gingerbread-man-150.jpgFor 4 years, University community members have shared the secrets of their favorite holiday treats through the SMU Forum. The recipes under the link are taste-tested, guest-approved classics from previous issues, with a few new ones added. Enjoy them – and let us in on your own traditions!

The holidays provide countless opportunities to share favorite dishes with family and friends. Whether you’re cooking dinner for 30 or bringing a treat to a party, these recipes from SMU staff and faculty member are sure to please.

To add your own recipe, post it in a new comment below.

White Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsp. Irish Cream
1 tbsp. vanilla
3 cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts, lightly toasted
1-1/2 cups white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and both sugars. Beat in eggs, Irish Cream and vanilla. Stir or sift together cake flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add nuts and white chocolate.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto a prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes. Makes 4 dozen

Submitted by Gwen Beauchamp, Cox School of Business

Chocolate Mint Brownies

Ingredients – Brownies:

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup nuts, chopped


4 tbsp. butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1 drop green food coloring


1 tbsp. butter
1 square unsweetened chocolate


Combine melted butter or margarine and chocolate; let cool. Beat together eggs, salt, and sugar. Add chocolate mixture. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish and bake at 325?? F for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool.

Mix together all filling ingredients and spread on top of cooled brownies. Refrigerate until cold.

Melt chocolate with butter and spread over cold brownies. Refrigerate and cut into squares; serve with peppermint ice cream. Serves 8.

Submitted by Martha Coniglio, University Events and Special Projects

King Ranch Salsa


2 cloves garlic
2 jalapeños, stemmed and halved (seeds included), or to taste
1 small (tangerine-sized) white onion, quartered
1 (14.5 oz.) can of good-quality whole tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 tbsp. white vinegar
2 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste (if you substitute table salt, use less)


In a food processor, mince garlic and jalapeños. Add onion and process just until roughly chopped. Add tomatoes and process until not quite smooth — you want the salsa to retain some texture.

Mix in olive oil, 2 tablespoons of vinegar and salt. Taste and add more vinegar if necessary. Let sit for a few hours. Salsa will hold nicely in the refrigerator for two weeks.

Submitted by Geoffrey Orsak, Dean, Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering

Sausage-Squash Special

1 lb. pork sausage
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 cups sliced yellow squash
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup milk
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten

Sauté sausage and garlic until browned; drain. Cook squash and drain. Combine all ingredients. Coat shallow baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and spoon in mixture. Bake uncovered at 325 F for 30 minutes.

Submitted by Judy McMaster, Dedman College Advising Center

Chicken Enchiladas


2 tbsp. butter
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup diced roasted red bell pepper
2 (3 oz.) packages cream cheese, cubed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 (4.5 oz.) cans diced green chiles
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth
1/2 cup salsa
10 7-inch flour tortillas
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


Melt butter in a large skillet, stirring often; add sliced onions and cook 20 minutes or until caramelized. Reduce heat to low and add chopped chicken and next 4 ingredients, stirring until combined. Set aside. Combine chiles and next 6 ingredients and bring to a boil in saucepan. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in salsa.

Spread one third of chile mixture evenly on bottom of lightly greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Spoon chicken mixture evenly down center of each tortilla, roll up, and place, seam side down, in prepared baking dish. Top with remaining chile mixture, sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 375 F for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly. Serves 4 to 6.

Submitted by Nancy George, News and Communications

Elegant Beef Blue

4 (4 oz.) beef tenderloin steaks
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup beef consomme
1/2 cup half-and-half
8 small asparagus spears
1-1/2 to 2 oz. crumbled blue cheese

Rub steaks with chopped thyme, salt, and pepper. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add oil. Add steaks and cook 3-5 minutes on each side or to desired degree of doneness. Remove steaks and keep warm; reserve drippings in skillet.

Stir wine and consomme into drippings; increase heat to high. Cook, stirring often, until reduced to 1/2 cup. Stir in half-and-half and cook, stirring constantly, until reduced to 1/2 cup or desired consistency. Keep warm.

Snap off tough ends of asparagus; remove scales with a vegetable peeler; if desired. Cut spears in half and place in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam 8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Top steaks with asparagus and sprinkle with cheese.

Broil 6 inches from heat with oven door partially open for 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve immediately with sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Submitted by Linda May, Office of the Provost

Winter Squash Soup with Cinnamon, Cloves and Mint

2 lbs. dense winter squash such as buttercup, perfection, kabocha or butternut
1 tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
12 coriander seeds
12 peppercorns
2 cups milk or light cream
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
8 cloves
1 small handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 jalapeño pepper or 2 small dried red chiles, seeds removed
2 tbsp. butter
1 onion, finely diced
2 tsp. each finely chopped mint and cilantro for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut squash in half using a cleaver or heavy chef’s knife; scoop out seeds. Brush surfaces lightly with oil, place them face down on cookie sheet and bake until soft and tender, 30-45 minutes depending on type of squash used. (Soft squash will give off a watery, sweet liquid that also can be used in the soup. If cooked squash sits for awhile, it will reabsorb the liquid.) When squash is cooked and cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh.

While squash is baking, make an infusion with herbs and milk: First lightly crush coriander seeds and peppercorns, then put in a saucepan with milk or cream, cinnamon, cloves, mint leaves and chiles. Heat mixture slowly, but turn off heat just before milk comes to boil. Let stand until needed.

Melt butter in soup pot and add onion and salt lightly. Gently cook onions until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add squash and 1 quart water. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer until squash is broken up, about 25 minutes.

Pass soup through a food mill or blend briefly, leaving as much texture as you like. Return soup to stove and add milk, pouring it through a strainer. Taste for salt. Gently reheat soup, but do not allow it to boil. Serve garnished with chopped mint and cilantro. Makes about 1-1/2 quarts.

Submitted by Sarah Hanan, News and Communications

Coq au Vin

Ingredients – Day 1:

2 bottles French burgundy or California pinot noir – one for the table, the other for the sauce
2 cups onion, diced
1 cup celery stalks, sliced
1 large carrot, peeled, sliced
3 large garlic cloves, peeled, flattened
1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
Olive oil
1 6- to 8-lb. organic roasting chicken, backbone removed, cut into 8 pieces (2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 full wings, 2 breasts)

Heat pan with a little olive oil. Add onion, celery, and carrots. Cook until onions are clear; once they begin to brown, add garlic. Before the garlic burns (it becomes bitter), add wine and pepper. Bring to a boil (burns off alcohol). Bring back down to simmer and cook for five minutes or so. Turn off and cool.

Put the chicken in a large bowl that will fit in your fridge. Add wine mixture from step 2. It must be cold, or it will cook the chicken. Let chicken marinate for 1 to 2 days.

Ingredients – Days 2 and 3:

6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into strips
All-purpose flour
1 lb. mushrooms (wild if possible)
3 large shallots, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
4 large fresh thyme sprigs
4 large fresh parsley sprigs
4 small bay leaves
2 cups low-salt organic chicken broth

Preheat an oven-safe pot large enough to hold the chicken. Add bacon, cook until crispy. Remove bacon, keeping bacon fat in pot. Cook shallots in bacon fat until clear; add mushrooms. Remove mushrooms and shallots once browned.

While shallots are cooking, take chicken out of the marinade (wine stock); let dry. Use a colander to remove vegetables from marinade; reserve both vegetables and liquid.

Add a little butter or oil and cook garlic until browned. Remove garlic; add to the mushroom mixture.

Add more butter or oil and put chicken in pot, skin side down. Cover and let chicken cook 5 minutes on each side; remove from pot.

Add vegetables from marinade. They will have absorbed the wine and should have liquid enough to deglaze the pan. Remove vegetables and add to bacon, mushrooms, garlic, and shallots.

Add a couple of tablespoons of flour to bottom of pan; if the pan is dry, you may need to add butter to make the roux. Cook until flour is browned.

Add wine marinade slowly, whisking as you do. Bring to a boil. Add chopped herbs and whole bay leaves (or use a herb bag). Whisk until the boil is rolling. Reduce heat. Add chicken, skin side up. Add chicken stock. Cover and return to heat (or place in oven); cook for 30 minutes.

Check the pot and let the smell fill the kitchen. Remove the herbs (if not chopped up) and bay leaves. Add all the vegetables and bacon. Cook for another five minutes.

Makes 5 servings, and it will be even better the next day when you reheat the leftovers – if there are any.

Submitted by Owen Lynch, Meadows School of the Arts

Cheese Grits Soufflé


2 tsp. salt
7 cups water
2 cups uncooked grits
6 oz. Kraft Cracker Barrel sharp cheddar cheese
1 (6 oz.) roll Kraft garlic cheese
1 cup butter, melted
4 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Yellow food coloring (optional)


Add salt to boiling water and cook grits covered, on low heat, until done (about 25 minutes). Stir in cheese cut into small pieces, butter, eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and food coloring if desired. Spoon into a 3-quart casserole and bake at 350 F for 1 hour. Serves 12.

For an even fluffier soufflé, separate the eggs. Add beaten yolks to the grits mixture and fold in stiffly beaten egg whites last.

Submitted by Marianne Piepenburg, Planned and Endowment Giving

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

8 medium potatoes (about 4 pounds)
1 cup light sour cream
8 oz. light cream cheese
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 cup green onions, chopped (dark green parts only)
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. sage
1/4 cup milk


thinly sliced green onions
cooked crumbled bacon

Clean potatoes and peel, if desired. Cut into 1-inch chunks. Boil potatoes in a large pot of boiling water until just tender, 7-10 minutes. Don’t overcook or the mashed potatoes will turn out gluey. They’re done when a fork goes all the way through without resistance.

Meanwhile, mix the sour cream into the softened cream cheese in a large bowl, a spoonful at a time, until blended. Add garlic salt and green onions; mix well.

When the potatoes are done, remove from heat and drain. While still hot, press the potatoes through a ricer (like a giant garlic press) into the cream cheese mixture, or just add them to the cream cheese mixture and mash. Stir just until blended; don’t overmix.

Add butter, pepper, garlic, and sage. Stir again just until blended. Add up to 1/4 cup milk, a tablespoon at a time, if the potatoes seem too dry.

Spoon potatoes into a crockpot. At this point, they can be refrigerated overnight. When ready to serve, heat potatoes in crockpot until hot, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with additional green onions and bacon before serving.

Submitted by Katy Scott, Integrated Marketing

Baked Chicken Salad

3 to 4 cups cooked chicken, chopped
2 tsp. finely chopped onion
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup sliced almonds
1-1/2 to 2 cups mayonnaise
Salt and pepper
2 oz. jar pimentos, chopped


1-1/2 to 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1-1/2 to 2 cups crushed potato chips

Mix all ingredients except topping and pour into a 13 x 9-inch casserole or oblong pan. Cover with grated cheddar cheese and crushed potato chips. Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes.

Submitted by Linda May, Office of the Provost

Aunt Bert Smith Wright’s Fudge Cake


1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1-2/3 cups flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract (for Mexican vanilla, use 1/2 tsp.)


1/2 stick butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 box confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla (for Mexican vanilla, use 1/2 tsp.)
Buttermilk as needed

Grease and flour pan(s) before baking. This can be a sheet or layer cake, although I find it works better as a sheet cake. (See baking times below.) Cream butter, sugar, and eggs. Sift together all dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients and buttermilk; beat at low to blend. Mix at medium speed thoroughly, adding vanilla at the last.

Bake at 350 F. The cake will test done in the middle, but won’t pull away from the sides until it’s cooled. Don’t overbake. Cool before frosting.

Baking times: For a 13 x 9-inch pan, bake 35-40 minutes. Cool completely before frosting in pan. For two 8- or 9-inch round layer pans, bake 30-35 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before turning out on racks to finish cooling.

For the frosting, sift sugar and cocoa together. Add vanilla to butter and cream in dry ingredients, adding buttermilk a few drops at a time, until smooth consistency for spreading. This frosting is best when somewhat thick.

Submitted by Barbara Mohrle, Dedman College Advising Center