One of the most exciting parts of the holiday season is getting to bake delicious confections to share with our friends, family, and loved ones. Choosing a great recipe can be hard - especially if you do not have much experience baking, or you are unsure of what types of baked goods everyone will enjoy. Luckily - we've put together a quick guide of a few fabulous recipes to help you get a jump start on your holiday baking this season. Tried, true, and tested - these are some of our favorite baked delights, and we're sure you, and your family will love them too!
Rum Balls are truffle-like cookies. Sweet and dense, they are usually made of chocolate and rum, and often covered in powdered sugar, cocoa, sprinkles or shredded coconut. Though they are considered cookies, these golf ball-sized confections aren’t baked so as not to lose the rum’s flavoring.
- 3 cups crushed vanilla wafers
- 1 ½ cups finely chopped pecans
- ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon (tsp) pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons (tbsp) light corn syrup
- ½ cup spiced rum
- In a large bowl, stir crushed vanilla wafers, confectioner’s sugar, cocoa and nuts together. Slowly drizzle in vanilla, corn syrup and rum.
- Using a spoon, scoop out mixture and shape into 1” (inch) balls or larger. It’s up to you!
- Roll balls in additional confectioners’ sugar, cocoa power, sprinkles or anything else you’d like to use to decorate the balls.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days to allow the cookies to achieve maximum flavors.
Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
You got your peanut butter cups in my cookies! If there’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s why not try your hand at baking these delicious peanut-buttery cookies? The recipe is simple and quick, and there’s no doubt you won’t regret this sweet confectionary combination.
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 40 miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, unwrapped
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Mix together the flour, salt and baking soda then set aside.
- Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Then beat in the egg, vanilla and milk. Add the flour mixture and mix well.
- Shape into 40 balls and place each ball into an ungreased mini muffin pan.
- Bake for about 8 minutes then remove from oven and immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into each cookie. Add sprinkles and any other toppings you’d like to add some holiday cheer.
- Let cool and remove from pan carefully.
Raspberry and Almond Shortbread Thumbprints
Thumbprint cookies are a common Swedish pastry. Known as Hallongrotta in Sweden, the name means “Raspberry Cave” as the cookies are usually filled with raspberry jam. If raspberry isn’t quite your tastes feel free to fill the cookies with a jam of your choosing. In fact, some use chopped nuts or chocolate as a feeling and topping.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam/preserves
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon milk
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- In a medium bowl, cream together butter and white sugar until mixture is smooth. Mix in ½ teaspoon almond extract. Mix in flour until dough comes together.
- Roll dough into 1½” (inch) balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Make a small hole in the center of each ball using your thumb and finger and fill hole with preserves.
- Bake for 14-18 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cook on the cookie sheet for 1 minute.
While those bake:
- In a medium bowl, mix together confectioners’ sugar, ¾ teaspoon almond extract and milk until smooth.
- Drizzle lightly over warm cookies