Festive Holiday Treats!

by Ashley Chan

It’s holiday season and people are busy, frantically shopping for their family and friends. And this is why many forget what the holidays are really about: spending time with family. One fun way to get everyone’s holiday cheer up is baking traditional treats. Here are some snacks that are guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.

The Gingerbread Man

What you’ll need:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ cup or 1 stick butter (softened)
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tsp of water
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar (optional)
  • Food coloring of your choice (optional)
  • Gingerbread man cookie cutter

Steps:

Cookie

  1. In a medium pot, stir together your sugar, molasses, water, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove it from the heat.
  2. Stir in your softened butter. Let it cool for 15 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. Slowly add your molasses mixture and stir until you get a light brown dough.
  5. Wrap the dough in some plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 2 hours (or freeze for 1 hour).
  6. Preheat your oven to 375F.
  7. Take out your chilled cookie dough and roll it out until ¼ thick. Using the gingerbread man cookie cutter cut out as many cookies as possible.
  8. Transfer your gingerbread men onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Icing

  1. Sift the powdered sugar, and cream of tartar into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Using an electric mixer (or a hand-held whisk), whip the beaten eggs for about 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
  3. Add water and stir until desired consistency of icing is reached.
  4. Put in food coloring. (Optional)
  5. Decorate your gingerbread cookies.

The Melting Snowman

What you’ll need:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Country Crock
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ⅔ cup flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 bag of mini peanut butter cups
  • Orange sprinkles
  • 1 white cookie icing
  • 1 brown cookie icing

Steps:

  1. In a big mixing bowl, cream together the Country Crock and sugar until it is fluffy.
  2. Add in your egg and vanilla and beat until all is combined.
  3. Add in your flour, salt and baking powder and mix everything until the dough comes together.
  4. Using a tablespoon measure or a spoon, scoop a serving of your dough into your hands.
  5. Roll it into a ball and flatten it out.
  6. Transfer your cookies onto an ungreased baking sheet about three inches apart.  
  7. Put your cookies in the oven at 375F for 12-14 minutes or until they’re golden brown.
  8. After your cookies are out of the oven, set them out to chill before decorating.
  9. Use the white cookie icing to trace a squiggly outline on your cooled cookies and fill it in.
  10. Taking your white cookie icing, draw a circle for the snowman’s face. Add an orange sprinkle on it while the icing is still wet.
  11. Using black cookie icing, draw the eyes on the snowman.
  12. Cut your peanut butter cups in fourths. Put them on the cookie to make a hat for the snowman.

A Chocolate Christmas

What you’ll need:

  • 1 ½ cup of butter
  • 2 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup unsweetened  cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tsp milk
  • Green food coloring
  • Cupcake liners
  • Yellow fondant
  • 1 small star cookie cutter
  • 1 large piping bag fitted with a star tip
  • Confetti sprinkles

Steps:

Cupcake

  1. Melt ½ cup butter and chocolate in the microwave. Then set it aside to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, add the eggs, white sugar, brown sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Slowly whisk in the cooled butter-chocolate mixture and mix until it is well combined.
  4. Add half of the dry mixture to the eggs mixture, then mix in the butter milk.
  5. Pour the remaining dry mixture and mix until the cupcake batter has a thick consistency.
  6. Using an ice cream scoop (or any 1 tbsp. spoon), scoop the batter evenly into the cupcake liners.
  7. Set the oven to 350F and bake for 18 minutes.

Frosting

  1. Cream the remaining cup of butter with an electric hand/stand mixer.
  2. Gradually add in powdered sugar, one cup at a time.
  3. Mix in 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  4. Add enough milk until the frosting is at the desired consistency.
  5. Put in the green food coloring.

Assembling

  1. Take out the cupcakes and let them cool.
  2. Frost the cupcakes using the star-tipped piping bag.
  3. Sprinkle on some of the confetti sprinkles on top of the cupcakes.
  4. Roll out the yellow fondant and use the small star cookie cutter to cut out 12 stars.
  5. Place the stars on the top of the frosting, to making it look like a Christmas tree.

These holiday recipes are easy to make and require some of the most basic ingredients. I hope you have fun recreating these treats for family, for friends, or for yourselves. Spend this holiday season with those you love. Happy Holidays!

 

 

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