Holiday how-tos: recipes for gingerbread, peppermint bark, cocktails and more
December 25th, 2012
09:15 AM ET
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Just in case you still have eggnog to spike or plums to sugar before the gang arrives, consider us Santa's little helpers.

We're sharing our time-tested Christmas tips and recipes, as well as plenty from chefs, hospitality experts, celebrities, hosts and home cooks we love. Our goal – sending you into Christmas with a jolly smile on your face, and seeing you emerge on December 26 with your sanity intact.

Here are a few helpful holiday posts that may make your holiday bright.


Classic English toffee from your kitchen

Harmony vis-à-vis black-and-white cookies

Christmas pudding made simple(ish)

Gingerbread in a snap

Homemade peppermint bark

Freshen up dessert with fresh ginger root

Spotted dick, clootie dumpling and other reasons to put beef fat in your holiday desserts

Pumpkin beyond the pie

Make perfect pie crust

A very vintage holiday: Welsh pork cake

How to make ice cream ... with snow!

Tips for gluten-free cookies


How to cook a country ham

Deep-fried indoor turkey – for science

A prime rib primer

Throwback recipe: Goose casserole

Spice up your holiday soiree with steamed gingered fish and lemongrass chardonnnay Clams

Brining, smoking, rubbing and spatchcocking your turkey

Cornbread dressing like Grandma used to make

Brilliant Brussels sprouts

Five (mac &) cheesy recipes


Great cocktails for crowds - spiced cider, winterized whiskey lemonade and bubbles

Holiday cocktail smackdown: Kristy's candy cane cocktail vs Brandon's snow day drink

Basic hot toddies

Hot chocolate variations

Still in need of advice? Leave your question in the comments below and we'll do our best to get your sleigh back on track.

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Filed under: Chilled Out and Cheery • Christmas • Christmas • Feature • Holiday • Holidays • Homemade Gifts • How To • Recipes • Step-by-Step • Techniques & Tips

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soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Nothing says lovin
    like something from the oven :)

    December 3, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
  2. neepsandtats

    A) This article (& its myriad links) makes me sooooo happy :)
    B) Spotted Dick is a crazy-sounding bread pudding-type dessert that's actually pretty nice. There's a canned version sold by Heinz, available stateside in lots of grocery stores (we get it here in East Tennessee in Kroger, Food City, etc.) Give it a try sometime, either from the tin or homemade. :)

    December 3, 2013 at 9:45 am |
  3. Kaileigh Woodruff

    Making your own gifts is so much more thoughtful for the receiver! I know I love it when I get homemade gifts rather then when I get a store bought one. The time spent making the gift is what people appreciate. This is a great article with some great advice. Thanks CNN!

    December 2, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
  4. cali girl

    I make spritz cookies every year, goes back to my family Swedish tradition and Germans also have a version.
    I can crank out 7 or 8 dozen. These then go to my son's school for 8 teachers, 3 office staff, 1 librarian and 1 music teacher. Otherwise I would go broke getting that many gifts.

    December 2, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  5. Spotted Dick

    Try me. I taste gooooood.

    December 2, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
  6. Latwanda shu fly

    Specktackular...Try making christmas tree ornaments using 2 dried up prunes dipped in chocolate and then hung next to each other on the tree with a chocolate dipped hot dog.

    December 1, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
  7. Dick wang

    Well.....the spotted dick is made from beef if that tells you something.

    December 1, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
  8. Sherri

    Spotted dick? What the heck is that?
    And besides I can't believe I'm the first poster and that no one else has posted any comments. So come on, let's get this thing rolling.

    November 29, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
  9. Sherri

    spotted dick? What the heck is that?

    November 29, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
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