Every year for the past 3 years, my galpal Jenny and I (check her awesome blog) have a marathon baking day for Christmas. We come up with a handful of recipes and put our baking skills together (hers being more refined than mine) to create trays upon trays of treats for our friends and family.
Better Homes and Gardens is where we've gotten the majority of our recipes from years past that have proven to be winners. If you're into holiday baking/crafting, they have a 100 Days of Holidays e-mail newsletter that I highly recommend signing up for.
The recipes we tackled this year:
Cherry Almond Ornament Cookies - Super easy to make and a personal favorite, these taste like a sugar cookie with a cherry twist. I substitute the candied cherries in the dough with maraschino cherries that I put through the food processor. Piping on the cream cheese frosting is also the easiest (and prettiest) way to go.
Christmas Cookie Bark - This one was an easy (and tasty) addition to this year's lineup. The biggest tip I'd have is to keep your sprinkles handy as soon as you start pouring the almond bark/chocolate over your mix. The chocolate will cool fast and you'll want to make sure you're not scrambling at the last minute to dump half a tub of sprinkles on your chocolate just for it to fall off. I may or may not be speaking from experience...
Chocolaty Caramel Thumbprints - These require a little more TLC than most run-of-the-mill cookies, but they're worth it. The chewy caramel and crunchy pecans add a whole other level of texture to this delicious cookie. A great modification of this recipe would be to sprinkle a little sea salt on top of the caramel.
Sugar cookies. These beauties I cannot take credit for as Jenny had the patience and skill to craft them while I was working on other recipes. These can be made with any sugar cookie and royal icing recipe (to see the one Jenny used read about it here). They were the prettiest addition to our plates, and delicious to boot.
Chocolate Crinkle Kiss Cookies - These ones were fairly simple, delicious chocolate cookies with a festive kiss on top. Ours were a little melt-y due to our cookies being too warm when we put the kiss on top, but could be easily prevented by sticking the cookies in the fridge while they're still warm.
Overall all the recipes were a success, with the Cherry Cookies and the Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints ranking as my personal faves. I'm already looking forward to making some new (and old) recipes for next year!