Saturday, December 14, 2019

The Countdown to a Cozy Christmas Cookbook - Review + Recipe

The Countdown to a Cozy Christmas Cookbook: An Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of Hallmark Movies by Holly Carpenter

Blurb: ‘Tis the season for cozy comforts, delicious holiday treats, and having a good cry while watching your favorite Christmas movies from the Hallmark Channel! The Countdown to a Cozy Christmas Cookbook: An Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of Hallmark Movies brings you 100 recipes inspired by America’s most adored Christmas films, from Northpole to The Christmas Train, A Royal Christmas, and many more! Give the gift of seasonal fun to the Hallmark film-lover in your life, or enjoy the dozens of recipes—from snacks and small bites, to Christmas cookies and cakes, to warming drinks and cocktails, with a recommended film to watch with each—while curled up next to your Christmas tree, in the seasonal glow of your own home.
Snack on popcorn treats as you wrap gifts, pipe frosting onto Christmas cookies with your favorite Lacey Chabert or Danica McKellar film on in the background, and bake up a storm for your next party. Have a lovely Christmas with the perfect companion cookbook to the most wonderful time of year. You’ll find yourself cozying up to your most cherished films with delectable recipes from this very special cookbook!

My Thoughts:  Oh this is fun!  I've been on a big Hallmark movie kick so when I saw this book on the new releases page at the library I knew I had to pick it up and I'm so glad I did!  The recipes are separated into events with a chapters entitled Movie Night In, Christmas Gatherings, Sweet Treats, and even a few for Furry Family Members.  The recipes themselves range from main courses and sides ready to for the holiday title, to drinks (some spirited some not) and of course lots of cookies and sweet treats.  But what makes this cookbook standout from the standard holiday cookbook is that most of the recipes have a Hallmark movie inspiration.  Ready to curl up with The Christmas Ornament?  Make Grandma's Meatballs to enjoy while you watch.  The Sweetest Christmas next on your movie list?  Flip over to Melted Snowman Cupcakes for the perfect movie snack.  Below each movie title is a little description just as to why this recipe goes with that movie.  It was extra fun to flip through.

And the Recipe:

Since Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa is one of my favorites from last year I thought I'd give Carol's Hot Apple Dumplings  a try.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup shortening
1/3 cup cold water
8 medium tart apples, peeled and cored
8 teaspoons unsalted butter
9 teaspoons cinnamon-sugar, divided

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl, then cut in the shortening until the mixture is crumbly.  Slowly stir in the water until a ball of dough forms.  Divide the dough into 8 pieces, then cover it and move it to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Once the dough is easier to handle, preheat the oven to 350F.  Roll each piece of dough out between two pieces of parchment paper to create 7 inch squares.  Place an apple in the middle of each square, and then place 1 teaspoon butter and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar in the center of each apple.

bring up the corners of the sqaure to the center, pinching them to create a seal.  (You can wet the corners with a bit of water to help them stay put.  Add the dumplings to a greased 13x9 inch baking dish and sprinkle them with the remaining cinnamon sugar.

Add the sauce ingredients to a large saucepan and bring them just to a boil, stirring until everything is blended.  Pour the sauce over the apples before putting them in the oven.  Bake the dumplings for 50 to 55 minutes, basting occasionally with the sauce, until the apples are tender and the pastry is golden brown.

I have tried this yet but I'm very much looking forward to making this for Christmas.  I can just imagine how delicious my house will smell!


  1. That sounds like a fun book to flip through. I like themed cookbooks. And you know your house will have the best cooing aromas when you make those dumplings!

  2. Sounds like a fun book for Hallmark Channel fans. Themed cookbooks like these are fun to see around. I've seen one for Downton Abbey, Little Women, Jane Austen, and we have the unofficial Harry Potter one.