Holiday Baking

Holiday baking usually is more involved than average baking, and we must plan ahead and do a little more prep work.   Over the next few weeks, I will share some of my favorite special recipes for Christmas and Epiphany.


I like to make these for buffets and luncheons.   People are always happy to have a savory item added to all the sweets.   I usually roast seasoned chicken thighs for this recipe.  The shell recipe is like one you would use for pecan tassies.   It's a must-have in a southern cook's recipe file!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 3 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
Dash of salt
Leaf lettuce
Chicken Salad Filling

Combine butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl; beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until smooth.   Add flour and salt; mix well.

Divide dough into 30 balls.   Place in ungreased mini muffin pans, pressing dough on bottom and up the sides to form shells.   Prick bottom and sides of shells with a fork.   Bate at 400 degrees for 10 min. or until lightly browned.   Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

Line shells with small piece of lettuce.   Spoon Salad Filling evenly into shells.   Cover and chill.   Yield: 2 1/2 dozen

Chicken Salad Filling
3/4 cup finely chopped cooked chicken
1/3 cup mayonnaise (If you can find Blue Plate mayo, try it.   It is the BEST!)
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
2 Tbsp. finely chopped dill pickle
1/8 tsp. ground pepper (white or black)

Combine all ingredients; stir well.   Cover and chill.

from Christmas with Southern Living Cookbook

 It's hard to go back to envelopes of powder after homemade hot chocolate.

Whipped cream optional?!   Homemade whipped cream is so much better than the tub or spray stuff.   You can make your own and avoid all the chemicals that make up those other products.   Really, read the labels for a scare.

To make your own whipped cream, be sure to pick up a carton of HEAVY whipping cream. With an electric mixer, beat 1 cup whipping cream and 1 Tbsp. sugar on high speed until soft peaks form.   You can store it in a covered air-tight container in the refrigerator.

4 cups milk
5 (1 oz.) squares semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 sticks cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
Whipped cream (optional)

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large saucepan; cook over med. heat, stirring constantly until chocolate melts and mixture is thoroughly heated.   Remove and discard cinnamon sticks.

Beat at high speed of an electric mixer 1 to 2 minutes.   Pour into mugs.   If desired, top each serving with whipped cream, and sprinkle with cinnamon.


For years, my mom and I searched for the perfect sugar cookie recipe.   One that wasn't too sticky, needing to be refrigerated every 5 minutes, one that didn't burn on the edges as it that tasted good.   I finally gave up and shelved the idea of sugar cookies, leaving them to mythical bakers I imagined who were the only ones who could make a delicious light sugar cookie, in addition to things like croissants or homemade phyllo dough.

Then, I found this recipe (this is where the clouds would open and the angelic choirs would sing) and my daughters and I were able to produce beautiful, delicious sugar cookies.   I'm posting the link to this Southern Living recipe because there is no reason to sit and re-type it.   It's from the 1999 Christmas with Southern Living book.   With this frosting recipe, you can make gorgeous decorated cookies.

It is time consuming, but kids can join in.   They can cut the cookies (simple shapes are best) and after you pipe the white outline and let it harden (a min. or two), they can pipe in the filling and spread it around with a toothpick.   This dough is lovely and easy to handle.   For the frosting, you could also use Meringue powder, sold with cake decorating supplies in cans like baking powder.   Follow the directions on the can for royal icing and then use this recipe's instructions for thinning it.

Here's the recipe:

Enjoy planning for your Christmas baking!
More recipes to come...


  1. I'm going to treasure these time-honored recipes! :) Thank you for sharing. I think it must always be Christmas as long as Terri is near... :)


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