There’s nothing better than a weekend of baking as the holidays approach. I know some would disagree, but those are not my people.
At Christmas I love feeding people sweets. I love buying holiday containers, filling them with sugary treats, and dropping them off on the porches of my friends. I love showing up to holiday parties with a boxes of baked goods. I love eating cookies in December like it is my job.
If this is also your jam, I present to you my favorite ways to fill a holiday goodie box:
(I’m sure you have your own go-tos because this is not a new idea. I’m just sharing mine because they’re better than yours. Just kidding. I’m sure yours are good-ish.)
Chocolate Chip Cookies
No, not just any chocolate chip cookie. You have to make THESE cookies. Don’t change the recipe, don’t do any substitutions. Add as much air as possible to the wet ingredients and then just mix the least amount of times as possible as you add the dry ingredients. Semi-sweet chocolate chips only. Listen, I don’t know many things but I know chocolate chip cookies. Do this recipe, bake them until they’re just barely done, and the people will never be the same.
This is a very powerful cookie. Please be careful with your new power.
(The next three treats are where the girls get in on the action. Dipping things in chocolate is a gift from God. Amen.)
Chocolate-Dipped Pretzel Rods
Buy a few bags of pretzel rods because you don’t realize how many are broken until you specifically need unbroken ones for chocolate-dipped pretzel rods. Plus, there might be some snacking while you dip. There is no such thing as too many sprinkles, so hoard them all year long for this sprinkle party.
Speaking of sprinkle party, we’re dipping Oreos in chocolate and throwing sprinkles on them too. I do both chocolate and white chocolate, but the white chocolate are normally the first to go. No one can turn down an Oreo; adding in more chocolate cannot be wrong. (We’ve done this multiple ways: with sticks to look like lollipops, half dipping, and full dipping. Do whatever your heart desires.)
I don’t think you can go wrong with salt and chocolate so I throw in some Rolo pretzels to fill in the empty spots in the cookie box.
I know everyone has their favorite recipe (or store-bought cookie dough), but I’m going to need you to make this one. Before I share it, please know I’m not a fan of buying a vat of lard (also known as shortening), but you’re going to need to, and it will work out wonderfully.
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
Combine in a separate bowl:
2 and 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Combine wet and dry ingredients. Cover dough and let it chill in the fridge for at least one hour (overnight is best). Roll out to 1/4 in. thickness, cut into shapes, and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. They’ll burn fast so pay attention. The thicker the dough the softer they end up so don’t make them too thin. Double the recipe if you want more cookies, don’t make the dough thinner. Then cool and ice with your favorite icing.
That’s it. I’ve done other random cookies (like these white chocolate cranberry oatmeal cookies) when I’ve been feeling extra, but these are my standbys. Find a cute cookie box or container and start packing! Just as I’m closing the box of sweets, I like to throw in candy cane Kisses. Because what this package needs is just a little more chocolate.
P.S. If you’re feeling extra festive, throw in a mini loaf of this banana bread (always do the vinegar/milk substitute for the buttermilk, please and thank you), and make this zesty Chex Mix too.
Zesty Chex Mix
3 cups of each cereal (rice, wheat, corn Chex)
8 Tbsp. melted butter or margarine
3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
*add in nuts, pretzels, etc. as you prefer. We don’t like nuts in it, but pretzel sticks are a must.
*Heat the over to 250 degrees. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet baking for 60 minutes total, taking it out every 15 minutes to stir. (You can also microwave instead of baking, do 3-4 rounds of five minutes, stirring the bowl in between.) Cool on newspaper. This is salty and bold, if you’re going to be in someone’s face or on a first date in a few days, skip this one for now. We’re addicted to it, but it’s not for the weak.
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