Christmas Cookies

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Thinking back on my childhood Christmases, there are lots of great memories but a few memories stick out more than the others. I remember how much I loved our house at Christmas time. My mom decorated our home, changing out practically every decoration she could to replace it with something festive. It was so fun seeing our home transform into a Christmas wonderland. Besides the home, my mom's Christmas cookies are another thing I remember so vividly. I can't recall how long my mom would bake for or even exactly what kind of cookies she was making but I do remember our entire dining room table being stacked with bins and bins of cookies. My mom would give some away as gifts and keep the rest for our family. I still have my favorites and request them still to this day. 

For the last few years I am following in the footsteps of my mom by making cookies with the girls to share with our friends and family. This past weekend, the girls and I made a few different kinds of cookies. We finished the decorations last night and finally boxed them up to share.

Some of these are already on repeat for our home after just a few years being on the list, some are requested from friends and family, and one is a new little gems I found. 

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Cranberry Orange Cookie : This is the biggest crowd pleaser. I shared my pumpkin cookie recipe with guys and I think this one may actually top that. These are super soft and a good mix of tart and sweet. I've found if I chill the dough for about 30 minutes and use a heated baking stone (or baking sheet) the cookies don't spread as much. They are topped with a orange, drizzled icing and are so good!

Andes Mint Chocolate Cookie : These were new this year. I always try to make at least one cookie or dessert that is mint and chocolate flavored. I think this recipe is my favorite among all of the ones we have tried in the past. A lot of these recipes end up being too strong with mint. This one is just a chocolate cookie that is topped with an Andes mint. Once the mint starts to melt, you swirl the mint with the back of a spoon to get the frosted look.

Best Sugar Cookie Ever : Watch her video about this cookie. I follow it to a T and get tons of compliments. The cookies hold their shape and are all the same thickness. It's a lot of time, plan to make the dough a day or so before decorating. I made this recipe first and let it chill about six hours. I baked them  the same afternoon and iced them the following day. 

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Super Easy Royal Icing : This royal icing recipe is easy in and of itself. The tricky part with any royal icing is consistency. The icing is quite thick. I use a small squirt bottle to thin the icing to a spreadable, but not runny, consistency. I then add colors using Wilton Gel Food Coloring and load them into piping bags. (Yes these are clamped with my hair clamps haha).

M&M Chocolate Chip Cookie : Great cookie and the kids love it!

Chocolate Chip PB Cup Cookies : This cookie is something my mom has made for years. It is super easy and always disappears quickly from the plate. I buy two rolls of Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (or one large one). I cut it into 1-1.5" slices and then cut those into 4 pieces. I put one piece in each spot of a greased mini muffin pan. I bake them for about 10-11 minutes. The instant the are out of the oven I pop an unwrapped Reese cup into the center of each one. I let them sit in the pan until the tops of the Reese cup is melted and then I put the entire pan in the refrigerator. Once the are chilled, I am able to easily pop them out of the pan with a butter knife. 

In addition to these, I am planning to make some red velvet cake pops before Christmas Eve because they are my absolute favorite and I haven't had them in a while. Another favorite are homemade whoopie pies but they are giant and messy so I might just skip them this year. I've already made two batches of the cranberry orange so I imagine I'll be making one more before it's all said and done. 

Have you started your holiday baking? If you need some recipes, be sure to try these and let me know how they turn out!

 Our elves joined us in the baking festivities this year!

Our elves joined us in the baking festivities this year!

Happy Baking!!