Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve: Classic Christmas Wassail and 12 Days of Christmas Cookies Recap

It's Christmas Eve! 
My favorite day of the year!

Today my family's traditions include Christmas Brunch at Hotel Hershey

lots of baking and probably a nap, 

dinner at a Japanese Hibachi restaurant, 

and my favorite of all... 11:00pm Christmas Eve Service 
at my home church: Second Presbyterian Church
I just love the time with friends and family 
and ending with worshipping our infant Savior 
who is Emmanuel - God WITH us!

So we are not doing a lot on the blog today or tomorrow. 
However, here is a quick and easy, super delicious 
and festive recipe for Classic Christmas Wassail.

Classic Christmas Wassail

photo from kost103.5

Shopping List:

1 gallon Apple Cider

2 pints Cranberry Juice

1 1/2 C Sugar

4 sticks Cinnamon

1 cloved Orange

Optional: Cranberries or Pomegranate Arils

1. In a 6 quart slow cooker, combine all ingredients. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
2. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Serve hot. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from kost103.5

This would be great to throw in the slow cooker 
Christmas morning and have ready for Christmas dinner!

We even made these little wassail packets as 
Christmas gifts for our Young Life donors this year.

And now a recap of the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies:

1st Day of Christmas Cookies: Tessa's Lemon Cookies

2nd Day of Christmas Cookies: Peppermint Crinkle Cookies

3rd Day of Christmas Cookies: Christmas Toffee Bark

4th Day of Christmas Cookies: Trish's Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies

5th Day of Christmas Cookies: Katie's Sugar Cookie Cutouts with Royal Icing

6th Day of Christmas Cookies: Melissa's Peppermint Puppy Chow

7th Day of Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

8th Day of Christmas Cookies: Julie's Peanut Butter Blossoms

9th Day of Christmas Cookies: Hannah's Cran-Pistachio Cookies

10th Day of Christmas Cookies: Candy Cane Blossoms

11th Day of Christmas Cookies: Carly's Pizzelles

12th Day of Christmas Cookies: Katie's Peanut Butter and Chocolate Fudge

You're Favorite...

5th Day of Christmas Cookies: Katie's Sugar Cookie Cutouts with Royal Icing

Thank you to all of these women for contributing!

Merry Christmas Eve!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

12th Day of Christmas Cookies: Katie's Peanut Butter and Chocolate Fudge

It's the 12th Day of the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies!

I can't believe it! 
This little journey has been so festive and fun! 
I have enjoyed connecting with some women I don't see that often, 
and some I see quite frequently! 
And all of these delicious cookies! 
It's hard not to try and bake them all! 

Today we are wrapping up with my dear friend Katie again. 
She is sharing her Peanut Butter and Chocolate Fudge recipe. 

In case you hadn't noticed, it's only 4 days til Christmas! 
And the time is past to be baking long, involved recipes. 
These next several days should be spent enjoying friends and family, 
not slaving away in the kitchen! 

So if you are still in need of a quick little dessert, 
you've come to the right place. Katie is not even using an oven! 
Nope! The microwave...


Peanut Butter and Chocolate Fudge

This is the easiest recipe for fudge I have ever seen. 
It's literally 4 ingredients and very few steps. 
AND, the best part is, it doesn't involve an oven or a stove top!

Shopping List:

1 10oz bag Peanut Butter Chips

1 12 oz bag Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

2 14 oz cans of Sweetened Condensed Milk (split)

2 tsp Vanilla (split)


1.Start by lining a 9x9in pan with foil. (If you dont, you won't be able to get fudge out of the pan)

2.Pour the entire bag of peanut butter chips and 3/4 of a can of sweetened condensed milk (you can add more if your fudge is still too thick)

3. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Stir mixture until all the chips are melted and SCM is mixed well. Put back in microwave for 30 seconds if necessary (I find it takes only 1.5 minutes total to get to the right melted consistency.)

4. Add 1 tsp vanilla to melted peanut butter mixture. Mix well.
5. Pour and spread with a spoon or spatula into the bottom of the pan.

6. Repeat steps 2-4 with semi-sweet chocolate chips. **You may need to add the entire can of SCM to the chocolate chips if it is too thick. 

7. Pour chocolate chip mixture on top of the peanut butter mixture and spread evenly with spoon or spatula. 

8. Refrigerate until fudge is solid and easy to cut with a large butcher knife. (Usually 2-3 hours)
9. Once fudge has set, store at room temperature (refrigeration not recommended). 


That's it! So quick and easy! I can't wait to try this.

Thank you so much for joining us on the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies
I hope you have enjoyed this as much as I have. 
Now pick your favorite and go make it with some special people in your life!

Tomorrow, I am sharing a delicious Classic Christmas Wassail recipe! 
This MIGHT BE the best hot drink you've ever tasted. 
And since you can make it in a slow cooker, 
make it the morning of and its ready by dinner! You'll love it!

I'll also recap the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies. See you then!

Friday, December 20, 2013

11th Day of Christmas Cookies: Carly's Pizzelles

It's the 11th Day of the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies!

My good friend Carly is making Pizzelles. 
I got to try one of these yesterday and they were de-licious
I love the unique flavor. 

This is Carly and her fiancé Tim.
I first got to know Tim through the cross country team
that he and my husband coach.
And then when he hired me to work for his
photography business Black and White Services.

Carly I have known for a few years,
but have really gotten to know her since she got back this summer from her
11 month mission trip with The World Race.

11 countries in 11 months.
They are such a neat couple, and we can't wait for the BIG DAY in April!

Now you will need a special Pizzelle iron to make these.

HERE is one from Target.

Once you have a pizzelle iron, the rest is super easy.

Carly's Pizzelles

Shopping List:

12 Eggs

3 C Sugar

2 C Vegetable Oil

1 C Whiskey

1 bottle Anise Oil

1/2 bottle Lemon Oil

1/2 bottle Orange Oil

6 C Flour


1. Preheat pizzelle iron and spray with non-stick spray.
2. Beat all ingredients together.
3.  Pour a thin layer of batter over pizelle iron (approx 1 Tbsp)and clamp shut.
4. Pizelles bake quickly! Only 20-45 seconds.
5. Enjoy! Can also top with a little powdered sugar.


Tomorrow is the last day of the 12 Days of Christmas 
and Katie will be sharing another awesome recipe 
for some quick and easy fudge! Don't miss it!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Eggnog Pound Cake

Today we are taking a quick break 
for a delicious little recipe I had to sneak in here! 

I mean who can go a Christmas holiday without some eggnog?! 
Now I'll be honest, I can usually drink one glass of eggnog per season. 
Anymore and its a little much for me. 

But this pound cake has the perfect hint of eggnog 
while still holding the rich pound cake flavor. 
And on top of that, it's super easy to make! 
We are even using a pound cake box mix as our base! 
Just what you need for a last minute, short on time dessert!

Eggnog Pound Cake

Shopping List:

  • (16-oz.) package pound cake mix 

  • 1 1/4 cups eggnog 

  • large eggs 

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Beat all ingredients together at low speed with an electric mixer until blended. Increase speed to medium, and beat 2 minutes. Pour into a lightly greased 9- x 5-inch loaf pan.
  2. 2. Bake at 350° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour). Enjoy!
  3. Recipe adapted from MyRecipes.com
That's it! Super easy.

The 12 Days of Christmas Cookies will return tomorrow.
Only 2 days left!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

10th Day of Christmas Cookies: Candy Cane Blossoms

I missed a day yesterday, but that just means 
we will extent the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies another day.

Today, I am making Candy Cane Blossoms. 
These are a twist on one of my favorite cookies: Peanut Butter Blossoms. 

If you need a recipe for the originals, 
check out Julie's Peanut Butter Blossoms. Click HERE.  

With this recipe, I removed the peanut butter 
(sad, I know - but it doesn't mix well with peppermint) 
and made them look a little more festive. 

You'll love the way these cookies look and taste on your Christmas table!

Candy Cane Blossoms

Shopping List:

1 bag Hershey's Kisses - Candy Cane Kisses

1/2 C Butter, softened

1 C Granulated Sugar

1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Egg

2 C Flour

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Baking Soda

2 Tbsp Milk

Christmas Sprinkles


1. Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove wrappers from candies (approx. 35)
2. Beat butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg in large bowl until well blended. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add alternatively with milk to butter mixture, beating until well blended.
3. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in red and/or green colored sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
4. Bake 8 - 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cookies is set. Remove from oven; cool 2 to 3 minutes. Press candy piece into center of each cookie (if you don't want the kiss to melt, I would wait until the cookies are almost completely cooled). Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Enjoy!
Yields approximately 35 cookies.

XOXO Lauren

(Recipe adapted from Baked Perfection)

Only 2 Days left!

Monday, December 16, 2013

9th Day of Christmas Cookies: Hannah's Cran-Pistachio Cookies

Only 3 days left of the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies! 

Today my sister Hannah is sharing an awesome 
and unique festive cookie recipe that I am dying to try! 

You all know how important my sister (also my best friend) is to me. 
And I am so thankful she shares on this blog frequently. 

I hope you enjoy her Cran-Pistachio Cookies!

Cran-Pistachio Cookies

Shopping List:

1 (1 lb 1.5 ounce) pouch Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix 

1 box (4 serving size) Pistachio Instant Pudding and Pie Filling Mix 

1/4 C Flour 

1/2 C Butter, melted 

2 Eggs 

1 C Dry Roasted Salted Pistachio Nuts, chopped 

1/2 C Dried Cranberries, chopped 

Optional - Green Food Coloring

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Combine cookie mix, flour, and pudding in a bowl. Add melted butter and eggs. This is where you would add green food coloring if you desire, but I forgot to. Mix well. Add pistachios and cranberries. Maybe add less pistachios than it calls for. It's a lot. 
3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and drop rounded balls of dough onto paper and flatten with fingertips. 
4. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Be careful to not over bake because these are supposed to be soft. Let them bake a little longer on the pan once you take them out of the oven. 
 Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

XOXO Hannah


Tomorrow is the 10th Day of Christmas Cookies 
and I'll be sharing a modified, but festive version of the Peanut Butter Blossoms!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

8th Day of Christmas Cookies: Julie's Peanut Butter Blossoms

10 Days til Christmas! WHAT?!
I am so excited I can hardly wait. 
This is literally the best 2 weeks of the year in my opinion!!

And today is the 8th Day of the 

My good friend, sweet Julie is sharing a most delicious and 
most festive Peanut Butter Blossom recipe.

I really can't remember the last time we had a Christmas 
without these delicious little cookies. 
They are so yummy!


Julie's Peanut Butter Blossoms

Shopping List:

1 3/4 C Flour 

1/2 C Sugar 

1/2 C Firmly Packed Brown Sugar 

1 tsp Baking Soda 

1/2 tsp Salt 

1/2 C Butter

1/2 C Peanut Butter 

2 Tbsp Milk 

1 tsp Vanilla 

1 Egg 

1. Combine in large mixing bowl. 
2. Shape dough into balls. Roll balls in additional sugar. 
3. Bake at 375 for 10 to 12 min (I found 10 was enough) until golden brown. 
4. Remove from oven and top each hot cookie with milk chocolate candy kiss. 

XOXO Julie

I love this recipe so much! 
And I discovered a slightly variation that gives it a whole new flavor, 
while adding some Christmas color! I'll share this recipe on Tuesday.

Until then...

We'll see you tomorrow for the 9th Day of Christmas Cookies 
when my sister Hannah makes Cranberry Pistachio Cookies!