Cheers for the Holidays! 2 Festive Cocktails and 3 Tasty Treats to Enjoy This Season!

by Jaclyn MacNeil

Published at 2022-12-06

One of the best parts of the festive holiday season is when we gather with friends, family, and colleagues to celebrate and reflect on our accomplishments, moments of success, and joyful times or events over the past year. 

Regardless of the festivity—whether it be professional, social, or familial—you can always count on one thing: a flurry of delicious food and drink, homemade or store bought, to be shared and enjoyed in the company of others.

In the spirit of festive fun, this week’s blog brings you some holiday recipes to help you celebrate and enjoy the final days of 2022 and welcome 2023. We hope you’ll enjoy a cocktail or a glass of punch and a few of the baked treats!

Cherry Sidecar Cocktail

Recipe from Kate Merker at Good Housekeeping, July 2021

A slight play on the original sidecar, a cocktail developed in the Prohibition Era, this version is a little sweeter with the addition of Heering Cherry Liqueur. If you are thinking of subbing out the Heering with maraschino, you’ll bring down the sweetness, but you’ll also lose that brilliant festive red colour, although it will still taste delicious. 


  • 2 oz Cognac
  • 1 oz Heering Cherry Liqueur 
  • 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 dashes of bitters
  • Brandied cherries for serving


  1. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake the Cognac, Heering Cherry Liqueur, lemon juice, and bitters until cold. 
  2. Strain and serve in coupe glass with brandied cherries.

Festive Fruit Punch

A great recipe to make if you’re having company over or going to a party. Getting the frozen ice ring is the trickiest but also the most impressive part of this drink. You’ll need a Bundt pan and a punch bowl to show off your ice making skills and the beautiful bright red and orange colours of your fruit. 


  • 3 cups of cranberries (fresh or frozen), divided
  • 2 clementines, thinly sliced, plus more for serving
  • 1 blood orange, thinly sliced
  • 8 cups of cranberry juice cocktail
  • 2 cups of gin or vodka
  • 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed clementine (or blood orange) juice 
  • 1 bottle of sparkling white wine


  1. Make ahead: In a Bundt pan, place 2 cups of cranberries along with the clementines and blood oranges slices. Top with water and freeze. 
  2. In a punch bowl, combine the cranberry cocktail juice, spirit, and citrus juice. Add the frozen ice ring* and the remaining cranberries and citrus slices. 
  3. Top with sparkling wine and serve. 

*Tip: To successfully remove your ice ring without cracking it, submerge the bottom of the Bundt pan in warm water for a few seconds, then gently invert over a large plate. Tap lightly on the bottom of the pan to release the ice ring.

Church Squares

This recipe is a classic. It’s simple and quick, and a yummy peanut butter, chocolate, and marshmallow delight. Popular with kids, but enjoyable for all ages!


  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter
  • 6 oz baker’s chocolate
  • 1 bag multi-coloured mini marshmallows


  1. In a saucepan on low-medium heat, melt butter and peanut butter. Then, stir in chocolate until smooth. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes. 
  2. Add in marshmallows to the mixture. Coat thoroughly. 
  3. Pour the mixture into a 9” square pan lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate until solid. Serve and enjoy. 

Monkey Bread

Recipe from PJ Hamel at King Arthur Baking (n.d.)

Although appropriate for anytime of the year, this recipe is a lovely addition to your holiday repertoire as it is a great sharing treat. Somewhere between bread, cake, and cinnamon roll, monkey bread is a brown sugar-cinnamon pull-apart delight. 


For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

For the dough:

  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided


For the topping:

  1. In a small bowl, blend the sugar and cinnamon until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.

For the dough:

  1. In a medium bowl, stir the water, vegetable oil, egg, salt, sugar, and yeast together. 
  2. Stir in 1 cup of flour to the mixture completely. Then stir in the remaining cup of flour to make a cohesive dough. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes. This allows the flour to absorb the liquid, which makes it easier to knead.
  3. Knead the dough by hand or mixer until it’s soft and smooth.
  4. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover it with a plastic wrap or a dish towel. Let the dough rise for 45 to 60 minutes, or until it’s doubled in size.
  5. Once the dough has risen, place it on a clean, lightly greased work surface and divide it into 1 ½” pieces. You should have about 16 to 18 pieces.
  6. Lightly grease an 8” round cake pan. Dip each dough piece in water, then coat in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. 
  7. In the cake pan, place the coated pieces in a single layer and sprinkle any remaining cinnamon sugar on top. 
  8. Cover the pan once more and let the bread mixture rise for another 45 to 60 minutes, or until it looks puffy. Near the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  9. Bake the bread mixture for 25 to 30 minutes or until it is golden brown.
  10. Remove the bread from the oven; immediately turn the pan over onto a cooling rack and remove the pan. Scrape any leftover topping onto the bread.
  11. Pull the bread apart to serve. Serve warm, or at room temperature and enjoy. 

Candy Cane Bark

A little on the sweet side, this recipe (passed down to me from my mom) is easy to whip up and is great to give as a gift to friends, mentors, teachers, colleagues, or other important people in your life. Keeps best in tins. 


  • 12 oz white baker’s chocolate
  • 12 crushed peppermint or cherry candy canes
  • 1/4 tsp peppermint oil


  1. In a medium glass bowl, melt the white chocolate in the microwave* and stir until smooth. 
  2. Stir in crushed candy canes and oil until well combined. 
  3. Spread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until it is set. 
  4. Break into pieces and serve. Store in tins or airtight containers.

*You can also do this step with a double boiler (or a saucepan and a glass bowl) over the stove.

Some honourable mentions to add to this list include dutch stroopwaffles and nanaimo bars. 

Whatever you try out, all of us here at TEC hope that you and yours enjoy these recipes and have a lovely holiday season!