Christmas Dinner Ideas And Recipes

’Tis the season to be jolly, and feeding the family festive, tasty food might just be the fastest way to spread holiday cheer. Whether that means making delicious appetizers, side dishes galore, or Christmas cookies, we have the recipes to put smiles on everyone’s faces. Six ingredients is all it takes to make our seasonal Caramelized Onion Tarts with Apples, an addictive savory-sweet hors d’oeuvres that gets dolloped with sour cream. Our Frisee, Bacon, and Goat-Cheese Salad, sprinkled with goat cheese and drizzled with mustardy dressing, is the ideal make-ahead side because frisee doesn’t wilt. And let’s not forget the cookies. We have perfected versions of all of the classics, like Old-Fashioned Gingerbread Men, Raspberry-Almond Linzer Cookies, and Rugelach. If you want to make something a bit fancier, check out our Pumpkin Whoopie Pies—soft and chewy mini pumpkin cakes sandwich cream cheese icing, making for an impressive and irresistible dessert. Here’s to a merry Christmas (and a glass of eggnog).

Raspberry Linzertorte

Linzer Torte, the precursor to those jam-filled Linzer cookies everybody loves around the holidays, never grew to be as popular as its miniature adaptation in the U.S. But the classic Austrian dessert is every bit as delicious—and perhaps even more impressive in torte form. You’ll make torte crust, which can be prepped up to two days before you plan to serve the dessert, then coat it with raspberry jam and top it with more dough, rolled into cute little rounds. The finished product has a crisp, buttery almond crust and a slightly chewy, deliciously fruity interior. It’s the kind of simple, refined treat you’ll be dreaming of for days afterward.

Four-Layer White Cake

Our recipe for a white cake goes way beyond the expected (and sometimes boring) dessert. Four layers! Homemade frosting, ready in seven minutes! Shredded coconut-coated exterior! This version’s deliciously moist, just sweet enough, and looks pretty darn impressive, if we do say so ourselves. Plus, no need to stock special pans: You’ll actually use a 11x17-inch rimmed baking sheet to create one low, thin cake, which bakes and cools quickly, before using a serrated knife to cut four equal-sized rounds from the pan and stacking them up. The finished product looks plain lovely on a cake stand—but even more stunning when you cut the first slice.

Bûche de Noël

The Yule-log dessert served around the holidays, Bûche de Noël is a distinctly French tradition. The sweet log-shaped treat would make a pretty impressive addition to your family’s roster of Christmastime desserts, if you don’t make it already. Inside that thick chocolate ganache lies a little twist of chocolate cake rolled around a layer of whipped cream icing. You actually start with a flat cake baked in a 9x13 jelly roll pan. Each bite is flavorful and festive, but a slice is actually pretty light (read: two slices is perfectly acceptable, as is enjoying a bit of this cake with a few cookies or candies on the side). ‘Tis the season, right?

The Ultimate Make-Ahead Christmas Menu

It’s the ultimate holiday menu: festive, impressive, and completely make-ahead.

Easy Blender Eggnog

Even if you have a traditional eggnog recipe you always follow, you’ll want to tuck this one away for more spontaneous cravings. Whip up frothy, creamy eggnog—without beating egg whites or letting the mixture sit in the fridge overnight. In fact, our straightforward method doesn’t even require a stand mixer. Instead, we brought out the trusty blender, and used it to blend a few eggs before pouring in a simmering mixture of heavy cream, sugar and nutmeg. You’ll blend the ingredients until frothy, add brandy (or Bourbon or cognac), if desired, and you’re ready to enjoy the classic cocktail, preferably under a warm blanket or next to a crackling fire.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

There are recipes for Whoopie Pies—and then, there’s this recipe. We took the New England classic to the next level by devising pumpkin cookies, bound together by a cream cheese frosting, that are spongy, doughy and moist. Is the finished product a cookie? A pie? A cake? You be the judge. Make sure to grab a can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin-pie filling) for delicious pumpkin flavor that tastes just sweet enough and not overly spiced. Thinking of whipping these up for a fall festival, or an outing to the pumpkin patch? These whoopee pies keep in the fridge, in an airtight container, for a day.