2020 Holiday Recipes


Yule Log Cake (PHOTO FROM Delish.com)

Olivia Simpson, Writer


Although the holidays are fast approaching, many will be staying home this year. To combat boredness, for those who will be home, there is a list below of festive foods to get any Scrooge into the holiday spirit. 

Yule Log Cake (Bûche de Noël cake): A dish dating back to the 19th century, aligned with French tradition, that represents the yule log that families would burn starting on Christmas Eve.  It is typically a chocolate cake, filled with a whipped cream frosting, and topped with a chocolate ganache. It is decorated on top with powdered sugar, pomegranates, and rosemary sprigs. Recipe below from stressbaking.com

  • Chocolate Cake: You want your cake to be lighter and almost bouncy, to combat the thick ganache you will add later. 
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 10×15 baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. In the large bowl of a stand mixer, whip 4 egg whites until soft peaks form. 
  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together 4 egg yolks and ½ cup of graduated sugar until well combined and a pale yellow color. Add 1 tsp vanilla and whisk to combine. 
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together ½ cup cake flour, ¼ cup cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp espresso powder, and ¼ tsp salt.
  5. Add the dry mixture to the bowl of egg yolk mixture and stir to combine.
  6. Add half of the egg whites to the mixture.
  7. Gently fold in the other half of the egg whites. 
  8. Pour batter onto the prepared pan, gently using a spatula to evenly distribute the batter.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cake bounces back when touched.
  10. While it’s baking, lay out a flour sack or kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle it with a layer of powdered sugar.
  11. Let the cake cool for a minute on the baking sheet, then carefully turn it out onto the towel and remove the parchment paper from the bottom.
  12. Starting from one of the short ends, roll the cake up (rolling the towel with it as you go). Lay the wrapped cake seam side down and let cool completely.
  • Chocolate Ganache:
  1. While the cake is baking, make the ganache. In a small heatproof bowl, combine 8 oz. chocolate (bittersweet or dark), 1 Tbsp butter, 1 tsp vanilla and pinch of salt.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat ¾ cup of heavy cream over low heat until you see the edges start to bubble. Remove from heat and pour over the bowl of chocolate mixture. Let sit for 5 minutes, then stir until completely combined and smooth. Let cool. 
  • Whipped Cream Frosting
  1. In the large bowl of a stand mixer, whip 1 cup heavy cream until soft peaks form.
  2. Add ¼ cup powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla and whip until stiff peaks form. 
  • Assembly
  1. Once the cake is completely cooled, carefully unroll it. Using a spatula, add an even layer of the whipped cream filling to the top of the cake, leaving about ½″ of space on the edges.
  2. Gently re-roll the cake and then move it, seam side down, to a serving platter.
  3. Use a spatula to coat the outside of the roll with the chocolate ganache frosting, on all sides.
  4. Time to make it look like a log! Here are a few suggestions: Use a fork to drag lines down the ends and across the top, lengthwise. Use a toothpick or skewer to draw lines lengthwise across the top, and in spirals on the ends. Use a small spatula to give it some wavy texture.
  5. Let set, then garnish. You can top it with fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs, then a coating of powdered sugar. Slice, serve and enjoy!
Latkes (PHOTO FROM thekitchn.com)

Latkes: It is dished eaten around Hanukkah. It is used as a way to remind Jews about the miracle of oil associated with the celebration. At its core, the dish is simply potato pancakes. Recipe from thekitchn.com 

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 200°F. Line 1 rimmed baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels. Fit a wire cooling rack into another baking sheet. Set both aside.
  2. Scrub the 3-4 potatoes well, but do not peel. Cut each potato in half crosswise.
  3. Grate the potatoes and ½ a medium, yellow onion using the shredding disk of a food processor.
  4. Transfer the grated potato and onion onto a large triple layer of cheesecloth (could also use a towel). Gather the corners and tie around the handle of a wooden spoon. Dangle the bundle over a large bowl, then twist and squeeze the potatoes and onion as hard as you can until no more liquid comes out of the potatoes and onion shreds.
  5. Give the liquid a few minutes to allow the potato starch to settle and then discard the liquid but leave the potato starch.
  6. Add the potatoes and onions to 1 egg, 2 Tbsp matzo meal or breadcrumbs, 1 tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper to the bowl of starch. Mix with your fingers, making sure that the potato starch breaks up and is evenly distributed with the rest of the ingredients. Set batter aside for 10 minutes.
  7. Place the oil or schmaltz (or a combination of the two) in a large skillet so that when melted there is a depth of 1/4 inch (for a 10-inch skillet you’ll need 1 cup of melted oil/schmaltz). Heat over medium-high heat until a piece of the latke mixture sizzles immediately.
  8. Scoop 1/4 cup of the mixture onto a fish or flat spatula. Flatten with your fingers to a 4-inch patty.
  9. Slide the latke into the hot oil, using a fork to nudge the latke into the pan. Repeat until the pan is full but the latkes aren’t crowded. Cook until deeply golden-brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side, adjusting the heat if necessary.
  10. Transfer the latkes to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain for 2 minutes.
  11. Serve immediately with applesauce and sour cream, or transfer the latkes to the wire cooling rack set in the baking sheet and keep warm in the oven for up to 30 minutes while you continue cooking the rest of the latkes.
Toshikoshi Soba (PHOTO FROM justonecookbook.com)

Toshikoshi Soba: A simple Japanese noodle soup eaten on New Years Eve as a way to melt away the hardship of the past year. Recipe from justonecookbook.com

  1. Gather all the ingredients. Start soaking the kombu/seaweed (1 piece 4” x 4”) and bring a big pot of water to a boil for the soba noodles. 
  2. Add the kombu and kombu water to a medium saucepan. Slowly bring it to a boil over medium low heat. When almost boiling, discard the kombu.
  3. Add 1 cup katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) and simmer for 30 seconds. Then turn off the heat and let the katsuobushi sink to the bottom of the saucepan. Let the katsuobushi steep for about 10 minutes. 
  4. Drain and reserve the dashi in the measuring cup and discard the katsuobushi. Put the dashi back in the saucepan. 
  5. Add 1 Tbsp sake, 2 Tbsp mirin, 2 Tbsp usukuchi soy sauce (or regular soy sauce), and ¼ tsp kosher salt. Bring it to a simmer. 
  6. Rehydrate 2 Tbsp wakame seaweed in 1 cup water. Then squeeze the water out and set aside. 
  7. Thinly slice 2 green onions. 
  8. Detach the bottom of the kamaboko (fish cake) from the wooden board and slide 4 pieces. 
  9. In boiling water, cook soba noodles (7 oz.) according to the package, but 30 seconds less. Drain the noodles and rinse them under cold water. Serve the noodles in the bowl. 
  10. Pour hot soup broth over soba noodles, top with kamaboko, wakame seaweed, and green onions
Snowball cookies (PHOTO FROM delish.com)

Snowball Cookies: A simple dessert reminiscent of snow or snowballs. It is a sugar cookie covered in powdered sugar with a Hersey kiss inside. Recipe from delish.com 

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Line two baking sheets with parchment. 
  2. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream together 1 cup of butter and ½ cup powdered sugar. Fold in 2 cup flour, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 cup of walnuts, ½ tsp salt, and 2 Tbsp water.
  3. Mold 1 Tbsp cookie dough around each chocolate Kiss and roll into a ball. Chill for 1 hour. 
  4. Transfer to prepared baking sheets and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until cookies look dry and have not taken on any color. 
  5. Cool cookies for 20 minutes, then roll in remaining 1 cup powdered sugar.
Monkey Bread (PHOTO FROM allrecipes.com)

Monkey Bread: My family has a tradition of eating Monkey Bread Christmas morning.  To oversimplify, it is small biscuits coated in brown sugar, cinamon, and walnuts. Recipe from allrecipes.com

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9 or 10 inch tube/Bundt® pan
  2. Mix 1 cup white sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut biscuits (3 12 oz. package of refrigerated biscuit dough) into quarters. Shake 6 to 8 biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the prepared pan. Continue until the pan is full. If using nuts, arrange about a ½ cup of walnuts in and among the biscuit pieces as you go along.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the ½ cup margarine with the 1 cup brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the biscuits.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Do not cut! The bread just pulls apart.