“While some of my family members love turkey and stuffing, for me, it’s all about dessert—and in particular, pecan pie. I absolutely adore warm pecan pie with vanilla ice cream. Of course it’s a calorie bomb, so I’ll only allow myself to have it once a year, and when I do I want it to be perfect. Getting the perfect, flakey pie crust every time was impossible until I uncovered the secret ingredient: vodka! After years of trying a wide variety of recipes and buying pies from the best of the best, I finally found the ultimate crust recipe. Now, I make it myself every year.”
Holiday Recipe Book
Foolproof Single-Crust Pie Dough
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. of sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter (cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
4 tbsp. vegetable shortening (cut in 2 pieces)
2 tbsp. vodka (chilled)
2 tbsp. ice water
1. Process ¾ cup flour, sugar and salt in a food processor until combined, about 5 seconds. Scatter butter and shortening pieces over top and process until incorporated and mixture begins to form uneven clumps with no remaining floury bits, about 10 seconds.
2. Scrape down sides of bowl and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup flour over dough and pulse until mixture has broken up into pieces and is evenly distributed around bowl, 4 to 6 pulses.
3. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Sprinkle vodka and ice water over the mixture. Stir and press dough together, using a stiff rubber spatula, until dough sticks together.
— Julia Boland, Corcoran’s West Side Office (NYC)
Suggested brands: Pho teabag - Gia Vi Nau Pho Hoa Beef, hoisin sauce – Koon Chun, fish sauce – Viet Huong with 3 crabs on the label, pho noodles – Rama Food Banh Pho Tuoi, green bag in the refrigerated section in an Asian market, beef balls – Bangkok BMC Meatball Corp, also in the refrigerated section in an Asian market.
Table of Contents
1. Foolproof Single-Crust Pie Dough
2. Brussel Sprouts, Prosciutto and Pears
3. Holiday Pho
4. Mistletoe Margaritas
5. Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
“I recommend a salt rim, but that’s a personal preference. Don’t cheap out on the Cointreau with Triple sec; if anything, step up to Grand Marnier!”
1. Preheat your oven to 350*. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment then set them aside.
2. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar for 8 minutes* until super light and fluffy. * Do not skimp out on time here- this really adds that soft, light texture element to the cookie!
3. While your butter and sugar are beating, in a separate bowl, whisk together the molasses, egg, yolk, and vanilla then set aside. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices then set aside.
4. Once your butter mixture is done, scrape the bowl then returning mixing on low, then add in your egg mixture, beating for about a minute until combined. Scrape your bowl again before adding in your dry mixture. Add the dry mixture in gradually, pulsing to combine. Once all is combined, give it a good fold to incorporate any dry bits that may have fell to the bottom.
5. Using an ice cream scooper, scoop out the dough, drop each ball into the rolling sugar, rolling the dough around to coat then put it onto the baking sheet. Bake 6 cookies per sheet, baking one sheet at a time. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the sides are dry but the middle still looks undone. Take out and let cool on pan for 10 minutes, then finish cooling on rack. Repeat with other sheet and enjoy your new favorite cookie! :)
— Eve Hlavatovic, Corcoran Legends Realty, Westchester County, NY
— Cindy Lorimer, Corcoran Global Living, Los Angeles
“This is a super flexible recipe, last time I made it I added bacon because I had it on hand, omitted the garlic and added a little bit of maple syrup and it was heaven!”
Prosciutto, and Pears
1 package brussels sprouts, each one halved
2 pears of any kind, sliced, skin on or off
2 cloves garlic (minced)
2 shallots (chopped )
1/2 lb. prosciutto (roughly chopped; optional)
extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Halve each sprout, slice the pears, peel and mince the garlic, chop peeled shallots, and chop prosciutto (if using.) Set aside.
3. Pour 2-3 generous glugs of olive oil into the bottom of a roasting pan or baking dish. Toss in the chopped ingredients. Salt to taste. Stir to coat everything well with the oil.
4. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until shallots are brown and crispy. Every oven is different so start checking after 20 minutes of cooking. Serve hot or at room temperature.
— Caroline Bass, Corcoran’s West Side Office (NYC)
“Growing up, the coffee shop in my town would always have these giant ginger molasses cookies I would get to dip in my hot cocoa as a kid. They were just these giant, chewy and delicious treats I would beg my mom for. So that was sort of the inspiration behind these. They check off everything on my list; chewy, ginger-y, molasses-y (but not overpowering), and big!!”
Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup molasses
1 egg + 1 yolk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 cup white sugar for rolling
— Eve Hlavatovic, Corcoran Legends Realty, Westchester County, NY
6. Cast Iron Skillet Pineapple Upside Down Cake
7. Jambon de Noel
8. St. Tropez Holiday Cranberry Mousse
9. Have a Beer Chili
10. Caribbean Black Rum Cake
“This recipe is to be used with a 24 quart pot—have a 16 quart ready to be used later! Makes 10-15 servings. It will seem super laborious when you first try to make it, but it becomes really simple over time, and the pot will last you for a couple of days at least. Definitely make this when you have a whole day to spend on watching the pot. I usually make this for my kids on the weekends and I start at 6am and it’s the best feeling to see my kids wake up to the smell and they get super excited that it’s pho weekend!”
8-10 lb. beef neck bone
3-4 lbs. bone marrow
2 lb. brisket
2 large sweet Maui yellow onions (leave intact and peel only one or two layers), charbroiled
1 ginger (2-3 in. big, do not peel); charbroiled
3 leeks (cut green top and toss, leave bottom half intact to use)
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup mushroom powder
Rock sugar (1-2 in. big)
Bag of pho powder
Handful star anise (8-10 pieces)
2 cinnamon sticks (preferably
Saigon cinnamon sticks)
2 whole nutmegs
1 heaping tbsp. fennel seeds
1 heaping tbsp. coriander seeds
1 heaping tbsp. whole cloves
1 heaping tbsp. black cardamom pods
1 whole Daikon (cut into 1 in. pieces)
8-10 carrots (cut into 2 in. pieces)
3 bags beef balls
1 lb. beef tenderloin (place in freezer
for 1 hour so it’s firm to slice super thin)
8 green onions, cut in one two inch lengths (to serve as garnish)
For the garnish:
Sweet Maui onions
For the dipping sauce with your meatballs/beef:
1. Parboil beef brisket and beef bones to remove all the impurities.
Rinse with cold water which will make the broth nice and clear.
2. Place beef brisket and beef bones in pot and top it off. Take out beef brisket after 2 hours. Immerse beef brisket in a bowl of ice cold water to prevent the meat from turning black. Set aside thinly sliced to eat with your pho.
3. Charbroil ginger and 2 whole onions until you see a bit of sweat. Add to the pot of water.
4. Add leeks, rock sugar, salt and mushroom powder to the pot of water. to the pot of water.
5. Bring it to a boil and turn heat down and let it simmer for 5 hours. Constantly scoop off the scum on top so your pho broth can be as clear as possible. That’s the key to a good pho!
6. Strain broth and discard all the chunks and place broth into a 16 quart pot because the broth has evaporated quite a bit.
7. Toast all your spices (cinnamon sticks, fennel seeds, cardamom pods, whole cloves, nutmeg, coriander seeds) on a dry pan until you see a bit of smoke come out. Be careful to not overburn the spices!
8. Place toasted spices in a cheesecloth and tie it and put in the pot or you can throw them in the pot and scoop them out later. Also add the teabag of pho powder now.
9. Add 1 tablespoon fish sauce to the broth or more to your liking.
10. Let broth simmer for another 1 or 2 hours.
11. In the last hour, add carrots, daikon and beef balls and cook until vegetables are tender but not mushy, yet still has a bit of a crunch.
12. Remove the bag of spices.
13. Prep your pho noodles as per the instructions on the bag. I sometimes like to use egg noodles instead of pho noodles.
14. Place noodles in a bowl, add thinly sliced raw beef tenderloin and sliced beef brisket and pour hot broth with carrots, daikon and beef balls into your bowl. The hot broth will cook the beef to a medium rare. If you like your beef cooked more then cook in a separate small pot of boiling water or scoop some broth into the small pot and cook the beef. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and green onions and thin slices of yellow onions.
15. Add basil, bean sprouts and slices of jalapeno.
16. Squeeze lime into your bowl.
17. Dip beef balls and slices of tenderloin to your ramekin of hoisin and sriracha sauce.
— Cindy Lorimer, Corcoran Global Living, Los Angeles
“Boasting a delicate, buttery pineapple flavor and a crunchy, caramelized topping, this cast iron skillet cake is a sweet reminder of days gone past. With documented origins of pineapple upside down cake being traced back as early as the 1920’s, this adapted version has been updated to save you precious time in the kitchen while staying true to its roots. So go ahead, linger with guests, spend time with your family and enjoy catching up with friends. When you’re ready for a sweet ending, whether at dinner, breakfast or tea time, this moist cake will be waiting to take center stage. Enjoy!”
Cast Iron Skillet
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
1/4 cup butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 (15 & 1/2 ounce) can sliced pineapple rings, undrained
1 box pineapple-flavored cake mix (I recommend Duncan Hines Pineapple Supreme)
1 cup water
1/3 cup reserved pineapple juice (from canned pineapple rings)
3 eggs, separated
1/3 cup canola (or vegetable oil)
6-8 maraschino cherries
1. Melt butter in an 11 or 12-inch cast iron skillet. Add brown sugar and pecans; stir well.
2. Reserving 1/3 cup juice, drain canned pineapple rings and set juice aside. Arrange pineapple rings in a single layer over the brown sugar pecan mixture. Set skillet aside.
3. Empty 1 package of pineapple-flavored cake mix into a large bowl. Add 1 cup water, 1/3 cup (reserved) pineapple juice, 1/3 cup canola oil and 3 eggs yolks into the cake mix and beat according to directions on package.
4. In a separate bowl, beat remaining 3 egg whites until stiff peaks form; gently fold into batter. Pour (or spoon) batter evenly over pineapple base already in skillet.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 40-45 minutes, or until cake is lightly browned and set in the center.
6. Remove cake from oven and let rest in skillet for about 30 minutes. When time has elapsed, run a knife around the outer edge of the cake to loosen from skillet, then invert cake onto a serving plate. Place drained maraschino cherries in centers of pineapple rings.
— Debra Jourdan, Corcoran Reverie, Walton County, FL
Mix to your liking and garnish accordingly.
Tequila blanco (Casamigos is our house favorite)
White cranberry juice
— Matthew McAllister, Corcoran Baer & McIntosh, Rockland County, NY
1. Prepare the stuffing by mixing the onions, chive, chili and parsley. Add the spice mix and the sugar.
2. Take off the rind of the ham. Put it in an ovenproof dish.
3. Make slashes to the ham rub. Rub the spice mixture on it.
4. Massage the surface of the ham with sugar.
5. Add 5 pineapple slices on the ham and pour the pineapple syrup.
6. Bake for 30 minutes at 400° and switch to broil for the last 10 minutes.
Jambon de Noel
1 cooked ham on the bone, 8-9 lbs.
2 cans of pineapple in syrup
50g cane sugar
For the stuffing:
15g cane sugar
40g white onions
1g four-spice powder
— Guillaume de Corlieu,
Corcoran St Barth
Recipe from Inn Cuisine, adapted from The Southern Living Cookbook, circa 1997
Note – If any of the brown sugar pecan mixture should remain in the bottom of the cast iron skillet after inverting, simply spoon it back onto the cake and spread gently.
Yield: 1 (11 or 12-inch) cake
A classic baked ham with pineapple.
1. Drain pineapple well, reserving juice.
2. Add juice to gelatin in a 2 quart saucepan. Stir in water. Heat to boiling, stirring, to dissolve gelatin. Remove from heat. Blend in cranberry sauce. Add lemon juice, peel, and nutmeg. Chill until mixture thickens slightly.
3. Blend sour cream into gelatin mixture. Fold in pineapples.
4. Pour into a 2-quart mold. Chill until firm. Unmold onto serving plate. Serves about 8.
St. Tropez Holiday Cranberry Mousse
1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapples
1 pkg. (6 oz.) strawberry gelatin
1 cup of water
1 can (1 lb.) whole berry cranberry sauce
3 tbsp.. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. fresh grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 cups of sour cream
— Sophie Jones, Corcoran Global Living, Humboldt County, CA
“I make an infamous cranberry mousse every year that my grandma passed to my mom—and that had been passed down from my great grandma.”
1. Chop sausage in 8 qt. pan and saute until lightly browned. Remove from pan. Leave drippings and add a little olive oil if needed. Add beef and pork and brown lightly—remove from pan.
2. Add onions and garlic and cook until limp.
3. Add tomatoes and liquid from them.
4. Add flour, beer and all other ingredients—stir well.
5. Return the meat and its juice to pan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for two (2) hours.
"This recipe won second place in a Northern California chili cook-off! Makes 12 servings."
Have a Beer Chili
1 lb. hot or mild Italian sausage, sliced
1 lb. beef chuck, cubed
1 lb. boneless pork shoulder, cubed
2 medium onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced (I doubled this)
28 oz. can tomatoes
1/4 cup matzo (or all-purpose) flour
12 oz. beer (I use Sierra Nevada Pale)
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin1 tsp.
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (or parsley, if you hate cilantro like me!)
3 tbsp. lemon juice
7 oz. can green chile salsa (I used a fresh version)
1 medium jalapeño pepper – chopped (do yourself a favor and wear gloves—the burn comes later!)
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 cup dry Marsala wine
Cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped onions, salsa, avocado
— Rhonda Temple, Corcoran Global Living, Contra Costa County, CA
1. Start by chopping all the fruits into small chunks, then place in a large bowl.
2. Pour rum and wine in the bowl of fruit, add enough alcohol to cover the fruit. Cover and leave in a cool place for 2 days so it soaks up the alcohol. If left for more than 2 days, you may have to add more alcohol.
3. Pour the soaked fruit together with any remaining juices into a blender, and blend until it’s a paste-like consistency.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/325°F. Grease and line the cake tin (pan) with baking parchment.
5. Cream together the butter and sugar at high speed until it’s fluffy and starting to look white, about 3- 5 minutes.
6. Stir in the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture well between each one and adding a tablespoon of the flour with the last egg to prevent the batter from curdling.
7. Sift in the flour, baking powder, followed by molasses, almond and vanilla extract, mixed spice, and nutmeg. Mix the batter and then add the fruit blend and lime zest.
8. Stir well until everything is fully combined. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.
9. Pour batter into a greased 10 inch cake pan.
10. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 2 hours. If desired, poke the cake with a toothpick, then brush each with about ¼ cup rum or sweet wine while the cake is still hot. Let the cake soak up the rum.
11. Let it cool completely before serving. If desired, wrap the cake tightly in plastic wax or parchment paper.
12. Store in a cool, dry place for up to 1 month.
""It can be made with any dried fruits desired and strong Jamaican rum is favorable!"
Caribbean Black Rum Cake
1-2 pounds dried fruits (raisins, currants, prunes, cherries)
1 cup strong rum (add more if desired)
1 cup sweet wine (add more if desired)
10 oz. unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs
2 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. molasses
1 tsp. mixed spice (substitute with cinnamon
and allspice if necessary)
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. grated lime
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
— The Corcoran BVI Team, Oil Nut Bay, Virgin Gorda
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