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christmas

Christmas/ RECIPES/ Sweets

51 Best Christmas Cookie Recipes

All 51 of these recipes can be found on New Nostalgia’s

Holiday: Christmas-Cookies Board on Pinterest. 

Click on this link to find all of these recipes!  They are listed below in the order they are found on my cookie board. Mmmmmm!



———–


White Chocolate and Cherry Macadamia

Christmas Wreath Cookies

Spritz Christmas Cookies

Star Pretzel Rolo Cookies

Dipped Peanut Butter Oreos

Cherry Chocolate Kisses

Candy Cane Kiss Christmas Cookies

Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

Reindeer Cookies

Anise Christmas Cookies


Cran-Pistachio Cookies

Patterned Mitten Cookies

Bourbon Salted Caramels

Red & Green Sugar Cookie Brittle

Sugar Sparkled Gingersnaps

Fudge Brownie Cheesecake Bites

Skinny Cranberry Bliss Bars

Scotcheroos Chex Mix

Christmas Candy Cane Cookies

Turron de Navidad – traditional Mexican Cookie

Fruity Chocolate Bark

Sugar Plums

Raw Gingerbread Cookies

Amaretto Snowball cookies

White Chocolate Cranberry Bark

Salted Caramel Butter Bars

Chocolate Graham Cracker Peppermint Bark

Candy Cane Snowballs

Pretzel Hugs

Peanut Butter Balls

White Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies

White chocolate Rice Crispy Treats

Christmas Cookie Bars

Katie’s Pretzel Wreaths

Candy Cane Marshmallows

Sparkly White Chocolate Lemon Truffles

Reindeer Chocolate Doughnuts

Rolo Turtles

Dark Chocolate Cherry Thumbprints

Holiday Peppermint Chex

Swirled Sugar Cookies

Milky Way Teddy Sleds

Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Cookies

Hot & Spicy Gingersnaps

Candy Cane Kiss Kettlecorn

Andes Mint Cookies

Puppy & Kitty Chow

Christmas Crack

Candy Decorated Christmas Sugar Cookies

Triple White Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms

Mantecaditos-Traditional Puerto Rican Cookie

————

What Christmas Cookie recipes do you make every year?

 

 

 

Brunch/ RECIPES

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls As A Christmas Gift?!?

Yes, Homemade Cinnamon Rolls are exactly what our neighbors and my husband’s co-workers got for Christmas!  I made a quadruple batch, which made 12 pans of 6 rolls. With rising time it took most of the day, but I was able to get a lot done around the house in between batches.  I only had one mis-hap, but despite that, I had a blast!  I cranked the Christmas music and kept thinking about how great it was to have energy and feel good!!

I got the idea when I was at our local Dollar Tree and I spotted foil pans with lids. They came in packs of 3 for $1.00!  I knew they would look pretty tied with ribbon or even with a sticky bow slapped on the top.  They carry 2 sizes, the smaller size is 4 for $1.00.  They would be a great size for fudge or small cookies.

I found the Cinnamon Roll recipe at AllRecipes.com.  They are called “Clone Of A Cinnabon” and were rated 5 stars and had 3, 943 reviews!  They were the highest rated cinnamon roll on the site, and they were full of sugar and butter, so I knew they would be good!  They also use a bread maker, which I liked, but in the reviews, there are alternative directions if you do not have a bread maker.

Speaking of a bread maker, this is where my mishap came in.  Cinnamon roll dough is a bit thick, which made my bread machine complain a little bit.  It rattled and shook itself right off my counter, and took my eggs with it!  I love how the dough stayed in the machine, safe and sound.  This is one tough machine, I’ve had it for 12 years and it survived the fall.

Finished pan.  Ugh, lighting.  I hate taking pictures at night in artificial light!  Not my cup of tea..

Tied with wire ribbon, also from the dollar store.  The star tags are from Micheals.

I was really pleased with how the rolls tasted.  This recipe is for sure a keeper for when I want a sugar splurge!

“Clone Of A Cinnabon”

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

 

Directions

  1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
  2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Roll dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  4. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

How-Tos/ RECIPES/ Seasonal

Easy Christmas Ladies Luncheon

I have some very special women in my life.  We used to get together for a Bible study at my house every Wednesday morning.  We did this for 4 years, and it was always a highlight of my week.  We had to stop meeting, due to schedule changes and life taking us in different directions.  I thought it would be great to have them all over for a ladies luncheon, and thought “What better time to do it than Christmastime?”

I set the table, made sure the candles were lit, and the Christmas music was playing.  I left a Christmas treat by each of their plates (Lindt Lindor Truffles), which added a little touch of Christmas color to my black and white table.

 Menu:
Soup-Chicken Tortilla Soup
Salad-Cranberry Spinach Salad
Bread-Honey Whole Wheat Bread
Dessert-Andes Mint Cookies
Something Fun To Drink-Cranberry Spritzer
Something Warm To Drink-Coffee & Hot Tea

Soup:
It was a very cold and snowy week here in Nebraska, so soup was an obvious choice.  My cousin, Keeli, passed on a Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe that I have been wanting to try, so I did—and boy, am I glad I did! Yum!  I set out chips, salsa, shredded cheese; tortilla strips and brown rice, and let them help themselves to whatever toppings they wanted.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 pound shredded, cooked chicken
1(15oz) can whole peeled tomatoes,mashed
1(10oz) can enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1(4oz) can chopped green chile peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
1(14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1t cumin
1t chili powder
1t salt
1/4t black pepper
1 bay leaf
1(10oz) frozen corn

Flour Tortillas, cut into strips, optional
Shredded Cheese, optional

Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in water and chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in corn. Cover, and cook on low setting for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.  Serve in bowl topped with tortilla strips and shredded cheese, if desired

I had shredded chicken on hand b/c I had made this recipe.  I put it together the night before and then just plugged it in and set it on high and it was ready in time for lunch. 

Buffet Style=Easy!



Salad:
This is my go-to easy salad recipe.  Whenever I am asked to bring a dish, this is one I often choose to bring.  I can just buy the ingredients, bring a bowl and tongs, dump it all a bowl and toss once I am there.  This is a no-recipe, recipe.


Cranberry Spinach Salad
Bag of Spinach
Bag of Dried Cranberries
Slivered Almonds
Feta Cheese
Newman’s Own Lighten Up Raspberry Walnut dressing
Croutons
Dump Spinach into large bowl.  Add the rest of ingredients, amounts according to taste.  Toss and Serve.


Bread:
Honey Whole Wheat Bread
I like this recipe because I can just put it in my bread maker and choose the dough option.  Once it beeps, I put it into a loaf pan and let it rise another 1/2 hour or until about double, then bake.  I could just leave it in my bread maker and choose loaf setting, but I like the shape of a regular loaf pan.
Click here for the recipe.


Dessert:
Andes Mint Cookies
Click here for the recipe.


Drink:
Cranberry Spritzer
You can make your own (equal parts of cranberry juice and sprite) or buy a bottle like I did.  


 This luncheon really was easy.  Every recipe I chose was super simple and I already had the shredded chicken and cookie dough on hand in my freezer. 


We had a great time.  I have to admit, seeing each of them walk through the door made me REALLY miss our Wednesday Bible Study time together! 🙁
 I am so very thankful for the friendships I have, God has blessed me big time!!  

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


Drinks/ Featured/ FUN/DIY/ RECIPES/ Seasonal

Homemade Gifts-Peppermint Stick Cocoa

I have seen SO many great homemade gift ideas this year.   I really want to write a post featuring them all, but they are all disorganized and saved in my bookmarks, or starred somewhere on my reader. You would think I would would take the time (2 clicks!) to clip and annotate them to my Circus Ponies Notebook, but….no.  Gotta work on that!

I read so many blogs a day thanks to my Google Reader –I’ll post about this soon for those who don’t know what it is– so I come across many, many great ideas.  My head started to feel spinny whenever I would think about what I wanted to do.  I finally had to just pick one, so Peppermint Stick Cocoa it is.  I thought the layers were pretty, especially the mini-chocolate chips and the crushed peppermint candies.  Plus, I got to use a mason jar!  I like that I can do smaller jars for 1-2 people and larger jars for families.  (if you click on the link, you will see that they put it in a very cool square-ish jar.  I love it and you can buy them at wal-mart, but at almost 3 times the cost of a mason jar.  They are very cool but not THAT cool!:)

Peppermint Stick Cocoa
Layer the ingredients for homemade cocoa in a jar, add a ribbon, embellishment, and a tag, and you have a simple but cute gift.  This mix will fill a 1 quart jar (12 servings), but if your containers are different sizes, just keep the ratio of ingredients constant.  On the back of the tag, write: “Mix contents in a bowl.  For each serving, place 1/3 cup cocoa mix in a mug and stir in one cup boiling water.  Store remaining mix in airtight container.

1 cup powdered milk
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy

Layer powdered milk, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, chocolate chips, and peppermint candy.
Yeild: Makes 1 quart mix or 12 servings hot cocoa.

I used a 16 oz jar (1 pint) and halved the recipe, this serves 6.  I also made 8 oz jars (1/2 pint) and adjusted the measurements, this serves 3.

16 oz jar measurements (1 pint) serves 6
1/2 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/4 cup crushed peppermint candy

8 oz jar measurements (1/2 pint) serves 3
1/4 cup powdered milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/8 cup crushed peppermint candies

I like giving away homemade gifts to people like co-workers, school teachers, mailman, neighbors, piano teacher, pastor, and friends.  Just a little something to let them know I am thinking of them during the Christmas season.

My oldest daughter and I made these together today, while the younger 2 watched a Christmas movie.  It was the perfect thing to do on a “school’s- out -snow- day!”  It went pretty smoothly, I do wish peppermint candies came pre-crushed!  Beating them with the rolling pin did not work, banging them with the bottom of a mason jar did not work, finally we got out the hammer and with some muscle–it worked!  Those were some hard- headed peppermints!  Once we had the candy crushed and a fun little math lesson with the measurements, we were good to go.  We made an assembly line, and got busy!

We found that with the small 8 oz jar size, we needed to change up the order so that the peppermints would show.  We did sugar, cocoa powder, mini chocolate chips, crushed peppermints, salt and powdered milk.  Much prettier that way.  In the 16 oz jars, we kept the order as stated in the recipe.

After my girls had some igloo fun in the snow, they came in and sipped on some Peppermint Stick Cocoa.  It was very chocolate-y and very good;  so good that I got impatient when I had to say no at least 9 times when they asked for more. (3 times per girl, 3 girls).  I will blame their persistence on the addictive nature of the cocoa drink, because of course, my girls would respect their mothers “no” the first time, so they must have been on a chocolate high. Ha! Um, yea–guess we gotta work on that one!

Ask Anna

 

RECIPES/ Seasonal/ Sweets

Christmas Cranberry Recipes/ Christmas Carnival

Today I am participating in “Healthy Holiday Eats and Sweets Carnival”, hosted by “Keeper Of The Home.”(check out this blog, its a good one!  I have learned so much from it!)  I am very excited to find some new, healthy holiday recipes for years to come.  I plan on making a Healthy Holiday Recipe Journal with the carnival recipes, as I know there will be lots of great ones!!

I love all things cranberry, especially around the holiday season.  I thought for the carnival, I would share a couple of my favorites with you!

Hot Buttered Cranberry Apple Cider
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup rapadura or brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
pinch of cloves
pinch of salt
cranberry juice
apple cider

In a bowl, cream all ingredients except the juice and cider together.
Place on a piece of waxed paper, wrap up and put in a ziplock bag.
Freeze.  Slice pieces off as needed.

Heat 1/2 cup cranberry juice and 1/2 cup apple cider.  In the bottom of a mug, add at least a Tbls of the spiced butter.  Pour heated juice/cider mixture over the butter, stir and enjoy!

This next recipe is one that is pretty addicting.  I may make a large batch for Christmas gifts this year.  It is a recipe from FamiyFun.com, but I substituted almonds for walnuts.

Tree-Trim Cranberry Trail Mix
8 cups freshly popped corn (see this post for easy popping instructions!)
1 cup almonds
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
pinch of baking soda
1 cup dried cranberries

Heat the oven to 300 degrees.  Grease a large, rimmed baking sheet.  Mix the popcorn and nuts in a large, well -oiled bowl.  Bring the syrup, cinnamon, and salt to a boil in a small pan on med heat.  Let the mixture boil for 4 minutes, swirling the pan once in awhile.  Turn off heat and add the baking soda, stirring until the mixture is creamy.  Pour the mixture over popcorn and stir well.  Spread the popcorn on the baking sheet and bake until it is dry to the touch, about 15 minutes.  Let the popcorn cool for 20 minutes, then mix in the cranberries and serve or put in jars for yummy gifts!

photo from FamilyFun.com

 

Drinks/ RECIPES

Best Ever Hot Chocolate Part 2

I wrote this post on The Best Ever Hot Chocolate a few days ago, and had a reader ask for ideas on how to adjust this a recipe for someone who is a teetotaler.  I think it is a great question, as I know there are many people, with reasons I completely respect, for choosing to not consume alcohol.

I made the original recipe (click here for recipe) minus the Godiva Liqueur, and added another teaspoon of sugar.  I am drinking a cup right now, and it tastes creamy and good. (I used whole milk for creaminess.)  I have a few ideas to make it even better.

My first idea would be to make Homemade Chocolate Sauce, and add a teaspoon or 2 in place of Godiva Liqueur.   This recipe is from Small Notebook (I love this blog, one of my favorites), I put this on my “homemade gifts to make sometime” list.

The next idea I had is quite exciting!!   I owe the inspiration to my Grandpa Earl, who is a huge fan of Werther’s Original Candies.  They had a way of showing up in his overalls’ pockets, which delighted my girls whenever they got to see him.  When we go to Missouri to visit Grandpa and Grandma, there is always a bowl of them sitting in the entryway, inviting us to help ourselves. I will never eat a Werther’s Original candy without thinking of grandpa!

Back to my idea,  I think it would be delicious to drop a Werther’s Original candy into the mug along with the Dove Chocolates.  I like that it would keep with the theme of dropping candies in the mug.  In fact… I will call it Candy Drop Hot Cocoa.  Who wouldn’t want to drink something with a name like that?  I have never tried this in Hot Cocoa, but I have dropped them into a steaming cup of coffee and they would slowly melt, giving my coffee a great buttery, caramel-y flavor. If you wanted faster dissolving, you could crush the candies before adding.  The Werther’s hard candies come in a variety of flavors–Mocha, Butterscotch, Irish Creme, Vanilla– how fun would it be to experiment with all of those?  Werther’s also sell a soft caramel chew, which might dissolve easier.

Candy Drop Hot Cocoa
8 oz milk
11/2 tsp sugar
3 Dove Chocolates
2 Werther’s Originals Hard Candy-any flavor (can crush for easier dissolving)
 or Werther’s Original Soft Caramel Chew
Microwave milk in mug until hot (about 11/2 minutes).  Add Sugar.
Drop in Dove Chocolate Candies and Werther’s Original Candies.
Give it a whirl until Chocolate is dissolved and enjoy!

Here are some other ideas to add to a plain mug of hot chocolate to make it special:
~Marshmallows
~Crushed Candy Canes or a few drops of peppermint extract
~A few drops of almond extract
~Crushed Peanut Butter Cups to melt into it- oh yum.
~Espresso Powder
~A bit of flavored cappuccino
~Any flavor of powdered or liquid creamers
~A pinch of cayenne and some cinnamon for a Mexican Hot Chocolate
~A spoonful of Raspberry Jelly
~Red Hot Candies

All this talk of Hot Chocolate brings back a child hood memory.  My mom would have us make Hot Chocolate and accompany it with Buttered Toast.   She showed us how to cut the toast diagonally in half and dip it into the Hot Chocolate.  I know it sounds like soggy yuckness, but the saltiness of the butter mixed with the sweet chocolate was quite tasty!

PS.  Can you tell my healthy eating goes pretty much out the window during the holidays?  We still get all our nutrients from real food, but we definitely add more processed foods and sugar foods than normal.
I’m completely at peace about that, as long as my family holds on to their good health throughout the season and as long as we keep it to a minimum.

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