Christmas

Holiday Time-Saver: Make Cookies and Cookie Dough Now, Freeze for Later

The holidays are upon us which means it’s time to stock up on butter for cookies! With Thanksgiving around the corning and Christmas and New Years a month later it is definitely cookie season. Save time later and start preparing now by freezing the cookies dough and/or freshly baked cookies. Head on over to Allrecipes.com to read my guest post about how to freeze your cookies and cookie dough for the holidays. Heck I use these tricks year round!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Allrecipes. The opinions and text are all mine.

Homemade Cinnamon Hot Chocolate Mix

Every winter I whip up a new hot chocolate mix. This year I decided to try two kinds, white hot chocolate pods and now cinnamon mix. This version was made on the fly while my parents were in town for my graduation. We were getting ready to go to a drive-thru Christmas light show and I realized I didn’t have any hot chocolate mix to prepare and bring for the show. So I pulled up my favorite mix recipe and added cinnamon. If you haven’t had cinnamon and chocolate together before, you’re missing out!

Homemade Cinnamon Hot Chocolate Mix

Two years ago: Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Mix

Three years ago: Bacon and Cheese Egg McMuffin Cups
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Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! As usual I met up with family and friends in my hometown Rochester, NY. We had our holiday dinner yesterday and today we are attending a movie (The Hobbit), as tradition dictates. Unfortunately my brother and his family were unable to join us this year, but here are a couple adorable, festive pictures of my nephew for your viewing pleasure! Aahhh he’s so cute!!

Three years ago: Hoey Cakes (Italian Almond Squares)

Luke Holiday 2013

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Eggnog French Toast

Happy Christmas Eve! Here’s a great breakfast recipe to prepare for breakfast tomorrow morning – eggnog french toast. Substituting eggnog for milk makes this fresh toast festive and perfect for Christmas morning (or any winter morning).

Eggnog French Toast

One year ago: Turkey Sloppy Joes with Kale Chips

Three years ago: White Chocolate Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookies
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Eggnog Dip with New York Style Sweet Swirls Snack Crisps

When it comes to potlucks, it is always expected that I will bring a dessert (a safe assumption as I usually do). However, I mentioned wanting to bring something else to The Pharmacy potluck but was scoffed as if to not bring a dessert was unacceptable. I am not discounting the praise I receive when people say that they love my desserts, but give my non-baked goods a chance!

In order to win the masses over, I decided to team up with the new Sweet Swirls from New York Style for a dip to bring to the aforementioned potluck – yes a dessert dip, I compromised. New York Style Sweet Swirls is a new baked snack crisp product that comes in Cinnabon and Chocolate, and transforms any snack into something extra special. I knew they would be a perfect match with this eggnog dip.

Although I could have easily devoured them by themselves, the flavor of the Sweet Swirls was not dramatic. Instead they added just right amount of flavor to compliment the eggnog dip rather than overpower. My favorite for this particular dip was the Cinnabon and appeared as though most people agreed with me as that bowl dwindled faster than the chocolate. I thought for sure the chocolate would go first!

What would you serve with New York Style Sweet Swirls? Another idea I had for the Chocolate Sweet Swirls was to make little fruit pizzas, using them as the “crust” instead of a brownie. I’ll have to buy more in order to try it out!

Eggnog Dip

I also made an appetizer using the Garlic Parmesan Panetini. I will share that recipe at a later date.

Two years ago: Red Velvet Truffle Stuffed Funfetti Cupcakes
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White Hot Chocolate Pods

The recipe I am sharing today doesn’t make one serving which may seem contrary to the purpose of Single Serving Sundays. Instead it makes a bunch of single servings! Make them for friends, make them for family, heck make them for yourself! They make great gifts ;-).

These hot chocolate pods are perfectly portioned to make one cup of hot cocoa without the fuss of measuring out a powdered cocoa mix. They melt perfectly in a cup of hot milk. I decided to use white chocolate instead of regular because, although it may not be “real” chocolate, white chocolate is my favorite kind of chocolate. These would be great with semisweet or dark chocolate as well.

White Hot Chocolate Pods

Two years ago: Cheddar Chili Cornbread Pasta Bake
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Eggnog Snickerdoodle Blondies

It is post PhD graduation week, and a short week at that with only 3 days left before I no longer have a “work” to go to. I’ll be whisked away for the holidays and return for just one last month in Memphis before packing up and moving in with family. Hopefully with the new year will come responses to all the jobs I have applied to but have yet to hear from. I am really excited/anxious to see where I end up next!

But on to these bars. After I became addicted to the snickerdoodle blondies that Alex sent me last month, I decided to make my own with eggnog in order to continue my eggnog streak. These bars turned out to be just as magical as the traditional version with some added holiday spirit, making them a great treat to make for your upcoming holiday parties (or a way to use up any leftover eggnog).

Eggnog Snickerdoodle Blondies

Three years ago: Brownie Covered Oreo Pops
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Dark Chocolate Chunk Eggnog Cookies

It’s the 3rd Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, hosted by Lindsay of Love & Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen! This event brings together food bloggers from around the world in celebration of all things cookie. This year, once again, this swap was partnered with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and a donation was collected from every participant. Additionally, the three generous brand partners, OXO, Gold Medal Flour, and Dixie Crystals, EACH matched our donations and as a result ended up raising $13,778.40 for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer!

FBCookie Swap

I sent my matches Meagan (A Zesty Bite), Christina (Stracciatella), and Susan (A Less Processed Life) a dozen each of these dark chocolate chunk eggnog cookies. After I made the eggnog cheesecake bars, I started putting eggnog in everything including the pancakes I shared on Monday. It adds such a great flavor to winter treats and was no exception in these cookies – soft and chewy eggnog cookies with chunks of dark chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Chunk Eggnog Cookies

From my matches I received pecan sandies (Nora of Cats and Commas), lemon glazed cookies (Sheryl of Mama’s Gotta Bake), and compost cookies (Shari of My Judy the Foodie). I stashed away most of them for myself but did bring some into lab to share with my coworkers. Thank you for all the wonderful cookies!

One year ago: Creamy Ricotta Spinach & Shells

Three years ago: Iced & Spiced Applesauce Cookies
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Eggnog Cheesecake Bars with Cranberry Swirl

Before Thanksgiving, hearing Christmas music turned me into a Grinch. Even seeing a billboard for a radio station playing 24/7 Christmas music annoyed me. But guess what radio station I tuned into yesterday while on my usual daily commute? I caved, but don’t really enjoy the newer Christmas songs. I tend to prefer the classics or covers of the classics. What is your favorite kind of Christmas music?

However since Thanksgiving recently past, here’s another recipe that will help you use up any leftover cranberry sauce while transitioning into the wintry holidays with the flavor of eggnog – eggnog cheesecake with a cranberry swirl! Awfully pretty arn’t they? I was a little sad that the swirls cracked away from the cheesecake a little, so next time I would mix the cranberry puree with a little bit of the cheesecake filling first. This would result in a paler color but hopefully keep the swirls intact with the rest.

Eggnog Cheesecake Bars with Cranberry Swirl

If you need some more help getting into the holiday spirit, head on over to Twitter and retweet my tweet for a chance to win a giveaway from Baker’s Secret!

One year ago: Hot Cocoa Blossoms

Three years ago: Latkas
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DOVE® Christmas Chocolate Drops

When it comes to holiday baking you typically need two things: butter and chocolate. So when Dove® Promises invited me to bake with Dove® Dark Chocolate I could not resist. Unlike other dark chocolates out there, DOVE® Dark chocolate is not bitter. Instead, it’s creamy and deliciously rich, making it difficult to bake with instead of devouring straight out of the wrapper (which by the way I love the little sayings inside each wrapper). I suggest buying an extra bag just in case you cannot control yourself.

In case a DOVE® Dark chocolate cookie with DOVE® Dark chocolate chunks isn’t enough to get you excited, how about some nuts? In my world, you can never go wrong with nuts especially when it involves chocolate so I was particularly excited about these cookies.

These cookies reminded me of brownie cookies, with their flaky tops and chewy interior stuffed with nuts – just the way I like my brownies!

For more inspiring holiday ideas, be sure to check out the Mars® recipe page http://www.brightideas.com. I am tempted to make the Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich Cake!

Share the Joy with Dove®. Go to BrightIdeas.com for recipes using DOVE® PROMISES® Dark Chocolate and DOVE® Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate Bar. Click. Create. Celebrate.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mars®. The opinions and text are all mine.

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