The Carb Report: 6 Delicious Once-A-Year Carbs To Enjoy This Holiday

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This month, we share our favorite carb-tastic holiday treats, from cornbread stuffing to homemade ravioli.

By Amanda Holliday and Becky Bowman

🎵 “It’s the most de-li-cious time of the year, with those stuffing cubes toasting and cookies a-roasting and sugar in the air!” Or at least that is the song version in our heads as we compile our favorite carb-tastic holiday treats this month! 

We’re each sharing 3 favorite seasonal recipes, for foods our families can’t wait to devour each year. We hope the sharing spreads holiday cheer — from our houses to yours!

Did you miss our first edition? Check out The Carb Report: 5 Yummy Carbs You’ll Want from Trader Joe’s

Cornbread Stuffing 

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BB: Back in California, where my husband and I lived for about 10 years, we often hosted “Friendsgiving,” and I always made cornbread stuffing. Why? Because I love cornbread. To be honest, I usually hashed my cornbread stuffing together somewhat haphazardly (it involved Jiffy-brand cornbread). Rather than try to write it down, however, I’m giving you a New York Times recipe that has more concrete steps — including for cornbread from scratch. 

Pro-tip: I know some of the classic holiday herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme) are divisive. Just use the ones that work for you. 

AH: Omg, your cornbread stuffing description is making me drool over here. I’m definitely adding this to my holiday baking list!

Peanut Blossom Cookies 

BB: I feel like we’ve included a lot of peanut butter products so far, but these cookies really are the carb I can’t live without at the holidays. My mom is usually the one who makes them, but the few times I have, I’ve used this New York Times recipe

AH: I’m so glad you added this cookie because it was seriously one of my favorites as a kid, too! As an adult, I’m still working on the right amount of pressure when pushing the chocolate kiss into the cookie without breaking the base, but even when that happens, broken cookie bites are still amazing. 

BB: My struggle is optimizing the size of the cookie. Bigger cookies make the process go faster, but smaller cookies increase the chocolate-to-peanut-butter ratio. But yes, either way — amazing.

NOTE: Ingredients include 🥜 peanut butter. Please handle accordingly.

Homemade Pie Crust

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BB: The Washington Post did a story this summer about how no one makes pie crust at home anymore — which I think is a shame. This is one of those areas of cooking where everyone says it’s hard, but it’s not. Good pie crusts are just butter, flour, and salt — ingredients most of us have in our homes every day. I’ve always used the Land O Lakes recipe(I don’t use Land O Lakes butter, however. I use whatever is in my fridge, usually Trader Joe’s Butter Quarters.)

The only “hard” part of the process, IMHO, is adding the water slowly so that you get the right consistency. I recommend adding it one tablespoon at a time so as not to overwhelm the dough. In a humid kitchen (think San Francisco, or perhaps an open-air kitchen in D.C.’s summer), you’ll need less water. In a drier kitchen (in a heated home in winter, for instance), you’ll need more. Once the dough starts hanging together as one ball of buttery deliciousness, stop adding water. You got this! 

AH: OK here’s how I feel about homemade pie crust: I cannot wait to try someone else’s, but I am definitely not putting in the time to make my own! #frozenpiecrustforthewin #pillsburyknowsbetterthanme 

BB: AH, you are invited any time! 

Spinach and Cheese Ravioli 

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AH: This family recipe has been made around Christmas and New Year for decades. Every year as a kid, my grandparents’ kitchen would be packed with people helping to make hundreds of these tiny quilted bites of deliciousness. While the chefs in attendance have changed over time, this staple is still created by someone every year. Last year, in our isolated holiday bubble, my son helped make these for the first time. We ate them over video calls with the rest of the family, still finding a way to come together around ravioli. 

*The recipe changes slightly every year, but mostly follows what grandparents/great-grandparents used to do, similar to this recipe from Julia’s Album. The proportions also tend to adjust the most based on how many people we feed (or translated into Italian, how many people we plan to feed to the 10th power).  

BB: I’ve only made homemade pasta once — a simple fettuccine — and it was so, so good. I can only imagine how good this tastes. 

Scotcheroos 

AH: Rice Krispies cereal, corn syrup, sugar,  peanut butter, dark chocolate, and butterscotch. Six ingredients are all you need for a melt-in-your-mouth treat that makes all the days merry and bright. Another staple around the holidays since I was a kid, I’ve tested this recipe with and without butterscotch; both equally yummy. Enjoy this sticky, sweet treat! 

BB: We grew up with these as a summertime treat. I’m sure that led to some melty-chocolate messes, but they were delicious just the same. I’m delighted to see them included in someone’s holiday traditions! 

NOTE: Ingredients include 🥜 peanut butter. Please handle accordingly.

Sleepin’ In Omelette Casserole

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AH: Originally from The Pioneer Woman, this recipe has evolved every year for my family. The first year, we made it just as the recipe says. Then someone (cough *husband* cough) forgot to mention he doesn’t like cream cheese. (Sigh.) 

Over the years, we’ve modified it to reduce the amount of cream cheese (or smothered one half while leaving the second half un-smothered), switched out dry mustard for paprika, and reduced the amount of buttery goodness to an amount that won’t cause my cholesterol levels to rise overnight. One year we even switched out the onion rolls for waffles at my kid’s request — so good! I love that we started our Christmas morning tradition that grows with us each year. 

BB: Ah, what a sweet (savory) tradition! It’s Sunday morning as I write this, and Ree Drummond is chatting at me from the TV in the next room. Some of her recipes are just right — and this looks like one of them: Carbs combined with protein, so we stay full and happy. 

AH: Exactly! And the best part: make it the night before, throw it in the oven the next morning. No prep or dishes to worry about the morning of all the fun!

P.S. Do you have a favorite carb we should review? Tell us in the comments below or drop us a note! We love trying new carbs.

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