Tag Archives: christmas

Candlelight Christmas Cookie Table

Merry Christmas from our cookie table to yours!!

Memories are made in the kitchen.  This year’s Christmas preparation has been fun – sharing recipes and coming together with family and friends to create special times and celebrate traditions.  Christmas Eve ended with a candlelit cookie table and the kids even picked out a few special cookies to leave out for Santa.  Hope you enjoyed some of this year’s cookie recipes:

Merry Christmas Sweet Stackers

2014’s assortment of cookies & recipes

Gingerbread Cutout Cookies

layer decorated cookies sweet stackers

Czech Crescent Cookies

Traditional Crescent Cookies

Christmas Spiral Cookies

Sweet Stackers Christmas Spiral Cookie Recipe

Ina Garten’s Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Cookie Assortment Cookie Risers

Kolacky

Cookie Stackable Food Storage

Chocolate Logs

Sweet Stackers Christmas Dessert Dividers

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Decorated Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread cookies are THE Classic Christmas Cookie!  The aroma fills the house to create the mood of the holidays.  Simple decorations turn these delicious cookies into something festive and beautiful!  Plus, let the kids get excited and decorate the classic shaped Gingerbread Men.

Sweet Stackers decorated cookie storage

Gingerbread Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 ¼ cup molasses
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon ground ginger
3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375°.  Cream the butter and sugar together at high mixer speed.  Gradually add the molasses, eggs and vanilla.  Sift the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg together.  Measure 5 cups even cups of flour.  Reduce the mixer speed and gradually add the flour mixture.  Divide the dough into three portions, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours.

Roll cold dough to about 1/4 inch thick, cut into shapes and place on ungreased cookie sheet (preferably lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper).  Bake 6 – 8 minutes.  Larger cookies may take longer.  Cool on a rack and decorate.

The glaze used to decorate (1 cup of confectioners’ sugar, 1 teaspoon light corn syrup, 1 teaspoon milk and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract).

Sweet Stackers decorated gingerbread cookies.

Store your decorated cookies in an air-tight container.  Sweet Stackers layer your beautiful decorated cookies to keep them looking beautiful!  The trays and risers are reusable and insert into a variety of containers you may already own.  Decorate your cookies right on the trays and lower them into your container – a great way to save space on your crowded kitchen countertops!  Plus, it makes it easy to transport “hard to transport” cookies, like jam filled or decorated cookies, to a holiday party and keeps them looking great!

layer decorated cookies sweet stackers

Rubbermaid’s 1 gallon Take Alongs container is pictured with Sweet Stackers 7.75 x 11 inch tray set.  Get three layers of decorated cookies in this container!

Visit sweetstackers.com to learn more about this handy product!

Christmas Spiral Cookies

Christmas Spiral Cookies are so fun and festive for the holiday season!  These homemade slice and bake cookies will certainly stand out in an assortment of Christmas cookies.  A perfect cookie to take to a cookie swap party and impress the guests!

Sweet Stackers Christmas Spiral Cookie Recipe

Spiral Christmas Cookies

yields approximately 30 cookies

  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • red gel food coloring
  • 1 1/2 cups sanding sugar

Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and confectioners’ sugar together.  Reduce the mixer speed and gradually add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl.  Add the vanilla.

Split the dough into two equal halves.  Remove half of the dough.  In the other half, gradually add the red food coloring and mix until you reach the desired color.

Rollout each half of the dough between 2 sheets of wax paper or parchment paper into a rectangular shape and 1/8 inch thick.  While in the paper, place the rolled out dough onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Remove from the refrigerator and place the sheet of red dough on top of the plain dough.  Trim the edges to evenly create a rectangular shape.  Once the dough warms slightly, it can be rolled without cracking.  Roll into a log, pressing out the air in between the layers.

Roll the log in a pan of green sanding sugar.

Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Heat the oven to 325°.  Slice the log with a sharp knife about 1/4″ thick and place on a baking sheet for 14 – 16 minutes until the cookie is lightly browned.

PartyKitchen Christmas Spiral Cookies

Store in an air-tight container and they will be fresh until Christmas!

Sweet Stackers Holiday Spiral Cookies

Sweet Stackers convert your air-tight containers to multi-level using stackable corrugated plastic trays.  Visit my website http://sweetstackers.com for more information about our product, get more ideas on how to use our product or find the right size trays that will fit a plastic storage container that you already own!

Sweet Stackers Stackable Cookie Trays

Cookie Assortment Cookie Risers

Advent Tablescape

During the first week of Advent, our church hosts Advent by Candlelight for the women of our parish.  The event is beautiful, filled with a candlelit procession, speaker, music and fellowship.  Many women host tables of 8.  This was my 5th year hosting a table for our MOMS group.  I completely enjoy creating a beautiful candlelit tablescape that will be perfect for the Advent season.  This year, I went with a elegant and natural woodland setting.

Advent By Candlelight Tablescape

On pale green table linens, I cut sprigs of pine from my yard and elevated white votive candles on paper birch logs.  A few shiny silver ball ornaments were scattered on top to add reflection when candlelit.  Two cylinder vases were filled with fresh greens and a small statue of the Blessed Mother and Child.  Since we represent the Ministry of Mothers Sharing group, we have always tied Mary into our table.

Advent By Candlelight Tablescape2

Every table is unique and beautiful and the gathering space at our church is the perfect setting.

Advent By Candlelight Tablescape3

Especially at night when candlelit.

Advent By Candlelight Tablescape4

Another beautiful event to prepare for Christmas!  Once the event is complete, I transfer the centerpiece to my dining table at home.  It is now ready for a candlelight Christmas Eve dinner with my family.

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint cookies are NOT just for the holidays!  In fact, they are perfect for summer when the berries are harvested.  By preserving summer berries, we are able to enjoy them year round.  These thumbprint cookies are so easy, using a handful of ingredients and buttery delicious.  Use any flavor jam, but the homemade sweet U-Pick Raspberry Preserves are the perfect topping!

Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies Homemade Preserves

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • ½ cup raspberry preserves (or any flavor jam)

 

Using and electric mixer, cream the softened butter and sugar on high.  Add the almond extract.  Lower the mixer speed and gradually add the flour.  Refrigerate the dough for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Make an indentation using your thumb in the center of each ball.  (I make two thumbprints at 90 degree angles, to make a better circle)  Fill each center with about 1/4 teaspoon of preserves or your favorite jam.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges are lightly browned.  Remove to a cookie rack.

Sweet Stackers Jam Filled Thumbprint Cookies,

Sweet Stackers – No matter what time of year, Sweet Stackers come in handy to store jam or jelly filled cookies.  Thumbprints are very popular holiday or Christmas cookie.  You don’t want to mess up the jam toppings or have them stick to other cookies!  Sweet Stackers convert your air-tight containers to multi-level using corrugated plastic stackable trays.  They are an inexpensive storage solution and can easily be wiped down and reused.  Visit sweetstackers.com to learn more about this product or shop on Amazon or my Etsy shop.

Look!  3 dozen cookies without a sticky mess in 1 container!

Sweet Stackers Cookie Storage Trays

 

 

Origami Ornaments – Repurpose Christmas Cards

When I was a little girl, my Mom had a couple of these ornaments made out of Christmas cards that her grandfather made.  They were pretty old and the paper was more delicate and even yellowing.  She would hang them from the top of the doorways leading to each room of the house at Christmastime.  I remember standing under each one analyzing the pictures.

About 10 years ago, I decided to figure out the secret to making them and they are actually very easy.  I make it a tradition to make one every year from the Christmas cards that I receive.  The picture are just beautiful and why not have a special way to repurpose them instead of throwing them out.  I have signed and dated each one.  On three, I even wrote if there was a special occasion like my baby’s 1st Christmas.

Origami Ornaments from Christmas Cards

They don my banister and hang from my evergreen roping.  Each one is truly special and every year I enjoy pulling them out to hang.

Instructions: I trace a circle around the main scene on each of my Christmas cards.  If I can fit another circle around another image or pattern.  The size of the circles drastically changes the size of the ornaments.  Now, I use the bottom of a champagne flute to trace my circles.  It is perfect because they are clear and you can see the image that you want to capture.  You will need 20 circles to form one ornament.

Origami Christmas Card Ornaments circles

Fold each circle to form a perfect triangle.  Glue the flaps of the triangle together.  Five circles form the domed top of the ornament – each having the point of the triangle at the top of the image.

Folding Origami Christmas Card Ornaments

There will be 10 circles to form the middle portion of the ornament.  This time 5 images with have the point of the triangle at the bottom, to keep the images straight.  Glue the circle to the top dome (triangle pointing towards the bottom), then glue a circle next to it (with the triangle point at the top).  Keep alternating all the way around

Folding Origami Ornaments from Christmas Cards

For the bottom, glue 5 circles all with the triangle pointing to the bottom.  This will close the ball of the ornament.

Adhere a ribbon to the top to hang.  Don’t forget to date them so you can treasure each one for years to come!

Midnight Mint Meringue Cookies

These meringue cookies are light, minty and easy to make!  Definitely a great way to change-up the assortment of traditional cookies.  These Midnight Mint Meringue Cookies were brought to our Cookie Swap 2013!

Christmas Meringue Cookies

Midnight Mint Meringue Cookies

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Mint Extract (can be decreased according to taste)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1-2 cups of chocolate chips, mint chocolate chips, or Andes mint pieces
  • green food coloring

Preheat oven to 375 for 15 minutes.

Beat egg whites, Cream of Tartar, salt and food coloring until stiff.

Fold in sugar, mint and chocolate chips.

Place sheet of wax paper on cookie sheets.  Drop by the spoonful onto cookie sheets.

Turn off oven and place cookie sheets in oven overnight.  DO NOT OPEN OVEN for at least 6 hours for best results!

Chocolate Log Cookies

Today, I am excited to announce that I have a guest baker – my Mom! (not a guest blogger, but a guest baker) She is a very good baker and has inspired me since I was a little girl. Probably why I love baking at Christmas time so much! It brings back memories and annual cravings.

My grandmother would bake these cookies every year and they were always my favorite. (note: my husband says that I have a lot of favorites) But seriously, my favorite! When I was little, the best part of these cookies were the icing on each end. I have my own little ritual as to how I have to eat them (just like twisting an Oreo cookie to get to the creamy center). Since my grandmother doesn’t bake anymore, my Mom knows that she now has to make these cookies. Love the fact that she used her Sweet Stackers too!!  Thanks Mom, your the best!!

Sweet Stackers Christmas Dessert Dividers

Chocolate Log Cookies

  • 1/3 cup hot water added slowly to 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup (1/2 pound) butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups sifted all purpose flour

In a small mixing bowl, add hot water slowly to cocoa, mix well and let cool.  Cream butter thoroughly about 1 minute; add sugar gradually and beat well.  Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, and continue beating until light, about 2 minutes.  Add vanilla and cool cocoa mixture.  Add combined baking soda and flour, a little at a time, to form dough.  My Grandmother and Mom would make a ball and form it into a log, then press it with a fork to flatten slightly.

Bake 350° for 12 – 13 minutes.  Cool on a rack.  When cold, brush top with warm corn syrup.  Once the glaze sets, cover both ends of cookies with Chocolate Frosting (recipe below) and finely chopped pecans.

Chocolate Frosting

Add 3 tablespoons hot water to 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa.  Mix until smooth; add 2 tablespoons of very soft butter, 1 tablespoon milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.  Stir until smooth.  Add sifted 2 1/2 – 3 cups of confectioners sugar gradually to form a medium-soft frosting that will not run.

Sweet Stackers - Chocolate Log Cookies

Hope you enjoyed the recipe!  Merry Christmas to you!

Sweet Stackers Christmas Cookie Trays

Cherry Bonbon Cookies

These cookies are pretty in pink and perfect for the third week of advent.  Shhh…there is a sweet surprise in the middle!  These Cherry Bonbon Cookies were brought to our 2013 cookie exchange party.  Enjoy!!

Cherry Bonbon Cookies

Cherry Bonbon Cookies

Cherry Bonbon Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1- 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 24 maraschino cherries

Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice

In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add milk and vanilla.  Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.  Divide dough into 24 portions; shape each portion around a cherry, forming a ball.  Place on ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

For glaze, combine sugar, butter and cherry juice.  Drizzle over cookies.  Dust with additional powdered sugar.

Rollo Turtles

These are just way too cute using the holiday shaped pretzels.  The combination of salt, caramel and sweet chocolate = yum!  Perfect for a gluten-free recipe too.   Rollo Turtles were brought to our 2013 cookie exchange party.

Gluten Free Rollo Turtles

Rollo Turtles

Rollo Turtles

20 small mini pretzels

20 chocolate covered caramel candies (Rollo)

20 pecan halves

Preheat oven to 300°.

Arrange the pretzels in a single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Place one chocolate covered caramel candy on each pretzel.

Bake for 4 minutes.  While the candy is warm, press a pecan half onto each candy covered pretzel.  Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.