Among the conversations that conspire, the meals we share are often one of the most memorable aspects of any holiday celebration. Food carries tradition and provides an opportunity to reimagine how we celebrate. We partnered with Rachel Nichols of The Fond Life to bring you a host of recipes perfect for when the snow begins to fall, and you hunker down. But, no matter where you’re posted up this year, her creations are sure to please your loved ones.
First Thing’s First
Get into the holiday spirit. Pour yourself a mug of something warm and flavorful (see below) or open the bottle of wine you’ve been saving for a special occasion. Next, let the sounds of the season saunter throughout your home by queueing up our playlist of holiday classics.
Spoil Your Dinner
Who says dessert has to come second? Start sweet by popping gingerbread cookies in the oven, so they can bake while you prepare dinner and cool while you enjoy it. Option two: indulge your inner child and eat cookies for dinner.
For the Dough
3 ¾ cups flour
1 Tablespoon cocoa
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
½ cup molasses
4 teaspoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the Glaze
2c powdered sugar, sifted
1/2c warm water
1. Sift together flour, cocoa, ginger, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl.
2. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until creamy and fluffy. Slowly add sugar while mixer is running and continue to mix until smooth.
3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, and mix on low until fully incorporated.
4. Mix in molasses and corn syrup on medium-low speed until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl half way through and again at the very end before your last mix.
5. Set mixer on low and add in flour, ½ cup at a time. Mix on low until everything is incorporated and the dough comes together and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
6. Remove dough, divide into two pieces and place each on on a large piece of lightly floured waxed paper. Place another large piece of wax paper on top of each, and roll them out to about 1/8” thickness. You can stack them both (nestled between waxed paper) on a baking tray and refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
8. Remove the top piece of wax paper from your first sheet of dough and roll thinner (if desired). Cut dough with cookie cutters and optionally imprint with cookie stamps. Re-work any remaining dough, roll out and repeat the process to use all of your dough. Repeat with the second sheet of chilled dough. Keep flour on hand for your rolling pin and dough surface to prevent sticking. Make sure your dough is only lightly dusted with flour to prevent sticking as you don’t want to add too much extra flour to the dough.
9. For a chewy cookie, bake for 8-9 minutes. The center should appear underdone when you remove them from the oven but will firm up a bit as it cools. For a crispy cookie with a good snap, bake for 9-10 minutes. You can test a few cookies first to determine your desired cooking time. Remove cookies from oven and place on a cooling rack.
10. While the first batch of cookies bakes, make the glaze by combining sifted powdered sugar with warm water, 1 Tablespoon at a time until smooth and thin enough to brush smoothly on with a pastry brush.
11. While cookies are still warm, apply a thin layer of glaze on top of each cookie with a pastry brush or spoon. Let cool completely before serving. The icing will harden up nicely and is the perfect sweet accompaniment to the spiced cookie.
Spiced Hot Cocoa
For the Hot Cocoa
4 cups milk
6 cardamom pods
¼ teaspoon vanilla
6 Tablespoons sugar
5 Tablespoons cocoa
¼ teaspoons nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon salt
For the Garnish
1. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, slowly bring milk, cardamom pods and vanilla to a bare simmer, stirring frequently. The milk will begin to bubble along the edges of the pan, and the mixture will be steamy. Turn off the heat and let it steep for 10 minutes. Avoid bringing this to a rapid boil as you may scald the milk.
2. Remove cardamom pods from milk, return heat to lowest settings and add cocoa mixture, stirring until thoroughly combined. Cover and leave on the stovetop while you prepare the whipped cream.
3. Add cream to a large bowl (or a stand mixer) and whisk with a hand mixer or stand mixer with the whisk attachment on medium-high until soft peaks form. Pour steaming hot cocoa into serving mugs, spoon over with whipped cream and top with a pinch of nutmeg and garnish with a stick of cinnamon.
Enjoy (and Repeat)
Whether it’s sunny or snow-packed where you live, you can enjoy cozy layers and all that’s quintessentially winter. Show us how you decide to celebrate this year using #myhavenly. And if you haven’t yet, follow @thehavenly on Instagram. As we countdown to the holidays, shop this designer-curated selection of decor.
Happiest holidays from the Havenly team to you and yours!
You don’t need to to live up north to get the cozy look. Our designers curated the perfect items that will make your holidays feel special. Shop our designer-curated assortment. Get more tips and inspiration on how to get the snowbound look here.