Black Forest Cheesecake #ChristmasSweetsWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with ChristmasSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

I always feel a little more nostalgic about my German heritage at Christmas. I think it’s a remnant of Opa’s Christmas cookie packages, which were synonymous with Christmas for all of my childhood. Without even thinking about it, I end up planning some German-inspired dessert for our holiday table – like this Black Forest Cheesecake.

Black Forest Cheesecake

This is obviously not traditional, but the flavors are there – and, I’ll be honest, this is going to be easier than your traditional Black Forest Cake.

I love cheesecakes for the holidays because they can be made a few days ahead. And I love topping them off so you can cover any cracks. (Yes, a water bath will prevent the cracking, but it’s an extra step I never take!)

Black Forest Cheesecake 2

This cheesecake is decadent – rich, silky chocolate, topped off with whipped cream and cherries. It’s a showpiece dessert for your table, without putting in a ton of effort.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by holiday prep, this is a great candidate for your menu. Make it the weekend before Christmas and give yourself the gift of one less thing to worry about.

And if you’d like to scoop up a fun, #ChristmasSweetsWeek gift for yourself, make sure you’ve entered the giveaway here:  a Rafflecopter giveaway All of the sponsors for #ChristmasSweetsWeek have been super generous with the prizes they’re offering up to readers!

Black Forest Cheesecake 3

#ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes:

Beverages:

Bourbon Salted Caramel Coffee with Whipped Cream from With Two Spoons

Chocolate Eggnog Pudding Shots from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen

Cookie Butter Eggnog Cocktail from My Suburban Kitchen

Eggnog Martini from Everyday Eileen

Hazelnut Hot Chocolate Drops from Family Around the Table

Mulled Red Wine Sangria from Platter Talk

Red Velvet Hot Chocolate from Live Love Texas

Salted Caramel Affogato from Tara’s Multicultural Table

Salted Caramel Apple Cider Martinis from Sweet Beginnings

Salted Caramel Chocolate Martini from The Crumby Kitchen

Salted Caramel Mocha Smoothie from An Affair from the Heart

Salted Caramel White Hot Chocolate from Who Needs A Cape?

Sugar Cookie Martini from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen

Breakfast:

Baked Eggnog French Toast from The Spiffy Cookie

Maple Bourbon Old Fashion Bread Pudding from Cheese Curd in Paradise

Candies:

Almond Butter Rum Toffee from Take Two Tapas

Christmas Eggnog Fudge from For the Love of Food

Christmas Grinch Bark from Blogghetti

Cookie Butter Bark from Seduction in the Kitchen

Eggnog Sugar Cookie Bark from 4 Sons ‘R’ Us

White Christmas Sugar Cookie Dough Fudge from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Desserts:

Black Forest Cheesecake from Kate’s Recipe Box

Butter Rum Cheesecake from Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt

Butter Rum Nutty Biscotti from Love and Confections

Christmas Cornflake Wreaths from The Mandatory Mooch

Cookie Butter Blossom Cookies from The Bitter Side of Sweet

Cookie Butter Shortbread Bars from Eat Move Make

Fluffernutter Truffles from Mildly Meandering

Frozen Mint Meltaway Pie from Cooking with Carlee

Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Butter Rum Glaze from Daily Dish Recipes

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes with Eggnog Frosting from The Baking Fairy

Spiced Eggnog Sugarmen from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes from The Beard and The Baker

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Eggnog Butter Frosting from Lady Behind the Curtain

Santa Hat Cupcakes from The Redhead Baker

Slice ‘N’ Bake Grinch Cookies from Big Bear’s Wife

Snowmen Macarons from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Black Forest Cheesecake 4

Black Forest Cheesecake
(adapted from Glorious Treats)
Makes 1 9″ cheesecake

1 1/2 cups crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (about 16 cookies)
3 tablespoons butter, melted

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 8 oz. packages Cabot Cream Cheese
1 1/4 cups Dixie Crystals Sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup Cabot Sour Cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs

Cabot Whipped Cream
1 can Cherry Pie Filling

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix together the crushed cookies and melted butter until thoroughly combined. Press into the bottom of a spring-form pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove to cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate chips at half power, in 30 second intervals, until melted. Stir after each 30 second interval. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the sugar until fully incorporated.

Add in the salt, sour cream, and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated. Pour the slightly-cooled melted chocolate into the stand mixer and beat until fully incorporated.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until just combined. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.

Bake for 55-65 minutes, until the center just barely jiggles when the cheesecake is moved. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes, then wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to cool overnight.

When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and cherries.

Black Forest Cheesecake

Thank you ChristmasSweetsWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Lorann Oils & Flavors, Torani, Joyjolt, and Sweets & Treats Boutique for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The ChristmasSweetsWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Six (6) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The ChristmasSweetsWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the ChristmasSweetsWeek posts or entry.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts #ChristmasSweetsWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with ChristmasSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

I am all about a festive breakfast for holiday celebrations – and these delicious doughnuts are a perfect treat for Christmas morning!

Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts 3

These pack a big punch of flavor thanks to LorAnn Oils Chocolate Hazelnut Flavor. Just a little gives these a great, complex flavor – and it’s balanced nicely by the vanilla icing. Sweets & Treats sprinkles make them extra festive and perfect for the holiday!

These are simple enough that you could even whip them up Christmas morning. Assembling the dry ingredients the day before will help speed up prep, and recruit some extra hands to help with the icing and sprinkles – my kids loved lending a hand! You’ll have a fun, special holiday breakfast in no time!

Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts 1

If you want to win your own set of LorAnn Oils and Flavors or a Year of Sprinkles Box from Sweets & Treats, be sure to enter the #ChristmasSweetsWeek giveaway! There are so many awesome prizes from all of the sponsors! You can enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

#ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes:

Beverages:

Frozen Salted Caramel White Russian from Blogghetti

Gingerbread Caramel Coffee Martini from Daily Dish Recipes

Hot Buttered Caramel Apple Cider Mix from Tip Garden

Salted Caramel Martini from April Golightly

Slow Cooker Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate from Cheese Curd in Paradise

Breakfast:

Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts from Kate’s Recipe Box

Cranberry Orange Bread from Juggling Act Mama

Cranberry White Chocolate Coffee Cake from Who Needs A Cape?

Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls from Moore or Less Cooking

Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
Eggnog Cranberry Quickbread from Jonesin’ For Taste

Candies:

Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge from Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt

Cranberry Eggnog Fudge from Sweet Beginnings

Snickerdoodle Fudge from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Desserts:

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies from Seduction In The Kitchen

Chocolate Espresso Mousse from Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Chocolate Hazelnut Bûche de Noël from Love and Confections

Cranberry Champagne Cupcakes from Our Good Life

Eggnog Gelato from The Redhead Baker

Festive Coconut Macaroons from For the Love of Food

Gingerbread Cupcakes from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen

Peppermint Patty Stuffed Cookies from Platter Talk

Peppermint Red Velvet Macarons from The Crumby Kitchen

Rum Spiked Eggnog Cupcakes from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Salted Caramel German Chocolate Dessert Shooter from Take Two Tapas

White Christmas Cupcakes with White Chocolate Peppermint Buttercream from Family Around the Table

Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts 2

Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts
(adapted from  Shugary Sweets)
Makes 8-10

For the doughnuts: 
2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Dixie Crystals sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. LorAnn Oils Chocolate Hazelnut Flavor
2 tablespoon unsalted Cabot butter, melted

For the icing:
2 cups Dixie Crystals powdered sugar
6 Tbsp. heavy cream
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla

Sweets & Treats sprinkles for topping – I used the Sleigh Ride mix

Preheat you oven to 325 degrees. Spray a doughnut pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in the eggs, milk, vanilla, chocolate hazelnut flavor, and melted butter. Beat with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes, until well combined and the color has lightened slightly.

Fill the wells of a doughnut pan halfway. Bake for 12-15 minutes – the doughnuts will spring back when pressed lightly or a knife inserted will come out clean when done.

Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the icing. If it’s too thin, add more sugar. If too thick, stir in a little more heavy cream.

Dip cooled doughnuts into the icing, then top with sprinkles.

Let sit until the icing has solidified, about 30 minutes.

Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts

Thank you ChristmasSweetsWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Lorann Oils & Flavors, Torani, Joyjolt, and Sweets & Treats Boutique for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The ChristmasSweetsWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Six (6) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The ChristmasSweetsWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the ChristmasSweetsWeek posts or entry.

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies #ChristmasSweetsWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with ChristmasSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

Fluffy and soft on the inside, but crisp around the edges, these Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies will be your new favorite to leave for Santa!

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies 5

Chocolate and orange is a nostalgic Christmas flavor pairing for me, thanks to years of chocolate oranges in our stockings! These cookies taste just like that childhood treat.

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies 1

The bright orange flavor in these cookies are thanks to LorAnn Orange Bakery Emulsion. Unlike an alcohol-based extract, their bakery emulsions are water-based, so the flavor won’t bake out.

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies 2

The beautiful look of these cookies is thanks to being rolled in Dixie Crystals powdered sugar before baking. They puff up when the bake, giving the distinct “crinkle” effect.  The contrast between the dark chocolate dough and the white powdered sugar makes for a really stunning effect.

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies 3

Both LorAnn and Dixie Crystals have fabulous prizes for the ChristmasSweetsWeek giveaway! Make sure you take a minute to enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies 4

#ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes:

Beverages:

Candy Cane Crunch Milkshake from The Redhead Baker

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Toddy from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen

Frozen Blue Hot Chocolate from For the Love of Food

Gingersnap Eggnog Shooter from Seduction In The Kitchen

Grumpy Grinch Punch from For the Love of Food

Merry Mistletoe Cocktail from Who Needs A Cape?

Raspberry Thyme Prosecco Punch from Take Two Tapas

Vanilla Milk Punch from Cooking with Carlee

Breakfast:

Cranberry Orange Make Ahead French Toast Bake from With Two Spoons

Candies:

Cookie Butter Balls from The Bitter Side of Sweet

Peppermint Patty Candy from Everyday Eileen

White Chocolate Bark from Family Around the Table

Desserts:

Apple Hand Pies from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Sparkling Wine, Cranberry, and White Chocolate Layer Cake from Cheese Curd in Paradise

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies from Kate’s Recipe Box

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle Tart from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen

Cranberry Orange Crinkle Cookies from Love and Confections

Double Chocolate Mousse Cake from The Crumby Kitchen

Gingerbread Cookie Cups from Moore or Less Cooking

Gingerbread Sprinkle Cookies from Daily Dish Recipes

Grandma’s Chocolate Pie from Tip Garden

Italian Butter Cookies from April Golightly

No Bake Eggnog Pie from Our Good Life

Orange Cranberry White Chocolate Bread from Sweet Beginnings

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies 6

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies
(adapted from Little Bits Of)
Makes 3 dozen cookies

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups Dixie Crystals white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. LorAnn Orange Bakery Emulsion
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup Dixie Crystals powdered sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cocoa powder, white sugar, and oil until it comes together.

Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla and Orange Bakery Emulsion.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly mix into the wet ingredients until just combined.

Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least four hours.

When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into 1″ balls. Roll each ball in powdered sugar to cover, and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a baking sheet to cool completely.

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies

Thank you ChristmasSweetsWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Lorann Oils & Flavors, Torani, Joyjolt, and Sweets & Treats Boutique for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The ChristmasSweetsWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Six (6) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The ChristmasSweetsWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the ChristmasSweetsWeek posts or entry.

Grinch Cocoa with Peppermint Marshmallows #ChristmasSweetsWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with ChristmasSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

There are two things my four-year-old is loving this season: hot chocolate and the Grinch. I combined the two for him in this fun, festive treat.

Grinch Cocoa 3

Welcome to #ChristmasSweetsWeek 2018 hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures! What better way to celebrate the holidays than with food and a fun giveaway? 44 bloggers from around the country have come together to share over 180 sweet Christmas recipes!! Deck the halls and get ready for very merry sweet treats, like fudge, cookies, Christmas morning breakfasts, layer cakes, martinis, cocoa, and more! Our #ChristmasSweetsWeek sponsors are helping us give away some great prizes. Thank you so much, Sponsors, for your generosity. We have an incredible giveaway below and would love if you would take a moment to read about it and what you can win!

CSW logo IMG_0786

Prize #1 Dixie Crystals

Dixie Crystals is giving one winner a Keurig K-Select Single-Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker.

Since 1917, Dixie Crystals® has been the South’s choice for high-quality sugar and sweeteners. For generations, Dixie Crystals has been at the heart of family traditions and celebrations. Our pure cane, non-GMO sugar products guarantee that treasured family recipes will turn out right every time. Bake with love and Dixie Crystals.

Prize #2 Cabot Creamery Co-operative

Cabot is giving one winner a cheese gift set, including a Cabot Cheese slate cutting board, small cheese cleaver, Cabot custom Bee’s Wrap, an assortment of Cabot’s finest cheeses.

Cabot Creamery Co-operative, makers of naturally aged, award-winning cheeses and dairy products is owned by 1,000 dairy farm families in New England and New York.

Prize #3 LorAnn Oils & Flavors

LorAnn is giving one winner a collection of 6 LorAnn Bakery Emulsions, a collection of three LorAnn Oils vanilla extracts, a candy making cookbook, The Sweetapolita Bakebook, and a 12-unit variety pack of LorAnn super-strength candy oils.

Our flavors. Your creations. For over 50 years, LorAnn Oils has been supplying professionals and home chefs with the finest quality candy and baking flavors, essential oils, and specialty ingredients. Visit us at LorAnn Oils & Flavors to shop, learn, and discover new recipe ideas.

Prize #4 Joyjolt 

Joyjolt is giving one winner an Aurora Whiskey Decanter Set. Our Aurora Whiskey Decanter set has a timeless and sophisticated design that adds both class and style to any table. This set is hand made with top quality lead free crystal glass and cutting edge materials. The sets quality, design and upscale packaging makes the Aurora a perfect addition to your home, bar, hotel, restaurant, club or office. DRINK WITH JOY. ENJOY THE JOURNEY.

Here at JoyJolt we believe that so many of the moments you enjoy most include raising a glass. From the jolt you get from that first sip of coffee in the morning to toasting a milestone with close friends. Thats why we have created glassware equally as special and unique as your happiest moments.




Prize #5 Sweets & Treats

Sweets & Treats is giving one winner the Year of Sprinkles Box at a $150 value. It contains holiday mixes, classic sprinkles, and some of their most popular sprinkles.

Sweets & Treats, a party and baking supplies manufacturer and wholesaler, started out of a baking industry need for truly greaseproof cupcake liners. From there, the company expanded into a handful of specialized categories including the latest, Sweet Sprinkles, their one of a kind sprinkles and sprinkle mix line. With hundreds of truly unique products, they are a one stop shop for your next party!

Prize #6 Torani 

Torani is giving one winner a year supply of Torani: 12-750ml glass bottles, flavors will be winner’s choice, plus pumps for each bottle.

Torani inspires you to taste life, one flavorful experience at a time. Even though people all over the world recognize our iconic Torani bottle, we’ve remained a family-owned company — adhering to the high quality standards that Rinaldo and Ezilda set over 90 years ago. Each and every syrup, sauce, and smoothie is created with care and pride. Way back we started with just five syrups. Today, you can use more than 100 of our naturally flavored syrups, sauces and beverage bases in coffees, sodas, teas, smoothies, cocktails and more. And we’re excited to bring you new taste traditions and flavors as we move forward.

You can enter to win all of those fabulous prizes here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

#ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes:

Beverages:

Brownie Batter Hot Chocolate Mix from The Spiffy Cookie
Christmas Flip from Our Good Life
Easy Cranberry Orange Madras from Love and Confections
Glogg from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Grinch Cocoa with Peppermint Marshmallows from Kate’s Recipe Box
Salted Caramel Toffee Martini from Family Around the Table
Sparkling Snowfall Cocktail from Seduction in the Kitchen
Sugar Cookie Martini from The Redhead Baker

Breakfast:

Christmas Cranberry Bread from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Easy Cinnamon Roll Christmas Tree from Jonesin’ For Taste
Overnight Caramel French Toast from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen

Candies:

Cherry Mash Truffles from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
Chocolate Covered Orange Cheesecake Truffles from Cooking with Carlee
Dark Chocolate Cherry & Peppermint Snowflake Bark from Sweet Beginnings
Grinch Fudge Topped Brownies from Big Bear’s Wife
Pineapple Upside Down Cake Fudge from Lady Behind the Curtain
Red Velvet Fudge from Live Love Texas

Desserts:

Black Forest Tiramisu Parfait from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Chocolate Bundt Cake from Juggling Act Mama
Chocolate Eggnog Cupcakes from The Crumby Kitchen
Christmas Chocolate Chip Sprinkles Butter Cookies from Moore or Less Cooking
Cookie Butter Pudding Cups from The Beard and The Baker
Cranberry Almond Ecstasy Bars from Tip Garden
Date Filled Cookies from Platter Talk
Easy Snickerdoodle Cake from Daily Dish Recipes
Eggnog Blossom Cookies from Blogghetti
Eggnog cookies from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Gingerbread Cheesecake Trifle from My Suburban Kitchen
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Eggnog Buttercream from Tara’s Multicultural Table
Glazed Gingerbread Loaf from 4 Sons ‘R’ Us
Marbled Star Cookies from Eat Move Make
Mint Chip Cookies from The Mandatory Mooch
No Bake Peppermint Eggnog Pie from Who Needs A Cape?
Peppermint Shortbread from Cheese Curd in Paradise
Pepper Jelly Rugelach from Take Two Tapas
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies from April Golightly
Sugar Cookie Cheesecake from Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt
Toffee Thumbprint Cookies from The Bitter Side of Sweet
Ugly Sweater Cake from Mildly Meandering
Vanilla Yogurt Mousse with Cinnamon Apples from With Two Spoons
Vegan Hot Chocolate Layer Cake from The Baking Fairy
Winter Wonderland Snack Mix from An Affair from the Heart

This Grinch Cocoa is an easy treat that packs a big bunch of fun. Thanks to a little food coloring, this vanilla cocoa looks delightfully Grinch-y. And, of course, you need his heart to complete the look. These peppermint marshmallows cut with a heart-shaped cookie cutters are the perfect accompaniment! (And yes, I totally cut them in three sizes!)

Grinch Cocoa 4

You’ll want to whip up the marshmallows in advance for this cocoa – but the good news is they can be made up to three weeks ahead of time. That means you can make them today and they’ll still be awesome for Christmas!

The cocoa itself is quick and easy – only about a 10 minute time investment. With the marshmallows made ahead, this is an easy treat to whip up during a party or while baking cookies.

Grinch Cocoa 1

The Torani vanilla syrup adds just the right sweetness and flavor to the cocoa, and the marshmallows melt in to create a fantastic peppermint layer on the top. And these mugs from JoyJolt show off the fun colors perfectly!

This is a drink you’ll definitely want to add to your holiday list!

Grinch Cocoa 2

Grinch Cocoa with Peppermint Marshmallows
(adapted from Big Bear’s Wife and Beantown Baker)
Serves 8

For the marshmallows:
3 pkgs. unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
12 oz. sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. peppermint extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Nonstick spray
Red food coloring

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the gelatin. Pour 1/2 cup of cold water over.

Spray a 9×13″ pan with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch. Dust the sprayed pan, making sure everything is covered. Tap excess into a bowl.

In a small saucepan, mix together remaining water, 12 oz. sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cover, and cook over medium-high heat for 4 minutes. Uncover, and place a candy thermometer into the pot. When the mixture reaches 240 degrees, remove from heat immediately.

Using the whisk attachment on the stand mixer, slowly pour the cooked sugar mixture into the gelatin while mixing on low speed. When all added, increase the speed to high and beat for 12-15 minutes, until thick and lukewarm.

During the last minute, add in the extract and food coloring.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Spread out evenly and dust the top with the reserved sugar and cornstarch mixture. Let sit uncovered for at least 4 hours.

Turn out onto a cutting board and cut into hearts using a cookie cutter. Dust all sides with remaining powdered sugar and cornstarch.

Finished marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container for up to three weeks.

For the cocoa:
6 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
16 oz. chopped white chocolate
6 Tbsp. Torani Vanilla Syrup
Green food coloring

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, heavy cream and white chocolate, stirring often, until the white chocolate is melted and fully incorporated. Stir in the Torani Vanilla Syrup. Add food coloring until desired color is reached.

Serve topped with peppermint marshmallows.

Grinch Cocoa

Thank you ChristmasSweetsWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Lorann Oils & Flavors, Torani, Joyjolt, and Sweets & Treats Boutique for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The ChristmasSweetsWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Six (6) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The ChristmasSweetsWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the ChristmasSweetsWeek posts or entry.

Cream Cheese Buttons with a Dark Chocolate Drizzle #ChristmasCookies

This post is sponsored in conjunction with Christmas Cookies Week. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the Christmas Cookies Week recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

If you make up holiday cookie trays, you know there are two types of cookies: “showpieces” and “fillers”. Your showpieces are the eye-catching ones – the iced sugar cookies, the ones rolled in sprinkles or dusted with peppermint. Your fillers are the cookies that make up “everything else”.

These are fillers.

Cream Cheese Buttons 3

The thing about fillers is they’re unassuming. It’s probably not the cookie you grab off the tray first, but my goal is always to make my fillers delicious. These fillers absolutely fit the bill.

The combo of cream cheese and vanilla give these cookies the best flavor  – and the texture is almost melt-in-your-mouth. Topped off with a drizzle of dark chocolate, these unassuming cookies will vie for your favorite without a doubt.

I flavored these with Adams Best Vanilla Flavor, which was provided by sponsor Adams Extract. It added an amazing vanilla flavor. I’m planning to make a repeat batch of these later in the season replacing the vanilla with the peppermint extract they also sent. I think it’s going to be amazing topped off with dark chocolate again and sprinkled with crushed candy cane pieces!

Cream Cheese Buttons 2

Today is the last day of #ChristmasCookiesWeek – I hope you all found some great inspiration for your holiday baking this week! There’s another batch of awesome cookie recipes below – and if you haven’t already entered the giveaway, take a minute and do so! There are a whole bunch of great products, including an amazing pack of baking goodies from Adams Extract. You can enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#ChristmasCookiesWeek Friday Recipes

Cream Cheese Buttons 1

Cream Cheese Buttons with a Dark Chocolate Drizzle
(adapted from Caramel Potatoes)
Makes 3 dozen

2 sticks butter
3 oz. cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract (I used Adam’s Best Vanilla Flavor)
2 1/2 cups flour
4 oz. dark chocolate

In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, cream butter, cream cheese, and sugar together until well blended.  Beat in egg yolk and vanilla extract.  Gradually blend in flour until completely incorporated.

Chill for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Scoop by heaping teaspoon-fulls onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Press down slightly.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave on half power. Drizzle over the cookies with a fork and let cool completely again.

Cream Cheese Buttons with a Dark Chocoalte Drizzle

Disclaimer: Thank you #ChristmasCookiesWeek sponsors: Adams Extract, Sprinkle Pop, YumGoggle and Silpat for providing the prizes free of charge. The #ChristmasCookiesWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Four (4) winners will be selected at random from entries received. The prize packages will be fulfilled by and sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. #ChristmasCookiesWeek bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household are not eligible to enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #ChristmasCookiesWeek posts or entry.

Fruit Cake Cookie Bars #ChristmasCookies

This post is sponsored in conjunction with Christmas Cookies Week. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the Christmas Cookies Week recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

I grew up with my Grandfather’s stollen as a Christmas tradition, so it took me years to realize that most of the world doesn’t love fruit cake.

Fruit Cake Bars 2

Honestly, I think the rest of the world is wrong, it’s delicious. I think too many people’s first encounter was a questionably-made, mass produced dessert no one would like. If you’d tried Opa’s, I’m sure you would solidly be in my corner.

I got SO excited when I saw this recipe last year and I’ve been dreaming of it since. Usually, I try to make Christmas cookies that will be crowd pleasers, but these? I made them simply because I knew I’d love them. ‘Tis the season to treat yourself, right?

Fruit Cake Bars 3

So these are a gift for you, fellow fruit cake lovers. I know we’re in the minority here, but I say embrace it! Make yourself a batch of these this holiday to make yourself happy – I’m sure you’re doing enough to make others smile!

#ChristmasCookiesWeek Thursday Recipes

 

And don’t forget there are a whole bunch of awesome prizes that will make you smile up for grabs during #ChristmasCookiesWeek thanks to our sponsors. You can enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fruit Cake Bars 1

Fruit Cake Cookie Bars
(adapted from The Spiffy Cookie)
Makes about 2 dozen

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 cups diced fruit cake mix (or a combo of chopped candied cherries and chopped candied pineapple)
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 9×13″ pan with parchment sprayed with cooking spray.

In a bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs with the butter until evenly combined. Press evenly into the prepared pan.

Evenly sprinkle the fruit cake mix, raisin, almonds, and coconut over the top. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over everything.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden around the edges. Cool completely before slicing.

Fruit Cake Cookie Bars

Disclaimer: Thank you #ChristmasCookiesWeek sponsors: Adams Extract, Sprinkle Pop, YumGoggle and Silpat for providing the prizes free of charge. The #ChristmasCookiesWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Four (4) winners will be selected at random from entries received. The prize packages will be fulfilled by and sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. #ChristmasCookiesWeek bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household are not eligible to enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #ChristmasCookiesWeek posts or entry.

Iced Cutout Cookies #ChristmasCookies

This post is sponsored in conjunction with Christmas Cookies Week. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the Christmas Cookies Week recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

Until relatively recently, cutout cookies really intimidated me. Now, they’ve become one of my favorite kitchen projects.

Cutout Cookies 1

I think my breakthrough was being able to let go of the expectation of perfect. I adore those perfectly-frosted cookies, but that’s just not in my wheelhouse right now. Luckily, these cookies taste just as good and are just as fun without a perfect icing job.

I was so excited when sponsor YumGoogle offered to send cookie cutters – it meant the perfect opportunity to share my go-to recipe.

I love that this icing works when piping or just spread. I piped on the icing for the snow-covered trees, while the kids spread the colored icing for their trees.

Honestly, there was nothing fancy going on here. My icing tips have gone MIA with the move, so my trees were just made with icing in a sandwich bag with the tip cut off. After the green dried a bit, I added the white “snow” and sprinkled with white sanding sugar. I really love the rustic-looking result.

For the kids, I coloring the icing a few different colors and let them go to town. After the icing was spread, they sprinkled as desired. They loved it, and their results were adorable (and delicious!)

Cutout Cookies 3

Don’t forget about the great giveaways that are part of Christmas Cookie week! There are prizes from all #ChristmasCookiesWeek sponsors, including a pack of cookie cutters from YumGoogle! You can enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

#ChristmasCookiesWeek Tuesday Recipes

Cutout Cookies 2

Iced Cutout Cookies
(adapted slightly from >Semi Sweet Designs)
Makes about 18 3 1/2″ cookies

For the cookies:
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. salt
3 cups flour

For the icing:
2 1/2 Tbsp. meringue powder
1 1/2 tsp. light corn syrup
1/2  tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup water
1 lb. powdered sugar

In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Mix until fluffy.

Add in the egg, salt, and extracts and mix until well combined.

Add in the flour, a little at a time, until well mixed.

Roll out the dough between pieces of baking parchment to 1/4″ thick. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.

Cut out the shapes once the dough is hard to the touch. Place on parchment. If the dough has started to soften, chill for another 30 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes, until the edges just start to brown. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

When the cookies are completely cool, make the icing.

In a mixer, combine the meringue powder, corn syrup, vanilla, and water. Whisk by hand until foamy.

Add the powdered sugar and hand-whisk until incorporated, then beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high for about 5 minutes, until the icing forms peaks. Add food coloring as desired.

Iced Cutout Cookies

Disclaimer: Thank you #ChristmasCookiesWeek sponsors: Adams Extract, Sprinkle Pop, YumGoggle and Silpat for providing the prizes free of charge. The #ChristmasCookiesWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Four (4) winners will be selected at random from entries received. The prize packages will be fulfilled by and sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. #ChristmasCookiesWeek bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household are not eligible to enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #ChristmasCookiesWeek posts or entry.

Chocolate Dipped Gingerbread Shortbread #ChristmasCookies

This post is sponsored on behalf of #ChristmasCookiesWeek. The generous sponsors, YumGoggle, Sprinkle Pop, Silpat and Adams Extracts have provided us with products for recipe creation and a giveaway for our readers. As always, all opinions are my own.

Welcome to Christmas Cookies Week! I’m so excited to be joining with a fabulous group of bloggers to bring you a week chock-full of Christmas cookie goodness.

Gingerbread Shortbread 1

I’m kicking off this week with these fabulous Chocolate Dipped Gingerbread Shortbread cookies.  In true shortbread fashion, these are a little crisp, with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. The spice of the ginger is balanced nicely by a dip in melted chocolate.

These are pretty much the definition of a Christmas cookie to me – and so adorable thanks to Sprinkle Pop sprinkles!

Gingerbread Shortbread 3

And, in the spirit of the holidays, we have some amazing prizes to giveaway from our generous sponsors. Be sure to enter – we’d love to give you one of these holiday gifts!

Thank you to Ellen at Family Around the Table and Christie at A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for hosting #ChristmasCookiesWeek.

Prize Package #1:

From Adams Extracts comes a selection of baking delights including their prize-winning pound cake mix, pure vanilla extract, pure peppermint extract, double strength pure vanilla extract, pound cake flavor extract and vanilla cinnamon sugar.

Adams traces its beginnings back to Battle Creek, Michigan, when John A. Adams began making and selling his Green Plant Sarsaparilla extract, Adamur, in 1888. In 1905, he moved his family to Beeville, TX. At the time, most vanilla was sold to pharmacies and was often labeled “Do not bake or freeze.” John A. Adams, whose imagination was stirred by his wife’s yearning for a flavoring that wouldn’t bake or freeze out, announced that he could produce a better vanilla than the one his wife was currently using. Working with just $6.71 worth of materials on top of an old icebox, John A. Adams discovered the formula he wanted.

Prize Package #2:

YumGoggle is giving away a variety of holiday and Christmas cookie cutters. The winner of this prize package will receive a sleigh, large ornament and two cookie cutter sets. The first is a mug/ sweater set called Ugly Sweater Specialty Cookie Cutter Set and the second is a Santa/ reindeer set called North Pole Specialty Cookie Cutter Set. Each set includes 2 cookie cutters, 2 templates, 2 instruction cars and 4 bonus templates.

The YumGoggle gallery features food photography from contributors around the world. If you’re looking for a recipe, chances are you’ll find it on YumGoggle. The photos not only whet your appetite but you can easily find the recipes by clicking the photo.

Prize Package #3:

The winner of this Sprinkle Pop prize package will get their choice of 3 sprinkle varieties, at $35.00 value. Winner will be contacted by or need to contact Sprinkle Pop for fulfillment.

Sprinkle Pop offers trendy sprinkle mixes that you won’t find anywhere else. Fun fact: Over 50% of their sprinkle mixes are dyed in house, making each experience one of a kind. Sprinkle Pop also creates one of a kind confetti shapes that are unique to their mixes. Make every occasion a festive one with these fun sprinkle creations.

Prize Package #4:

One winner will receive an 11 5/8 inch x 16 1/2 inch Silpat® baking mat which is perfect for all of your cookie baking throughout the year. Reduces the need for parchment and is reusable.

The original silicone baking mat made from a dedicated silicone with reinforced fiberglass mesh. Nothing sticks to Silpat® which means you’ll spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying your baking creations. Silpat® replaces the need for butter, grease, oils, and sprays.

  • Multi-purpose non-stick silicone baking and pastry mat.
  • No cooking sprays, oils or parchment paper needed.
  • Not to be used as a cutting surface.
  • Can be used in the oven, microwave and freezer.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gingerbread Shortbread 2

Chocolate Dipped Gingerbread Shortbread
(adapted from Hungry Couple)
Makes 3 dozen

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. molasses
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
6 oz. dark chocolate
Sprinkles (I used The Ginger Man Sprinkle Mix from Sprinkle Pop)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Stir in the molasses and vanilla.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until just combined.

Roll out the dough to approximately 1/2″ thick and cut into even strips. My cookies were about 1″ x  3 1/2″, and the dough made just about 3 dozen.

Bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Let cool.

When cool, melt the chocolate in the microwave on half power. Dip each cookie stick in the melted chocolate and sprinkle with sprinkles.

Looking for more Christmas cookie inspiration? Here are more than 30 ideas from my fellow blogger friends, with more to come every day this week!

#ChristmasCookiesWeek Monday Recipes

Disclaimer: Thank you #ChristmasCookiesWeek sponsors: Adams Extract, Sprinkle Pop, YumGoggle and Silpat for providing the prizes free of charge. The #ChristmasCookiesWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Four (4) winners will be selected at random from entries received. The prize packages will be fulfilled by and sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. #ChristmasCookiesWeek bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household are not eligible to enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #ChristmasCookiesWeek posts or entry.

8 Great Ways to Use Up Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving is officially over, but chance are your fridge is still full of remnants from yesterday’s meal.

8

I’m not a fan of eating the same meal over and over, so I always re-purpose my leftovers into new creations. Here are eight of my favorite ways to re-imagine Thanksgiving leftovers!

CranberryBBQPizza

Leftover Turkey and Cranberry Sauce Pizza

TurkeyBanhMi

Turkey Banh Mi

TurkeyChorizoHash

Turkey Chorizo Hash

TurkeyPanini

Chipotle Ranch Turkey Paninis

TurkeyEnchiladas

Turkey Enchiladas with Sweet Potato Chipotle Sauce

TurkeyCranchiladas

Turkey Cranchiladas

Southwest Turkey Sandwiches

Southwest Turkey Sandwiches

MashedPotatoWaffles

Mashed Potato Waffles

20 Recipes Perfect for Thanksgiving

Haven’t finalized your Thanksgiving menu yet? Need to add another side dish? I’m sharing a roundup of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes to help you get your menu set!

20 RecipesPerfect ForThanksgiving

Appetizers

Appetizers set the vibe of your meal – and keep your hungry guests out of the kitchen while you finish prepping the main meal! I always like to have a mix of old favorites and new-to-me plates!

CranberrySalsa

Cranberry Salsa

CranberryPumpkinSpread

Cranberry Pumpkin Walnut Spread

Baked Spinach Dip

Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Spicy Pretzels

Spicy Pretzels

Sides

While the turkey is the center of the meal, we all know the main stars are the side dishes! Great versions of the classics are my favorite.

Brown Sugar Butternut Squash 1

Brown Sugar Butternut Squash

GreenBeanswithBacon

Green Beans with Bacon and Brown Sugar

IPMashedPotatoes

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

PomegranateAvocadoSalad

Pomegranate and Avocado Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette 

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

Autumn Salad

Autumn Salad with Homemade Dressing

Roasted Garlic Macaroni and Cheese

Roasted Garlic Macaroni and Cheese

Bacon Parmesan Green Beans

Bacon Parmesan Green Beans

CranberrySauce

Cranberry Sauce

Desserts

Dessert is undeniably my favorite part of the meal. I’m not a pumpkin fan, so apples and cranberries are my go-tos for Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Ice Cream 4

Cranberry Ice Cream

AppleRoses

Baked Apple Roses

CaramelAppleCheesecakePie

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie

ButtermilkCustardApplePie

Buttermilk Custard Apple Pie

Apple Hazelnut Chocolate Cake

Apple Hazelnut Chocolate Cake

CranberryAppleCrisp

Cranberry Apple Crisp