Although we might sigh at the weather turning somewhat tumultuous around this time of the year, there’s also something familiar and nostalgic about it and the fact that we’ll be spending more time at home.
Now, with the countdown to the holiday season officially on, we’re eagerly anticipating some of the most meaningful aspects (and perhaps things we took for granted before the pandemic), like watching holiday movies, catching up with family, baking together, and indulging in appies like there’s an endless supply.
Feeling sentimental about the upcoming season and the simple pleasures it brings got us thinking about the foods we look forward to every year, many of them the products of recipes passed down through generations in our families. To discover some of these recipes, we teamed up with Save-On-Foods and asked members of our team to share the ones they cherish the most.
“While this recipe isn’t too difficult to do on my own, I always look forward to going home and making these with my mom,” says Hailey Krychman, a Daily Hive campaign manager. “Having fresh potato latkes only happens around this time of year when I’m reunited with my nearest and dearest eating and lighting the Hannukah candles.
- 6 potatoes, pared
- 1 small onion, grated
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1/4 tsp of pepper
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 1 tbsp of oil
- 2 tsp of baking powder
- extra 1/4 oil for frying (keep the bottle close — extra is always good in this case)
- apple sauce or sour cream for dipping
- Grate the potatoes (either by hand or with a food processor) and make sure to drain well.
- Blend in the remaining ingredients.
- Pour 1/4 cup of oil in a large stainless steel pan, place on medium-high heat.
- Using a large spoon or small ladle, place latke into the hot oil.
- Leave latke to fry until the bottom-facing side is brown (this can take between 1 to 2 minutes); once browned, flip to the other side.
- Place latkes on a serving plate with a paper towel to drain the excess oil. Serve with a side bowl of apple sauce or sour cream to dip in!
“We used to make these apple cookies every single Christmas. It’s my grandma’s famous recipe — so famous we used to call her ‘Apple Cookie Nana’ to differentiate her from our other nana,” says Jessica Thompson, managing editor of branded content.
“I remember walking through her door and knowing instantly she had just made a fresh batch — I never ran as quick as I did in those moments to be the first to get a cookie.”
- 1/2 cup of shortening
- 1 1/3 cup of brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 1 tsp of ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp of nutmeg
- 1 egg
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup of apple juice or milk
- 1 cup of chopped nuts
- 1 cup of raisins
- 1 cup of finely chopped apples, unpeeled
- Cream the shortening and sugar.
- Add salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and egg.
- Combine the flour and baking soda. Add to the mixture alternatively with milk.
- Fold in the nuts and fruit. Bake at 375°F for 11 to 14 minutes.
- When cool, frost the cookies with butter icing.
Cranberry Pecan Coffee Cake
“There’s nothing that says the holidays more to me than my mother’s coffee cake,” says contributor Chad Stevens. When he was six years old, his father took him to buy his mother’s Christmas gift. “After struggling [for a bit], I saw something perfect: a gorgeous Christmas cookbook. That year, on Christmas morning, my mother opened her present and asked me to pick my favourite recipe. I picked the coffee cake, and she found most of the ingredients to bake it the first time. The modifications out of necessity became her version of the recipe.”
- ½ cup of butter, softened
- ¾ cup of granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp of vanilla
- 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp of baking powder
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- ½ tsp of cinnamon
- ¼ tsp of salt
- 1 cup of sour cream
- 2/3 cup of packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup of butter
- ¼ tsp of cinnamon
- 1 ¼ cups of cranberries
- ½ cup of chopped pecans
- Topping: in a saucepan, bring the sugar, butter, and cinnamon to boil over medium heat while stirring. Pour the mix into a greased nine-inch (2.5 L) springform pan. Sprinkle with cranberries and pecans; set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and add vanilla. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir half into the creamed mixture; stir in sour cream and the remaining flour mixture.
- Spread batter over the cranberry layer, pushing the batter higher around the edges. Wrap foil around the bottom of the pan and set it on a baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for one hour or until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto a serving platter and serve warm. Makes 10 servings. Enjoy!
“This recipe comes from my wife’s family. They’ve made them each year at Christmas for as long as she can remember,” notes Neil Malik, director of client services. “Everyone in the family makes their own version by choosing their own coating.”
- 3 175-gram packages of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
- finely chopped nuts, flaked coconut, chocolate, sprinkles, unsweetened cocoa, or coloured sugar
- In a heavy saucepan, melt the chips with Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk.
- Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Chill for two hours.
- Shape the mix into 3/4 inch balls and roll right away in any of the coatings.
- Chill for one hour and store at room temperature.
Whether you’re baking holiday favourites, entertaining at home with delicious appies and charcuterie boards, or even preparing a feast with all the trimmings (ham, turkey, veggies — the works), you can find all the ingredients you need at a Save-On-Foods store location near you or online at saveonfoods.com.