Our Favorite Christmas Cookies! homemade-christmas-cookies-picture-id598555502 One of the sweetest parts of celebrating the holiday season is baking cookies with family and friends. At Price Chopper and Market 32, we love these treats as much as you do and have many different favorites of our own. Whether they’re family traditions or simply the most satisfying to our sweet tooth, we are pleased to share some our holiday favorites with you! Our teammates are big fans of peanut butter, especially when it comes to Christmas
Alison and Celina

Teammates Celina R. and Alison P.  from our Storrs, CT store!

cookies. In the words of teammate Kelly K., from our Sutton, MA store; “My favorite holiday cookie is peanut butter blossoms.” Her response was backed by teammate Celina R. from our Storrs, CT who said “my favorite holiday cookies are peanut butter cookies, because who doesn’t love peanut butter?” Peanut Butter Blossoms are a holiday classic and easily one of our favorite Christmas cookies, check out the recipe in the link below to try them for yourself! https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/classic-peanut-butter-blossom-cookies/a3563f6e-96b0-443f-ae0a-53cef4be6db6 We asked June M., Floral Team Leader in our Chenango, NY store about her favorite Christmas cookie, she said, “Poppy Seed Kolache. My mother made them for years. Brings me back. It was always a tradition and they are so good!” Poppy Seed Kolache is a Czechoslovakian pastry with a poppy seed filling. If you’ve never tried Kolache it is a delicious treat perfect for the holiday season! Give this recipe a try by following the link below! http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/poppy_seed_kolache/ In our main office, Sarah M. of our Business Intelligence team added “Although it is not technically a Christmas cookie, Baklava is a Middle Eastern dessert that is somewhat labor intensive to bake, so my family tends to only make it during the holidays. Baklava is very sweet, has lots of sugar, cinnamon, and walnuts – and it reminds me of my grandmother!” Check out the recipe below! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/michael-symon/baklava-recipe-1972768 Teammate Mike M. in our Palatine Bridge, NY store: “Chocolate jumbos with green and red icing. They are delicious, smell good while baking, and taste like the holidays!” Chocolate jumbos make a fantastic addition to any Christmas baking lists. They are truly a perfect sweet for the season! http://allrecipes.com/recipe/10399/chocolate-jumbo/ Finally, teammate Allison P. at our Storrs, CT store gave perhaps the most festive response; “Sugar cookies that look like candy canes. They’re fun to eat!” From their look to their taste these Candy Cane Cookies are a staple of the Christmas season. How could you not enjoy baking such a fun cookie? https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/candy-cane-cookies/93832e29-3b4f-4977-ae5a-9820053b254c Baking Christmas cookies is one of our favorite parts of the holiday season. We hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do, and maybe find a new Christmas favorite to share with family and friends! From all of us at Price Chopper and Market 32, Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!   Written by Maureen Murphy & Sarah Palmer Empty Pie Crust When it comes to baking a pie, mastering the crust is key! While you can purchase pre-made pie crusts in the dairy & frozen section of our stores, making a pie crust from scratch will make your pie the star of the dessert table!  Below are some tried & true tips to help get you started!     Now that your pie crust skills are feeling confident, fill your crust with this delicious Chocolate-Pecan filling for a sweet pie your holiday guests will love! Chocolate Pecan Pie Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat eggs slightly in mixing bowl.  Blend in sugar, flour, butter and vanilla.  Stir in pecans and chocolate.  Pour into pie shell.  Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool and serve.  Serves 6-8. Written by Maureen Murphy & Sarah Palmer Holiday BakingFamily fun Holiday baking is a wonderful way to share the joy of the season with those we treasure. Start a new tradition with your family this year and bake some special holiday memories! Keep reading for helpful baking tips & time-saving ideas to help get you started! Baking Tips Making time to bake is often fun and rewarding, and can be done with proper organization and a few helpful hints. For recipes & ideas, visit our baking Pinterest board! https://www.pinterest.com/pricechopper/bakers-dozen/   hglogopumpkinmuffins   Written by Karin Reeves of Reeves Farms This is the time of year when things start to slow down a little on the farm: We’re done harvesting all of our vegetables with the exception of some pumpkins and winter squash.  This means that we finally have a little time to do some cooking and baking. I’ve always enjoyed baking more than cooking.  It’s nice to mix up a bunch of ingredients, pop a pan in the oven and wait to see how it come out.  These pumpkin muffins are great because they’re really versatile.  They can be used for a dessert, breakfast or tasty snack. We have tons of pumpkins and squash around the house this time of year.  I usually spend a few hours on a rainy fall day baking up squash and pumpkins and turning them into puree to freeze for the winter.  Everyone in our family is a pumpkin and squash fan including the cat (it’s strange but he loves butternut squash).  For the pumpkin piece of this recipe I have used a lot of different things – pie pumpkins, butternut squash or even buttercup squash.  They all work well so use whatever you like best.  This recipe can also be a good way to use up leftover squash you made for dinner. Start by making the pumpkin puree, which is much easier than you might think. First cut the stem off the pumpkin or squash you have decided to use.  Then cut in half and scoop out the seeds (I like to save the seeds to roast later.)  Place on a baking sheet and bake them at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.  You will know they are done when you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork.  Allow to cool for about 20 mins or until its cool enough to handle.  Scoop out the flesh leaving the skin behind.  Put all the pumpkin flesh in a food processor and blend until smooth.  If you don’t have a food processor, you can mash up the chunks of pumpkin with a potato masher or a fork.  You will need one heaping cup of puree for this recipe.  Depending on the size of the pumpkin or squash you are working with you will probably have more puree than you need.  You can freeze it for later or you can easily double this recipe to use up more puree. Reeves Family Pumpkin Muffins Ingredients 1 ¾ cups flour ¾ cup granulated sugar ½ cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground ginger ¼ teaspoon ground cloves ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg 2 eggs 1 heaping cup of pumpkin or squash puree ½ cup vegetable oil 1 tablespoon milk 1 teaspoon vanilla   Baking Instructions   Preheat oven to 375 degrees   Place paper liners in a muffin tin or grease tin using a paper towel with a little vegetable oil.   In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.  Make sure brown sugar is broken up so there are no chunks of sugar in the batter.   In a separate bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin, oil, milk and vanilla. Whisk together until smooth   Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and fold together gently until just combined   Scoop batter into muffin tins so that each cup is about ¾ full   Bake for 20 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean when inserted into the center of a muffin   Let muffins cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan   You can serve immediately or let muffins cool completely before storing in an airtight container   Yield: about 18 medium size muffins.   This muffin recipe is a great base for trying some variations and experimenting a little.  You can add ½ cup raisins or walnuts to add some more interesting textures. For an extra rich dessert, sometimes I frost the muffins with cream cheese frosting or add a ½ cup of chocolate chips to the recipe.  Enjoy! 20161009_181436.jpeg Written by Sara Lilkas Fall has become synonymous with pumpkin season, for reasons far beyond the classic Jack-O-Lantern! I think it’s fair to say that today’s consumer is seriously pumped-up about pumpkin! From pumpkin flavored drinks and baked goods, to pumpkin ice cream and scented candles, there is no shortage of this fall-favorite flavor!Autumn Pumpkin Spice Latte Pumpkins are great for decorating or even eating! Have you ever baked pumpkin seeds after carving a pumpkin for Halloween They’re delicious and super easy! Simply separate the seeds from the meat of the pumpkin, put them on a greased cookie sheet, add some salt and bake at 300° F for about 45 minutes or until golden brown! Pumpkins do not have to be limited to the spooky happenings surrounding Halloween either. They can also be used for your seasonal fall and Thanksgiving decorating. Pumpkins can be hollowed out and used as vases or they look great painted with stencils, glitter, or monograms to fit in with the rest of your decorations. iStock_000049886210_LargeI’m a huge fan of adding pumpkin to everything possible the months of September-November, and if it spills over into December a little bit that’s fine too. (I would eat pumpkin year round if it was available!)  I love adding pumpkin to pancakes, waffles, bread (for toast), and muffins. I found that learning to cook and bake is a lot more fun when attempting to make foods that I really enjoy. This year I decided to try and make pumpkin muffins instead of purchasing them like I normally do. I tried this recipe here and they turned out great! Plus, you get the added bonus of the apartment smelling amazing when baking muffins fresh at home! Now the only thing better than pumpkin would be the addition of chocolate. My next baking attempt will have to be Pumpkin Swirl Brownies. Brownies are my go-to favorite baked good regardless of the season, but adding pumpkin to the mix will probably result in me eating the whole batch, by myself, in one sitting, it’s fine. My pumpkin obsession has grown with time and age, since now there are also many varieties of pumpkin flavored beer! It seems that almost every brewery, no matter how large or small, puts out a pumpkin flavored beer for the fall. Each variety uses its own unique blend of spices to bring out the pumpkin flavor, so it’s exciting to try the different varieties and discover the many flavors! Two of my favorites are the Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale and Magic Hat’s Wilhelm Scream. As always, please enjoy responsibly! What are your favorite pumpkin flavored treats? Leave a comment below! Written by Sara Lilkas, Marketing Intern  Scarey Pumpkins BOO! Did Halloween sneak up on you too? Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. Growing up I took every single excuse I could to wear a princess dress and ran with it. (I mean there was also the free candy thing, but who doesn’t love running around in a poofy ball gown?) Now that I’m 23 and trick or treating is no longer an option, more creative measures have to be taken to celebrate this spooky and sugar high inducing holiday. For adults, even those who are reluctantly adults, there a couple of fairly simple and budget friendly options that can be planned out in almost no time at all! The Scary Movie Marathon A movie marathon is an easy and fairly cheap way to get the spook factor in. Even though video rental stores are no longer a thing, RedBox sometimes has seasonal offerings and for around $1 a night you can’t really go wrong. Another option is to ask your friends to bring over their favorite scary movie DVDs if they have any. I personally don’t believe any scary movie marathon is complete without The Shining, a film from the Scream series, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. I am sure there are some horror aficionados out there who will disagree with me, but these are the scary movies I grew up not being allowed to watch, so obviously they became my favorites….well at least once they stopped giving me nightmares. Now for those who are feeling nostalgic I would recommend the Halloweentown series or Nightmare Before Christmas (or really anything done by Tim Burton since he has mastered the art of being creepy and awesome without being terrifying.) And there is simply no such thing as a Halloween movie marathon without Hocus Pocus. I don’t care what you are doing when Hocus Pocus is on TV, you sit down and watch. iStock_000048683394_MediumBut the pillowcase full of free candy is still missing. Now this is the true tragedy of growing up. What hits the sweet spot (see what I did there) is inviting your friends over for a spooktacular movie marathon with Halloween themed baked goods and snacks. One of my favorite Halloween time movie snacks is this sweet and salty popcorn recipe featuring peanut butter and the sugary goodness known as candy corn!  Now I have personally decided that the calories from candy corn consumed in October simply do not count. So I recommend adding it to as many snacks as possible such as Halloween themed trail mix and cupcakes. The Halloween Party Now if you do not think it is fun to watch movies that are meant to terrify you, a more low-key affair may be more your style. And by low-key I mean anything from a few friends over to a raging costume party. Halloween can also be the perfect excuse to throw a masquerade party(I’ve always wanted to go to a masquerade party so I’m just throwing that out there.) At any Halloween event costumes should be required, it does not hinder your cool factor to dress up, in my opinion it makes you more awesome, but let’s talk about planning this thing. No matter how extravagant your Halloween affair may be (or how big your party budget is) there are plenty of easy food and decoration ideas, using a lot of things you may already have around the house. Creepy pictures can be printed out and put into the frames you already have, and food dye can go a long way for making regular drinks look like something you’d find in the Haunted Mansion. Instead of having all the lights in your house on, save some electricity and use candles where you can.Black Label with Halloween Party on Wood Painting items is also a fairly cheap way to decorate, but is obviously more permanent. Using black paint on every-day items can go a long way in creating a spooky feel for your party. Try painting your pumpkins in addition to carving them and I’m sure you will win spookiest house on the block. (Plus make sure you save the pumpkin seeds while carving, you can bake them to make a tasty snack!) Whether it’s black painted pumpkins, frames, or other items, matte black paint can make decorations look eerily goth, but not childish (chalkboard paint is another cool option here, since you can then write and draw on the decorations as well.) As you may have guessed with my ramblings about the black paint, black is my go to decorating theme for Halloween (and let’s face it, for everyday life), but I’m also a girl who happens to love glitter. A can of black glitter spray paint costs around $4 and can be purchased at any home improvement or craft store. I personally believe that glitter can be added to almost any decoration depending on the feel you are going for with your party, but beware once you put glitter on one thing it will get everywhere, there’s just no stopping it. As always check out our Pinterest board for more holiday recipes and ideas! Written by Sara Lilkas, Marketing Intern  When people ask about my favorite foods my first instinct is to choose apples. But when I say apples I do not only mean the delicious fruit, I’m also including the multitude of apple flavored baked goods, ciders, and the association they have with fall. Growing up in Upstate New York aka Apple Country, I would probably be considered a social pariah if apples were not high on my list of favorite foods. I couldn’t even tell you why I like apples so much since each variety has its own distinct flavor. If I had to pick my favorite varieties they would have to be golden delicious, granny smith, and honeycrisp (so you can see my taste go from very sweet to very tart.) The real reason that I have apples on my mind is the weather is beginning to cool down so in addition to pulling out the scarves and boots, apples will begin to pop up everywhere again (which is fantastic.) What’s even more fantastic is the amount of apples available from local growers. Even though New York State may be known for apples, I have recently learned they are actually grown throughout the Northeastern United States. There are tons of orchards throughout the Northeast and many of them are still family owned and run. Price Chopper works hard to find the best tasting apples from local growers located in various parts of New York, Connecticut, and Vermont (and that’s only including a few of the growers they purchase from.) In this search for the best apples Price Chopper has developed long term relationships with many growers including Sunrise Orchards in Vermont (20 years!) apples treesSunrise Orchards and Roger’s Orchards in Connecticut take great pride in how their apples are grown. Both orchards are certified as Eco Apples™ and have to adhere to strict growing practices in order to receive this certification. The program focuses on the quality of the soil the apples are grown on, and keeping beneficial insects within the environment. As part of this process having as much information about what is going on in the orchard and the plants surrounding the area is essential. By monitoring insect populations, growing conditions, and other factors that are important to the growing process growers can determine whether it is necessary to treat against any unwanted fungus or pest that may be harmful to the apple crop. The Eco Apple™ certification is not given out to every orchard, every year. In order to receive the certification the orchards have to undergo a review by the IPM Institute of North America, to ensure that the growing conditions have been upheld for the year. As I mentioned earlier I really love ciders. Every once in a while I may indulge in a hard cider (my favorite is Woodchuck!), but the typical nonalcoholic fare is my true favorite. There is nothing better than a beautiful fall day with a glass of apple cider. I’ve recently been experimenting with warming apple cider for those days when the first fingers of winter reach into the air. I’ve found warming up apple cider and adding a pinch of cinnamon does the trick! When it comes to apple baking I love the classics. There is nothing better in my mind then a warm slice of apple pie (or a whole apple pie whatever floats your boat). My best friend has recently been trying to teach me how to bake and we decided to start big with the pie. We used this recipe for an apple pie from scratch, but a pre-made or gluten free crust could easily be substituted! How do you enjoy apples in the fall? Share your apple creations on Instagram with #PriceChopper and #Market32! Our bakery has so many unique and delicious offerings that can make any holiday gathering even sweeter!  Check out some of our favorite items below—all of which can be found at your local Price Chopper Bakery Department! untitle45dCentral Market Classics Decadent Dessert Cakes–  Our Signature Home for the Holidays Cake is layered with red velvet cake and real whipped cream frosting!       Cannolis– All of our cannolis are filled to order, guaranteeing a fresh, crisp shell in every experience!  untitle145dOur cannoli shells and cream comes from an authentic Italian pastry producer in the Bronx in New York City, where they have been perfecting the art of making pastries for over 60 years!  They have hand crafted two new flavors just for us—Pumpkin Cinnamon and Peppermint.  They can’t be found anywhere else! untitle12dCharacter Breads– Our specialty rye breads are available in many different shapes including turtles, bears and lobsters!  They’re great for any party and baked from scratch just for you!         Platters– This delectable dessert platter is filled with cannolis, cream puffs, éclairs, sfogliatelli and more!  We also offer platterbagel and breakfast platters, perfect for a morning meal with your family!     santa cake Decorated Cakes– This Santa Cake is just one of the many cake and cupcake designs our talented bakers can create for you!