Even if she weren’t starring in the hit sitcom New Girl and performing on the album A Very She & Him Christmas, Zooey Deschanel would still be as prominent as mistletoe this month. Who hasn’t seen Elf, which has joined the ranks of modern Christmas classics in heavy rotation on TV? But during the holidays, the real Deschanel is in the kitchen, where she loves to bake for family and friends.
Any Christmas-cookie strategy tips?
Zooey Deschanel: First tip: Don’t make cookies. Classic Christmas cookies are really time-consuming. Instead, make a bar you can bake in a pan and just cut up, like a brownie or a blondie or a shortbread, which still has that Christmas vibe.
How about some mood-setting music for a Christmas party?
ZD: Phil Spector’s A Christmas Gift for You. It’s a masterpiece.
What’s a girl’s can’t-go-wrong holiday party outfit?
ZD: A velvet frock. But then, I push the envelope a little more than most girls.
Favorite childhood holiday-food memories?
ZD: My mom always made spoon bread. You put apple butter and butter on it. And she makes her own coffee cake with plums and a cinnamon-sugar topping.
What’s the oddest hostess gift you’ve ever received?
ZD: Someone brought me a bottle of tequila once. I was like, “Do I look like I drink tequila?”
Okay, one you’d like to receive?
ZD: Champagne. If I’m going to drink something, it’s going to be Champagne.
You have a few food allergies. What’s your dinner-party strategy?
ZD: It’s wise to eat a little beforehand so you’re not starving but still have room to eat. You can’t expect people to accommodate you all the time. And it’s always good to have a snack in your purse.
If you could only eat one dessert for the rest of your life, what would it be?
ZD: Chocolate chip cookies. They’re the best.
Where do you get your chocolate chip fix?
ZD: There’s a vegan and gluten-free bakery called BabyCakes that I love. They’ve got shops in New York and Los Angeles. Their stuff is amazing.
Favorite holiday movies?
ZD: I love It’s a Wonderful Life and Meet Me in St. Louis.
Paper or plastic?
Still water or sparkling?
ZD: Sparkling. A hundred percent.
What’s always in your refrigerator?
Even in the winter?
ZD: I live in California, dude.