Blog Post – Holiday Cookies

The holidays are always a hard time to find and create content for businesses that are in well-defined niches.  Tangental links to topical content work well during the holidays, as long as the article/blog post is written in an authentic voice. I created a post about different holiday cookies and linked it to the niche of the site through the idea of cultural diversity.  Embedding video recipes add value to the post and facilitates links to other creators and websites. Any time recommendations are used, affiliate links can be added as I did here. I found specialty cookware, foods, and appliances to match each recipe. See the full blog, including the videos, on brilliant-journeys.com.

Holiday Cookies from Around the world.png


“Holiday” and “cookie” are nearly inseparable, no matter where you are on the globe. These baked treats are more portable and easier than a cake but still provide a sweet interlude as you eat one or two… or three, four or five. I’ve rounded up some recipes from around the world, complete with videos. Try one of the recipes out for your office cookie exchange or family party!

Gingerbread

No holiday table is complete without the iconic gingerbread men. The tradition of forming gingerbread into objects began in England in the 16th century when Queen Elizabeth 1 decided to honor important visitors by creating their likenesses in the fragrant cookie. Gingerbread Houses came into fashion after the Brother Grimm published their book of fairy tales, “Kinder- und Hausmärchen.” The edible house of the witch in Hansel and Gretel was crafted by bakers and became popular during the holidays. For a more modern twist, watch Rosanna Pansinobake Wookie Gingerbread cookies in the video below!

Rosettes

These beautifully shaped cookies are fried to give them their distinctive crispiness. Popular in Nordic countries like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland, a Rosette iron is dipped into a batter then dipped into hot oil. They are best the same day, so it’s a great activity for a family party – just be careful with the hot oil! Watch the video from Iowa Public Television below to see how to make them.

Alfajores

These traditional cookies from Latin America use cornstarch to give them their melt-in-your-mouth texture. Filled with indulgent dulce de leche, they are sometimes dipped in chocolate or rolled in coconut. Brought from Spain during colonial times, this cookie is so popular that it has entire cafès dedicated to making and selling them. Diana from Sweet Y Salado shows us how to make them in the video below. Don’t have time to make them? You can buy some from Havanna, the world’s most famous producer of the treats.

Almond Cookies

First created for the Emperor’s palace during the 16th century Ming Dynasty, these simple cookies are a New Years celebration staple. They are thought to bring good fortune since they look like coins with an almond pressed into the center. They are crisp and flavorful and can be cut out in whatever shape you desire. The chef from Cooking with Dog creates a cookie in the shape of her co-host in the video below!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The invention of the iconic American cookie can be traced back to chefs Ruth Grays Wakefield and Sue Brides. They created the cookie for the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts during the late 1930s. During World War II, soldiers from Massachusetts would share the cookies from their care packages, and soon the Toll House Inn was inundated with requests for the recipe. The recipe was first published in Wakefield’s first cookbook, Toll House Tried and True Recipes. It is included on virtually the back of every Nestlè semi-sweet chips bag in the world. Watch the official video from Nestlè about how to make this cookie!

What’s your favorite cookie during the holidays? Do you have a closely guarded family recipe? Tell me in the comments!

Affiliate links are used in this post. I receive a small commission on any purchase made, helping me keep blogging (you can see my disclosure statement HERE).

Blog Post – Eating in NOLA

This blog post was a list that was enhanced by embedded Instagram posts and Google Maps. Both Instagram and Google Maps gives this post the feeling that the “Adventure” is accessible to anyone reading – all the info is clickable! See it live at brilliant-journeys.com.

Adventure Eating in NOLA at Christmas


Dominique Røyem and her husband Jon Cooper spend Christmas in New Orleans each year. I asked them to recommend five of their favorite places to eat when they are in NOLA over the holiday. You can follow her food, travel, and music adventures at @dominiqueroyem on Instagram. 

Christmas in the Big Easy is one of my favorite times of the year! The city is dressed up in lights, making the beautiful city seem etherial at night. It’s also chill, without too many tourists – but you can still find a party if that’s your vibe.

Eating in NOLA is a hobby in its own right, and Christmastime opens up a number of traditions that are unique to the city. Here are five of my favorite places to eat on and around Christmas!

5. Fry and Pie

Courtyard at Hi-Ho Lounge, 2239 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

The eclectic business is in the courtyard of the Hi-Ho Lounge on St. Claude, in Marigny. You have to walk through the comedy club to get to it, or use the take out window facing the street. It serves made to order french fries and delectable single serving pies in an artsy setting.  The menu rotates, but if you can, grab the El Chapo…Dig it (Cajeta cream with whipped cream and chocolate covered espresso beans) or the Rock Hot Robot (cayenne espresso chocolate covered with whipped cream and spicy chocolate robots).

4. McHardy’s Chicken & Fixin’

1458 N Broad St, New Orleans, LA 70119

I am always searching for the best fried chicken wherever I go, and McHardy’s is on the top of that list. The chicken is flavorful, spicy and perfectly fried for a great crunch. They use heritage-style chicken, so the pieces you get are smaller than at a large chain. This means the flavor bursts through every bite and is never dry. The sides are traditional and well done, but the chicken is the standout. They are pick up only, so take your chicken and eat at the City Park that is only a few blocks away.

3. Kukhnya

Inside Siberia Lounge
2227 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

One of the best places for Slavic street food in NOLA is in the back of a Metal bar. Once you walk through the Siberian Lounge you find Kukhnya. On the menu, you can find sandwiches and burgers – all standard gastropub fare. The magic is in the “Slavic foods” section. The first time I went I had the perogies and the beef stroganoff, and they both were AMAZING. I haven’t had better of either dish since I was in Kiev. The staff is nice and they will let you know when the show is about to start, in case you want to miss it.

2. District Donuts

2209 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

There is only one place in NOLA that I make sure I don’t miss on every trip: District Donuts Sliders Brew. They have the best donut in New Orleans, hands down. The rotating flavors are posted on social media every morning and have included Wedding Cake, Orange Cardamom Almond, Black and Gold, and my all-time favorite, the ice cream stuffed Cotton Candy Dough-la-mode. The kolaches and biscuit sandwiches are also amazing. If you plan on going on a weekend get up early – the line can get long and they can sell out. The wait is worth it, though!

1. Josephine Estelle

Ace Hotel
600 Carondelet St, New Orleans, LA 70130

The Revillon Dinner is a Christmas tradition in New Orleans. It used to be a formal dinner, party or get-together after midnight Christmas mass, stretching until sunrise on Christmas day. Now there are Revillion meals hosted all day on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. One of the best Revillon Dinners I have ever had was at Josephine Estelle. An Osteria is not a traditional choice for Christmas, but it was magnificent. Our reservation was for around 8 pm on Christmas Eve, which allowed us to get back to our hotel around midnight. The menu was full of exciting dishes, and we created our own five-course dining experience. The service was excellent, the dining room was lively, and we did not feel rushed. There was even a party going on in the hotel ballroom! If you want to go to a Revillion Dinner this year, make your reservations early.

Do you travel for the holidays? What are your favorite places to eat when you get there? Tell us in the comments!