Over the years, our family has learned the true purpose of Christmas—cherishing loved ones and ruthlessly murdering our sworn enemies. The Belvedere household has long believed in the importance of direct action, intergenerational wealth, and inbreeding, and our success reflects those values.

While our name has gone through turbulent times, like the Servant Uprising of 1887 and Aunt Ethyl's Mysterious Odor, vengeful holiday desserts are a tradition that persists no matter the circumstance.

I’ve highlighted some of the most historically-significant Belvedere recipes, as well as some personal favorites, designed for reveling in your rival’s misery. Enjoy!

Gingersnap and Arsenic Cookies (p. 27)

A family treasure, this recipe has been passed down for generations. In fact, my great-great-grandmother invented this formula to exact revenge on her bête noires, the McDingsley brothers. The bastards rigged the County Cattle Show to win “Most Exquisite Udders,” a title our farm claimed for decades. Anastasia Belvedere promptly returned home and baked these for the newly crowned dairy cows. Our herd has remained victorious since.

While these cookies are scrumptious by their own accord, they’re an excellent accompaniment to afternoon tea. If your victim is unsuspecting, I recommend pairing with a strongly flavored tea to blanket the metallic residue from the arsenic.

Recipe Editor’s Note:
Tasting as you go is crucial. Not only will you ensure a proper level of spice, but you’ll also slowly build an immunity, rendering a retaliating arsenic attack useless.

Three-Tiered Scorpion Venom Cake (p. 320)

This cake requires a rigorous amount of planning and difficult execution, but it is worth the hassle. You’ll need an ecosystem that tolerates scorpions, and several deft handymen, some of which will surely die. You’ll notice the original recipe calls for dozens of Deathstalkers, but you can adjust as necessary.

My mother made this for Great Uncle Merlin’s wedding, at which he left our breeding pool and married a non-Belvedere. When he first announced the ceremony, the family was aghast. But my mother took matters into her own hands and insisted on baking their wedding cake. Merlin didn’t suspect a thing.

The very instant Merlin shoved cake into his plebian-bride’s mouth she began to shrivel and rot. My mother even managed to keep some critters alive and a colony of scorpions scattered throughout the grand ballroom. It was glorious! Merlin learned a valuable lesson, and since my mother was responsible for murdering his wife, he was obligated by Belvedere Law to give her his dead wife’s dowry.

Peppermint Razor Bark (p. 194)

The easiest and most economical recipe, this sweet is great for either a time-sensitive soirée or a mass sabotage. My darling sister, Abigayle, created this when the filthy miners began baking their own bread, which hurt The Belvedere Bread Company profits.

You see, the miners chose to be born in poor blood. They purposefully resided in the valley among rats and coyotes, who ate their dirty children, so their act of rebellion was nothing short of entitlement. Without the money from our monopoly on wheat and yeast related products, we couldn’t fund our extravagant elephant bone collection, but when we explained that fact to the villagers, those privileged peasants got even more upset. Those families left us no choice but to take violent action.

My stunning sister smashed the razors and baked the chocolatey bark herself, and then ingeniously positioned it as a holiday gift. Those miners hacked up blood for weeks. To our delight, some even died! While entertaining, we feared an unproductive winter for our mines, but since the families needed money to pay medical expenses, they sent their children to work. Their underdeveloped hands increased productivity tenfold!

Oozy-Gooey Molten Lava Hemlock Cake (p. 89)

I must admit, I’m quite partial to this morsel. I desire it often and bid my wife Abigayle to bake nontoxic versions nearly once a week. Enough brandy in me and I’ll devour nearly a dozen. As a matter of fact, I’m eating one as I write. It takes a great deal of restraint to not wax poetic over this cake—the liquid chocolate, the bouncy sponge, the painfully sharp bitterness. Utter perfection!

This dessert dates back nearly two hundred years to, ahem, pardon me. I believe I’m having a coughing fit. Abigayle? Dearest, can you fetch me some water? Oh Lord, blood in my handkerchief. It’s time for my eternal slumber. Gracious reader, I’m afraid our discourse must resume in the afterlife. Abigayle, was this your doing? Ha, ha, my love, you have gotten me with your tricks. Still, what a treat this is. Albeit this cake is paralyzing my organs, I simply cannot stop eating it. My word, it is moist. Bravo, Abigayle, you’ve done it again! Good heavens, I am in an immense deal of pain.

Ah, well, 'tis a holiday tradition! I hope you enjoy making these tasty treats and plaguing those beneath you.

From the Belvedere family to yours,
Merry Christmas