Holiday Treats and Other Seasonal Bites
The holiday season is upon us, and in the midst of the hustle and bustle that comes along with this time of year, it’s important to take time to slow down and spend time with family and friends. Share memories over dinner, create new traditions, or bake your favorite recipes to share sweets and holiday treats with those who hold an important place in your life.
“Holiday treats are the highlight of the season—and not just because they’re indulgent and delicious,” said Daniel Sampson, Executive Sous Chef at Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii. “A lot of us have fond memories of baking cookies in the kitchen with grandma during this time of year and when we carry forth that tradition, it helps us feel connected to those special times we shared with our loved ones
“We all have a need to feel we belong, and comfort food helps brings back that sense of belonging and nostalgia for good times we enjoyed with family and friends.”
Here in Part 1 of a two-part series, we share some favorite recipes from ALHI Members, from family recipes like Sampson’s sugar cookies to a salad filled with autumnal flavors. Read Part 2.
Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas) Sugar Cookies
Folks from all over the world flock to Hawaii each Christmas season to celebrate holiday festivities in paradise. While Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii transforms into a tropical wonderland every year, the property still feasts on timeless classics, such as Executive Pastry Chef Daniel Sampson’s sugar cookies.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp table salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter (softened to room temperature)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure Hawaiian Vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup meringue powder
1/3 cup water
Gel food coloring and sprinkles (optional)
1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.
2. Add the sugar, butter, egg and Hawaiian vanilla extract with an electric mixer on medium speed in a large bowl until fluffy (five minutes).
3. Incorporate the flour mixture.
4. Divide the dough in half, pat into 2 discs about 1/4 inch thick, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (approximately one hour).
5. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and position oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven.
6. Roll out 1 disc of dough at a time between 2 pieces of parchment paper until 1/8 inch thick.
7. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and arrange about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
8. Bake until the cookies just begin to turn a light golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake.
9. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets until firm enough to transfer to a wire rack; let cool complete.
1. Beat the confectioners' sugar, meringue powder and 1/3 cup water with an electric mixer on medium-high speed in a large bowl until stiff peaks form.
2. Add food coloring if using.
3. Decorate the cookies with the icing.
Fairmont San Francisco
Fairmont San Francisco Gingerbread Recipe
This year, the Fairmont San Francisco elves are in good company with sweet partners at See’s Candies, working overtime to create a hotel display like no other. From November 26, 2022, the hotel lobby transforms into one of the world’s most beloved holiday destinations.
The highlight of this awe-inspiring exhibit will be the giant Gingerbread House adorned in thousands of delicious See’s Candies in the hotel’s grand lobby.
1 1/4 cup (10oz) brown sugar
2/3 cup (5oz) shortening
3/4 cup (6oz) baking soda
1/3 cup (2.5oz) cinnamon
2 TBSP (1oz) allspice
2 TBSP (1oz) ginger
2 TBSP (1oz) cloves
2 TBSP (1oz) cardamom
2 TBSP (1oz) salt
3/4 cup (7oz) honey
3/4 cup (7oz) molasses
3/4 cup (7oz) water
1/2 cup (4oz) pastry flour
1. Cream brown sugar and shortening in a large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, mix spices and baking soda together, then add to mixer.
3. Stir in honey and molasses.
4. Add water, a little at a time.
5. Add flour and mix.
6. Refrigerate overnight.
7. Bake 350ºF for 12 - 15 minutes
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
Apple Crumble Pie
Yield: 4 small pies
1 cup butter, cold and cubed
1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup ice water
1 tsp kosher salt
8 cups apples, peeled and thinly sliced
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
2 tsp cornstarch
2 TBSP Apple juice
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¾ cup quick oats
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp cinnamon, ground
½ cup butter, cold and cubed
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
2. Spray 4 small pie or tart pans with oil.
3. Using a mixer and a paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar and salt.
4. Add cold butter and mix until the butter is pea sized.
5. Add water and mix just until combined.
6. Gather crust together and refrigerate 2-4 hours.
7. Once pie dough has chilled, remove from fridge and let temper for 30 minutes.
8. Roll to ¼ inch and place into pie forms. Use a paring knife to remove excess crust. Scraps may be rolled one more time.
9. Chill pies in cooler for 30 minutes to prevent shrinking.
10. Place parchment paper inside crusts and blind bake with beans or pie weights for 20 minutes.
11. Remove paper and pie weights or beans and continue to bake for 5-7 minutes or until crust is baked.
1. Combine apples, brown sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon.
2. Place apple mixture into a large pot and cook until the apples are tender.
3. Combine the apple juice and cornstarch and add to the cooked apples.
4. Let the cornstarch thicken the filling by boiling for 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Remove from heat.
1. Combine oats, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon.
2. Using a mixer with a paddle, add in the cold butter and mix until pea size.
1. When the crust is finished baking, remove from oven.
2. Divide the apple filling between the pies.
3. Crumble the topping over the apples.
4. Return to oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.
5. Serve warm. Drizzle drizzle with caramel sauce if desired.
The InterContinental New York Barclay
12 small red or green apples
12 lollipop or popsicles sticks
2 cups of sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
1 cup water
½ teaspoon red food coloring – not water based if possible
1. Wash and thoroughly dry the apples.
2. Insert the lollipop sticks or popsicle sticks so that they are firmly positioned in the apples.
3. Set the apples aside on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper coated with cooking spray.
4. Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat.
5. Bring it to a boil and cook the mixture until a candy thermometer reaches 300ºF (the hard crack stage).
6. Remove the candy mixture from the heat and carefully stir in the red food coloring. If using water-based it may splash, so stand back. You may have to add more than the designated ½ teaspoon, depending on the quality and strength of your food coloring.
7. One by one, carefully dip the apples into the candy mixture, swirling to coat them thoroughly and allowing any excess to drip back into the pan.
8. Transfer the coated apples to the prepared cookie sheet and allow them to cool until the candy has fully hardened.
9. Once cooled you can decorate with: white chocolate drizzle, dark chocolate drizzle, crushed nuts, sprinkles.
The Jekyll Island Club Resort
A tried-and-true winter treat, it’s easy to recreate the Jekyll Island Club Resorts s’mores at home this holiday season.
1. Roast a marshmallow over a crackling fire before.
2. Once roasted, squish the marshmallow it between two graham crackers with chocolate pieces for an extra sweet addition.
While you can create the delicious treat at home, you can’t quite recreate the experience of S’mores and Stars at Jekyll Island Club Resort at home. Whether you choose the historic elegance of the Island Club or the modern luxury of the Ocean Club, both properties off s’mores kits for a magical and memorable evening by the fire pit as part of a larger, well-deserved getaway for you and your family this holiday season.
Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah
Festive Winter Salad
Inspired by autumnal colors and the first snowfall of winter, this salad celebrates the bounty of the season, complemented by the warmth of holiday spice, the crunch of candied nuts and the festive color of dried cranberries. It’s the perfect dish to add as a beautiful centerpiece to your holiday table, elegant as it is healthy, packed with nutrients and fibre, and indulgent enough with the addition of creamy soft cheese.
‘Tis the season to eat heartily as well as guilt-free!
1/2 cup (50g) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1/4 cup (30g) butternut squash, peeled and sliced thinly
1/2 cup (50g) beetroot, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup (50g) baby spinach
1/4 cup (30g) green kale
3 TBSP (20g) dried cranberries
1/4 cup (30g) soft goat cheese
3/4 cup (100g) sugar
1/2 cup (100ml) water
1/3 tsp (1g) cinnamon
3 TBSP (20g) raw walnuts
Citrus and Mustard Dressing
1 2/3 TBSP (25ml) orange juice
3 1/3 TBSP (50ml) lemon juice
1 2/3 TBSP (25ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 1/4 tsp (10g) Pommery mustard
1 2/3 TBSP (10g) organic acacia honey
1 2/3 TBSP (1g) pink peppercorn
1 2/3 TBSP (1g) fine salt
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Lay the cubed beetroot and butternut squash flat on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and roast for 30 minutes or until tender and browned around the edges.
3. Brush the beetroot and butternut squash slices with oil. Lay flat on parchment lined baking sheet and in the oven at 210°F for 30 minutes or until crisp. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
1. Place sugar, water and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium fire and simmer for 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.
2. Add walnuts to the sugar syrup and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Remove the saucepan from the fire, transfer the walnuts to a bowl to cool down and reserve the syrup.
4. Heat the frying oil until it reaches 275°F.
5. Add the walnuts and fry for 2 minutes.
6. Dip the walnuts into the reserved sugar syrup for 1 minute then transfer to a baking paper to dry, keeping the walnuts from touching each other.
Citrus and Mustard Dressing
1. Blend all the ingredients except the Pommery mustard in a blender.
2. Transfer mixture into a bowl, add the Pommery mustard and mix well with a spoon.
3. Put the baby spinach and kale into a large bowl and toss together with the dressing.
4. Add the roasted beetroot and butternut squash to the bowl.
5. Crumble the goat cheese on top of the salad then add the candied walnuts, dried cranberries and finally the vegetable chips.
6. Serve and enjoy!
Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest
Pumpkin Spiced Coconut Rice Pudding
Yield: 10 servings
Pumpkin Cake Base
2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (220 g) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 g) white granulated sugar
1 TBSP baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 cups (337 g) pumpkin purée
1/4 cup (60 ml) canola oil
1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp maple syrup
Non-stick cooking spray
1 cup Arborio risotto
3/4 cup (200 ml) coconut milk
1/3 cup (100 ml) coconut cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/3 cup (100 g) pumpkin purée
3/4 TBSP (5 g) corn flour
Candied sunflower seeds
Baked diced pumpkin
1. Mix all the ingredients and preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Spray a 1.5-inch baking tray with a non-stick spray.
3. Pour the mixture into the tray and place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
4. When it’s baked, take it out from the oven and let it chill.
1. Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan until the risotto is cooked.
2. Let chill.
1. Mix the ingredients, grease a silicone pad and put in the oven at 210°F for 4 hours.
1. Using a 4-inch (10 cm) ring, cut out the pumpkin cake base with the ring and pour the risotto on top.
2. Use the decoration ingredients to finish the plate.
Kempinski Palace Engelberg
2/3 cup (150g) butter
3/4 cup (150g) brown sugar
2/3 cup (200g) honey
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
3 2/3 cups (450g) flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp cloves powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
1. Mix the butter, honey and brown sugar until the butter is turning white and the sugar is dissolved.
2. Add the egg and mix to incorporate.
3. Add vanilla extract and keep mixing.
4. In a separate bowl, mix flour with all dry ingredients (salt, baking powder, cinnamon powder, ginger powder, cloves powder and nutmeg powder).
5. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the butter mixture and knead the mass until it becomes a nice dough.
6. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and keep it in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.
7. Remove the dough from the fridge, put flour on the work surface and roll out the dough with a rolling pin.
8. Roll out finger-thick, use any cookie cutter you want, preferably in the shape of a gingerbread man.
9. Bake at 350ºF for 15-20 minutes.
10. After baking, let the gingerbread cool down, then decorate to your liking.