Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Favorite Christmas dessert by state

Here is one of those fun posts that surveys people in different states and gives each state a favorite whatever. In this case, it’s the favorite Christmas dessert or other sweet.

Some I simply do not believe, but wait for it. First:

The overall favorite, taking first place at a whopping nine states: cheesecake. Very sensible! Very appropriate! Cheesecake is not really a Christmas thing for me. It’s an all-occasion thing. I made a cheesecake for my mother’s birthday earlier this month, with a brownie base, a cheesecake layer, and a raspberry topping. Luckily I guessed exactly right about baking times and both the brownie part and the cheesecake part were perfect. I was pretty much making up the recipe, so that was a relief.

Meanwhile, second place, red velvet cake, in three southern states.

I do have some quibbles:

Worst phrasing for an entry: “pudding.” I mean, really, “pudding?” Do they mean chocolate pudding or bread pudding or what? “Pudding” should not be poured together in one amorphous category like this. Shame on the people who put this survey together.

Also, some very inappropriate choices that absolutely do not belong on this kind of survey: hot chocolate, eggnog. It doesn’t matter what people like or how seasonal a drink may be, if you drink it out of a mug, it is not a dessert. The survey does say “treats,” but I still feel it is just wrong to put drinks on a map that is really more for desserts.

Now: The Entry I Do Not Believe —

Missouri: Vegan Christmas Cookies.

COME ON. YOU MUST BE JOKING. THERE IS NO WAY.

Who exactly filled out this survey in Missouri? There are zero states where this would make sense. I wouldn’t believe this of California, far less Missouri.

I don’t believe Washington State either. That’s not a Christmas treat at all! Take a minute to guess what this might be. Then click through and take a look. You will be wrong. Not a single person in the universe would ever guess this item, even though from reading this paragraph you will already know it is not a Christmas-related dessert.

Now, if your family makes special sweets or desserts for Christmas, what are your favorites?

Mine: super fancy cookies I spend a month making.

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11 Comments Favorite Christmas dessert by state

  1. Hanneke

    They based their conclusions on Google search trends in December 2019.
    Maybe not that many people in Missouri find their (usual) Christmas recipes that way, and so only a new and unusual recipe like the vegan christmas cookies was searched for that way (for sharing with those who joined the vegan wave that year, e.g. if it’s tradition to bring cookies to work)?
    And the Washington result might be explained if that candy had an extra-funny Christmas advert out that year, that people were looking up – if that gets memed a lot of schoolkids might be looking up those two words together to get the full video.

  2. Elaine T

    CHristmas pudding is a phrase/thing I run across in older British books, I suspect that’s what the searches are for: trying to find out what it IS.
    Apparently, it’s fruitcake. yuck.

    We make Yule Log, out of our own combination of chocolate roll cake, filling and frosting, and the kid prefers tunnel of fudge cake, so we do both.

    I used to do Christmas cookie baking, but let it dwindle to nothingness as people moved away, talked too much about healthy eating, whatever.. discouraged it. Besides we make cookies all the time, anyway.

  3. Maria

    In my country most people make (or buy:)) beigli, walnut or poppy seed rolls. According to the traditional superstitions both poppy seeds and walnuts will protect you from hexes. Poppy seeds also bring wealth and maybe fertility.

    There are LOTS of slightly different versions. My grandmother made it more or less like this:

    https://budapestcookingclass.com/hungarian-beigli-christmas-poppy-seed-and-walnut-roll-cakes/

    (She didn’t always include jam but usually soaked the raisins in rum.)

  4. Craig N.

    “Pudding” in England is often the word they use when we would just say “dessert” : obviously, if that usage exists in those states the answer would be useless.

    Utah also has a non-Christmassy candy listed as their favorite.

  5. Pete Mack

    I love apple crisp as much as most people apparently love cheesecake, especially if it is very cold outside and there is a (yule) fire.
    But no Christmas is complete without chocolate pecan pie. Regular pecan pie, however, is anathema–i don’t care for karo.

    I also like Christmas cookies, especially super duper chocolate*, but those too are treats, not dessert.

    * yes, that really is their name.

  6. E.C.

    I do not believe I’ve ever heard of anyone in Utah actually eating Jolly Ranchers as a Christmas candy. Judging by neighbors’ plates of goodies, cookies of all kinds, fudge, divinity, peanut brittle, and chocolates are far more likely – also cans of hot chocolate mix and large tins of popcorn.

    As for my family, this year I baked three types of cookies – chocolate cutout, jam thumbprint, and squash snickerdoodles – but our traditional holiday treat is orange rolls. My dad perfected the recipe many a decade ago, and it involves generous amounts of caramel on the bottom of the pans and much orange-infused frosting slathered inside and out. They are nigh impossible to eat neatly, but man, are they delicious.

    Your cookies look amazing, by the way.

  7. Craig N.

    E.C., I can say with assurance that Rachel’s Christmas cookies are every bit as good as they look. :)

  8. Pete Mack

    We are still on for a white Christmas of sorts, with a foot of snow still on the ground over much of northern New England and New York. But.. tomorrow will hit record highs for rainfall and temperature in parts of the region, with highs uniformly around 55 and rainfall of 1 to 3 inches. Flood watches and warnings are common.

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