Holidays

4 Luxe Gingerbread Houses

We designed four gorgeous gingerbread-inspired houses to build and devour this season—no baking required. Use our printable templates to assemble the most stunning homes in Gingerbread Land.

15 Easy Christmas Recipes

Build a deliciously memorable holiday meal around these no-fuss dinner recipes.

3 Easy and Festive Ways to Display Holiday Cards

Wondering what to do once you receive those holiday greetings in the mail? Here are three simple—yet statement-making—ways to present them.

Microwave Mulled Wine

There’s a nip in the air and decorative gourd season is almost over. It’s time for warming, festive beverages. This mulled wine recipe uses your microwave so you don’t have to babysit a simmering pot of wine for 20 minutes. And it’s a great way to put a cheaper bottle of wine to work. Don’t skip the brandy: it adds a boozy edge to the mix. The resulting spicy-sweet concoction is so tasty and easy to make that you’ll fly through that bottle of brandy in no time. One of the best parts about this recipe is that it gets tastier the longer the spices sit in it, so you can make the whole thing ahead of time, and just strain and reheat individual servings when the mood strikes.

Roast Beef With Slow-Cooked Tomatoes and Garlic

You might not believe us when we tell you, but you're just 4 ingredients away from a stunning centerpiece roast. We combined an inexpensive piece of beef, tomatoes, garlic, and thyme, stuck it in the oven and poured ourselves a glass of wine. It's recipes like this one—with a decent amount of inactive time—that we love to employ during the busy holiday season. Serve this will a side of smashed potatoes or mashed celery root and a bottle of cabernet.

Chocolate Peanut-Butter Fudge

One bite of this peanut butter fudge, and you just might vow to keep a batch in the fridge 24/7. Combining the flavor of rich, chocolatey fudge with a peanut butter cup—all with crunchy peanuts sprinkled on top—this dessert checks off all the boxes. No need to turn on the oven, either. You’ll melt the butter, chocolate, peanut butter, cream, and a few other ingredients over a saucepan, before pouring the mixture into an 8-inch-square pan, adding a few nuts on top, and cooling it in the fridge. Cut into bite-sized (or bigger!) squares, and dig in. Sweet.

Pine Nut Cookies (Pignoli)

There’s no prettier cookie to serve at tea time then these pignoli studded bites. The addition of almond paste makes for an incredibly tender, moist dough while a bit of finely grated orange zest cuts through the richness of the nuts. Because they use powdered sugar, instead of granulated, these cookies really do melt in your mouth. Be careful when shopping for almond paste that you don’t accidentally pick up marzipan (often sold right next to one another). While they are made of the same ingredients—ground almonds, sugar, and some sort of binder like corn syrup or egg whites—almond paste is less sweet and more coarsely ground.

55 Easy Holiday Cookies and Candies

These foolproof cookie recipes will be a hit at your Christmas celebration or holiday party.

Slow-Cooker Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

What’s better than a cup of steaming spiced hot cocoa? One that’s ready and waiting for you after a long afternoon of sledding or skiing. We slow-cooked a batch of subtly sweet cocoa sweetened with both powdered sugar (because it melts evenly) and molasses (for a rich base note). Traditional gingerbread spices like cinnamon, ginger, and cloves make it smell like you’ve been baking all day when you’ve actually been out playing in the snow. If you have cheesecloth, bundle the spices inside of a square and secure it with kitchen twine. That way you won’t have to strain. Here’s an idea: use any leftover hot cocoa as a milk substitute in your morning coffee.

This Is What It Was Like to Film It’s a Wonderful Life

Frank Capra’s Christmas classic marks its 70th anniversary this year. Real Simple talked to Karolyn Grimes, who play Zuzu Bailey when she was six years old, and she shared her memories of filming, thoughts on the film’s meaning today, and her favorite scene. What’s yours?