Favorite Christmas Foods

12Days20I have a few favorite foods that only make an appearance at Christmas. Like candy canes, mulled wine, eggnog, and gingerbread cookies.

I used to love getting the giant candy canes that were about a foot long and an inch in diameter. I could eat that for days. I remember we had a gift exchange in elementary school and I received one of those giant candy canes. I was thrilled. My other favorite as a kid was the Lifesaver books. I always tried to trade the butter rum flavor for a roll of cherry flavored ones – they were much better, in my opinion. I still try to put one of these Lifesaver books in the kids’ stockings.

One of the things I love to make for the kids classes during the holidays is giant pretzel sticks dipped in chocolate and then rolled in crushed candy canes or other sprinkles. I think gain 5 pounds when I eat all of the “broken” ones while making these treats.

I really enjoyed the holidays in Europe when I lived in Germany. My mom came to visit and we went to the Christkindlmarkt in Nuremburg and later when she lived in Munich we visited her during Christmas and went to the market there. Both markets are amazing and worth a trip. One of our favorite things to do was to get the sausage sandwiches and a mug of mulled wine. That combination made a heavenly dinner.

Marzipan, covered in chocolate. I lived with the town baker when I lived in Skt. Augustin. He made really amazing marzipan. None of the commercial stuff even comes close! Enough said.

Two other treats I associate with my time living in Germany are Spekulatius (yes you can get a version of these year-round at Cost Plus, but I love the ones made in the shape of varying holiday scenes. I also love Lebkuchen, the soft gingerbread cookies; the Weissella ones that are covered in chocolate are my favorites.

When I was in high school my mom dated a guy named Chris who made the best eggnog ever. I’ve not even attempted to try to recreate that special treat. The stuff in the grocery store is too thick and needs to be diluted. My two favorites are the Southern Comfort version and the Bud’s ice cream version. The kids drink it like it’s going out of style and I just get them the regular stuff – they drink it all and don’t seem to be that picky!

I love making French toast with the Italian panettone bread that seems to make an appearance only during the holidays. Although eating it toasted and buttered is pretty good too!

Jasper decorating cookies
Jasper decorating cookies

My favorite Christmas food or treat is all of the Christmas cookies that we make and share. Others make treats like fudge, toffee, almond bark, but I love to make cookies. We make the same set of 5-6 cookies each year and we try 1-2 new ones as well. We make thumbprint cookies, Finnish Kakor (a shortbread with slivered almond and cinnamon and sugar on top), Russian tea cakes (also known as Mexican wedding cakes), molasses crinkles, snicker doodles with various sprinkles. Sometimes we make macaroons or shaped cookies. Sometimes we are really ambitious and try to make press cookies – it’s always more of a wrestling match than anything else.

Leave me a comment and let me know what your favorite holiday foods are!

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