December 2019 Better Homes & Gardens Recipes

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Sparkling Cranberry-Ginger Panna Cotta
Photo: Carson Downing

December isn't only for cookies, though they always have a place in our hearts. There are plenty of ingredients in season during the winter as these recipes from the December 2019 issue of Better Homes & Gardens® magazine prove. Find seasonal inspiration, Hanukkah recipes, holiday menu ideas, and yes, a few cookies for good measure.

01 of 19

Petite Beef Wellingtons

Petite Beef Wellingtons
Carson Downing

'Tis the season for gift wrapping, so go ahead and apply your bow-making skills to dinner. Top tender slices of beef tenderloin with a mustard-mushroom sauté and wrap it up in puff pastry—a bow made from pastry scraps adds a special touch.

02 of 19

Mini Greens-and-Cheese Souffles

Mini Greens-and-Cheese Souffles
Carson Downing

More rustic and less fussy than a traditional souffle recipe, this version includes a healthy dose of Swiss chard. Baking them individually makes it easier to achieve even doneness, but you could bake one larger souffle if you prefer.

03 of 19

Crispy Potatoes with Rosemary Salt

Crispy Potatoes with Rosemary Salt
Carson Downing

Two key elements result in these elegance and flavorful potato side dish—a fresh rosemary salt and a mandoline for superbly skinny slices. Though this side dish looks like it could be served at a high-end restaurant, it's simple make at home. Plus, it contains only six ingredients, almost all of which you probably have in your kitchen.

Buy It: PL8 Professional Mandoline $86, Bed Bath & Beyond

04 of 19

Sausage-Stuffed Honeynut Squash

Sausage-Stuffed Honeynut Squash
Carson Downing

Honeynut squash is the smaller (about 5 inches tall) and tender-skinned relative of butternut squash. Look for honeynut squash at farmers markets, select grocers, and specialty stores like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.

05 of 19

Apricot-Cranberry Panettones

Apricot-Cranberry Panettones
Carson Downing

Confession, we took some liberties with panettone to get a moister version of this traditional Italian sweet bread. We swapped in dried cranberries and apricots for the usual candied orange, citron, and raisins and drizzled on orange icing for a sweeter indulgence.

06 of 19

Sparkling Cranberry-Ginger Panna Cotta

Sparkling Cranberry-Ginger Panna Cotta
Carson Downing

Creamy vanilla bean panna cotta contrasts a bright ginger-cranberry mixture in this layered gelatin dessert. Layering the two in small glasses results in a modern look. The garnish of sugared cranberries hints at the "cocktail" inspiration of the dessert's ginger beer and adds sparkle for a holiday presentation.

Buy It: Anchor Hocking 5-Ounce Juice Glasses (set of 12), $36, Amazon

07 of 19

Egg and Sausage Bread Bakes

Egg and Sausage Bread Bakes
Blaine Moats

Sure, you've made plenty of egg bakes in the past, but this one literally breaks the mold. No longer confined to a casserole dish, this sausage, egg, and veggie "casserole" bakes inside a hollowed out French bread loaf. Use the removed bread to make homemade croutons, stuffing, or dippers for a slow cooker party dip.

08 of 19

Eggnog Dream Bars

Eggnog Dream Bars
Adam Albright

Cookbook author Jessie Sheehan updated the classic bar cookie recipe you may know as a seven-layer bar or Hello Dolly bar. Her version contains cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and rum to evoke eggnog flavors. "The flavors intensify overnight, so they taste even better the next day—if you can wait," Sheehan says.

09 of 19

Jumbo Sprinkle Sugar Cookies

Jumbo Sprinkle Cookies
Adam Albright

Baker Jessie Sheehan says, "Bigger is better when it comes to a sugar cookie." And we agree, so go ahead and use a ¼-cup ice cream scoop for big portions of this sprinkle-filled dough. "The key is not to overbake," she says. Sheehan likes to pull the cookies from the oven a minute or two early to ensure super-chewy centers.

10 of 19

Malted Butter Riches

Malted Butter Riches
Adam Albright

Give friends a hint at the taste of these by scattering crushed malted milk balls over the top. Baker Jessie Sheehan infused malt powder, one of her favorite ingredients, into the batter for more flavor.

11 of 19

Chocolate-Pistachio Whirligigs

Chocolate-Pistachio Whirligigs
Adam Albright

The secret to the flavorful spiral in these slice-and-bake cookies from baker Jessie Sheehan is a homemade pistachio paste. Simply process pistachios, sugar, and a few other ingredients until a paste forms, spread it on your rolled-out chocolate cookie dough, and roll it up. Voila!

12 of 19

PB&M Fudge

PB&M Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Fudge
Adam Albright

Baker Jessie Sheehan turns the childhood favorite of a fluffernutter sandwich into a fudge recipe with the same sweet-salty notes. She also made the cooking process easier by eliminating the need for a candy thermometer by including sweetened condensed milk, which doesn't require as much precision to create optimal fudginess.

13 of 19

Tahini Blossoms

Tahini Blossoms
Adam Albright

Despite what it looks like, there's no peanut butter in these cookies. Baker Jessie Sheehan uses tahini (sesame seed paste) instead for complex nuttiness and subtle earthy flavor for this global spin on peanut butter blossoms.

14 of 19

Escarole, Radicchio, and Fuyu Persimmon Salad

Escarole, Radicchio, and Fuyu Persimmon Salad
Blaine Moats

This winter salad is all about freshness and takes only 20 minutes to pull together. Food writer Danielle Centoni capitalizes on in-season persimmons and radicchio to make this side dish burst with color.

15 of 19

Spiced Rice with Pickled Quince and Pomegranate

Spiced Rice with Pickled Quince and Pomegranate
Blaine Moats

Get a head start on this gorgeous rice recipe from food writer Danielle Centoni by pickling the quince up to a week ahead. Day of your event, cook the rice then toss together a few more ingredients. Simple, yes, but six spices give it deliciously complex flavors.

16 of 19

Pomelo Margarita Bars

Pomelo Margarita Bars
Blaine Moats

With so many citrus options at their peak in winter, food writer Danielle Centoni doesn't want you to feel limited to lemon bars. Here, she uses subtly sweet pomelo (or pink grapefruit if you can't find pomelo) with the usual lemon bar ingredients, plus an optional splash of tequila, to create a margarita-inspired dessert.

17 of 19

Pomegranate Pot Roast

Pomegranate Pot Roast
Blaine Moats

Bring back the pot roast for Sunday dinner with a fresh-tasting spin from Danielle Centoni. She swapped in seasonal persimmons for potatoes and stirred pomegranate juice into the braising liquid to create a new Sunday dinner staple.

Buy It: Le Creuset 5.5-Quart Dutch Oven, $399.95, Sur la Table

18 of 19

Mochi Latkes

Mochi Latkes
Blaine Moats

Writer Kristin Eriko Posner embraces her Japanese American heritage and Jewish faith in her recipes. Here, mochi flour gives latkes crisp edges and a slightly chewy interior. Mochi flour is made from milled mochi rice, which is the variety used in sticky rice. What's the best way to top latkes? "I set out a latke bar with an array of toppings," Kristin says. "Some options are classic like lox and crème fraiche. Others, like matcha salt, have a Japanese tilt."

19 of 19

Yuzu Doughnuts

Yuzu Doughnuts
Carson Downing

Like most citrus, yuzu (a tart Asian citrus) comes into season in early winter. Writer Kristin Eriko Posner uses it in her yeasted doughnut recipe filling. "At the darkest time of year, it's refreshing to have a flavor that's so bright," she says.

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