Every year, it seems like we’re spending hours, if not days chained in the kitchen preparing batches of cookies, candies, desserts and meals for anyone and everyone to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. But I always find myself making the same exact recipes over and over again.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll always make my famous Hard Tack Candy as a neighbor gift because they request it by name and would be sad if I didn’t. And I’ll make my 7-Layer Cookies because they are delicious, and I enjoy them immensely.
My Velveeta Peanut Butter Fudge is a holiday staple because I can’t stop laughing at the horrified faces people make after finding out the secret ingredient. We all have to keep our sanity somehow, right? And you’ll pry my 7-Up Salad out of my cold, dead hands. That one goes on every holiday table until I die, and I’m going to insist on teaching my future daughters- (or sons-) in-law how to make it, too.
But do I really have to make the same few side dishes for every holiday meal? Do I have to stick to some conservative script that says what a holiday should look like? No way!
And neither do you!
This year, I’ve gone out and crowdsourced the best non-traditional Christmas recipes from around the world. These are recipes from cultures all around the globe that are eaten at holiday time. They feature different flavors that aren’t necessarily familiar to most Americans, and they offer up an opportunity to try something really unique and exciting this year.
I have tried to find a good mix of savory and sweet recipes, with a few drinks and snacks thrown in, as well. You’ll find some spice in there, too. There’s something for every taste and from a variety of cultures. Have a look through the list and pick one (or more!) to add to your holiday dinner this year!
These non-traditional recipes are worth a try this holiday season. Bring something new to the table by trying a dish from another culture, or whip up something that your own ancestors might have eaten!
A Dutch Apple Tart is very different than an American Apple pie. It has a cookie-type crust and is baked in a spring form pan rather than a pie pan. The filling is simply apples with sugar and a little cinnamon.
Chocolate Pizzelles are a light, crisp, slightly sweet Italian cookie. They’re also an Italian family tradition in the author's house and a delicious one! Come see the recipe she learned how to make from her grandmother.
Not Baked Alaska Panettone (Sorvete de Panettone or Sorvetone) is a 15-minute Brazilian-inspired frozen dessert made with 3 ingredients: store-bought panettone filled with ice cream and covered with whipped cream. Perfect for the holidays!
This Sri Lankan Breudher Cake is a yeasted cake that’s very popular in Sri Lanka during Christmas. This one strikes a great balance of delicious buttery richness and the fruity, citrus flavour of blood oranges, with a hint of boozy sweetness from the brandy soaked raisins.
Indonesian lapis legit (thousand layers cake). Each celebration, Christmas included, will see people flocking to the bakeries to buy this cake. Homemade is always preferred, of course, but this is one labor intensive cake.