I love cookies like these because they’re so easy to make festive. All you need is a little green and red food coloring and they’re transformed into pretty Christmas cookies. (Or if you’re like me, you’ve been out of red food coloring since you made a red velvet cake 2 years ago so you have to use sprinkles.) You could also add some mint flavor to the cream to make them extra Christmas-y. So many fun things you could do with these guys!

While these cookies kind of resemble oreos, they’re nothing like them. The cookie is much softer and not nearly as sickeningly sweet as an oreo.

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Ingredients
For the cookies:
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons 3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar sifted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the filling:
  • 6 tablespoons 3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar sifted
Instructions
  1. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; lightly coat with cooking spray. Whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture, beating to combine. Divide dough in half; form into disks, and wrap in plastic. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. (Dough can be frozen up to 2 months; thaw in the refrigerator before using.)
  2. Working with one disk at a time, roll out dough to a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using a 1 1/2-inch biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out shapes, transferring to prepared sheets (1 inch apart) as you work. Chill in freezer until firm, about 15 minutes. Brush off excess flour. Gather together scraps; roll, chill, and cut out more shapes.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are firm, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer cookies, on parchment, to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. To make filling, beat butter with an electric mixer on high until smooth. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Spread a small amount of filling on the bottom of half the cookies. Top with remaining cookies; gently press to adhere. Assembled cookies can be refrigerated up to 2 days in an airtight container.
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I know, I know, more cranberries. I just can’t help myself though! The combination of pears and cranberries was too good to pass up.

The pie was very simple and would be perfect on any holiday dessert buffet. The oatmeal streusel topping is a nice change from a double crust fruit pie. The brown sugar and ginger (I know, I hate ginger but a little powdered ginger doesn’t bother me too much) in the topping was a perfect match with the pears and cranberries.

One thing though, if I was to make this again, I’d cook the pears with the cranberries. They were a little too crunchy for me but it could’ve been that my pears just weren’t ripe enough. Also, I used fresh cranberries in the pie but I’m sure dried would be fine. I would just use more water and less sugar.

Pear-Cranberry Pie with Oatmeal Streusel
Ingredients
For the pie:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 peeled Anjou pears cored and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 3 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • your favorite single pie crust recipe or a refrigerated one!
  • Cooking spray
For the streusel:
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Position oven rack to lowest third of oven. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. To prepare pie, combine 1/2 cup water and granulated sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Add cranberries; return to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons. Remove from heat; cool.
  3. Combine lemon juice and pears in a large bowl; toss. Weigh or lightly spoon 1/4 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 1/4 cup flour and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Add flour mixture to pear mixture; toss to coat. Stir in cranberry mixture.
  4. Fit pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Fold edges under; flute. Spoon pear mixture into prepared crust.
  5. To prepare streusel, weigh or lightly spoon 1/3 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine butter and apple juice in a bowl, stirring well. Add flour, oats, and remaining ingredients; toss. Sprinkle oat mixture over pear mixture. Cover pie loosely with foil; place pie plate on a baking sheet. Bake, covered, in the lower third of oven at 400° for 1 hour. Uncover; bake 15 minutes or until browned. Cool on a wire rack 1 hour.
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Mmm, I love the combination of white chocolate and cranberry. Something about the tart cranberries and the smooth sweet white chocolate just gets me every time.

These cookies combine the two perfectly and the addition of oatmeal makes them feel almost healthy. Kind of like a breakfast cookie instead of a dessert cookie. My little man loved them and tore through the batch faster than any other cookie I’ve made. This one is definitely on my “make again next year” list.

Oatmeal, Cranberry, White Chocolate Cookies
Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup butter softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well.
  3. Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate.
  4. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brow. Cool on wire rack.
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I don’t know if baklava is typically considered a holiday goodie but it’s always been one in my mind. My mom told me once many years ago that she only makes it around the holidays because it’s such a pain in the butt.

But anyway, baklava is my husband’s all time favorite treat and I make it every year around the holidays because it’s also around this time that Greek Fest happens in our city and I would rather make him a huge pan of it than watch him fork over $6 for 5 small bites at the festival.

I’ve made it a few times for him now and tried a different recipe each time. This one was by far the best I’ve tried yet. It was soft where it was supposed to be and crunchy where appropriate, which is something I’ve had trouble with when trying out other recipes. It was delicious. So delicious that I might actually make it more than once next year. ;)

Baklava
Ingredients
  • 1 16 ounce package frozen phyllo pastry, thawed
  • 1 cup butter melted
  • 3 cups finely chopped or ground pecans walnuts, pistachios, or almonds
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the syrup:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey
Instructions
  1. Butter a 13 x 9 inch pan. Set aside.
  2. Cut phyllo in half crosswise, and cut each half to fit prepared pan; discard trimmings. Cover phyllo with a slightly damp towel.
  3. Layer 10 sheets of phyllo in pan, brushing each sheet with melted butter. Set aside.
  4. Combine nuts and next 3 ingredients; stir well. Sprinkle one-third of mixture over phyllo in pan; drizzle with melted butter.
  5. Top nut mixture with 11 sheets of phyllo, brushing each sheet with butter. Repeat twice with remaining nut mixture, phyllo, and butter, ending with buttered phyllo.
  6. Cut stack into diamond shapes, using a sharp knife. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until golden. Cool completely.
  7. For syrup, combine sugar, water, and honey in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 4 minutes. Pour over baklava.
  8. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours.
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Ever since I tried my first peppermint bark candy waaaay back in November (heh..) I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making some. For some reason I expected it to be difficult but the only hard part was not digging in while it was chilling.

This is such a great holiday candy and now that I’m in love with it, I have a hard time imagining that there’s anyone out there who wouldn’t love it. I’m already looking forward to next year’s batch!

Peppermint Bark
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate finely chopped
  • 12 ounces white chocolate finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tsp Peppermint extract
  • 6 oz peppermint candies
Instructions
  1. Line a 13 x 9 baking pan with foil and coat with cooking spray.
  2. Melt the semisweet chocolate, peppermint extract and whipping cream and stir until smooth. Pour the dark chocolate into the baking pan and evenly smooth out. Place in the fridge for about 15 minutes to firm.
  3. While the chocolate is chilling, crush peppermints in a large, heavy duty plastic storage bag. Make sure you have smaller and larger pieces.
  4. Melt the white chocolate and stir until smooth. Remove the semisweet chocolate from the fridge and pour the white chocolate over top. Place in fridge to firm for about 1 hour. Remove and cut to your desired shape and size.
  5. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

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