Sweet Holiday Delights

By Jessica Maher
Photography by Jody Horton

When the air finally bristles with the slightest whisper of crispness, it’s time to turn the oven on after a months-long hiatus and start making plans for sweets! It’s hard to imagine this time of year without them, but which ones to make? A few favorites reappear year after year, but I definitely like to mix it up so I don’t wear out my taste buds before the New Year. If you enjoy baking sweets to give as gifts, it’s a good idea to have a number of options in your arsenal.

Even cherished “old standards” can become new again with the incorporation of some fresh, local ingredients. Apples, pears, pecans, citrus, flour, suet and lard are abundant and available locally throughout the holiday season. These recipes are perfect for the office, a cocktail party or just some lucky friend! And they’re a great way to support the local economy while vamping up old favorites.