Back for a second year! Throughout the week of December 12, Naomi Lewin talks with Rose Levy Beranbaum, the chef and author of Rose's Heavenly Cakes and Rose’s Christmas Cookies to explore Christmas cookie recipes based on Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet, The Nutcracker. From gingerbread to sugar plums, expect a new recipe – and some insider baking tips – every day this week at 6:30pm. 

Comment on the recipes or post your own!

2011 Schedule:

Monday - Chocolate/Coffee
Tuesday - Candy Cane
Wednesday - Pistachio Marzipan
Thursday - Ginger Pennies
Friday - Sugar Plum

Chocolate-Pistachio Marzipan Spirals

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lora Brody, friend and author of Cooking with Memories, developed these spirals from two recipes in The Cake Bible: pistachio marzipan and ganache. It was my fondest hope that people would use my recipes to create their own specialties in this way, and I am delighted to report that the silky-rich chocolate ganache, rolled together with chewy pistachio marzipan, is a combination that tastes every bit as good as it looks. Thank you, Lora. These candies are terrific to have on hand to serve with espresso to friends who drop in with holiday gifts and wishes.

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Mocha Cocoa Brownies

Monday, December 13, 2010

There are many wonderful recipes for this American classic, and the truth is, chocolate doesn't ever get better than in the form of a brownie. Everyone has a favorite brownie recipe; in fact, I have several. But this one really is tops. It is chewy yet slightly spongy and cakey - a miracle of textures. My friend Brigitte Weil, who created and ran Dean & Deluca's bakery department for years, commented that what makes these brownies particularly unusual is that they don't even need milk to wash them down. More »

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Traditional Rolled Christmas Sugar Cookies

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

These sugar cookies can be as simple or as decorative as your fancy dictates. The dough is ideal for rolling and cutting into special shapes. Now is the time to get out your favorite Christmas cookie cutters. For an extra-special touch, add to your loved ones' cookie cutter collection by tying one or two cutters with gold ribbons to the cookie tins when you give the cookies as gifts. More »

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Ginger Pennies

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My first Christmas present and my first cookbook as a new bride was, at my request, The Joy of Cooking. It was from that book that I made my first cake (spice cake), my first bread (white bread), and my first pie (angel pie). Each was a great success; the book was everything its title promised. To this day, my favorite cookie recipe from Joy is for ginger thins, which inspired this recipe. These lovable little wafers are truly pennies from heaven: incredibly delicate, crispy, gingery, and addictive. Don't be tempted to make them too large as they will lose their unique daintiness.

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Tiny Fruitcake Gems

Friday, December 17, 2010

In America, fruitcake is so closely associated with Christmas that it almost becomes a necessary part of the celebration, even for those who don't like it! Here is a moist, flavorful, miniature version, which features more cake than candied fruit, that everyone loves. These gems keep for months, becoming ever more mellow, but they are also scrumptious right after baking. Get a head start on your holiday baking by making these in the fall. They are great for Thanksgiving feasts as well as Christmas and ship beautifully to loved ones who can't be home for the holidays.

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