She's one of the trendiest names in food blogging and cookbooks today—and for good reason. Molly Yeh's unique approach to food, friends, and entertaining resonates with people across the countries. From their sugar beet farm, on the border of North Dakota and Minnesota, Yeh and her husband, Nick Hagen, shared festive recipes in our December issue that blend her Midwestern (she grew up in Chicago), Jewish, and Chinese Roots. Built with her holiday brunch menu in mind, these five ingredients are Yeh's must-have holiday ingredients.
- Marzipan—This unsweetened almond paste is one of Molly’s favorite ingredients to work with, both as an ingredient in baking and a decorating tool—a gorgeous finishing touch for her Baked Marzipan Donuts. “Since I don’t have great [decorating] technique, I like using marzipan cutouts,” she says. “They’re so easy.” Knead gently on a work surface dusted with powdered sugar, working in a little gel or liquid food coloring for festive colors.
- Clementines—Even though you may have a full menu planned for your guests, it never hurts to have fresh snacks for them to nosh on. Winter satsumas or clementines are great options: They’re easy to peel, convenient to tote, and wonderful to eat.
- Peppermint Schnapps—Molly gives her Spiked Hot Chocolate a bit of boozy warmth with peppermint schnapps, so a peppermint stick garnish is only fitting (but don’t forget the marshmallows!). Another unexpected hot cocoa ingredient? Coconut milk, which adds full-bodied richness. “Coconut goes well with chocolate and mint, so it really brings this hot chocolate together nicely,” she says.
- Rosemary—Piney fresh rosemary is for so much more than sprinkling over roasted chicken or potatoes. Molly steeps fresh sprigs in a simple syrup for drizzling over gorgeous Rosemary-Citrus Parfaits. The rest of the syrup can be mixed with club soda, or vodka or gin for a cocktail. Molly adds another genius suggestion: “If you have freshly fallen snow, you can put some in a cup and drizzle the syrup over it.”
- Harissa—No brunch is complete without Bloody Marys. Molly likes to boost her Harissa Bloddy Marys with harissa, a traditional Tunisian chile paste with a spicy, pleasantly bitter edge. “I really like being able to introduce a new ingredient like harissa to my community through a more familiar thing like a Bloody Mary,” she says. Look for harissa in the international aisle or with the special sauces.