Holiday Treats for New Traditions

December 10, 2014

Heading into the last weeks of the year, it’s time to dive into spirited, holiday festivities. Along with decorations, activities and parties, the holidays also bring out generational traditions, and more importantly food! Sure, there’s big family dinners to gather everyone around the table, but there’s lots of reason to bring helper elves, friends and family into the kitchen.

Here are a few to consider[1]:

  • Make cookies with a different theme: Let the kids choose a cookie cutter shape and make them the baker for the day— try snowflake or snowman shapes.
  • Put a new twist on an old-school gingerbread house: Think of new foods to decorate with, such as cotton candy or marshmallow and pretzel snowman, or go a different route and make a train, sleigh or snowman instead.

As we get excited about all of the holiday traditions happening in our own lives, it’s also interesting to see how those in other countries celebrate with food. Could you see yourself bringing any of these customs to your table this year[2]?

Israel: During Hanukkah (Festival of Lights), traditional foods are fried in oil to represent the miracle that occurred when one night’s worth of oil lasted eight nights. Potato latkes are served with applesauce or sour cream and fried, jelly-filled doughnuts called Sufganiyot are served.Cheddar Potato Pancakes

Mayan Hot ChocolatePeru: During Christmas, people in Peru drink spiced hot chocolate that is paired with panettone, a traditional Italian holiday bread.

Sicily: Christmas in southern Italy means the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Many Roman Catholics fast on Christmas Eve, so at the end of the day, everyone feasts on seven seafood dishes.
Seafood Oscar

  • Get fancy with your fish and serve Seafood Oscar that will wow your guests, but won’t take all day in the kitchen, thanks to pre-made frozen and refrigerated ingredients.

Soft Honey CookiesGreece: One traditional sweet that always has a place at the holiday table is Melomakarona. They’re a sweet, honey-soaked cookie topped with ground walnuts and eaten on Christmas Day.

  • Try these Soft Honey Cookies for the holidays as they have similar flavors and all that’s left is a sprinkling of walnuts.

Yule Log CakeFrance: The Bûche de Noël (branch of Christmas), is the French version of a Yule Log. A rich cake filled and rolled to resemble a log, the Bûche de Noël is traditionally served after the Christmas Eve midnight mass.

  • Whip up this decadent Yule Log Cake for your Christmas party and become the talk of the town.


We can’t forget the classic cookie for anyone’s holiday traditions. Here are a few to bake:

  • Merge traditional holiday flavors like snickerdoodle and gingersnap to create a Gingerdoodle cookie that goes perfectly with a glass of egg nog, hot chocolate or coffee.
  • Easy Gingerbread CookiesThe holidays would not be complete without gingerbread men cookies! Save time by using ready-to-bake gingerbread cookie dough from the dairy aisle to make these Easy Gingerbread Cookies.
  • A bit nutty and sweet, this Vanilla Almond Cookie is a great way to end a delicious holiday meal, as it’s light and fluffy with the addition of Greek yogurt.
  • Fruitcake CookiesFor those who insist on keeping tradition by having fruitcake during the holiday season (no judgement!), why not mix things up and instead make Fruitcake Cookies.


What are your family holiday traditions? Do many of them involve food, cooking or baking with loved ones? Let us know in the comments below!


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