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It’s my favorite time of year! Holiday baking time, of course! I consider myself pretty lucky that I have this blog because I get to make holiday cookies all through November and December to post on here and then I get to make real holiday cookies when Christmas actually comes. I bought a couple new pairs of sweatpants last week so I am ready to get started on the holiday eating. Errr, baking.

I went to Walmart recently and found 2 packs of Land O’ Lakes butter for 7 bucks which is a pretty awesome deal. I had shortbread on the brain so I knew I needed quite a bit of butter.

I’ve said it a million times but shortbread is by far my favorite cookie. Especially this time of year because they’re so easy to make festive. You can add sprinkles like I did here or you can dip half the cookie in chocolate or add in cranberries and pistachios. I went with my go-to shortbread recipe which is super quick to throw together and the worst part is letting the dough sit overnight. It’s torture knowing you have all that goodness in the fridge!

They bake up in about 10 minutes and are absolutely delicious. If you need a quick, easy cookie to take your holiday party or get-together, this is it. It’s always a crowd faovirte and even my “I don’t like cookies!” husband loves them. My kid’s class is doing a cookie exchange instead of gifts and I’m thinking I’ll probably send these.

If you need other holiday recipe ideas, be sure to check out the Land O’ Lakes Holiday Gift Giving page. There’s also a fun Land O’Lakes Pinterest contest to win a $250 giftcard to Walmart going on – just complete the following steps to be entered.

1. Follow Land O’Lakes on Pinterest, user: LandoLakesKtchn
2. Enter your email in the form and click “Enter”
3. Pin the image to any of your Pinterest Boards
4. Visit the Holiday Treats Board and share your favorites (the CB socially board!)

1 Winner will be selected at random and they can only enter once!
Contest runs 11/25/13-1/14/14


Sprinkled Shortbread

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
about 1 cup of sprinkles

Instructions

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy. Beat in powdered sugar, vanilla. and salt until incorporated.
  2. Slowly beat in flour and beat until just combined.
  3. Divide the batter into 2 and shape each one into a thick log.
  4. Pour the sprinkles onto a flat plate and roll the log of batter through the sprinkles until they are well covered.
  5. Wrap in wax paper and allow to sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  6. The next day, preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Remove the logs from the fridge and slice into 1/4" rounds. Place on prepared pan.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 10 - 12 minutes or until set. You do not want them to brown.
  9. Cool on a wire rack.
http://fakeginger.com/2013/11/24/sprinkled-shortbread-holiday-baking/

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I spent all day yesterday working on our Santa goodies and wanted to share that with y’all but since Christmas is tomorrow I’m gonna throw them all in one post and just link to the recipes I used. Hopefully this will inspire you if you don’t already have your Santa cookies ready!

This is the number 1 thing on my “must make” list every year. My mom has made it every Christmas for as long as I can remember and it’s probably what I look forward to most as far as holiday food goes. It’s Cocoa Puffs, Chex, pretzels, and peanuts coated in brown sugar and it’s amazing – I promise! Recipe is here!

I make these every year too. My husband loves peanut butter cookies and he loves peanut butter cups so these are always a winner.

This was my first time making these but they’re one of my new favorites. The minute I saw the recipe I had a flashback to some Christmas long ago. I don’t know if my mom made them or if I had them at school or what but I know I’ve had them before and loved them. They are Rice Krispies, marshmallows, and peanuts all wrapped in white almond bark. (My store was out of almond bark so I used white chocolate chips and it worked fine.)

I’m kind of scared of fudge so when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to give it a try. We loved it and it’s so quick and easy!

I also made oreo truffles but I think I’m the last person on earth to make them so no photo. I bet Santa is going to really, really love them though!

Have a Merry Christmas if you celebrate! :)

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Thanks for all the kind words about my husband last week. He still isn’t home – it’s actually become pretty funny. They were ON the plane the other day and then blah blah blah happened and they had to stay. Hopefully this week! My poor, sweet 3 year old is still waiting for his birthday party that was supposed to happen 2 weeks ago! Bless his heart.

I haven’t been doing much cooking lately but I’ve been baking tons and tons of cookies. I made two batches of these last week, one for me and one for my cookie swap people! They were really delicious but I forgot to take photos of either batch so yeah.

These cookies were on my to-do list last Christmas but I just ran out of time and they never got made. I wanted to get them done early in the season this year so it wouldn’t happen again! And I’m so happy that I did. They are definitely one of my favorite cookies I’ve made this year. Chewy and chocolatey and amazing!

One year ago:  Matafan
Two years ago: Peanut Butter Squares
Three years ago: Cranberry Apple Walnut Roll

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

from Martha Stewart Cookies, via Tracey's Culinary Adventures

Ingredients

7 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.
  3. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.
  4. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
http://fakeginger.com/2012/12/03/chewy-chocolate-gingerbread-cookies-2/

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