Holiday recipes (Advent Calendar, Day 9)

Hello, and Happy Advent. My name is Leigh Ellwood and I write erotic and erotic romance – pretty much every pairing and combination possible. I’m pleased to be part of these festivities and hope everybody is staying warm this month. I live in the South, but am feeling the cold come with a vengeance. I’m grateful to have stocked up on tea and cocoa to get me through.
When I’m not busy writing, I’m plotting this year’s Christmas treats. I usually bake cookies and biscotti – the once a year oatmeal scotchies and peanut butter cookies always go over well here. I also try to make one special treat to share when we visit family. Last time it was pecan pie, and I decided to make this year’s treat more portable.
I love chocolate, especially 70% dark. Doesn’t matter if it’s a bag of M&Ms or a fancy Vosges bar with bacon (you have to try it, trust me), I’ll put it in the stash. Truffles are a particular favorite, though I don’t keep them around because I’ll eat them all. Knowing people are around makes it easier for me to whip up a batch – I’m more mannerly and take only one so everybody else can enjoy.
Here is the recipe I use for dark chocolate truffles. They’re rich and easy to create. It’s a great activity to do with kids, and you don’t necessarily have to roll all of them in cocoa powder. Try some chopped nuts, maybe shredded coconut, or even dip them in white chocolate and make a shell.
Once you have some with a hot cup of tea, why not load up some hot stories on your eBook reader? You’re welcome to try some of my books – check out my backlist at and follow me on Twitter @LeighEllwood for updates.
•    Approx. 30 oz. dark chocolate
•    2/3 cup cocoa powder in a small bowl
•    1 cup heavy cream
Chop or shave the chocolate into small bits for easier melting. Take about two-thirds of the chocolate and place in a large glass bowl.
On the stove, bring the heavy cream to a boil, careful not to overcook or scorch. Remove immediately from heat after boil and pour into the bowl. Mix and incorporating the cream with the chocolate until you have a thick ganache. Set aside to cool.
While you’re waiting, put the rest of the chocolate bits into a double boiler, or use a glass bowl to fit over a pot of boiling water. Stir until melted completely and the chocolate has a nice sheen. Remove when finished.
Have a tray or plate lined with wax paper ready for assembly. Using a spoon or a melon baller, scoop out enough chocolate to make a ball shape about one inch in diameter. Roll with your hands, dip in the melted chocolate (you can use a toothpick to enrobe the truffle), then roll in the cocoa powder. Set each truffle on the tray or plate. Repeat, and enjoy!

Today’s question: What is your favorite holiday treat? Feel free to share your recipe or link to the recipe. If you don’t know the recipe, tell us what it looks and tastes like. MM!

174 thoughts on “Holiday recipes (Advent Calendar, Day 9)

  1. Roz says:

    Hi Leigh, you had me a chocolate … any kind! 🙂 Thank you for sharing the recipe, it sounds devine. I live in New Zealand so Christmas falls summer so it’s BBQ and beach time, yay!

    As for my favourite holiday treat .. oh gosh, so hard to choose just one 🙂 I’m not a great fan myself but pavlova is a traditional kiwi desert … a meringue based desert almost like a cake topped with cream and fruit topping of your choice.



  2. paul1510 says:

    I am also a chocolate addict, being a diabetic restricts me somewhat. 😦
    My favourite coffee house does homemade truffles, in fact everything offered there is homemade. 😀
    The owner offers several different truffles, always organic, always at least 70% chocolate. 🙂
    Plain, milk, white, with sultanas, with mint, they go well with any of their brilliant coffees. 🙂
    The only sad thing is, they are closed over the holidays. 😉


  3. Tara Finnegan says:

    Hi Leigh, those truffles really sound good,I’ll have to give them a whirl.

    My favourite part of Christmas dinner has got to be the ham! It just wouldn’t be Christmas without it. I don’t have a recipe as such, more something I saw being done as I was growing up, then adjusted to my tastes when I became chief cook and bottle wash. I don’t have quantities – that depends on how many you’re cooking for!

    Requirements: Ham joint
    1-2 Carrots
    1-2 onions
    1-2 bay leaves.
    about 2 pots of whole cloves
    demerera or soft brown sugar (about a pound)
    Sherry – (no idea how much – just pour til the sugar is soaked!)

    Peel and cut onions and carrots into large chunks. Add ham, carrots onions and baylieves to a large saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes per pound of ham, with 15 minutes over.

    Allow to cool. Discard the vegetables
    Remove most of the fat from the ham, leaving a thin layer. Put cloves into the fat of the ham, as tightly packed as you can manage, – (tighter gives more flavour and helps the sugar hold)
    Once covered with cloves, pour a small amount of sherry over the joint, covering all the cloved area. Then pack on the brown sugar, up to the top of the cloves.Pour a little more sherry over this and cover with tinfoil. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees celcius for a further 15 mintues per 15 minutes over. During baking, scoop the juices back on top of the meat twice or three times. Remove tinfoil for the last half hour of cooking time.
    (All of the above steps can be done on Christmas eve, with only the baking to be finished on Christmas day if you prefer.

    Eat and enjoy. Yummy cold in a sandwich too.


  4. Michael says:

    Good Morning, Leigh. So nice to meet you. I checked out your blog and saw your video clip from Collingswood, New Jersey. Being a native of New Jersey I have been to the quaint town of Collingswood many times.

    My favorite holiday treat is spanking my wife Season which is actually a year round treat. My favorite edible treat is my wife …..Season’s homemade brownies. Don’t know the recipe because she bakes them in a magic tree in the backyard…oh, wait, that’s the Keebler elves. I wonder if they are anything like Ana and her cohort elves which means they would be quite naughty.

    Season’s brownies are dark chocolate with dark chocolate chips mixed in along with coconut which gives it a rich chewy texture. Also chopped walnuts spread on top. Many times she’ll make two batches, especially if kids are around. One batch will be without nuts and sometimes without coconut for the children who may have nut allergies and whose palate may not be accustomed to coconut.


      • Michael says:

        So glad I tickled your funny bone, Marybeth. Season also makes an even more chocolatey version of the brownies. Instead of walnuts on top she spreads dark chocolate frosting over the top. If you LOVE chocolate this version will knock your panties…er, your socks off. 🙂


      • Michael says:

        Hiya, minellesbreath,

        Always a pleasure to get up a woman’s crack. OH, SHOOT! Let me rephrase that. Always a pleasure to crack a woman up. I love that I can make you smile. It is a most beautiful smile. 🙂


          • Michael says:

            Are you laughing with me or at me, Ana? Both I bet even if you won’t admit it. Laughing at my quip which made you smile a mile wide, and laughing at me as I trudge back to the blasted corner.


              • Michael says:

                Both of us? Oh, I beg to differ, your royal Blog Highness. Marybeth is just an innocent bystander. *cough* *cough*
                Me being the gentleman that I am I will fall on the paddle for dear Marybeth….and I hope I break the damn thing.


                • Michael says:

                  Ok, misread your comment, Ana, and your use of “both” meant you are both laughing With me and At me, (Hrumph!) and not that both Marybeth and I are in trouble.
                  To quote that profound philosopher Homer Simpson, “D’oh!”

                  But I’d still take a paddle shot for Marybeth and all the other lovely ladies here. 🙂


                  • Katie says:

                    This naughty elf is thinking that I would like to have Season’s brownie recipe- if she would share!!!! YUUUMMMMM!!! 🙂 A whole lot of takers around here I bet! And as Marybeth said, “Thank you, kind sir.” 🙂


                  • Michael says:

                    But Ana, you let me out of the corner to collect my prize. See, I am a good boy. Don’t you see the halo around my head? 🙄

                    Marybeth, you are most welcome, dear lady. 🙂

                    Katie, you are most welcome too. I am sure Season would love to share her brownie recipe. I’ll try to get it ASAP.
                    You refer to yourself as a naughty elf. Your candor is refreshing, Katie, especially in comparison to the naughty head elf who is in a serious case of self-denial. Don’t worry, Ana, we’re all here for you.


                  • Season says:

                    Hi! I am happy to share the recipe! I like to use a fudge brownie mix and stir 1 cup of coconut flakes into the batter. Pour into an 8×8 pan (for thicker brownies) and then top with about a 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips. I like Ghiradelli brand. Then I sprinkle on about 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts. Bake as usual. The walnuts get toasty and you can smell the scent as they bake!

                    FYI – these can be used to divert a Top’s attention from other …ummm…ideas. :mrgreen: Hi, Michael! *waves*


                  • robskatie says:

                    Season, thank you for sharing your recipe!!! This sounds DELICIOUS!!! I will be making this very soon!! With four kids and friends around this holiday, it will probably disappear swiftly! I will have to hide some for Rob and me. Happy Holidays!!! 🙂


                  • Anastasia Vitsky says:

                    Hello, Season! WordPress won’t let me nest any more comments in this thread, but how nice to see you here! Has Michael been behaving? 😉 In all seriousness, thank you sharing not just the recipe but your husband, as well. It’s been wonderful to have his humor.

                    And distraction…much luck with them!

                    Please stop by again soon, if you can. Love having you here.


                  • Michael says:

                    Miss Anastasia, to use a certain naughty girl’s own words – what fun would it be to behave, and you really wouldn’t want me to as that is no fun.
                    Hung by your own petard. Better rub some arnica on that petard as it looks red and sore. 😉


  5. Marybeth says:

    I make tea ring for Christmas. It’s my mother’s recipe. Basically it’s homemade cinnamon rolls. The recipe is;
    1/2 cup water
    2 cups milk
    1/2 cup butter
    Heat until hot, but not boiling
    3 cups flour
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 tsp. salt
    2 pkg of rapid rising yeast(or regular yeast)
    Place these 4 ingredients in a large bowl and add the hot liquid. Mix with electric mixer (or kitchen aid, much easier) Add 1 cup of flour and 2 eggs. Mix. Add 2 cups of flour (if you are using a hand mixer, this is where you start mixing by hand. Use that wooden spoon! 🙂 ) Mix. Add 2 more cups of flour. Mix.
    Put the last cup of flour on a table and knead into the dough. (Excellent way to get out aggression!) If you have used rapid rise yeast, you go on to rolling out the dough. Otherwise, put into a large greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size. Punch it down and knead it again. Then you can go on to rolling out the dough.
    Cut dough in half and roll very thin into a rectangle (Maybe 24 inches by 18 inches or larger)
    Using a pastry brush, cover the dough in melted butter, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and raisons(if you like them, my kids don’t). Roll the dough carefully the long away up (should be 24 inches long). Then, onto a large cookie sheet (put down parchment paper, much easier to clean up) put the log into a circle. Tuck the ends into each other and, using kitchen shears, cut into the log about every 2 inches about 1/2 way. Turn those cuts so they lay flat. Then cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Bake at 350° until the bread is browned. Repeat with the other half.
    If you don’t want a ring, slice into rolls and put in pan to make cinnamon rolls.
    Before serving, ice with frosting.

    My kids ( and husband) love this and I only make it at Christmas, so its special.

    Leigh, I’ll try those truffles, they sound delicious!


  6. minellesbreath says:

    Hi Leigh, gosh I love everything at Christmas. I can’t pick my favorite, except to say I love Christmas Eve dinner since everyone in my family makes hors d’ oeuvres. However, most years I try and make candy sushi for the kids. It is several types of candy wrapped in rice crispy treats and fruit roll ups. I use Christmas colors.


  7. constance Masters says:

    Hi Leigh! Your recipe for truffles sounds wonderful, as do all the recipes. I have a lot of favourites at Christmas but my favourite to make would have to be Cherry Trifle. There’s two ways to make it. The first and the prettiest way is to slice up a jam roll spongecake and line a glass trifle dish/ You then sprinkle on canned black and seeded cherries. Next you make up port wine flavoured jelly (jello) and pour that over the top of the fruit and the cake. While that is cooling in the fridge you make 2 litres of custard (about 4 pints). When the jelly is set and the custard is cooled you pour the custard over the jelly and fruit mixture. The final layer is whipped cream. You can decorate it with fresh cherries or chcolate or what ever you want. The second way is gluten free. Instead of bought spongecake I usually make a gluten free cake and cut it in small squares. The custard has to be made from gluten free thickening as well. Everything else is the same.

    I’ll have to check back tomorrow for more recipes 🙂


  8. terpsichore says:

    Treats…oh how to choose. I bake lots of different kinds of cookies with the children for the holidays. Sometimes I make home-made filled chocolate. My favorites are peppermint patties with dark chocolate…though I also like one that is filled with a brandy fondant and walnuts – yum! I cannot bake and create until I know we will have festive events to share or they will disappear to my tummy (and everywhere else)! 🙂 All that everyone has shared so far sound delicious…I will have to stop back later to hear more… 🙂


  9. DelFonte says:

    They sound delicious. I do love Christmas because it is the time for the most indulgent desserts. Here is one of my favourites since childhood.

    Ginger Log.
    Take a packet of ginger biscuits (the round kind). Lay them in a dish like a log. Pour over some sherry, not too much or else it goes to mush. Leave for a few hours, or better still overnight, in the fridge. Whip up some cream until thick and smear all over the biscuits to look like snow. Serve.
    Alternatively to be really wicked. Lay the biscuits out individually in a tray with a bit of sherry for company. After the overnight bit, reconstitute the log (quite difficult if they are super soggy) with a small dollop of cream between each biscuit. Then smear the rest all over the log.
    Better still – make it two packet of ginger biscuits.


  10. quiet sara says:

    My favorite treat at Christmas is called Red Hot Jello

    1 large pkg cherry jello (or 2 small pkgs)
    1 small bag red hots
    1 container cool whip
    1/2 block cream cheese
    1/4 cup powdered sugar
    1/2 cup applesauce

    Boil 2 cups water on stove and stir in the red hots to melt them.
    Turn off and while still hot…
    Stir in Jello to melt it.
    Add applesauce and stir.
    Add 2 cups ice cold water.
    Pour into 9 x 13 pan and chill in fridge til set.

    Separately mix together coolwhip and room temp cream cheese.
    Add in powdered sugar.

    After jello sets top with cream cheese mixture.

    This is a yummy spicy Christmas dessert and Christmas
    wouldn’t be the same for me without it.


  11. Natasha Knight says:

    Hi Leigh, it’s nice to meet you. I’m with you on chocolate. I love pure but am not above eating a giant bag of M&Ms!

    So my favorite treat? I’ve never actually made it but every year i say I’m going to make a yule log – sponge cake with raspberry jam inside and homemade chocolate frosting made to look like tree bark. Does anyone have a recipe?? I’m thinking Nigella Lawson. Starting any recipe with a stick of butter has to end well, right?


    • Michelle B says:

      Hi Natasha! My mom sent me her jelly roll recipe which sounds very much like your log – minus the chocolate bark covering. I’d be happy to send you the recipe if you want… just drop me a line via email! 🙂


          • Michelle B says:

            hahaha OK OK I’m on it! 😛

            Here it is – as written by my mom – I just hope it makes sense! hahaha

            Jelly Rolls

            3 Eggs
            1 cup White Sugar
            1/3 cup Water
            1 tsp Vanilla Extract
            3/4 cup White Flour
            1 tsp Baking Powder
            1/4 tsp Salt
            1 cup Jam (or whatever filling you are using)
            Icing Sugar

            -Heat up oven to 375F.
            -Beat eggs in small bowl on high speed until very thick and lemon coloured (about 5 minutes)
            -Beat in sugar gradually on high speed.
            -Add water and vanilla on low speed.
            -Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
            -Add to egg mixture gradually, beating just until batter is smooth.
            -Pour into a greased and wax paper lined pan (size: approx 15x10x 3/4″ – rectangle sized cookie sheet)
            -Bake at 375F for 12-15 mins.
            -Invert the “cake” onto a tea towel sprinkled with icing sugar.
            -Remove wax paper.
            -Carefully roll cake and tea towel together and let cool for about 1/2 hour.
            -Unroll carefully, spread thinly with jam (or other filling).
            -Roll up and sprinkle with icing sugar.

            Enjoy! 🙂


  12. angel says:

    Hi Leigh Your reciep sounds awesome I really don’t bake anything special just the basic cookies pies and cakes so I don’t have a sweet reciep to share sorry But I have found some great reciepies here Thank you so much for doing this I will be trying out the reciepies this month I thank you hips not so much lol j/k


  13. Ami says:

    Hi Leigh! Homemade truffles are a family favourite around here! I make them every Christmas. So here is a very English recipe to have as a light alternative to rich and heavy puddings after a celebration meal. It is very refreshing and easy to make.


    Serves 8 people


    5 oz ordinary every day sugar
    1 pint water
    1 stick cinnamon
    4 cloves
    1 blade mace
    The thinly pared zest and juice of 1 large lemon
    3 packs of powdered gelatine
    15 fluid ounces (425 ml) good quality Ruby Port
    5 fluid ounces (150 ml) light Red Wine
    Frosted black grapes


    First place 5 oz sugar in a saucepan along with 1 pint water and the cinnamon stick, cloves, mace and lemon zest and juice.

    Cover the pan and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Sprinkle in the gelatine, whisk and allow it to dissolve for 15 minutes, whisking again from time to time.

    Now, strain the spices and zest from the syrup. Then stir the port and wine into it, and at this stage taste it: the flavour should be strong and rather more sweet than you would normally have it – this sweetness lessens once the mixture is chilled.

    Stir in more sugar if you are sure if needs it and stir until dissolved. Now pour the liquid into the jelly mould or 8 stemmed glasses and leave to set.

    Serve slightly chilled and topped with the frosted black grapes.

    (I always prefer to use the type of gelatine you sprinkle in a recipe, but if you are used to using ‘leaf’ gelatine, I am sure you could adapt the recipe accordingly.)

    I am going to have so much fun making some of these recipes folk have provided today. What a wonderful idea to have a recipe day!

    Thank you, Ana, once again for all your hard work.



  14. S.J. Maylee says:

    These sound so good. I’ve never made truffles before. I think I might have to now. 🙂 This time of year I always make two cookies: buckeyes and gingerbread. Both are fabulous with a cup of coffee. Thank you for contributing to this fun event.


  15. kimmyl says:

    I love love love peanut butter bonbons.
    1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
    6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
    2 tablespoons shortening
    I also add pecans to mine. Just chop up as much as you want.


    Line a baking sheet with waxed paper; set aside.
    In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar with hands to form a smooth stiff dough. Shape into balls using 2 teaspoons of dough for each ball. Place on prepared pan, and refrigerate.
    Melt shortening and chocolate together in a metal bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth, and remove from heat.
    Remove balls from refrigerator. Insert a wooden toothpick into a ball, and dip into melted chocolate. Return to wax paper, chocolate side down, and remove toothpick. Repeat with remaining balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set.


  16. JC says:

    My favorite holiday treat would have to be reindeer food. It is like trail mix or puppy chow but covered in white chocolate!
    It had mini pretzels twist, Cheerios, chex cereal, peanuts, m&m’s all covered in white chocolate. Easy to make and everyone will love it.


  17. Michelle B says:

    Good morning! Well this post sure comes right on time! Just yesterday I baked my two favourite holiday treats – my dad’s chocolate macaroons and my mom’s shortbread cookies. You can read, see and grab the recipes for both on my food blog at

    I’ve never had shortbread cookies made from Scotland (someday!) but as my mom’s family background is Scottish, I believe these are pretty close to the original… any Scots out there can confirm if there are any variations to the original recipe! 😉

    Bon appetit and Happy munching during the fattening season!


  18. Renee Meyer says:

    Hi Leigh! It is very nice to meet you this morning. OMG! The truffles sound delicious. The only time of the year that I make Snicker doodles is at Christmas. The recipe we are currently using is below.

    1/2 cup salted butter, softened
    1/2 cup vegetable shortening
    1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
    2 medium eggs
    2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons cream of tartar
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

    In a large bowl, combine the butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar and the eggs and mix thoroughly with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy and well combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Sift together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt, and stir into the shortening mixture.

    In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with the cinnamon.

    Shape the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls (1 tablespoon per ball), and roll each ball in the cinnamon-sugar. Arrange the dough balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake two sheets at a time until the edges of the cookies are set but the centers are still soft, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. Transfer the cookies to wire racks for cooling. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Store in an airtight container.

    Have a Merry Christmas


    • Sherilyn says:

      Snickerdoodles in their purest form!! We used to refer to them as our family vitamin cookies. My very most favorite cookie, regardless of the time of year. Thanks for sharing!


  19. JoanneBest says:

    Hi Leigh! I love truffles and make them at Christmastime too, but I will share my Mom’s famous (in the family famous lol) Chocolate Buttersweets, the best cookies ever!
    Ok, here we go:
    1/2 cup of butter
    1/2 cup confectioners sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1&1/4 cups of flour
    crème butter then add sugar, salt and vanilla, crème well, gradually adding flour; shape into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet/baking pan and press a hole (@thumb-sized) in the center of each cookie then bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
    ~then for the filling:
    3 packages of crème cheese softened
    1 cup sifted confectioners sugar
    2 tablespoons flour
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    crème together well then add
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    1/2 cup flaked coconut
    ~you should make the filling first so you can fill the hole in the center of the cookie when it’s still warm.
    ~then, the icing:
    I/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate bits/chips
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons water
    melt the 3 ingredients together over low flame stirring occasionally then add
    1/2 cup sifted confectioners sugar and beat till smooth
    ~ after filling the center with the yummy filling, drizzle the chocolate over each cookie then eat as many as you can because the minute you put them out they disappear because everyone shoves them in their mouths 😀

    I must now venture out into the stormy NJ weather to take Dad to his doctor appointment (they stick a needle in his eye, eww and ouch!) but be warned, I shall be back later to read all the yummy goodness and steal errrr I mean borrow all this yumminess 😀

    Be safe driving out there! xox


      • JoanneBest says:

        Oh Michael they are delicious! And please tell Season they aren’t as complicated to make as they sound, and believe me, they are the first cookies to disappear from the cookie tray 🙂


  20. thelongbean says:

    Hi Leigh
    As I have not eaten confectionery (including chocolate) for around 30 years your truffles are not for me… That you means you get to eat them all……
    I love the garlic mushrooms served by a local restaurant. They are first fried in butter and garlic, when they are part cooked, a glass of wine is added and they are fried on a high heat until the wine has been reduced by about half. Add a spoon of cream and herbs (fresh sage, oregano and a small pinch of basil.) This is cooked for about 3 minutes on a lower heat before being served with a sprinkle of fresh finely chopped parsely.


  21. abby says:

    Yikes…when i gain weight during the next couple of weeks…i am giving Master your name Leigh and Ana’s! Along standing tradition is pork pies for breakfast on Christmas morning….but they are labor intensive…
    I first made these a couple years ago…yummy!

    Chocolate Cherry Kris Kringles
    1/2 cup margarine
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 teasp. vanilla
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1/8 teasp salt
    20—25 maraschino cherries
    25-25 choc chips, plus 1 bag of choc chips

    Preheat oven to 350. Cream sugar and margarine well. Add vanilla,, flour and salt. Mix well. Stuff each cherry with a choc chip, then wrap in 1 teasp. of dough. Baked on ungreased cookie sheet for 12–15 minutes. Cool. Melt 1 cup choc chips and dip top of cookies in melted choc.
    PS…you might need a double batch!

    hugs abby


    • abby says:

      Since you asked so nicely…

      Pork Pies
      We have them for Christmas and New Years breakfast…but they can be a meal…also they freeze well….my motto is…might as well make a few as make only a couple.

      For 2 pies..

      Pre heat oven to 375
      Add all of the following..

      3 lbs of lean ground pork
      1 teasp garlic salt
      1 teasp cumen
      1 teasp poultry seasoning
      1 teasp pepper
      2 large onions…diced

      Cook in a large frying pan..once the pork is mostly cooked, turn the heat to low …for 2 1/2 hours.
      (stir a couple of times)
      Cook 3 potatoes…..mash and mix with meat.

      Have pie crusts ready…top and bottom….put the pie together , brush the top crust with egg yolk mixed with 2 T water. Bake for 25–30 minutes.


  22. Merna says:

    When my tree cooperates, I make pomegranate jelly. My older neighbor taught me how. The tricky part is juicing the pomegranates. I remove all the membranes and squish the seeds (arils) in and old ricer with a wooden presser. It takes forever. Once you have all the pomegranate juice, its not too difficult to make the jelly. You can get the instructions on the pectin box. It’s a fun gift, because it’s not too easy to find in the stores, it tastes great and is a beautiful reddish purple jewel color.


  23. Leigh Smith (aka Sunny Girl) says:

    Leigh, Your truffles sound wonderful. Couldn’t possibly make them because they would not be on the plate but on my hips. Some of the recipes here are making me hungry.

    I have many favorites that I used to make, especially at Christmas but the one I chose to share is a favorite of Ray’s. It is his mother’s recipe for fudge. Believe it or not, I am not a big fan of fudge, usually too sweet for me,

    1 box powdered sugar
    5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
    5 tbsp heated milk
    2 tbsp melted butter
    1 tsp vanilla

    Add nuts if desired.

    Mix altogether and put in a greased pan. Let set. Cut into squares.

    My favorite is shortbread and someone shared my recipe the other day, not sure it was here but somewhere in blogland.


  24. kaki says:

    When we have ham this is a must. It adds a sweet balance to the saltiness of the ham.

    I love your truffles recipe. My sister makes them and adds liquors like grand marnier.

    Pineapple Casserole

    5 slices of bread – slightly dry
    4 eggs
    3/4 cup sugar
    20 oz can crushed pineapple – drained
    1/2 cup butter – melted

    Cut bread into cubes. Mix eggs, butter, sugar and pineapple together, add bread cubes.

    Pour in buttered casserole dish and bake 25 minutes on 350 degrees. Time can vary depending on size of your casserole dish. It should be light brown.


  25. Terry says:

    Hi Leigh
    Thanks for your topic today.

    I remember my Mom and I making Christmas cookies for weeks to give to everyone along with their Christmas gifts. Then, in the days right before Christmas we would start making all the dishes that would be served with our ham dinner.

    Everyone seems to be on a diet or have restrictions due to health concerns so I rarely make all the favorites I remember as a child. So with Ana’s permission I would like to propose the following resolution.

    For the duration of the Advent Calendar and Christmas Day, ALL food item mentioned today are declared to be…
    Low in fat, cholesterol, carbs, calories, salt and sugar
    High in all vitamins, trace minerals, Omega 3 and anti-oxidants
    Everything is preservative free

    All in favor please say YES!!!

    With the important stuff out of the way I will say almost anything chocolate is wonderful but one of my non-chocolate favorites is Peanut Butter Cookies.

    1 cup butter or margerine
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 eggs beaten
    1 cup peanut butter (I like the chunky style better)
    3 cups flour
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    A dash of salt

    Cream the butter (margerine), sugar and vanilla together. Add beaten eggs. Stir in peanut butter. Shift all dry ingredients together and add to the cream mixture. Chill mixture until it is a bit firm. Form into 1″ balls. Place on a non-greased cookie sheet and press down with a fork. Bake at 350 F for about 10 minutes.

    I can’t wait to try some of the “healthy treats” recipes everyone has posted.


  26. angieia says:

    One of my favorite recipes is Oreo balls. One of my son’s friends requested it for his birthday. I usually make them for a special holiday.

    1 (16 ounce) package Oreo cookies, crushed
    1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    1 (24 ounce) package white chocolate bark
    1 (24 ounce) package chocolate bark


    Using a blender or food processor (do a few at a time and empty it off or it will get packed in). With a hand held mixer, mix Oreos and cream cheese together. Roll into walnut size balls. Chill for an hour.

    Melt approximately 3/4 package of white almond bark. Stick a toothpick in an Oreo ball and dip it in the melted white or dark almond bark. Allow to harden on wax paper.
    Takes about 15 minutes.
    While waiting, melt about 1/4 package of chocolate or white almond bark. When Oreo balls are no longer sticky to the touch, decorate with drizzles of chocolate and white almond bark.

    I use a sandwich bag with a tiny hole cut in one corner to drizzle the almond bark.

    These are rich so you may not want to eat all of them at once.



  27. Joelle Casteel says:

    oo I might have to try your truffles, Leigh. As a vegan, it can be hard for me to find prepared chocolate candies that are pre-made.

    For the holidays, I like to chocolate-y pancakes. I have to guess at a recipe because I don’t really measure.

    For about 8 pancakes-

    1 1/2 cups flour
    a sprinkling of salt, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, nutritional yeast
    about 2 tablespoons white sugar
    about 1 tablespoon brown sugar

    Mix the dry and then make a well for wet stuff

    about a tablespoon margarine
    splashes of vanilla extract and vinegar
    about 1 1/2 cups of chocolate almond milk (to make batter)
    one melted vegan candy bar

    I like to use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to make the cakes


  28. Kelsey Summer says:

    I am definitely trying your truffles. I love truffles and only eat them at Christmas time. My favorite treat this time of year is probably truffles. I buy Lindt truffles to put in teacher gifts, but I think I end up eating over half of them. My poor kids see me eat them by the dozen and then I yell at them if they take one since they’re supposed to be for the teachers. Good thing hubby isn’t home to see this. I have several cookies that I bake every year, but I don’t really like cookies. Another recipe I make is Blueberry Cobbler. Unfortunately I don’t have the recipe on me, but I’ll try to post it tonight.


  29. Holla Dean says:

    Thanks for the chocolate truffles recipe, Leigh. I love Christmas recipes. So many recipes I want to try!
    My mom is from Austria and she used to bake from the beginning of November right up to Christmas. She made very special cookies; much more than just your standard sugar cookies with sprinkles that are so common. Unfortunately age and arthritis keep her from doing it anymore.
    Here is one of my favorites of her Xmas recipes.

    Austrian Linzer Tarts

    1 C butter (margarine)
    1/2 C sugar
    4 egg yolks
    1 tsp vanilla
    Grated lemon rind
    3 C flour.
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    Raspberry jam
    Powdered sugar

    Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, except jam and powdered sugar. Make a big roll of dough. Refrigerate for several hours. Roll dough on floured board. Cut 2 inch rounds with a cookie cutter. Cut rounds, stars, or whatever with mini cookie cutters from centers of half the cookies. Bake at 350 until lightly brown. When cool, spread jam on whole rounds (bottoms), dust the tops (the half with little cut outs) with powdered sugar and place on top.

    These are very pretty and festive looking. I find them a little bit of a pain to make, but well worthwhile. I’ll never be the cook/baker that my mom is.


  30. Maren Smith says:

    Baklava! O. M. G. It’s an ooey, gooey mess of honeyed pastry and nuts and I love it waaaaay too much. lol

    1 16 oz package phyllo dough
    1 lb chopped nuts
    1 c butter
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 c water
    1 c white sugar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 c honey

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9×13 pan. Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying o9ut as you work. Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle 2-3 Tbs of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6-8 sheets deep.

    Using a sharp knife, cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. You may cut into 4 long rows to make diagonal cuts. Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.

    Make sauce while baklava is baking. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let cool. Serve in cupcake papers. This freezes well. Leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up.


  31. Blondie says:

    My favorite holiday treat is fudge. At my house, there are some dietary restrictions but everyone can eat fudge. I think I got the recipe off of the jar of marshmallow cream.
    3 cups sugar 2/3c evaporated milk 3/4c margarine 1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 12ox package semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 7 oz jar marshmallow cream
    Combine sugar, margarine and milk in a heavy 2 1/2 quart saucepan; bring to full boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling over medium hear for five minutes. Remove from heat, stir in chocolate chips till melted. Add marshmallow cream (and nuts if you want), and vanilla. Beat till blended. Pour into a greased 13 x 9″ baking pan. We always line that pan with tin foil first. Let the fudge cool and cut into 1″ squares. Then eat… And I believe that I read that all of the recipes on here today will not go straight to our hips. So enjoy


  32. Leona says:

    oops hit wrong button…………. sending another comm. I love baking, but my all time favor it is butter scotch chips.. It is so easy.. I make them for just about every family function or speaical outting.. actually I made them for my Christmas cookie exchange.. lots of fun.. We have a putluck super, chris cringle gift exchange and share are cookies.. lots of laugh and egg nog.. haha. BUTTER SCOTCH SQUARES.: 1cup peanut butter, 300g pkg of butter scotch chips. half cup butter. melt in a large pot over min heat. tell melted. take off heat and put in 4 cups of rice krispies. I used vanilla rice krispies. 250 ml pkg of small colour mashollows.. ( any mashollows is okay.. ) put in a 9×13 pan.. set somewhere cool.. or refridgerator. I hope you all will enjory..


  33. P.T. Wyant says:

    Okay, I have gained 50 pounds just reading this thread. So in revenge…


    Beat together:
    2 2/3 C sugar
    16 egg yolks (save the whites for later)

    2 tsp salt
    2 gal milk
    cook, stirring constantly until it coats the spoon
    (actually, cook, stirring constantly until it’s hot and the eggs are coked)
    (Burns very easily!)


    Beat together:
    16 egg whites
    1 1/2 C sugar
    8 tsp vanilla
    add to milk mixture and blend well

    add nutmeg if desired
    dot with whipped cream if desired

    Gingerbread Cookies

    2 cups shortening
    3 cups sorghum molasses
    1 cup sugar

    8 cups flour
    1 tsp salt
    2 TBSP soda
    1 TBSP ginger
    1 TBSP cinnamon

    2 cups buttermilk or sour milk

    Heat molasses and sugar together.
    When sugar is dissolved, add shortening and stir until it is melted.
    Remove from heat.

    Sift flour, salt, soda and spices together
    Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk
    Stir until a soft smooth dough is formed.
    Work dough with hands for another 5 minutes.
    (Note: Dough is sticky and gooey. It is advised that you have another person on hand to turn on the water at the sink for you. Trust me on this.)
    Let chill in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
    Turn dough out onto lightly floured board and roll ½ inch thick.
    (I recommend working with smaller batches of dough instead of all at once – it will get sticky again as it warms up.)
    Cut into shapes.
    Glaze with a beaten egg.
    Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes.

    Peppermint Meringues

    2 egg whites
    1/3 C sugar
    1/4 tsp vanilla
    red food coloring
    1 TBSP sugar
    1/4 C crushed peppermint candy

    beat egg whites until frothy
    gradually beat in 1/3 C sugar and then the vanilla
    add a drop or two of food coloring
    beat until stiff
    fold in 3 TBSP sugar alternately with crushed peppermints
    drop by spoonful onto greased cookie sheet
    bake at 225 for 45 – 60 minutes


  34. Corinne Alexander says:

    I love buckeyes! It’s the single most anticipated holiday treat other than my Grandpa’s fudge. Yum!


    1 1/2 cups peanut butter
    1 cup butter, softened
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    6 cups confectioners’ sugar
    4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

    In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. The dough will look dry.
    Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.

    Press a toothpick into the top of each ball (to be used later as the handle for dipping) and chill in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.

    Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until smooth.

    Dip frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate holding onto the toothpick. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top to make them look like Buckeyes. Put back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until serving.


  35. Thianna D says:

    My favorite holiday treat is one I only ever make this time of year and I only ever make one batch and that is Rice Krispie/Marshmallow squares. Love ’em.

    But as a rule I rarely make candy anymore because there is just nobody to share them with (my parents are diabetic and I don’t really know anyone else in this town) and I prefer the making them part, not the eating them part.

    One of the funnest things I ever did during the holidays, though, was get invited to a hand-dipped chocolate party. (It’s what started my fascination with hand-made chocolates.) The hostess gave me a recipe for centers to make ahead of time, and each of us brought about 500 centers to the party and then dipped them in milk chocolate for…I think we were there for seven hours. And then we waited while the chocolates dried. We split them equally as well as put them in little decorative holders and let me just say…I had quite the gifts to give out that year.

    It was so fun.


  36. pieclown says:


    I would say divinity or panuchi. No recipes. Divinity is a white semi hard candy. Once you get it in your mouth it dissolves. I think it an egg white thing. Panuchi is a fudge, NO Chocolate( yeh!, I am not a chocolate person.) I think it is a brown sugar fudge.


  37. chickadee says:

    I can’t narrow this down!!! All I know is I never get any of it now that my family has scattered and I have new ummmm “special” holiday meals to enjoy.

    Love love sausage bread and I do make that for tailgating sometimes.

    Also there was this obscenely delicious cheddar cheese with bits of pepperoni in it, those on crackers. I don’t even know if it was actually good or if it was just a memory making it super.

    Ham with brown sugar pineappley glaze with cloves. OMG soooo yummy! See Ana, not turkey!

    Grammy’s mashed potatoes without chunks.

    Always a lasagna or at least ziti with all holiday meals

    Dessert – all of grammy’s cookies, which I suppose were actually nonna’s cookies. She could even make nuts tasty. Little oatmealy things with jam in the middle. Rolled up thingies that look like combo’s only with cookie not pretzel and fake cheese. Little triangle things. I odn’t know what any of them are called. They’re just “Italian Cookies”. They’re probably not even Italian lol


  38. Kathryn R. Blake says:

    Ooh! So many delicious recipes. Hubby is the chef and pastry maker in this household while I fix the computers, Internet problems, and set up the electronic connections for all our A/V stuff. I’ll have to cue him in to check this post out. Thanks for sharing everyone. If he has a favorite recipe he’d like to share, I’ll have him post here, too. Me? I love just about anything with chocolate, and adore Christmas cookies of all sorts. Yum.


  39. catrouble says:

    Thanks Leigh for sharing such a yummy looking recipe! Dark chocolate is definitely a weekness of mine! 😀

    I am definitely going to have to come back when I have more time and copy all the delicious recipes that everyone has shared!

    Meanwhile, we have many favorites that I usually fix at Christmas but our Christmas Birthday cake is what everyone looks forward to.

    I posted the recipe and the story behind it on my blog last year…here’s the link to it We eat it with my Spiced Cider…here’s the link for it

    If you have any questions, feel free to email or post it on my blog. Hope you enjoy!



  40. Sherilyn says:

    Hi, Leigh! I’m going to have to try those truffles!

    I think I gained ten pounds just reading all this yummy-ness! I used to make lots of cookies, but since the kids have moved out, I don’t anymore. Much easier on the waistline! I do, however, make brownies, because my husband would curl up and die in a corner without them. Here is my dreadful secret, though: I use the recipe from Hershey’s!

    I’ve never tried the frosting on them because we both consider frosting on brownies as an abomination. Brownie purists, that’s us!


    • octoberwoman says:

      I’m reading up from the bottom now and just made the same comment about gaining weight – I promise I wasn’t copying you! And I’m with you, frosting is wonderful but NOT on brownies!


      • Kitty says:

        i’ve always bought the mix it comes in a tub it’s hot water some of the mix and whatever kind of rum you like. i’ve been drinking it since i was a teen sans the rum of course. if you can’t find the mix a good substitute is hot apple cider mix.


  41. JoanneBest says:

    I’m sorry but I can’t help but add one more truffle recipe only because they’re super simple and it’s just 3 ingredients and no baking.
    1.Melt 8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips (you can use any type of chocolate you want, melt in microwave for @2minutes or on stovetop till melted completely)
    2.Stir in 1/2 cup peanut butter till well blended then cool to room temperature.
    3.Gentley add 8 ounces of Cool Whip (any whipped topping will do) till blended then refrigerate for @ 1 hour.
    scoop mixture with melon baller or teaspoon and shape into @ 1 inch balls and then roll them into any coating you like.

    I make these every year and gift them, I roll mine in sprinkles, the glittery kind, I use red and green, sometimes I roll them in confectioners sugar or cocoa, crushed nuts, whatever you prefer. I get those little paper or foil candy holders and little boxes that fit about a dozen and when you open the box and see all the red and green sparklys they look so pretty, but when you taste them? They disappear fast 😀


  42. octoberwoman says:

    I hope I’m coming in too late today and messing up my perfect attendance! Early morning doctor appointment and then crazy day at work today. The truffles sound heavenly, one of my favorite candies! I like to bake cream cheese brownies during the holidays. Actually, I like to bake them year round! And a co-worker gave me a zucchini casserole recipe years ago that is always a big hit. And of course, we must always make puppy chow or my daughter thinks it isn’t really Christmas!

    I’d be happy to come back after dinner and post the recopies if anyone is interested in any of them. But I’ve got to go eat now – I had to work through lunch today after being out all morning!


    • octoberwoman says:

      Cream Cheese Brownies:

      Melt 2 packages (8 oz) Bakers Germans sweet Chocolate and 1/4 c plus 2 tbsp butter over low heat (or in microwave 2 mins on high). Stir and set aside to cool.

      Cheese layer:
      8 oz cream cheese
      2 tbsp flour
      1/4 cup butter
      2 eggs
      1/2 cup sugar
      1 tsp vanilla

      Cream butter and cheese until soft. Gradually add sugar, creaming until fluffy. Add eggs, flour and vanilla.

      Chocolate layer:

      4 eggs
      1/2 tsp salt
      1 1/2 cups sugar
      1 cup flour
      1 tsp baking powder
      2 tsp vanilla

      Beat eggs until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, then add dry ingredients. Blend in cooled chocolate. Stir in vanilla.

      Set aside a 1 cup chocolate batter. Spread remaining batter in greased 9×13 cake pan. Pour cheese batter over top. Drop measured chocolate batter from spoon onto cheese. Swirl mixture enough to marble. Bake in 350 oven for 35 to 40 minutes.

      Zucchini Casserole:

      3 medium zucchinis
      Italian seasoning
      2 cans Italian Recipe Stewed tomatoes
      1 lb mozzarella cheese

      Slice zucchinis 1/4 – 1/2 inches thick. Boil until soft. Layer in a casserole dish with tomatoes, cheese, and Italian seasoning, then repeat. Bake at 400 degrees until cheese is melted.

      Puppy Chow recipe is usually on the back of boxes of Chex Cereal during the holidays, but here’s a link also:


  43. sassytwatter says:

    Hi Leigh the recipe sounds like a ton of fun going to give it a try tonight- thank you. My gf loves dark chocolate & we are getting together tomorrow to celebrate Xmas early so this is perfect treat.

    Loved reading all the yummy recipes and holiday treats I’m starving now.

    So hard to choose just one I love both the savory & sweet treats this time of year. I love Swedish herring (inlagd sill) Swedish ham injected w sugar and brown sugar & mustard crust. I’ve me anything with sugar gingerbread, pepkakor, Rumballs, pb fudge.

    But one treat I look forward to is Lusse Katter or Safforn Buns made to be eaten on December 13 St Lucia day. They make the house smell wonderful.


    (25 buns)
    3 g (1/8 oz) saffron threads
    50 g (2 oz) yeast
    200 g (7 oz) sugar
    300 ml (1½ cup) milk
    1 egg
    150–200 g (5–7 oz) butter
    1 tsp salt
    750 g (26 oz) flour
    100 g (3½ oz) raisins

    1 egg
    2 tbs water


    To make ‘Lucia cats’ (lussekatter), grind the saffron along with a cube of sugar, using a mortar and pestle. (For those who think ahead: drip a little cognac on top, and let stand a few days.) Crumble the yeast in a bowl and stir in a few tablespoons of milk. Melt the butter and pour on the milk.

    Add the rest of the ingredients, except the raisins, and knead the dough in a dough mixer for 10 minutes. Carefully mix in most of the raisins, cover the dough and let it rise for 30 minutes at room temperature.
    Divide the dough into 25 pieces and roll the buns in an oblong shape, about 10 cm (4 in) long. Cover them and let rest for 10 minutes, then roll them twice as long and twist the ends of each bun in opposite directions to form a sort of figure 8. Put one raisin in the middle of each half figure 8.

    Place on a greased baking sheet and let rise under a towel for about 90 minutes, or until the buns have doubled in size. Bake in the oven (220°C/425°F) for 5 minutes. Beat together the egg and water, brush the mixture on the buns. Allow to cool on the baking sheet.


  44. Renee Rose says:

    I have a super limited diet, so my favorite treats are not ones I can eat. my new favorite is a raw truffle made of dates, walnuts, almonds, cashews and cocoa powder in the food processor with a little vanilla and salt. Yummy!!


  45. laurellasky says:

    I celebrate hannukah and its a tradition to make sugonoth which is jelly donuts. After the dough is made it is thrown in hot boiling oil. Then it’s removed and the jelly is put in. They must be eaten while hot or they taste like sh_t. This is more traditional in Israel. Here the tradition are lakes or potato pancakes, which can be eaten with applesauce or sour cream.


  46. Katie says:

    Leigh- your truffle recipe looks delicious!! We are definitely trying that here this year! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    Growing up my mom made spritz cookies every Christmas. They are basically sugar cookies- rolled out and cut into shapes. My sister and I used to ice them, and decorate them with frosting and all kinds of edible treats. Most were cut out like gingerbread boys and girls. Some were santas and moons and stars and stockings. They are delicious. I cannot find my mom’s recipe anywhere. I will have to get from my mom when I go there in the near future! My mom has not made them in the last few years. This year she told me that she is going to make them for me when I come visit. YAAAAYY! My favs!

    Around here we have a holiday tradition of 7 fishes on Christmas Eve. Usually it is prepared by other family members on Rob’s side, as we are more likely to host Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve we often have pasta with a shrimp, calamari and a scallop red sauce. And other really yummy things to make up the other 7 fishes. Please pass the parmesan cheese!!!

    For Christmas on my side of the family you will often find turkey/thanksgiving repeat. And plum pudding for dessert. As a kid I was not so fond of that. But I LOVED the hard sauce (basically frosting) that went on top. The whole thing was lit up with brandy. Then served and smothered in hard sauce on my plate. 🙂

    Here we usually do a roast beef for Christmas dinner. Rob is a great cook and likes to do the cooking. I am the sous chef and cleaner upper! 🙂 Works for me!

    I recently posted a cookie recipe on my blog- Snowballs. That is definitely something that we have each Christmas season. Easy to make and completely yummy! You will find it here. Enjoy! Many hugs and thank you, Leigh! All of the recipes and ideas here look great! I will take note and give them a go! Thanks everyone!

    ❤ Katie


  47. Erzabet Bishop says:

    Oh! I love a great recipe swap…Here is the lovely cranberry orange bread I make every year.

    2 cups flour
    3/4 cup sugar
    11/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup nuts chopped (optional)
    1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
    1 egg beaten
    3/4 cup orange juice
    2 Tablespoons salad oil

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients. Add remaining ingredients and blend until moistened, adding the cranberries last. Bake in greased and floured loaf pan for 50 minutes or until golden brown.

    This one also bakes lovely mini bundt cakes tied with a bow. 🙂

    Happy Advent my lovely friends! ❤ Now I can check out your recipes (and get writing-deadline is about to catch me!)



  48. Sheila says:

    My favorite cookie is snowballs. There are so easy to make and everyone loves them.

    2 cups flour mixed with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
    Mix 3/4 cups butter with 1/2 cup sugar
    Add 2 teaspoons vanilla
    Then 1 egg
    Add flour mixture to butter mixture.
    Add 1 cup chocolate chips
    Bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes
    When cooled roll cookies in powdered sugar.


  49. Tracey Gramiak Horton says:

    I can’t decide– so I am going to post candied walnuts and a recipe for Christmas Crunchers I got in a Christmas card from my grandpa 42 years ago (how can that be??)

    Candied Walnuts

    1 1/2 cups of sugar
    1/2 cup of sour cream

    Mix sour cream and sugar together and bring to a full rolling boil for 5 minutes.

    Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla

    Stir in 1 pound of walnuts, whole

    This part requires you to be very quick. Stir quickly and put on a large (2-3 feet long) strip of waxed paper. Quickly separate the large chunks. I butter my hands to help with the process. If packed in air tight containers, they will keep for 3 months!


  50. Tracey Gramiak Horton says:

    Now …..our favorite, I just made a double batch this weekend!!

    Christmas Cruncher Cookies

    1/2 cup of butter
    1/2 cup of brown sugar
    1/2 cup of white sugar
    1 egg (well beaten 😉 )
    1 tsp of vanilla
    1 cup of flour
    1/2 tsp of baking soda
    1/4 tsp of cinnamon
    1/4 tsp of salt
    1/4of baking powder
    1 cup of oatmeal
    1 cup of cornflakes
    1/2 cup of coconut
    1/2 cup of pecans

    Cream butter, add sugars, then egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Lastly, add Cornflakes, oatmeal, coconut, and pecans. Roll into balls and place on cookie sheet. Put a maraschino cherry, halved on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes

    They are divine and make the house smell like Christmas for hours!!


  51. M. Palmer says:

    My most favorite holiday recipe is Scottish shortbread – it’s secret family recipe handed down from my Scottish grandmother, from her grandmother. It a wonderful combination of butter, flour, sugar and a pinch of salt – proof that a recipe doesn’t have to be complicated to be divine!
    I have to say, Leigh, those truffles do sound amazing… might be time for a new addition!


  52. bellabryce says:

    Victoria Sponge Cake!!!!!

    225g/8oz butter or margarine, softened at room temperature
    225g/8oz caster sugar
    4 medium eggs
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    225g/8oz self raising flour

    Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
    Grease and line 2 x 18cm/7in cake tins with baking paper.
    Technique: Greasing and lining cake tins
    Greasing and lining cake tins

    Cream the butter and the sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy.
    Technique: Creaming butter by hand
    Creaming butter by hand

    Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, and stir in the vanilla extract.

    Fold in the flour using a large metal spoon, adding a little extra milk if necessary, to create a batter with a soft dropping consistency.

    Divide the mixture between the cake tins and gently spread out with a spatula.

    Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

    Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes, then remove from the tin and peel off the paper. Place onto a wire rack.

    Sandwich the cakes together with jam, lemon curd or whipped cream and berries.


    B x


  53. Irishey says:

    Leigh, your truffles sound wonderful, and it’s such an easy recipe! Love that. Mine is rum balls, similar, but with a kick! Lol!


    TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + chilling
    MAKES: 45 servings

    1/4 cup dark rum, warmed
    1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
    4 ounces PHILADELPHIA® Cream Cheese, softened
    1 cup confectioners’ sugar
    1 cup ground almonds
    3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
    3/4 cup Oreo cookie crumbs

    Combine warmed rum and coffee granules until dissolved. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, almonds and rum mixture until blended. Stir in melted chocolate. Refrigerate until almost firm, about 1 hour.
    2. Shape into 1-in. balls; roll in cookie crumbs to coat. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.Yield: 3-3/4 dozen.

    TO MAKE AHEAD: Rum balls can be made three days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


  54. Anastasia Vitsky says:

    I have been chastised for not supplying a recipe of my own, so this is my favorite vanilla caramel recipe from my great aunt.

    2 cups brown sugar
    1/2 corn syrup
    1/2 cup milk (at least 2%, no skim or fat-free)
    1 tsp vanilla
    4 Tablespoons butter (I used salted sweetcream)
    1 cup heavy cream

    Cook all but the vanilla in a heavy saucepan, stirring frequently, until it reaches the firm ball stage (drop a bit of the cooked mixture into a cup of cold water–you should be able to reach into the water and easily roll up the cooked mixture into a firm ball). Remove from heat, add vanilla, stir, and pour into a buttered pan. Turn out (or cut while in the pan) and cut into squares. Wrap in cling wrap or wax paper. If you’re feeling festive, tie each square with a narrow red ribbon.

    These are a crowd favorite–terrible for you in every way, but if you only have one or two it’s not so bad. Do not undercook as nothing is such a pain as trying to cut squishy caramels! If you overcook, you will have a hard candy that needs to be broken rather than cut.

    Also makes a very good caramel sauce for ice cream sundaes, etc. if you undercook just a bit.


  55. TL says:

    I tried to post this like 5 times yesterday, and wordpress kept giving me an error message. Those recipes sound awesome. My favorite holiday recipe is my oatmeal raisin cookies. I took the recipe from the box and changed it up a little bit. I honestly couldn’t tell you what is in them, but they are so warm and gooey and melt in your mouth yummy.


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