Christmas

Bloggers’ 40+ Favorite Holiday Cookies

Instead of being selfish and compiling a list of my favorite holiday cookies on my blog, I decided to ask some of my food bloggers friends, “What is your favorite holiday cookie recipe?”. The most common reaction: “How am I supposed to choose just one!?” Which means that the one that they selected is the best of the best and this list will not disappoint! While there were trends, I was still impressed by the variety. This list is like a digital cookie exchange which will now be a useful resource for your next holiday cookie exchange!

P.S. This list was compiled in the order that I received them. Mine is at the bottom because I had to make a last minute decision to narrow down my own favorite!

Bloggers’ 40+ Favorite Holiday Cookies 11
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Homemade Malted Hot Chocolate Mix

Homemade hot chocolate is the way to be, especially when there is malted milk powder involved! Whip up this easy mix to warm up on the next chilly evening by the fire.

Homemade Malted Hot Chocolate Mix 1
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Holiday Gift Ideas for Cooks & Foodies

Looking for great gift ideas for the cook or foodie in your life? Here’s a list of 10 things that are both different than the norm and thoughtful.

Cook and Foodie Gift Guide
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Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows & Giveaway

Homemade marshmallows are far superior than store bought ones, especially because you can create any flavor you like! These peppermint marshmallows are perfect for the winter holidays.

Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows 1
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Easy Mini Cheese Balls

What’s better than a cheese ball? Miniature cheese balls! With this recipe you can adjust for any flavor combination and can be served as a snack or to feed a crowd.

Easy Mini Cheese Balls 3

Everyone loves a good cheese ball. I mean, what is there not to love about them? Cheesy, creamy, flavorful and rolled in some of the best things like herbs, nuts, and even bacon. Is it possible to improve upon that design? Why yes, you just have to miniatureize them and they instantly become the easiest freaking cheese balls you ever did make. All you have do it take those individually wrapped Laughing Cow cheese wedges, roll each one into a ball, and then roll in whatever coating you desire. Done! Just refrigerate until ready to serve.

Easy Mini Cheese Balls 1

The great thing about using The Laughing Cow spreadable cheeses was the diversity of flavors available. I used swiss with garlic & herb and rolled it in a mixture of parsley and basil. But I didn’t stop there! The second flavor I made was with queso fresco & chipotle rolled in a mixture of cilantro and chili pepper. Some another great combinations could be white cheddar or spicy pepperjack rolled in bacon, mozzarella sundried tomato basil rolled in basil and parmesan, and swiss french onion rolled in crushed pretzels and green onion. The best part? You can make just enough for a snack or for an entire party! For a smaller serving use about 1 tsp of coating per wedge of cheese.

Easy Mini Cheese Balls 2

One year ago: Mexican Stuffed Shells

Two years ago: Brussels Sprouts with Honey Vinaigrette

Four years ago: Almond Crusted Chicken with Scallion Beurre Blanc
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Orange Glazed Green Beans and Butternut Squash

Citrus is a great compliment to ham but instead of glazing your ham, glaze your green beans and butternut squash in this festive side dish.

Orange Glazed Green Beans and Butternut Squash 1

Lesson learned: get a flu shot every year. This year was the first in 8 that I did not get a flu shot, mainly because I couldn’t get it for free anymore (oh how I miss the perks of being a student), and sure enough the flu found me on Christmas Eve of all days. I’ve been slowly recovering since with my biggest achievement coming in the form of a shower. Hooray cleanliness!

Before I realized what my sniffles were leading up to, I did help cook dinner on Christmas Eve for my parents (thankfully they had already passed the illness, likely to me). The menu consisted of smoked country ham from Benton’s, my dad’s homemade applesauce, cheddar biscuits, rosemary mac and cheese, and orange glazed green beans and butternut squash. I often pair ham with a citrus glaze but since we went with a smoked ham this year the citrus element went into the side dish instead. And it was the favorite part of the meal.

Orange Glazed Green Beans and Butternut Squash 2

One year ago: Almond-Pear Panino

Three years ago: Creamy Grape Dessert
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Eggnog Mousse Sugar Cookie Cups

These eggnog mousse sugar cookie cups are the perfect holiday treat, especially when in a pinch for time. Only 4 ingredients and they still look fancy!

Eggnog Mousse Sugar Cookie Cups 2

Holy freaking Christmas eve. No seriously, is it really Christmas eve already? Which means that today is my last day working at the gym in my parents village. And that I am leaving TN as my residence tomorrow to spend some time in Rochester, NY for the holidays before moving to Ohio. And it also means I am severely behind on packing up what things I have here that did not get stored away in my POD still in Memphis (but soon to be transported up to Columbus, OH). Hooray procrastination!

Speaking of procrastination, I am sure there are many of you out there who waited until the last minute to whip up some crazy dessert to celebrate the holidays. Now here we are the day before Christmas and you don’t have time for crazy steps and ingredients. How about only 4 regular ingredients and minimal steps to create something that looks fancy and is bite sized to boot? I present to you the eggnog mousse filled sugar cookie cups. Refrigerated sugar cookie dough, instant vanilla pudding, eggnog, and whipped cream. Boom, you’re welcome.

Eggnog Mousse Sugar Cookie Cups 1

One year ago: Eggnog French Toast

Two years ago: Turkey Sloppy Joes with Kale Chips

Four years ago: White Chocolate Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookies
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Eggnog Hot Chocolate Pound Cake

What happens when you mix eggnog and hot chocolate? One amazing cake with two of your favorite winter beverages! Perfect for holiday parties.

Eggnog Hot Chocolate Pound Cake 1

Today is the Friday of the last weekend before Christmas. What are you doing this weekend? If I had to guess many of you will be baking cookies, attending holiday parties, and/or crazy enough to go shopping. I remember the last time I tried going to the mall the weekend before Christmas (and not to buy a present, just retail therapy with a friend and neglected to realize what weekend it was) and it took over an hour to get out of the parking lot. Insanity. Never again. I am however committing to the other two aforementioned tasks this weekend – getting covered in snow-like sugar while baking and then eating party food until my belly resembles Santa’s.

Eggnog Hot Chocolate Pound Cake 2

This pound cake embodies the two best wintry drinks: eggnog and hot chocolate. Both eggnog and hot chocolate mix are used in the making of this pound cake, which results in the perfect pound cake to appear at your next holiday party. It didn’t take long for it to be reduced to crumbs. Spike it with a little bit of rum if you dare.

P.S. Does anyone else see the face in the swirl in the pictures above? It looks like Bugs bunny with his ears slightly chopped off to me.

Eggnog Hot Chocolate Pound Cake 3

One year ago: Meyer Lemon Chess Pie

Three years ago: Pecan Fruit Cake
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Snowman Blue Cheese Ball

Everyone loves cheese balls so make sure you have this blue cheese ball at your next party. But instead of a round ball make it snowman shaped!

Snowman Blue Cheese Ball 1
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Homemade Dark Hot Chocolate Mix

Instead of buying from the store, try your hand at homemade hot chocolate mix. This version highlights dark chocolate and would make a great gift!

Homemade Dark Hot Chocolate Mix 1

Christ mas is about a week away! Can you believe it? I certainly cannot as I’ve just started feeling the holiday-baking pull. There are too many festive things I want to make in such little time! The most important thing I made every year is hot chocolate mix. To date, I have made six different kinds of hot chocolate mix: Regular, Peanut Butter, Red Velvet, Cinnamon, Salted Caramel, and now Dark Chocolate. Homemade hot chocolate mix makes great gifts if you’re looking for some last minute ideas!

Homemade Dark Hot Chocolate Mix 2

This dark hot chocolate is not as sweet at the others I have created due to the use of dark and semisweet chocolate – no white chocolate in there this time. But the flavor of the dark chocolate truly shines. I thought it was exceptional, but if you know someone who prefers sweeter hot chocolate (like my dad), throw a healthy handful of marshmallows in there.

Homemade Dark Hot Chocolate Mix 3

One year ago: Baked Mozzarella Chicken Rolls

Two years ago: Buttermilk Biscuits

Four years ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip
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