The Best Recipes to Make During the Holidays

Vinny Piatti, Senior Writer

One of my favorite activities around the holidays is to cook and bake. I am going to share with you all my personal favorite holiday recipes that my family and I love. These are our traditional holiday recipes, but sometimes I can’t help myself and I make them occasionally during the year. Enjoy!


Swiss Roll

Swiss rolls are my favorite desserts to make around the holidays. They have this complete holiday feel to them. My whole family (even my mom, who does not really like chocolate) loves this chocolatey swiss roll!

3 eggs

1 c. granulated sugar

⅓ c. water

1 tsp. vanilla

¾ c. flour

1 tsp. baking powder

⅛ tsp. salt

¼ c. cocoa powder

Filling for Swiss Roll-

¼ c. vegetable shortening

½ c. butter (soft)

1 c. powdered sugar

½ tsp. vanilla

1 c. marshmallow fluff

Ganache for the top-

½ c. heavy cream

⅔ c. chocolate chips

Directions: For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a jelly roll pan. Beat the eggs for several minutes until they are of a thick consistency. Add sugar, gradually whisk in water and vanilla. After this is combined, add the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder and stir this until combined. Pour this batter into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes. Prepare the filling when this is baking, cream together all the ingredients  When this is done cooking, get the cake out of the pan and onto a towel dusted with powdered sugar. Roll this up in the pan and let it cool for 30 minutes. Unroll the cake, spread the filling over the unrolled cake, roll the cake back up and leave it. Heat up the heavy cream until it is simmering, add chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Pour this over the rolled up cake and serve.


Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

This is my personal favorite holiday cookie. The raspberry jam is so good in this. You can try different jams, such as blueberry, blackberry, strawberry, cherry, or even grape. 

1 c. soft butter

⅔ c. granulated sugar

2 c. flour

Seedless raspberry jam as needed

½ c. powdered sugar 

Milk as needed

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat together the butter and granulated sugar until smooth. Stir in flour until the mixture becomes a dough and comes together. Roll dough into 1 ½ inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Make a small well in the center of each ball with your thumb and fill with some raspberry jam. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until lightly golden. In a bowl, combine powdered sugar and milk until a glaze forms. Drizzle over the cookies.


White Baked Pasta

One of my favorite dishes of all time even year round–It is so delicious!

½ pound pasta (I prefer ziti)

2 c. milk

3 tbs. butter

3 tbs. flour

⅔ c. parmesan cheese, grated

Salt and pepper to taste

½ pound mozzarella cheese, half cut in cubes and half cut in slices

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Bring a pot of water to boil, add pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain and add the pasta back to the pot when done. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the flour and stir until the mixture bubbles, about a minute. Pour in the milk while whisking constantly. Bring to a boil over high heat and once the milk boils, reduce to medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat after the 5 minutes (the sauce should be relatively thick at this point) and add the parmesan cheese and whisk until melted. Add salt and pepper. Stir this to combine. Add mozzarella cheese cubes when everything is whisked together and done. Transfer this to the prepared baking dish, and cover the top with the sliced mozzarella, and a sprinkle of parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Enjoy this cheesy goodness!


White Pizza

My favorite type of pizza! I tend to not be able to control myself throughout the year and I have to make this sometimes. This is some of the best pizza- and it’s homemade and easy, too.

1 ball of pizza dough – I use the Wegmans brand because that is my personal favorite, but you can use whatever dough you prefer

2 c. ricotta cheese

2 tbs. parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Garlic powder to taste

Mozzarella cheese for the top

1 tbs. parsley- dried or freshly chopped

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Flatten the dough out into a large circle. Mix together the ricotta, parmesan, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley in a bowl and spread on the flattened out dough. Top with mozzarella cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Enjoy!