Holiday Dessert Guide

Let’s face it, the holidays just aren’t going to look the same this year. We’re all hunting for ways to spend distanced time with our closest family, and the Junior League of Omaha cookbook can help you find recipes that can be made into single servings to make life a little easier.

Have a peanut butter lover in the family? Try our Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting recipe! If you want something a little smaller, our Dark Chocolate and Seas Salt Sables more than get the job done. You can also find a recipe for Apple Pie Bars or Bourbon Baked Apples to put a single-serving twist on a holiday favorite dessert, or keep it even more simple with Sweet and Salty Caramel Brownie Bites. Whatever you’re craving, the JLO cookbook can satisfy.

The best thing we can do in this complicated time is keep the holidays simple, so our gift to you this holiday season is our amazing recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Junior League of Omaha – A Century of Serving 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

# Servings: 8 Dozen Category: Desserts

Ingredients:

  • 6 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 ¼ cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 24 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups chopped pecans

Directions

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix well. Break the eggs into a bowl. 

Cream the butter,shortening, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs 2 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans. Chill the dough for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto non stick baking sheets. Bake for 11 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes. Remove to waxed paper to cool completely. 

To learn more or purchase your own copy of the A Century of Serving cookbook click here.

Images by Joshua Foo 


You can find this recipes and more in the Junior League of Omaha’s A Century of Serving cookbook, available online at the link below or one of our many local retailers: https://www.jlomaha.org/cookbook/

The Perfect Holiday Gift

Looking for the perfect holiday gift? The Junior League of Omaha cookbook is a festive option – sure to wow your family and friends! Want to make your gift extra special? Check out a few ways to bundle A Century of Serving:

  • Wrap one in a pretty tablecloth, dish towel, or placemats.
  • Buy a cocktails book and attach a mini bottle and cocktail stirrer
  • Place one inside a skillet, frying pan, or grill pan and tie with ribbon
  • Use a knife and fork as part of the bow to wrap it with
  • Tie on a slim bottle of flavored olive oil or a unique spice to the front
  • Add a bamboo cutting board and a set of three whisks tied with some ribbon.

Order your cookbook today at  https://www.jlomaha.org/cookbook/ or from one of our many local retailers.

Game Day Wings

Looking to impress for your at-home game day party? If your spread usually includes a store bought bean dip or having pizza delivered it doesn’t have to be that way! Our chicken wing recipe includes pantry staples you already have at home – and plenty of time to get other party preparations done while they cook in the crock pot!  

Cilantro Sesame Sticky Wings is one of the recipes in the Junior League of Omaha’s A Century of Serving cookbook, available online and in stores now!

Cilantro Sesame Sticky Wings

# Servings: 8 Category: Appetizers

Serving Size: Pan Size: Slow cooker, baking sheet

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons Sriracha hot chili sauce or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 pounds chicken wings
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Directions:

Combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, minced garlic, chili sauce, ginger powder, garlic powder, onion powder and pepper in a bowl and whisk to mix well. Place the chicken wings in a slow cooker. Pour the brown sugar mixture over the chicken and toss to coat. Cook, covered, on low for 3 to 4 hours. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and whisk to mix. Pour over the chicken and stir. Cook on high for 10 to 15 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil. Remove the chicken to the prepared baking sheet, reserving the sauce. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until the caramelized and slightly charred. Sprinkle with the cilantro and sesame seeds. Serve immediately with the reserved sauce on the side. 

To learn more or purchase your own copy of the A Century of Serving cookbook click here.
Images by Joshua Foo

Cool Down With Cocktails

Looking for a light and refreshing drink to cool down in the summer heat? Check out this recipe for Whiskey and Bubbles! The Champagne and whiskey base with a splash of lemon will give you the cool down you’ve been looking for and is the perfect drink for Labor Day Weekend! 

Whiskey and Bubbles is one of the recipes in the Junior League of Omaha’s A Century of Serving cookbook, available online and in stores now. 

Whiskey and Bubbles

# Servings: 2 Category: Beverages

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon warm water
  • 2 cups ice
  • 2 ounces whiskey
  • ½ ounce yellow Chartreuse
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 2 ounces Champagne
  • 2 spiral-cut lemon twists

Directions

Combine the honey and warm water in a small dish and mix well. Fill a cocktail shaker with the ice. Add the whiskey, Chartreuse, lemon juice and honey mixture. Cover and share vigorously. Strain into 2 chilled double old-fashioned glasses or Champagne flutes. Add 1 ounce of the Champagne to each flute and stir. Place a lemon twist on the rim of each flute and serve.

The Cookbooks Are Here!

The Junior League of Omaha’s fourth cookbook, A Century of Serving: A Centennial Celebration Cookbook, has more than 200 mouthwatering recipes, from cocktails to desserts and every course in-between. This book will help you turn any meal into an occasion. Did you know, if every League member bought seven cookbooks or encouraged seven people to buy, we would hit our 2018-2019 goal? Bring one to work, your kids’ sporting event, or a friend gathering. Let’s work together to rally the Omaha community and celebrate 100 years of The Omaha Junior League!

The cookbooks are on sale now at general membership meetings and the JLO Holiday Social for $35 plus tax. You can also purchase online at https://www.jlomaha.org/cookbook/. You’ll even get a 10% discount if you purchase a case of 10, online only! Online orders should be placed by Dec. 8 to ensure delivery by the holidays.

cookbook

Here is one recipe to highlight: 

Junior League of Omaha – A Century of Serving: A Centennial Celebration Cookbook

Turtle Bars

# Servings: 3 dozen Category: Desserts

Serving Size: Pan Size: 9 x 13 baking pan

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups pecan halves
  • ¾ cups packed brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup plus 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½  cups chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour, 1 cup brown sugar and ½ cup melted butter in a bowl and mix well. Press over the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle with the pecans.

Combine ¾ cupbrown sugar and ⅔ cup plus 3 tablespoons butter in a heave saucepan. Bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour evenly over the pecans. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and light brown. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Let stand to cool completely before cutting into bars.

Cooking for a Crowd

Cooking for 20 can be tricky, but every month Junior League of Omaha Board of Directors take on the challenge of providing dinner for a monthly Board meeting. When it came time for New Member Chair Bethany Banister and Communications Chair Melissa Carlberg to take their turn, they were confident the Junior League’s Toast to Omaha cookbook would be the perfect resource – and would build excitement for the upcoming release of the League’s new cookbook, to be released in conjunction with our 100th anniversary in 2019.

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“We thought soup would be a crowd-pleaser, and also figured it’d be fairly easy to transport and keep warm,” says Melissa. “Bethany and I got together, picked out some recipes that looked delicious and started planning a couple weeks before the meeting.”

Melissa made the following soup recipes:

  • Curried Pumpkin Soup, page 49
  • Upsteam Brewing Company’s Smoked Gouda Beer Soup, page 59
  • Italian Vegetable soup, page 55

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For a side, Bethany chose Ron’s Wheatfield Cornbread, page 182, and for dessert, gave Very Rich Everything Bars, page 214, a try.

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“The cornbread was super easy,” says Bethany. “I do have a suggestion for the dessert, though. Use creamy peanut butter instead of crunchy for both the base and the fudge topping. I also used salted nuts, even though the recipe called for unsalted. It seemed to cut down the richness a little!”

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Final consensus? Everything was a hit! The sausage soup was nearly gone and the beer cheese soup reheated wonderfully.  

“The Italian vegetable soup was a fairly quick, easy recipe and you can even save some time by eliminating the chopping and buying frozen spinach and carrots,” says Melissa. “I’d definitely make it again. In fact, I’d make them all again. I especially liked the Upstream beer cheese soup. I used a cheddar to supplement the Gouda, simply because it was a bit more economical for a double batch.”

Both Bethany and Melissa agree that the dinner was a success; board members all tasted several Toast to Omaha recipes for the first time and everyone seemed excited to make them again! Hopefully, it got members thinking about what they can submit for the next Junior League of Omaha cookbook!

The Cookbook Committee is currently planning for the upcoming edition, A Century of Serving, and looks forward to hosting tasting parties beginning this summer to choose the entries for the anniversary cookbook. Be on the lookout for recipes you’d be interested in submitting – and if you’d like one of the special edition Junior League of Omaha aprons, orders will be available soon at jlomaha.org.