Reader Friday: Favorite Holiday Recipe

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With the holidays in full swing, many of us have recipes somersaulting through our mind, along with a mile-long to-do list.

In the Coletta household, the first whiff of the holiday season triggers my family to drool in anticipation.

Not-so-subtle chants for almond biscotti waft through our house, similar to Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors. “Feed. Me!”

I shared this recipe in the comments last year, but some of you might’ve missed it. If you’re interested in adding a tasty treat to your holiday table, the recipe is as follows…


3/4 C (180 ml) Whole Almonds

3 Large Eggs

1 t. Vanilla Extract

1/2 t. Almond Extract (optional)

2 C. Flour

3/4 C. Sugar

1 t. Baking Powder

1/4 t. Salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread out almonds on a baking tray and bake 8-10 minutes until light brown and fragrant. Let cool a few minutes, then chop coarsely.

Reduce over to 300 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment (wax) paper.

Whisk eggs and extracts in a separate bowl, then whisk in the dry ingredients. Lastly, fold in your almond pieces and stir till you get a doughy consistency.

Flour your cutting board (or whatever surface works for you) and divide the dough into 7″ logs that are about 3″-4″ wide. Transfer logs onto baking sheet and bake for approximately 35 minutes or until firm to the touch (log will spread during baking).

Remove and let cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Transfer to cutting board and slice 1/4″-1/2″ pieces on the diagonal. Place slices of biscotti on the baking sheet and bake an additional 10-15 minutes on each side until golden. Keep in mind, the longer you bake the crunchier they’ll be, so the time depends on your preference. My family likes them somewhere between soft and crunchy.

To Triple the Recipe (which I do; makes about 60 biscotti)

2 1/4 C. Almonds

9 Eggs

4 1/2 t. Vanilla

6 C. Flour

2 1/4 C. Sugar

3 t. Baking Powder

3/4 Salt

Be sure to make more logs so they cook all the way through. Then proceed as above.

A word of a caution: once you make almond biscotti a la Coletta ;-), you may have to do it every year.

Care to share your favorite holiday recipe?

This entry was posted in #ReaderFriday and tagged , , by Sue Coletta. Bookmark the permalink.

About Sue Coletta

Sue Coletta is an award-winning crime writer and an active member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. Feedspot and named her Murder Blog as “Best 100 Crime Blogs on the Net.” She also blogs at the Kill Zone, Story Empire, and Writers Helping Writers. Sue lives with her husband in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Her backlist includes psychological thrillers, the Mayhem Series (books 1-3) and Grafton County Series, and true crime/narrative nonfiction. Now, she exclusively writes eco-thrillers, Mayhem Series (books 4-9 and continuing). Sue's appeared on the Emmy award-winning true crime series, Storm of Suspicion, and three episodes of A Time to Kill on Investigation Discovery. Learn more about Sue and her books at

23 thoughts on “Reader Friday: Favorite Holiday Recipe

  1. JSB’s Signature Holiday Pie

    Prep time: Approx. 45 minutes

    Ingredients: Car and wallet

    1. Drive to Costco

    2. Enter Costco

    3. Proceed to Pies & Cakes

    4. Select one Kirkland Signature Lattice Apple Pie, 75 o.z.

    5. Proceed to checkout.

    6. Pay for pie.

    7. Drive home.

    8. Wait for guests, or, if hungry now, open box and slice pie.

    9. Add vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, per taste.

    10. Enjoy!

  2. My mother’s mother was an excellent baker. Each year, a box of Christmas cookies would arrive from Ohio. The irony of the Christmas cookies was that we are Jewish. But Grandma made the recipes all of her friends did. They tended to arrive in early-mid December. For longer than my history books said was possible, my uncle served in Viet Nam. Cookies needed to be shipped around this time to reach him in SE Asia by Christmas.

    My favorite are meringues. My mother learned from her mother. My daughters from their grandmother. Grandma added chocolate chips and a some syrup from Maraschino cherries to get wonderful pink cookies.

    Meringues have few ingredients and are easy to bake. The short form is to beat egg whites with sugar and then drop onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 250 and then turn off the oven and let them cool in the oven overnight.

    • I’ve always loved pecan pie. And then, several decades ago, I found a recipe in Southern Living that added chocolate chips, just like yours.
      I only make the pie at Christmas. I don’t know if that’s why it’s so fantastic or if it’s…you know…because of all that chocolate.
      (Guys like to say food is always made better when bacon is added. Every female I know says it’s chocolate.)
      Happy Holidays.

  3. I love biscotti! Will definitely have to make this! My recipe is a fruit salad.
    Grape Salad Ingredients
    • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 2 pounds seedless red grapes
    • 2 pounds seedless green grapes
    • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 3 tablespoons chopped pecans
    • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla until blended. Add grapes and toss to coat.
    • Transfer to a serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans just before serving.

    Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!
    Oh, and this blog is one thing I am very thankful for!

    • Aww, you’re so sweet, Priscilla. Our TKZ community is enhanced by awesome people like you.

      I love fruit salad. This recipe sounds yummy. Saving it. Thank you!

  4. There are so many favorites this time of year. I wavered between my Super Fudge Recipe and Acini de Pepe Fruit Salad. The salad won. It takes some time to make, but oh my. It’s worth it.

    Acini de Pepe Fruit Salad
    1 box of acini de pepe pasta – cooked, drained and rinsed.
    1 large can of crushed pineapple
    1 large can of chunked pineapple
    2 small cans of mandarin oranges
    1 large carton of Cool Whip – I use a touch more for more creaminess.
    1 package of mini marshmallows

    Combine and cook till thick:
    2 cups pineapple juice
    3 Tablespoons cornstarch
    2 well beaten eggs
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup sugar

    Combine acini de pepe pasta and sauce. Cool overnight. Next day blend in the remaining ingredients: fruit, Cool Whip, marshmallows.

    This makes a very large bowl of salad, perfect for large crowds.

  5. Several years ago, I found a really nice pie cookbook in the library and almost checked it out but realised that because of various health issues in my family and my friend group I had no one I could bake for. That goes also for flour-based cookies, cakes, etc. because of gluten. (Genuine gluten problems, not fads, so don’t judge.) I leave the sweets to my sister and BIL who are gluten-free cooking geniuses.

    So, here’s my absolute favorite soup recipe. It’s not suitable for a holiday table but perfect for making for dreary winter days full of shopping and other lunacies. It’s also perfect frozen in meal-sized amounts for a fast meal microwave reheat.


    1 lb. ground beef
    1 c chopped onions
    1 c potatoes
    1 cup sliced carrots
    1/2 c sliced celery
    1 c shredded cabbage
    20 oz or nearest size petite diced canned tomatoes
    1/4 rice, white or brown
    1 small bay leaf
    1/2 t dried thyme
    1/4 t dried basil
    5 tsp salt or to taste
    1/8 t pepper
    grated cheese

    Brown beef and onions.  Drain away fat.  Add vegetables, seasonings and rice.  Stir then add 1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) water.  Simmer for one hour. Sprinkle servings with cheese.  

    NOTES:  I always chop the veggies small enough that every spoonful of soup has more than one veggie within. It works in a crock pot, too, but is better on the stove.  This freezes well.  I’ve never used a meat substitute, but it should work okay because of the spices which I’d increase.

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