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31 Days of Cookies: Grown-Up Apricot Newtons

This year, we’re celebrating the season with a month of nonstop cookies. For the 28th day of cookies, we’re giving chewy classic Newtons an elegant upgrade with dried apricots and pistachios.

Click here for the Grown-Up Apricot Newtons recipe.

More cookies:
All-Star Cookie Swap
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

31 Days of Cookies: Amaretto Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches

This year, we’re celebrating the season with a month of nonstop cookies. For the 27th day of cookies, we’re squishing amaretto-spiked ice cream between two crunchy chocolate-almond cookies, courtesy of Giada.

Click here for the Amaretto Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches recipe.

More cookies:
All-Star Cookie Swap
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

31 Days of Cookies: Black and Whites (Deli! Deli! Deli!)

This year, we’re celebrating the season with a month of nonstop cookies. For the 26th day of cookies, we’re feasting on leftovers, and preparing to make these deli-inspired black and whites to go with it all.

Click here for the Black and Whites (Deli! Deli! Deli!) recipe.

More cookies:
All-Star Cookie Swap
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

Hump Day Snack: Christmas Mess with Christmas Tree Meringues

Merry Christmas to mid-week snackers everywhere! Since you’ll probably be trapped under a snowdrift of gift bags and Christmas ribbon for the next few hours, this will be brief.

If you’re still in need of a deceptively overachieving dessert for family dinner tonight, try this festive twist on Eton mess. The very name of this traditional English pudding implies how easy it is to assemble: Just pile generous layers of molasses-spiked strawberry sauce, nutmeg-infused whipped cream and tree-shaped meringues in a trifle dish and call it a day. It’s definitely a mess worth making, just like the chaotic gift-opening crime scene that is your living room right now. Read on for the winter-spiced recipe or play around with your own flavor combos, using Cooking Channel’s meringue recipes below as a guide. Merry mess-making!

31 Days of Cookies: Pistachio and Sour Cherry Linzer Cookies

Merry Christmas! This year, we’re celebrating the season with a month of nonstop cookies. For the 25th day of cookies, we’re creating a wonderland of red and green with Gabriele Corcos’ jaunty pistachio cookies with bright sour-cherry filling.

Click here for the Pistachio and Sour Cherry Linzer Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
All-Star Cookie Swap
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

31 Days of Cookies: Sleeping Almond Meringue Cookies

This year, we’re celebrating the season with a month of nonstop cookies. For the 24th day of cookies, ’twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, we were channeling a good night sleep with Sleeping Almond Meringue Cookies.

I think what I miss the most about believing in Santa Claus is falling asleep on Christmas Eve and knowing that, in what feels like the blink of any eye, I’ll be under the tree, ripping into boxes and finishing off cookies left out the night before. Now that I’m the one hiding the presents and baking the cookies, the lure of sleeping in while someone else does the work is that much more appealing.

It’s also why I love making these sleeping almond meringues. For years, I’d been trying to make my grandparents’ meringue cookies, which were always crisp on the outside but creamy in the center. The recipe, a straightforward combination of egg whites and sugar, was too simple for them to write down, and I couldn’t seem to replicate it. Most recipes I found gave helpful tips on how to completely dry out the meringues, which is exactly what I didn’t want to do, and the opposite of what I remembered.

Finally, a friend shared her own grandmother’s recipe. The meringues are piped onto baking sheets, then placed in a scorching-hot oven that is immediately turned off. Though they were wonderful with just a little bit of lime juice and vanilla for flavor, I couldn’t resist the added crunch of toasted almonds. Left on their own overnight, they take on a pearly sheen that gives way to a taffy-like center — just as long as you can keep yourself from peeking in the oven until the next day.

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Make-Ahead Curried Apple Chutney for Christmas (and Leftovers)

Sure, we all love cranberry sauce served alongside the turkey or ham on Christmas Day, but especially when slathered on the day-after sandwich. But I propose that there is another condiment that is equally (if not better) suited for festive seasonal fare: curried apple chutney. Made out of local apple varieties and warming, fragrant spices, it’s the perfect complement to your starring bird. Best of all, this is a recipe that not only can be made ahead, but actually improves with time. This recipe is safe for water-bath canning, so you can prepare the chutney quickly and easily, then store it on the shelf until you’re ready for the big day.

Curried Apple Chutney Recipe

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31 Days of Cookies: Spiced Ginger Rum Balls

This year, we’re celebrating the season with a month of nonstop cookies. It’s the 23rd day of cookies, and it’s nearly Christmas, so we’re getting festive with boozy, gingery rum balls, courtesy of Chrissy Teigen.

Click here for the Spiced Ginger Rum Balls recipe.

More cookies:
All-Star Cookie Swap
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

31 Days of Cookies: Kourambiethes

This year, we’re celebrating the season with a month of nonstop cookies. For the 22nd day of cookies, Michael Symon shares his mother’s sugar-dusted take on the traditional Greek cookie.

Click here for the Kourambiethes recipe.

More cookies:
All-Star Cookie Swap
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

Make Tea Liqueur for Gifting

Liqueurs, sweetened infusions, have long been used as digestifs: quick little shots to aid digestion after an especially hearty meal, like Christmas dinner. To make a homemade liqueur, you simply infuse ingredients into a base liquor, then sweeten the resulting liquid. Some liqueurs, like a ratafia of quince, can take months to make. But you can make a really delicious, intriguing tea liqueur in just a few hours.

Think of this recipe as more of an equation: Keep the proportions and change up the ingredients. For this version, I used a chai tea with a rooibos base. The blend of spices, once infused into vodka and sweetened, makes a natural complement to seasonal desserts like a nutmeg-spiked cake. But I’ve also made very good tea liqueurs with genmai cha, Earl Grey and, one of my favorites, jasmine green tea. Vodka is a good neutral base, but feel free to try other liquors. As for the sweetener, honey and sugar syrup work equally well – they just bring different flavors to the final result. (Sugar elevates the intrinsic flavors of the tea, whereas honey brings its own character.) If you want to dabble before committing to the volume of this recipe, just scale it down accordingly. It’s perfect for bottling up and gifting to loved ones — whether they share it with guests or sneak swigs while cleaning up in the kitchen is up to them.

Homemade Tea Liqueur Recipe

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