A Blessing in Disguise

Aimee’s Journey

A Blessing in Disguise

25 Days Till Christmas 

Countdown Chart


2021 Countdown Starts Below


Day 1 of 25 Countdown:


EGGNOG COOKIES:

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 23 mins

Total Time: 43 mins

-----------------------------------------

INGREDIENTS:

- 2¼ cups all purpose flour

-1 teaspoon baking powder

-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

-1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

-1¼ cups granulated white sugar

-3/4 cup (1½ sticks) salted butter, at room temperature

-1/2 cup eggnog

-1 teaspoon vanilla extract

-2 large egg yolks

-----------------------------------------

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Use 350 degrees for more browned bottom cookies. 2. In a small bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg).

3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the sugar and butter. Add the remaining ingredients and beat at medium speed until smooth.

4. Mix in the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until blended.

5. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet, 1 inch apart.

6. Sprinkle lightly with additional nutmeg.

7. Bake for 15 minutes or until the bottoms turn light brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

8. Serve and enjoy!!

Eggnog Cookies


Day 2 of 25:

PEPPERMINT PATTY BROWNIES:

Prep Time: 25 mins

Cook Time: 30-45 mins 

Total Time: 55+ mins

-----------------------------------------

INGREDIENTS:

Option 1: homemade brownies

-1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

-2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

-¾ cup all purpose flour

-½ teaspoon baking powder

-¼ teaspoon salt

-1 cup granulated white sugar

-2 large eggs

-1 teaspoon vanilla extract

-16 small (1½ inch) York Peppermint Patties, unwrapped

Option 2: boxed brownie mix (follow ingredients)

-----------------------------------------

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the brownie pan with nonstick spray.

2. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the butter and chocolate until melted (1 to 2 minutes); let cool slightly.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

4. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, eggs and vanilla together.

5. Whisk the chocolate mixture into the sugar mixture until combined.

6. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the dry ingredients until just incorporated.

7. Spread all but 1 cup of batter in an even layer in the prepared pan.

8. Place the mints ½ inch apart on top of the batter.

9. Gently spread the remaining batter over the mints and smooth the top.

10. Bake just until set in the center, 25 to 30 minutes. (Or if you're doing a boxed mix follow cooking time).

11. Let the brownies cool in the pan on a wire rack for 2 hours.

12. Cut and serve, or store in a covered container.

Peppermint Patty Brownies


Day 3 of 25:

Almond Cookies

Servings: 2-3 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 10 mins

Bake Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 20 mins

-----------------------------------------

INGREDIENTS:

For the cookie you’ll need:

- 1 cup of unsalted butter (softened)

- 3/4 cups of sugar

- 1 teaspoon of almond extract

- 2 cups of flour

- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

- 1/4 teaspoon of salt

For the glaze you’ll need:

- 1/2 cup of powdered sugar

- 1 teaspoon of almond extract

- 3 teaspoons of water

-----------------------------------------

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a bowl, with a mixer blend the butter, sugar, and almond extract.

3. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.

4. Add the flour mixture 2 Tablespoons at a time to the butter mixture until completely combined (important!!)

5. Roll into small balls and flatten slightly. They should look like a thick checker.

6. Bake for 7 minutes (they will not look done) at 400 degrees on a parchment lined pan, but they are. Leave them on the cookie sheet.

7. Cool cookies until they are just warm and place sliced almonds on top of each cookie. (I placed them to look like a snowflake.) (For lightly toasted almonds, place sliced almonds on the cookies with a minute left).

8. For the glaze: Combine powdered sugar, almond extract, and water. Drizzle a spoonful of glaze on top of the almonds and cookie.

9. Serve and enjoy. (They taste better warm).

Notes: * You can store them in an air tight container or bag. * You can also freeze them up to a month in a freezer bag.

Almond Cookies


Day 4 of 25

Snowball Cookies:

Servings: 32 snowballs

Prep Time: 10 mins

Bake Time: 15 mins

---------------------------------------------------

INGREDIENTS:

- 1 cup of unsalted butter softened

- 1/2 cup of powdered sugar

- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract - 1/4 teaspoon of salt

- 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour measured correctly - spoon & sweep method

- 3/4 - 1 cup of finely chopped pecans

- 1/2 cup of powdered sugar for rolling cookies

----------------------------------------------

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, line two cookies sheets with parchmmet paper and set aside for later.

2. In a stand mixer, hand mixer or a whisk cream butter and powdered sugar.

3. Turn to low and mix in salt, vanilla, flour and pecans until well incorporated.

4. Roll into one inch balls. Place them on the cookie sheets a few inches apart.

5. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until very lightly browned. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and allow to cool just enough to handle them.

6. Pour 1 cup of powdered sugar in a large Ziploc bag or in a wide bowl. Gently add 3-4 cookies at a time and roll them gently in the bottom of the bag. Use a fork to scoop under each cookie and gently shake to remove excess powdered sugar.

7. Place on cooling racks. Once completely cooled roll in powdered sugar bag again.

8. Then, serve and enjoy.

 

Notes: * You can store the snowballs in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to one month.

PICTURE COMING SOON!!


Day 5 of 25

Meringue Kisses:

Servings Approx: 30

Prep Time: 15 mins

Bake Time: 50 mins

Total Time: approx. 1 hour

----------------------------------------------

INGREDIENTS:

- 3 egg whites (room temperature)

- 1 Cup of sugar 

- 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract 

- 3/4 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar

OPTIONAL 

- red and green food coloring

- red & green sugar sprinkles

--------------------------------------------------

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. In a glass or metal bowl use an electric mixer or a stand mixer (with either the whisk or paddle attachment), stir on low speed until mixture becomes foamy. Increase speed to high.

3. With mixer on high, gradually add sugar, about 1 Tablespoon at a time, stirring after each addition.

4. Beat until mixture is thick, shiny, and has increased in volume and sugar has completely dissolved. The mixture should have stiff peaks (you can test this by rubbing a small bit of the mixture between your fingers, if it feels gritty, the sugar isn't dissolved).

5.  Stir in vanilla extract and apple cider vinegar. Mix until we'll incorporated.

6. Using a spoon scoop a dollop of the white meringue and scrape off with another spoon on the parchment paper leaving a space about 2 inches apart for the next one.

7. If using food coloring, separate the white meringue evenly into another bowl and add the red food coloring in one bowl and green in the other bowl. Mix until we'll incorporated.

8. Repeat the same as in step 6 and you can add sugar sprinkles on top of the red and green meringues.

9. Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes. Leave on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes to set and then remove off the sheet. 

10. Serve and enjoy!!


* Want to get creative and festive. You can make Peppermint Bark Meringues by adding ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract and stripe a piping bag with red food coloring (tip you can use a paint brush to stripe the piping bag) and dip the baked, cooled meringue cookies in dark chocolate and crushed peppermint pieces!

 

PICTURE COMING SOON!


DAY 6/25

Pecan Tassies

Prep Time: 25 mins

Bake Time: 24-25 mins

Total Time: 55 mins

------------------------------------------

INGREDIENTS:

Pastry: 

-1/2 cup unsalted butter

-3 oz cream cheese

-1 cup flour

 

Filling:

-1 egg

-3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed

- 1 tablespoon salted butter, melted

- 1 teaspoon vanilla

-2/3 cup chopped pecans

------------------------------------------

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

To make the Shells:

1. Sift flour into a medium sized bowl. Cut butter into small cubes and add to flour. Add the cream cheese and cut the butter and cheese into the flour with two knives or a pastry blender.

2. Continue until the dough holds together. (Since we aren’t adding any additional liquid, you’ll want to continue to blend way past the stage at which you would normally stop with a pie crust.)

3. Gather the crust into a ball and divide into 24 little pieces.

4. Press each piece into one cup of a miniature muffin tin to create a little crust.

 

To make the Filling:

1. Mix egg, vanilla, sugar and butter together until no lumps remain.

 

To assemble the Pecan Tassies:

1. Sprinkle a few pecan pieces in the bottom of each shell.

2. Pour the filling into each cup until the filling is just below the top rim of the shell.

3. Sprinkle pecan pieces over the top of each tassie.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 24-25 minutes.

5. Let cool in the pan completely before removing. Twist and lift to remove!

6. Serve and enjoy!!

--------------------------------------------


Day 7 of 25

Sugar Cookie Cutouts

Prep Time: 15 mins

Baje Time: 8-9 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

---------------------------------------------

INGREDIENTS:

- 1 Cup unsalted butter

- 1 Cup granulated white sugar

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

- 1 egg

- 2 teaspoons baking powder

- 1/2 teaspoon salt

- 3 cups of all purpose flour

- Christmas cookie cutters

- Christmas sprinkles (red and green)

-------------------------------------------

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and add parchment paper to cookie sheets. Set aside.

2. In the bowl use an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until smooth, at least 3 minutes then beat in extracts and egg. 

3. In a separate bowl, combine baking powder and salt with flour and add a little at a time to the wet ingredients.

4. If the dough still looks too dry or stiff for your mixer, place the dough onto a countertop surface, flour surface as needed. Wet your hands and finish off kneading the dough by hand.

DO NOT CHILL THE DOUGH.

5. Divide into workable batches (2-3 chunks), roll out onto a floured surface, and use your Christmas cookie cutters.

* You want these cookies to be on the thicker side (closer to 1/4 inch rather than 1/8).

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes.

7. Let cool on the cookie sheet and add Christmas sprinkles to your liking and allow the sugar cookies to get firm before transferring to a cooling rack.

8. Serve and enjoy!!


Day 8 of 25

Butter Brickle & Pecan Cookies:

Prep Time: 15 mins

Bake Time: 12 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

 

INGREDIENTS:

- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- 4 cups all purpose flour

- 2 cups powdered sugar

- One 8-ounce bag Heath English Toffee Bits

- 2 cups chopped pecans

 

INSTRUCTIONS: 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2.  In a medium bowl, melt butter in the microwave or in a double boiler; stir in vanilla and set aside to cool.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar.

4. Stir in the butter mixture; stir in the toffee bits and chopped pecans (mixture will be crumbly).

5. Shape into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten slightly.

6. Bake for 12 minutes, or until edges begin to brown.

7. Let cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes, then serve and enjoy!!


Day 9 of 25

Holiday Mix:

Servings: 8-10

Prep Time: 5-10 mins

 Cook Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 20 mins

 -------------------------------------

INGREDIENTS:

- 3 cups of corn Chex Cereal

- 3 cups of rice Chex Cereal

- 6 cups Golden Grahams Cereal

- 2 cups of shredded coconut

- 2 cups of sliced almonds

- 1 cup of light corn syrup

- 1 cup of sugar

- ¾ cup of butter

--------------------------------------

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. In a large bowl, mix Corn and rice Chex cereal, Golden Grahams cereal, coconut, and almonds. Set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine the light corn syrup, sugar and butter.

3. Bring to a boil for two minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for about two minutes.

4. Pour over the cereal mix and mix well until the cereal is coated.

5. Spread on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper to cool for about five to ten minutes.

6. Then, serve and enjoy or store in a plastic bag or airtight container.


Day 10 of 25

My Great Grandma's English Toffee:

Prep Time : 15 mins

Cook Time: 10-15 mins

Total Time : 40 mins approx.

 

INGREDIENTS :

- 2 cups of butter

- 2 cups of sugar

- 1/4 teaspoon of salt

- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

- 1 cup almonds or pecans, finely chopped (I used pecans and crushed Heath bars)


INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Combine the butter, sugar, and salt in a large heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat and allow the mixture to come to a steady boil, stirring constantly. It is done when it turns to a dark amber color or reaches 290 degrees with a candy thermometer.

* Or you can use this trick my Great Grandma taught me, you drop a small bit of the mixture into ice cold water, and if the drop turns hard the brittle it is done.

2. Carefully pour the mixture into a foil-lined baking sheet. I buttered the baking sheet so it wouldn't stick to the foil.

3. Let harden for a minute or two, then sprinkle on the chocolate chips. Let them melt on top for a minute, then spread the chocolate evenly with a knife.

4. Sprinkle on the chopped nuts or toffee bits and press down slightly on the nuts. Let the English tofee candy cool and harden, then break into pieces.

5. Serve and enjoy or store in an airtight container.

Pecan//Heath


Day 11 of 25

Cookie Brittle:

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 22 mins

Total Time: 35 mins

 

INGREDIENTS: 

- 1 cup (2 sticks) of room temperature butter 

- 1 cup granulated white sugar

- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 2 cups all purpose flour

- 12 ounces (2 cups) chocolate chips (milk chocolate or semi sweet), divided

-1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt. Gradually beat in the flour. The mixture will be crumbly, but keep mixing and you will begin to see the dough come together in clumps. That's the consistency you're looking for.

3. Set the mixer aside and stir in 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate chips and the nuts.

4. Use clean hands to press the dough into a 15x10-inch jelly roll pan (rimmed baking sheet).

5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and set. Cool until just slightly warm.

6. Place the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips in a small glass bowl. Microwave 60 to 90 seconds or until melted. Stir until smooth and scoop into a heavy-duty plastic baggie. Snip a tiny corner of the bag; squeeze to drizzle over the cookie.

7. Allow the chocolate to cool and set (place in the refrigerator for quick-setting).

8. Break the cookie into irregular pieces, or use a knife to help cut into wedges.

9. Store in an air tight container or serve and enjoy with a glass of milk.

 

PICTURE COMING SOON!!


Day 12 of 25

Almond Roca:

Prep Time: 12 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

 

INGREDIENTS:

- 1½ cups chopped toasted almonds, divided

- 1 cup packed light brown sugar

- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter

- 4 bars Hershey's milk chocolate


INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Butter a 7x11-inch pan (or 9x12 for slightly thinner roca). Sprinkle 1 cup of toasted almonds on bottom of the pan.

2. In a heavy saucepan at medium-high heat melt butter and add brown sugar. Stir until gently boiling. Reduce heat to medium or medium-low and boil 12 minutes exactly, stirring constantly

3. Remove the mixture from heat, give it a good stir to mix up that butter and sugar one more time, and immediately pour the hot mixture into the pan over the almonds.

4. Place the chocolate bars on top. Let them sit a minute or so until melted, then spread chocolate around carefully. Sprinkle with the remaining toasted almonds, and gently press them into the chocolate.

5. Cool completely, and then break apart into chunks with a sharp knife. Store in a covered container.

 

PICTURE COMING SOON!!


Day 13 of 25

Chocolate Thumbprints:

Prep Time: 35 mins

Bake Time: 18 mins

Total Time: 53 mins

 

INGREDIENTS:

COOKIES:

- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

- 1 cup powdered sugar

- ¼ teaspoon salt

- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

- 2½ cups all purpose flour

 

CHOCOLATE FILLING:

- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or 3/4 cups of chocolate chips

- 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

- 2 teaspoons corn syrup

 

INSTRUCTIONS: 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.

2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat until smooth- about 2 minutes. Beat in the flour until combined.

3. Form balls using about 2 teaspoons of dough for each.

4. Place balls 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. You should be able to fit 15 cookies on each sheet.

5. Bake 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and use your thumb to press a deep indentation into the middle of each cookie. Return to the oven and bake 7 to 9 minutes more, until light brown on the edges.

6. When the cookies come out of the oven, check the middles. Use your thumb to press down a little bit in the middle of each cookie once again, being careful not to press too hard. Cool completely.

7. In a medium glass bowl, combine the chocolate, butter and corn syrup. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and use a whisk to combine the chocolate mixture until melted and smooth. (You can also microwave the chocolate in 30 second intervals then mix after each time, continue to do so until melted). 
8. Set the bowl aside for about 10 minutes or so to cool (and let it thicken a little).

9. Fill the middles of the thumbprint cookies with small spoonfuls of the chocolate mixture. Let them sit on a rack to firm up.

10. Serve and enjoy!! 

* Then store them in a covered container for up to 3 days (or freeze them).


Day 14 of 25

Browned Butter Pecan Cookies:

Prep Time: 15 mins

Bake Time 9-12 mins

Chilling Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours & 30 mins

 

INGREDIENTS:

* For the butter pecans:

- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter

* For the Butter Pecan Cookies:

- 1 cup unsalted butter

- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (dip and sweep method)

- 2 tablespoons cornstarch

- 1 teaspoon baking soda

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 1/2 cup granulated sugar

- 1 cup packed dark or light brown sugar

- 2 large eggs at room temperature

- 2 teaspoons vanilla

* To decorate (optional):

- Pecan halves

- Granulated sugar

- Sea salt

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

 For the butter pecans:

1. Sauté the chopped pecans and butter in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant and toasted, about 3-4 minutes. Stir frequently and keep an eye on the small crumbs, they will brown quicker than the bigger pieces. Set aside to cool.

 

For the Butter Pecan Cookies:

1. Brown the butter: Heat the butter in a light colored skillet over medium-high heat. It will come to a boil. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the solid particles at the bottom turn golden brown. Keep an eye on it carefully towards the end, it can burn quickly. Immediately pour into a large mixing bowl to stop the browning. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

2. Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

3. Whisk sugars into cooled browned butter. Whisk in vanilla and eggs until thoroughly combined.

4. Pour dry ingredients into bowl and stir until no streaks of flour remain. Stir in buttered pecans.

5. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic down on the surface of the dough. Chill for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days.

(If you chill longer than 3 hours, let dough sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes so the dough is easier to scoop).

 

 To bake the cookies:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Roll dough into balls, about 3 tablespoons each.

3. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet.

(For optional decoration see below)

4. Bake on the middle rack until the edges are set and just beginning to turn golden brown, about 9-12 minutes.

(The tops of the cookies should still be quite soft when you remove them from the oven, and may even appear slightly underbaked in center. They will firm up while cooling). 

5. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
6. Serve and enjoy, then store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

 

Optional Decorating Ideas:

 - Sweet & sparkly cookies, roll the balls of dough in granulated sugar before baking.

- For a salty sweet flavor, sprinkle the cookies with sea salt after baking.  

- Press a pecan half onto the top of the unbaked ball of dough before baking.

 

( I did half of the sweet and salty batch for the cookies). 


Day 15 of 25

Peanut Butter Brownie Bites:

Servings: 36

Prep Time: 30 mins

Bake Time: 15-20 mins

Total Time: Approx an hour

 

INGREDIENTS:

Peanut Butter Ball:

- 1/2 cup peanut butter

- 2 tablespoons butter softened

-  3/4 cup powdered sugar

 

Brownie Bites:

- ½ cup vegetable oil

- 1 cup granulated sugar

- 2 eggs

- 1 teaspoon vanilla

- 1/3 cup cocoa powder

-  1/2 cup all purpose flour

-  1/4 teaspoon salt

- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder


Chocolate Drizzle:

- 3 tablespoons butter melted

- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder

-  1 tablespoon corn syrup or honey

- 1/2 cup powdered sugar

- 1-2 tablespoons milk or cream

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

To make the peanut butter balls:

1. Beat together the peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar until smooth. If it is too dry and crumbly, add more peanut butter, if it’s too sticky, add more powdered sugar. Roll into 3/4 inch balls. Should make 36. Set aside.

To make the brownies bites:

1. Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Grease 3 mini muffins pans well. Whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat in the cocoa, flour, salt and baking powder.

2. Divide batter into muffin tins, filling them 2/3 full. Should make 36 brownie bites.

3. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
4. Remove from the oven and immediately press a peanut butter ball into each bite. Let cool several minutes in the pan before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the chocolate drizzle:

1. Add the melted butter, cocoa powder, corn syrup powdered sugar and milk or cream to a microwave safe bowl. Stir together and microwave for about 20 seconds. Stir again. Drizzle warm glaze over cooled brownie bites. Glaze will set when cooled.

2. Serve and enjoy or store in a plastic container for up to 5 days.


Day 16 of 25

Almond Cookies:

Servings: 36 

Prep Time: 15 mins

Chilling Time: 1 hour

Bake Time: 13-15 mins

Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins

 

INGREDIENTS:

- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

-  3/4 cup granulated white sugar

- 2 large egg yolks

- 1 teaspoon almond extract

- 2 cups all-purpose flour

- 1 cup finely chopped slivered almonds

- 1/4 teaspoon salt about

- 1/3 cup additional slivered almonds (not chopped)

- 1/2 cup powdered sugar

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter and sugar.

2. Then mix in egg yolks and almond extract, beating until blended.

3. Add the flour, salt and almonds to the bowl, and mix just until combined.

4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheets with silpat mats or parchment paper.

6. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs whites with a fork. Dip the top of each ball in egg white, then place egg-white-side-up on the cookie sheet.

7. Sprinkle a few slivered almonds on top and press the ball down slightly with your hand or with the bottom of a drinking glass.

8. Bake 13 to 15 minutes, or until the cookies spread out a bit and turn golden on the edges.

9. Remove from the oven and sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar. (You may want to sprinkle them lightly again once they have cooled off a bit as the sugar tends to melt into the hot cookies).
10. Serve and enjoy!

* Store these cookies in a covered container for up to 3 days, or freeze in a covered container for up to 3 weeks


Day 17 of 25

Chocolate Turtle Cookies

 

Servings: 42

Prep Time: 30 mins

Bake Time: 8-10 mins

Total Time: 40 mins

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened

- 1 cup granulated white sugar

- 1 large egg

- 1 teaspoon vanilla or chocolate extract

- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped and melted (I use a glass dish in the microwave)

- 2 1/2 cups Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour

- 20 caramel squares, unwrapped

- 1/4 cup half pecan halves



INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats (or spray with nonstick spray).

2. Use an electric mixer and a large bowl to combine the butter and sugar.

3. Beat in the egg and extract, then chocolate. Add the flour and mix until combined.

4. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place the dough balls on a cookie sheet 2-inches apart, and make a thumbprint in each ball.

5.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cooked through and not super soft.

6. When you take them out of the oven, use a small spoon to press down slightly into the thumbprinted areas again- just to make sure each cookie has a nice impression. Let them cool on the cookie sheet, then remove to a rack or plate.

7. Melt caramels in a double boiler. Stir in the half and half until well-combined and smooth.

8. Spoon a little bit of the caramel mixture into each cookie imprint. Top with a pecan half.

9. Serve and enjoy!! Store the rest in a plastic container. 


Day 18 of 25

Homemade Carmels:

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 20-25 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

 

 INGREDIENTS:

- 1 cup of unsalted butter

- 2 ¼ cups dark or light brown sugar, firmly packed

- 1 cup light corn syrup

- 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

- Optional: sea salt (for adding on top)

- wax paper for wrapping individual carmels

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Line a 9x9 inch baking pan with butter well. Set aside.
2. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and mix until incorporated.

3. Stir in the corn syrup. Cook over medium-low heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is well blended, about 3 minutes.

4. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and increase the temperature to medium. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches between 238° and 240° on a candy thermometer. This takes about 20-30 minutes.

(Hint: if you don't have a candy thermometer you can use my Great Grandma's trick and fill a measuring cup with ice cold water and drop a bit of the carmel into the water and if the carmel forms a ball it is done, if it spreads out it isn't done yet so keep cooking for a bit longer. You can repeat this but make sure to get a new cup of ice cold water each time until it forms a ball).

5. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
6. Cool to room temperature, about 3-4 hours, or until completely set. There is no need to cover the caramels. Remove the caramels from the baking pan.
7. Use a sharp knife to cut the caramels into your desired size. Wrap the individual caramels in waxed paper.

 


Day 19 of 25

Great Grandma's Divinity:

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 35 mins

Total Time: 45 mins

 

INGREDIENTS:

- 2 + 2/3 cups of sugar

-  2/3 cup of light corn syrup

- 1/2 cup cold water

- 2 egg whites room temperature

-  pinch of salt

- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla

- 2/3 cup chopped pecans optional

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Lay sheets of waxed paper onto two cooling racks or cookie sheets and set aside.

2. Heat the sugar, corn syrup and water over medium heat in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Using a candy thermometer, heat the mixture until it reaches 260 degrees Fahrenheit, a hard ball stage. (Hint: if you don't have a candy thermometer you can place a bit of the mixture into a bowl/measuring cup of ice cold water and if it hardens into a soft ball it is done, if not keep cooking until it does).

3. As the syrup is cooking, whip egg whites, along with a pinch of salt, until stiff peaks have formed.

4. When the sugar syrup has reached hard ball stage, remove it from the heat and begin to slowly pour it into the beaten egg whites, whipping together at a high speed.

5. Add the vanilla and continue whipping the mixture on high until it holds its shape and does not fall back onto itself, about 5-6 minutes. (Hint: Making this candy on humid days requires a longer beating time).

6. Stir in chopped pecans, if using.

7. Using two teaspoons and working quickly, drop scoops of divinity onto sheets of waxed paper. (If the divinity begins to harden, add a few drops of warm water to help loosen it while working).

8.  Allow the divinity to dry and harden. This usually takes a couple of hours to overnight. Serve and enjoy!! You can store them in an airtight container for up to two weeks.


Day 20 of 25

Peanut Butter Blossoms


Servings: 5 dozen

Prep Time: 15 mins

Bake Time: 6-8 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

 

 

INGREDIENTS: 

- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

- 1 teaspoon baking soda

- ½ teaspoon salt

- 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

- ½ cup smooth peanut butter (or other creamy nut butter)

- ½ cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling

- ½ cup light brown sugar

- 1 large egg

- 1 tablespoon milk, half-and-half, oat milk or nut milk

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Nonstick spray or vegetable oil for cookie sheet (optional)

- 5 dozen (one 11-ounce package) Hershey’s Kisses, foil removed

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray, oil or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, peanut butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and light brown sugar.

4. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat until well blended. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing thoroughly. If the dough is very soft, refrigerate for about 1 hour.

5. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. (For a precise number of cookies, divide the dough into 5 pieces, and shape each piece into 12 balls.)

6. Roll cookies in sugar and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.

7. Bake until very light brown and puffed, 6 to 8 minutes.

8. Remove sheet from oven and lightly press a candy kiss into center of each cookie, allowing it to crack slightly.

9. Return to oven until light golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

10. Remove from oven, cool completely and store in an airtight container.


Day 21 of 25

Hot Chocolate Cookies:

Prep Time: 15 mins

Bake Time: 

Total Time: 40 mins

 

INGREDIENTS:

For the cookies:

- 1/2 cup unsalted butter

- 1 stick 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate

- 1 1/2 cups flour

- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

- 1/4 teaspoon salt

- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar

- 3 eggs

- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

- 25 large marshmallows approximately

For the icing:

- 2 cups powdered sugar

- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

- 1/2 stick, melted

- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

- 1/4 cup hot water

- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

- assorted sprinkles

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

MAKE THE COOKIES:

1. In a medium saucepan (or in a microwave safe bowl, using 50% power), melt the butter and chocolate, stirring frequently. Once melted, set aside to cool slightly.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla on low speed until well combined.

4. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and blend until just combined.

5. While mixing, add the flour mixture slowly and blend until just combined.

6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then cover the dough and refrigerate at least 1 hour. The dough should be firm. (If making the dough a day ahead, let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before shaping).

7. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat type liner.

8. Use a tablespoon (or a tablespoon sized cookie scoop) to scoop the dough, then roll the dough in your hands to create balls. Arrange the balls about 2 inches apart on your baking sheets, then flatten slightly.

9. Bake cookies about 12 minutes. While the cookies bake, cut the large marshmallows in half (crosswise).

10. When the cookies have baked, remove from oven and press one marshmallow half (cut side down) into the center of each cookie.

11. Return the cookies to the oven and bake another 2-3 minutes.

12. Allow the pan of cookies to cool a few minutes, then transfer cookies to cooling rack.

FOR THE ICING:

1. Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix until combined. If the icing is still to thick, add about 3 tbsp of hot water to it to thin it out

2. Using a spoon, spoon some icing onto the marshmallow on the cookie

3. Repeat step number 2 onto a few more cookies.

4. Sprinkle a little bit of sprinkles onto the cookies

5. Repeat the last two steps onto the remaining cookies. Remember to only put icing onto a few cookies at a time because the icing will dry fast.

6. Once all the cookies have icing and sprinkles, ENJOY your Hot Cocoa Cookies!


Day 22 of 25

Chocolate Crinkles Cookies:

Prep Time: 15 mins

Bake Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 25 mins

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup of cocoa powder , (unsweetened)

- 1 cup of granulated sugar

- 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, (or canola, or light olive oil)

- 2 large eggs

- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

- 1 cup of all-purpose flour

- 1 teaspoon of baking powder

- 1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup of confectioners sugar

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, cocoa powder, oil, vanilla extract and eggs. Whisk until the mixture is smooth.

2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Add the flour mixture to the cocoa mixture and stir to combine.

4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 - 3 hours and up to overnight.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare cookies sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside.

6. Roll out cookie dough into even-sized balls (it's easier to roll with wet hands) and generously roll each into powdered sugar.

7. Place cookies on a baking sheet, being sure to leave space between each of the cookies.

8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies. Cookies will come out soft, but will harden as they cool down.

9. Allow cookies to slightly cool. Then, move them to a wire rack to fully cool down.

10. Serve and ENJOY!! You can store the remaining cookies in an airtight plastic container.


Day 23 of 25

Shortbread Cookies:

Servings: 24 cookies

Prep Time: 15 mins

Bake Time: 14-16 mins

Total Time: 29 mins

 

INGREDIENTS: 

- 1 cup unsalted butter

- 1/2 cup powdered sugar

- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

- 1/4 cup cornstarch

- 1/4 teaspoon salt

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- Christmas sprinkles

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or baking mats.

2. In a large bowl beat the butter and powdered sugar until very fluffy (at least 5 minutes).

3. Mix in the flour, cornstarch, salt and vanilla extract.

4. Dust your hands with cornstarch, then form the dough into balls about 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon in size.

5. Place on the lined cookie sheets and press down the top of each cookie with the fork dipped in cornstarch (this prevents sticking).

6. Add a few sprinkles to the top of each cookie.

7. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until the tops look set. Let them cool on the cookie sheets for a couple minutes, then remove.

8. Serve and ENJOY!! Store in an air tight container.


Day 24 of 25

My Great Grandma's Fudge

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 15-20 mins

Total Time: 25-30 mins

 

INGREDIENTS:

- 1 can of evaporated milk

- 4 cups of sugar

- 1 stick of unsalted butter 

- 1 large jet puffed marshmallow

- 2 bags of semi sweet or milk chocolate chips (I used one of each)

- chopped walnuts (optional) 


INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Cool and stir constantly the butter, sugar, and evaporated milk until soft ball stage. (Hint put ice cold water in a measuring cup and drip a little bit of the mixture in it and if it forms a ball then it is done).

2. Remove from heat. Stir and mix well the jet puffed marshmallow, vanilla extract and chocolate chips. Optional chopped walnuts.

3. Pour the fudge in a buttered glass pan (9 x 13). Cover with saran wrap on top and let it sit until firm or place in the fridge until firm.

* Take out of the fridge 30 minutes to soften up before cutting.

 

2020 Countdown:


Day 1 | 25

CHRISTMAS WREATHS🎄✨

 

Prep Time : 20 minutes 

Bake Time : approx 5 minutes

Servings : 8 

 

RECIPE : 

Ingredients :

- 20 large marshmallows

- 2 tablespoons butter

- Green food coloring

- 3 cups cornflakes

- Red M&M's (about 2 tablespoons)

 

Directions :

1) Place marshmallows and butter in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave, uncovered, on high until butter is melted and marshmallows are puffed, about 45 seconds.

2) Tint with green food coloring. Stir in cornflakes.

3) On a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, divide mixture into 8 portions. Work quickly to shape each portion into a 3-inch wreath.

4) Decorate immediately with M&M's, pressing to wreath and let adhere.

5) Let stand until set. Then serve and enjoy! 

Christmas Wreaths✨


Day 2 || 25

Chocolate Kiss Cookies


Prep Time : 15 minutes 

Bake Time : 10 minutes 

Servings : 2 dozen

 

RECIPE :

Ingredients:

- 1/2 cup butter, softened

- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

- 1 cup sugar, divided

- 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk, room temperature

- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

- 3/4 cup baking cocoa

- 1 teaspoon baking soda

- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

- 3/4 teaspoon salt 24 caramel-filled milk chocolate kisses or any other flavor you'd like

 

DIRECTIONS : 

1) Preheat oven to 350° and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2) Cream butter, brown sugar and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, egg yolk and vanilla.

3) In another bowl, whisk next 5 ingredients; gradually beat into creamed mixture.

4) Shape rounded tablespoons of dough into balls. Roll in remaining sugar.

5) Place 2 in. apart on the cookie sheet until the tray is full (roughly about 12 cookies).

6) Bake until edges begin to brown, 8-10 minutes.

7) Immediately press a chocolate kiss into center of each cookie ( the cookie will crack around edges). 

8) Cool on pans 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool. Then, serve and enjoy!! :) 

Chocolate Kisses Cookies


Day 3 // 25

Reindeer Brownies:

Prep Time : 10 minutes 

Bake Time : 25 minutes 

Servings : 12-16 

 

RECIPE :

This recipe or a brownie box mix both work perfectly  for the recipe!!

Ingredients: 

- 1 cup butter

- 2 cups sugar

- 4 eggs, lightly beaten

- 2 tsp vanilla extract

- 2/3 cup cocoa powder

- 1 cup flour

- 1/2 tsp salt

- 1/2 tsp baking powder

- 1 cup mini chocolate chips

 

Decorations:

- handful of pretzels 

- handful of red m&m's

- googly eye candies


Directions: 

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13" baking pan or line with parchment paper. Set aside.

2) Melt the butter and let cool slightly. Stir in the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract until combined.

3) Add in the cocoa powder, flour, salt and baking powder. For this step use a sturdy wooden spoon or rubber spatula to gently stir the ingredients, just until combined.

*DO NOT whisk or over mix (this will add extra air to the batter and result in cake-like brownies instead of fudge-like ones).

4) Fold in the chocolate chips and pour batter into prepared baking pan. Spread out evenly.

5) Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the center is set.

6) Let cool before slicing, then immediately add the reindeer decorations. Add the googly candy eyes in the center of the cut rectangle shaped brownie below place a red m&m candy for his nose. For the antlers grab two pretzels and place them on top or break the pretzel in half and stick them on top of each corner. 

7) Serve & enjoy!

Reindeer Brownies


Day 4 // 25

Peppermint Cookies : 

 

Servings : 2 dozen

Prep Time : 35 minutes 

Bake Time : 10 minutes

Total Time : approx 1 hour

 

RECIPE : 

Ingredients :  

- 1 2/3 cups of all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)

- 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder (scoop and level to measure)

- 1 teaspoon of baking soda

- 1/2 teaspoon of salt

- 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened about halfway

- 1 1/4 cups of granulated sugar

- 3/4 cup of packed light brown sugar

- 2 large eggs

- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

- 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract

- 16 oz. white chocolate, broken or chopped

- 1/4 cup (approx) finely crushed peppermint bits 

 

Directions : 

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper.

2) In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt for 20 seconds. Set aside.

3) In another bowl cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until well combined.

4) Mix in eggs one at a time then blend in vanilla extract and peppermint extract. If using a mixer set on low speed slowly add in flour mixture and mix just until combined.

5) Scoop dough out by a rounded tablespoon and shape into balls.

6) Place on cookies sheets 2-inches apart. Flatten cookies slightly.

7) Bake one sheet at a time in preheated oven about 8 minutes (cookies should appear slightly under-baked).

8) Let cool on baking sheet several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool 5 minutes then transfer to an airtight container to fully cool.

9) Once cookies are cool, melt white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl on 50% power in 30 second increments, stirring between intervals until melted and smooth.

10) Dip half of each cookie in white chocolate then transfer to parchment paper and sprinkle with peppermint bits.

11) Let the chocolate set on the cookies for about 10 minutes. 

12) Then serve and enjoy!! :) 


Day 5 - 19 // 25

I'm sorry I wasn't feeling well during this time, but I do have all of my recipes for the Christmas Countdown to share with you all!! Stay Tuned for all the yummy cookies + treats!! :) 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS my friends & family!!


Day 20 // 25

Christmas Tree Cupcakes :

Prep Time : 15 minutes

Bake Time : 20-25 minutes

Servings : 12 -18


Option 1) use a box of chocolate cake mix, follow instructions and bake cupcakes. 

Option 2) bake chocolate cupcakes from scratch. See recipe down below.

 

Ingredients :

- 1 cup of all purpose flour

- 1 cup of granulated sugar

- 6 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder

- 1 teaspoon of baking soda

- 1/2 teaspoon of salt

- 1 large egg

- 1/2 cup of buttermilk

- 1/2 cup  of vegetable oil

- 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla

- 1/2 cup hot water


Frosting :

- vanilla frosting premade

-  1/2 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature

- 1/2 cup of shortening (or additional butter)

- 4 cups of powdered sugar

- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

- 2–3 tablespoons of water or heavy cream

- Salt, to taste*

 

Christmas Trees : 

- pretzel sticks

- white chocolate chips or chopped block

- green food coloring

- sprinkles

Steps: In a microwaveable bowl melt the white chocolate chips. Add green food coloring to liking. Place in piping bag or ziploc bag and cut the tip. Place pretzel sticks on a lined wax cookie sheet. Then starting from the top working in a zig zag motion down the bottom make your Christmas shape. Next add sprinkles. Place in freezer until set. 


Instructions :

1. Preheat oven to 300°F and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.

2. Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together. Set aside.

3. Combine the egg, buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla in another medium sized bowl.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

5. Add the water to the batter and mix until well combined. Batter will be thin.

6. Fill the cupcake liners about half way and bake for 18-23 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.

7. Remove the cupcakes from oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.


To make the frosting :

1. combine the butter and shortening in a large mixer bowl and beat until smooth and creamy.

2.  Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth and well combined.

3. Add the vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of water or cream and mix until smooth and well combined.

4. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth and well combined.

5. Add more water or cream until desired consistency is reached, then add salt to taste.

6. Once the cupcakes are completely cooled add the frosting either with a spatula or pipe.

7. Then sprinkle coconut shavings on top and add the Christmas trees on top. 

8. Serve and enjoy!!

 

 

 

Christmas Tree Cupcakes


Day 21 // 25

Browned Butter Toffee Cookies :

Prep Time : 2 hours + 15 minutes 

Bake Time : 10 minutes 

Servings : approx 36 cookies

 

Ingredients :

- 2 1/4 cup of flour 

- 1 teaspoon of baking soda 

- 2 sticks of butter gently cooked until lightly browned

- 3/4 cups of granulated sugar

- 3/4 cups of brown sugar (light or dark on preference)

- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

- 2 eggs

- chocolate chips (optional)

- 1.4 ounces (approx 1/2 cup) of chopped Heath bars

 

Instructions : 

1. In a large bowl mix together sugar, brown sugar, and salt. Add vanilla. Mix in warm brown butter until sugar dissolves. Add eggs and mix until well combined. Add flour and baking soda and stir until just combined. Add in chopped Heath bars and chocolate chips are optional. Mix until formed.

2.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for up to two hours or overnight. 

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line cookie sheets with parchment paper unless using nonstick. Drop a spoonful of batter on the cookie sheet about two inches apart until the sheet is full. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. 

4. Let them cool on the cookie sheet for a couple minutes before placing on a cooling rack. Then serve and enjoy!!

Browned butter toffee cookies


Day 22 // 25

Snowball Cookies : 

Servings: 32 snowballs

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Bake Time: 15 Minutes

Total Time: 30 Minutes

 

 Ingredients:

- 1 cup of unsalted butter softened

- 1/2 cup of powdered sugar

- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

- 1/4 teaspoon of salt

- 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour measured correctly - spoon & sweep method

- 3/4 - 1 cup of finely chopped pecans

- 1/2 cup of powdered sugar for rolling cookie

 Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, line two cookies sheets with parchmmet paper and set aside for later.

2. In a stand mixer, hand mixer or a whisk cream butter and powdered sugar.

3. Turn to low and mix in salt, vanilla, flour and pecans until well incorporated.

4. Roll into one inch balls. Place them on the cookie sheets a few inches apart.

5. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until very lightly browned. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and allow to cool just enough to handle them.

6. Pour 1 cup of powdered sugar in a large Ziploc bag or in a wide bowl. Gently add 3-4 cookies at a time and roll them gently in the bottom of the bag. Use a fork to scoop under each cookie and gently shake to remove excess powdered sugar.

7. Place on cooling racks. Once completely cooled roll in powdered sugar bag again.

8. Then, serve and enjoy.

Snowballs


Day 23 // 25

Candy Treats :

My Great Grandma's English Toffee Recipe :

Prep Time : 15 Minutes 

Total Time : 40 Minutes approx. 

 

Ingredients :

- 2 cups of butter

- 2 cups of sugar

- 1/4 teaspoon of  salt

- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

- 1 cup almonds or pecans, finely chopped (I used pecans and crushed Heath bars)

 

Instructions :

1. Combine the butter, sugar, and salt in a large heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat and allow the mixture to come to a steady boil, stirring constantly. It is done when it turns to a dark amber color or reaches 290 degrees with a candy thermometer.

* Or you can use this trick my Great Grandma taught me, you drop a small bit of the mixture into ice cold water, and if the drop turns hard the brittle it is done.

2. Carefully pour the mixture into a foil-lined baking sheet. I buttered the baking sheet so it wouldn't stick to the foil.

3. Let harden for a minute or two, then sprinkle on the chocolate chips. Let them melt on top for a minute, then spread the chocolate evenly with a knife.

4. Sprinkle on the chopped nuts and press down slightly on the nuts. Let the English tofee candy cool and harden, then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

English Toffee


More Candy Treats

S'mores Clusters

Prep Time : 20 Minutes 

Total Time : 35 Minutes 

 

Ingredients :

- 12 ounces of milk chocolate chips (I used Hershey's) 

- 1 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil

- 1 1/2 cups of crushed graham crackers

- 2 cups of mini marshmallows

 

Instructions :

1. In a microwave safe bowl, melt together chocolate chips and vegetable oil in 30 second intervals, stirring in between each interval, until smooth.

2. Stir in crushed graham crackers and mini marshmallows, completely coating them in chocolate.

3. Drop by large spoonfuls or just place all of it onto a wax-lined baking sheet and allow to cool and set, then break into pieces,

4.  Serve and enjoy!! 

 

 

S'mores Clusters

Peppermint Bark :

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Bake Time : 5 Minutes

Total Time : 35 Minutes

Servings : 8-10

 

Ingredients:

-12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips or chopped semi sweet chocolate

- 16 ounces white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate

- 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract

- 3/4 cup of crushed candy canes

 

Instructions:

1. Place the semisweet chocolate chips in a medium bowl and microwave for 30 second increments until melted.

2. Stir until smooth. Spread the chocolate into a roughly 9″x 13″ rectangle on a piece of parchment paper. Place the chocolate in the fridge for 15 minutes to set.

3. Place the white chocolate chips in a medium bowl and microwave for 30 second increments until melted. Add the peppermint extract and stir until smooth.

4. Spread the white chocolate over the semisweet chocolate layer. Top with candy canes.

5. Let harden in the fridge for about 20 minutes, then break into pieces and serve and enjoy!!

Peppermint Bark

Aims Christmas Candies


Day 24 // 25

Sugar Cookie Cutouts :

Prep Time : 1 hour 30 minutes

Bake Time : 10 minutes 

Servings : 2 dozen

 

Ingredients :

Cookies :

- 3 cups of all purpose flour

- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

- 1/2 teaspoon of  salt

- 1 cup of butter, softened

- 1 + 1/3 cups of sugar

- 2 large eggs

- 2 + 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

- 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract

 

Frosting :

- 1/2 cup of butter, softened

- 2 cups - 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar

- 1/2 teaspoon of  vanilla extract

- salt to taste

- 2-3 teaspoon of milk

- food coloring to your preference 

 

Instructions : 

Cookies :

1. Cream butter with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in sugar and cream until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add in eggs, 1 at a time, creaming until combined. Add vanilla and almond extracts.
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet.
Once combined, chill dough for at least 1 hour.
3. Once dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

4. On a floured surface, roll out cooke dough until it is about 1/4" in thickness.

5. Using cookie cutters, cut out your desired shapes and place them on the cookie sheet, about 2" apart.

6. Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the remaining dough. Leftover scraps can be rolled out again.

7. Bake the cookies for 8 to 11 minutes, or until they look set and lightly colored (slightly underbaking them keeps them soft, about 8-9 minutes; baking them until they are golden brown will make the crispy, about 10-11 minutes), and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

 

Frosting :

1. Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add in powdered sugar, beginning with 2 cups.

2. Add in vanilla, 2 teaspoons of milk, and salt. If the frosting seems too thick, add in more milk. If it seems too thin, add in more powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.
3. Then, set aside and frost cookies when cooled. Decorate with sprinkles. Enjoy!