// 10 min Read

Our Favorite Holiday Recipes

Written by Palmetto Bluff

Dec 21, 2022

Tis the season for….baking! The holidays are fast approaching, and we don’t know about you, but when we have a delicious array of festive treats in front of us, it’s impossible not to be in good spirits.

This year, you can enjoy the holidays without having to worry about what you’re going to feed hungry guests. Savory to sweet, we’re sharing some festive holiday recipes from some of the Bluff’s favorite chefs—recipes that have become holiday traditions in their homes and ones that we hope become part of your holiday memories this season.

Cracker Candy

Courtesy of Brandon Carter, Co-Executive Chef & Partner of FARM and Common Thread


  • Saltines, Ritz Crackers, or Pretzel Crisps (you will need just enough to place a single layer in the bottom of your greased pan)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cups semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 15x10x1-inch jelly roll pan by lining it with aluminum foil. Spread a thin layer of butter over the top of the foil to grease and then place a single layer of the crackers of your choice on the prepared pan.

2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and whisk until incorporated. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved, about 3-4 minutes. Pour over the layer of crackers and spread out as thinly and evenly as possible.

3. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until the sugar mixture is bubbling. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips.

4. Let sit for 5 minutes, then spread the melted chocolate chips over the candy in a thin layer. Top with toasted pecans.

5. Refrigerate the candy for up to one hour, uncovered. Remove and break into desired size pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days…if it lasts that long!


Courtesy of Sharon & Allan Benton, Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams


  • 4 cups flour

  • 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg

  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder

  • 24 oz. whole pecan halves

  • 3/4 lb. cherries

  • 3/4 lb. pineapple

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2-1/4 cups sugar

  • 6 eggs

  • 3 tbsp. rum


1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

2. Sift flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking powder.

3. Using the flour mixture, coat the pecans, cherries, and pineapple.

4. Cream the butter, sugar, and eggs.

5. Coat the nuts and fruit.

6. Line the bottom of a pan with 2 layers of brown paper. (A grocery bag will work just fine).

7. Grease and flour pan.

8. Bake in a tube pan at 275 degrees for 2 hours and 15 minutes – 2 hours and 30 minutes.

9. Take cake out of the oven 15 minutes before it’s done and decorate the top. Brush the top with light corn syrup. Return cake to the oven for last 15 minutes.

10. Leave cake in pan until it cools.

11. Wrap cake in rum-soaked towel until you’re ready to serve.

    Coffee Chocolate Yule Log

    Courtesy of Anne White, Executive Pastry Chef, Oak Steakhouse Highlands at Skyline Lodge

    Chocolate Sponge Ingredients

    • 1-1/3 cup cake flour
    • 3 tbsp. cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting

    • 1 tsp. baking powder

    • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

    • 1 tsp. ground coffee

    • 6 eggs, separated

    • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided

    • 2 tbsp. canola oil

    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    2. Line a half sheet tray with parchment paper. Spray with non-stick baking spray and set aside.

    3. Sift flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Add salt and ground coffee. Set aside.

    4. Whisk egg whites until frothy. Add ½ cup of the sugar and continue to whip on high until stiff peaks form. Transfer meringue to another bowl and set aside.

    5. Place egg yolks in a mixer with the remaining sugar (½ cup), oil, and vanilla. Paddle on high until mixture has thickened and is light in color.

    6. Fold half the meringue into the yolk mixture. Fold the dry ingredients into the mixture. Fold in the remaining meringue mixture.

    7. Pour immediately into the prepared sheet tray and spread evenly with an offset spatula.

    8. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes or until cake springs back when touched.

    9. Place a clean kitchen towel on your table and sift extra cocoa powder all over the towel.

    10. When you take the cake out of the oven, turn the cake over onto the towel and peel Thea parchment paper off the bottom. Roll the cake, lengthwise, with the towel wrapped in in while hot.

    11. Let cake cool completely in the towel.

      Coffee Cream Filling Ingredients

      • 1 cup mascarpone

      • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

      • 1 cup heavy cream

      • 2 tbsp. coffee extract

      Coffee Cream Filling Instructions

      1. Whip mascarpone until smooth.

      2. Add sugar and whip just until incorporated.

      3. Add heavy cream and coffee extract and whip until stiff peaks form.

        Ganache Ingredients

        • 1 cup heavy cream

        • 2 cups dark chocolate

        Ganache Instructions

        1. Heat heavy cream until lightly boiling.

        2. Pour over chocolate and stir to combine and melt.

        3. Let sit in the fridge until spreadable consistency.

        Assembly Instructions

        1. Gently unroll cake onto a piece of parchment paper. Remove towel.

        2. Evenly spread coffee filling all over the cake.

        3. Use the parchment paper to roll the cake back up, lengthwise.

        4. Place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.

        5. Remove from fridge and cut 1/3 of the log off on a diagonal. Place the larger log in the center of a cake board. Place the cut 1/3 flush against the other log to look like a branch.

        6. Spread ganache all over the cake with a spatula to create texture.

        7. Let sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.

        Sausage Pinwheels

        Courtesy of Rob McDaniel, Owner and Executive Chef, Helen


        • 1 lb. of your favorite breakfast sausage

          3 cups White Lilly self-rising flour (plus extra for rolling out)

        • 1-1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter

        • 1-1/2 cups cold whole fat buttermilk

        • 1 tsp. kosher salt

        • Parchment paper

        • Non-stick spray


        1. Mix the flour and salt together in a medium bowl, using a box grater grate the cold butter into the flour.

        2. Using your hands, carefully toss the butter in the flour to coat the outside of the butter slivers. This should be done rather quickly, then form a well in the center of the flour and pour in the cold buttermilk.

        3. Using a floured hand and turning the bowl with the other, carefully fold the flour into the center of the buttermilk. Once the flour and buttermilk comes together, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

        4. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and lightly flour the top of the dough, then roll out the dough into even squares that are about 1/4-inch thick.

        5. Cut two pieces of parchment paper slightly larger than your square of dough. Remove the sausage from the wrapper and place between the two pieces of parchment paper that have been lightly sprayed with non-stick spray.

        6. Using a rolling pin, roll sausage out into a sheet that’s slightly smaller than your sheet of dough. Remove the top sheet of parchment and place the sausage onto the dough then remove the remaining sheet of parchment.

        7. Starting with the edges of the dough closest to you, roll the dough and sausage forming a log. Trim the edges off the log then cut in half. Wrap each piece separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or freeze for up to 2 days.

        8. For cooking, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the log into ½ inch round pinwheels and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until bottoms start to brown, about 15 minutes, then turn over to brown the other side 5-10 more minutes.

          I like to enjoy with yellow mustard or favorite preserves.


          Courtesy of Matt Wallace, Owner and Executive Chef, Blacksheep

          Crust Ingredients

          • 176g crushed graham crackers

          • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter

          • 1 tbsp. honey

          • Pinch of non iodized salt

          While the food processor is running from crushing those grahams, steam in the butter slowly, then the honey and a pinch of salt. Press into the bottom of an 8” spring form pan and bake in a preheated 300 oven for about ten minutes. Let cool to warm/room temp.

          Filling Ingredients

          • 8 oz. room temp cream cheese

          • 8 oz. room temp goat cheese (not crumbles)
          • 1/2 cup sugar

          • 2/3 cup heavy cream

          • 2 large eggs

          • 4 tbsp. lemon juice

          • 1/2 tsp. vanilla


          1. Add first three ingredients (cheeses and sugar) to a mixer with paddle and spin on medium-low for about five minutes. Don’t spin any faster as you’re not trying to add air into the mix. Should take about five minutes to get things where you want them.

          2. Then, at the same speed, add eggs one at a time. Don’t add the second until the first has been completely incorporated.

          3. Then add the heavy cream, followed by the lemon juice and vanilla.

          4. Assemble the springform pan around the prebaked crust and wrap the entire thing in one layer of aluminum foil. Try not to tear the foil on the bottom. Looking for something waterproof here—pretty important.

          5. Pour the batter into the springform pan. Add pan into a roasting dish or other deeper sided pan and add hot water to the pan around the springform until water reaches halfway to 2/3 up the sides of the springform.

          6. Bake at 300 for 15 minutes. Rotate once, then bake for another 15. Watch thereafter every five minutes or so until the cheesecake is firm and barely wobbly when you shake it—will take about 40 minutes or so.

          7. Remove from the water bath and let cool. I remove the foil right away just in case there’s water in there. You should also.

          I serve it with a raspberry sauce made from fresh berries but any will do. Cranberries, even. Enjoy.

          Culture / Day Trips from Palmetto Bluff

          Story by Barry Kaufman and Photographs by Lizzy Rollins Just beyond the gates of Palmetto Bluff, at the end of that quiet stretch of trees and sunlight, a solitary strip of pavement beckons. This connective tissue, a tributary, leads off across the great Amer...

          Feb 2024
          palmetto bluff

          Real Estate / Behind the Bluff with Broker-in-Charge W. Bryan Byrne

          Bryan’s Journey to Palmetto Bluff Real Estate In this edition of Behind the Bluff, W. Bryan Byrne, the Broker-in-Charge at Palmetto Bluff Real Estate Company, discusses his two-decade journey in the community. His experience has intricately molded the authent...

          Jan 2024
          real estate in bluffton sc

          Real Estate / Lowcountry Housing Trends & Market Updates

          Real Estate in Bluffton, SC: Trends, Updates, and Insights Bluffton, South Carolina, nestled within the scenic Lowcountry, is not just a picturesque haven but also a thriving real estate market. As the demand for homes in this charming town continues to grow,...

          Jan 2024

          Food & Wine / Mocktails from the Palmetto Bluff Club

          Rosemary Spice Mocktail Recipe Introducing Buffalos' exquisite Rosemary Spice Mocktail—a meticulously crafted blend that awakens the taste buds with a perfect harmony of bold flavors. Fresh jalapenos are muddled for a subtle spicy kick, while luscious cra...

          Jan 2024

          Artist in Residence / Painting Wild

          Story by Sandy Lang and Photographs by Lawson Builder In early May, The Arts Initiative hosted renowned Lowcountry painter West Fraser as our esteemed Artist In Residence. Throughout his stay, residents were treated to an array of events, including a painting...

          Jan 2024
          palmetto buff golf course

          Sporting Life / Behind the Bluff with the Palmetto Bluff 9-Hole Golf Course Team

          All About the New Palmetto Bluff Golf Course Nestled in the picturesque landscape of Palmetto Bluff, a new golfing adventure is taking shape—the Crossroads 9-Hole Golf Course. To delve into the intricacies of this project, we had the opportunity to sit down w...

          Dec 2023

          Conservation / Palmetto Bluff Buffalo Run 2023: A Celebration of Endurance, Nature, and Community

          A Recap of the 2034 Buffalo Run The Palmetto Bluff Buffalo Run celebrated its 10th anniversary on Sunday, December 11, 2023, drawing in a record-breaking crowd of over 500 runners. The event, nestled in the heart of Palmetto Bluff's 20,000 acres of natural sp...

          Dec 2023
          places to eat near hilton head

          Food & Wine / Ask the Locals: Our Favorite Restaurants Near Hilton Head

          The 10 Best Places to Eat Near Hilton Head Island Nestled on the southernmost tip of South Carolina, Hilton Head Island beckons not only with its pristine beaches but also with a culinary scene that rivals its natural beauty. The Lowcountry, known for breatht...

          Dec 2023

          Artist in Residence / Journey through Creativity: Palmetto Bluff's 2023 Artist in Residence Highlights

          As the sun sets over the picturesque landscape of Palmetto Bluff, we are grateful for the creativity that took center stage throughout the year. The 2023 Artist in Residence program has ended, leaving behind a trail of artistic marvels and inspiring stories. F...

          Dec 2023

          Real Estate / The Builders Behind the Bluff

          Meet the Palmetto Bluff Builders Team A home is more than just bricks and mortar; it's where cherished memories are made, and dreams come to life. At Palmetto Bluff, the Palmetto Bluff Builders team designs homes based on your vision.  Allow us to introduc...

          Dec 2023
          Community Villages
          Palmetto Bluff Club
          On The Water
          The Arts Initiative
          About Us