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I like to bake holiday goodies for my family and friends. Holiday baking is one of our favorite traditions. The way the house smells is reason enough to fire up the oven! Plates of sugar cookies are always featured at our family parties. The holiday treats have to be delicious, easy to make, and appealing to the eye. If you are planning on giving the treats as a gift, other considerations are that they have to be package-friendly and stay fresh for several days. Both of these recipes meet all of the above criteria – they taste scrumptious and appeal to the eye.
If you want to keep some of the stress out of your holiday, you should consider making extras and freezing them when you do your holiday baking (both of these recipes work well for this). When unexpected guests show up – just remove from the freezer, decorate or add toppings and serve on festive tableware or paper products.
Double Chocolate Mocha Brownie Bites
You will need:
Mini Muffin Tin
Mini Muffin Tin Paper Liners
20 ounce Double Chocolate Brownie Mix – I used Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix.
¼ cup Strong Brewed Coffee (cooled)
½ cup Vegetable Oil
- Preheat oven to 350º
- Line muffin tin with paper liners
- Combine the oil, coffee and egg
- Add the brownie mix and stir until well mixed
- Fill the muffin tins about ¾ of the way full
- Bake for 15-18 minutes (until inserted toothpick comes out clean)
- Once the Brownie Bites have cooled, top with whipped cream and dust with cinnamon.
You can also freeze the bites (without the toppings) in an air-tight container for a few weeks to use later.
If you are packaging them for gift gifting, nix the toppings and include the whipped topping and cinnamon along with a gift if you wish. To keep the Brownie Bites fresh, you may want to first place them in a ziploc bag and then place them in your festive packaging. This bakery box came with it’s own label to seal the box – too cute!
Now on to the family favorite – Sugar Cookies!
This is a great sugar cookie recipe – I have made it several times and it’s always a winner. I nixed the nutmeg this time and used peppermint in the cookies, frosting and the decorations instead – to put a twist on it. The recipe makes 3 dozen cookies or more (depending on how thick you roll them out). They are soft and fluffy and kids can’t stop eating them. (Did I just say “kids”?)
1 cup butter – softened
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint flavoring
1 cup milk
5 cups flour (sometimes I have to add more if the dough is too sticky)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
- Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until well mixed
- Add eggs and flavoring and then add milk slowly (mixture will not be really smooth)
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl
- Add the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar in about 3 batches. If the dough seems sticky add a little extra flour
- Seal the bowl with Saran wrap and refrigerate for two hours.
- On a floured surface, roll-out the dough, at least 1/4 inch– don’t make it too thin . Use cookie cutters to cut out.
- Place parchment paper on baking sheet
- Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes – until the edges just begin to brown. Let cool before frosting.
2 cups of powdered sugar
1 tablespoon softened butter
2 tablespoons milk
Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips
1/4 teaspoon peppermint flavoring
Optional – food coloring
NOTE: This recipe is not an exact science – if the frosting is too runny just add more powdered sugar (you will want it kind of stiff but spreadable). It will harden on the cookies so that you can stack them and they won’t stick together.
If you are giving your baked goodies as gifts there are countless packaging options (see below). There are festive holiday tins, bakery bags and bakery boxes. I used sparkly ornaments and colorful ribbons to dress up my cookie boxes. You can pick your style and run with it. Here are a couple of my favorites:
How about this one – in a air tight container with a see through lid.
I found every ingredient for both recipes (with the exception of whipped cream), and every item I used to beautifully package my treats at Big Lots.
In addition I also found a few holiday decorating items for around the house. Note: Styles and assortment vary by store.
What are some of your families favorite holiday traditions?