform Ree’s cookies into light, scented treats. Before baking, Ree tops cutout dough with a brush of colored egg-yolk glaze, and later finishes the cooled cookies with snow-white powdered-sugar icing.

Get Ree’s Favorite Christmas 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.

Show us your best cookie creations

Piping Hot, Delicious Doughnuts

by in Holidays, December 12th, 2012

Sugar and Spice Doughnuts for HanukkahDuring the eight nights of Hanukkah, we’ll be celebrating the festival of lights with essential recipes for parties, nightly dinners, desserts and using up leftovers (after all, those leftovers deserve a second chance). It’s customary to eat fried foods on Hanukkah to celebrate the oil that burned for eight days. Doughnuts are a favorite fried dessert: serve these sugar-dusted treats piping hot, straight from your own kitchen.

Sugar and Spice Doughnuts: Crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside, these doughnuts are the perfect festive treat. Apple pie spice adds something extra autumnal to the sugary coating; cinnamon would be delicious as well. Use vegetable shortening to keep these dairy free.

Apple Cider Doughnuts: These doughnuts are made with fresh apples, then rolled in cinnamon-sugar.

Get more doughnut recipes

Jamie Deen’s Old-Fashioned Ginger Crinkle Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 12th, 2012

Jamie Deen's Old-Fashioned Ginger Crinkle Cookies
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 for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from your favorite Food Network chefs.

Crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, Jamie’s turbinado sugar-topped cookies are made with molasses and a blend of seasonal spices like ground ginger, cloves, allspice and cinnamon to guarantee that they turn out as wonderfully fragrant as they do deliciously sweet. This top-rated recipe can be made entirely in one bowl, and since the cookies only need to bake for 9 to 11 minutes, they’re a go-to pick for a last-minute dessert. If you’ve never baked with turbinado sugar before, know that you should be able to find it at most grocery stores; it’s a kind of raw cane sugar that’s crystallized and off-white in color.

Get Jamie’s Old-Fashioned Ginger Crinkle 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.

Get recipes for past cookies

Leftover Latkes? Make Jeff’s Latke Corned Beef Sandwich

by in Holidays, December 11th, 2012

Jeff Mauro's Latke Corned Beef SandwichDuring the eight days of Hanukkah, we’ll be celebrating the festival of lights with essential recipes for parties, nightly dinners, desserts and using up leftovers (after all, those leftovers deserve a second chance). Today, latkes are making another appearance, this time as one of the most clever vehicles to date that Jeff Mauro has used to make his sandwiches.

Potato latkes become the foundation for this towering creation. Whether you make them fresh or utilize leftovers, each latke sandwiches lean corned beef and homemade apple and sour cream slaw.

Get the recipe: Latke Corned Beef Sandwich With Apple and Sour Cream Slaw

Watch the Sandwich King makes this sandwich

Alton Brown’s Chocolate Coconut Balls — 12 Days of Cookies

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 11th, 2012

Alton Brown's Chocolate Coconut Balls
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 for rolling, spooning, slicing, baking and decorating delicious sweet treats to give — or keep — from your favorite Food Network chefs.

If you’re a novice baker or simply don’t have the time or energy to heat the oven and bake up cookies, Alton’s chocolate-coconut candies are a holiday treat to savor. These no-cook beauties are made with only six ingredients, and it takes just minutes to press the deliciously rich, sweet combination of crunchy macadamia nuts, shredded coconut and thick condensed milk into balls. The rest of the time it takes to finish the candies is largely hands-off; just wait for the balls to set, either quickly in the refrigerator or more slowly at room temperature, then dunk the clusters in a glossy pool of melted semisweet chocolate and let them dry before digging in.

Get Alton’s Coconut 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.

Host your best cookie swap yet

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