Friday, 5 December 2014

Christmas Cookie Roundup

Every year, my family hosts a holiday party and every year, I get in either the day before or the day of; sometimes even 3 hours late FOR the party (only happened once fortunately). Most years, I also help out with the preparations/baking and while I am getting in the evening before this time, I still have to bake enough to feed a large number of people in under 24 hours.

Before you empathize and panic, i'll admit that this isn't nearly as high stress as it sounds, so long as you have a good set of recipes that are 1) simple and 2) still unique and decadent enough to wow even the most frost-bitten soul. With that in mind, i've rounded up my five favorite recipes of the season, all of which are nearly impossible to mess up and are suited to sate a wide variety of palates. Bon appetite and happy baking!


 These peanut butter blossoms from Saveur are a standby classic for me and while not everyone loves a peanut butter cookie, something I will never understand, the simple addition of a hershey kiss or a dollop of tempered chocolate reinvents them just enough to bridge the gap between 'eeew, peanut butter' and 'oooh chocolate!'

Annie's Eats never lets me down when i'm looking for an inventive take on a classic or a unique taste and presentation that blows everyone away without breaking the bank on ingredients. True to form, these creamy eggnog cookie bars do not disappoint. I know that not everyone loves eggnog, in fact I think you could split a room in half by asking that question but for those of us that do, this is a welcome respite from the overly decadent chocolate truffles, fudges, brownies, and cheesecakes that populate the season. It's like a blondie but with eggnog, which is like already having a perfect 10 on your Olympics figure skating routine and then getting an 11! You get the point now be adventurous and try them!

This breathtakingly beautiful white chocolate peppermint cookie with vanilla salt comes from Food52, another one of my favorite sites for a fun recipe with a slightly more sophisticated edge. Yes, we're all grown ups but does that mean we can't have fun smashing candy canes to bits and putting them in cookies? Of course not.

Ok, so these sugared cranberries aren't technically a dessert or baked good but just THINK of how beautiful they would look resting on the top of a dark chocolate fudge cake, iced in a thick, white buttercream. Alternatively, you can eat them like candy - "natural sour patch kids" as love & olive oil puts it. I've used these in scones and then frozen the leftovers to be defrosted and used in a creamy cheddar cheese dip two weeks later, so don't worry about what you're going to do with them, just try them!


Just looking at this raspberry chocolate bread pudding makes me want to curl up by the fire and sing Christmas carols while eating my weight in chocolate. Two Peas and Their Pod is one of my all time favorite blogs. They have an adorably mixed sense of style and whimsy that lends itself perfectly to surprises like this decadent bread pudding, balanced by bright, fresh raspberries. I'm thinking that this will be on the table Christmas morning in place of my traditional cinnamon rolls and just maybe, the raspberries will save us all from a food coma later in the afternoon.

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