It is no joke that I love cooking and baking.
And one of the best parts about this time of year is that I get to give my mixer an extra workout to make loads of delicious Christmas cookies that aren’t healthy! 😉 I figure that since I spend the rest of the year cooking/baking the healthiest of recipes, Christmas is the time to do it right. But don’t worry, Chris and I don’t eat them all by ourselves! I make so much that certain family members have gotten accustomed to their yearly baked Christmas gift and even our co-workers get a little taste.
It’s obviously been an insanely crazy/hectic/not normal holiday season for my house this year so I’m actually still not finished with the baking yet. BUT.. the days seemed to have gotten away from me with going to Ottawa twice in the past two weeks, leaving this week the only chance I had to bring my annual cookie tray into the office. So last night, I dug out all the cookies I had baked so far and of those selections, put together two cookie trays – one for my office and one for Chris’. My co-workers are accustomed to getting this famous cookie tray and have been asking about it (I’m bringing it in on Friday), but Chris is at a new job this year so I’m thinking the tray will come as a nice surprise to his coworkers. I can’t wait to hear what they think!
They look good don’t they!? 😉
So I bet you’re curious as to what we have here and well.. how to make them! I’ve had some of these recipes laying around and I’m really not sure where I got them from so I’ll just list the recipe here for you. If I have links, then I’ll just share those.
1. Cherry Shortbread (always a hit!)
What You Need:
- 1 C butter (softened)
- 1/2 C granulated sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 2.5 C flour
- 1.5 tsp almond extract
- 1.75 C chopped maraschino cherries
What You Do:
– Preheat oven to 375
– Combine butter, sugar, almond extract, salt, flour
– Will be stiff
– Stir in cherries
– Form into balls and place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet
– Bake 12-15 minutes – do not let them brown!
2. Candy Cane Sugar Cookies
I got the recipe for these suckers HERE. Instead of using a Hershey’s candy cane kiss on top, I opted for crushed candy cane and instead of coloured sugar, I rolled them in festive little candy ball decorations. Unfortunately, they didn’t stay all blossomy as per the recipe and flattened right out. They still taste pretty awesome though, so I still call them a success!
3. No-Bake Chocolate Snow Balls
What You Need:
- 1 C granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 3/4 C milk
- 1/3 C cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 peanut butter
- 3 C rolled oats
- 1/4-1/2 C powdered sugar
What You Do:
– In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, margarine or oil, milk and cocoa powder.
– Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat.
– Once the mixture has come to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and add salt, vanilla and peanut butter.
– Place oats in a large mixing bowl and pour chocolate mixture over the top.
– Stir until fully incorporated.
– Place dough in the refrigerator for an hour
– When the dough has chilled, place the powdered sugar in a bowl, grab your dough, a cookie scoop or measuring spoon and a plate.
– Using your scoop, portion out a bit of dough and roll it into a ball
– Drop the ball carefully in the powdered sugar and roll it around until the cookie is lightly dusted all over.
– The cookies will be ready to eat or return to the refrigerator for a firmer cookie and/or storage
4. Ginger Cookies
I love my ginger cookies nice and chewy, so naturally I’d search for a chewy cookie recipe. The recipe I used was found HERE. Sadly, even though I under-baked them, the end result was not a chewy as I had hoped. They still taste awesome though and satisfy that ginger cookie craving.
5. Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
I had made a version of mint chocolate chip cookies last year and actually used a Betty Crocker mix (gasp!) due to time restraints. They were pretty awesome, so I chose to make my own version this year. I started with a basic sugar cookie recipe found HERE and while creaming the butter and sugar, I added 1.5 tsp of peppermint extract and a tiny bit of green food colouring. Once the dough was mixed, I stired in about 1/3 C of chocolate chips before baking. The result = awesome. 🙂
I have a few more recipes on the list to bake this coming weekend, but they’re going in my Christmas gifts so they’re staying a surprise for now! 😉