Merry and Bright Baked Goods

Year after year as we approach the holiday season, our days become filled with an abundance of warmth and good spirit. This cheerful time of the year is not only centered around giving to those you love and reuniting with family and friends, but also the tradition of baking festive treats to share with others. Homemade baked goods are a significant contributor to holiday magic, as they require thought and love towards those who get the delight of receiving them.  The list of holiday recipes can go on for forever, but here are a few you can make this season with or for someone special!

Gingerbread Cookies 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar 
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and ginger together. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream together the shortening, 1 cup sugar, egg and molasses. Beat with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix together until well combined.
  4. Use a cookie scoop to scoop out tablespoon sized balls and roll them into shape between your hands.
  5. Place the extra 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl and dip each cookie ball into the sugar, coating on all sides.
  6. Place cookie dough balls on a cookie sheet and lightly flatten with the palm of your hand 
  7. Bake cookies at 350° for 10 minutes                                                                   (Recipe from familycookierecipes.com)                                                          

Peppermint Bark

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup crushed candy canes
  • ½ tsp pure peppermint extract 
  • 2 10 oz bags semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 10 oz bags white chocolate chips
  • ½ tsp coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Place mini candy canes in a ziplock bag and seal shut. Crush candy canes until you have varying sizes. Set aside. 
  2. Line a 9×13 baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. 
  3. Microwave semi sweet chocolate chips for 30 minutes. Heat in 15 second intervals, stirring the chocolate in between each one until completely melted. 
  4. Place white chocolate chips, coconut oil, and peppermint extract in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir chocolate and microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring between each one until completely melted. 
  5. Pour the semi sweet chocolate onto the baking sheet, then pour the white chocolate on top. Immediately sprinkle the crushed candy canes on top and refrigerate for 20 minutes. 

       (Recipe from spaceshipsandlaserbeams.com)

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