From the NYTimes
My husband’s family is Italian, so we always do a big lasagna for Christmas; Samin Nosrat’s big lasagna is a good one. For a special vegetarian New Year’s Eve dinner, I’ll be making this mushroom Wellington. It was a big hit last year. It’s such an impressive dish to put on the table and the taste is so rich and delicious that it satisfies both meat eaters and vegetarians.
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NYT Cooking is included with print and some digital subscriptions to The New York Times. If you have a Basic subscription, you need to upgrade to get full access.Beef WellingtonMelissa Clark1 1/2 hours, plus chillingMushroom PotpieAlexa Weibel1 1/2 hoursCaramelized Shallot PastaAlison Roman40 minutesBrussels Sprouts Pasta With Bacon and VinegarDawn Perry30 minutesVeal Chops SurpriseJulia Child1 hour 15 minutesStuffing-Stuffed MushroomsAlexa Weibel1 hourPistachio PinwheelsClaire SaffitzAbout 40 minutes, plus chillingPan-Roasted Chicken in Cream SauceSam Sifton1 hourLeek, Mushroom and Goat Cheese TartCelia Barbour1 hourPork and Portobello BurgersMark Bittman30 minutesCaramelized Onion GaletteSue Li1 1/2 hours, plus chilling and coolingMushroom and Wild Rice StrudelMartha Rose Shulman2 hoursBeef WellingtonMelissa Clark1 1/2 hours, plus chillingMushroom PotpieAlexa Weibel1 1/2 hoursCaramelized Shallot PastaAlison Roman40 minutesBrussels Sprouts Pasta With Bacon and VinegarDawn Perry30 minutesVeal Chops SurpriseJulia Child1 hour 15 minutesStuffing-Stuffed MushroomsAlexa Weibel1 hourPistachio PinwheelsClaire SaffitzAbout 40 minutes, plus chillingPan-Roasted Chicken in Cream SauceSam Sifton1 hourLeek, Mushroom and Goat Cheese TartCelia Barbour1 hourPork and Portobello BurgersMark Bittman30 minutesCaramelized Onion GaletteSue Li1 1/2 hours, plus chilling and coolingMushroom and Wild Rice StrudelMartha Rose Shulman2 hoursBeef WellingtonMelissa Clark1 1/2 hours, plus chillingMushroom PotpieAlexa Weibel1 1/2 hoursCaramelized Shallot PastaAlison Roman40 minutesBrussels Sprouts Pasta With Bacon and VinegarDawn Perry30 minutesVeal Chops SurpriseJulia Child1 hour 15 minutesStuffing-Stuffed MushroomsAlexa Weibel1 hourPistachio PinwheelsClaire SaffitzAbout 40 minutes, plus chillingPan-Roasted Chicken in Cream SauceSam Sifton1 hourLeek, Mushroom and Goat Cheese TartCelia Barbour1 hourPork and Portobello BurgersMark Bittman30 minutesCaramelized Onion GaletteSue Li1 1/2 hours, plus chilling and coolingMushroom and Wild Rice StrudelMartha Rose Shulman2 hours
Vegetarian Mushroom Wellington
By Alexa Weibel
- YIELD8 servings
- TIME3 hours
Christopher Testani for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.
Classic beef Wellington is a technical feat in which a tenderloin is topped with foie gras or mushroom duxelles, then wrapped in puff pastry and baked. This vegetarian version is less exacting yet just as impressive. Seared portobello mushrooms are layered with apple cider-caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms, which are seasoned with soy sauce for flavor and bolstered with walnuts for texture. The rich mushroom filling is vegan, and the entire dish can easily be made vegan, too. Swap in vegan puff pastry, a butter substitute in the port reduction and caramelized onions, and an egg substitute for brushing the puff pastry. If you want to prepare ahead, sauté the mushrooms and onions in advance and refrigerate them, then assemble the dish the day you plan to bake and serve it. Prepare the port reduction as the Wellington bakes, or skip it entirely and serve with cranberry sauce for a touch of tangy sweetness.
FOR THE MUSHROOM FILLING:
- 4 large portobello mushrooms, each about 3 inches wide (8 to 10 ounces total)
- ½ cup plus 5 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 pounds mixed mushrooms, such as shiitake, oyster and cremini
- 4 shallots, finely chopped (about 1 packed cup)
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
- ⅓ cup port, or 1 to 2 tablespoons good-quality aged balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts (about 4 ounces)
- Ice, for cooling
FOR THE ONIONS:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium yellow onions (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
- ¾ teaspoon light or dark brown sugar
- 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup apple cider or apple juice
- 1 tablespoon good-quality aged balsamic vinegar (optional)
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
- 1 (14-ounce) package puff pastry
- 1 large egg, beaten
FOR THE PORT REDUCTION (OPTIONAL):
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
- 1 ½ cups good-quality port
- 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Kosher salt and black pepper
Add to Your Grocery ListIngredient Substitution Guide
- Wipe the portobello mushrooms clean using barely moistened paper towels. Remove the stems, then slice off the excess mushroom rim that curls over the gills. (You are making sure the stem side has a flat surface so it will sear properly.) Reserve the stems and scraps for use in Step 2. Brush the portobello mushroom caps on both sides with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet over medium-high and cook the mushrooms, gill-side down, until caramelized, 4 to 5 minutes, then flip and cook until softened, about 4 more minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, gill-side down, to cool.
- Prepare the mushroom filling: Separate and reserve any mushroom stems. Roughly chop about two-thirds of the mixed mushrooms, then working in batches, transfer the roughly chopped mushrooms to a food processor and pulse until chopped into small pieces. (They should range from 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch in size.) Transfer the chopped mushrooms to a large bowl. By hand, finely chop the remaining mixed mushrooms and stems and the reserved portobello mushroom stems and trimmings into 1/4-inch pieces; add them to the large bowl. (Chopping most of the mixed mushrooms in the food processor will save you some time, but you’ll want to chop some by hand for texture.)
- Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. (You’ll use this to quickly cool the cooked mushrooms in Step 4. If preparing in advance, you can simply let the mixture cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.) Wipe out the skillet. Working in two batches, warm 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat. Add about half the mushrooms, shallots, garlic and rosemary, and season lightly with salt and generously with pepper. (You’ll add soy sauce later, so avoid overseasoning at this stage.) Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and repeat with the remaining 1/4 cup oil and the remaining mushrooms, shallots, garlic and rosemary.
- Once the second batch of chopped mushrooms is cooked and caramelized, return the first batch to the skillet. Add the port, soy sauce and thyme leaves and cook over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates, 3 to 5 minutes. (If using balsamic vinegar instead of port, reduce the cook time to 1 to 2 minutes.) Transfer the mushroom mixture back to the medium bowl and stir in the walnuts. Set the bowl over the prepared ice bath to cool, stirring occasionally, at least 20 minutes.
- Prepare the cider-caramelized onions: Wipe out the skillet, then melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, sprinkle with the sugar, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the cider and cook, stirring every few minutes, until the liquid evaporates and the onions are caramelized, about 15 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, if using, then transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a large piece of parchment paper on your work surface and lightly dust it with flour. Unfold your thawed puff pastry and set it on the parchment. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the pastry out into a 13-by-16-inch rectangle. Transfer the parchment paper and puff pastry to a large sheet pan. Rotate the sheet pan, if needed, so that one of the 16-inch sides is closest to you. Arrange half the cooked mushroom mixture in a strip in the center of the puff pastry (it should be about 4-by-10 inches), leaving a 1½-inch border at the ends. Arrange the caramelized onions in a single, 3-inch-wide strip on top of the mushroom mixture, leaving about ½ inch of the mushrooms exposed on both sides. Lay the portobello mushrooms on top of the onions in a single line, stem-side down. (If the portobellos are too large to all fit in a row, square off edges so the cut sides lay snugly without overlapping.) Spoon the remaining mushroom mixture on top of the filling, covering the portobello mushrooms, then gently pack the mushroom mixture to form an even layer on top. (You can shape this the same way you might shape a freeform meatloaf.)
- To assemble, lift one side of the puff pastry over the mushroom filling to almost completely cover it. Brush the surface of the puff pastry covering the mushrooms with the beaten egg. Lift the remaining puff pastry flap over the egg-washed puff pastry, gently stretching it if need be to create a second layer of puff pastry on top, then gently press the top layer of pastry onto the lower layer using your fingertips to seal. Brush the insides of the short ends of the puff pastry and press to seal. Trim any parchment paper that extends beyond the sheet pan.
- Brush the exposed puff pastry on top with the remaining beaten egg. Decorate the top of the puff pastry as you like: Create a cross-hatch pattern by gently slicing through only the top layer of puff pastry in parallel lines, then cutting parallel lines in another direction. (Apply very little pressure, as you only want to cut through the top layer of puff pastry, not the second layer.) You can also slice small decorative vents in the puff pastry (be sure to slice all the way through both layers of puff pastry), or top with additional strips or shapes made from egg-washed puff pastry.
- Transfer to the middle rack in the oven and bake until puff pastry is deep golden and flaky, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheet, about 10 minutes.
- While the Wellington bakes, prepare the optional port reduction: In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium. Add the shallot, garlic and peppercorns, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the port, stock and thyme, and cook over medium-high until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 25 to 30 minutes. Strain the sauce, discarding the solids. (You should have about 1/2 cup sauce.) Cover and set aside until ready to serve. When ready to serve, warm the sauce over medium. Once warmed, whisk in the butter, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
- To serve the mushroom Wellington, cut it crosswise into 8 even slabs. (Each slab will include a pretty cross-section showcasing the halved portobello mushroom in the center; this is considered the presentation side.) Serve each piece presentation-side up. Pass with port reduction for drizzling on top.
Caramelized Shallot Pasta An entire tube of tomato paste and a whole tin of anchovy fillets play support to a half-dozen caramelized shallots in this rich pasta
Ravneet Gill’s supersmart recipe omits expensive vanilla extract, but still yields incredible flavor. Don’t skip the overnight chill, or rolling the dough balls before chilling. It’s that attention to detail that truly makes them an exemplary cookie. Recipe: Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
This recipe, from Ali Slagle, takes the best parts of sour cream and onion dip and applies them to … a weeknight chicken dish. The result is a tender (yes, tender!) chicken breast with a crisp exterior and the flavors of sour cream and onion dip. You’re welcome. Crispy Sour Cream and Onion Chicken
It turns out feta becomes goat-cheese creamy in the oven. That creaminess plays against tart tomatoes, earthy broccolini and bright lemon in this weeknight dinner from Yasmin Fahr, ready in less than 30 minutes. Play with it as you like, swapping out the vegetables depending on season.
Forget the beans. This may have been the year of the boneless, skinless chicken breast on NYT Cooking. Ali Slagle’s take uses mayonnaise as a marinade, to yield a particularly moist result, while the ginger and lime give the chicken big flavor. But best of all? It’s ready in 15 minutes.
Every bite of this dish is packed with salty, briny flavors and caramelized cauliflower. It’s a small main, or a satisfying side dish that you can also make vegetarian: Just leave out the pancetta.JAMELLE BOUIE: Jamelle Bouie discusses overlooked writing, culture and ideas from around the internet.Sign Up
Beans had a huge moment in 2020, and this recipe from Alison Roman was no exception. This flexible stew is wildly adaptable: It plays well with broccoli rabe or kale, just about any kind of white beans or salty cheese.
This vegetarian take on the French classic is full of deep flavor, and comforting as can be. A mix of mushrooms is best, and as Melissa Clark notes, don’t skip caramelizing everything first. Take a cue from the readers who’ve made it and serve it over mashed potatoes, grits or a hearty polenta.
Another flexible stew, this recipe from Colu Henry is surprisingly rich while still being vegan. Use butter beans or cannellini, cherry tomatoes or grape, add greens or don’t. And, if you prefer (and don’t mind making the dish vegetarian, not vegan), finish it with a very welcome sprinkle of cheese.
Yewande Komolafe has a way with tofu. This take on it is pan-seared, and paired with a warming reduction of ginger and coconut milk. The blistered snap peas are a bright counter, but, as Yewande notes, any fresh green moment (snow peas, broccoli, asparagus) works.
KWANZAAYOUR GROCERY LISTYOUR RECIPE BOXSUBSCRIBEXHide MessageShredded Tofu and Shiitake Stir-FryMelissa Clark20 minutesSoba Noodles With Chicken and Snap PeasGenevieve Ko20 minutesTurmeric-Black Pepper Chicken With AsparagusAli Slagle15 minutesCreamy Vegan Tofu NoodlesHetty McKinnon20 minutesTofu and Green Beans With Chile CrispSam Sifton30 minutesBaked Tofu With Peanut Sauce and Coconut-Lime RiceYewande Komolafe25 minutesTangy Pork Noodle Salad With Lime and Lots of HerbsMelissa Clark40 minutesSpicy Ginger Pork Noodles With Bok ChoyMelissa Clark45 minutesStir-Fried Bean Sprouts With Sprouted Brown RiceMartha Rose Shulman50 minutesSesame Chicken With Cashews and DatesMelissa Clark20 minutesStir-Fried Lettuce With Seared Tofu and Red PepperMartha Rose Shulman15 minutesBlistered Green Beans With Shallots and PistachiosNik Sharma20 minutesShredded Tofu and Shiitake Stir-FryMelissa Clark20 minutesSoba Noodles With Chicken and Snap PeasGenevieve Ko20 minutesTurmeric-Black Pepper Chicken With AsparagusAli Slagle15 minutesCreamy Vegan Tofu NoodlesHetty McKinnon20 minutesTofu and Green Beans With Chile CrispSam Sifton30 minutesBaked Tofu With Peanut Sauce and Coconut-Lime RiceYewande Komolafe25 minutesTangy Pork Noodle Salad With Lime and Lots of HerbsMelissa Clark40 minutesSpicy Ginger Pork Noodles With Bok ChoyMelissa Clark45 minutesStir-Fried Bean Sprouts With Sprouted Brown RiceMartha Rose Shulman50 minutesSesame Chicken With Cashews and DatesMelissa Clark20 minutesStir-Fried Lettuce With Seared Tofu and Red PepperMartha Rose Shulman15 minutesBlistered Green Beans With Shallots and PistachiosNik Sharma20 minutesShredded Tofu and Shiitake Stir-FryMelissa Clark20 minutesSoba Noodles With Chicken and Snap PeasGenevieve Ko20 minutesTurmeric-Black Pepper Chicken With AsparagusAli Slagle15 minutesCreamy Vegan Tofu NoodlesHetty McKinnon20 minutesTofu and Green Beans With Chile CrispSam Sifton30 minutesBaked Tofu With Peanut Sauce and Coconut-Lime RiceYewande Komolafe25 minutesTangy Pork Noodle Salad With Lime and Lots of HerbsMelissa Clark40 minutesSpicy Ginger Pork Noodles With Bok ChoyMelissa Clark45 minutesStir-Fried Bean Sprouts With Sprouted Brown RiceMartha Rose Shulman50 minutesSesame Chicken With Cashews and DatesMelissa Clark20 minutesStir-Fried Lettuce With Seared Tofu and Red PepperMartha Rose Shulman15 minutesBlistered Green Beans With Shallots and PistachiosNik Sharma20 minutes
Crispy Tofu With Cashews and Blistered Snap Peas
- YIELD4 servings
- TIME30 minutes
David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.
A ginger and coconut milk reduction can coat pretty much anything that browns nicely on its own. Here, it’s pieces of pan-seared tofu, but small morsels of chicken and pork will work just as well. The soy and the teaspoons of molasses give the sauce a little caramelization, and a little shine and gloss. For a fresh side, add some blistered snap peas, tossed with sliced scallions, a little mint and a splash of rice vinegar. Snow peas, green beans, broccoli or asparagus? If it’s fresh and green, it’ll work just fine.
Featured in: This One Pan Meal Shows Just How Joyful Tofu Can Be.
- 1 (14-ounce) block firm or extra-firm tofu, drained
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed, vegetable or canola, plus more as needed
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- ¾ pound snap peas, trimmed
- 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 (13-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk (light or full-fat)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons molasses, dark brown sugar or honey
- ½ cup toasted cashews
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
- ¼ cup mint leaves, torn if large
- ½ to 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)
- Rice or any steamed grain, for serving
Add to Your Grocery ListIngredient Substitution Guide
- Slice the tofu in half horizontally, and leave on paper towels to dry any excess liquid.
- In a medium skillet or cast-iron pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high until it shimmers. Season both sides of the tofu with salt and black pepper, place in the pan and sear without moving until tofu is browned and golden on both sides, turning once halfway through, about 8 minutes total. Move the tofu to a plate.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan, and add the snap peas. Cook, stirring occasionally, until blistered and just tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and move to a bowl.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, add the ginger and garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the coconut milk, soy sauce and molasses. Simmer, stirring frequently until the sauce reduces and its color deepens to a dark brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. It should coat a spoon without running right off. Stir in the cashews, break the tofu into 1-inch pieces and toss in the pan to coat with sauce. Remove from heat, and taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
- Toss the snap peas with the rice vinegar, scallions, mint and red-pepper flakes, if using. Divide among plates, along with the tofu and cashews. Serve with rice or any steamed grain.
Juicy heirloom tomatoes are best on their own, but this tart from Vallery Lomas may just be the next best thing. The tomatoes are nestled in an herbaceous custard, then baked off. To cut the prep time, use a premade crust.
Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Tart
Melissa Clark developed this recipe for Rosh Hashana, but it fits the bill for just about any night. The sweetness of the plums complements the rich, meaty chicken thighs and sharp bite of the red onions. Marinating helps here, so start it the night before. But, after that, this simple, satisfying meal is ready in an hour, max.
If you love chickpeas and pasta, you’re not alone. This flexible take on the Roman dish from Colu Henry is easily tweaked, and ready in 30 minutes — a satisfying hearty weeknight main.
This one-bowl loaf from Yossy Arefi is just the thing when you’re craving carrot cake, but don’t want to go through a big production to get there. (No mixer!) It’s an ideal afternoon snack, and the lemon glaze is an unexpected alternative to cream cheese frosting.
After Samin Nosrat’s recipe was published on NYT Cooking, reports of runs on buttermilk started coming in. That’s how popular it was. Out of buttermilk? Samin suggests plain yogurt or kefir as substitutes. The result is a burnished bird with tender meat.
Recipe: Buttermilk-Brined Roast Turkey
Inspired by Indian dal, this meatless meal from Lidey Heuck is great for lunch or dinner, and great for freezing. Thai spices, like fresh ginger, turmeric and coconut milk, infuse the red lentils, brightening them. Skip the toasted coconut, if you like, but it adds a nice crunch at the end.
17. Cheesy Pan Pizza
Lovers of pan pizza rejoice! This recipe, which Tejal Rao brought to The Times from the King Arthur Flour test kitchen, has a long rest, so you’ll have to plan ahead. But the result is a flavorful, airy crust that’s wonderfully crispy at the edges.
Recipe:Cheesy Pan Pizza
Jerrelle Guy’s simple-as-can-be dessert is just the thing when you want something warm, gooey and sweet without a lot of effort. Feel free to swap out the strawberries for any berry you have on hand — frozen or fresh. Some readers have even used stone fruit. They all play well against the cakey filling that’s sweetened with brown sugar.
Recipe: Strawberry Spoon Cake
The dough for these scones, from Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery & Cafe, benefit from a bit of a rest. Prepare them a day in advance, then bake them off in the morning, for a tender, flaky treat full of fresh blueberries and finished with a maple glaze.
This vegetarian option, which Alexa Weibel brought to The Times from Brooks Headley of Superiority Burger, relies on extra-firm tofu that’s marinated in pickle brine, then deep fried. The result is transcendent and an ideal meatless alternative to a fried chicken sandwich.
Recipe: Superiority Burger’s Crispy Fried Tofu SandwichMore Favorites for the SeasonOur Food Staff’s 18 Favorite Holiday RecipesDec. 10, 2020Our 28 Best Christmas Cookies
Our Food Staff’s 18 Favorite Holiday Recipes
Reporters and editors shared the NYT Cooking recipes that have become holiday traditions in their homes.
By Alexa Weibel, Updated Dec. 12, 2020
Members of The New York Times Food department come across hundreds of new recipes every year, and these are the recipes they can’t live without during the holidays. It was tough to pick just one recipe — most suggested a few — but the most common themes were latkes and, unsurprisingly, cookies of all kinds. Here are some of their favorites.
I love making Melissa Clark’s dreamy, crunchy-skinned porchetta, marinated and trussed the day before, then roasted in the oven, making my whole house smell like rosemary and garlic and pork drippings. Sandwiches with leftovers the next day are a huge bonus. TEJAL RAO
Recipe: Porchetta Pork Roast
I am going to plus-one the porchetta. Also incorporating Melissa’s latkes into our Christmas Eve soup dinner this year, which is very exciting for everyone involved. I spice up our cookie roster every year by trying at least two of the newly minted NYT cookie recipes. I need all the cookies I can get this year, so I’m springing for Sohla El-Waylly’s chocolate-peppermint shortbread, Yewande Komolafe’s malt chocolate and marshmallow sandwiches and Claire Saffitz’s pistachio pinwheels. VAUGHN VREELAND
I also love Melissa’s latkes and have made Mark Bittman’s gravlax many times. And we used to have a holiday party and I’d make a quadruple batch of Mark’s sour cream and onion dip and serve it with Cape Cod potato chips. (I added a little Hellmann’s too.) EMILY WEINSTEIN
I’ve been making Sam’s prime rib for the past few years for Christmas and it’s perfect. I make the leftovers into the best hash imaginable. I’ve got my eye on this overnight French toast by Samantha Seneviratne for this year’s Christmas morning. Usually I do this brûlée one, but we are branching out! MELISSA CLARKJAMELLE BOUIE: Jamelle Bouie discusses overlooked writing, culture and ideas from around the internet.Sign Up
The holidays usually mean we have at least a couple packages of those grocery-store-soft-sugar-cookies in the house. But this year I’m especially excited to make Eric Kim’s homemade version! Love the addition of the freeze-dried raspberries to color and flavor the icing! SCOTT LOITSCH
The rotation includes Joan Nathan’s brisket, Melissa’s latkes and a couple of different Christmas cookies, including linzer trees, and my aunt’s pizzelle, because it was the cookie Julia Moskin claims took me down when we did our cookie challenge 112 years ago. I give away spiced pecans or jars of Doris’s hot fudge. KIM SEVERSON
These potato latkes from Joan Nathan are positively transcendent, and my first bite convinced me that there is no better way to consume potatoes fried in oil. They are impossibly crisp, edging into hash brown territory, but have the purest potato flavor since they’re prepared without egg, flour or other fillers. Best yet, they can be patted into patties the night before cooking. ALEXA WEIBEL
Recipe: Pure Potato Latkes
We don’t eat a lot of beef in our house, but Melissa Clark’s garlicky beef tenderloin with orange horseradish sauce is a Christmas tradition. The rich beef paired with the sharp, citrusy sauce is perfection. I buy a 4- to 5-pound tenderloin — half the recipe for our family of four — then freeze the other tenderloin half to slice into fillets for a no-kids New Year’s Eve dinner of steak Diane. MARGAUX LASKEY
One of my favorite holiday traditions is hand-delivering cookies and thank you notes to people around the neighborhood I interact with a lot throughout the year, like the pharmacist, the butcher, the ladies of the laundromat, the dog’s vet, the guys at the bodega … the list is long. These Italian ricotta cookies are so easy to make in big batches, but they are still festive looking and very delicious. I change up the sprinkles and colors year to year. EMILY FLEISCHAKER
Recipe: Italian Ricotta Cookies
12. Baked Alaska
For me, the hands-down holiday winner (usually for a New Year’s Eve dinner) has been the baked alaska by Amanda Hesser, based on the recipe from Stacie Pierce of Union Square Cafe. I love making individual ones, though I must confess I’ve frequently varied the flavors, going tropical one year with coconut cake, mango sorbet and rum. Then along came Gabrielle Hamilton’s version, a spectacular beauty with a core of homemade semifreddo that uses the yolks left from separating the whites. It’s the best finale for ringing in the new with some good bubbly alongside. FLORENCE FABRICANT
December is generally when I get on a plane to visit relatives (none live where I do), and therefore my holiday food rituals tend to involve food cooked by other people. That said, both Melissa’s potato leek gratin and David Tanis’ potato salad nicely complement the stone crab claws that are a Christmas tradition at my in-laws’. When there isn’t a pandemic, we usually throw a holiday party centered around an aged Benton’s ham. Among the things I set out to eat with it are plates of endive, using a recipe loosely based on this salad from Martha Rose Shulman (I use pecans instead of walnuts). BRETT ANDERSON
All hail Melissa’s classic latkes with sour cream and roe, the most perfect food I know. Also, supernatural brownies, but with some peppermint extract in the batter and crushed candy canes on top. Merry Chrismukkah! BECKY HUGHES
Recipe: Supernatural Brownies
This buttery breakfast casserole from Melissa is a Christmas morning favorite. You can make it on Christmas Eve, then pop it in the oven to bake while the family opens their stockings. SARA BONISTEEL
Recipe: Buttery Breakfast Casserole
It’s not Christmas unless I’ve made the Frankies Spuntino pork braciole and some polenta for ultimate comfort. KRYSTEN CHAMBROT
Recipe: Frankies Spuntino Pork Braciole
I kicked off this year with Southern black-eyed peas and cauliflower for luck and while I can’t speak for its efficacy, I can say that everyone at our celebratory gathering (remember those?) sang its praises. As for sweet stuff, last year I overextended myself by making gifts for my loved ones by hand (never again!), so when it came time to bring a dessert to Christmas dinner, ease was of the essence. I whipped up that ever-dependable made-in-the-pan chocolate cake, adding cinnamon, nutmeg, powdered ginger and instant espresso to give it some holiday flair. Festive! KASIA PILAT
Our 28 Best Christmas Cookies
We put together a list of our favorite holiday treats, including peanut butter blossoms, rugelach and frosted sugar cookies.
By Margaux Laskey
- Dec. 10, 2020
It’s been a year. Let’s bake some cookies. Make a single batch just for yourself or whip up several and (safely) share them with friends and family. Here are 28 of our most-loved Christmas cookie recipes.
These tender cookies are Melissa Clark’s version of the classic treats also known as Mexican wedding cookies, polvorones or Russian tea cakes. Melissa calls for toasting the almond flour before stirring it into the batter, which bolsters the nutty flavor. Feel free to substitute pistachios, walnuts and pecans for the almonds.
Recipe: Toasted Almond Snowballs
These fudgy, slightly spicy cookies from Susan Spungen are a big reader favorite, and for good reason: They can be ready in about a half-hour.
Recipe: Gingery Brownie Crinkle Cookies
These sophisticated cookies from Melissa Clark have a soft cream-cheese crust that is wrapped around a filling of cherry preserves and walnuts. They’re finished with a dusting of cardamom-flecked sugar.
Julia Moskin called these genius salty-sweet bars from Genevieve Ko the best Rice Krispies treats on NYT Cooking. She’s not wrong. Use butter-flavored pretzels or “butter snaps” if you can find them; they have a delicate crunch and a creamy note that work well in this recipe.
The name of this chewy, crackly cookie from Susan Spungen is a nod to a coffee drink in which a shot of espresso tops off a cup of masala chai, the Indian spiced tea. A little black pepper adds heat, and browned butter adds toasty warm notes.
Recipe: Dirty Chai Earthquake Cookies
They may not win any beauty contests, but these twice-baked Italian cookies from Molly O’Neill are as classic as they get. Jazz them up by adding mini chocolate chips, dried cranberries or a teaspoon of citrus zest. 2020 edition: Dunk half in melted chocolate and let harden on wax paper before wrapping them in a cellophane bag tied off with a big bow.
Everyone loves a rum ball, but Melissa Clark’s spin, which calls for chocolate cookies instead of vanilla wafers and bourbon in place of the rum, is really something special. Before serving or gifting, let them sit for a few days so the flavors can mingle and meld.
Recipe: Fudgy Bourbon Balls
Bright, tangy and tender, Samantha Seneviratne’s lemon cookies practically, well, melt in your mouth. The dough also freezes well, so you can make a half-batch and freeze the rest for later, or prepare several batches to bake off the morning of the cookie swap.JAMELLE BOUIE: Jamelle Bouie discusses overlooked writing, culture and ideas from around the internet.Sign Up
Recipe: Lemon Meltaways
Erin Jeanne McDowell created Christmas in brownie form. It starts with a deeply fudgy bottom layer, which is then topped with a creamy peppermint filling, dark chocolate glaze and a sprinkle of crushed peppermints.
Recipe: Peppermint Brownies
These clever little treats from Melissa Clark start with a combination of honey-roasted and salted peanuts. This recipe calls for store-bought Concord grape jam, but any fruit will do. Just don’t use jelly: It’ll slide right off the cookies as they bake.
Recipe: Honey-Roasted Peanut Thumbprints
11. Sugar Cookies
Melissa Clark developed this sticky, spicy, tangy gingerbread to be made ahead, so it tastes just as good two days after baking as it does on the same day. (And it keeps for four to five days!)
Recipe: Sticky Cranberry Gingerbread
When Krysten Chambrot added a little white miso to a peanut butter cookie recipe, a practically perfect treat was born (and Instagram went wild). It’s complex, salty and sweet with a crisp exterior and a chewy center.
Recipe: Peanut Butter-Miso Cookies
Depending on which spiral-bound community cookbook your mom would bake from, you might know these heavenly treats as magic cookie bars, Hello Dolly! bars or coconut dream bars. It doesn’t matter. Just make these from Samantha Seneviratne.
Recipe: Magic Cookie Bars
Readers adore these easy truffles from Hannah Kaminsky that call for a handful of simple ingredients like pecans, graham crackers, brown sugar, chocolate and bourbon. (Substitute orange juice if you’re a teetotaler.)
Recipe: Pecan Pie Truffles
What’s a cookie plate without lemon bars? Lacking, we say. Molly O’Neill’s have vibrant green pistachios folded into the shortbread crust as well as the lemon filling. (For a festive version, try Genevieve Ko’s cranberry-lemon bars.)
Alison Roman said that these crackly little cookies are “like the edge of a chewy brownie but in cookie form.” Sold.
Recipe: Tiny, Salty Chocolaty Cookies
18. Pecan Tassies
Tiny pies are just more fun to eat — and the crust-to-filling ratio is ideal. Samantha Seneviratne’s miniature pecan pies have a tender cream cheese crust that’s filled with a not-too-sweet maple-pecan filling.
Recipe: Pecan Tassies
These bright and beautiful cookies from Susan Spungen look harder to make than they are. A basic shortbread dough is flavored with lemon and orange zests, then pressed with cookie stamps and glazed with a simple citrus glaze. No stamps? Roll and cut the dough with cutters, or roll the dough into a log for slice-and-bake cookies.
Recipe: Stamped Citrus Shortbread
When we asked readers to send in their favorite Christmas cookies in 2012, Jessica Hulett submitted her grandmother Dorie’s recipe. Melissa Clark said that they “taste like the white part of the best black-and-white cookie you’ve ever had.”
Recipe: Italian Ricotta Cookies
Our most popular Christmas cookie year after year, these peanut butter-chocolate cookies never disappoint. Some readers like to use a dark chocolate Hershey’s Kiss, a small Reese’s peanut butter cup or a spoonful of dulce de leche in place of the milk chocolate kiss.
Recipe: Peanut Butter Blossoms
Ellsworth Kelly’s brushstroke paintings inspired these stunning cookies from Susan Spungen. They start with a classic sugar cookie that’s been frosted with royal icing, then painted with peppermint extract mixed with luster dust or colored powders.
Recipe: Peppermint Stripe Cookies
23. No-Bake Cookies
Also known as cow patties or preacher cookies, these chocolate and peanut butter cookies come together in 15 minutes. For the most delightfully chewy cookie, use rolled oats, not instant.
Recipe: No-Bake Cookies
You can never go wrong with a snickerdoodle, and Samantha Seneviratne’s are no exception. Since the ingredient list is short, be sure to use the best-quality materials you can. (Sniff that ground cinnamon to make sure it’s fresh.) For a seasonal variation, try Vaughn Vreeland’s eggnog snickerdoodles or Genevieve Ko’s gingerbread snickerdoodles.
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“Absurdly easy” is what Julia Moskin called Michael Chu’s fudge recipe when she wrote about it in The Times in 2010. Butter, chocolate and condensed milk are all you need. (Salt and nuts are optional.)
Recipe: Easy Chocolate Fudge
The only chocolate chip cookie recipe you will ever need is this one, which David Leite adapted from the chocolatier Jacques Torres in 2008. It calls for a 36-hour chilling period, but the effect it has on the dough is remarkable. (Erin Jeanne McDowell created gluten-free and vegan versions because everyone deserves this cookie.)
Peanut butter and chocolate. What more is there to say? Use good peanut butter and don’t be stingy with the salt. For texture, use crunchy peanut butter or add a ½ cup of Rice Krispies to the peanut butter mixture.
Recipe: Peanut Butter Balls
When Claire Will submitted these cookies in response to a call for holiday cookie recipes, Melissa Clark thought they were kind of boring. Then she tested them. Of the five kinds of cookies Melissa served at a party, these were the first to disappear. One friend texted on his way home, “send recipe for spice cookies a.s.a.p.”
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Recipe: Grammy’s Spice Cookies With Vanilla ButtercreamMore cookiesHow to Make the Perfect Cookie BoxDec. 1, 2020How to Pack and Mail Holiday CookiesDec. 1, 202012 Stunning Cookies That Will Impress Everyone You Know