A Blessing in Disguise

Aimee’s Journey

A Blessing in Disguise

25 Days Till Christmas 

Countdown Chart


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!