Sweet Traditions

We think there’s a time for experimentation and there’s a time for sticking with tradition, and baking for the holidays falls into the latter category. Using recipes you’ve followed year after year takes the guesswork out of the activity, and creates a lovely sense of continuity. We also feel this is a time to favor simplicity. Who wants to round up an endless list of ingredients, and isn’t enlisting little ones to help stir and decorate part of the fun?

TSG co-founder Christy Ford favors the tried and true sugar cookie recipe from The Joy of Cooking, an undisputed classic. Above are her family’s creations, which will dress up any dessert platter. (We especially love the dragées!)


Of course, the most special recipes are the ones that have been passed down for generations. Allison Pezzuti, Editor of TSG: Naples, shared her Grandma Silvia’s recipe for butter nut snowballs, a family favorite. Here’s how to make them:

Butter Nut Snowballs

2 sticks butter (1 cup)
1/2 c sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c sifted flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c finely chopped pecans
Confectioners sugar (to roll the cookies after they are baked)

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Sift flour with salt and add slowly to creamed mixture; blend thoroughly. Add pecans and mix well.  Shape into 1 inch balls and bake about 20 minutes in a 325 degree oven.  Do not brown. Cool, then roll in confectioners sugar. **I always double the recipe because they go fast!**

If baking isn’t your thing – and it’s absolutely fine if it isn’t! No need to feel pressured to DIY – a trip to your local baker can become a time-honored tradition, too. To find a TSG-approved baker in your area, check out the Pastries and Sweets section of our Directory.