Holiday Treats 2022

Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts.

I haven’t made these in several years, and had forgotten how good they are. Salty, spicy, sweet - with rosemary.


That explains it then. Mine weren’t sliced thin and I’m fairly certain I didn’t coat with sugar so that must have been optional. I did tint the filling half and half pale pink and green for contrast. How about chilling the dough logs and then in the freezer to firm up a bit more for easier slicing instead of rolling out. Just a thought. One thing is for sure. If I ever do make them again, I will definitely omit the raw egg yolk.:slightly_smiling_face: Thanks for you reply.

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David Lebovitz’s Pumpkin Ice Cream.

Thanks to a reference from @ maccrogenoff.

This came out exactly as I hoped - rich with plenty of pumpkin flavor. I used 2 teaspoons cognac, and strained it twice, the second time after the final blend.

I’m not sure it’s anything I would make outside of the holidays, but it’s fun and very seasonal. Thus far (before an overnight cure) it gets a solid thumbs up from all tasters.


my panforte test run report:

used david leibowitz’s recipe, which included chile powder, black pepper, and ground ginger. the combination made it so spicy it drowned out the taste of the dried fruit (cherries, cranberries, apricots). next time i’ll leave out the chile and black pepper. i added a bit of espresso powder and grated some orange zest into the honey/sugar syrup.

couldn’t find blanched almonds at trader joe’s and didn’t have time to run around; skin-on worked fine.

the dough is quite stiff, so mixing is strenuous: use a bigger bowl than you think — i used the one from my stand mixer — with a large silicone spatula . and understand that you will never get every scrap of dough out of the bowl.

used a 14x4.5 nonstick rectangular tart tin, so i cut smallish pieces i’ll include on my cookie trays. great not to have to prep the pan — it came right out. but since it’s shallower than a springform, so the edges burned a bit— just trimmed them and mixed with my morning yogurt.


I never knew what they were called except fruit compote! My parents made a version of your number one every summer and it was their favorite dessert spooned over ice cream.

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I cracked into it last night. It was really good. :yum: Next year I’ll skip the currants, however - too many seeds.

I bet it’s awesome over ice cream!

Curious to see if a poll works here. Which would you prefer?

  • Kourabiedes
  • Rugelach
  • Thumbprints
  • Oatmeal lace

0 voters



Making a batch of my favorite ginger spice cookies tonight as a component of tomorrow’s Thanksgiving dessert.

It’s been a very intense quarter at my new job and I can’t tell you how much I’ve been looking forward to unplugging my work computer for a long weekend and just standing at the stove.


I love those cookies. I’ve always just made them with all butter, rather than part shortening, though.


yeah not a fan of shortening.

I might be the odd one out who doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth and no problem resisting cookies, cakes and doesn’t like pie. I also do not bake. When I read these lists of all of your holiday plans I just cringe at the thought of all of that work. I hate dragging out flour and sugar. Such unruly ingredients that end up on my counter and on my floor!!


For me, its the joy I bring others when they taste a cookie or cobbler or cake. My girlfriend loves sweets and enjoys home made cookies and cobblers and cakes.
As a child, I remember my grandmother making aniseed cookies. They were my favorite and I know my grandmother saw the joy on my face as I sat there feasting on her cookies. Sadly, she never passed on her recipe for those aniseed cookies, but they live on in my memories.
Yes… there is some work involved, but (for me) the happiness it brings others is worth it!!


These came out so nice.

There’s 3/4 cup of chopped crystallized ginger in them (plus
powdered ginger) and I think next time I’ll make it a full cup. Can’t get enough.


Fun to see this poll feature (and the result) - THANKS!

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LOL @retrospk - my baking buddy and I once baked with a non-baking friend. She called what we do “flinging flour”. And we realized afterward that her own kitchen was so spotless when we visit because she’s OCD about food prep – in the time we took to make 3 batches of cookies each, she made one 8x8 pan of bars, dicing each maraschino cherry and pecan precisely into exact 8ths, wiping up every stray bit of dry ingredient immediately, leveling and re-leveling spoonfuls of salt, soda, etc.

Yes, you need to be willing to have unruly ingredients “happen” (a kitchen dishtowel under the mixing bowl and measuring areas is a big help), and plan for cleanup every hour or two.


I think I’m OCD about spinach stems. Does anyone else do this?

I get the big container of baby spinach and remove all the stems first. I cook it in nonstick Berndes pot with a little butter, no water. Stays bright green and cooks down to, at most, 2 cups!


I am going to whittle it down to only two types of cookies this season. One, a traditional gingerbread cookie recipe in girl, boy, running gingerbread boy and tomten/nisse/haltija shapes decorated with royal icing, dragees, and many different sprinkles. The second cookie is the ricotta lace cookie mentioned earlier in HO. I can’t wait to play with that recipe. I will roll out several loaves of pulla to mail off and hand out, too. Pictures later.


revision: when i initially tasted the panforte, i though there was too much heat and thought next time i’d eliminate the chile powder and black pepper. but tasting it after a few days, i found the flavors had mellowed. there’s just enough of a kick, so i’m going to keep the recipe as is.


Great info - thanks!

I’ve been posting polls on Twitter occasionally. They’re fun :slight_smile:

Rugelach was winning on Mastodon :wink:, thumbprints on Twitter.

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