I tend to go a bit overboard when it comes to Christmas baking. I make up a big list of all the goodies I want to make and will then spend hours in the kitchen with my apron on making them.
Some of my favorite treats to make are sugar cookies, coffee balls, gingersnaps, peanut butter cups, toffee and peppermint bark.
I discovered this Viennese coffee ball recipe a few years ago at a baking event with friends and I’ve made it every year since. They don’t require any baking, just combining a few simple ingredients. Shortbread cookies are crumbled up and mixed with cocoa powder, instant coffee, powdered sugar and coffee.
They are rolled into balls and coated in powdered sugar. Yum!
I also made my annual batch of gingersnaps!
This year was my first time making fudge. My husband has always raved about my mother-in-law’s recipe, so I decided to give it a try. I would have never guessed that marshmallow crème is one of the main ingredients. It was fairly easy to make and turned out great. I think my husband thought he was back home in Bottineau when he tried it. 🙂
I tried another new recipe this year – Cookie Dough Bites. All I can say is wow, these are delicious. They don’t require any baking either. Try them!
Sugar cookies take a little extra work to make, but I love making them.
I have several recommendations for a smooth baking experience. First, use softened butter. I prefer to let it sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking, but use the microwave if needed; just don’t let the butter melt! Second, use a stand mixer (or handheld mixer). Trust me, it will make the mixing so much easier. Third, refrigerate the dough a good 30 minutes up to an hour before rolling it out; it’ll firm up and be easier to work with. And finally, make sure you use enough flour when rolling out the dough. I can’t tell you how many times my cutouts have stuck to the counter when trying to transfer them to the cookie sheets.
Roll out the dough in a nice even layer, not too thick. Use your favorite Christmas cutouts to form the cookies. If you don’t want to use frosting, make sure you add sprinkles before you bake.
If you plan on frosting or icing the cookies, let the cookies fully cool on a cooling rack before applying the decorations. Now comes the fun part. Mix up some frosting, add some food coloring to dye it red and green, and then get creative!
My sister-in-law and I made the sugar cookies together this year; see below for some pictures of our masterpieces. We laughed quite a bit and had a lot of fun. Thanks Erica for joining me this year!
Have fun decorating!