3 Easy Holiday Desserts for the Lazy Baker
Every year, California rancher Elizabeth Poett takes a pause from working the land to bake seasonal sweets for family and friends. Here she shares a few of her favorites from her new cookbook, The Ranch Table.
Long before Elizabeth Poett became the host of Ranch to Table on the Magnolia Network and grew a robust social-media following with her posts about living and cooking on a 14,000-acre cattle ranch, her family had been working the land on California’s Central Coast—for seven generations to be exact. Poett’s family’s ranch, Rancho San Julian, dates to 1837, when the Mexican government granted her great-great-great-great-grandfather the land near Lompoc, which by today’s measures is an hour’s drive north of Santa Barbara.
While the business of cattle ranching and growing apricots and lavender remains the same as it has for over a century, Poett, alongside her husband Austin, has taken a 21st-century approach to telling the story: with cooking workshops and dinners through her business The Ranch Table, the TV show, social media posts recapping the range of activities from pig feeding to pie making, and mail-order merch.
Her new book, The Ranch Table: Recipes from a Year of Harvests, Celebrations, and Family Dinners on a Historic California Ranch, collects dozens of simple and satisfying recipes organized around the rhythms and events of California Central Coast ranch life such as “Breakfast After a Hunt,” “Beach Cookout,” and “Holiday Baking Party.” The latter is from where we’ve sourced these delicious desserts Poett makes by the dozen each holiday to bring to fellow ranchers, family, and friends.
Like so many of Poett’s recipes, there’s an unfussy, homey appeal to them that comes from a farming culture where time is precious and the ingredients are few but of the highest quality. We hope you enjoy these with your family this holiday season just as Poett and her family do on their beautiful ranch.
For more delicious recipes, check out The Ranch Table: Recipes from a Year of Harvests, Celebrations, and Family Dinners on a Historic California Ranch.