Delicious traditions

I love to bake. I love to cook. I love to entertain. That’s why, at this time of year, I am in my element!

As the winter holidays approach I get a little giddy as I start stocking up on flour, sugar, butter, cream cheese, sprinkles, walnuts, extracts and other staples of my winter baking pantry. I pull out the recipes employed for decades to bake a variety of holiday goodies, including many that are longtime family traditions.

Favorites include my family’s Hungarian cookies featuring a cream cheese/butter dough, rolled out and filled with walnuts and raisins or apricot or prune. Other must-haves are Italian anginetti cookies — tiny citrusy cakes iced and splashed with cheerful sprinkles, pignoli cookies — a rich almond base studded with pine nuts, baklava, and chocolate Yule log — OH MY!

The funny thing is that I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. (Thankfully!) However, I love to MAKE these goodies, and I love to serve them and give them as gifts, and it’s why I enjoy this time of year so much.

What are your food traditions at this time of year? Do you have recipes lovingly passed down through the generations? How did you learn how to make them? When do you start preparing your holiday treats? What other holiday traditions to you look forward to celebrating? Please take a few minutes away from the kitchen to share your favorites!