You know it as soon as you take the first bite—the way it warms up your insides and floods your mind with fond memories. Comfort food doesn’t pretend to be fancy. It doesn’t require a risky palate or a trip off the beaten path. Its magic is in its familiarity. The way it brings us back to center—back to a moment we’re grateful to be in—regardless of when or where we taste it.
We wanted a season full of those kinds of moments at Magnolia, so we created a holiday menu of nostalgic favorites. Here’s a look at a few we can’t wait for you to try:
Chicken and Biscuits from Magnolia Table
It’s about time fried chicken made its menu debut, isn’t it? A classic Southern dish and a favorite in the Gaines household, these fried chicken tenders are served with a side of hot honey for just the right amount of sweet heat. And the biscuits? They’re Jo’s personal recipe that she spent more than a year of Saturdays perfecting.
Spiced Caramel Apple Cider from Magnolia Press
If you ask Chip, apple cider reminds him of his mother because she made it for him often when he was a child. This drink is our ode to mom's cider steamed with rich caramel apple and topped with cinnamon whipped cream and spiced apple bites.
Gingerbread Cookie Pie from Silos Baking Co.
If nostalgia had a flavor, it’d taste something like a whoopie pie. This is our take on a whoopie pie for the holidays, featuring two gingerbread cookies sandwiched around fluffy cream cheese frosting.
Peppermint Mocha from Magnolia Press
Nothing says Christmas quite like the combination of chocolate and peppermint. Steamed together with milk and espresso, it makes a cozy companion for holiday shopping, brisk winter walks, or slow mornings at the Press.
Puppy Chow Hand Pie from Silos Baking Co.
It goes by a variety of names, but around here we call this nostalgic treat Puppy Chow. A favorite of kids and adults alike, there’s a lot to love—not the least that the main ingredients are chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar. This season, we’re serving that same nostalgic flavor reimagined as a hand pie.
Can’t join us in Waco this December but still craving a taste of holiday nostalgia? A batch of gingerbread whoopie pies should do the trick. Get the recipe below:
Gingerbread Whoopie Pies
Recipe adapted from Magnolia Journal Issue 5
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup molasses
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs, at room temperature
4 cups all-purpose flour
Granulated sugar for rolling
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or grease cookie sheets. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and cloves. Add eggs; beat well. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in remaining flour.
2. Scoop the soft dough into twenty-four 1 ¾ inch balls. Roll balls in granulated sugar. Arrange balls 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.
3. Baking about 10 minutes or until edges are firm and starting to lightly brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely.
4. For filling, in a medium bowl beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla with a mixer on medium until smooth. Spread filling on flat sides of half of the cookies. Press flat sides of remaining cookies against filling. Cover and chill assembled whoopie pies for up to 24 hours.
Makes 1 dozen whoopie pies.