The holidays are all about tradition. Whether it be crafting delicious recipes, baking seasonal cookies or enjoying festive activities, we all have unique practices that play a large part in our joyous celebrations with friends, family and co-workers.
Our client, Whole Foods Market, is sharing food traditions in a digital campaign called #MyHolidayTradish to celebrate the joy and love of all holiday traditions. The best part? By joining the conversation, you have the chance to win groceries for a year!
At Curator, we love sharing traditions and memories with one another, as it helps tell a greater story about what the holidays are truly all about. Feeling inspired by #myholidaytradish, we're sharing our favorite holiday traditions with you, so grab some hot cocoa and see what we look forward to most this time of year! Spoiler alert: yummy recipes below!
The number one #myholidaytradish in the Hudson family is my dad’s Yule Log dessert. It is a chocolate sheet cake rolled into a log and covered in melted chocolate to form a rich, solid shell that can be teased and decorated to look like a true Yule Log. Sprinkle it with powdered sugar to resemble snow and garnish with Christmas greens!
My favorite #myholidaytradish are the Belgium waffles my uncle makes from scratch Christmas morning. We always have a delicious toppings bar featuring fresh fruit, made-from-scratch whipped cream and maple syrup! When your Christmas breakfast is this good, you may or may not forget to take a photo before digging in.
Every year, my mom, my sister and I bake homemade sugar cookies with festive holiday sprinkles. The recipe was passed down from my godmother and is absolutely amazing. My mom is lucky if my sister and I don’t eat half the dough before finishing one batch! One year, my mom misplaced the recipe and it was mad panic in our household. Luckily, she found it just in time for Christmas with our family. For those interested in making highly addictive holiday cookies and getting a taste of #myholidaytradish, see the recipe I’ve shared below!
Prep time: 15 minutes
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup margarine or butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon or almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
· Mix powdered sugar, margarine, egg, vanilla extract and lemon/almond extract
· Mix in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar
· Refrigerator overnight
· Heat oven to 375 degrees
· Divide dough in half
· Roll half 3/16 inch thick on lightly floured board
· Cut into shapes
· Sprinkle with colored sugar
· Place on greased cookie sheet
· Bake 7-8 minutes
Notes: Must refrigerate dough until firm; refrigerate overnight.
Every year, I head home to St. Louis to celebrate Christmas with my parents, my six siblings and their families. Since I was a baby, our neighbor, Margie, stops in for a visit the weekend before Christmas with a heaping plate of Christmas cookies that are absolute works of art. There are literally dozens of types of cookies and treats that must take weeks to prepare and bake. As soon as I see the old-fashioned cookie plate, topped with a red ribbon bow, I know that Christmas has finally arrived. My favorites are the sweet-but-tart raspberry jam thumbprint cookies!
Butter and Jam Thumbprints
Prep time: 20 minutes
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
2/3 cup sugar, plus more for rolling
1 large egg
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped from pod, or 1/8 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup raspberry, cherry or strawberry jam
· Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
· Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.
· In another bowl, whip the butter and the sugar with a hand-held mixer until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until just combined. Slowly beat in the dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing just until incorporated.
· Scoop the dough into 1-inch balls with a cookie or ice cream scoop and roll in sugar. Place about 2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Press a thumbprint into the center of each ball, about 1/2-inch deep. Fill each indentation with about 3/4 teaspoon jam.
· Bake cookies until the edges are golden, about 15 minutes. (For even color, rotate the pans from top to bottom about halfway through baking.) Cool cookies on the baking sheets. Serve.
· Store cookies in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 days.
My grandma passed away when I was 5 years old, and one of the only memories I have about her is that we would always have Jell-O with fruit cocktail and banana at all important meals – Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays, Easter, etc. To this day, for every important family meal, we make sure we always have that same yummy Jell-O dish!
2 packages of strawberry or raspberry Jell-O
1 can of regular fruit cocktail
3 medium or large bananas
· Use the instructions on the Jell-O package to create the Jell-O and put it in the refrigerator.
· Strain the can of fruit cocktail.
· Cut the bananas into bite-sized pieces.
· When Jell-O is half set, pour the fruit cocktail and bananas into the bowl.
· Place Jell-O back in the refrigerator and allow it to set fully.
· Garnish with whipped cream as desired. (We eat this dish with dinner, not as dessert, so no whipped cream for us!
Every year, my family bakes and decorates Christmas cookies together; it is one of our most beloved holiday traditions!