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The Season’s Best: Our favorite holiday pies and cookies

Nov 12th, 2010 | Category: Cooking

by Grow Northwest

Tis the season to get in the kitchen. The time of year is upon us when baked goods coming in and out of the oven are a weekly sight (and for some, everyday). Families and friends come together to celebrate the season, thankful for one another, and thankful for the amazing kitchen creations gracing the holiday table.

These pumpkin drop cookies are covered with a cinnamon-vanilla frosting.

Several contributors volunteered to share their favorite family recipes with Grow Northwest readers. Each recipe includes at least one local ingredient – pumpkin, eggnog, apple, pear. If you use eggs, milk and butter in your kitchen, keep in mind to purchase these items locally as well.
The recipes speak for themselves; we hope you enjoy them. If you need help with a recipe variation to fit dietary needs, please let us know. Happy holiday baking and preparing!

Rustic NW Apple Tart
1 recipe pie dough
8 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour
For the dough/crust
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup vegan margarine
5-6 tablespoons cold water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine the pie dough ingredients to form the crust. Mix and roll out to form a circle with a crust about 1/2 inch thick. Place on baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the apples and remaining ingredients and pile onto apples. Be sure to place the crust around the apples, so as to keep it together. Bake for 35-40 minutes until nicely browned.

Raw Pear-Apple-Coconut Cookies
1 small apple, peeled and chopped
1 small pear, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup raisins
2/3 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut, plus extra for rolling
1/3 to 1/2 cup raw almond butter

Using a food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse until thoroughly combined. Form the batter into a ball, and create 8-10 small balls. Roll the balls in shredded coconut. Freeze 20-30 minutes or until desired consistency.

Cranberry-Pear Crisp
4 apples, peeled, cored, cubed
1/2 cup cranberries
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup butter (or substitute)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8-inch glass baking dish. Mix apples, pears, cranberries, 1 tablespoon flour, honey, and lemon juice directly in the dish. In a bowl, use your hands to mix 1/2 cup flour, brown sugar, oats, and butter to coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over the fruit mixture in pan. Bake 45 minutes or until brown and crisp on top.

Pumpkin Drops
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1  teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
15 ounces puree pumpkin
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frosting
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until creamy. Add pumpkin, eggs and vanilla. Drop by tablespoon on greased baking sheets. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Combine frosting ingredients in small bowl. Spread when cool.

Eggnoglicious Cheesecake
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons white sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup eggnog
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
rum, as desired


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.    Combine graham cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar and butter in a medium bowl. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then place on a wire rack to cool.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using a food processor combine cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, flour and eggnog; process until smooth. Blend in eggs and nutmeg. (If you are using rum or brandy, this is the time to use it.)
Pour mixture into cooled crust. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 250 and bake for approximately 45-50 minutes, or until center of cake is barely firm to the touch.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and immediately loosen cake from rim. Let cool completely before serving.
Note: Make this recipe the day before you intend to serve it. The flavors increase overnight and the flavor of eggnog is far more powerful. Serve with whipped cream.

Granny’s Pumpkin Pie
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 2/3 cups evaporated milk
2 eggs
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine the sugar, salt, spices, pumpkin puree, evaporated milk and eggs in a bowl and blend until smooth. Pour batter into pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes then lower temperature to 350 degrees. Bake another 50 minutes or until pie is firm.

Hazelnut Shortbread
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup hazelnuts, finely chopped
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, blend well. Divide dough into 2 portions, wrap in plastic and refrigerate two hours. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion into a 9×6 rectangle. Cut dough lengthwise into four long strips, and  cut each strip into 6 1 1/2-inch squares. Place cookies, about 1 inch apart, on ungreased baking sheet. Bake in preheated 350° oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned.

Winter Squash Wonder Pie
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
2 cups cooked winter squash
2 cups whole milk
3 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey

In a blender, place 1 cup milk and add squash until smooth. Blend in eggs and spices. Pour the mixture in a large bowl, and add the remaining 1 cup milk, brown sugar and honey. Blend well. Pour into the pie crust and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Lower  to 325 degrees and bake for 30 more minutes. Cool before serving.

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