Nov 08, 2013 • By

Unveiling the Red Hot Holiday Trends

Odds are, your mother, grandmother, and perhaps even great-grandmother all looked to Betty Crocker for baking and holiday entertaining advice at some point.

So while some things have changed throughout the years (most notably Betty’s hairstyle), her “spoon” has always been on the pulse of the most exciting, surprising, and delicious trends arising in the kitchen.

So in order to unveil this year’s Red Hot Holiday Trends, the Betty team wanted the brand to be a leader in another way, across all the General Mills divisions. This week, we used the company’s Google+ channel to host a video Hangout.


Senior Food Editor Kristen Olson hosted three private Google+ Hangouts, live from the Betty Crocker Kitchens, giving exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to the Red Hot Holiday Trends campaign, to media, bloggers and influencers in the social landscape.


All of this was done before the trends were made public – in this blog post! – to stimulate discussion and buzz as part of pre-launch strategy for the campaign.

From deconstructed desserts to unexpected mash-ups, copycat candy to cool cocktails, and even a fresh take on fruitcake, Kristen showcased all ten of the 2013 trends and answered any questions the participants could think of.

She even demonstrated some of her own personal techniques for making the recipes that much more delicious.

A slideshow of all of the trends and the accompanying recipes can be found at

But here are a few sneak peeks:

1. Trend: Sweet & Savory Cookies

A biscuit-shortbread hybrid from France, sablés have been named the cookie of the year in our test kitchens. For a salty-sweet flavor contrast, we added an unusual savory element – Kalamata olives! – and dark chocolate chips. The result? Mind-blowing, melt-in-your mouth goodness.


2. Trend: Jam Cocktails

No longer just toast-toppers, jams, jellies and preserves are making a splash in the craft-cocktail scene. For this interpretation of a classic Manhattan, shake up some bourbon, bitters, vermouth and your favorite cherry preserves with some ice, strain … and drink up.


3. Trend: Copycat Candy

A dead-ringer for our favorite chocolate peanut butter cup, these peanut butter cookie-filled brownies are poised to be the hit of the holiday baking season. Bonus? Made in a big batch, they freeze perfectly.

PHOTO Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Only four weeks into my General Mills career, it was remarkable to see how much went into the execution of this project and how quickly it came together.

That’s not to say that it wasn’t a test for me and the Betty team.

Creating a virtual media and influencer event was much different than a live event we might typically do, but it allowed us to reach a lot more people.

On top of that, we enhanced their experience and surprised them all by sending them treats of their own so that they could follow along with Kristen as she demonstrated online.

It was truly an awesome way to leverage technology – we made it a fun (and delicious!) immersive experience for all those involved.

Again, check out all the Red Hot Holiday Trends at