christmassy recipes


so. the absolute best cookies at christmastime are very most likely these molasses spice cookies that my sister saydi and i are obsessed with. i made a double batch two weeks ago to bring to our neighbors, and a double batch this sunday to share at a christmas gathering at my aunt & uncle’s. these aren’t the prettiest of the molasses spice cookies i’ve made, but i sure had fun arranging them on my table to take a few pictures to accompany my sharing of the divine recipe.
{they are usually a bit more crinkly, and they shimmer because they’re coated in sugar before baked, but you can’t really see the sparkles in this light!!} seriously, these are so so yummy!!


molasses spice cookies
adapted from cooks illustrated

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling cookies
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsulphered molasses

preheat your oven to 375.
then mix together all the dry ingredients (down to the butter) in a large bowl and set aside.
cream the butter, brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar until mixed well.
add the egg, vanilla and molasses and beat until combined.
slowly add the dry ingredients while your mixer is on low.
put the other 1/3 cup granulate sugar in a shallow bowl and roll small balls of dough in it until they’re coated. place them on a cookie sheet, well spaced.
bake until the outer edges start to set and the centers are soft and puffy. start with 8 minutes and see how they look – they may need just 1-2 minutes more. they should not look “done” when you take them out – and if you overcook them even a little you’ll miss the perfect consistency that makes these the best!

a couple readers also asked for recipes from our christmassy meal the other day, which we are still super enjoying the leftovers from!

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honeyed butternut squash with cranberries and feta
adapted from peas and crayons

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed (i used bags of already peeled, cubed squash from trader joe’s)
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2-3 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup feta
  • cinnamon to taste

preheat your oven to 400.
scatter the squash on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder to your liking.
roast for 25 minutes, then add cranberries.
roast for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until most cranberries have burst.
remove from oven, drizzle with honey, sprinkle with cinnamon, and crumble the feta on top.

creamy herbed potatoes
saydi’s recipe

  • a bunch of new potatoes – a mix of red, purple and yellow
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • rosemary, thyme, sage, salt and pepper to taste
  • lots of finely grated parmesan cheese

preheat your oven to 400.
chop potatoes into bite size pieces and spread in a roasting pan.
put cream in small saucepan, stir in spices, and heat for 5-6 minutes.
pour cream and spices over potatoes, then cover with a layer of cheese.
cook for about an hour, or until cheese is golden and bubbly.

applesauce pork tenderloin
adapted from six sisters’ stuff

  • 2 lb. pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 tsp salt / 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

combine salt, pepper, applesauce, brown sugar and mustard in a small bowl.
place pork in slow cooker, and cover with applesauce mixture. then, place rosemary sprigs on top.
cook for 6-8ish hours. (the original recipe is for the oven and i was short on time so threw it in the crock pot before work. it cooked for 8.5 hours so instead of a nice tenderloin to slice, we had pulled pork. it was really delicious!)

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chocolate and nut yule log
adapted from martha stewart

  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • another 1/4 cup sugar
  • powdered sugar, for dusting
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

preheat oven to 350. coat a 10x15 jelly-roll pan with cooking spray, line with parchment paper, and coat the paper with cooking spray too.
whisk egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until pale yellow. whisk in almond extract and flour. do not overmix.
beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. while beating, add the other 1/4 cup sugar and continue to beat until still and glossy. whisk 1/3 of these beaten egg whites into the egg yolks mixture and then gently fold in the rest with a rubber spatula.
spread evenly in the prepared pan and cook for 15-17 minutes (until the center of the cake is springy).
after removing from the oven, dust with powdered sugar and then invert on a clean sheet of parchment paper. gently roll up (with paper) quite tightly and let cool for at least 30 minutes.
meanwhile, put 2 tbsp water in a small saucepan and sprinkle with the gelatin. set that aside to soften for 5 minutes.
meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk chocolate hazelnut spread with 1/4 cup of cream.
heat gelatin mixture very gently over low, stirring until just dissolved.
beat remaining cream with 1/4 cup sugar until soft peaks form. while beating, slowly pour in the gelatin mixture.
fold half of whipped cream into the hazelnut mixture and save the rest.
when cake has cooled, unroll it, fill with chocolate hazelnut frosting and carefully re-roll (without the paper!).
place, seam down, on serving platter and cover with whipped cream and sprinkle with almonds.
refrigerate for at least two hours.
when it’s time to serve, dust with powdered sugar and carefully slice off the ends of the log with a serrated knife.



  1. Thanks so much for the recipes!! They sound lovely!

  2. I can't wait to make the butternut squash!
    Andrea M.

  3. The recipes look lovely. I think I will be trying something new this year!


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