Home for the Holidays: Baking

We ended our school week with two more snow days which means I am officially “Home for the Holidays.” Let the cookie baking, present wrapping and movie watching begin!

One thing I love about the holidays is that everyone has their own traditions that bring them closer to their families. I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite holiday traditions with you in a series of Home for the Holidays posts. Today’s post will be all about baking! I will link all recipes and equipment I use. Please note that this post contains affiliate links.

I usually bake once per week year round, but during the holidays my days are filled with mixing cookie dough and making candy. This year I have determined that I need a few extra Kitchen Aid Mixer Bowls  so I can have multiple types of cookie dough chilling in the refrigerator at once. I have learned that chilling your dough really does help make a chewy cookie!

Here are my go-to holiday recipes (you will notice a I have a favorite baking blog when it comes to cookie recipes, Sally’s Baking Addiction)

  1. Peppermint White Chocolate Cookies
    img_0808These are my new favorite. They are full of white chocolate chips and crushed candy canes. The candy cane melts and gives the cookies a terrific chewy texture. I did not want the cookies to be over the top minty, so I only add 1/2 teaspoon of the mint extract and 2 full teaspoons of vanilla. You can leave the mint extract out and these will still be delightful.
  2. Chocolate Crinkles or Snow on the Mountain Top Cookies

    These cookies taste like brownie batter. Seriously. I am not always a huge fan of chocolate desserts but these cookies are so good that it is hard to eat just one. I love that people call them, “Snow on the Mountain Top” cookies and have decided to bake them every year on the first day we can see snow on our nearby mountains. To make them a little more Chrsitmasy this year I will be adding Dark Chocolate Mint Truffle Candy Kisses to the tops of half of them after I bake them.

  3. Soft Gingersnap Molasses Cookies

    I love how pillowy soft these cookies are. They do not spread out much, so they are bite sized. Do not let their petite size fool you! They are packed with flavor; I can usually only eat one at a time because they are rich. When I recently made this recipe I put butterscotch, white chocolate and mini chocolate chips on top, as well as leaving some plain. They were all delicious, but surprisingly the plain ones disappeared first. Word of warning: the mini chips did not want to stay on top of the cookies. I’d recommend using only regular sized chips.

  4. Brown Butter Sugar Cookies
    img_0671The brown butter flavor in these make them so delicious and I love having an excuse to use holiday sprinkles and jimmies. I enjoy a good sugar cookie during the holidays and these have show-stopping flavor. I was a little disappointed that my cookies were more on the crisp side, but I think I over-baked them just a hair. They were still delicious, especially dipped in my coffee. Yum!
  5. No Bake Rocky Road Butterscotch Barsimg_0799

     

    img_0814I have been making this candy for about 8 years and have never thought of a good name for it. Nothing can quite describe this gooey, fudgey delight. Mostly I just call it, “That candy I make at Christmas time.” I believe the original recipe came from my college roommate. It is so delicious and easy. You just melt chocolate, butterscotch chips and peanut butter together, then stir in marshmallows and peanuts and let it cool. Cut into bite size pieces and serve. So. Good. I also pour on some holiday sprinkles to make them more festive!

In order to make these delicious treats, I need tools. Linked below you will find my favorite cookie baking helpers.

The USA Pan Bakeware Cookie Sheet-These cookie sheets are awesome. I do not use any cooking spray on them and I have never had a cookie stick. I can usually bake 2 pans full of cookies before having to wash them. These pans are made in the USA and I cannot recommend them enough.

Silpat Silicone Baking Mat-If you don’t have awesome nonstick cookie sheets these baking mats will help you bake a great cookie that does not stick to the pan and fall into pieces.

Cookie Scoop-This handy dandy gadget helps me make my cookies a consistent size. Just scoop, press your finger down to evenly distribute the dough into the scooper and squeeze the handle. A perfectly round dough ball will pop out ready to be baked!

Cookie Cooling Racks-These are awesome for cooling cookies when you do not have a ton of counter space. I love how they stack easily and they are nonstick so hot cookies will be fine on them!

These are the treats I will be making over the next ten days to get ready for Christmas! What is on your baking list? What go-to holiday treats am I missing from my list? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time,

I love you more than cookie dough and fresh snow,

Whitney

 

 

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