12 Christmas Cookies & Sweet Treats–a #12wksxmastreats Roundup!

12 Christmas Cookies & Sweet Treats | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com

We’re heading into the last weekend before Christmas and I’m guessing that there will be a lot of baking going on! If you need some inspiration, check out this round up of all the recipes I featured for our 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop.

Cocoa Peppermint Prtezel Cookies | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats | MealPlanningMagic.com
Cocoa Peppermint Pretzel Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats | MealPlanningMagic.com
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Covered Cake Balls recipe | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats Blog Hop | from MealPlanningMagic.com
Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Covered Cake Balls

caramelmarshmallows-7-words
Homemade Salted Carmel Marshmallows

Pecan Puffs Cookie Recipe | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com
Pecan Puffs Cookies

Chewy Chocolate Cookies | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com
Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Pumpkin Hot Cocoa recipe | 12 Weeks of Chirstmas Treats | MealPlanningMagic.com #12wksxmastreats
Pumpkin Hot Cocoa

Vanilla Chai Cookies | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com
Vanilla Chai Cookies

Cherry Oatmeal Bars | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com
Cherry Oatmeal Bars

Oat and Chocolate Cream Bars | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com
Oat and Chocolate Cream Bars

Gingerbread, Lemon & Cream Pushpops | #12weeksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com
Gingerbread Lemon and Cream Pushpops

Quick and Easy Spiced Caramel Nuts | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com
Quick & Easy Spiced Caramel Nuts

I hope you’ll be inspired to try a few of these. Be sure to check out my Holiday Baking Planner with a FREE printable to help you get organized!

Don’t want to miss a new recipe? Be sure to SIGN UP HERE to receive updates via email or RSS feed (you can choose the reader you prefer!) And don’t forget you can always follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram. They all offer a little something different and are a great way to stay in the loop on new recipe ideas, menu plans, giveaways, organizing tips and more!

And be sure to check out the links below for all the bloggers who also did a roundup of the last 12 weeks, too. Maybe you’ll discover some recipes you missed the first time around!


12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com

Quick and Easy Spiced Caramel Nuts

Quick and Easy Spiced Caramel Nuts | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com

Did you miss me last week? I got a little behind on my blogging and totally skipped last week. We’re having fun enjoying the holiday season and doing things with family and friends. But this week I’m catching back up by sharing these Quick and Easy Spiced Caramel Nuts for our 12 week of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats (can you believe Christmas will be here so soon?)

Y’all, these are the easiest spiced nuts to make! I promise, you’ll have a batch done in less than 10 minutes. And they taste SO yummy! They kind of remind me of pralines but not so sugary and with a slightly different taste–I guess a bit more caramel-y. You know when in my Holiday Baking Planner Tips, I mentioned doing batch cooking and this is one recipe you’ll want to include for sure. They’re even easier to make than another favorite of mine, these Gourmet Pecans, because they are done in 10 minutes or less. No lie!

This recipe originally comes from a little Pampered Chef pamphlet that I got with a recent order. It was mostly showcasing their holiday products but had this recipe tucked inside. I’m so glad I gave it a try! They are great to make up for last minute company or to give as gifts to neighbors, co-workers and friends–that is if you can keep your family out of them (I must admit, that was a challenge around here). I decided to use almonds because that’s what I had on hand but the recipe says you can use any kind of nut. I like to buy the nuts in bulk from Costco or Sam’s Club. They are usually a lot cheaper and I store my big bags in the freezer so they last longer and I can use them in baking or cooking whenever I need them. I think I’ll try cashews next with this recipe. What kinds of nuts do you like to enjoy?

So, here’s the recipe.

Quick and Easy Spiced Caramel Nuts

Ingredients

  • Spiced Carmel Nuts
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups pecan halves, walnut halves, whole almonds or whole cashews

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (this is what I used). Set aside.
  2. In microwave safe bowl, melt butter on HIGH 30-60 seconds or until melted. Stir in brown sugar, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, salt and nuts. Mix well.
  3. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 4-5 minutes or until golden brown and mixture appears glossy, stirring every 30 seconds.
  4. Spread mixture into a single layer on lined baking sheet. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 7 days or in freezer up to 3 months.
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Quick and Easy Spiced Caramel Nuts | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com

Quick and Easy Spiced Caramel Nuts | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com

Don’t want to miss a recipe? Then be sure to CLICK HERE so you can subscribe to all the updates. Besides sharing holiday recipes, I also share all kinds of meal planning and kitchen organization ideas. It’s simple and you’ll also receive weekly meal planning inspiration in you inbox!

And be sure to check out the links below for all the bloggers who are sharing their own recipes from last week!



12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com

Gingerbread, Lemon and Cream Pushpops

Gingerbread, Lemon & Cream Pushpops | #12weeksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com

I love gingerbread. When paired with lemon and whip cream, I’m in dessert heaven. So when we purchased these cake push pops at the start of summer, I knew I needed to include a recipe for my 12 Weeks of Christmas treats using them and I thought what better than a Gingerbread Lemon and Cream Push Pop treat? All these favorite flavors in one fun treat.

I started by making my gingerbread from scratch. This recipe may look like it has a lot of ingredients but it comes together quickly. So much so that I wonder why I don’t make it more often. For some reason, I’ve always kind of associated gingerbread with the holidays (well there are the gingerbread cookies, but the cake? I think that’s a little more year round). I’ve modified the recipe from the original to include whole wheat flour for a little extra nutrition (just a little). I purchased premade lemon curd because I didn’t have the time or want to purchase so many lemons to make it myself (but you can certainly do that). If you have a lemon tree and need to use up a lot of lemon juice, it’s pretty easy to do. I whipped up the whip cream myself, layered it all and voila! A treat was made. I bought our pushpop molds at Bed Bath & Beyond but I’ve also seen them at craft stores like Michaels. Or you can purchase them online HERE.

These Gingerbread Lemon and Cream push pops would make a fun and delicious addition to any holiday table and presentation. Everyone will think you’re a genius (well, maybe). Do you love gingerbread? I hope you’ll give these a try if so!

Gingerbread, Lemon and Cream Pushpops

Ingredients

    Gingerbread Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. ginger
  • 1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Pinch of cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 oz. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Lemon curd (I used purchased)
  • Push Pop Ingredients
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 jar purchased lemon curd

Instructions

    Make Gingerbread:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, salt and cloves. Set aside.
  2. Pour boiling water over molasses. Stir in baking soda and set aside. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the molasses mixture to the butter mixture. Mix thoroughly, but do not over-mix. Some lumps are fine (you may use a whisk if you are overly worried about it) Pour batter into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the cake springs back when pressed.
  3. Cool cake completely.
  4. Make Whip Cream:
  5. Using a stand or hand mixer, whip heavy whipping cream on high and gradually add up to 2 tablespoons sugar. When cream is fluffy and triple in size, you are done.
  6. To Make Push Pops
  7. Using a large table spoon, scoop out about 1 ½ tablespoons worth of gingerbread. You don't need to be exact.
  8. Layer about 1 tablespoon of lemon curd and about two tablespoons of whipped cream.
  9. Repeat until pops are full. Repeat with each pop until you have run out of pops or ingredients (you will likely have leftover gingerbread and whip cream). Refrigerate until ready to serve.
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Don’t want to miss a recipe? Then be sure to CLICK HERE so you can subscribe to all the updates. Besides sharing holiday recipes, I also share all kinds of meal planning and kitchen organization ideas. It’s simple and you’ll also receive weekly meal planning inspiration in you inbox!
And be sure to check out the links below for all the bloggers who are sharing their own recipes this week! If you’re a blogger and want to join in the hop, you can find more details and SIGN UP HERE.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com

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Oat and Chocolate Cream Bars

Oat and Chocolate Cream Bars | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com
It’s no secret that I have a lot of recipes (anyone remember the New Recipe Challenge?) Well, this recipe for Oat and Chocolate Cream Bar Cookies is one I found in my recipe box and I’m not really sure of its origins. It’s handwritten (by me) and most likely one that I copied from my mom or grandmother or who knows where. It’s just old. Which is easy to tell given the amount of sugar in it. But since it makes a large bar pan’s worth and I cut it into small bars, I feel a little better about indulging in this sweet treat. That is if you can stop at just one (I couldn’t). This is one of those recipes you’ll want to make for a group or hide deep in your freezer because if you have them just sitting around, I promise, you won’t be able to stop. I made some for a teacher’s luncheon and to give to a friend who I was bringing dinner to and they all loved them.

Can you believe we’re already to the 10th week of our 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop? I hope you’ve been baking along with us, or at least collecting lots of recipes to try for your holiday baking this year! I love a good bar cookie. These are super easy to put together and what’s great about bar cookies is that you get all the great homemade goodness without the same effort as individual cookies when you’re short on time. I hope you’ll give them a try!

Oat and Chocolate Cream Bars

Yield: 3-4 dozen bars

Ingredients

    For Crust & Topping
  • 2 ½ C all-purpose flour
  • 2 C rolled oats
  • 1 ½ C firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 C butter, softened
  • For Filling
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
  • 2 T butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (you can leave these out if you’re not a fan but I really liked them in there!)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In a large bowl, combine first six ingredients; mix at low speed of mixer until crumbly. Press 4 cups crumb mixture into ungreased 15 x 10 jelly roll pan.
  2. In medium sauce pan, combine first four filling ingredients. Heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla and nuts. Pour filling over crumb crust. (work quickly as when it cools it becomes more difficult to spread).
  3. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over filling.
  4. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Cool; cut into bars.
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Simple ingredients come together easily in these bar cookies.

Oat and Chocolate Cream Bars | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.

These bar cookies are so quick and easy to make!

Oat and Chocolate Cream Bars | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com

Don’t want to miss a recipe? Then be sure to CLICK HERE so you can subscribe to all the updates. Besides sharing holiday recipes, I also share all kinds of meal planning and kitchen organization ideas. It’s simple and you’ll also receive weekly meal planning inspiration in you inbox!
And be sure to check out the links below for all the bloggers who are sharing their own recipes this week! If you’re a blogger and want to join in the hop, you can find more details and SIGN UP HERE.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com



Cherry Oatmeal Bars

Cherry Oatmeal Bars | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com

Better late than never on my 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats post. I’m not sure what it is but this school year seems busier than ever. I may have mentioned it before now, but I’m PTO President for our school and I guess I underestimated how much time it would take up. I’m enjoying it though!

Let’s get to this week’s treat. These Cherry Oatmeal Bars are a perfect blend of tart and sweet. They are so easy to make up and with the oatmeal and cherries, I guess I feel a little better about them being a little bit of a healthier treat. I discovered this recipe in a fun little kids cooking book from Cooking Light that I got free when I subscribed to their magazine last year. It’s called Cooking Light The Ultimate Kid-Approved Cookbook: Delicious Food Kids Will Eat, Nutritious Meals Moms Will Love. Included in the book are lots of tips about how to include kids in the cooking and baking process and tons of great, healthier recipes. You can find this book in my Shop.

I love a good bar cookie, too. I feel like you get more bang for your buck with a treat. Mix up the dough just like other cookie recipes but there’s no coming and going for all those batches of cookies. Perfect when you want a homemade treat but are short on time. These bars freeze well and are just fancy enough to grace your holiday table (although, I think they might be a great year-round treat too!). I bought a bag of the dried cherries at Costco so I know I’ll be looking for more uses for them (well, they are good just for snacking on too!)

Can you believe we’re already at the 9th week of our 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop? Thanksgiving and Hannukkah are next week and Christmas is just a few short, weeks away. I hope you’ve been baking along with us (or will be soon) so that you can have some homemade treats for the holiday season and not be too stressed trying to get them done at the last minute. What are your favorite holiday sweet treats? Let us know in the comments below. I hope you’ll these bar cookies or some of the other recipes in the series a try!

Cherry Oatmeal Bars | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com

Simple, whole ingredients for these bar cookies!

Cherry Oatmeal Bars | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com

These bar cookies come together quickly and easily!

Cherry Oatmeal Bars

Ingredients

  • 4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 (5-ounce) package dried cherries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. Weigh or lightly spoon 4.5 ounces flour (about 1 cup) into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle butter and juice over flour mixture, stirring with a fork until moist (mixture will be crumbly). Reserve 1/2 cup oat mixture. Press remaining oat mixture into bottom of an 11 x 7?inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  3. Combine granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons flour in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add egg white and next 3 ingredients, stirring with a whisk until blended. Stir in cherries. Spread cherry mixture over prepared crust; sprinkle reserved oat mixture evenly over filling.
  4. Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.
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Cherry Oatmeal Bars | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com

Don’t want to miss a recipe? Then be sure to CLICK HERE so you can subscribe to all the updates. Besides sharing holiday recipes, I also share all kinds of meal planning and kitchen organization ideas. It’s simple and you’ll also receive weekly meal planning inspiration in you inbox!

And be sure to check out the links below for all the bloggers who are sharing their own recipes this week! If you’re a blogger and want to join in the hop, you can find more details and SIGN UP HERE.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com



Vanilla Chai Cookies

Vanilla Chai Cookies | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com
This summer we were on vacation in Washington on our way to see Mt. Saint Helens and stopped at this tiny little roadside snack shop. I ordered the vanilla chai milkshake and I have been dreaming about it ever since! Oh my, it was SO good.

Since then, I knew I had to come up with some sort of Vanilla Chai Cookies for the 12 Weeks of Christmas treats. I was flipping through the Crazy About Cookies cookbook that I had picked up at Kohl’s last year (if you have a Kohl’s near you, you know they have those books and plush toys at the front for only $5—that’s where I got it!) This book is a bit strange as I kind of wonder if the graphic designer who was setting it up kind of forgot about page breaks as all the recipes seem to flow together but imagine my surprise when I came across a masala chai spiced cookie. It was a perfect inspiration for my cookie quest! I changed up the original recipe to include vanilla and also adjusted some other ingredients to get the taste I was looking for.

Chai is the term for tea in many languages and masala is an Indian word that means spice blend. While the exact blend for chai can vary, the most commonly used ingredients include cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, pepper and ginger and black tea. I found a blend from Kroger that I love to make just as a beverage (served with a touch of sugar and milk—yum!). So I used that for my cookies.
These are a lightly sweet cookie that are a perfect accompaniment to a warm cup of tea if you like. I hope you’ll give them a try.

Here’s the recipe:

Vanilla Chai Cookies | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com

Simple ingredients are all it takes to whip up these cookies! You can use teabags or loose tea. I chose a scalloped round cookie cutter for my cookies.

Vanilla Chai Cookies | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com

Brushing on the glaze is quick and easy! Just let the cookie glaze dry before you store them.

Vanilla Chai Spiced Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground chai-spiced tea (about six tea bags if you are not using loose tea)
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • For glaze:
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray two cookie sheets with non-stick spray or butter pans (I like to use my stoneware baking sheets so I don’t have to do any of that!)
  2. Combine the flour, salt and ground tea in a bowl; set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and powdered sugar until blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg and lemon zest.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture until well blended. Wrap in plastic wrap and flatten to a disc shape. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (flattening will help it cool faster)
  5. Roll the dough out to ¼ inch thick and cut with a cookie cutter. Place on the cookie sheets 1 ½ inches apart.
  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a rack to cool.
  7. Meanwhile, combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla to make glaze. Brush on cooled cookies and allow to dry.
  8. Enjoy!
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Vanilla Chai Cookies | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com

Don’t want to miss a recipe? Then be sure to CLICK HERE so you can subscribe to all the updates. Besides sharing holiday recipes, I also share all kinds of meal planning and kitchen organization ideas. It’s simple and you’ll also receive weekly meal planning inspiration in you inbox!

And be sure to check out the links below for all the bloggers who are sharing their own recipes this week! If you’re a blogger and want to join in the hop, you can find more details and SIGN UP HERE.
12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com



Pumpkin Hot Cocoa

Pumpkin Hot Cocoa recipe | 12 Weeks of Chirstmas Treats | MealPlanningMagic.com #12wksxmastreats

Recently, I was craving a pumpkin latte but really didn’t want the coffee. What I really wanted was a cup of hot cocoa. So I thought to myself, I’ve seen pumpkin bread and muffins with chocolate chips, why not give pumpkin hot cocoa a try? I’m so glad I did because the flavor blend was just what I was looking for! And so super easy, too. I thought it would make a perfect addition to the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats. Can you believe we’re already to the seventh week? Hard to believe! I hope you’ve been enjoying all the treats that have been shared by all the other bloggers.

A few simple ingredients is all it takes to make this pumpkin hot cocoa. And it makes up enough to share (unless you want to keep it all to yourself!) I made my own cocoa mix but you can use a premade type, too. I like the mix from Penzey’s Spices that has nothing but cocoa, sugar, vanilla paste and a dash of cinnamon–nothing extra! Making your own is super simple though so you might give it a try. Also, oftentimes when a recipe calls for a partial can of pumpkin puree, you may not be sure what to do with that leftover. I like to freeze it by 1/4 cup amounts in silicone muffin cups. When they are frozen, I can pop them out and store in a zip top bag. Then when I’m ready to use, all I need to do is thaw just the amount I need and I’m good to go. A quarter cup is a nice amount as it’s not too much if you don’t need a lot but you can also pull out more than one if you need more.

Capture the taste of fall with pumpkin and chocolate in this simple and delicious pumpkin hot cocoa. I hope you’ll give it a try!

Pumpkin Hot Cocoa

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup cocoa mix (or make your own--see recipe below)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (don't have any? You can make your own--Here's one to try
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Dash of salt
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions

    For Pumpkin Cocoa
  1. In a medium saucepan or microwave safe bowl, warm milk until heated through to desired temperature (about 2-3 minutes in microwave, 5 minutes on low in saucepan). With a whisk, blend remaining ingredients until combined.
  2. For Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
  3. Blend all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container. To use, blend two heaping tablespoons with one cup warm milk.
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Pumpkin Hot Cocoa recipe | 12 Weeks of Chirstmas Treats | MealPlanningMagic.com #12wksxmastreats

Pumpkin Hot Cocoa recipe | 12 Weeks of Chirstmas Treats | MealPlanningMagic.com #12wksxmastreats

Be sure to check out our Pinterest board for all the great ideas too—it’s a great way to keep track of your favorites.

Don’t want to miss a recipe? Then be sure to CLICK HERE so you can subscribe to all the updates. Besides sharing holiday recipes, I also share all kinds of meal planning and kitchen organization ideas. It’s simple and you’ll also receive weekly meal planning inspiration in you inbox!

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com

And be sure to check out the links below for all the bloggers who are sharing their own recipes this week! If you’re a blogger and want to join in the hop, you can find more details and SIGN UP HERE.



Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Chewy Chocolate Cookies | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com
It’s not yet Halloween but here we are at the sixth week of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats! The holiday season will be upon us soon. These Chewy Chocolate Cookies are so quick and easy, you’ll be able to whip up a batch anytime. The good news is they start from a basic brownie mix that you make from scratch. This year there are only three December weekends before Christmas so you’ll need to have your baking plan organized—adding some of the treats featured in this series is a great place to start.

My very first job in high school was in the bakery department of a local grocery store. Is it any surprise that I’ve loved sweets pretty much my whole life and I end up there? One of our best-selling cookies were the Chewy Chocolate Cookies. While this recipe is not quite the same, it is a close second and oh so easy!

What’s great about it also is that it starts with a homemade brownie mix as a base. I shared this recipe on the segment that aired last month on my local ABC affiliate television station. You can find the Brownie Mix Recipe HERE. This mix is great to make up and give as gifts. You can put two batches worth in one large glass canning jar. Put on a festive bow and add the recipe and you’ve got an easy gift to give for all sorts of occasions.

The cookie recipe is as follows. Enjoy!

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • ¼ cup water, more if needed
  • 2 ¼ cups Brownie Mix
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Grease baking sheets. Combine butter, eggs and water in a medium bowl. Beat with a fork until blended. Stir in BROWNIE MIX, baking soda, flour, vanilla and optional chocolate chips and nuts. Add additional water, if needed. Blend well.
  2. Drop by teaspoonfuls two inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
  3. Makes about 3 dozen.
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Be sure to check out our Pinterest board for all the great ideas too—it’s a great way to keep track of your favorites.

Don’t want to miss a recipe? Then be sure to CLICK HERE so you can subscribe to all the updates. Besides sharing holiday recipes, I also share all kinds of meal planning and kitchen organization ideas. It’s simple and you’ll also receive weekly meal planning inspiration in you inbox!

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com

And be sure to check out the links below for all the bloggers who are sharing their own recipes this week! If you’re a blogger and want to join in the hop, you can find more details and SIGN UP HERE.



Pecan Puffs Cookies

Pecan Puffs Cookie Recipe | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com

It’s hard to believe we are already to the fifth week in our 12 of Christmas Treats. I’m excited to share with you a favorite recipe this week. There are lots of things that I love about these Pecan Puffs Cookies. First off, they are something my mom and grandma used to make every Christmas. It’s been a bit more sporadic lately in recent years, but they are still a family favorite! So I decided to pull out this recipe and give them a try again. And I sure am glad I did. Not only are they super simple, they are a delicious, slightly sweet bite of goodness. Pecans are a big deal here in Texas—it’s the state tree afterall! So it’s fitting that these cookies blend my family’s history and our Texas home.

With only five ingredients and a couple of tablespoons of sugar, they’re a healthier cookie too, right? They will store for at least a week in an airtight container and even longer in the freezer (a few months at least). This recipe can be easily doubled but don’t let the small ingredient list fool you—the recipe yields about three and half dozen bite-sized cookies.

Pecan Puffs Cookie Recipe | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com
Here’s the recipe:

Pecan Puff Cookies

Ingredients

  • Pecan Puffs
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup whole pecans
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until well blended.
  3. Chop nuts until finely chopped. Stir the pecans and the flour into butter mixture. Roll the dough into small balls (I like to use a small scoop to help make them uniform). Place balls on greased baking sheet (I used a stoneware baking sheet).
  4. Bake for 30 minutes (yes, 30 minutes). Roll in powdered sugar. To glaze, put the sheet back into the oven for a minute. Cool on wire rack. Serve or store in an airtight container for up to a week or longer in the freezer.
  5. Makes about 3 ½ dozen 1 ½” cookies.
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Pecan Puffs Cookie Recipe | #12wksxmastreats | MealPlanningMagic.com

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Homemade Salted Caramel Marshmallows

Homemade Salted Caramel Marshmallows | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com | #12wksxmastreats

Last year I went to the Austin Farmers Market when we were in the area visiting family. It was around Thanksgiving and the air was cool. I remember getting a cup of hot cocoa with a homemade salted caramel marshmallow in it. I had my choice of marshmallows—they were included at this booth—and I was immediately taken. Oh my! The flavor and texture of these homemade marshmallows was unlike any store-bought version I had ever tried. Light, fluffy, squishy and full of flavor. Yummy!

Ever since then I’ve wanted to try and make my own version. It only took me almost a year to give it a try! Over the summer, I came across the fun Marshmallow Madness book that provided extra inspiration and made it look so easy (it really, is). So with the combination of these two things, I thought these Homemade Salted Caramel Marshmallows would be a perfect addition to the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats.
Let me tell you, these are really quite easy to make and I bet once you try them, you’ll not want to accept anything less. The little bit of caramel swirled in tastes good on its own but is excellent in the hot cocoa too. Either way, I hope you’ll give them a try. They would also make great gifts! Maybe include some hot cocoa mix? A great combo if you ask me!

Here’s the recipe:

This recipe has been adapted from the Marshmallow Madness book.
Homemade Salted Caramel Marshmallows | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com | #12wksxmastreats

Salted Caramel Marshmallows

Ingredients

  • Salted Caramel
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup cream (I actually used 2% milk and it came out fine!)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Classic Vanilla Marshmallows
  • 4 ½ teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
  • ½ cup cold water
  • The Mallowing
  • 1 batch Classic Vanilla marshmallow batter
  • 1/2 cup Classic Coating, plus more for dusting
  • The Syrup
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup, divided
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • The Mallowing
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Classic Coating plus more for dusting
  • Classic Coating
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Classic Coating: Blend cornstarch and powdered sugar together. You can make a big batch of this and store in an airtight container.
  2. For the Classic Vanilla Marshmallows: Lightly coat an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  3. Whisk together the gelatin and cold water in a small bowl and let it soften for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir together the sugar, 1/4 cup of the corn syrup, water, and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 240°F (using a candy thermometer to monitor). Meanwhile, pour remaining 1/4 cup corn syrup into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Microwave gelatin on high until completely melted, about 30 seconds. Pour it into the mixer bowl. Set the mixer speed to low and keep it running (a stand mixer makes this easier).
  5. When the syrup reaches 240°F, slowly pour it into the mixer bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes. Increase to medium-high and beat for 5 more minutes. Beat on the highest setting for 1 to 2 minutes more and beat in the vanilla; the finished marshmallow will be opaque white, fluffy, and tripled in volume.
  6. Sea Salt Caramel
  7. Stir together the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a small saucepan over high heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup comes to a bubble. From this point on, don’t stir the syrup; just occasionally swirl the pan gently. When the caramel reaches a light amber color, remove the pan from the heat and quickly whisk in the cream. The caramel will bubble violently, so be careful.
  8. Whisk in the salt. Transfer the caramel to a medium bowl.
  9. FOR SALTED CARAMEL MARSHMALLOWS
  10. Make a batch of Classic Vanilla batter. Working quickly, scoop about a quarter of the finished batter into the bowl with the caramel. Whisk the mixture together until well blended. Scrape the caramel marshmallow back into the bowl with the vanilla batter and, using a large spatula and a figure-eight motion, fold and swirl the two together. Pour the marshmallow into the prepared pan, using an offset spatula to smooth it into the corners and flatten the top. Sift coating evenly and generously over the top. Let it set for 8 hours in a cool, dry place. (I put mine in my empty off microwave).
  11. Use a knife to loosen the marshmallow from the edges of the pan. Invert the slab onto a coating-dusted work surface and dust it with more coating. Cut it into pieces and dip the sticky edges in more coating, patting off the excess. After a day or two of storage, these mallows may need to be redusted with coating.
  12. Store in an airtight container or enjoy immediately!
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Homemade Salted Caramel Marshmallows | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com | #12wksxmastreats

One of my inspirations for making homemade marshmallows!

Homemade Salted Caramel Marshmallows | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com | #12wksxmastreats

Just simple ingredients is all it takes to whip up a batch of homemade marshmallows.

Homemade Salted Caramel Marshmallows | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com | #12wksxmastreats

Making the mallow.

Homemade Salted Caramel Marshmallows | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com | #12wksxmastreats

Whipping the mallow.

Homemade Salted Caramel Marshmallows | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com | #12wksxmastreats

Making the salted caramel. I made more than the original recipe called for because I wanted a stronger flavor.

Homemade Salted Caramel Marshmallows | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com | #12wksxmastreats

Adding the milk/cream–be careful! It can boil over here and make a big mess!

Homemade Salted Caramel Marshmallows | 12 Weeks Christmas Treats hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com | #12wksxmastreats

Dusting the marshmallows with the classic coating.

Be sure to check out our Pinterest board for all the great ideas too—it’s a great way to keep track of your favorites.

Don’t want to miss a recipe? Then be sure to CLICK HERE so you can subscribe to all the updates. Besides sharing holiday recipes, I also share all kinds of meal planning and kitchen organization ideas. It’s simple and you’ll also receive weekly meal planning inspiration in you inbox!

And be sure to check out the links below for all the bloggers who are sharing their own recipes this week! If you’re a blogger and want to join in the hop, you can find more details and SIGN UP HERE.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop | Hosted by MealPlanningMagic.com