The holiday season is a great time to try out new recipes – many of us have some time off from work and are surrounded by family members and/or friends on which to test new creations. I’d been on the lookout for holiday recipes for a few weeks and found three that sounded great. These are all dairy-free recipes, the sugarplums are vegan and the thumbprint cookies can be made vegan if you sub something in for the honey (the original recipe used maple syrup, which I didn’t have on hand).
Note: The sugarplums mentioned in the classic poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (aka “Twas the Night Before Christmas”) are very different from this more modern recipe.
- 1/2 cup (50 grams) pecans
- 1/2 cup (50 grams) walnuts
- 1/2 cup (80 grams) pitted dates
- 1/2 cup (90 grams) dried figs
- 1/2 cup (80 grams) dried cranberries and/or dried cherries
- 1/2 cup (80 grams) dried apricots, coarsely chopped
- 1 Tbsp candied ginger, coarsely chopped
- 1 Tbsp grated orange zest
- 1 to 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
Topping: granulated sugar and candied ginger
- Place the pecans and walnuts in a dry skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Set aside to cool.
- In food processor process dates, figs, cranberries/cherries, apricots, ginger, orange zest, and cooled nuts until minced. Add enough orange juice to make it all stick together.
- In a smaller grinder, combine sugar and candied ginger and process until uniform in size. Transfer to a small bowl and roll sugarplums in mixture before placing on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Allow the sugarplums to sit until they’re no longer sticky.
These sugarplums were a bit too tart/orange-y for me; in the future I will probably leave out the candied ginger and some of the orange zest.
Source: Slightly adapted from recipe printed in St. Paul Pioneer Press, December 12, 2013
- 2 cups whole walnuts (or other nut of your choice)
- 4 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, divided
- 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 cup honey
- Jams, fruit butters, etc for filling
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a food processor or blender, pulse the nuts until they are whatever size you prefer. I like the nuts in these cookies minced – I like the nutty taste but don’t want to be chewing large chunks of nut. Transfer the nuts into a large bowl.
- Using food processor/blender, grind the oats with the salt into a coarse meal. Transfer the oats to the bowl with the nuts, then add 1 1/4 cup of flour, reserving the remaining 1/4 cup.
- Pour the oil into the bowl, then add the honey. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined.
- Form the dough into balls about the size of a whole walnut and place on the baking sheet.
- Using a small measuring spoon or your thumb, make an indentation in the middle of each ball and fill with jam, fruit butter, etc. I like to taste a bit of the filling with each bite of the cookie, so I fill them accordingly.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cookies begin to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on pan for a few minutes. Move to wire racks to cool completely.
Source: Adapted from The Kitchn
- 1 can (14 oz.) light coconut milk
- 1 cup almond milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup sweetener (your choice)
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice
- freshly grated nutmeg to taste (and more for on top)
- In a medium saucepan, heat the coconut and almond milk to about 160°F. I used a meat thermometer to gauge the temperature because that’s what I had on hand.
- While milk is heating to desired temperature, whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl until they’re light yellow. Once milk temperature has reached 160°F, pour 1 cup of the milk into egg yolks while continuing to whisk.
- Once the milk and eggs are fully incorporated, add the mixture back into the saucepan and whisk to combine. Chill for 1 or 2 hours. I chilled the mixture in a metal mixing bowl in my garage for about an hour.
- When mixture is cool, pour into a blender and add the vanilla, spices and sweetener. Blend well. Grate a bit of fresh nutmeg on top and enjoy.
You can add more egg yolks to this if you like a stronger egg-y flavor. You can also add your choice of alcohol to the nog if you’re in the mood for an adult beverage.
Source: Slightly adapted from Indian Country Today Media Network