It is the most delicious time of year. The holidays arrive in quick succession, each with its own tastes and traditions, so for this 2012 Holiday issue, we're celebrating nonstop with brand-new, exclusive menus for Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year's Eve. Sweets, of course, also get their due, in a trio of spectacular holiday cookie recipes and Eight Great Cookie Baking Tips from the Institute of Culinary Education.
Ever mindful of tradition at this time of year, we take special pleasure in presenting a personal story from an editor emerita of Gourmet magazine, Caroline Bates, likely the staffer with the longest tenure—51 years—at our print predecessor. Now retired, Bates writes about the Best Christmas Cake Ever in a retrospective that interweaves the magazine's history with her own. The companion recipe and Bates' rich prose will, we promise, inspire some revisionist thinking on fruitcake.
Tradition is also on the menu in Noël à la Ritz, an archival gem from Louis Diat, a prolific contributor to the magazine, and, some say, the chef to thank for inventing Vichysoisse and chef's salad. Diat came from France circa 1910 to run the kitchens of New York's original Ritz-Carlton hotel, and though the old hotel and its haut monde traditions are now only memories, Diat brings both to life in this 1956 holiday tale, ritzy recipes included.
If Diat's truffled turkey, capon, or pheasant are not your style, rest assured this issue is packed with 21st-century recipes that are exceptionally tasty and tasteful. And versatile—these dishes can be made on their own or in any combination.
For Christmas, try our recipes for Herb-Crusted Beef Rib Roast with Pinot Noir Jus, Green Beans with Caramelized Pecans, and Tiramisu Yule Log with Meringue Mushrooms, which looks (almost!) too good to eat.
New Year's Eve parties call for finger-friendly foods with a dash of sophistication, so we're serving global-inspired recipes for Turkish Spiced Meatballs with Pomegranate Yogurt Sauce, Bite-Size Chipotle Chicken Soft Tacos, and Parmesan Pepper Curly Kale Chips.
Our Holiday Cookie Craze assortment goes from simple to chic with Coconut Macaroon Sandwiches with Lime Curd, Pistachio Cranberry Oatmeal Icebox Cookies, and Salted Brown Butter Cookies (all great for gifting, if you don't gobble them first).
Speaking of gifts, we can't resist recommending three Gourmet Entertaining CD and recipe sets. Perfect for cooks partial (as we are) to classic tunes at holiday time, these limited-edition sets bundle holiday standards by Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, the Andrews Sisters, Whitney Houston, Natalie Cole, and more with booklets of 20+ recipes.
We close the year with an update for our readers. This holiday edition will be the last issue of Gourmet Live. Thank you for your readership of our unique mix of new and vintage Gourmet-inspired recipes and feature stories over the past two years. And readers of our app, rest assured that any issues or recipes bought or saved will remain on your mobile and tablet device, and past issues and recipe collections will continue to be available in the in-app store.
Gourmet.com will remain a trusted source of great recipes and great reads, so stop by often for engaging articles, interviews, and a steady supply of seasonal recipes from recent and past years, all with Gourmet's nonpareil excellence, reliability, and capacity to inspire.
The editors of Gourmet Live