Elevate Your Holiday Recipes With These Six Spices

From the classic to the unconventional

Allspice, the dried berry of the Pimenta dioica, is a popular baking spice often used in banana bread or cookie recipes. The fragrant seasoning can also be found in savory dishes, adding a unique, peppery flavor to marinades for chicken or pork. For an unexpected kick at your next holiday party, greet your guests at the door with mulled cider or an Old Fashioned topped with allspice.

Used largely in Middle Eastern cuisine, cardamom has a strong flavor profile with hints of lemon and mint. This season, culinary pros project cardamom to be the new cinnamon. Experiment with the spice by adding a spoonful to your morning granola, or use it as a secret ingredient
in a crumb cake.

You have likely tasted Aleppo pepper in Mediterranean food without knowing what to attribute the unique flavor and slight heat to. The pepper does well in both sweet and savory foods, and pairs best with anything you can grill. For the holidays, serve your guests a cup of hot cocoa topped with Aleppo for a Syrian take on Mexican hot chocolate.

Turmeric has long been a staple in Indian cuisine. Now, the pungent powder is infused in sweet and savory dishes across the globe. Spice up your favorite roasted vegetables with ground turmeric, or freshly grate the root and add it to a pumpkin pie. The vibrant golden color will intensify your pie and the health benefits are endless.

Matcha is an earthy powder made of pulverized green tea leaves, but its capabilities reach far beyond infusion into hot water. Think about incorporating the bright green powder into chocolate chip cookies for added flavor and color. It also works well in brownies.

While decorative candy canes and peppermint bark are traditional holiday staples, consider incorporating the herb into your favorite shortbread cookie recipe for a refreshing spin on the buttery treat.