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Eatsy: Holiday Recipes That Keep

Dec 15, 2010

by kittykatherine handmade and vintage goods

In thinking about how to be most useful this time of year, it hit us like a lump of coals in a stocking — two-for-one recipes for seasonal gifts and entertaining. This week’s Eatsy post is for the host or hostess in need of easy holiday recipes, the gourmet gift giver or giver-ess who likes handmade edibles or the person looking to kill two holiday birds with one delicious stone (meaning: make, serve and gift all from one or two recipes).

Recipes for holiday entertaining and food gifting have one thing in common: both should keep a minimum of 3-4 days. If cooking for a holiday gathering, life is easier when a few tried and true, make-ahead dishes are in your repertoire. Give foods that can be made a day or so ahead of time and that keep a few days after gift swapping comes to a close. The recipes we’re sharing here run the gamut, but all keep for several days and some even improve with age. They appeal to the meat eater, the nut lover, the chocolate obsessed and the dried fruit devotee. Well suited to holiday appetites, these indulgent foods make the holidays feel all the more special. Mulled wine and/or nog help too.

The first recipe we’re sharing is for a Texas Spice Cake. It’s a traditional cake that the Sills family, dear friends since childhood, swap on Christmas day. Gay Sills explains the cake’s origins matter-of-factly: “The Texas Spice Cake recipe came from This Little Higgy Went to Market, a wonderful Texas cookbook which is a collection of Higginbotham (hence Higgy, not piggy) family recipes.” Gay has since adapted the recipe somewhat but explains, “The Texas Higginbotham family collected family recipes, published This Little Higgy Went to Market in 1966 and gave the cookbook as gifts to lucky family friends. I have been making the spice cake for 40 years.”

Eatsy_TexasCake_1.jpgPhoto by Rooey Shmool

Texas Spice Cake

1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup prunes, pitted and cut up
1 t. baking soda
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups flour
1 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
2 t. vanilla
2 t. allspice
2 t. cloves
2 t. nutmeg
1 cup pecans

Eatsy_TxCake_2.jpgPhoto by Rooey Shmool

Combine oil, sugar, and spices. Then, add eggs one at a time while mixing. Carefully add soda and buttermilk alternating with flour. Add prunes and nuts. Oil and flour two loaf pans, then pour in the batter. Cook 40-45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.


1 cup sugar
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 stick butter

Boil the ingredients for 5 minutes until sugar is totally dissolved. Pour glaze over the cooled cake while it is still in the pan. Once the cakes are cooled run a knife around the edges and turn the cakes over on a platter.

Eatsy_cashews_3.jpgPhoto by Rooey Shmool

Holiday Nuts

The second recipe is a holiday nut recipe that friend and fellow Eatsy chef Michelle Fuerst, originally from Sacramento, made at a fall dinner last year. They’re so good that I remember them still. They’re the perfect nut recipe in my mind: rich and buttery, peppery and addictive. Michelle never fails to remind one that, “good hors d’ourves are crucial,” or credit her recipe source, which in this instance was her friend and cookbook author Niloufer King. A diligent cook who hates to cut corners, Michelle’s motto when it comes to appetizers is straightforward — good appetizers prepare diners for proper feasts. Thankfully, these happen to be easy and keep well too (though Michelle likes to serve them warm). Sealed in an airtight jar, a peppery cashew gift will make your nearest and dearest nut happy.

1 pound cashews
1 tablespoon butter
Pinch of cayenne
Copious amounts of coarsely ground black pepper

Roast the nuts at 325 degrees for 7 minutes. Continue to roast, while stirring and checking often until the nuts are golden. Once the nuts are cool enough to handle, but still warm, toss them with the butter and seasonings. Taste and add more pepper until the nuts have a pronounced pepper flavor. Allow the cashews to cool an additional 15 minutes, or until they become crisp again.

Eatsy_Torte_5.jpgPhoto by Home/Made

Chocolate Torte

Eatsy_HomeMade_4.jpgThe ladies of Home/Made in Brooklyn are Eatsy friends and seasoned caterers. Monica, Home/Made’s chef and co-owner, knows how to make food that’s irresistible to a crowd. When asked about foods that work equally well as gifts and dishes in a holiday spread, she and her partner Lesiah were quick to suggest the following chocolate torte. A good chocolate cake recipe that keeps a few days, this torte is stunning when wrapped in clear wrapping paper or served with airy whipped cream and tumbling fresh fruit on a holiday table.

1 lb bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1/2 lb butter
8 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8″ spring form cake pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper. Melt chocolate and butter together in a bowl set over a double boiler. Mix to combine. Beat eggs in a mixer on high speed, until light and fluffy. Fold eggs into the chocolate-butter mixture with a balloon whisk until well combined. Pour batter into cake pans and bakes.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the cake’s center is just firm. (Allow cake to cool completely before serving. It’s delicious straight out of the oven, but messy!) This cake is also wonderful after refrigeration; it takes on a fudge-like consistency. Top the cake with freshly whipped cream, flavored with a little Grand Marnier. For a buffet, top with a pillow of lightly whipped cream, sliced blood oranges and other fruits.

Photo by armaburrito on Flickr


The last recipe we recommend as an edible gift and a worthy addition to holiday spreads is a rich French spreadable meat treat called Rillette. Rilettes are similar to pates, but they are more rustic and toothsome. Made by slow simmering meat (or fish) in its own fat with aromatics, rillettes are made by separating the meat, mixing it with a judicious amount of seasoning and mixing it with the flavored fat until it’s spreadable. Once seasoned, it’s set aside to either rest for a few days or packed in jars and stored for a month or so. This recipe is made the old fashioned way. While it can be time consuming, this classic French treat is so rich and lush you won’t mind. Plus it’s not complicated! It’s best served with good French bread toasts.

Holiday Bitty Bites: Santa's Balls
Holiday Bitty Bites: Santa's Balls
Edible mini sugar Santas - (12) - cake and cupcake toppers
Edible mini sugar Santas - (12) - cake and cupcake toppers
Decorative Nut Tree Set of 3
Decorative Nut Tree Set of 3
Cherry Pie In A Jar
Cherry Pie In A Jar
$5.33 USD
Julie's Fudge - Strawberry CHEESECAKE With Graham Cracker Crust - Over Half Pound
Julie's Fudge - Strawberry CHEESECAKE With Graham Cracker Crust - Over Half Pound
$10.99 USD
Christmas Crackers-Custom order- 3 Crackers K,L,M
Christmas Crackers-Custom order- 3 Crackers K,L,M


  • odiliafu

    odiliafu said 6 years ago

    Love the Chocolate Torte with lots of berries and whipped cream. Yummy!! Thanks for sharing.

  • tasticlife

    tasticlife said 6 years ago


  • viralthreads

    viralthreads said 6 years ago

    This looks sooo YUMMY! I am going to try to make myself a gluten free version! Can't wait to try it!

  • tasticlife

    tasticlife said 6 years ago


  • viralthreads

    viralthreads said 6 years ago

    ...of the spice cake that is:)

  • ParadiseBodyShop

    ParadiseBodyShop said 6 years ago

    Those look ridiculously delicious!

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage said 6 years ago

    Oh baby, love the chocolate torte! And awesome berries.

  • creativityismessy

    creativityismessy said 6 years ago


  • Earleyimages

    Earleyimages said 6 years ago

    Looks yum!

  • AvianInspirations

    AvianInspirations said 6 years ago

    Hooray for Christmas baking!

  • PinkPoochDesigns

    PinkPoochDesigns said 6 years ago

    Mmmmmmmmm! Now I'm hungry!!!

  • VivaGailBeads

    VivaGailBeads said 6 years ago

    the spice cake looks divine!

  • LiquidBrick

    LiquidBrick said 6 years ago

    I'll have the spice cake!

  • SmithAndDaphne

    SmithAndDaphne said 6 years ago

    The picture of the chocolate torte with the fluffy mounds of whipped cream and gorgeous blood oranges is almost good enough on its own (but I'd never pass up a chance to EAT chocolate, so... just almost).

  • elizabethwrenvintage

    elizabethwrenvintage said 6 years ago

    oh goodness YUM

  • beadenchanting

    beadenchanting said 6 years ago

    This is, by far, my absolute most favorite blog! Thanks for the recipes; can't wait to try them! They're all "heart smart", right?

  • rozzie

    rozzie said 6 years ago

    That chocolate Torte looks heavenly! Great photo staging too

  • fandanglz

    fandanglz said 6 years ago

    This was great...Love the Chocolate Torte...mmmm Chocolate!!! Thanks.

  • NancysBagsEtc

    NancysBagsEtc said 6 years ago

    Yummy - can't wait to try some of these, thanks.

  • bedouin

    bedouin said 6 years ago

    mmmmm cherry pie in a jar!

  • bypamelakay

    bypamelakay said 6 years ago

    That chocolate tart looks AMAZING! Yum :)

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 6 years ago

    Now I need chocolate and blood oranges!!

  • Candies64

    Candies64 said 6 years ago


  • Candies64

    Candies64 said 6 years ago

    Yumo! And pretty to look at too!

  • crochetgal

    crochetgal said 6 years ago

    Yummy! Have you ever tried Brie en Croute? (brie in a crust?) take 1 8oz brie cheese 1 sheet puff pastry a handful of walnuts brown sugar cinnamon Method: 1) Roll out puff pastry into one sheet. 2) unwrap Brie wheel and place in center of puff pastry. cut slits in the top. 3) top with brown sugar, crushed walnuts, cinnamon 4) wrap pastry up over brie, enclosing it completely. 5) brush with egg wash (beaten egg mixed with 1 tbsp of water) 6) bake at 350F for about 1/2 hour or until pastry is golden brown Serve warm with your favourite crackers. Note: you can use Camembert or any other soft cheese.

  • Nikifashion

    Nikifashion said 6 years ago


  • CariadClay

    CariadClay said 6 years ago

    mmmmmmmmmm this all looks so yummy :)

  • cjamer37

    cjamer37 said 6 years ago


  • blueroompottery

    blueroompottery said 6 years ago

    Hmmmmm!!! Yummy! I want some RIGHT NOW!!!

  • polkadotmagpie

    polkadotmagpie said 6 years ago

    It all makes me so hungry. Thanks Kitty!

  • lala24ch

    lala24ch said 6 years ago


  • TCaponePhoto

    TCaponePhoto said 6 years ago

    Those sound excellent any time of year!! Thanks Kitty!

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage said 6 years ago

    okay, i am so hungry. this is just not fair!

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 6 years ago

    Oh thanks . . . I think I gained 3 pounds just scrolling down the page. Looks yummy!

  • studiopainters

    studiopainters said 6 years ago

    i can smell and will try!!!!

  • Asianexpressions

    Asianexpressions said 6 years ago


  • DamaUSA

    DamaUSA said 6 years ago

    WOW....the holidays didn't even started yet but the calories are certainly piling up. But we can worry about those afer 1/1/2011:)

  • ourfrontyard

    ourfrontyard said 6 years ago

    Running to the store to get the stuff for the Texas Spice Cake!

  • birdie1

    birdie1 said 6 years ago

    Wow, thank you for the amazing recipes - lovely gift to us :)

  • rinebird

    rinebird said 6 years ago

    The roasted Pecans yeah! The torte! Thanks for the recipes for all & the spice cake!

  • ArtistiKat

    ArtistiKat said 6 years ago

    super nom!

  • DalkullanJewelry

    DalkullanJewelry said 6 years ago

    That chocolate torte is incredible! All the recipes look like they'd be delicious. Thanks for the article!

  • oldish

    oldish said 6 years ago

    Oh no, what about my low-carb regime now????

  • oldish

    oldish said 6 years ago

    Sorry, this reads EDIBLE GIFTS, not things we are to EAT ourselves, actually. Thank God for this.

  • ohbabydotcom

    ohbabydotcom said 6 years ago

    Oh I want them all! How yummy :)

  • crystalworld

    crystalworld said 6 years ago

    Love the chocolate torte! And awesome berries.

  • atomicblue

    atomicblue said 6 years ago

    Chocolate truffles! 12 oz semisweet morsels (Ghiradelli brand) 1/3 cup whipped cream melt in pot on low heat, stirring constantly. Take off heat when all melted, let cool some. Whip with beater on medium for 2 minutes or so, adding 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Let cool more....taking a teaspoon scoop out little balls, roll into marble shapes! Then the fun part: roll in broken candy canes, chopped nuts, or instant mocha coffee crystals. Place on waxed paper lined cookie sheet in the refrigerator. Keeps up to one week in the refrigerator. An easy inexpensive gift!

  • paperdesigner

    paperdesigner said 6 years ago

    Love the Chocolate Torte...mmmm Chocolate!!!

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry said 6 years ago

    Oh, the torte! Looks soooo good! Thanks for the recipes!

  • dasweetzpot

    dasweetzpot said 6 years ago

    yummy, EVERYTHING!!!! I am all for easy entertaining... but most of all, I love to serve food that looks elegant, tastes delicious, and makes my guests wonder how I made it. I'd like to share my quick, easy, AND elegant recipe for the holidays: wine fondue (no cooking, no heating) You can make well ahead of time, or just put it together in 5 minutes! Take a platter and place chunks of cheeses (blue cheese, brie, mozzarella, cheddar, monterrey jack, etc), then place a wine gobblet or martini glass in the center of the platter, filled with WINE fondue (which we have in our etsy store). Dip the cheese into the wine fondue. Not only is it delicious, it is also very easy to make, and elegant! This can be served as an appetizer, or a simple gathering with friends. If you prefer to serve as desert, substitute cheese with strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc. same idea. enjoy!

  • kadydesigns

    kadydesigns said 6 years ago

    Oh my! They all look so delish!! I'm going to try the spice cake for sure! Thanks for sharing these!!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 6 years ago

    Wonderful recipes, but I'll try the spice cake first!

  • ara133photography

    ara133photography said 6 years ago

    Wow, these sound awesome, thanks so much!!! :)

  • ara133photography

    ara133photography said 6 years ago

    crochetgal, thanks so much for the brie recipe - hubby and I were planning on making baked brie for Christmas Eve and hadn't picked a recipe yet - that looks PERFECT!! :)

  • mountaincreekgift

    mountaincreekgift said 6 years ago

    Wow this all looked so yummy!!!! I'm really hungry now. :-) I especially love the Chocolate Torte!

  • doveandflower

    doveandflower said 6 years ago

    I love homemade spiced nuts. They are LEAPS AND BOUNDS ahead of what you can buy ready made, and they are SO easy to make.

  • byPinkCadillac

    byPinkCadillac said 6 years ago

    Oh, what wonderful recipes! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • YarnAndFiber

    YarnAndFiber said 6 years ago

    Yummy recipes! Great ideas! Thanks

  • Floreal

    Floreal said 6 years ago

    Yum yum yum.... Thanks for sharing such a delish recipe..

  • exclusivelyhannah

    exclusivelyhannah said 6 years ago

    wonderful recipe's! if anyone hasn't tried a beef rillette, the one i made in class last week was amazing and i would definately recomment people trying rillette!

  • Prittyfy

    Prittyfy said 6 years ago

    GO EATSY!!!

  • ballandchain

    ballandchain said 6 years ago

    I love Home/Made! :)

  • HulaGirl1922

    HulaGirl1922 said 6 years ago

    YUM!! FaBuLoUs can one resist?? I just found an old copy of Julia Child's French Cooking...and it has 3 different recipes for butter cream icing....oooooooh noooooooo...... thank you for a lovely read ♥ Best wishes to all and to all a good day :)

  • theroyal

    theroyal said 6 years ago

    that little pie in a jar is cute :)

  • paperplanet

    paperplanet said 6 years ago

    Oh YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll definitely be making that Beautiful chocolate torte! The Holiday Nuts sound wonderful too! Thank so much!:)

  • suedonlevy

    suedonlevy said 6 years ago

    That Chocolate Torte looks delicious. Think I'm going to have to try that one.

  • Kittenscloset

    Kittenscloset said 6 years ago

    that pic of the chocolate torte is over the top. it looks so good!

  • IndyGrrrlProductions

    IndyGrrrlProductions said 6 years ago

    Oh so yummy.

  • sophisticatedwedding

    sophisticatedwedding said 6 years ago

    Ohhhhh im so hungry right now!!!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 6 years ago

    Fabulous! These all look so tasty especially the chocolate torte om nom nom : ) I've been doing some holiday cookie baking.

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 6 years ago

    Yes looks delicious ! Thanks so much for your time !

  • ChayaGallery

    ChayaGallery said 6 years ago

    I love starting the morning like this - it's inspiration for the whole day !!

  • jewellerytreasures

    jewellerytreasures said 6 years ago

    yummy some tasty recipes will be trying some of these out myself

  • stefny68

    stefny68 said 6 years ago

    YUM, that chocolate torte looks incredible!

  • abbyberkson

    abbyberkson said 6 years ago

    Great idea for a helpful article.

  • ourfrontyard

    ourfrontyard said 6 years ago

    I actually made the Texas Spice Cake last night! It is absolutely delectable! It makes two cakes. My husband took one to work today! Thanks so much for the fantastic recipe. This might start a new tradition, because, we all know how everyone hates (in the words of mom...dislikes immensely) fruitcake. This is a perfect substitute!! mmmm :)

  • marasdesigns

    marasdesigns said 6 years ago

    thanks, i love cashews

  • quirkybeauty

    quirkybeauty said 6 years ago


  • LeRosieCheeks

    LeRosieCheeks said 6 years ago

    The chocolate torte recipe will be a great Christmas dessert--and it is gluten free!!!

  • SweetwaterGifts

    SweetwaterGifts said 6 years ago

    Love easy recipes..thanks for sharing! I make a baked brie too...Like crochetgal above...but my topping is chopped mixed dried fruit (anything you have), stir in a couple Tblsp of any jam and a sprinkle of need about 1/2 cup topping total. I also scrape off the outer layer on the brie so the gooey cheese melts to the pastry! Wrap in the pastry (which I gather in a big flowery mass on special shaping here). Mine gets an egg wash and bakes for 40 mins at 400F Serve with crackers.

  • BeatificBijoux

    BeatificBijoux said 6 years ago

    You may be tempted to pass it up, but people, don't knock rillettes. This stuff is more than the sum of its parts. I first had it in Paris, and I dream about it at night occasionally.

  • megscreations

    megscreations said 6 years ago

    Wow that chocolate torte sounds amazing. Will have to try it for sure.

  • TheNightjar

    TheNightjar said 6 years ago

    thanks for sharing-holiday baking is always the best...that chocolate torte is screaming at me to eat it!!!

  • FancyCuts

    FancyCuts said 6 years ago

    I just finished up my holiday baking but I'm thinking of trying some of these recipes...

  • vKnit

    vKnit said 6 years ago

    super yummy!!!!! xox

  • kawaiiktsch

    kawaiiktsch said 6 years ago

    yummy! looks delish, we did the same thing with the cashews at my house but we added carob because I am allegic to chocolate and we wanted a sweet treat;) Fantastic!

  • stylesupplier

    stylesupplier said 6 years ago

    my favorite, looks delicious!

  • unflappableproducts

    unflappableproducts said 6 years ago

    I have tried so many recipes from Eatsy and all have been amazing! thanks!

  • KnitKnit

    KnitKnit said 6 years ago

    Oh, so perfect for the holiday party cheer! Thanks so much for sharing - will put these recipes to good use!

  • julenas1oak

    julenas1oak said 6 years ago

    looks yummy,gotta try one of this recipes!tnx for sharing.

  • gracelinepaperstudio

    gracelinepaperstudio said 6 years ago

    What a vast variety. We all have our special holiday traditions when it comes to recipes, usually handed down in the family. I would like to say thanks and hope to come back to the two cake recipes. Happy, happy holidays everyone. May the year ahead be good to you all.

  • jenAitchison

    jenAitchison said 6 years ago

    YUM! :D

  • AmelieTalks

    AmelieTalks said 6 years ago

    Yummy... I'm very hungry now...

  • cmjolley

    cmjolley said 6 years ago

    the torte looks divine!

  • TaVintage

    TaVintage said 6 years ago

    Yummy...I love the holidays :)

  • TaVintage

    TaVintage said 6 years ago


  • TheWinglessDesigns

    TheWinglessDesigns said 6 years ago

    *drools a bit*

  • thoughtfullyadorned

    thoughtfullyadorned said 6 years ago

    Could you pass me some of that chocolate torte? YUM!

  • LaAlicia

    LaAlicia said 6 years ago


  • leadyouhomeoriginals

    leadyouhomeoriginals said 6 years ago

    Oh my goodness!!! These all look so good. I am gonna have to go make some. Well, maybe not right now, its midnight, might wake up the family. In the morning definitely!!!

  • ApplewoodHandwovens

    ApplewoodHandwovens said 6 years ago

    Ok... I'm hooked! I like preparing ahead too...

  • 23Monkeytree

    23Monkeytree said 6 years ago

    Yes! there talk about a food section for etsy?

  • PetersenDesigns

    PetersenDesigns said 6 years ago

    YUM! Thanks for the great recipes, I'm going to test the chocolate tort for sure! Delish!

  • spiritcleanslate

    spiritcleanslate said 6 years ago

    festive food, love the beautiful looking torte and the spicy cashews sound like they would be a nice party food. thanks

  • WaterinArt

    WaterinArt said 6 years ago

    uhmmm this is lush!

  • Sonusai

    Sonusai said 6 years ago

    That torte looks absolutely amazing!

  • luxehavenstore

    luxehavenstore said 6 years ago

    Thanks home/made, looks like I have a plan for New Year's. What a beautiful cake!

  • KindlySpoken

    KindlySpoken said 6 years ago

    mmmmm! I'll take a piece of that chocolate torte!

  • filofashion

    filofashion said 6 years ago

    So sweet :)))

  • skltnsinmycloset

    skltnsinmycloset said 6 years ago

    i don't really know how to cook but i really want to try making some of the cakes here

  • RelaxationTub

    RelaxationTub said 6 years ago

    I love desserts but hate the idea of sugar damaging my body. Did you know when you ingest sugar you are feeding cancer cells, bacteria etc... That's why I bake with Xylitol or Erythritol. Even wrote a book on it called "Getting Thin Eating Desserts." Really tastes like sugar yet it starves cancer and bacteria to death. Got to love that!

  • JaneCooney

    JaneCooney said 6 years ago

    These are great - definitely a few more new entries for my recipe book here!

  • ScrapHappieAZ

    ScrapHappieAZ said 6 years ago

    Yummy yummy!!!

  • PomMagic

    PomMagic said 6 years ago

    Looks so good- yummy!!

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