Your ultimate holiday cookbook

Get ideas for your Christmas and Hanukkah holiday meal, including party menus, drinks, and sweets

4 doughs, 20 fabulous Christmas cookies

Get our easy master recipes and make all the holiday cookies you crave

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Stick of butter
Photo: Thomas J. Story

Butter 

This is the most important ingredient in baking. Smooth and slightly sweet, it adds moisture, body, and flavor to whatever you make.

And unlike shortenings and artificial fats, butter does literally melt in the mouth.

Our top butter: Straus Family Creamery, Marshall, CA

The only California milk producer that runs both an organic dairy and an organic creamery, Straus makes outstanding butter. It’s crafted in small batches and has incredible flavor.

The butterfat content is 85 percent, similar to European butters (American butters are typically about 80 percent). strausfamilycreamery.com  or 415/663-5464.

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