Holiday Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt


  1. Beat together butter and both sugars
  2. Add eggs, milk and vanilla
  3. combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl
  4. Stir into batter
  5. Chill 3 – 4 hours
  6. Roll 1/3 of dough into 1/8″ sheet
  7. Cut with cookie cutters
  8. Bake at 375° for 8 – 10 mins
  9. Decorate with sugar crystals, nonparielles or icing (recipe below)

•  2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
•  2 Tbsp light corn syrup
•  1 1/2 to 2 TBSP plus 1 tsp milk
•  Food coloring (optional)

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the milk until smooth.
2. Add food coloring, if desired.
3. Spread one cookie with glaze, using a table knife or offset spatula. If it doesn’t smooth out after 1 minute, dribble in additional milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until the glaze reaches the right consistency.

If you are decorating with dots or sprinkles, be sure to do it before the glaze hardens too much.

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Beef Tenderloin with 5 Onion Sauce

  • 3 1/2 pounds of pretrimmed beef tenderloin
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced and separated into rings
  • 2 large red onions, sliced and separated into rings
  • 2 bunches of green onions
  • 12 shallots
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup cognac
  • 1/2 cup of beef broth

Brown tenderloin on all sides in hot oil in heavy pan or dutch oven.  Remove and reserve drippings in pan.  Add butter and saute yellow and red onions for 5 minutes, add green onions, shallots and garlic and saute another 10 minutes.  Stir in cognac and beef broth.  Reduce until the consistency is gravy-like.  Place tenderloin on top.

Bake uncovered at 400° for 45 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 145°.  Remove tenderloin from roasting pan.  Reserve onion and juice in pan.  Let meat stand loosely covered for 10 minutes. Cook onion mixture over medium heat stirring constantly for 3 – 5 minutes or until liquid evaporates.  Serve with meat.

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Creme Brulee

  • 3 cups of half and half
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • light brown sugar
  • 9 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • strawberries for garnish

Early in day or one day ahead:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°.  In a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat, heat half and half until tiny bubbles form around the edge of the pan.
  2. Meanwhile, in heavy 3 quart saucepan over medium heat, heat butter and 3/4 cup of packed light brown sugar to boiling; boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Gradually whisk in warm half and half until mixture is completely smooth.  Remove from heat.
  3. In medium bowl, with wire whisk beat egg yolks and vanilla extract until blended; slowly beat in half and half mixture until well mixed.
  4. Pour half and half mixture into 12 4 ounce ramekins.  Place ramekins in small roasting pan.  Carefully pour boiling water into pan to come up half way on the sides of ramekins.  Bake 1 hour or until just set (will be slightly soft in center).  Refrigerate ramekins 3 hours until chilled.
  5. Up to 4 hours before service, preheat broiler.  Sieve brown sugar on top of ramekins to almost cover.  Place ramekins into jellyroll pan and broil 3 – 4 minutes until sugar melts.
  6. Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Serve within 4 hours or sugar will not be crisp.


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Stuffed Pork Roast with 2 Sauces

Pork Roast

  • 4 Pound center cut pork loin boned
  • Pecan Bread Stuffing
  • Cranberry Coulis
  • Onion Creme Sauce OR
  • Five Onion Sauce

Preheat oven to 400°. Spread 1/4 of the stuffing over the pork loin, roll and tie with string.  Spoon remaining stuffing into a baking dish cover and set aside.

Place the roast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Set roast in oven and immediately lower temperature to 350°.

Bake stuffing for 30 minutes. Roast until meat thermometer registers 160°.  Remove the roast from the oven and let stand 15 minutes before carving.

Cut roast into slices, stuffing may fall out.  Center extra stuffing on each dinner plate and place 2 slices of pork over top.  Serve with Cranberry Coulis and one of the other sauces.

Pecan Bread Stuffing

  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds of onions thinly sliced
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2 oz prosciutto ham
  • 1/2 cup French bread crusts trimmed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Saute onions in butter until soft. Transfer half the onions to a food processor, reserving the remaining onion for Onion Creme Sauce.  Add the pecans, ham, bread and S/P and mince.  Chill before using.

Cranberry Coulis

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 pound cranberries
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Combine water and sugar in saucepan and bring to a boil.  Make sure sugar is dissolved.  Add cranberries.  Lower heat, cover and simmer until cranberries have popped about 5 minutes, Transfer to a food processor and puree.  Strain through a sieve, add s&p to taste.  Heat through before serving.

Onion Creme Sauce

  • 2 cups of whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • onion reserved from stuffing
  • salt and pepper

In saucepan combine the creme, broth and onion.  Cook, stirring occasionally until mixture is reduced to 2 1/2 about 30 minutes.  Let cool slightly.  Transfer to a food processor and puree.  Strain puree into a bowl.  discarding any unblended bits of onion.  Stir in salt and pepper to taste.  Heat through.

5 Onion Sauce

  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced and separated into rings
  • 2 large red onions, sliced and separated into rings
  • 2 bunches of green onions
  • 12 shallots
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup cognac
  • 1/2 cup of beef broth

Saute yellow and red onions for 5 minutes, add green onions, shallots and garlic and saute another 10 minutes.  Stir in cognac and beef broth.  Reduce until the consistency is gravy-like.

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Caramel Corn

  • 24 cups popped popcorn
  • 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup nuts


  1. Heat oven to 250°.
  2. Place popcorn in  large roasting pan
  3. Melt brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, salt and molasses.
  4. Cook on medium until full boil (8 – 12 mins)
  5. Cook until 238° or soft ball (2-6 mins)
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Stir in baking soda and vanilla
  8. Pour over popcorn, sprinkle nuts over all.
  9. Mix and bake 20 mins
  10. Stir and bake 25 more minutes
  11. Remove from oven
  12. Immediately place popcorn on foil.
  13. Cool and break apart

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Wintertime Cocoa

wintertime cocoa– 3 packages of nonfat dry milk powder (25.6 oz ea)

– 6 cups miniature marshmallows

– 1 16 oz container hersheys cocoa

– 1 jar of malted milk powder

– 3 cups of sifted confectioners sugar

– 3/4 cup non-dairy powdered creamer

– 1/2 tsp salt


In a large bowl combine all ingredients.  Stir until well blended.  Store in a cool dry place.  INCLUDE SERVING INSTRUCTIONS WITH GIFT

20 cups of mix.  (10 gifts of 2 cups each)  Put 2 cups of mix into a baggie, along with instructions.

To Serve: Pour 6 ounces of hot water over 1/3 cup of cocoa mix. Stir until blended.

Cute gift idea:  Set baggie of cocoa in a coffee mug as a gift. Or make gift bag with instructions below.

For each bag you need a white lunch bag, orange and black craft foam, 2 black buttons, a silk flower, 4.5″ of plaid ribbon.
Tracing paper, glue gun, glue stick and a black sharpie are additional supplies needed.

  1. Center a saucer over the top of a flattened bag, Draw around to make a curved edge.  Cut along line.  Fold top of bag 3.5″ to front.
  2. Glue buttons 1″ apart for eyes near top fold
  3. Draw mouth dots with sharpie
  4. Cut out foam in hat and carrot nose shape and glue onto bag
  5. Glue ribbon to hat and top with flower.
  6. Place cocoa gift into bag and glue shut.

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Chewy Noels

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a 9x9x2 inch baking pan, melt the butter or margarine.
  3. Stir together the brown sugar, nuts, flour and salt.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla.
  5. Pour the flour and egg mixture oven the melted butter. DO NOT STIR!
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
  7. Sift confectioners sugar over top.
  8. Placed waxed paper under wire rack, immediately invert pan onto rack.
  9.  Let bars cool then dust again with confectioners’ sugar.
  10. Cut into squares.

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Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint Cookies1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg – separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup finely chopped almonds (or walnuts)
2/3 cup raspberry jam
1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Grease cookie sheets.
  2. Cream butter or margarine, sugar, vanilla, and egg yolk and beat til light
  3. Add flour and salt, blend well.
  4. Wrap dough in wax paper and chill ~ an hour.
  5. Beat egg white til well blended
  6. Divide dough into 3 parts, flour a board and roll into 1″ cylinders.
  7. Cut rolls into 3/4″ pieces
  8. Roll in egg white, then nuts.
  9. Place on cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 5 minutes.
  10. Remove cookies from oven.  With thumb, put a dip in center of each cookie.
  11. Put jam in each thumbprint.  Bake for another 8 minutes.

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Cookie-Press Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Sift together the flour and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the egg yolks, almond extract and vanilla extract. Gradually blend in the sifted ingredients. Fill a cookie press with dough and shoot cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. If you like, decorate with sugar or sprinkles at this time.

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven.

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Roasted Fresh Ham w/ Maple-Mustard Seed Glaze

14 – 16 servings

3 cups unsweetened apple cider
1 large onion thinly sliced
2 cups Apple Jack or Calvados
1 tsp dried thyme
Fresh Ham 10 pounds
– rind and excess fat removed
8 cloves of slivered garlic
1 Tbsp coarse salt
1 tsp pepper

Simmer apple cider in small saucepan over low heat untiil reduced to 2 cups (12 mins)
Remove from heat, add onion and let cool
Combine cooled mixture with Apple Jack and thyme in large stainless or ceramic bowl
Cut slits in ham at 3 inch intervals – – insert garlic in slits
Marinate overnight in fridge – turn several times
Remove from fridge 2 hours before roasting
Heat oven to 400
Remove ham and pat dry with paper towel
Strain marinade into small bowl discard solids (3.5 cups)

Rub ham with s/p
Place fat side up in large shallow roasting pan
bake in center of over 40 minutes — reduce to 325 and contine to bake – basting with marinade every 30 minutes – for about 3 more hours
Ham should be 3/4ths cooked

Make maple mustard seed glaze – keep warm

Maple Mustard Seed Glaze

1/4 cup veg oil
3 Tbsp grated onion
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
4 tsp dijon mustard
4 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 ground pepper

Heat oil until rippling – add onion and saute for 1 minute
Add remaining ingredients – increase heat to med-high
Boil uncovered stir occasionally – reduce to 1 cup – 18 mins
Keep warm until ready to use.

Remove ham from oven – leave heat at 325
Transfer to platter
Heat drippings to boiling, scrape brown bits from bottom of pan
Strain into heatproof bowl and refrigerate covered
Return ham to roasting pan and baste with glaze
Continue to roast – baste with glaze every 20 minutes
Cook until thermometer reaches 165 about 1 – 1.5 hours
Transfer to warmed large platter. Cool 10 minutes
Remove drippings from fridge, discard fat
Heat drippings until boiling
Pour into warm gravy boat
Slice ham to serve – accompany with sauce

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