Holiday Recipes

How to make this season’s festive food.

Levi Gettleman and Mary Conaway

Tired of the same old figgy pudding and other classics? Fear not, for these tired recipes can be transformed into new dishes so festive that Santa Claus will walk right through your door and into the kitchen!


Cream Cheese Cookies

Start to finish: 1 hour

1 cup of butter

1 cup of sugar

8 oz of cream cheese

1 egg yolk

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, and cream cheese until fluffy. Add in egg yolk and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Mix in flour and then form the dough into drops with spoon onto a baking sheet.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 325 F.

[Recipe adapted from All Recipes]


Catamount Holiday Twist:

Add a teaspoon of peppermint extract after mixing in the egg yolk and vanilla. For extra peppermint flavor, crush candy canes and put them on the dough before you bake them!


Potato Latkes

Start to finish: 1 hour

Servings: 3 dozen

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed and quartered lengthwise

1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered

3 large eggs

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

safflower or peanut oil for frying

Using a food processor with a coarse grating disc, grate the potatoes and onions. Place the shredded mixture in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let the mixture soak for 10 minutes, then transfer the mixture to a clean dish towel and ring out.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Mix with eggs, flour,baking powder, salt, and pepper.

In a heavy bottom pan over high heat, pour in about 1 inch of the oil. Using a candy or fryer thermometer, bring the oil to 400 degrees. Use a large spoon or ice cream scoop to carefully drop batter into the hot oil. Working in small batches, flip the latkes when they are golden brown, 2-3 minutes on each side

Once the latkes are done, remove from the oil and place on paperlined cooling racks. Salt lightly and serve immediately with applesauce, sour cream, or sugar or keep warm in  a low heat oven.

[Adapted from New York Times]


Catamount Holiday Twist:

Try to substitute half of the potatoes with yams, carrots, or parsnips!


Winter Soup
Start to finish: 1 hour

Servings: 6

2 tablespoons butter
1 pound of butternut squash cubed
1 medium sweet potato peeled and cubed
1 medium russet potato peeled and cubed
2 leeks chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
Large baguette
Gruyere cheese
In a large saucepan sauté squash and sweet potato in butter on medium heat for 5-8 minutes stirring frequently. Add leeks and sauté for 5 minutes more. Add salt.
Add chicken broth to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
Use an immersion blender to blend until creamy, or transfer soup by thirds to a blender. After soup is fully blended add cream (optional) Garnish with a sprinkle of chives.
Cut baguette into 2 inch slices and top with a sprinkle or slice of the gruyere. Toast until cheese is melted and serve with soup.


Catamount Holiday twist:

Add a splash of red wine vinegar before serving to add a bright and acidic note or add a sprinkle of Cayenne to serve!



Extra Spicy Spiced Cider

2 quarts of apple juice

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

1 quartered and peeled orange

3 cinnamon sticks

½ teaspoon of whole allspice

1 teaspoon of whole cloves

¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer at least 30 minutes and to keep hot.

To serve, pour cider through a cheesecloth or coffee filter.

[Recipe adapted from All Recipes]

Catamount Holiday Twist:

Skip the sugar and give it a spicier finish!