Besides Dolly Parton and Lynyrd Skynyrd, two of the best things to ever come out of the South, have to be peaches and bourbon. It's no secret I love bourbon, so when I was creating this recipe and wanted to give it a bump in flavor I naturally reached for the bourbon bottle.
I'll also confess, the caramelized peaches was a happy accident; I turned my back a little too long when the peaches were cooking. When I smelled the sugar start to caramelize I knew I had a winner.
Needless to say I would serve it with a little bourbon on the side, and of course Lynyrd Skynyrd's Gimmie Three Steps should be playing in the background!
Back in 2004, I was working at Southern Living magazine in Birmingham, AL. When I needed a toffee recipe for a story I was working on, I looked to no other than my grandmother, Mildred Hayward. Hers, of course, contained butter but I just tried it with dairy-free margarine and you'd never know the difference. This is perfect anytime of the year but especially at the holidays.
When it comes to Christmas cookies my family tends to stick to some tried-and-true recipes we make every year. Every few years mom would slip a new cookie or two into our traditional mix of cookies. One year this little cherry number was added. While not a hit with dad, who thinks Chocolate Pinwheels and Chocolate Chip Cookies should be the only cookies made, their not-too-sweet flavor and bright color are a nice addition to any cookie tray.
In the baking world, Christmas cookies tend to have Type A personalities; pushy, demanding attention, rigidly organized and highly status conscious. So every once in a while it’s nice to see a cookie with a Type B personality. These Sesame Seed Cookies are very tender with a cake-like texture that's subtle and simply flavored.
The best and easiest pie crust you'll ever make is from Cook's Illustrated. I love the magazine and cookbooks but they're not known for simple recipes but trust me, this one is. The only problem is it's loaded with almost a cup of butter. I was hoping I could replace the butter with dairy-free margarine and still get great results and I did. Honestly, it also works pretty well with all shortening too just not as tasty.
One tip, if you like to roll your pie crusts out sandwiched between sheets of wax paper (like my mother does) this dough will not work since it's too wet. Use generous amounts of flour on your work surface and rolling pin and turn the dough every few seconds so you're sure it's not sticking to the counter.