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Get Creative with Your Holiday Meals

Tis the season of delicious food! With so many holidays coming our way in the next few months, there are so many opportunities to gather with friends and family for everything from full-fledged feasts to cookie parties. Let’s see if we can get some creative ideas going and we’ll see you at Steeple Market soon for the ingredients.

A More Festive Cookie

Nothing beats the fun of frosting sugar cookies on a snow day, but if you’re looking for something unique, might we suggest the Frosted Cranberry Drop? This delicious recipe is brought to us by Taste of Home and we can assure you that it’s every bit as delicious as you would hope for it to be!

frosted cranberry drops Frosted Cranberry Drops

Here’s What you’ll need:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup whole milk

1 large egg

2 tablespoons orange juice

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2-1/2 cups chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

1 cup walnuts


1/3 cup butter

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 to 4 tablespoons hot water


In a bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add milk, egg and orange juice; mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in cranberries and nuts.

Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° until golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

For frosting, heat the butter in a saucepan over low heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes; transfer to a small bowl. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until frosting reaches desired consistency. Frost the cookies.

Test Kitchen Tips

Dark brown sugar contains more molasses than light or golden brown sugar. The types are generally interchangeable in recipes. But if you prefer a bolder flavor, choose dark brown sugar.

For more flavor, lightly toast the walnuts before adding them to the dough.

The Perfect Side Dish

Next up, let’s talk about everybody’s favorite star at holiday meals: the side dishes. From macaroni and cheese to cranberry sauce to mashed potatoes to maple carrots, there is just so much yummy stuff to pile on your plate. This is Vermont after all, and when you have such a great supply of locally made Vermont Maple Syrup at Steeple Market, why not cook with it!

Maple Roasted Carrots

maple roasted carrots


2 lb. medium carrots, tops trimmed to about ½”, scrubbed

6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces

⅓ cup (packed) light brown sugar

⅓ cup pure maple syrup

¾ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt

Flaky sea salt (optional)

Recipe Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with 3 sheets of foil (you’ll need it!). Cut carrots on a diagonal into 3″ pieces (halved or quartered lengthwise if large).

Spread out carrots on foil. Evenly top with butter, brown sugar, syrup, and red pepper flakes. Season with kosher salt and toss to combine.

Bake carrots, tossing every 20 minutes, until tender and browned around the edges, 50–60 minutes. Transfer to a platter (with syrup, if desired). Sprinkle with sea salt (if using).

This yummy recipe is from Bon Appetit and they have tons more amazing ways to keep your food delicious all day long!

The Perfect Thing to Drink

Finally, let’s get a fun beverage on the list. We have a fully stocked beer cave and a continually expanding wine selection with wine tastings, local wines, and national favorites. Keeping in that spirit, we want to offer a fun way to take your wine to the next level this season!

Mulled Wine Ingredients

mulled wine recipe1 bottle/750 mL red wine (suggestions: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot)

1 orange (peeled and sliced; keep peel to add zest to taste into the cooking pot)

1/4 cup brandy

8 to 10 cloves

1/3 cup honey (or sugar)

3 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp. fresh ginger (or 2 tsp. ground ginger; allspice can be substituted)

To make the perfect cup of mulled wine, combine all ingredients in either a large pot or a slow cooker.

Gently warm the ingredients on low to medium heat (avoid boiling), for 20 to 25 minutes.

Stir occasionally to make sure that the honey or sugar has dissolved completely. When the wine is steaming and the ingredients have been well blended it is ready to serve.

Who’s Ready to Get Cooking?

What else are you making this season? We always get the cooking spirit when the snow starts to fall and we know families will be gathered together soon! We hope we’ll see you soon at Steeple Market!