Crystal Valley Blog

Dessert First: Christmas Cookies to Casseroles!

POSTED December 15, 2020

While the traditional cookie exchanges of past Christmases might be on hold for this year, that’s no reason not to make the coveted cookies that make this season so holly jolly! From across the country and around the internet, here are some of the most popular cookie recipes for the season of joy, peace and goodwill toward humanity.

Most Popular Cookie in the Country

Real Simple kicks things off for us with a map of the most popular cookies in each of the 52 United States. Curious about Colorado? The U.S. hottest holiday treats map from General Mills indicates that our colorful state gravitates toward Easy Spritz Cookies. And what are those, you might wonder? Betty Crocker Kitchens reveals these kitchen-tested, highly rated bite size buttery sugar cookies have just a little extra zing, powered by almond extract. Apparently, Betty recommends drizzling these all-star cookies with icing and/or spritzing with sprinkles or colored sugars.

FYI, and we tend to agree, the cookie that gets the most love from Americans is the Peanut Butter Blossoms – the most popular cookie in the U.S. Followed by Sugar Cookie M&Ms Bars, Sugar Cookie Cutouts and Easy Italian Christmas Cookies.

The More the Merrier

From Chocolate Peppermint Shortbreads (just in time for Chocolate-Covered Everything Day – December 16) and Italian Pignolis with almond paste and orange zest, to Microwave Peanut Brittle and Chewy Gingersnaps.

And from the Food Network’s collection of 80 Holiday Dessert Recipes comes this Edible Holiday Cookie Plate. Using an entire box of sugar cookie mix and rimmed oven-safe pie dish, you likely won’t be admonishing anyone to lick the plate clean! 

Casseroles: NOW Till New Year’s

Is it wrong to start with dessert and THEN focus on the entrée? We don’t think so! And while music may soothe the savage beast, but something about warm winter meals offers warm, cozy comfort.

Photo: Dana Gallagher

Cauliflower wouldn’t be our first choice as an add-in to Mac n’ Cheese but this Country Living recipe – baked not stove-top —  is richer and cheesier because of it! This collection of 27 holiday or winter casserole recipes features the traditional – for all of us, no matter which state you hail from, and the kind that make you go, hmmmm, wonder how that’d taste?

Like the Scalloped Oyster Casserole, deliciously creamy with crushed saltine topping, or the Shrimp Chowder with Herb Drop Biscuits. Talk about comfort food, you’ll find something your taste buds will take to right here – and enough choices to get you through the rest of December!

Healthy Casserole Options

And for healthy options that still bring consolation to the tired-of-2020 soul, here are an even dozen from the Food Network, starting with Spicy Chili and Cornmeal and including Chicken, Broccoli and Cheese Casserole. The latter uses rotisserie chicken and frozen brown rice – upping the convenience factor during busy holiday happenings around the house.

Finally, try a little Ratatouille, featured in the Best Fall Squash Recipes on Tasty. Thousands of home chefs gave this 4+ stars and who are we to argue with this combination of eggplant, tomatoes, squash and zucchini with a flavorful sauce of fresh herbs and even more veggies! 

Creative Cookery in Crystal Valley

Kitchens in the brand new homes of Crystal Valley are made for creative cooking and family gatherings. Explore the many designs offered here by Richmond American Homes, Kauffman Homes, Century Communities and D.R. Horton. You can virtually visit these homes – via a variety of video chat apps! — or set up a private tour. Choose from ranch or two-story models set in natural surroundings — priced from the $300s. 


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