If your family is anything like mine, a veggie tray — crudités, if you’re fancy – may be the only fresh snacking or side option available at holiday parties. I’ve learned to live with that. I can’t, however, abide the standard, sour cream-based vegetable dip that tends to accompany it — which is why I’ve taken to making this vegan white bean dip for family gatherings. More
Topic: Christmas recipes
Traditional rum punch is one part sour, two parts sweet, three parts strong and four parts weak. Mix together your lime juice, sugar, rum and water and serve over ice, with a little fresh nutmeg on top. For a few fancier (or healthier) holiday punch ideas, see these 11 recipes. More
These peanut butter kiss cookies are an Egan family classic during the holidays. (At some point I suppose we stole the recipe from somewhere, but the details are fuzzy.) Problem is, they’re not the healthiest Christmas cookies in the recipe box, and they’re so good that one usually wants to eat at least a half-dozen in one sitting. (And believe me, I have.) So, in a health-conscious effort to make these classics slightly less caloric, fattening, and full of sodium, I used Special Dark Hershey’s Kisses (one kiss: 20 calories, 1 gram total fat, 2.3 grams sugars); and all-natural, organic peanut butter (no salt, additives, preservatives, or sugars). Somewhat healthy, sincerely festive, and seriously simple to make. No electric mixer required, which means more time for holiday cheer.
Warm spices like ginger, cinnamon, and cloves are part and parcel of the holiday season; no Christmas cookie collection would be right without a spicy gingersnap or krinkle on the plate. These spice cookies, adapted from a recipe in this year’s The Essential New York Times Cookbook, call for lots of spices and a little molasses. They’re wrinkled, sugar-crusted tops give way to a chewy (but thin) interior that’s incredibly satisfying. More
It’s a stretch to call buckeyes a “cookie,” but the combination of peanut butter and chocolate is damn good, so I think it’d be a shame to disqualify them from your holiday cookie platter. And no-bake desserts can actually be a good thing: As much as I love warming up my kitchen and filling my apartment with the smell of fresh-baked cookies, sometimes I need my oven for other stuff. More
I love: holiday baking. I hate: holiday dishes. A lot of cookie recipes call for multiple bowls, mixers, tools, and pans, which result in lovely cookies and a very un-lovely kitchen sink. That’s why I’m a fan of these ginger brownie buttons: They require very few tools and no complicated gadgets (and the ingredients are just about as simple) but they’re no less impressive or tasty once they’re on the table. The ginger adds a spice to the chocolate that makes them way better than those chunks of plain chocolate fudge your Mom used to make, and because they’re made in miniature muffin tins, they also bake quickly and are far less messy than a traditional brownie bar. More
I usually try to avoid wheat, but I tend to let my gluten-free goals slide this time of year. Fortunately for me, it doesn’t wreak havoc on my body the way that it does for those with Celiac disease or serious gluten intolerance, who don’t get to “cheat” for a good holiday cookie. That’s why I love Babycakes’ Erin McKenna: Her recipes are actually good, and in the case of these spicy, cake-like Sugarplum Cookies, they’re also gluten free, and vegan to boot. I made some small adjustments to the recipe from her book, BabyCakes: Vegan, (Mostly) Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York’s Most Talked-About Bakery, but her way or mine: these cookies are delicious. More
Several years ago, my husband (then-boyfriend) and I lived in London, where I attended graduate school. It was there that I became acquainted (okay, obsessed) with the pleasures of sticky toffee pudding, a classic dessert on that historic island that’s made with dates and brown sugar (and is actually cake, not pudding). I ordered sticky toffee pudding for dessert in gastropubs whenever I could (good thing I was working out a lot at the time), and when I got brave enough, I attempted to make it at home from scratch. Since then, I’ve made sticky toffee pudding every year during Christmastime, much to the delight of my now-husband. It’s rich, festive, and so delicious that it’s almost impossible to believe there’s no chocolate in the recipe.
I never thought sticky toffee pudding could be improved upon, until one year I decided to reinvent my Christmas baking tradition: So I poured some Jack Daniel’s into my batter. More
It’s as true as Santa Claus is real: You can actually forsake the full-fat egg nog and still have a Merry Christmas. But we don’t want to give up everything in the name of health, wellness, and fitness. After all, a Christmas without cocktails would be reason enough to cancel the whole holiday. So instead of going to that Scrooge-like extreme, check out our gallery of six relatively healthy holiday cocktail recipes. And remember, we said relatively: More
Cornmeal is one of my favorite “surprise” baking ingredients – it lends great texture, and unlike a lot of other whole grain flours, the flavor isn’t so strong that it overshadows the vanillas, spices, or fruits placed alongside it. It also happens to fit perfectly with a very traditional cookie recipe’s ubiquitous this time of year: Shortbread. There are endless variations on shortbread, but blue cornmeal makes these stand out. These cookies also make me think of luminarias and eating “Christmas” enchiladas in the southwest; not bland, store-bought shortbread that begs for some kind of beverage to make it palatable. More
On the first day of Christmas, doesn’t everyone want their true love to just give them a really good cookie? We think so. We do a lot of nagging about all the things you should and shouldn’t eat, but this time of year, it’s time to indulge in some really awesome cookies. So for 12 days, from now until Christmas, we’ll give you one mouth-watering good cookie recipe a day. We promise they’ll be worthy of busting your diet and busting out your mixer, and we’ll give you plenty of options (from crowd-pleasers to last-minute bars).
We’re kicking it off with Chocolate Mint Thumbprints, from the new book Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. More
Baked with butter, filled with sugar, cheesy, chewy, or hugely portioned, most holiday foods are anything but healthy. But damn, are they tasty.
But this breakdown of the 6 unhealthiest holiday foods on That’s Fit is enough to make even the most spirited appetite sag. (According to Women’s Health, we eat 600 more calories per day during the holiday season, which adds up to a whopping six pounds.) More
Navigating the malls during the holidays isn’t easy or fun. You have to contend with crowds of shoppers, wait in ridiculously long lines, and make inventory queries over blaring Christmas muzak. But a mall’s scariest part by far is the food court. Not only do you risk being trapped in a flash mob, but you also risk blowing your good eating habits. (Instead, save that for the cookies, latkes, and egg nog you’ll be offered during the holidays). But with 19 more shopping days until we celebrate of the birth of Jesus by exchanging gifts purchased from malls across the country, food court dining is inevitable. So in an effort to help you separate the naughty food choices from the nice ones, here’s our gallery of the 10 healthiest food court options out there: More