'holidays' on Serious Eats

Taste Test: Eggnog

Homemade eggnog can be a delicious thing, enriched with fresh eggs and cream, a careful grating of nutmeg, and just the right amount of sugar. (Plus a dunked cookie or two.) But mixing it up yourself can seem a little daunting (and holiday entertaining already has you frazzled). So you're just going to pick up a carton at the grocery store. But which brand should you buy? We recently conducted a blind taste test to figure out which is the best nationally-available brand of premade eggnog. More

Taste Test: Hot Chocolate Fudge

What's a better match for ice cream than hot fudge? Sure, the best fudge probably comes from your childhood scoop shop (don't things like that always taste better in memory?). But in the name of finding the best hot fudge you can buy, we tried 14 commercially available fudge sauces to find you the best. More

Sara Lee Pound Cake vs. Entenmann's Loaf Cake

We know, we know; just about any homemade loaf cake or pound cake will be better than Sara Lee or Entenmann's. We won't pretend that either could possibly compare. But there are some summer nights when you're at the grocery store and you're running late to a friend's cookout, and you're in charge of dessert, and you've got a beautiful crate of strawberries and some cream to whip and you just need something cake-like to serve with them. And in those moments, you're likely to be faced with Sara Lee and Entenmann's. So which way do you go? More

6 Ways to Celebrate American Chocolate Week

I have a confession to make, dear readers. Until just a few days ago, I had no idea that this week was American Chocolate Week. It seems to me a perfect opportunity to go learn something about chocolate that you didn't know before; or try a new kind of chocolate; or test out that chocolate recipe you've been staring at for the last few months. Now, you can celebrate however you want, but in the slideshow are just a few of my suggestions. More

Vanilla-Orange Marmalade

This marmalade is bright, sweet, and bursting with citrus flavor. It tastes like the juiciest orange you ever ate, only slathered over buttered bread. Yum. While it may seem a bit fussy to use two different kinds of oranges, it... More

Holiday Leftovers: Ham, Bean, and Kale Stew

So if you've been following along here, you already know everything you need to know to serve a perfect holiday ham. But what about the next day when you've got that big ol' ham bone and scraps to contend with? I've been obsessed with the combination of beans, pork, olive oil, and sherry vinegar. Both the oil and vinegar drizzled on right before serving enliven the stew significantly. More

Spicy Ginger Hot Toddy

When it gets cold out and my nose gets sniffly, I happily turn to the curing power of a hot toddy. My standby recipe is from an older version of a Gourmet cookbook for hot buttered rum that combines lemon juice, maple sugar, rum, boiling water and is dotted with a pat of butter. But I wanted to add a spicy element to the mix, using ginger tea as a base for the cocktail, which provides a tiny ginger burn at the back of the throat. More

Mice Cookies

Baked for the 2010 Serious Eats Cookie Swap "This recipe is from Martha Stewart's Holiday Cookies issue. I didn't get the licorice tails (too lazy) and substituted vanilla extract for almond because I prefer vanilla. I made them because they... More

What's Your Favorite Approach to the Hot Toddy?

For those unaccustomed to consuming alcoholic drinks that taste like, well, alcohol, the toddy can be a bit of a challenge. To those who genuinely like the taste of whisky, rum, or almost anything except vodka (I can't recall coming across a tequila toddy, but such a thing is not without potential merit), the hot toddy is the way to go. More

Chocolate Turtle Cookies

I upped the salt in this recipe significantly. Seriously, if you ever wondered what made a fancy restaurant dessert or an upscale bakery treat soooo tasty, it's almost certainly one of two things: lots and lots of salt, or lots and lots of butter. Both of these things are what make these cookies so tasty, and so very perfect for the holidays. More

Taste Test: Gingerbread Mixes

We love dark, spicy, molasses-laced gingerbread. Of course, there are tons of recipes for baking it from scratch but gingerbread mixes are a great option when you're short on time. Which brand to choose? We tested five: Betty Crocker, Krusteaz, Trader Joe's, Williams-Sonoma and King Arthur Flour. Did any pass as homemade-esque? Check out our results. More

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