There are not many gifts better than receiving handmade, homemade gifts from the heart! Today I am sharing a video I did a few weeks ago, making 2 cookie recipes and a soup in Mason Jars. There are so many options for Mason Jar Gifts and I will share some additional gifts after these three recipes.
Holiday Log Cookies are a quick and convenient option to have on hand over the holiday season, or anytime of year.
In The Kitchen - I was prepping PB&J Muffins, Omelet Muffins, Omelet Freezer packets and more...
Strawberries, they are one of those berries that I love just as they are, or in a dish with a little cream and maple syrup (yes, that is a real treat!). I remember, as a child, waiting for strawberry season every summer so we could enjoy strawberry shortcake. When we would visit my grandmother or aunt & uncle in Cape Breton, there were usually a few churches around the Cabot Trail hosting a Strawberry Tea, and we would go to more than one!
Today Clayton asked if we could bake some muffins. He is my picky eater, so I asked him what he wanted to try. He said Strawberry, at the beginning of March...so we are going to give them a shot! I cannot guarantee he will eat them, but perhaps by letting him make them, he will be more interested in eating them as well.
Our Perfect Buttery Biscuits
A warm biscuit with melted butter is probably one of my favourite indulgences. Do you know how to make flaky and tall biscuits?
Well, besides the cold butter, you need layers...it is all in how you roll it out.
Here is my recipe for the Best Buttery Biscuits you will ever have.
- 3 cups Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Sugar (optional)
- 1/2 cup Cold Butter
- 3/4 Cup Buttermilk (or milk with 1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar, let sit 5 min)
- Combine dry ingredients and then cut in butter (with pastry cutter or fork). Leave butter a little chunky to allow for airy biscuits when cooked
- Once mixture is a crumbly texture add milk.
- Combine stirring and then knead on floured surface for a minute.
- Roll out in rectangle, fold over (making 2 layers of dough) & roll again. Fold over one more time then roll to desired thickness.
- Cut into desired shapes and place on parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Bake at 375 degrees 30 minutes or until browned.
- 2 tsp dry active yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ cup warm water (not hot)
- 2½ cups flour, plus more for kneading (up to 1 cup more)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup plain yogurt (I prefer greek)
- 1 large egg
- In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and water. Stir to dissolve then let sit for 5 to 8 minutes until a froth appears. Once frothy, stir or whisk in the oil, yogurt, and egg until well combined.
- In a separate medium bowl, combine ONLY 1 cup of the flour with the salt. Next, create a well in the flour and pour the wet ingredients into the well and stir until combined. Continue adding flour, a half cup at a time, until you have a thick dough that is not overly sticky, about 1 to 1.5 cups more.
- Turn the ball of dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead the ball of dough for about 2-3 minutes. You can continue to add small amounts of flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking. The dough should be smooth and very soft but not sticky. Adding dough while kneading should be done in small amounts, to avoid mess, and dough that becomes too stiff.
- Once you are done kneading, place dough in a clean bowl (you can rub a little olive oil on bowl). Cover the dough with clean dish towel and let it rise about 1 hour, it should be doubled in size.
- After it rises, gently flatten the dough with your hands and cut it into 8 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a small ball and set aside. Do not handle a whole lot.
- Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Roll out one ball at a time, until it is about ¼ inch thick. Place the into the hot skillet and cook until the bottom is golden brown and large bubbles have formed on the surface. Flip the dough and cook the other side until golden brown as well.
- Stack the cooked bread on a plate and cover with a towel to keep warm,until remaining pieces are ready.
Crunchy Snow Mounds
White chocolate goodness with a little crunch! These little gems are so quick and easy to make. Whip up a batch in no time to take to a potluck, or for company arriving in a few hours.
These little treats can be made year round, but I tried them and decorated for a Christmas Cookie Exchange. If you want to make them for Valentine's day, add a little red food colouring to make pink treats topped with a couple cinnamon hearts, or at Easter top with a couple mini eggs.
You will need:
- Mini muffin tin
- mini muffin liners
- microwave safe bowl
- wooden spoon for mixing
- teaspoon for scooping into muffin liners
- 3/4 cups Rice Krispie Cereal
- 1/2 cup Unsweetened Coconut
- 1 tsp Coconut Oil
- 1 1/4 cups White Chocolate Chips
- candy sprinkles (optional)
- Place muffin liners in mini muffin tins.
- In microwave safe dish, combine Chocolate Chips and Coconut Oil. Melt in microwave in 20 second increments until smooth when stirred.
- Add Rice cereal and Coconut. Stir to combine. Scoop out into lined muffin tins. Sprinkle with candy topping.
- Let sit at room temp for approximately 1 hour, or place in fridge for 30 minutes to set.
Makes approx. 22 mounds.
For more cookie ideas, check out this roundup of 34 Holiday Cookie Recipes!
Holiday Cookie Recipes
Around here the holidays always mean there will be mountains of baked goods. Each year I try to make something new, but we have our favourites and "go to" recipes for our holiday cookie jar!
Through the years I have attended a few cookie swaps and am always amazed to find new and creative cookies on my plate to bring home. So this year I tried a couple new recipes, Crunchy Snow Mounds and Christmas Crinkle Cookies. Both are a hit in this house, and I will be making a second batch of each before the holiday gatherings even start.
Here's a round up of a variety of cookies you should try for your holiday baking, or anytime you want a new treat.
7 Shortbread Recipes
~ Oreo Shortbread with Mint Chocolate Drizzle- 4 The Love Of Mommy
~ Easy Icebox Shortbread(variations) - Hello Creative Family
~ Thes BEST Shortbread Cookies - Tales of Mommyhood
~ Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread- Older Mommy Still Yummy
~ Chocolate Dipped Shortbread - Moms & Munchkins
~ Whipped Shortbread - the Bewitchin Kitchen
6 Sugar Cookie Recipes
~ Soft Sour Cream Sugar Cookies- Raising Memories
~ Butter Tart Sugar Cookies- Mommy Outside the Box
~ Buttery Sugar Cookies- Family, Food & Travel
~ Low Sugar Cookies - the Bewitchin Kitchen
~ Sugar Cookies -Rolled Dough tutorial- Moms & Munchkins
~ Christmas Colouring Sugar Cookies - Hello Creative Family
21 Other Cookie Recipes
~ Chewy Amaretti Holiday Cookies- This Lil Piglet
~ Fudge Cookies with White Chocolate- Tale of a Ranting Ginger
~ Peanut Butter Blossoms - The Inspired Home
~ Christmas "Play Doh" Cookies- Raising Memories
~ Pretzel Bites - Tales of Mommyhood
~ Peanut Butter Raindeer Cookies - East Coast Mommy
~ Holiday Crinkle Cookies - Everything Unscripted
~ Gluten Free Double Chocolate Cookies- the Bewitchin Kitchen
~ Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies - Family, Food & Travel
~ Santa's Whiskers Cookies - This Lil Piglet
~ No Bake Peanut Butter Crunchies - Merry About Town
~ Eggnog Goey Butter Cookies - The Flying Couponer
~ White Chocolate Dipped Ginger Snaps - Tales of a Ranting Ginger
~ Cream Cheese Cookies - Moms & Munchkins
~ Christmas Meringues- the Bewitchin Kitchen
~ Cranberry Tea Cookies - Tales of a Ranting Ginger
~ Belgian Cookies - The Inspired Home
~ Junior Mint Thumbprint Cookies - Raising Memories
~ Chocolate Blossoms - Tales of a Ranting Ginger
~ Peanut Butter Balls- Tales of Mommyhood
~ Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies - The Mommy Mix
Holiday Crinkle Cookies Only 4 Ingredients
With a cookie swap looming and trying to pick a recipe for something delicious and easy, I decided to try Cake mix crinkle cookies. I have seen them in a few places and tweeked the recipe to be as simple as possible and festive for the holidays.
These are a soft cookie that everyone in my household loves!! Needless to say, we will be making another batch before the holiday season is over.
HOLIDAY CRINKLE COOKIES
- 1 white or yellow cake mix
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- Optional: Food Colouring (red & green)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Line cookie sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
- In a mixer or by hand, combine Cake mix, Eggs and Oil.
- Once combined divide in half and add food colouring if desired. Mix to evenly distribute colour.
- Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes. (wrapped in plastic wrap)
- Place powdered sugar on a plate or in a low bowl.
- Remove dough from fridge and form into 1-2 inch balls.
- Roll balls in powdered sugar to cover, and place 1-2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
- Bake 10-13 minutes.
Hosting A Cookie Exchange
I love baking, and Christmas tends to be my favourite time of year for baking, and being creative. That being said, it also gets very expensive to buy all the supplies to create all these little nuggets of goodness!
Wouldn't you rather be spending the money on having fun with your friends and family? I know I would. So let's chat about a fun way to spend time with those you love and share some goodies to use over the holidays.
Cookie Swaps or Cookie Exchanges have been popular for decades, but honestly, I have only participated in a couple. One through a workplace and one with friends. It is a fabulous way to try new cookies and treats and to grow you recipe list as well.
Here are some tips for hosting a successful cookie swap:
Have a theme
Perhaps you want to host an Ugly Sweater Party, Fancy Dresses, or Slippers & PJs! You can get very creative with a theme and it will take the cookie exchange to another level of fun for the evening.
Pick a type of cookie or treat to exchange
Simply pick a type of cookies/treat to share, such as No Bake Treats, or Sugar Cookies. Trust me, there will be a variety no matter what type of cookie or treat you choose. If you select sugar cookies, gingerbread or shortbread, ask that they be decorated in some way with icing or candies.
Send out an invitation
Send an invitation to your friends and family outlining the evening. Be specific with what you are requesting for # of cookies and what they need to bring. You can create the invites and send via email or traditional mail. You could even create a facebook private group and invite the people you are having.
Ask what people are bringing (about a week in advance)
You don't need to have the specifics, but knowing the types of cookies or treats that are coming will help you ensure there will be a variety for people to take home.
Ask guests to bring samples of the treats
In addition to the amount of cookies required for the exchange, ask your guests to bring a few samples, or smaller versions of the cookie they brought. Set this number according to # of guests attending. This will allow everyone to have a treat at the party and also try the cookies they will be taking home.
Notify guests of any food allergies
If anyone attending has a food allergy, be sure to request the treats are free of the food they are allergic to.
Share the Recipes
Ask guests to bring their recipe printed out for other guests to take home. If you are into being uniform, you could ask guests to send you the recipes and then print them out together. You can create a yearly Cookie Exchange Recipe Book! Wouldn't that be fun?
We all have our favourite cookies and holiday treats, participating in a cookie exchange allows us to have a larger variety on hand over the holidays, without having to do all the baking!
I am headed to a cookie exchange with a friend tomorrow night and will be taking my Red & Green Crinkle Cookies. If you are looking for more inspiration, be sure to check the link below for a huge list of holiday cookie ideas!
Need ideas for what to make?