Posts in "Christmas"
Recipe: My Mom's Holiday Cookies

This post is sponsored by La Crema Winery.

Holiday Cookie Recipes | Freckled Italian

For as long as I can remember, my mom has made some of the best holiday cookies--these delicious shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate and dusted with nuts (she always used a half-moon cookie cutter that I absolutely loved as a kid); some walnut balls dusted in powdered sugar; and, last but certainly not least, some simple but oh-so-delicious biscotti.

I'm super excited to be partnering with La Crema Winery again--I shared the recipe for those first two cookies I just mentioned on their blog right here! And you can keep reading for the biscotti:

Mom's Holiday Biscotti


  • Half a stick of butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon anise seeds
  • 1 teaspoon anise extract
  • 1 cup of chopped nuts (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, cream together the eggs and sugar. Add melted butter and mix to combine. 
  2. Add the sifted flour and baking powder and mix gently to combine--batter will be thick. Add the anise seeds and extract as well as the chopped nuts if you want them. Use your hands to combine batter and pat it into a nice ball of dough.
  3. Cover the bowl and transfer to freezer for about half an hour, or until it's less runny and easier to handle.
  4. Preheat oven to 350. Roll the dough into two "ropes" the length of the cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven, cut diagonally, loosen gently with the spatula, and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes. Serve warm with coffee, tea, or a glass of wine--it is the holidays, after all.
Holiday Cookie Recipes | Freckled Italian
Holiday Cookie Recipes | Freckled Italian

Make sure to stop by the La Crema blog today to get the rest of our holiday cookie recipes!

Holiday Cookie Recipes | Freckled Italian
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Home for the Holidays
Home for the Holidays | Freckled Italian

Rob and I are off to the East Coast for ten days this morning--we land in Charlotte later this evening and are actually spending a couple of days in Roanoke before heading back to Charlotte for Christmas. 

It's our first long trip back since we moved to California, and the first time we've ever left Ender in California without us, so I'm feeling all kinds of different things this morning. But I'm looking forward to being back in Charlotte--going to our favorite coffee shops, seeing our friends, hanging out with our family, and being on the same time zone as the majority of people we know.

I'm wrapping up a big cookbook deadline before Christmas and don't have very much blog content planned for the rest of the year, so this is one of the last few posts you'll see from me in 2016. I want to spend these next two weeks really being present and soaking up our time in North Carolina and Virginia.

You can still find me on Instagram and Snapchat (username is flynnmd), where I always post daily, regardless of what's on the blog. Thank you all so much for following along this year--I'm wishing each you the happiest of holidays, wherever you are.

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Cioppino and Christmas Eve in San Francisco

You know those stories you've heard so many times that they become a memory, even though you weren't even there (or born yet)? One of my favorite non-memories is the one my mom would always tell us about Christmas Eve at her house in San Francisco, when my grandpa Albino would make cioppino.

I pictured her as a child in California, still learning her English, watching as my grandfather hummed away in the kitchen--scrubbing mussels and peeling giant shrimp as white wine, onions, tomatoes, and rich fish stock bubbled away together on the stove.

"We'd always have seafood on Christmas Eve," my mother would tell us every year. So we did the same.

Cioppino Recipe | Freckled Italian

Cioppino is an Italian-American dish that originated in San Francisco. How perfect is that? One of the dishes that reminds me most of my Italian grandfather in San Francisco is an Italian recipe that started in the same city he used to make it in.

My brother and I never got to meet our grandfather, but we both feel really strong ties to him, especially in the kitchen. The magic of family and food was not lost on me earlier this week when I made a batch of cioppino in my own kitchen in the San Francisco Bay Area, feeling my family so very far away on the other side of the country. But as I pulled out all the ingredients and poured a glass of La Crema Pinot Gris, it was almost as if any of them could have been there with me, scrubbing mussels and peeling giant shrimp as white wine, onions, tomatoes, and rich fish stock bubbled away together on the stove.

Christmas Eve Cioppino | Freckled Italian

Just a quick note about bread: it really matters. Don't serve this without a crusty loaf of sourdough! It's so good. I like to toast slices of it in the oven and then load the toast with butter before dipping it into the broth. (Did you know that some gluten sensitivities are kind of okay with sourdough? It has something to do with the culture and bacteria involved to make the sourdough, well, sour. Don't take my word for it, just know that I ate three pieces with my cioppino for...breakfast yesterday. And a few sips of wine. Talk about a good start.)

This post is brought to you in partnership with La Crema. Check out my post on their blog today for my (and my abuelo's) cioppino recipe.

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