Cheese Danish

Happy National Cheese Lover’s Day!

I don’t always celebrate this arbitrary food holidays, but National Cheese Lover’s Day is just one I couldn’t ignore.

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Cheese danishes are a favorite of mine. Whenever we find ourselves somewhere with a spread of pastries, I always snatch up the cheese one before anyone can take it on me. Knowing how ridiculously easy it is to make them at home? Really dangerous.

These only take a few ingredients and a few minutes to put together. I easily whipped them up for bunch one weekend and yup, they’re just as good as you’d imagine!

I’m a purist when it comes to Cheese Danish, but you could also swirl jam into the cheese mixture for a fruity twist.

Cheese Danish 3

Want more cheesy goodness today? Ask and you shall receive!

Chicken Madeira by House of Nash Eats
Gooey, Gorgeous Raclette from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Easy Italian Sausage Pasta Bake from Cooking For My Soul
Extra Cheesy Garlic Bread from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Slow Cooker Creamy Mac and Cheese with Bacon from Cheese Curd in Paradise
Baked Parmesan Cheddar Crisps from Blogghetti
Smoky Beer Cheese Dip with White Cheddar from Food Above Gold
Layered Chili Mac and Cheese from Palatable Pastime
Cheese Danish from Kate’s Recipe Box
Macaroni and Cheese Pierogi from The Spiffy Cookie
Waffled Pizza Bites from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
Pizza Grilled Cheese from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Sweet Gherkin Pimento Cheese Spread from Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
Easy Cheese Sauce from The Gingered Whisk
Creamy Homemade White Cheddar Mac n Cheese from Jonesin’ for Taste
Adjaruli Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese Bread) from Caroline’s Cooking
Cheese Charcuterie and Pickled Onions from Our Good Life

Cheese Danish 1

Cheese Danish
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Makes 9-12

1 sheet frozen puff pastry
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
1 egg
1/2 – 1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp. milk

Let the puff pastry thaw at room temperature for 45 minutes, until it unfolds without breaking.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Roll out the puff pastry so it’s a 12″x 9″ rectangle. Cut into 9-12 even pieces. Lay the pieces out on a lined baking sheet.

In a stand mixer bowl, or using a hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest, and 1 tsp. vanilla.

Place about 2 Tbsp. of the cream cheese mixture on top of each puff pastry, spreading out slightly.

Beat the egg with 1 Tbsp. water for an egg wash. Brush over the puff pastry.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the puff pastry is lightly browned. Let cool to room temperature.

When cool, whisk together 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1 Tbsp. milk. If the mixture is too thick, add more milk. If too thin, add more sugar. You want it to be thin enough drizzle. When ready, drizzle over the pastries and serve.

Cheese Danish

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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
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 Martini from Sweet Beginnings
Salted Caramel Chocolate Martini from The Crumby Kitchen
Salted Caramel Mocha Smoothie from An Affair from the Heart
Sugar Cookie Martini from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen

Breakfast:

Baked Cranberry Eggnog French Toast from The Spiffy Cookie
Maple Bourbon Old Fashion Bread Pudding from Cheese Curd in Paradise

Candies:

Pecan Butter Rum Toffee from Take Two Tapas
Christmas Grinch Bark from Blogghetti
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
Christmas Cornflake Wreaths from The Mandatory Mooch
Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Cookie Cups from Love and Confections
Cookie Butter Shortbread Bars from Eat Move Make
Fluffernutter Truffles from Mildly Meandering
Frozen Mint Meltaway Pie from Cooking with Carlee
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
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.

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:

Puerto Rican Coquito from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Frozen Salted Caramel White Russians from Blogghetti
Gingerbread Salted 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 Eggnog Quickbread from Jonesin’ For Taste

Cranberry Orange Bread from Juggling Act Mama
Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls from Moore or Less Cooking
Eggnog Cinnamon Roll Donuts from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen

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
Cranberry Champagne Cupcakes from Our Good Life
Eggnog Gelato from The Redhead Baker
Festive Coconut Macaroons from For the Love of Food
Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream from Love and Confections
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
Peppermint Pattie-Stuffed Chocolate Cake Mix 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
White Chocolate Cranberry Coffee Cake from Who Needs A Cape?

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
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
Homemade Peppermint Patties from Everyday Eileen
White Chocolate Bark from Family Around the Table

Desserts:

Apple Cheddar 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 Meltawats 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.

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.

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

Cranberry Ice Cream #CranberryWeek

What is the typical Thanksgiving weather where you are?

Cranberry Ice Cream 3

I was recently chatting about Thanksgiving plans with a far-flung friend and she mentioned wearing shorts on Thanksgiving. It struck me as funny, because it is so not what I think of as Thanksgiving weather. We’re lucky if it’s warm enough to go for a walk after dinner without getting totally bundled up!

It also got me thinking about how much different my Thanksgiving dinner would be if it was warm outside. Is it weird to have cranberry apple crisp when it’s 90 degrees out?

Cranberry Ice Cream 2

Ice cream seems way more appealing – and this would be perfect on a Thanksgiving table. It’s a perfect balance of sweet and tart and I just love the color. It’s also a great option for Thanksgiving because you make it ahead – giving you more free time to focus on the rest of the meal!

I’m excited to be sharing this recipe as part of Cranberry Week – now in it’s third year! See all the tasty cranberry recipes being shared today below and follow #cranberryweek on social media for more ideas all week long.

Cranberry Ice Cream 4

Cranberry Ice Cream
(from Wonky Wonderful)
Makes 1/2 gallon

Cranberry Puree:
1/4
 cup water
1/4 tsp. salt
12 oz. fresh cranberries cleaned & sorted
2 Tbsp. orange juice

Ice Cream:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups cranberry puree

Combine the water, salt, and cranberries in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 6-7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

Transfer the cranberry mixture to a blender or food processor and add orange juice. Puree.

Refrigerate for several hours.

To make the ice cream, mix together the cream, milk, sugar and cranberry puree. Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Transfer the ice cream to a chilled container and freeze for at least 4-6 hours. Thaw for 5 minutes before serving.

Fresh Corn Salsa (7)