holiday entertaining essentials host like a pro with all the right toolsthe secret ingredient. achieve culinary perfection with the right cooking tools.let it simmer. warm comfort foods are a holiday menu must-have.rise to the occasion. satisfy their sweet tooth with irresistible baked treats.now you're cooking. prep favorite holiday recipes with ease.feed the crowd. present your holiday feast on large serving platters. The Center Of attention. Find the perfect platter for a memorable presentation.martha stewart recipes
warm cider and rum punchherbed and roasted turkeysugar cookie cutoutsultimate streusel cakenut brittle
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WARM CIDER & RUM PUNCH

Serves 10

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups apple cider
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups dark rum

Directions:

  • In a large pot, combine apple cider, apple slices, orange slices, cinnamon sticks and ginger. Bring to a boil over high; reduce to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. (Keep warm over low, up to 2 hours.) Remove from heat and stir in rum. Transfer to a punch bowl; serve warm.
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HERBED & ROASTED TURKEY

Serves 10

Ingredients:

  • 1 turkey (about 12 pounds), thawed if frozen, rinsed & patted dry
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus 3 sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoons (approx. 8 cloves) garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt & ground pepper
  • 2 lemons, poked all over with a fork
  • 1 quart apple cider

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in lowest position. Remove packet of giblets and neck from cavity. Discard liver. Rinse remaining giblets and neck; refrigerate until ready to make broth.
  2. Turn turkey on its back and bend wing tips forward and underneath neck cavity of bird so they stay in place (you may have to break the bones).
  3. In a small bowl, combine parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, garlic, 4 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Using your fingers, carefully loosen skin of breast and around thighs and rub herb mixture under skin of both.
  4. Season cavity with salt and pepper and loosely fill with lemons and rosemary sprigs. Using cotton kitchen twine, tie legs together so bird retains its shape and moisture during cooking.
  5. Pour cider in bottom of pan. Set roasting rack on top. Lift turkey onto rack, breast side up; rub with remaining tablespoon oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Tent turkey loosely with foil. Roast 1 hour. Uncover and continue to roast, basting frequently with pan juices, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh (avoiding bone) registers 170°F, 2 1/2 to 3 hours more. (Temperature will rise about 10 degrees as turkey rests.) Tent with foil if browning too quickly; add water if pan becomes dry. Cover loosely with foil and let stand 30 minutes before carving. Serve with roasted vegetables.
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SUGAR COOKIE CUTOUTS

Makes 18 to 20 4-inch cookies

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream

Directions:

  1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
  2. Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Divide dough in half; flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 325°F with racks in upper and lower thirds. Let one disk of dough stand at room temperature just until soft enough to roll, about 10 minutes. Roll out dough between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4 inch thick. Remove top layer of plastic wrap. Cut out cookies with a 4-inch shaped cookie cutter. To make an ornament, cut out a hole about 1/4 inch from the edge using a straw.
  4. Transfer cookie dough on plastic wrap to a baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to freezer and freeze until very firm, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet from freezer and transfer shapes to baking sheets lined with nonstick baking mats. Roll out scraps and repeat. Repeat with remaining disk of dough.
  5. Bake, switching positions of sheets and rotating halfway through, until edges turn golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Decorate with Royal Icing if desired.

Royal Icing

Makes 2 1/2 Cups

  • Use icing immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Stir well with a rubber spatula before using.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pound confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Gel paste food coloring

Directions:

  • Combine ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until smooth, about 4 minutes. If icing is too thick, add more water 1/4 teaspoon at a time. Divide icing into small bowls, reserving some white as a separate color. Tint as desired. Transfer to small piping bags with a 1/8 inch round tip.
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ULTIMATE STREUSEL CAKE

Makes one 10-inch Bundt cake

Ingredients:

For the pecan-streusel filling

  • 1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

For the cake

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream

For the icing

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk

Directions:

  1. Make the filling: Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and cloves in a medium bowl. Stir in granulated sugar, flour, and salt. Using your hands or a pastry cutter, cut in butter until combined and mixture is crumbly; stir in nuts. Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Spray a 10-inch Bundt pan (or other tube pan with a 3-quart capacity) with cooking spray; set aside.
  4. Make the cake: Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into bowl; set aside.
  5. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well-combined. Beat in vanilla. Add reserved flour mixture and sour cream in alternating batches, starting and ending with the flour; beat just until combined. Spoon half the batter into prepared pan. Make a well in the center, and crumble two-thirds of the streusel mixture into well. Spoon in remaining batter, smoothing top; sprinkle with remaining streusel. Bake until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 45 minutes; invert cake onto a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioner's sugar and milk until combined; set icing aside, cover with plastic wrap until ready to use. Drizzle over inverted cake; serve.
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NUT BRITTLE

Makes one 9-by-13-inch pan

  • Although peanut brittle may be the most common variety, you can also use other whole nuts such as cashews, hazelnuts, almonds or pecans, as well as toasted pumpkin seeds. For a Caribbean twist, add 1 cup shredded coconut along with cashews.

Ingredients:

  • Unsalted butter, room temperature, for baking sheet
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • Pinch of table salt
  • 2 1/2 cups dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Vegetable oil, for spatula

Directions:

  1. Brush a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet with butter; set aside. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, water and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, brush away any sugar crystals on the side of the pan to prevent recrystallization. Cook, swirling occasionally, until mixture reaches the softball stage on a candy thermometer (238°F). Stir in the nuts; continue to cook, stirring often so the nuts do not burn, until the mixture is golden amber in color.
  2. Carefully stir in the vanilla and baking soda. The mixture will foam up in the pan.
  3. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, and quickly spread into a 1/2-inch-thick layer with an oiled metal spatula. Set the tray aside until completely cool.
  4. Break brittle into pieces; store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 month.
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