Today is all about indulging in the Holiday yumminess that is this time of year.
Indulging in some goodies from time to time is good for you. Yes, you read that right I just said that sugar can be good for you. Oh, not on a regular basis, but there are times when nothing beats a soft gooey cookie straight out of the oven, or warm and fresh bread that is smeared in butter, so it drips off your fingers when you bite into the slice.
Studies have shown that dark chocolate is actually good for you! The dark chocolate is made from the cacao tree and is one of the best sources of antioxidants out there. It’s so good for you in fact that physicians claim it can lower your risk of heart disease.
But beyond the antioxidants chocolate and sweets are sometimes just the thing you need for self-care, to boost your spirits, and help you get on with the day.
So today I have listed out a few of my family’s favorite holiday treats to make and indulge in. Enjoy!
A fast and super easy one that carries a BIG PUNCH are My Peppermint Creams. These are a big hit in my house, and I defy you to stop at just one cream 😉
Emily’s Peppermint Creams
This is a simple no bake recipe that is done in less than 30 mins. 1 batch makes about 60 creams depending on how big you make yours.
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon meringue powder
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp. peppermint extract (or more if you like a lot of flavor)
1 tablespoon milk
1. Mix the dry ingredients together, then add the peppermint extract and the milk. Stir and mash with a spoon until the mixture has the consistency of pie dough. If it is to dry add a few drops of water at a time until your reach the consistency of pie dough, or better yet, Play Doh.
2. Roll the dough into tiny marble-sized balls, (I find it easiest to do if you keep the palms of your hands well coated in powdered sugar – this stuff is sticky)! and roll each one in some extra powdered sugar.
3. Place on waxed paper to dry and set for 15 minutes.
4. If you want a little extra powdery goodness you can roll them again in the powdered sugar at this point.
5. Place in jar and enjoy!
6. These will stay lovely and fresh for up to 20 days.
Soft and Gooey Ginger Bread Cookies
I love gingerbread but not the hard as rock kind, but the soft and spicy kind that warm you to your toes. Here’s a recipe I’ve enjoyed for the last few years:
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Additional time needed: 25 mins
Total time to make: 50 mins
Makes 24 servings or 2 dozen 😊
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
¼ cup molasses
2 tablespoons white sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Next a good sugar cookie with all the fun holiday shapes and outrageously delicious frosting on top!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Coo: 8 minutes
Additional Time needed: 2 hrs and 32 mins
Total: 3 hours
Serving size: 60 or 5 dozen 😊
1 ½ cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
4. Decorate and enjoy!
Sugar Cookie Frosting
What’s a sugar cookie without frosting?!
Prep: 15 mins
Serving: 8 or 2 ½ cups
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk
3 drops food coloring, or as needed (Optional)
1. Cream room temperature butter with a hand mixer, the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, or a wooden spoon until smooth and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until fully incorporated. Beat in vanilla extract.
2. Pour in milk and beat for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Add food coloring, if using, and beat for thirty seconds until smooth or until desired color is reached.
3. Frost those cookies!
These are just a few goodies that we enjoy during the holidays but there are so many more. Embrace your traditional side and dig out the recipes from your mom, grandmother, or the friend next door and let’s make some goodies!