6 Red and Green Dishes to Serve for a Fabulously Festive Holiday

The most fantastically festive foods to serve at this time of year are the ones that show their true holiday colors: Red and green. We’ve scoured the Internet for the best ways to incorporate these festive colors this year, transforming your once-dull holiday table into a merry showcase of brightly hued treats.

Serve these 6 red and green dishes for a taste of the holidays that your guests will crave!

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

1. Spiral Sugar Cookies

These cream cheese-based sugar cookies offer a soft, almost cake-like burst of holiday cheer. Sprinkles on the outer edges of the Stay At Home Chef’s sugar cookies lend a beautifully textured balance to the irresistible dessert. The tastes of vanilla and almond mingle in the sugar cookie base, while red and green food coloring add holiday cheer to these exceptional desserts. The recipe for these Spiral Sugar Cookies is easy to make — taking about an hour-and-a-half from start to finish — and yields 2 dozen cookies, making them a great pick for parties and potlucks.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • red food coloring
  • green food coloring
  • red, green, and white sprinkles

Directions: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and cream cheese until light and fluffy using the whisk attachment. Mix in the corn syrup, vanilla, almond extract, and egg, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl so that everything gets mixed in. Switch your mixer attachment to a paddle or dough hook. Mix in flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda until everything is mixed in.

Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Leave one piece as is, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. For the remaining two pieces, dye one with red food coloring until desired shade is reached, and dye the other with green food coloring until desired shade is reached. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Working one at a time, roll out each colored section of dough on a lightly floured surface to about ⅛-inch thick rectangle. Try to retain the same shape for each section of dough.

Stack the sections of dough on top of each other and trim off excess dough into a rectangle. Save the scraps. Roll the dough gently with a rolling pin to seal together. Working from the longer side, roll the dough tightly together. Slice off individual cookies about ¼-inch thick. Roll the edges in sprinkles and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Let cool on the pan for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

2. Eggnog Cake

Bakingdom’s Eggnog Cake is full of holiday whimsy — both in flavor and appearance. This blogger does a beautiful job decorating the exterior of the cake with fondant, but the truly impressive holiday spirit shines through in the center of the cake. Slicing into the rich, moist cake will reveal brightly hued red and green layers, all flavored with eggnog for an indulgent touch of the holidays. This recipe yields 2 (9-inch) round layers or 6 (6-inch) rounds, and is sure to impress your holiday guests.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup eggnog, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups cake flour
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 16 pieces

For the frosting:

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon eggnog
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, eggnog, and vanilla; set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. With the mixer on medium low, add the butter one piece at a time until the mixture looks sandy, and just start to come together. Add half of the eggnog mixture and mix on low until it just comes together. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce mixer speed to medium, and add the remaining egg mixture in a slow, steady stream. Continue mixing until thoroughly combined, scraping the bowl, as needed.

Divide the batter (18 ounces in each 9-inch round, or 6 ounces in each 6-inch round) into the prepared pans. If baking 2 (9-inch) rounds, place both pans on the same rack and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. If making 6 (6-inch) rounds, place 3 pans in the oven, on the same rack, and bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. Repeat with the remaining 3 pans. Run a paring knife around the outside edge of the cakes, turn them out onto a wire cooling rack, and peel away the parchment paper. Allow to cool completely before assembling and frosting.

To make the frosting: In a medium bowl set over a pot of simmering water, combine the egg whites, sugar, nutmeg, and salt. Heat the mixture, whisking often, until it reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit and the sugar is dissolved.

Pour into a large bowl (if using a hand mixer), or the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attached. Whisk on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 8 to 10 minutes. The mixture should also be room temperature at this point.

With the mixer on medium speed, add the butter, 1 piece at a time, and beat until incorporated before adding another piece. Continue to beat until thick and smooth. Stir in the vanilla and eggnog until incorporated and tint with food coloring, as desired.

pistachios

Source: iStock

3. Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

If you’re looking for some reds and greens to shine through on the holiday table without the help of food coloring, then The Girl Who Ate Everything’s Cranberry-Pistachio Cookies are your solution. These treats have a sugar cookie base, doctored with pistachio pudding mix and dry-roasted pistachio nuts for a nutty (and green) flavoring. Chopped dried cranberries provide a marvelous tartness to the cookie, also lending their bright red coloring to drive home the holiday theme. The recipe yields 2 dozen cookies, which should be stored in an airtight container.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pouch Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
  • 1 (4-serving) box pistachio instant pudding and pie filling mix
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup dry roasted salted pistachio nuts, chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • optional – green food coloring

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl stir cookie mix, unprepared pudding mix, and flour. Add melted butter and eggs and stir until incorporated. Add pistachios and cranberries and mix well. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and slightly flatten with fingertips.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes and cool on a wire rack.

Salad, apple

Source: iStock

4. Holiday Endive Apple Salad

For a healthier — yet just as festive — taste of the holiday season, dive into Crumb Blog’s Holiday Endive Apple Salad. The recipe combines red apples and cranberries with leafy green lettuce for a delightful winter salad, dressed with a tantalizing medley of maple and mustard flavors. It’s a quick and easy starter dish for your holiday feast, and tastes just as good as it looks!

Ingredients:

  • 3 Belgian endives, thinly sliced cross-wise
  • 2 large Honeycrisp or Gala apples, cored and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce

Maple-Mustard Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil or mild-flavored olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon old-fashioned coarse mustard
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Combine endive, apple, walnuts, and cranberries in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together walnut oil, cider vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, and shallot until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the apple mixture, and toss to coat.

To serve, arrange a bed of lettuce leaves on a large serving platter, and mound the apple mixture overtop. Or, if you’d prefer to plate up individual servings, arrange one or two lettuce leaves onto each salad plate, then top off with a generous mound of apple mixture.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

5. Holiday Finger Jell-O

The Pioneer Woman’s Holiday Finger Jell-O is a phenomenal treat in both taste and Yuletide appearance. The dish combines the simple and sweet flavors of Jell-O and condensed milk to make a wonderful layered treat that will impress your family and friends. You can even prepare these snackworthy squares ahead of time — just try not to eat the whole batch before your guests arrive!

Ingredients:

  • 3 boxes Cherry or Strawberry Jell-O (3 ounces each)
  • 2 boxes Lime Jell-O (3 ounces each)
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 9 envelopes plain gelatin
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Directions: Spray a 9-by-13-inch cooking tray with nonstick spray, then give it a gentle wipe with a paper towel to remove the excess.

For the colored Jell-O layers: One layer at a time, mix 1 envelope plain gelatin with ¼ cup cold water in a small mixing bowl. Add 1 cup boiling water, followed by 1 box of either red or green Jell-O. Stir gently to combine so bubbles won’t form. Pour into pan. Place in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes, or until set. In between each colored layer, pour a creamy layer.

For the creamy white layers: You will need two batches made from the following instructions.

In a small glass measuring cup, measure ½ cup cold water. Stir in 2 envelopes of plain gelatin and stir to dissolve. Pour sweetened condensed milk into a medium-size mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of boiling water. Pour dissolved gelatin mixture into the condensed milk mixture, then add another ½ cup of boiling water. Once you’ve used all of the creamy mixture, repeat the method to make another batch.

To assemble: Begin by pouring a red layer in the bottom of the pan. Stick the pan in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes until it’s set. While it’s setting, mix up the first batch of the creamy mixture.

Remove the pan from the fridge and pour in a little more than a third of the creamy mixture, or enough to coat the first colored layer. Stick the pan in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes until it’s set. While it’s setting, mix up the next colored layer.

Repeat the colored layer process with a green layer, followed by another creamy layer. When all the layers are in the pan, chill for a good 2 hours to totally set everything. Cut into small squares and serve as snacks or desserts.

Christmas tree cookie cutter

Source: iStock

6. Matcha Tree Cookies

In a departure from your typical chocolate, eggnog, and gingerbread cookie flavors this holiday season, opt for these creative Matcha Tree Cookies from Kirbie’s Cravings. The recipe for these shortbread cookies is as easy as Christmas baking gets, requiring just 5 ingredients (and no eggs!). Simple, crunchy, and chock full of holiday spirit — what more could you ask for in a holiday treat?

Ingredients:

  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2½ tablespoons high quality matcha (green tea) powder
  • ½ cup granulated sugar

Directions: Whisk flour and salt together in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add matcha powder and beat until mixture is a uniform green color. Add sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy.

Add about half of the flour, then mix on low speed. Gradually add remaining flour, mixing just until blended. The mixture should look crumbly; but if you squeeze it between your fingers, it will come together. Gather the dough into a large ball.

Roll out dough to ⅓-inch thickness between two pieces of parchment paper. Peel off top parchment paper.

Cut out as many cookies as possible using cookie cutter and place on cookie sheets 1 inch apart. Re-roll remaining dough and repeat until all of the dough is used up. Refrigerate cut-outs for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for about 17 minutes or until the cookies are dry and firm to the touch. The edges might just start turning brown.

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