Festive Holiday Recipes

Festive+Holiday+Recipes

    Fall is here and the holiday season is near! What better way to celebrate the upcoming holidays than to cook up some festive dishes to share with loved ones and friends. Food has brought people together for centuries on end and, and now more than ever,  it has become an important part of our lives. Here we have picked out 5 delicious, and relatively easy, recipes that are perfect to make and enjoy during the holiday season.

  1. Vegan Christmas Cookies

Simple sugar cookies are a classic treat for Christmas, but have you seen a vegan version of these? Turns out they are very easy to make and everyone can enjoy these plant-based cookies! You can use any cookie cutter to shape it however you like and even use vegan icing to decorate them.

Ingredients 

The Cookie

  • Vegan Butter (¾ cup)
  • Granulated Sugar (¾ cup)
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk (2 tbsp)
  • Cornstarch (1 tbsp)
  • Vanilla Extract (1 tsp)
  • All Purpose Flour (two ¼ cups separated)
  • Baking Powder (½ tsp)
  • Salt (½ tsp)

Royal Icing

  • Powdered Sugar ( 1 ½ cups)
  • Vanilla Extract (½ tsp)
  • Corn Syrup ( 1 tbsp)
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk ( ½ tbsp)

Directions

The Cookie

  1. In a large bowl, mix the vegan butter until it turns into a smooth consistency. Next, add ¾ cups of granulated sugar for a few minutes until the butter turns fluffy.
  2. Add 2 tbsp of almond milk, 1 tbsp of cornstarch, and 1 tsp of vanilla extract to the butter and sugar mixture. Using an electric mixer, combine all the ingredients together well.
  3. Add only one ¼ cup of all purpose flour, ½ tsp of baking powder, and a sprinkle of salt to the cookie batter and mix slowly until you can see the ingredients combined. After, mix in the second ¼ cup of flour and mix again.
  4. Once the dough is thick and combined, roll the dough into a ball and place it on a tray lined with parchment paper. Lightly brush some flour on to prevent the dough from becoming too sticky and then flatten it using a rolling pin.
  5. Put the tray of dough into the refrigerator to chill for an hour.
  6. After an hour, let the dough sit on the counter and preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit for 10 minutes. 
  7. While the oven preheats, use a cookie cutter to shape your cookies.
  8. Once the oven is ready, bake your cookies for 8 to 10 minutes until the middle of the cookie is slightly golden and then set the cookies to cool on the counter for 5 minutes.

Royal Icing

Combine the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, corn syrup, and almond milk together in a bowl. The icing should be shiny but not too runny so if it’s watery add more powdered sugar and if it’s too thick add more almond milk.

Have fun with your designs and decorate your cookies to your liking!

 

  1. Vanilla Sponge Cake

This delicious dessert is so light, yet is the perfect solution for anyone’s sweet tooth. This recipe is very versatile and you can really customize it however you want, such as if you would prefer a chocolate cream with less fruits or by changing the decorations so you could serve this cake during another holiday like Halloween. However, the main theme for this recipe will be Christmas.

Ingredients

The Cake

  • Unsalted Butter at room temperature (3 Tbsp)
  • Milk (2 Tbsp)
  • 4 Eggs at room temperature
  • Granulated Sugar (½ Cup and 2 tbsp)
  • Cake Flour (1 Cup)

The Cream

  • Heavy Whipping Cream (2 Cups)
  • Granulated Sugar (3 Tbsp)
  • Vanilla Extract (½ Tsp | Optional but is a nice subtle touch)

Decorations

You can really just use any of your favorite fruits, but here are my recommendations: 

Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Canned Peaches, and Kiwi.

Directions

The Cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes. 
  2. In order to get a soft fluffy cake, you’re going to want to sift 1 cup cake flour until you get an even finish.
  3. Melt 3 tbsp of butter and mix 2 tbsp of milk into it in a large bowl
  4. In a different bowl, mix 4 eggs together until the yolk and whites are combined. Then add ½ cup and 2 tbsp of sugar to the same bowl and use a stand mixer to whisk the egg and sugar together until the mixture’s color lightens. The mixture should be light, airy, and foldable.
  5. Add your sifted flour a little by little, folding it into the egg mixture. Adding too much at once can cause clumps.
  6. After adding all the flour into your eggs, do the same with your butter and milk mixture by adding that little by little into your eggs.
  7. Once everything is well combined, add your cake batter into a cake pan lined with parchment paper.
  8. Drop the cake pan on a counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles.
  9. Place the cake batter into the oven (which should be preheated) and bake it at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes. 

 

The Cream

  1. Add 2 cups of heavy whipping cream, 3 tbsp of granulated sugar, and ½ tsp vanilla extract into a bowl.
  2. Whip together using an electric mixer until the mixture is at your preferred thickness.

Decorating the Cake

  1. Once the cake is cool, take it out of the pan and cut it evenly in half so you have two flat circles of cakes.
  2. Frost the top of one of the cake layers with the cream and add sliced strawberries on top. After that, put the other cake layer on top.
  3. Cover the entire cake with the whipped cream and add any fancy borders or designs with the cream.
  4. Lastly, add your fruits in any design you’d like. I decorated mine by lining different types of fruits in a circle and then adding a strawberry Santa right in the middle. You could make a strawberry santa by cutting a whole strawberry in half and piping a little bit of whip cream between the two pieces so you have half a strawberry, whip cream, and then the other half on top. Next, I used three chocolate sprinkles to make the face and then added a bit of whipped cream right on at the top of the strawberry to make his hat.

  1. Traditional Mexican Punch

Mexican Fruit Punch is a hot drink made up of sweet fruits, aromatic spices, and water. It’s a traditional punch from Mexico, enjoyed by many during the Christmas festivities. The Punch ingredients vary from household to household, but here are the most common ingredients and the ones that I’ll be using in this recipe: 

  • Water
  • Apples
  • Raisins
  • Hibiscus Flower
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Cloves
  • Sugar Cane
  • Tamarind
  • Guava
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract 

Directions:

  1. First, pour your water into a large stockpot. Add the sugar, cinnamon and cloves and  leave it to cook for 15 minutes. 
  2. Dice all the fruits, put aside, and then add the rest of the ingredients like the hibiscus flowers, tamarind, and sugar cane sticks to the cinnamon water in the stockpot. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Now, mix all the ingredients together and make sure the sugar has completely dissolved. Serve the hot fruit punch in mugs with or without fruit to enjoy a delicious and comforting Mexican drink.

  1. Buñuelos

Another Mexican dessert prepared for Christmas is Buñuelos, which are made of fried dough glazed with cinnamon and sugar.

Ingredients:

Dough: 

  • Flour
  • baking powder
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • warm water

*Sugar, and cinnamon powder will be used  to dust over the Buñuelos once they are done. 

Directions:

  1. To start making the dough, in a large bowl  mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. 
  2.  Form a hole in the center and add the egg, melted butter, and vanilla. Mix all the ingredients together. Add the water with 4 tablespoons of oil, and mix all until the dough is formed. 
  3. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead for about 8 minutes, and/or until it is smooth and stretchy. Cover the dough and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Then divide the dough into your desired amount of pieces and roll each piece into a ball. It should be rolled on a floured surface, and each ball should be a 8-10 inch circle.
  5. Fry the dough for a few minutes on each side in hot oil until they are golden and crispy.  Finally, serve them warm and garnish the buñuelos with your desired amount of sprinkle cinnamon and sugar. 

  1. Mexican Apple and Pineapple Salad

Finally, I’ll be sharing one of my mom’s personal recipes that she always makes during the holidays, and in my opinion, what really marks the beginning of the season of love and giving. Although the recipe has some rather questionable ingredients, I promise it will all be worth it in the end! This recipe can be made whenever, but is most common during the holidays as mentioned before. I was unable to find an original photo of the salad my mom makes, so the photo I included comes from the Recetas Gratis website. However, this is what the salad should look like(more or less) once it’s finished. Hope you enjoy it!

 

Note: READ THE WHOLE RECIPE BEFORE ATTEMPTING IT. IF YOU READ IT AS YOU GO, SOMETHING WILL GO WRONG. READ THE WHOLE RECIPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Ingredients:

  • Canned Pineapple Slices(1, 20 oz. can)
  • 6 Medium apples(medium-diced)
  • Unflavored gelatin (2 ½ tbsp.)
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk (half a 14 oz. can; 7 oz.)
  • Plain Yogurt (half a 32 oz. bucket; 16 oz.)
  • American cheese (half a Kraft singles pack)
  • Walnuts (to top it off)

 

Directions:

  1. Slice the canned pineapple into medium-sized pieces. KEEP THE PINEAPPLE JUICE. Also, don’t buy the already sliced ones, the quantity won’t come out as accurate.
  2. Now using the same knife, you’re going to cut the cheese into small, square-like pieces. Dip the knife’s blade into the pineapple juice. This will prevent the cheese from sticking to the knife. AGAIN, DON’T THROW AWAY THE PINEAPPLE JUICE. When you’re done with that, put the cheese into the fridge and leave to cool. 
  3. Now peel and dice the apples into medium-sized pieces. Transfer the apples into a large bowl and put aside. 
  4. After the apples, you’re going to pour the pineapple juice into a sauce pan, and have it come close to a boil under medium heat. When the juice is almost at a boil, pour in the gelatin and stir until it’s completely dissolved. The gelatin will take a bit to dissolve, so chop the walnuts into bite-sized pieces. When the gelatin is completely dissolved, pour into a bowl, and leave to cool slightly.
  5. When the gelatin is at room temperature or close to room temperature(not hot), pour it into a blender along with the plain yogurt and sweetened condensed milk. 
  6. When everything is well incorporated, pour the mixture into the apples along with the pineapples, cheese, and walnuts. Fold into each other until everything is mixed together and combined and put into the refrigerator to solidify. You can leave this overnight and serve the next day. Enjoy!