Our Food Staff’s 18 Favorite Holiday Recipes – The New York Times

Our Food Staff’s 18 Favorite Holiday Recipes

Reporters and editors shared the NYT Cooking recipes that have become holiday traditions in their homes.

Credit…Johnny Miller for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Susan Spungen.

Members of The New York Times Food department come across hundreds of new recipes every year, and these are the recipes they can’t live without during the holidays. It was tough to pick just one recipe — most suggested a few — but the most common themes were latkes and, unsurprisingly, cookies of all kinds. Here are some of their favorites.

(View our collections of Holiday Recipes including Christmas Recipes, Hanukkah Recipes and Kwanzaa Recipes.)

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Credit…Romulo Yanes for The New York Times

My Christmas starts with these ridiculously buttery pancakes, eases into a nap and then rises again for glazed ham, good mustard and Parker House rolls. Tradition! SAM SIFTON

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Credit…Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

I love making Melissa Clark’s dreamy, crunchy-skinned porchetta, marinated and trussed the day before, then roasted in the oven, making my whole house smell like rosemary and garlic and pork drippings. Sandwiches with leftovers the next day are a huge bonus. TEJAL RAO

Recipe: Porchetta Pork Roast

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Credit…Yossy Arefi for The New York Times (Photography and Styling)

I am going to plus-one the porchetta. Also incorporating Melissa’s latkes into our Christmas Eve soup dinner this year, which is very exciting for everyone involved. I spice up our cookie roster every year by trying at least two of the newly minted NYT cookie recipes. I need all the cookies I can get this year, so I’m springing for Sohla El-Waylly’s chocolate-peppermint shortbread, Yewande Komolafe’s malt chocolate and marshmallow sandwiches and Claire Saffitz’s pistachio pinwheels. VAUGHN VREELAND

Recipes: Chocolate-Peppermint Shortbread | Malt Chocolate and Marshmallow Sandwiches | Pistachio Pinwheels

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Credit…Suzy Allman for The New York Times

I also love Melissa’s latkes and have made Mark Bittman’s gravlax many times. And we used to have a holiday party and I’d make a quadruple batch of Mark’s sour cream and onion dip and serve it with Cape Cod potato chips. (I added a little Hellmann’s too.) EMILY WEINSTEIN

Recipes: Mark Bittman’s Gravlax | Real Sour Cream Onion Dip

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Credit…Romulo Yanes for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Vivian Lui.

I’ve been making Sam’s prime rib for the past few years for Christmas and it’s perfect. I make the leftovers into the best hash imaginable. I’ve got my eye on this overnight French toast by Samantha Seneviratne for this year’s Christmas morning. Usually I do this brûlée one, but we are branching out! MELISSA CLARK

Recipes: Prime Rib Roast | Overnight French Toast | Crème Brûlée French Toast

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Credit…Yossy Arefi for The New York Times (Photography and Styling)

The holidays usually mean we have at least a couple packages of those grocery-store-soft-sugar-cookies in the house. But this year I’m especially excited to make Eric Kim’s homemade version! Love the addition of the freeze-dried raspberries to color and flavor the icing! SCOTT LOITSCH

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Credit…Tara Donne for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Liza Jernow.

The rotation includes Joan Nathan’s brisket, Melissa’s latkes and a couple of different Christmas cookies, including linzer trees, and my aunt’s pizzelle, because it was the cookie Julia Moskin claims took me down when we did our cookie challenge 112 years ago. I give away spiced pecans or jars of Doris’s hot fudge. KIM SEVERSON

Recipes: Brisket in Sweet-and-Sour Sauce | Classic Potato Latkes | Aunt Phillomena’s Pizzelle | Sweet Spiced Pecans | Doris’s Salty Hot Fudge

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Credit…Johnny Miller for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Susan Spungen.

These potato latkes from Joan Nathan are positively transcendent, and my first bite convinced me that there is no better way to consume potatoes fried in oil. They are impossibly crisp, edging into hash brown territory, but have the purest potato flavor since they’re prepared without egg, flour or other fillers. Best yet, they can be patted into patties the night before cooking. ALEXA WEIBEL

Recipe: Pure Potato Latkes

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Credit…Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

We don’t eat a lot of beef in our house, but Melissa Clark’s garlicky beef tenderloin with orange horseradish sauce is a Christmas tradition. The rich beef paired with the sharp, citrusy sauce is perfection. I buy a 4- to 5-pound tenderloin — half the recipe for our family of four — then freeze the other tenderloin half to slice into fillets for a no-kids New Year’s Eve dinner of steak Diane. MARGAUX LASKEY

Recipes: Garlicky Beef Tenderloin With Orange Horseradish Sauce | Steak Diane for Two

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Credit…Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

One of my favorite holiday traditions is hand-delivering cookies and thank you notes to people around the neighborhood I interact with a lot throughout the year, like the pharmacist, the butcher, the ladies of the laundromat, the dog’s vet, the guys at the bodega … the list is long. These Italian ricotta cookies are so easy to make in big batches, but they are still festive looking and very delicious. I change up the sprinkles and colors year to year. EMILY FLEISCHAKER

Recipe: Italian Ricotta Cookies

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Credit…Christopher Testani for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

My husband’s family is Italian, so we always do a big lasagna for Christmas; Samin Nosrat’s big lasagna is a good one. For a special vegetarian New Year’s Eve dinner, I’ll be making this mushroom Wellington. It was a big hit last year. It’s such an impressive dish to put on the table and the taste is so rich and delicious that it satisfies both meat eaters and vegetarians. It’s so good! KIM GOUGENHEIM

Recipes: The Big Lasagna | Vegetarian Mushroom Wellington

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Credit…Gentl and Hyers for The New York Times. Food stylist: Maggie Ruggiero. Prop stylist: Amy Wilson.

For me, the hands-down holiday winner (usually for a New Year’s Eve dinner) has been the baked alaska by Amanda Hesser, based on the recipe from Stacie Pierce of Union Square Cafe. I love making individual ones, though I must confess I’ve frequently varied the flavors, going tropical one year with coconut cake, mango sorbet and rum. Then along came Gabrielle Hamilton’s version, a spectacular beauty with a core of homemade semifreddo that uses the yolks left from separating the whites. It’s the best finale for ringing in the new with some good bubbly alongside. FLORENCE FABRICANT

Recipes: Stacie Pierce’s Baked Alaska | Gabrielle Hamilton’s Baked Alaska

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Credit…Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

December is generally when I get on a plane to visit relatives (none live where I do), and therefore my holiday food rituals tend to involve food cooked by other people. That said, both Melissa’s potato leek gratin and David Tanis’ potato salad nicely complement the stone crab claws that are a Christmas tradition at my in-laws’. When there isn’t a pandemic, we usually throw a holiday party centered around an aged Benton’s ham. Among the things I set out to eat with it are plates of endive, using a recipe loosely based on this salad from Martha Rose Shulman (I use pecans instead of walnuts). BRETT ANDERSON

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Credit…Craig Lee for The New York Times

All hail Melissa’s classic latkes with sour cream and roe, the most perfect food I know. Also, supernatural brownies, but with some peppermint extract in the batter and crushed candy canes on top. Merry Chrismukkah! BECKY HUGHES

Recipe: Supernatural Brownies

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Credit…Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

This buttery breakfast casserole from Melissa is a Christmas morning favorite. You can make it on Christmas Eve, then pop it in the oven to bake while the family opens their stockings. SARA BONISTEEL

Recipe: Buttery Breakfast Casserole

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Credit…Joe Fornabaio for The New York Times

It’s not Christmas unless I’ve made the Frankies Spuntino pork braciole and some polenta for ultimate comfort. KRYSTEN CHAMBROT

Recipe: Frankies Spuntino Pork Braciole

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Credit…Jim Wilson/The New York Times

My holiday baking starts and ends with Dorie Greenspan: I bake her rugelach in early December and celebrate New Year’s with her cream puffs and Champagne. GENEVIEVE KO

Recipes: Rugelach | Craquelin-Topped Cream Puffs

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Credit…Linda Xiao for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Monica Pierini.

I kicked off this year with Southern black-eyed peas and cauliflower for luck and while I can’t speak for its efficacy, I can say that everyone at our celebratory gathering (remember those?) sang its praises. As for sweet stuff, last year I overextended myself by making gifts for my loved ones by hand (never again!), so when it came time to bring a dessert to Christmas dinner, ease was of the essence. I whipped up that ever-dependable made-in-the-pan chocolate cake, adding cinnamon, nutmeg, powdered ginger and instant espresso to give it some holiday flair. Festive! KASIA PILAT

Recipes: Southern Black-Eyed Peas and Cauliflower | Made-in-the-Pan Chocolate Cake