How to Make My Favorite Christmas Cookie Recipe & Holiday Favorites brings you my spritz-like, buttery, holiday frosted cookie family favorite and MORE.
Since I’m taking it easy this week and doing the Christmas things I most enjoy (BAKING, reading, and listening to Christmas music!), I thought I’d share a peek.
I am hanging out in the kitchen making holiday goodies, cinnamon bread, and my prize-winning Christmas cookies so it’s the perfect time to share recipe and instructions with you. I’ll be packaging up a few things to send across the miles…does anyone else even do this anymore!?!
This post is dedicated to my family and friends scattered across the country, and even though we can’t physically be together, gastronomically we sort of can as we enjoy the tastes of home.
How to Make My Favorite Christmas Cookie Recipe & Holiday Favorites
The weather outside may be frightful (it’s an arctic freeze kinda day today!), but since my oven is cranked up this afternoon, I’m nice and toasty and ready to bake someone happy.
I hope you enjoy these treats I have made over and over through the years.
I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.
Need an idea for Christmas morning or a brunch any given weekend? I love this dish because it is made ahead. Use the best bread you can get your hands on.
Crème Brûlée French Toast
This is so easy and delicious! Sometimes I’ll sprinkle blueberries and diced pear on top before baking. I bake bread weekly and use it for this recipe, but you can use French bread or your favorite from a bakery.
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. corn syrup
1 8-9″ round loaf of country style bread
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 tsp. vanilla
In a small heavy saucepan, melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over a moderate heat, stirring until smooth, and pour into a 9×13 inch baking dish. Cut six 1″ slices from the center portion of the bread and trim the crusts. Arrange slices in one layer in the baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.
In a bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla, and salt until combined well. Pour over bread. Chill covered, from 8 hours to one day.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bring bread to room temperature. Bake, uncovered, in center of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, about 40 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. Slice and invert (to plate servings ooey gooey side-up!) and serve with or without maple syrup.
Serve it with mugs of warm apple cider or hot chocolate. Speaking of mugs…
The fun part about the taller rack is it can easily double as a Christmas tree during the holidays.
The vintage ones are awfully sweet, and they need not be decorated to have presence!
Next up is is my mom’s easy peasy punch recipe, hailing from my childhood. It was served at special occasions, and as a kid, I loved making it for my mama since you can’t mess it up! It works for a brunch or just as easily with a sweets buffet.
Simple Strawberry Punch
This is basically a strawberry float. It’s a punch I grew up with and is like our family faux eggnog since we like drinking sugar more than eggs. You can certainly add rum or Chambord to this should you like your floats boozy.
1/2 gallon really good vanilla ice cream
2 cups strawberries (halved) frozen (or a package of frozen)
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 2-liter bottle ginger ale
In a punch bowl, pitcher, or large mixing bowl, add ice cream then strawberries. Sprinkle on sugar. Add ginger ale to cover, combine gingerly, then top off with ginger ale as needed.
Hello Lovely Special K Bars
These are from my childhood in the 70s and every holiday since then since they are a family tradition. Other recipes call for a 2:1 ratio of butterscotch to chocolate, but mine are heavier on the chocolate, and dark delivers a completely different result than milk chocolate. You can make these vegan by eliminating the butterscotch chips and using dairy-free chocolate chips.
1 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
6 cups Special K cereal
11 oz. package butterscotch chips (I like Hershey’s)
11 oz. package dark chocolate chips (I like Hershey’s)
Lightly grease a cookie sheet or half sheet pan (I use a half-sheet pan, 10.5″ x 15.5″) or spray with nonstick spray. Place cereal in a very large mixing bowl. Bring sugar and syrup to a boil, then remove from heat. Add peanut butter and stir to completely melt and combine. Pour mixture over cereal in bowl and delicately fold together with silicone spatula. Pour into prepared pan and press lightly with wet hands to form an even thickness. Melt the butterscotch and chocolate chips together (I use microwave), then pour over pan. Let cool completely, then cut into small squares. These freeze wonderfully – I cut them first then freeze small quantities.
Holiday Goodies Under $25
Swedish Christmas Cookies (aka Luke’s Christmas Love Cookies)
If you have been reading this blog for a length of time, you know about these delicious cookies. I have baked them with my sons their entire lives, and it just isn’t Christmas without them. Winning a contest in Country Home magazine more than a decade ago was a game changer and inspired me to start sharing creatively online.
Prep: 50 minutes – Chill: 2 hours – Bake: 7 minutes/batch – Preheat oven: 375°
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 7-oz. jar marshmallow cream
3/4 cup butter, cut up and softened
3/4 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1. In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer on medium to high speed, beat 1 cup butter for 30 seconds. Add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and almond extract. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide in half. Cover and chill for 2 to 3 hours or until easy to handle.
2. On a lightly floured surface roll half of dough at a time until slightly less than 1/4 inch thick. Cut dough using a 2 1/2-inch star-shape cutter. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake in 375° oven 7 to 8 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Transfer to wire racks; cool.
4. In large mixing bowl beat marshmallow cream, gradually adding 3/4 cup softened butter. Beat in 3/4 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Spread or pipe atop cookies. Sprinkle with colored sprinkles. Makes 6 1/2 dozen cookies.
TO STORE : Store in a single layer in refrigerator until frosting sets, about 1 hour. Store in a single layer in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days. For longer storage, freeze uniced cookies.
Per cookie: 73 cal., 4 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 14 mg chol., 49 mg sodium, 8 g carbo., 0 g dietary fiber, 1 g protein.
Gooey Butter Cake
Everyone will think they are lemon bars, and I think they are sooooo much tastier! This is one of those doctored cake mix recipes that my family is crazy about, and there are all sorts of variations out there. You can add a handful of chocolate chips on top before baking, but my family likes it without any variation. It’s so rich! We bake it in a sheet pan and cut into small, very thin bars.
Preheat oven to 325 and adjust rack to bake it in top third of oven.
1 white cake mix
1 stick of butter melted
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
12 oz. powdered sugar, more for sprinkling on top
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Butter or spray a half-sheet pan with non-stick spray. In a large mixing bowl, add the cake mix, melted butter, and one lightly beaten egg. Stir until smooth – then use wet hands to press to the edges of pan. (It takes a little while to press and spread it thin!).
In same bowl, use hand mixer to blend softened cream cheese with half of the powdered sugar. Add two eggs, and vanilla and keep mixing as you gradually add remainder of powdered sugar, blending until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Pour cream cheese mixture over cake mix layer and if necessary, spread to cover. Bake in upper third of oven 35-40 minutes, cool completely on rack, then cut into small squares.
Step Into the Studio
This is simply a peek into my personal life since you’ll find me almost every single day plunking out something on the piano I grew up with.
More Delicious Recipes
I still make cinnamon bread from a starter and share it with family and neighbors since my husband and I can’t eat it. In a weak moment, I had a little of it yesterday and regretted it shortly since like fat, gluten is not agreeing with me. Fortunately, we CAN eat these yummy gluten-free pistachio cookies I recently shared with you.
Keep your eyes peeled for a new gluten-free, vegan, flour-less bread recipe that I tweaked and make weekly now. (p.s. if you had told me years ago I would someday be baking vegan g-free recipes with nuts, I would have called you NUTS. But auto-immune diseases and GI issues are no joke!)
Antidote to Holiday Sweet Eating
Thanks for reading and for always making my day with your comments! Do visit more holiday themed posts for inspiration and cheer.
Peace to you right where you are.
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