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Host an ‘Elf’ movie night — dinner & recipes

Dinner and a movie Elf
Photo credit: New Line Cinema

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Not just because you can dress yourself and your dog in matching ugly sweaters, and not just because Santa Claus is coming to town. But because Elf is played on TV on a loop. So, while you’re busy decorating and wrapping gifts (6-inch ribbon curls are a must), why not enjoy an Elf dinner and a movie night, and watch Buddy take on New York City?

Want to see more? Check out our other  features here!

Dinner and a movie Elf
Photo credit: New Line Cinema

Now, we all know that the four food groups are candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup, but should you want to get a bit more creative than that, here are some recipes that will have you skipping for joy.

Get your Elf on

Before you can enjoy the world’s best dinner (great job, everybody!), you have to get the movie ready:

MOVIE: Elf (Don’t have it? Get it at Amazon or see more options)
RUNNING TIME: 1 hour, 37 minutes
STARRING: Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel, James Caan

Dinner and a movie: Your Elf menu

And now, for our feature presentation…

Appetizer: Holiday marshmallow popcorn cake

If you are looking for something to munch on before dinner, try to refrain from snacking on cotton balls. Instead, try a mishmash of goodies like Buddy would.

This recipe for holiday marshmallow popcorn cake from Recipe Girl includes a couple of elf favorites like M&M’s and the aforementioned marshmallows all molded together — you know, so it’s easier to dip in syrup and cram into your mouth.

Dinner and a movie Elf popcorn cake
Photo credit: Recipe Girl

Entrée: Filipino spaghetti

If you insist on eating real food (and not candy), then spaghetti is Buddy’s specialty. It isn’t a human tradition to pour maple syrup on top, but you can have it a bit on the sweet side if you make this Filipino spaghetti recipe from Pinch of Yum.

ALSO TRY: 12 Homemade Christmas ornaments that are easy and fun to make

Some sweet spaghetti recipes call for banana catsup, which will really sweeten the pot. However, this particular recipe calls for another kid favorite: hot dogs.

Dinner and a movie Elf Filipino spaghetti
Photo credit: A Pinch of Yum

Side dish: Roasted brown sugar carrots

Even if acclaimed author Miles Finch isn’t a fan of vulnerable tomatoes or self-conscious asparagus children, some type of vegetable should make an appearance during your Elf dinner and a movie night.

These roasted brown sugar carrots found on from Chef in Training have a hint of sugar, but they officially qualify as vegetables, so you can claim you’ve had a balanced meal.

Dinner and a movie Elf roasted brown sugar carrots
Photo credit: Chef in Training/

Dessert: Cookies, cookies and more cookies

Buddy had to walk through seven levels of the candy cane forest and pass through the sea of twirly, swirly gumdrops before he hit the Lincoln Tunnel. You can probably get through at least seven layers of these delicious cookies before he hits Gimbels. This yummy recipe takes a classic sugar cookie recipe and gives it a twist.

Dinner and a movie Elf classic candy cane cookies
Photo credit:

Reindeer are a vital part of Christmas. Not only do they help pull the sleigh around to millions of homes without even racking up frequent flier miles, but they are also able to spot imposter Santas who sit on a throne of lies.

Celebrate these regal creatures on your Elf dinner and a movie night with some reindeer cookies from Important tip: Make sure all the cookies are accounted for and eaten lest someone try to shove 11 of them in the VCR.

Dinner and a movie Elf reindeer cookies
Photo credit:

Beverages: Sweet cocktails

Elves celebrate with shot glasses of milk when they finish their Christmas rush on the toy production line. Here is a recipe for some milk with a kick: a peppermint White Russian. Just be wary of with whom you share it, because gnomes drink too much.

Dinner and a movie Elf peppermint white Russian cocktail
Photo credit:

ALSO TRY: Want a tasty seasonal snack? Here are 9 mind-blowing ways to flavor roasted pumpkin seeds

Buddy isn’t a fan of coffee — but he runs on syrup. When he discovers that you can combine the two, he gets the whole mailroom dancing.

See if you can get your crew up and bumping to “Whoomp! (There It Is)” after serving these chocolate espresso martinis from If you really want authenticity, you can save a little Hershey’s chocolate syrup and squirt it directly into your mouth as a garnish, just like Buddy would.

Dinner and a movie Elf chocolate espresso martini
Photo credit:

Bonus! Santa’s house cake

Buddy wanted to make a gingerbread house with Walter Hobbs and was flatly denied. But you can still make this mini house of cake from I Am Baker for Santa, with or without Walter’s approval. It looks just like the one Buddy grew up in at the North Pole. Not only will everyone marvel at your creative confection, but all participating taste buds will undoubtedly give it a thumbs up, too.

Dinner and a movie Elf Santa Cake House
Photo credit: I Am Baker

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