Just a Taste

A Food Guide to Holiday Comfort from Around the World

The holiday season is a time for hosting parties, entertaining friends and family and sharing our favorite holiday dishes. When you’re preparing tasty treats this year, surprise and thrill your guests with a comfort dessert from another part of the world!

Norwegian Potato Lefse

Bring a small piece of Norway into your home for the holidays with Norwegian potato lefse, a traditional Norwegian flatbread. Originally, Norwegians made enough lefse to last through the year, helping them survive the harsh winter months. For those unfamiliar with the dish, making a dessert with potato-based dough may not sound very sweet, but Norwegians often spread cinnamon and sugar over this flatbread, giving it both a sweet and savory taste.


Chinese Walnut Cookies

The Chinese walnut cookie is a crunchy holiday treat your friends and family will love. This traditional Chinese dessert isn’t too sweet and pairs nicely with green tea or coffee. Pre-toast the walnuts to limit their natural bitter taste. For an added decorative touch, top each cookie with black or white sesame seeds.


French Bûche de Noël

A classic French holiday dessert, the bûche de Noël, or yule log cake, is a chocolate sponge cake that is made to look like a yule log. Decorative touches make the cake look more lifelike, and when it comes to this sweet treat, the more convincing, the better! Some French bakers have decorated the faux yule log with real tree branches, pinecones, meringue mushrooms, berries, holiday-themed figurines and more! For a snow-like effect, lightly sprinkle your yule log cake with powdered sugar.


English Mincemeat Tart

The English mincemeat tart is one of the most popular holiday dishes in England. From as far back as the 1400s, English recipes have called for meat and fruit to be used as pie filling. Today, this quintessentially English dessert still features suet, or beef fat, and dried fruit. Vegetarians, however, can substitute vegetable shortening for suet, making it a tasty yuletide treat for everyone.


American Apple Pie

There’s nothing more American than apple pie during the holidays. When you start baking one, the sweet aroma of warm and buttery pie crust and Granny Smith apple slices will fill the room. Traditionally, the apple pie is a very sweet dish. If you want to make it a little tarter, squeeze a lemon and mix in its juice with the apples, spices and flour.


German Lebkuchen

The lebkuchen is a traditional German spice cookie that Germans have made for hundreds of years during the holidays. To give these easy-to-make cookies their unique taste, they’re spiced with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, brown sugar and more. Add cranberries, cherries, apricots and citrus fruits to the spiced batter to sweeten the taste. This festive cookie is similar to the modern-day gingerbread cookie, but when it’s cool, the lebkuchen is soft and chewy.


For generations, these desserts have been holiday comfort foods for people from around the world. Whether you’re baking a few sweet treats for your holiday gathering or you’re giving desserts as gifts to friends and family, these great options will bring international cheer to your holiday season!